Chino Latino in Uptown, Minneapolis

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

It’s not fair to Chino Latino’s extensive and ambitious multi-ethnic menu to say that this is a restaurant driven by its atmosphere, but the fact remains that this a place driven in large part by its image: bustling, cosmopolitan, glamorous, fast-moving and poorly lit in a manner that suggests a good party, not a crummy interior designer. The restaurant’s striking interior (a wall of votive candles, a dark and inviting lounge, a punched-out floor highlighting the player-friendly boothes and a giant executive table) is a good match for its menu, which can be summarized as “street food from the hot zones,” but also includes sushi.

If entertainment, easy-to-share food and a bunch of good drinks are the aim, Chino is one of the best destinations in the Cities: it’s long on novelty and verve. While it gets loud and crowded on many evenings, the staff and floor plan can handle the crush, making it an ideal destination for a swinging happy hour or loud after-hours office get-together. Both the afternoon and late-night happy hours boast truly outrageous deals (a $3 torta sandwich special that includes a pile of chips and high-quality guac, a $2 poblano fundido) and make this a key watering hole candidate for those in the Uptown area.

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Ordering from the restaurant’s menu takes work, and can be a process that takes two or three attempts and a number of drinks to perfect. Many of the entrees are, in fact, enormous and can feed 3-5 people depending on size and appetite. Careful consultation with waitstaff can mean the difference between a surprisingly reasonable bill and a great night out, and an enormous tab and 15 pounds of leftovers.

BEST BET: The plaintain-chip based Nachos del Sol and just about anything served during either of the restaurant’s two happy hours.

Chino Latino
2916 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55408
612.824.7878
Fusion in Uptown, Minneapolis
OWNER/CHEF: Parasole / Noah Barton
HOURS:
Sun-Thu 4:30pm-1am
Fri-Sat 4:30am-2am
BAR: Full
RESERVATIONS/RECOMMENDED?: Yes and Yes for Thu-Sat nights
VEGETARIAN/VEGAN: Yes and No
ENTREE RANGE: ($10-45)

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James Norton

James Norton is editor and co-founder of the Heavy Table. He is also the co-author of a book about Minnesota sandwiches and the people who eat them, the co-author of a book about Wisconsin’s master cheesemakers, and a daily video blogger for CHOW. His latest book is a guide to the food and restaurants of Minneapolis and St. Paul called the Food Lovers’ Guide to the Twin Cities. Norton has written about food for Culture: The Word on Cheese, Salon, Gastronomica, Popular Science, Saveur.com, Minnesota Monthly, and City Pages (as a weekly restaurant reviewer).

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    1. [...] also scheduled to open in May, will follow the success of the other Parasole restaurants, such as Chino Latino, Salut and Figlio, which have been performing well despite the dampened [...]