Foodies,  Local Products

Locavore on the Road: Duluth Grill

Do you have a happy place? You know, somewhere you can visit a hundred times and always regret having to go home. You regularly catch yourself day dreaming about going there when you’re stuck in traffic or having a bad day at work. The place that “fills your bucket.” Since our first trip nearly 5 years ago the North Shore has been my happy place. I love Duluth and beg the kitchen partner to buy me a house there all the time. We try to make it up there 3-4 times every year–to relax, get away from the city noise, and take in Lake Superior.

Locavore on the Road LogoLast weekend we snuck away for a 3 day weekend before the holiday rush begins. We experienced a mini-version of “The Gales of November” with mist, rain and 6-10 foot waves from our hotel room overlooking the lake. What better reason to snuggle in with a cup of tea and work on my NaNoWriMo project. I finished up a Simple Good and Tasty Thanksgiving post that went up this week and prepped for the big Give to the Max Day campaign for the foundation I work with: Autism Recovery Foundation. Two big items I’m proud of this week!

The weather didn’t keep us locked in all weekend though. We also saw the new James Bond movie – if you haven’t seen it. It’s simply excellent. And we ventured out to dinner at a locavore hang out in the area. The Duluth Grill was so good the kitchen partner and I went not once, but twice last weekend. First for Friday night dinner and then for brunch on our way home on Sunday. If you’re heading to the North Shore for your winter activities this season, I suggest making a stop off I-35 for some of the best local food in the area. Here’s 4 things you’ll love about the Duluth Grill:

Caramel Pecan Roll – Duluth Grill

1. The Classic Tastes– The Duluth Grill promises fresh, organic and locally sourced meals without the “trendy” hype these buzz words have gotten recently. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the gastronomic creations the farm-to-table folks put together in the Twin Cities. But local food doesn’t have to be fancy or more full of trend than taste. The dishes at Duluth Grill match what you’d find at any American diner including burgers with local beef, breakfast served all day, and a lasagna worth the 3 hour drive all on its own. The kitchen partner had the largest pecan cinnamon roll I’d ever seen for brunch on Sunday morning and I had the beef and vegetable pasty on Friday. This pasty is my new Iron Range staple – with local grass-fed beef and root vegetables. Perfect for a late-fall dinner in the blustery weather we had.

2. The Local Ingredients – 33% of Duluth Grill’s ingredients come from small family farmers. Not an easy task for a smaller market restaurant making a go way up North. Cage-free eggs, organic eggs from local farmers, fish from the Lake Superior Fish Company, tomatoes from Bay Produce in Superior, WI and organic produce from the University of Minnesota-Duluth farm during the summer. Even the ketchup that comes to the table is homemade from local ingredients. What’s not local is often organic or sustainably sourced – including their coffee, tea and hot chocolate. We had the hot chocolate on Sunday morning and I’d definitely recommend it!

The Quack and Cluck – Roasted Duck Omelet – Duluth Grill

3. Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives - Okay, so maybe Guy Fieri doesn’t sell you on restaurant choices. But his visit to the Duluth Grill showcases my favorite item on the menu: the banana cream pie. There’s another North Shore favorite for pie that will go unmentioned…because this pie is so much better!  Check it out here:

4. They Grow it the Parking Lot We were too late in the season to see the fresh produce, but there were lots of pictures around the restaurant showcasing the fresh greens, tomatoes and produce grown in the parking lot of the restaurant. That’s right. The restaurant has a garden manager who supplies the kitchen with as much fresh food as they can grow in the greenhouse behind the store and in the large raised-bed planters out front. Edible landscape for the storefront. Oh, and did I mention they keep bees on the roof? Check out what they’re growing in a “Parking lot gardeners” feature on


Duluth Grill 

I-35 & 27th Avenue West • Duluth, Minnesota
218-726-1150 •


  • cristy Leaf

    Thank you for this information about the Duluth Grill. We often eat breakfast up in Duluth on our way north, same situation as you about a great escape, so we’ll definately add this as a place to stop on the way up. Being it’s a ‘special’ trip we like to make the trip relaxing and enjoyable. The place we’ve stopped at the last couple times has gotten a bit expensive and the food is so so. Happy Thanksgiving.

    • Amy.Sippl

      Hi Cristy-
      Thanks for your comment. I agree that it can be tough to find an affordable meal in Duluth – and even our breakfast at Duluth Grill ($39 for 2) was a bit pricey. I did feel better about spending a little more on the meal because the food was excellent and the ingredients were local. When we’re traveling I’d rather spend a little more to know I’m getting something good than pay less for so-so. It’s right off the highway and I think will be a good place to stop on your trips North!

  • linda

    Hi Amy,
    So glad you focused on Duluth’s food highlights! I have forwarded your web link to my Michigan cousins and my Sisters and Bro-in-laws. We are planning to spend our 4th annual reunion in Duluth. We will check out the Carmel Rolls and Banana Cream Pies out for sure. Most likely we will go to the Duluth Grill, too. Looks too good to pass by.

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