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Nearby points of interest

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  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, Beer, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Zen Box Izakaya Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.6

ambience

4.4

value

4.5

Noise

Moderate

100% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (30)
Authentic (26)
Creative Cuisine (23)
See All
Fun (23)
Neighborhood Gem (23)
Casual (23)
Fit for Foodies (23)
Special Occasion (19)
Comfort Food (17)
Worth the Drive (14)
Hot Spot (13)
Happy Hour (13)
Great for Lunch (13)
Handcrafted Cocktails (12)
Pre/post Theatre (12)
Healthy (11)
Bar Seating (10)
Spicy (10)
Good Vegetarian Options (10)
Quick Bite (9)
Good for Birthdays (8)
Business Meals (8)
Tapas (8)
Vibrant Bar Scene (8)
Good for Anniversaries (7)
Late-night Find (6)
Gluten Free Options (5)
Good for Groups (5)
Tasting Menu (5)
Cozy (5)
Seasonal (4)
People Watching (4)
Kid-friendly (3)
Great Beer (3)
Vegan (3)
Disabled Access (2)
Local Ingredients (2)
Notable Wine List (2)
Paleo Friendly (2)
Romantic (2)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Great for Brunch (1)
Organic (1)
Quiet Conversation (1)
Scenic View (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
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327 reviews
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 (Minneapolis)·Dined 3 days ago

Went on a Saturday night. Finding a spot on the street to park close by was easy. Arrived at 8 for a 8:30 reservation and was seated immediately. Food choices were plentiful and food presentation was excellent. Both had the ramen special and it was unique and tasty. Great for quick dinner before a show.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Great for Lunch, Good for a Date, Casual, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined 3 days ago

I highly recommend! Best ramen I've had in the Twin Cities. There was nothing left of the huge bowl I ordered. Luckily there was a spoon provided so I didn't have to drink the broth directly from the bowl (because I absolutely would have). It was worth the hype - Kudos!

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

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined 3 days ago

We were put in the back of the restaurant in a smallest room that was Extremely Loud. The food was okay. Most of the meat is fatty. the best two items we had War our drinks and the Sebastian Joe's ice cream

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience2
service4

 
·Dined 5 days ago

Loved Zen Box! Such a wonderful place for a date and social outing. The food was absolutely amazing and an incredible value for its quality. One of the most authentic Japanese food experiences we've experienced in Japan. My boyfriend and I love coming here even though we live outside the twin cities.

Tags: Comfort Food, Good for a Date, Tasting Menu, Romantic, Worth the Drive, Cozy, Vibrant Bar Scene, Creative Cuisine, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined 5 days ago

Always wonderful! Great food, great service and just an overall good time.

Tags: Disabled Access, Gluten Free Options, Quick Bite, Happy Hour, Good Vegetarian Options, Great Beer, Comfort Food, Local Ingredients, Healthy, Fun, Pre/post Theatre, Authentic, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Groups, Afternoon Tea, Good for Birthdays, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Bar Seating, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Seasonal, Casual, Special Occasion, Paleo Friendly, People Watching, Vegan, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined 6 days ago

The food here is always top notch and delicious. I love the small plates because I like to sample as many dishes as possible. I highly recommend the tempura avocado. They’re to die for.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Tapas, Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre, Fit for Foodies, Late-night Find, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Happy Hour
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on February 10, 2018

Our server was great. The food was outstanding. Can't wait to return!

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

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 9, 2018

My wife and I ate there with two friends, and we enjoyed the food immensely. The calimari is the best of its kind I have ever had. We ended up ordering two! The ramen was also excellent.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Business Meals, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 7, 2018

Excellent Ramen. Definitely their strong suit. The other dishes I had were good. Not great. Get the ramen.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience2
service5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on February 3, 2018

The staff is great!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 2, 2018

Tonkatsu Ramen 🍜 and the short ribs are delightful. 🍻

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 2, 2018

third visit to Zen Box - love the Ramen - so delicious. Tastes closest to what I had in Japan - wish I could eat here weekly!!!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Comfort Food, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on January 17, 2018

great Ramen

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

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on January 16, 2018

Such a great experience here! One of my favorite spots!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Tasting Menu, Healthy, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Authentic, Fun, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on January 13, 2018

Very energetic and fun location... Food was very good and the staff was friendly... Definitely a recommended place to eat...

