It’s no surprise that Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport has a hockey-themed restaurant. What is surprising about the Minnesota Wild Bar is its menu. Sports-bar food on a power play, it’s amped up, exciting, and worth taking a few risks.
The restaurant, which opened last fall near gate H6 in Terminal 2–Humphrey, is a sport fan’s haven. A double layer of televisions above the bar, plus several on each wall, are all tuned into a game.
Hockey, however, dominates: 1,400 hockey sticks make up the bar, professional goalie helmets line the eating area; a hockey-puck mosaic adorns the wall; and a retro bubble hockey game awaits play near the bar.
Meals here are substantial and any frills generally involve the addition of meat. Take the breakfast sandwiches. Why settle for a traditional bacon and egg sandwich? Instead take a Philly cheesesteak or traditional pastrami sandwich and top it with a fried egg. Corned beef hash, a rarity on airport breakfast menus, is also available, as well as made-to-order omelets and eggs, pancakes, and a fruit plate.
For a pre-lunch snack, share a plate of delectable fried pickles with horseradish aioli. Served piping hot, let them cool for a few minutes while you make a dent in your Summit IPA. The pickles are perfectly sliced, making them easy to dip, while the crispy breading adds a salty crunch. The horseradish aioli is mild enough for most Midwestern palates, but ask for ranch if you don’t like the bite.
The Wild Bar burger offerings make for an adventurous meal. The Hat Trick burger is piled high with corned beef, pastrami, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing and served on a soft, Kaiser roll. It’s juicy and messy, but worth the extra napkins. If you’re a traditionalist, the Wild burger won’t disappoint. Thick with beef, cheese, lettuce, and tomato, it’s as classic as a pick-up game of pond hockey.
The kitchen and wait staff are quick, ensuring that even those on a tight turnaround can enjoy a hearty meal. If your layover is longer, it’s a comfortable space to linger, taking in the hockey memorabilia or the big game. If, by chance, you’re not a sports fan, grab a table at the back of the restaurant, which boasts an expansive view of the airfield. Who knows—you may even spot some hockey hair. This is Minnesota after all.