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My Favorites Restaurants in South Eastern Minnesota

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MNSU chapter.

When it comes to finding a bite to eat, I love trying new places but when I know I need somewhere that is going to be amazing, these are the places I will be going. They never let me down and I know whatever I order is going to turn out delicious. So, let’s get into my favorite places to eat in South Eastern, Minnesota.


Carlos O’Kelly’s (Rochester, MN) Whenever I tell people how much I love this restaurant, they get so confused because I do not like Mexican or Mexican inspired food and that’s exactly what this place is. In all honesty, I order their kids chicken tenders and fries and WOW it is good! Fries are my favorite food, and this is definitely a place I go to if I want some yummy ones. In terms of the actual Mexican inspired food, they have there, my family loves everything! Some favorites my family has are the Sancho Especial, Chicken Picado, and the Enchiladas de Poblano. The service is always great, and the staff is very nice as well, or maybe I just think that because I usually go when my sister is working! When you go on their website, they have pictures of their food and that is exactly what it looks like when you are ordering your food. This is a must go to if you are in Rochester, MN.


Uncle John’s Bar & Grill (Rochester, MN) Now this place is a gem if I say so myself. It is in an odd location, but it is well worth the drive there. It is an old school bar with the typical bar food, but it is SO amazing. One of my family’s favorites that isn’t super typical at most places is the appetizer of their duck wings. Now I cannot tell you how amazing they are personally, but they must be good because every time I go with my family, we get 3 or so orders of them. Something that I can tell you that is super good is their California Burger. If I am craving a burger, this is where I go. It is so juicy and delicious it’s making my mouth water just thinking about it. Also, their fries are also amazing which is a plus for me!


The Pondy Restaurant & Bar (Mazeppa, MN) Ugh. This has to be my favorite of the bunch. Their Onion Rings are great to start off with because they are freshly made and pair so well with their ranch. They keep their shape while eating them which I also love! Now, I have to talk about the reason I love them so much, the Sticky Chicken Sandwich. Yes, that’s right, a Sticky Chicken Sandwich. It is a battered sandwich that comes glazed with their honey mayo sauce that is literally to DIE for. Again, this is something that is making my mouth water just thinking about it! The chicken is so moist, and the sweetness of the money mayo goes with it perfectly. I have never had a chicken sandwich like this one before and it would be well worth the drive to try it. Something else that I have had there that is also amazing is their California Burger. Let’s just say I am always on the hunt for a delicious Cali Burger and this place definitely is a high contender on my list. They also have a Prime Rib Sandwich that I have heard from family is a must try.


Tilly’s Bar & Grill (Oronoco, MN) Now I am saving the most special for last. Tilly’s holds a special place in my heart because I actually work here! I have been working here for almost two years and it has brought me some of the most special people in my life. The fun atmosphere grouped with the most amazing regulars make this place feel like a second home to me. The menu is packed with so many gems that it is hard for me to say what is my favorite! But if I did have to choose some of my personal favorites are the Crispy Chicken Wrap and the Monte Cristo. We also have the most amazing Onion Rings, Cheese Curds, and Sweet Potato Waffle Fries that is served with a special maple sauce that is a must when eating them! We have daily specials that are must trys like our Broasted Chicken on Wednesday’s, Fish on Friday’s, and Prime Rib on Saturday’s. I may be biased but I would also have to say that the staff there is like no one else because they are so welcoming and friendly, they make the place feel like home. And if I must say, the fries are pretty great, too (lol)!


hi i am shannon! i am a senior at minnesota state university, mankato majoring in communication sciences and disorders. i am excited to have joined her campus in hopes of making new friends, memories, and join the beautiful community of women we have.