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Casual, Hot Spot, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on January 9, 2018

Good and service are always absolutely excellent. I come here almost every chance I get. Seriously pales in comparison to other ramen restaraunts in the city. Has a large menu so everyone can find something even if they don’t like ramen. The service is also extremely fast and attentive. Bonus: they don’t put straws in your drinks!

Tags: Comfort Food, Casual, Good Vegetarian Options, Bar Seating, Gluten Free Options, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on January 5, 2018

Amazing food - have been here about 5 times. Ramen is the best. Do not sit in the back room. Makes a huge difference and experience is completely different.

Tags: Good for a Date, Authentic, Tasting Menu, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Casual, Spicy, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience2
service4
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 3, 2018

First time here. Had a reservation for 8:30. Familynof 4. Showed up 15 min late. We were seat next to other tables and asked if we could be seated two tables over, so as to give everyone more room. They said they were closing that section. I don’t exaggerate when saying the other “section” was partnif the same room and literally 6 feet away.
Anyways, after giving us the menus, no service or attention for a good stretch of time. And the menu looked quite reduced from what is online. So we asked if we could see the normal menu and they said they were only offering late night menu since it was 9:00 - we mentioned we got there at 8:45, and she said they sometimes start late night menu early. Not kidding!!
Food was good. Ramen was excellent. Not worth the hassle nor the attitude though.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service1
value3

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on January 3, 2018

Had the kimchi ramen and it was amazing! Love this place!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on January 2, 2018

Love the soup and other selections as well.
The service was wonderful and quiet enough for conversation. Overall excellent dining experience.

Tags: Fun, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on January 2, 2018

Loved the decor, it felt very homely and traditional. Food was great, especially the appetizer we had (takoyaki). It wasnt noisy at all, it felt very peaceful and welcoming.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on December 21, 2017

I loved the food. Mybranen was just how I like it. The ambiance was great and the so was the service. We all had a great time.

Tags: Authentic, Healthy, Gluten Free Options
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on December 21, 2017

Good food. Fast service. My family of 5 loved it. We’ll be back.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on December 19, 2017

I had the vegetable dumplings and the tofu yakioba, both of which were excellent. The ambiance was nice and not too noisy. Great place to have dinner before a show at the Guthrie.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Pre/post Theatre, Casual, Happy Hour, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on December 14, 2017

Great server. Several diners were new to Zen Box. The server made several good suggestions for appetizers. He was knowledgeable about the menu and helpful in making menu selections.

Tags: Quick Bite, Great for Lunch, Spicy, Hot Spot, Fun, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Casual, Good for a Date, Good Vegetarian Options, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Business Meals, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on December 13, 2017

We had a wonderful dinner on a cold evening before seeing a play at the Guthrie. It was loud (which we don't prefer) but the food was outstanding: soba noodle salad and seaweed salad and then Tonkotsu all around. It was fabulous! And the service was friendly and timely. Perfect!

Tags: Comfort Food, Seasonal
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on December 9, 2017

Great food, very good service. We had reservations for 4 at 5:15 pm and got stuck in the side room that was small and not very interesting. I asked if we could be moved to the main floor where a table for 4 was reserved. I was told no, that table was a part of a bigger party that was reserved. When we left it did not look like that table was part of anything bigger. Just a family having dinner. Next time I will ask to reserve a main floor table. Even though the room we were in was somewhat tight, the service was good and the food very good, and we had a good time.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value4

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 30, 2017

Food and service were great, just like always. Even though I don't live particularly close, this is my go-to place. I really enjoy bringing people who haven't been before, because everyone always enjoys it. I don't think there's a bad dish on the menu and the staff is very friendly and helpful. Can't miss!

