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St. Paul's Top 10 Bloody Marys

I'll have water, coffee, and... a Bloody Mary
I'll have water, coffee, and... a Bloody Mary
Adrian Schramm

It doesn’t matter what you did the night before, whether you brought down the house, punched a bouncer at a strip club, stayed in with that special someone, beat the final level on Last of Us: Left Behind, or just hit your bed early to dream about the world of tomorrow, sometimes you want, or need, to start your morning with that ubiquitous morning drink,

The Bloody Mary.

Everybody loves a good Bloody Mary, and they become the great equalizer. Dive bars can have Bloody Marys as good as some of St. Paul’s finest drinking establishments, Louboutins can enjoy them next to fluffy slippers, cigars next to Black and Milds. That should be celebrated as well.

Each of these Bloody Marys is a work of art. Belly up to the bar and see (taste) for yourself.

10. Forepaugh’s

While you might be spending a bit on brunch, don’t blame the Bloody Mary. For only $4 you can enjoy a Bloody Mary that is at once smooth and spicy, and is sure to whisk you away to that magical place called Sunday Funday… even if it is a Tuesday. Since the mansion in which the restaurant is housed is haunted, it adds another level to the notion of "Bloody Mary". If you do see a ghost, and run out screaming bloody murder, don't forget to bring your drink with you.

9. Meritage

An always interesting rotation of garnishes add a unique touch to Meritage’s classic Bloody Mary. Succulent shrimp, pickled ramps... you never know what you might find resting on top of the celery salt rim. If you want just a taste, try one of the Oyster Bloody Mary shooters; it’s a steal at $4 for the fresh oyster that pairs unbelievably well with the citrusy spice of Meritage's deep red Bloody Mary mix.

8. Finnish Bistro

The only Sake Bloody Mary that holds a candle to the original vodka-based, Finnish Bistro’s secret mix alone is worth the trip over to the South St. Anthony corner of the city. The skewers really make this drink something special: choose from the Grilled Cheese Slider Stick, with four miniature grilled cheese sandwiches, the Hunter Stick, with salami, Swiss cheese, Kielbasa sausage and olives, or, best yet, the Finn Stick that adds lox, herring and cucumber to the Hunter. Minnesota’s Scandinavian roots are proudly on display at this little neighborhood restaurant.

7. Kelly’s Depot

The Bloody Mary at this Lowertown dive is one of St. Paul’s best kept secrets. Stepping inside you might not expect anything more than domestic beer and plenty of rail whiskey. But you'd be wrong. You'll find a Bloody Mary here that’s light, refreshing, and soul soothing, made with the same TLC that you'll get from the server who brings it to you. If you’re not coming for the greasy, delicious burgers at Kelly’s, definitely come for the Bloody Mary.

6. W.A. Frost

Just the right amount of spice will leave your mouth tingling, but the whole experience at W.A. Frost is sensory: the surrounding sights and smells of 100 years of history, the light coming in through stained glass windows, or through lush foliage and flowers if you're on the patio, add to the savory, mouth-watering kick of the Bloody Mary. The garnishes change often; you'll find pickled green beans, maybe some asparagus, of course a pickle... but no matter what gets placed on top, the Bloody Mary will never disappoint.

5. The St. Paul Grill

A Bloody Mary that is simple and elegant, just like your surroundings. Whether you're staying in the hotel, coming in after Mass, or just want to indulge in one of life's simple pleasures, this Bloody is the epitome of classic. The best drinks don't need to be flashy, or stuffed full of unnecessary ingredients, and the St. Paul Grill's Bloody Mary proves exactly that. A little horseradish spice, zest from tomato and lemon, salt from the Worcestershire, a little garlic to round it out... it is a wonderful way to start the day.

4. Bennett’s Chop and Railhouse

The signature mix at this steakhouse/neighborhood bar hybrid is as unique as the restaurant itself. The garnishes on top are also amazing: juicy shrimp, pickled cauliflower, marinated mushroom and cheddar cheese lying across the top of the glass like Michelle Pfeiffer on top of a piano. It’s the Bloody Mary you wouldn’t have to wait for Sunday morning to enjoy, you could drink one, or two, before hopping on the shuttle to a Wild game and be just as happy.

3. Strip Club

The place that took #1 on St. Paul’s list of best cocktail bars should serve up one of the city’s more memorable Bloody Marys, and The Strip Club does not disappoint. The mix here is completely from scratch, of course, and the unique blend of spice and flavor created by Strip Club's mixologists satisfies completely. You could call it "complex" if you had to, but certainly not "complicated". It's the perfect drink to cure a hangover and put a smile on your face before you collapse back into bed.

2. Ward 6

One of the most addictingly delicious mixes in the world makes Ward 6’s Bloody Mary something special (and worth waiting for - weekends are always packed). A little spice is nice, and the smooth, aromatic tomato goodness (plus vodka) massages your brain back to life. With just pickled cauliflower, juicy olive and, best part, a melt-in-your-mouth cheese curd on top, this Bloody Mary doesn’t need much to shine. You can get the traditional Bloody, or try a Michelada, lager beer and that wonderful mix, if vodka seems like too much.

1. Moscow on the Hill

With the house Referent Horseradish Vodka elevating Bloody Marys to new heights, the "Bloody Russian" as it is called here, is one of the most satisfying drinks of any type. But not a fan of horseradish? That’s okay. There are over 200 different types of vodka for you to choose from, almost all of which will work with the rich, savory Moscow mix, making it the most versatile Bloody Mary on the list. The mix is, in a word, здорово, and this is the Bloody that is worth traveling all around the world for.

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