Having a patio in Duluth is only as good as the view of Lake Superior. A beer or a good sandwich always tastes better when you can watch an ore ship come in or a sail boat race take place. In Duluth a good view of the lake is few and far between. The Fitger’s Brewhouse patio is on the other side, with a view of Superior St., and in Canal Park the patio at Bellisio’s and Little Angie’s has a string of hotels eating up the view. It is Va Bene, Mexico Lindo, and Sir Ben’s that compete for the best patio in Duluth.
Italian at Va Bene and authentic Mexican at Mexico Lindo are both delicious options for enjoying a view of the lake, but Sir Ben’s offers a pub-like atmosphere, affordable food, and a vast beer selection. Over a hundred years ago, like the PortLand Malt Shoppe, the building that is now Sir Ben’s was a gas station. In 1977 the building was opened as Sir Ben’s. Today they offer over 120 different beers alongside a tap beer selection that always has a few local Lake Superior Brewing beers.
The food is soups and sandwiches. Three homemade soups, such as Squash and Lentil, Tomato Basil, and English Onion, are usually available. The English Onion ($3.25 cup, $4.50 bowl) has a sweet taste and oily texture with cubed bread and shredded cheese mixed in.
Whole sandwiches ($7.95) and half sandwiches ($4.25) are available on seven grain, white role, sourdough, tomato / spinach wrap or pumpernickel bread. Sandwiches are made to order with up to four veggie and cheese selections included. The specialty sandwiches ($8.95) like the Avocado and Bacon are also made to order with four items included. The bread is cut thick and the ingredients are put on heavy. There isn’t a sandwich made at Sir Ben’s that doesn’t look like a good value.
The operation is counter service with the food made in front of you and paid for before you eat. The simplicity of the restaurant makes Sir Ben’s an easy lunch spot to enjoy the patio and catch the afternoon sun. Music is also available almost every night of the week. During the summer months bands play outside on the patio and through the winter they play on a stage inside. Local acts like Teague Alexy and Toby Churchill are on the calendar alongside jam nights like Celtic jam and Bluegrass jam.
There is never a quiet day or night on the patio of Sir Ben’s in the summer. The old rustic pub like atmosphere, huge beer selection, view of the lake, and live music all make Sir Ben’s a local hangout and a tourist hot spot.
Homemade food, huge beer selection, and a great patio in Duluth.
805 E Superior St
Duluth, MN 55804
HOURS: Daily 11am-1am
OWNERS: Antonino and Aura Coppola
RESERVATIONS / RECOMMENDED: No