Tags: Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Comfort Food, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Business Meals, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 29, 2017

Delicious and beautiful ramen! Everything I tried was fresh and comforting. Will be coming back to try other menu items!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 29, 2017

Food was good. Took the kimshi zen box ramen, I wish they would add more pork in the ramen! 2 slices of pork are not enough for the price.
Cocktail were good.
Waitress was very nice and efficient but one of the waiter did not look to care much and even spilled some soy sauce just because he did not hold the bottle the proper way.
I did signal that we were here for my wife's birthday when I did the reservation but did not get anything.

Tags: Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Tasting Menu
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Manitoba)·Dined on November 24, 2017

Chicken karage was a bit overcooked but the portions were large and the servers were super helpful and nice. Great experience overall!

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food4
ambience5
service5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 20, 2017

Walking distance is a plus, service was quick and constant, plenty of food and affordable. I will definitely go back as there was plenty on the menu I want to try.

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

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 18, 2017

Easily the best Raman in Minneapolis. Perfect amount of spice!! Seems like tried cramming in more tables than I would like as dining elbow to elbow with strangers isn’t ideal. However, food more than made up for it. Get the kimchi Raman if you like a little spice

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Spicy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on November 18, 2017

Service and food excellent.

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

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 17, 2017

Zen Box always brings it. The space is buzzing and cozy, the service is impeccable, and the food is without fail, delicious. As ramen becomes more popular in the U.S., you can see a lot of people go for a bowl or noodles and a beer. Still, with so many ramen places in Minneapolis, Zen Box is one of the few that has a legit Izakaya finger foods. It is fun to go with a crowd and work your way through the menu a few items at a time.

Tags: Authentic, Good for Anniversaries, Fun, Tapas, Bar Seating, Great Beer, Special Occasion, People Watching, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Business Meals, Happy Hour
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 4, 2017

Zenbox has the best ramen noodles in Minneapolis! My friends and I made reservation in advance. The restaurant was busy on a Saturday night but they were very accommodating to move our reservation up as we had finished up an event earlier than intended. Kimchi ramen was delicious and spicy! A little salty for those who may be sensitive to sodium. Special cocktails and salmon sashimi were amazing! I'll be coming back soon again in the future.

Tags: Comfort Food, Spicy, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 4, 2017

My husband and I came by Zen Box when we were on the hunt for delicious ramen. They really surpassed our expectations! Their specialty is tonkatsu ramen, which is thick, creamy, and a MUST HAVE. While the atmosphere tends to be very noisy, it's all very pleasant. Make sure you make a reservation, as this place fills fast! The staff has always gone above and beyond with my requests, and I appreciate that immensely. Try the ginger lemonade and the matcha lemonade---both are great!

Tags: Authentic, Notable Wine List, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 3, 2017

We made reservations for a late date night dinner and were surprised how busy it was still at 9pm. While some places are starting to wrap up the night, Zen Box was still full with people which made the atmosphere that much more fun to be in.

Will be back for another date night soon.

Tags: Authentic, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 3, 2017

We have celebrated many birthdays here and love sharing this gem with family & friends. Best authentic Japanese in the Twin Cities! PS - get the ramen special!!

Tags: Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Happy Hour, Healthy, Late-night Find, Authentic, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Bar Seating, Fun, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 28, 2017

Not your average MN Japanese place. Food is more like Japan. After several years , they are always consistently good. Order lots of little plates. Staff knows Sake. My friend from Japan says its the best in Mpls. Very reasonable $ compared to other places downtown.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good Vegetarian Options, Scenic View, Good for a Date, Tapas, Great for Lunch, Quick Bite, Seasonal
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

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