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Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.15mi
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  3. Distance: 0.20mi
  4. Distance: 0.23mi
  1. Distance: 0.15mi
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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.

602 Washington Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55415
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
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.

Cross Street:
Portland Ave

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(612) 332-3936

Website:
http://www.zenbox.com/

Parking Details:
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.

Public Transit:
Metro Transit Lightrail: Metrodome Station.
Metro Transit Bus No. 7 & 22

Executive Chef:
John Ng

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: (612) 332-3936

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Zen Box Izakaya Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.5

ambience

4.4

value

4.5

noise

Moderate

99% would recommend it to a friend

Fit for Foodies (38)
Good for a Date (37)
Casual (36)
See All
Fun (35)
Authentic (34)
Happy Hour (29)
Creative Cuisine (29)
Good Vegetarian Options (24)
Comfort Food (23)
Neighborhood Gem (22)
Great for Lunch (22)
Pre/post Theatre (21)
Hot Spot (21)
Bar Seating (17)
Open Kitchen (17)
Quick Bite (16)
Good for Birthdays (15)
Tapas (14)
Good for Groups (14)
Worth the Drive (14)
Family Style (13)
Cozy (13)
Modern Decor (12)
Business Meals (12)
Spicy (11)
People Watching (11)
Late-night Find (11)
Kid-friendly (10)
Healthy (10)
Outstanding Value (10)
Special Occasion (9)
Handcrafted Cocktails (9)
Good for Anniversaries (8)
Great Beer (8)
Vibrant Bar Scene (7)
Tasting Menu (6)
Romantic (6)
Private Room (6)
Sunday Lunch (5)
Gluten Free Options (5)
Local Ingredients (4)
Great for Outdoor Dining (4)
Vegan (3)
Scenic View (3)
Notable Wine List (3)
Disabled Access (2)
Great for Brunch (2)
Organic (2)
Seasonal (1)
Quiet Conversation (1)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
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212 reviews
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 (Minneapolis)·Dined 5 days ago

The food was pretty good here but overall was very expensive. A single bowl of ramen was $14 yet you felt very empty after consuming the bowl. My bill ended up being $60 yet me and my colleague both felt like we needed about twice as much food. The table next to us had a similar complaint. The bar is pretty good but wouldn't recommend eating here unless it is just for a small bite. Lunch would probably be a better value but dinner was less than satisfactory

Tags: Happy Hour, Tapas
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service2
value2

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined 7 days ago

Perfection.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on April 16, 2017

Great niche place serving up a variety of traditional and creative dishes self branded as Japanese comfort food. Apparently was a skyway hot spot for a long time and then moved to street level about four years back and has enjoyed a lot of success. Great place for people to share plates and experience both known and new food. Service and eats were excellent. Ambience was lively. Location was good. Definitely recommend! Looking forward to returning very soon.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, People Watching, Modern Decor, Worth the Drive, Hot Spot, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Comfort Food, Casual, Good for a Date, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on April 15, 2017

Best place to get Udon and Ramen in Twin Cities. I love their selection of small dishes you can enjoy with either cold beer or hot sake. Happy hour is nice. Make sure you try those that are labeled "Must Try" I have not been disappointed so far. Ensure to make a reservation for weekend dinner time. Bar seating fills up fast.

Tags: Authentic, Open Kitchen, Neighborhood Gem, Quick Bite, Happy Hour, Spicy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on April 13, 2017

We loved the place! Great menu and staff! It was a great people-watching place...

Tags: Local Ingredients, Open Kitchen, Authentic, People Watching, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 13, 2017

Read many good things about this restaurant and it lived up to expectations. I would certainly return!

Tags: Great for Lunch, Good for a Date, Business Meals, Open Kitchen
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service3
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on April 8, 2017

Wait staff gave us excellent recommendations. We shared three appetizers (4 people) and each had our own tonkotsu. food was absolutely delicious. We left feeling stuffed because the portions were huge. I am glad we had reservations because it was crowded!

Tags: Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on April 8, 2017

Every time we go, our experience is as good or better than the last. Thanks again!

