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

Saffron Restaurant & Lounge

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.saffronmpls.com/
  • Phone: 6127465533x
  • 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, Middle Eastern, Tapas / Small Plates
  • 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 6127465533x
  • 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.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Saffron Restaurant & Lounge reviews from OpenTable diners
122 reviews since May 20, 2014
Overall Rating4.6
  • Food4.7
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
98% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (108)special occasion (77)romantic (60)neighborhood gem (32)notable wine list (31)good for groups (29)hot spot (20)late-night find (14)vibrant bar scene (13)kid-friendly (4)great for lunch (3)scenic view (2)Show More
  • Had a great experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    Went there for dinner. Service was helpful and very good. Wine and food were excellent. Highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great place
    Jsjs
    Dined on 6/9/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • med & ME Tapas
    SDClimber
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    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
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Jane
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food for many years
    3eateroutVIP
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good experience
    northlanders
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We Savor Saffron
    LindaandDavid
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great experience
    davydVIP
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    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
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic!
    Chaz
    Dined on 6/3/2014
    Food was fantastic here! Wait staff gave good recommendations. My wife and I enjoyed our anniversary dinner very much. Tiny turtle cocktail was delicious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A great surprise
    Homegrown
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I don't know why I waited so long
    Ella
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • DisappointingVIP
    Dined on 5/21/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 69 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 20, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.6
    • Food4.8
    • Ambiance4.3
    • Service4.5
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 1343 reviews are from the Saffron Restaurant & Lounge reviews archive.
  • Blown Away!
    IkonMel
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 5/14/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We are lucky!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Middle Eastern for foodies
    ZM1980
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding - as always
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 5/6/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Exceptional
    PoppyO
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Why did it take so long?
    RanchoMirageGuy
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • so-so
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great appetizers!
    luvumore
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    Great and interesting flavors. Unexpected and delicious combinations. Sophisticated and well balanced sides!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 4/24/2014
    Saffron is always one of my first picks for Dining Our for Life night. Great food, great cause.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • good but not great
    localreviewVIP
    Dined on 4/23/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Awesome drinks..
    Foodie99
    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.
    Special Features:
    Romantic, special occasion, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dinner for friends, Saturday night
    Gyneth
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Saffron is Outstanding
    Diner
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Interesting menu
    needbigpantsVIP
    Dined on 4/17/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fantastic Find in Minneapolis!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/16/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I had an excellent experience
    rupio
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding
    StacyVIP
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A delightful evening
    VenturaVillage
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Middle Eastern Sophistication
    VivianM
    Dined on 3/31/2014
    Saffron is a Middle Eastern Restaurant for foodies, with interesting small and large plates. The decor is charming and the location is right in the Warehouse district.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The salmon terrine
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    The salmon terrine was fabulous, its broth accentuated the flavors of the shell fish and the vegetables. It matched perfectly with the Chapoutier Cote du Rhone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Most unique experience
    Mush
    Dined on 3/26/2014
    Great/unique food. You can really tell that they put a ton of love & effort into the preparation of their food. The spices in all the dishes get your mind turning in trying to figure out everything in them. The meatballs, lamb brain & duck kefta are amazing! I will definitely be back to try more of their unique items.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The food is good, but not
    GDabcd
    Dined on 3/25/2014
    The food is good, but not exceptional. My order did not arrive at the same time, which caused some confusion. Some of the dishes taste the same. Would like to see more distinctive flavors and spices.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent creative food with
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    Excellent creative food with a variety of flavors. Well prepared and presented. Service was good with a knowledgeable staff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    This was my second time visiting as usual .. food and service was fascistic, I would recommend this to anyone into food - specially fusion middle eastern - African.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious Food
    DevoVIP
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    Unfortunately the first hostess who greeted us was either having a bad night or new. We went there to start off our 25th wedding anniversary weekend and was going to be seated at the worst table until we said something. I had told them in advance that it was our 25th and wished for a special table. Thankfully the other hostess/manager saw all that transpired and we were seated at a lovely table within seconds. We asked the waitress for recommendations and she said everything is good - but we were looking for a little guidance or recommendations on size etc...The lamb was amazing and it was very kind that the chef came out to ask us about our meal. Would we go there again? Yes, for a date night, friends, but not for a very special occasion.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Service didn't start out well
    momsnightout
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    We had never been to Saffron before and our server never asked that question or told us anything about how to order, etc. The we ordered a 2012 bottle of wine and recieved a 2013 - which is fine, but when we asked our server about it he just said it was a typo on the menu and never offered us anything else or a discount. He was rude about it. I always say you can have terrible food, but if you have an awesome server, you forget about the terrible food. This was not the case at Saffron. The food was good, especially the Sea Bass entree, that was my favorite. It was so tender. Everything else was super rich. We ended up sharing a bunch of stuff between the 3 of us and it worked out great.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate