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Saffron Restaurant & Lounge
Saffron Restaurant & Lounge
  • Address:
    123 North 3rd Street
    Suite 101
    Minneapolis, MN 55401
    Downtown/North Loop
  • Cuisine:
    Price: $30 and under

Saffron Restaurant & Lounge Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.SaffronMpls.com
  • Phone: (612) 746-5533
  • Hours of Operation: Happy Hour: Monday - Friday: 4:00pm - 6:00pm
    Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
    Dinner: Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean, Tapas / Small Plates, Middle Eastern
  • Executive Chef: Sameh Wadi
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Saffron is pleased to offer off-site catering in the convenience of your home or office.
  • Private Party Facilities: Saffron offers dining room buy-outs with a food and beverage minimum. Multi-Course menu and wine flights to suit the most discerning tastes are available upon request. Buffet Style private party are available to.
  • Private Party Contact: Saed Wadi (612) 746-5533
  • Entertainment: Chef's music selections.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 1st Avenue & 3rd Street
  • Public Transit: If you are taking the light rail to downtown Minneapolis, we are only 2 blocks away from the last stop at first Ave.
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: There is metered parking on 3rd St & 2nd Ave $1 per hour (meters enforced until 11pm daily for 2 hours). A convenient secured & well lit parking ramp (Ramp C) is located on 2nd Ave between 3rd & 4th St (just across the street from our building).
A word from Saffron Restaurant & Lounge
The critically-acclaimed and award-winning Saffron Restaurant & Lounge is the brain child of brothers Saed & Chef Sameh Wadi. Opened in February 2007 and now nationally recognized for their fresh interpretation of traditional Mediterranean cuisine, featuring a seasonal menu with a strong emphasis on the old world tradition of sharing a meal, from the delectable Mezze/Tapas to the unique selections of Tagine and Entrées, you are sure to find something to crave.

The bar at Saffron is an ideal location to sit and relax while enjoying unique, hand-crafted cocktails, craft beer or enjoy a glass of wine from the perfectly adapted wine list with selections from around the world.

The space itself boast a vibrant, warm and inviting atmosphere, while staying casual and fun, which makes it a perfect location for dinner with family and friends, business associates or an intimate night out.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Diner Reviews
  • "Outstanding food, attentive & friendly service, and beautiful decor. All-around a lovely experience."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Full disclosure, I served at Saffron when it opened in 2007. Working with Chef Sameh was an exciting new adventure and I quickly fell in love with his expression of Mediterranean cuisine. Having moved to Chicago at the end of 2007, I haven't been back for some time. It was so great to see the quality and passion is still there even with all of his new concepts. Some of the new dishes on the menu were the best I'd ever had, and my favorites from the original menu were as good as I remember. Kubeh are as good as I remember and the koftah were a favorite of everyone in the group. Of the new offerings the green pea flan was the most beautiful dish Ive ever had and as delicious as it looked. Always have the features, never a disappointment."
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "Our group of 4 enjoyed sharing a variety of several small plates, salads plates and 2 main meals. Everything sounded so good we didn't want to miss tasting anything. The food was all well prepared and worth trying, definately a great place for light lunch all the way up to late night dessert or apps. Some items were slightly over priced for the quantity all though some would think 3 figs stuffed with foie gras is worth $13, I was hoping for at least 4 so we all could have tried one. These are small details so for around $70 a person with 2 drinks each (minus the sober driver) not a bad experience. Would definitely go again just to eat the desserts, amazing."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Great food, good service. This place has been a go to when I want a trip down memory lane back to my life in Morocco."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Delicious food and super attentive and knowledgeable waitstaff. I recommend going family style here and ordering several small dishes -- it's very fun, but still feels elegant."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Saffron has long been a favorite--great, healthy food, friendly people and although the wine list is long it always has some gems on it. Highly recommend this restaurant."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "I can always depend on the food being great, the service top notch and the ambience conducive to conversation. We had a party of six and all raved about their meal. This place is a no brainer when wanting or needing a lovely , enjoyable night out."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "first off, the mixed drinks were killer. The plates to share featured my favorites, giant beans, octopus, baby artichoke and an excellent scallop crudo. We then shared a branzino and a lamb tagine, both lovely and flavorful."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "Saffron is a dining experience not to be missed. The menu is innovate and the dishes are masterfully spiced. Saed Wadi went above and beyond to make my family’s experience at Saffron unforgettable. Recently I dined at Manhattan’s Spice Market restaurant and found myself comparing it to Saffron. While I enjoyed Spice Market, I loved Saffron. We’re fortunate to have Saffron right here in the Twin Cities."
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "4 of us shared 8 different small plates with a great Greek red. It was wonderful and all the dishes were new to us. There are more than 8 more small plates we would like to try. Perfect place for sharing and trying. Fodd was wonderfully and flavorfully prepared and presented. Staff was knowledgable and helpful in an unobstrusive way. We will defintatley go back"
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "Went there for dinner. Service was helpful and very good. Wine and food were excellent. Highly recommend."
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "I must say that the food here exceeded my expectations. Based on the menu I knew that I would enjoy what was ordered but the food was so flavorful and satisfying that it was better than I thought it could be. Loved it."
    Dined on 6/9/2014
  • "The food is very good, although somewhat expensive, as the portions are not large. The appetizers are varied, interesting & fun to share. The servers always treat you well."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "Creative use of spices. Original dishes. However, the food was inconsistently prepared. The octopus appetizer was overcooked and inedible. While the original hummus was sublime."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "As visitors to Minneapolis we always hope to land on a great find. Saffron was a winner. Our only critique was that they seemed to rush the service. The staff was attentive, but just a bit more breathing room between courses please."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "Saffron offers a wonderful array of Mediterranean appetizers, salads and entrées. Chef Sami Wadi recreates recipes to make them new. His flavorings are exquisite. Wine pairings work magic. Deserts mark a imaginative conclusion to a meal. Owner Sayed Wadi exudes a warmth that makes guests feel like friends. The ambience embraces comfort Saffron spawned World Street Kitchen, the first food truck operating in downtown Minneapolis and the restaurant by the same name at 28th and Lyndale. With Saffron and World Street Kitchen, the Wadi brothers have creatively and thoughtfully advanced the food scene in the Twin Cities."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "Server was great, she knew the menu or went and found answers. My wife cannot do dairy and the server helped navigate the menu. Best part, everything dairy free and fantastic. Do not pass up the artichokes but everything was great."
    Dined on 6/5/2014
  • "Food was fantastic here! Wait staff gave good recommendations. My wife and I enjoyed our anniversary dinner very much. Tiny turtle cocktail was delicious!"
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "i have eaten there often but this experience was not good. 25 minutes to get seated then acknowleaged. We were told "we're busy". Service wasn't great nor was the food. Saffron has fallen off my list of fav's and i would not be comfortable recommending any longer"
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "Based on previous reviews, I was anticipating a decent experience overall. Everything surpassed my expectations. The ambiance was charming and perfect for a nice dinner with a friend. The server was knowledgeable about the menu and made spot on recommendations. The water glasses were always filled in a quiet and non-disruptive manner. And the food was delicious with great flavor balance. I left feeling pleasantly satisfied and would absolutely visit Saffron again. "
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "My husband loves Middle Eastern food but he likes it a bit rustic (we both like Christo's), and I was afraid Saffron would be too frou-frou. But I finally just went ahead and told him he'd like it, and he did. Said the grilled lamb chop was the best he'd ever eaten and he was only disappointed there wasn't more for leftovers at home. My Parisian gnocchi was inventive and delightful. We tried the cauliflower appetizer on many recommendations and it lived up to its reputation, as did the Kofta meat balls. The hummus was not as garlicky as I like it, but that's personal taste. I'd try something besides the standard hummus next time -- and there will definitely be a next time. Service was good and professional, just a tiny bit slow at times. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Very disappointed! Took out of town guests and family. Was looking forward to a wonderful meal from past dining experiences. Lamb chops were SO salty, they were inedible. Chicken was not hot and eggplant lavish was cold and very soggy. Very sad experience and embarrassing recommendation. Server never asked how meal was."
    Dined on 5/21/2014
  • "We went to Saffron to celebrate my husband's new job on the recommendation of my coworker and we were blown away! The Kofta Meatballs and Fried Cauliflower are superb and the Parisian Gnocchi are to die for. Super fun cocktails as well. I would skip the anchovy skewers next time - they were only about 1/2 a bite per skewer. The pastry platter and Turkish coffee were heavenly as well. Can't say enough good things!"