Tags: Scenic View, Good for Anniversaries, Fun, Fit for Foodies, Bar Seating, Good for a Date, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on April 7, 2017

Absolutely delightful, it has improved almost in every way since the last time I was there, Its a new favorite for me, love the quirky japanes decoration and their cuisine.

Noteworthy is the mochi and their hitachino.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on April 5, 2017

Great food. I can't get there enough. You can't go wrong with the ramen, and the bento boxes are excellent.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine, Great for Lunch, Casual, Business Meals, Fun, Open Kitchen, Great Beer, Authentic, Happy Hour, Spicy, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on April 2, 2017

Enjoyed a fun dinner with friends at Zen Box. The Hamachi special was fabulous. Loved the two kinds of ramen we ordered - Kimchee and Tantanmen? Lots of delicious flavors. Also enjoyed the black sesame and mango mochi to finish the meal. Thanks!

Tags: Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on March 28, 2017

Service was a bit slow to start with to take our drink oder and then our food order.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service3
value4

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on March 23, 2017

Food is excellent. Service is always friendly and generally fast. This is one of our go to restaurants in the neighborhood. Lots of veggie choices.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on March 22, 2017

The salad dressing was spicy and the menu didn't say spicy. I ate because I didn't want to waste food.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on March 18, 2017

Had a great meal of shared plates with wonderful friends. The service was excellent.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on March 18, 2017

Great traditional Japanese cuisine. I got the ramen bowl while my sister-in-laws got lots of little plates and shared. Everything was super tasty. This was my second time and I will go back again. Love Zen Box. The only thing that could have made it better was a "cheat sheet" with translations of what everything means on the menu. They had descriptions but it would have been nice to know what all the menu items meant.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Happy Hour, Private Room
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on March 17, 2017

Great spot! Hard not to get the ramen when here, but they've also got good gyoza, seaweed salad, poke, sashimi, etc. Fun and vibrant, welcoming and modern. We enjoyed truly great service, and will keep going back!

Tags: Kid-friendly, Fun, Pre/post Theatre, Casual, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on March 12, 2017

Awesome place. Great food and service was amazing. Friendly.

Tags: Good for Groups, Family Style, Fun, Quick Bite, Kid-friendly, Comfort Food, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Business Meals, Happy Hour, Worth the Drive, Great Beer, Outstanding Value, Great for Lunch, Late-night Find, Casual, Open Kitchen, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on March 11, 2017

We really enjoyed the ramen here and the service was excellent. We look forward to returning!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Happy Hour, Bar Seating, Fun, Late-night Find, Kid-friendly, Casual, People Watching, Open Kitchen, Outstanding Value, Modern Decor, Hot Spot, Good Vegetarian Options, Healthy, Vibrant Bar Scene, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on March 11, 2017

We were tucked away in a back room without windows or decor. There were other patrons but the ambiance in the main dining room looked better. Food was great and staff friendly.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service3
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on March 11, 2017

Fabulous! Really great food and service

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on March 10, 2017

Food tastes good, good recommendations by staff for what to try according to your taste preferences, good atmosphere and lightning, clean, enjoyed it very much!

Tags: Quick Bite, Tasting Menu, Fun, Family Style, Kid-friendly, Casual, Good for Birthdays, Healthy, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Cozy, Great for Lunch, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on March 6, 2017

Delicious ramen noodles and broth. Warm and cozy place; ideal for a cold and wet day. One of my favorite places.

Tags: Comfort Food, Great for Lunch, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on March 2, 2017

We are frequent visitors to Zen Box Izakaya and fave always find it to be a friendly.
Zen Box is a great establishment and we Highly recommend you stop in for a tasty bite.

Tags: Quick Bite, Organic, Good for a Date, Late-night Find, Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Happy Hour
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on March 2, 2017

Great! My husband and I both had ramen and it was delicious! Excellent service as well. We'll definitely be back!

Tags: Hot Spot, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on March 1, 2017

Will definitely be going back. So many things on the menu that I want to try!

