Zen Box Izakaya

4.6
472 reviews
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$30 and under
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Japanese
A Ramen-centric Izakaya owned by Chef & Wife in Downtown Minneapolis' Mill District.

We are devoted to the pleasures of Craft Ramen & Japanese comfort food.
Zen Box Izakaya is THE place for ‘Good Food, Good Drinks and Good Company’.
Established since 2011.
What 472 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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BG
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was our first visit and the staff was extremely helpful and friendly. It was fun to order many things and have the whole family try everything.

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N
Minneapolis
36 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was fantastic and was a great dinner to celebrate Garth Brooks! The apps we delicious!!!

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SK
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the Salmon Zen box

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B
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on May 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 1

Our waiter was wonderful, but the restaurant was so loud we could hardly hear each other. The food lacked the flavor I would have expected. It was overly salty and did not have a lot of spice. Overall, rather bland.

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P
Minneapolis
17 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Never disappointed with Zenbox! The most authentic Japanese experience I've found in the Twin Cities. They even greet you in the same fashion as many restaurants in Japan do when you walk through the door (irasshaimasei!). My only quarrel is that this place gets loud. Otherwise the food is delicious and the service is good.

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JM
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great staff, fantastic food. The atsuage tofu was life changingly good, as was the buta no kakuni. Equally good for vegetarians and pork lovers!

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CB
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on April 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First vist. Delicious and great service--friendly, helpful, prompt. Casual, relaxed setting. Great food. The shishito appetizer was so tasty and the "broth-less ramen" was fabulous. Already craving it again.

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MK
Dublin
7 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Zen Box food and drink menus have changed significantly from perhaps 6 months ago. Although quality and service are still good, the variety is more limited. Unfortunately not a welcome change.

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OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

Very inattentive service. Lots of waitstaff were just standing around talking to each other and didn’t clean up messes, refill water or ask about the food.

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RT
Minneapolis
7 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Our first visit to Zen Box Izakaya preceded a play at the Guthrie, so we opted not to have ramen . . . Sacrilege, but also a great call. Our custom drinks were very good, and we got to sample a variety of snacks and small plates. The avocado tempura and the gyoza were our favorites, but all were wonderful. We’ll be back for ramen next time.

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JC
Indiana
9 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

We used to love Zen Box. New menu is smaller. No more shrimp shumai. Beers are weird. Gyoza overly crispy. It remains very busy so best to make reservations.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is the best Japanese izakaya restaurant in the Twin Cities. They do not over season the food and allow the great ingredients to savor. The service is always great too.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great quality food

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OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great for all groups, families included.

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CB
Minneapolis
4 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorite restaurants. The food is always delicious, fresh, authentic, and well-presented.

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ES
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best ramen in Minneapolis. My automatic suggestion whenever we can't decide where to meet for dinner.

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DJ
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic options for vegans! Definitely Recommend

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JG
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

The food was just OK - I felt particularly bamboozled for the amount of squid I received for the price. Being downtown certainly means you pay high rent as a business, I just need more value for my dollar. Great service, great ambiance, High prices for what you get.

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OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Food was phenomenal. We tried a lot of items on the menu and loved their ramen, rice dishes and apps! Drink menu (cocktails) were just okay, would recommend going with their beer selections over cocktails.

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JC
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Belated Valentine’s Day

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CN
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the food and people there. Would defiantly go again

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T
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 2ambience 5

waitress forgot to put in our order so we waited about 55 minutes for food, i assume that doesnt usually happen though

Food was alright, I enjoyed it but Im not sure I would return due to the price. Quite expensive for what youre getting and the fact that its just....well ramen... well crafted ramen but its kinda like....comon

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C
Minneapolis
5 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Asked the waitress what she recommended. Everything she recommended that we got was fantastic; everything else was middling. Among the winners was the torched salmon shared plate, and the sesame mochi ice cream. The ramen was only pretty good.

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K
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere. Food is always awesome. My family’s favorite place after music concert at MacPhail.

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MW
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was the perfect level of attentive. Food was excellent.

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LY
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

Kimchi Ramen is on par with the best of what Minnesota has to offer. Donburi was lacking a bit of luster, but overall, a good night out with incredible sake!

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R
Hawaii
20 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

First visit, most definitely will not be last. Loved the ramen!!

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E
Minneapolis
5 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

We have been eager,enthusiastic and frequent patrons of Zen Box since day one. However, after our most recent meal there this past week, we were disappointed to learn that three of the four favorite dishes we ordered had changed in more than a minor way. Our tonkatsu pork was significantly over cooked, the crispy chicken wings that we always look forward to are now served wet and dripping with a massaman peanut sauce and our pork ramen had skinny spaghettini-like noodles which were flavorless. The ramen broth, however, was outstanding as usual. Disappointed that our experience wasn’t as stellar as it has been previously.

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LL
Minneapolis
77 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service is always excellent and with good suggestions for someone who doesn't understand all the menu items. My fall back is the Bento box offerings. The poke tuna was excellent, good texture and flavor plus the other goodies in the box. Ramen bowls are flavorful with the egg adding good richness to the dish. We always enjoy our visit to the Zen Box.

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OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Simply incredible experience.

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AC
Minneapolis
23 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Zen Box serves Japanese comfort food. While there are a few raw fish options, it is not a sushi bar. Go to Zen Box for fabulous ramen, rice bowls and great seaweed salad,

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K
Minneapolis
3 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server was fantastic and the service was great. We loved the atmosphere and the food was fresh and fantastic.

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AH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Go, it’s great. Asian diner. Make reservations on busy nights. Have always found parking close by. Can’t wait to explore the rest of the menu!

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DM
Minneapolis
18 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had ramen at several ramen shops in Chicago, but none are as good as Zen Box's. They have lots of other great menu items as well. Good selection of excellent Japanese whiskeys. Forget sushi; they don't have it. Very warm and cozy atmosphere. Top-notch service. My wife and I have been here more than a dozen times and have never been disappointed.

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DP
1 review
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 3

We both ordered the kimchi ramen. It was tasty and had a good spice level. Would have preferred a wider noodle. This was like angel hair pasta. Waitserver was great! Cocktail menu was difficult. No Cabernet, no Sauvignon blanc, no sparkling wine (only sake). What we tried was not that enjoyable

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KM
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Food was excellent but our service was mediocre- long wait for drinks and to place order, wrong food came out for one of the entrees. Mistake was fixed and waitstaff was polite, but we only had a group of four and ordered 2 apps and four entrees. Just kind of blah service.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great double date, love Zen Box!!!

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OT
Minneapolis
2 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Ramen was a little blah in flavor - tonkatsu. Shared several small plates with friends and had lots of fun trying different items that way. Definitely recommend the ribs and the salad with duck.

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OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

The meal was amazing and the dining room was quite loud, but not unbearable. My only concern was the table next to us that kept mispronouncing every item on the menu and joyfully played games on their table with coins and chopsticks. Also, the vocal fry that the girl used was quite annoying. Other than that, everything was delightful.

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R
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This place is fantastic! Good food, great ramen, friendly service!

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