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "We enjoyed Safron for our second time. The 8 of us were very pleased with the food with many interesting flavors. The appetizers and desserts were delicious but the portions were very small. Our main courses were plentiful. Three of us enjoyed the Sea Bass with grape leaves. Excellent fish Parking is a problem, I suggested that they have Valet parking, especially when there is a Twins Game. "
    Dined on 5/14/2014
  • "We are so lucky to have such a top-notch restaurant in the Twin Cities. The food is amazing, creative, and thoughtful. The chef is a true artist. "
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "This is a great spot downtown with slick Middle Eastern inspired decor. Me and my date were pleased to be seated at a corner table where we could be next to each other. We ordered the Turk hummus, which was an excellent and tasty take on the traditional zatar and paprika garnishing. We also had the giant beans in dill, which were very nice and a fresh update on Foule. The anchovy skewers were perfect, and I wish we had ordered more of them. They were a nice balance of flavors that really brought out the saltiness of the anchovies while also mellowing it out. The cauliflower was really nice and surprisingly meaty, but a bit more deep-fried than I had anticipated. "
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "This has been my go-to restaurant for years. Always a wonderful menu with an incredible variety of taste sensations. Saffron never disappoints!! The service was also excellent, cheerful and helpful."
    Dined on 5/6/2014
  • "I dine at Saffron whenever I want a special evening in the Twin Cities. The quality of the food is consistently excellent, and, what is more, interesting and creative The servers are friendly and knowledgeable, but not obtrusive. This is an exceptional restaurant in the Twin Cities dining scene."
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "Thirty months ago we moved just four blocks away from Saffron, and have slowly sampled every nearby restaurant in the North Loop--except Saffron. I don't know why we waited so long! We had a great time, we were impressed by the fact that the restaurant was a little classier than we expected, and we had a wonderful dinner."
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "Went here to celebrate a birthday with a larger group. Service was definitely lacking and had to ask random staff for things we needed on multiple occasions. Entrees were very good, but most of the appetizers were just okay."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Great and interesting flavors. Unexpected and delicious combinations. Sophisticated and well balanced sides!"
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "Saffron is always one of my first picks for Dining Our for Life night. Great food, great cause."
    Dined on 4/24/2014
  • "Given all of the hype, we thought this restaurant would be OTT. Not quite. It was good and nothing was bad, it just wasn't that memorable. It would be fun to come here with a group and order and sample all kinds of appetizers, as all of them sounded incredibly appealing. The standout dish of our evening, believe it or not, was the original hummus. We've never tasted hummus so flavorful. It was hard not to order more."
    Dined on 4/23/2014
  • "The food was not the best I eaten, but definitely good preparation, flavoring and attention to details. I ordered the sea bass, and the fish arrived whole and full de-boned. Great job. Perfectly Crispy skin and tender meat.. I think little bit soggy due to overcooked, but again it still delicious. The beet salad was right on the money! Overall, great dining experience."
    Dined on 4/23/2014
  • "We wanted to catch up with some old friends and enjoy a variety of tastes. We had hummus and olives, octopus and lamb brain starters, a seafood soup starter, a spicy tagine, and two excellent desserts. The dishes are great for sharing. The servers are knowledgable and experienced. Noise level was a bit loud for my ears, but we enjoyed our conversation nevertheless. "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "During a recent business meeting in MSP, I had the opportunity to dine at Saffron, and I could not be happier with that decision. from checking in with the host station, to the service to the food, everything was a truly memorable experience. The server was not only knowledgeable about the food, but was passionate about it, and it made a huge difference. We turned down his offer to choose our shared plates, but I think we did pretty well for ourselves. The hummus, the kafta meatballs: both delicious. And normally I do not like cauliflower or brussels sprouts, but we ordered both and they were fantastic!. Hands down the best cauliflower I have ever had. You must order the fried cauliflower. "
    Dined on 4/16/2014
  • "Well-executed, interesting menu with lots of items that even foodies may "want to try", as they represent less-seen renditions, e.g. plain hummus "just like in Palestine". Items are cooked and presented with care. Tagines are impressive. Portions are generous...beware ordering too much food."
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "We visited Saffron for a early-in-the-relationship date (i.e., the stakes were still pretty high). The food and service were first rate. It was quiet enough to have a conversation, but there was still enough of a vibe to keep your energy up. The lamb chops were just excellent--and I have been spoiled by some truly great lamb chops. We decided to share one order, and that was plenty for us. My Martini was not the best (came in a sherbert glass, not quite cold, one tiny olive), but the food made up for that tenfold."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "I had an excellent experience in this restaurant. Coming from an Arabic roots family (with parents owning a restaurant) I was curious to try some of the middle eastern dishes and they exceeded my expectations. We also tried a couple of African entrees and they were outstanding. The server was very good too. He was very attentive and explained everything about the menu. I will definitely go back to Saffron a couple of times a year."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Great service. Our server, Evan, was attentive, knowledgable about the food and drinks, and helped make it a great dinner. Delicious cauliflower, grilled octopus, Brussels sprouts and gnocchi."
    Dined on 4/12/2014