Tags: Worth the Drive, Outstanding Value, Fun, Fit for Foodies, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Pre/post Theatre, Special Occasion, Hot Spot, Modern Decor
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 26, 2017

Food was excellent and fairly priced. Server was outstanding, she even noticed my youngest struggling with his chop sticks and promptly delivered a pair of cheater sticks without us having to ask. Food came out very quickly making this an excellent pre-event dining location. Seating is a little limited with no booth seating so if privacy is your thing this wouldn't be for you.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Outstanding Value, People Watching, Kid-friendly, Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Quick Bite, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 23, 2017

Ramen, duh.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 19, 2017

Absolutely my favorite restaurant in Downtown to visit again and again. You cannot beat their ramen!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 18, 2017

This place was an EXCELLENT date destination! The food was remarkable, and the service was top notch despite the busy dining area. I highly recommend.

Tags: Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies, Vibrant Bar Scene, Modern Decor, Special Occasion, Good Vegetarian Options, Romantic, Spicy, Pre/post Theatre, Neighborhood Gem, Worth the Drive, Great Beer, Sunday Lunch, Great for Lunch, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Outstanding Value, Happy Hour, Casual, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 16, 2017

My last visit was dinner before going to see a play at the Guthrie (a very short walk). I always get the Takoyaki for a starter (love it). The Ramen is excellent here, but this night I had the Japanese Curry and it was very good too. I love the Mochi they have for dessert and I try to get red bean or black sesame seed. Both are delicious. Zen Box just updated their list of Sakes so I can't wait to try them all out. The atmosphere here is great. A must go to restaurant in my opinion.
My one suggestion for improvement is that I wish they still did Sake flights so you could experience more styles first, but with the change in their Sake menu they no longer offer flights. Please bring them back.

Tags: People Watching, Great for Lunch, Good for Groups, Business Meals, Fun, Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Quick Bite, Happy Hour, Modern Decor, Romantic, Casual, Authentic, Good Vegetarian Options, Hot Spot, Healthy, Bar Seating, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 15, 2017

One of my favorite places in the city and madly in love with this place. AMAZING FOOD!!

Tags: Gluten Free Options, Local Ingredients, Cozy, Good for Groups, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Good Vegetarian Options, Open Kitchen, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Lunch, Special Occasion, Spicy, Quick Bite, Happy Hour, Organic, Romantic, Modern Decor, Notable Wine List, Casual, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Bar Seating, Healthy, Great Beer, Creative Cuisine, Fun, Late-night Find, Comfort Food, Great for Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Sunday Lunch, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 13, 2017

This is a great place. I have been going for business lunches for several years. Outstanding food, nice presentation. Decent service. Authentic Japanese feeling.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Great Beer, Bar Seating, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 11, 2017

Food was meh. The gyu don sauce was super salty. The Japanese curry and chicken Kara-age was very average for a Japanese curry; tasted good, but nothing special.

Tags: Casual, Quick Bite, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Naples)·Dined on February 10, 2017

It was our first time but definitely not our last. Food, service and portions were wonderful. We plan on being regulars.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Modern Decor, Cozy, Worth the Drive, Tapas, Tasting Menu
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 10, 2017

Great food! It was our group's first time trying Japanese food or eating a meal with chopsticks. We had a great time! Reservation was perfect: we walked in and they had a table waiting for us.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 5, 2017

The kim chi ramen is just amazing! The broth is so full of flavor with some spice from the kimchi. It is hard for me to order anything else. The Poke appetizer is very good and the chicken wings are amazing. This is a fabulous place to eat!!

Tags: Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Fun, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service4
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 5, 2017

It was my son's birthday. My son and his girlfriend showed up. They liked food there. Fun to go.

Tags: Cozy, Fun
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 4, 2017

Fantastic service and food. Very flavorful dishes and many options. The staff is beyond helpful and courteous. Great environment and vibes!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Fun, Good for a Date, Vibrant Bar Scene, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 3, 2017

The Tonkotsu ramen at Zen box is unquestionably the most delicious I've had, anywhere in the twin cities. And the avocado tempura is divine.

Tags: Tapas, Fun, Great Beer, Worth the Drive, Spicy, Bar Seating, Cozy, Authentic, Open Kitchen, Handcrafted Cocktails, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for a Date, Happy Hour, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Modern Decor, Comfort Food, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

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