About Zen Box Izakaya
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.
Japanese, Tapas / Small Plates, Comfort Food
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm.
Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 12:00am.
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Street Parking: You can find metered parking along Washington & Portland all of the meters are $1.00 per hour, payable with Credit Cards. Meters are free after 10:00pm daily. Let us know if you need change.
Ramp Parking: There are several parking ramps and surface parking lot nearby which range in price from $1.50 on evenings & weekends to $4/first hour on weekdays.
Metro Transit Lightrail: Metrodome Station.
Metro Transit Bus No. 7 & 22
Private Party Facilities:
Available for groups up to 25-50.
We can host sit-down dinners, buffet-style meals, or cocktail hour.
We have unique seating options, atmosphere and privacy levels, whether your event is birthday party, business meeting, holiday party or corporate functions.
The choice is up to you!
Private Party Contact:
General Manager: 6123323936x
Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Beer, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Zen Box Izakaya Ratings and Reviews
We have been to Zen Box twice now, and i ...
We have been to Zen Box twice now, and it is our new favorite place to go! It's perfect for a nice dinner, or just a hang out with friends. The staff were all very friendly, attentive and knowledgable! The food is fantastic, and surprisingly affordable as well!
Our experience was so good, I almost don ...
Our experience was so good, I almost don't want to tell you about it for fear of not getting a table in the future. Everything was absolutely delightful - not a weak dish in the 7-8 small plates 4 of us tried. Super knowledgeable server accompanied by fabulous service. Plus- this place feels like fun!
Closest thing to real Japanese food in M ...
Closest thing to real Japanese food in Mpls. My Japanese friends recommended it. Staff is always willing to accommodate your seating needs. When they are slammed busy, staff always has a good attitude. Food always come out from the kitchen fast and hot. Try everything!
We have eaten at Zen Box a number of tim ...
We have eaten at Zen Box a number of times. It has a fun menu where you select small plates and share with your dining mates. This time I was not as impressed with the food, but that was probably due to our choices. We had a tofu salad that didn't have enough flavor from the dressing and other components--acknowledging that tofu itself is mostly flavorless. A vegetable curry was good, but a fried oyster special was nothing special. Nevertheless, we will continue to eat here because there are a lot of menu items that we really like. This time we were trying new things, and were not completely successful.
You can't go wrong with any of the ramen ...
You can't go wrong with any of the ramen dishes from Zen Box! I like their ramen so much I find it difficult to order anything else.
The staff, delightfully city quirky, are very friendly and helpful. They cheerfully explain the menu without making me feel dumb for mispronouncing things.
This is a fabulous restaurant downtown, ...
This is a fabulous restaurant downtown, close to the river and The Guthrie Theatre. I went there for lunch and met my parents and my adult son for dinner. All three generations loved the food, including the bento boxes and ramen. We were able to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine. The service was flawless, timely, and friendly. I can't wait to return to try out the happy hour next. Yum!
Got a reservation and when we arrived we ...
Got a reservation and when we arrived were seated at a table right in the middle of the restaurant. Figured if I got a reservation I would get a semi secluded table, but don't call me bitter. We were also not allowed to order off the happy hour menu as we were 4 feet away from the bar area in the 'restaurant' area. We came early to get happy hour deals before dinner but we only ended up ordering one drink with dinner because we did not receive the happy hour deal! Offer your happy hour deals everywhere!
Food is very good but the restaurant operations could be run much better.
Congratulations John and Lina!
My wife and I are regulars at Zen Box and enjoy each meal more than the last. When we appear we are treated as honored guests and the owners personally come out to greet us. The wait staff, who are stable and long term team members, know us by name, and take the time to remember our favorite items and cocktails. It is not only a chic upscale experience, but has the dichotomy of a local, welcoming feeling as well. This congenial air of welcome, the Germans refer to as "Gemuetlichkeit." The curious mementos and fusion of antiques and pop culture is kind of a Japanese version of Grandma's in Duluth. My wife is Japanese and has a very discerning palate. She won't eat at a different Japanese restaurant. John and Lina study and compete internationally to keep their food items authentic and of the highest quality. I lived in Japan for four years, and travel there annually. I can say that their version of Izakaya can compete with any in Japan for quality and value. What is offered at Zen Box is culinary art, not just a quick meal. Eating there is a robust experience you will talk about to friends positively.
Our food was ok, not great. Service was very slow to nearly nonexistent. We have eaten at this restaurant many times before but never on a Saturday night. Maybe that was our mistake, it may be easier for them to maintain quality if it is not as busy.
Super Schweet Japanese Food
Great food and awesome atmosphere. I've had the ramen and yakisoba at Zen Box and was extremely pleased with both. The restaurant is full of energy, and people running around. Exactly how it should be (unless you don't like that... and stuff)!
Some of the food was great, a couple thi ...
Some of the food was great, a couple things (shrimp) had no seasoning/flavor. We ordered a Japanese whiskey flight. They didn't have the flight so we just ordered a shot of the Japanese whiskey. The waitress didn't tell us it was $28 for a shot, we felt it would have been curtsey to inform us before hand. Overall a fun place.
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