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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, Beer, Cocktails, 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

4.6

ambience

4.3

value

4.3

Noise

Moderate

95% would recommend it to a friend

Authentic (27)
Good for a Date (27)
Fit for Foodies (24)
See All
Creative Cuisine (24)
Fun (22)
Neighborhood Gem (20)
Comfort Food (19)
Pre/post Theatre (19)
Casual (18)
Happy Hour (15)
Special Occasion (15)
Healthy (12)
Bar Seating (12)
Handcrafted Cocktails (11)
Good Vegetarian Options (11)
Vibrant Bar Scene (11)
Cozy (11)
Great for Lunch (10)
Quick Bite (10)
Good for Birthdays (9)
People Watching (9)
Worth the Drive (9)
Good for Anniversaries (8)
Hot Spot (8)
Spicy (8)
Good for Groups (7)
Tapas (7)
Great Beer (6)
Business Meals (4)
Late-night Find (4)
Quiet Conversation (4)
Romantic (4)
Vegan (4)
Gluten Free Options (3)
Local Ingredients (3)
Sunday Lunch (3)
Tasting Menu (3)
Kid-friendly (2)
Seasonal (2)
Organic (2)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Great for Brunch (1)
Waterfront (1)
Notable Wine List (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Scenic View (1)
Disabled Access (1)
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295 reviews
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·Dined 3 days ago

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 3 days ago

Service and food excellent.

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

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined 4 days ago

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 5, 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

 
·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 4, 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

 
·Dined on November 4, 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
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on October 27, 2017

Wonderful food

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on October 27, 2017

Always an option when I am in the mood for Asian flavors.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Vibrant Bar Scene, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 23, 2017

Great... As Always !! Excellent Food/Drink, clean, warm, friendly.

Tags: Fun, Happy Hour, Creative Cuisine, People Watching, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Late-night Find, Pre/post Theatre, Spicy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on October 21, 2017

The food was very good, and we enjoyed the ambiance, but we were puzzled by the menu itself. Why no sushi? It was a disappointing omission. We also felt it was overpriced given the portion sizes.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Great Beer
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service3
value2

 
·Dined on October 21, 2017

We ordered the poke, sweet potato things and grilled chicken thigh. All were great, especially the poké. The cocktails we had were good too. If I could think of something to improve, it would be to add more sushi to the menu. It was a little pricey but just about right for a date type situation.

Tags: Comfort Food, Vegan, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 21, 2017

Excellent food at Zen Box Izakaya. Loved the tuna poke, the calamari was sublime and had a faint taste of clams that we found to be delicious. The noodle dish was also superb. Great service and lovely drinks as well. We will be back!

Tags: Hot Spot, Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Cozy, Business Meals, Quick Bite
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on October 20, 2017

On our whirlwind tour of Minneapolis, we made sure to stop at Zen Box Izakaya. I ordered the grilled tofu lunch bento box so I got to try a variety of their foods. Everything was spot on - I especially enjoyed the vegetable gyoza. My partner ordered the ramen, chicken gyoza and short ribs and was pleased with his choices as well. Our waiter, Bradley, was awesome. He was very welcoming and easy to talk to. My only disappointment is they did not have a vegetarian ramen option - Maybe next time :)

Tags: Fun, People Watching, Fit for Foodies, Bar Seating, Good Vegetarian Options, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 15, 2017

We love Zen Box! My former Japanese language teacher from Japan recommended this place. The ramen is the best in the cities. We love the chicken cara-age as an appetizer and a bowl of ramen.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 15, 2017

The Kim-chi ramen is ridiculous. We are in our 40s and were the oldest peeps in the very hoppin’ joint. Should tell you how cool and casual the vibe is. We also had the avocado and crab starter. Just way too bland for us. But dang, we’d probably have it several more times if it were the only way to get to that ramen!

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 13, 2017

Food was amazing, everything executed perfectly. However, very loud and noisy, and pretty cramped.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Handcrafted Cocktails, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service4
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 13, 2017

Their ramen is a work of art! We enjoyed everything else we had but the ramen is always the star of the show for us.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Comfort Food, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 13, 2017

—a refined and elegant synthesis of traditional Japanese treats—like the Ume O Nigiri—and rich, brothy ramen as well as the smooth, fruit-forward, complexly-layered house Sake (only sampled house variety).

—the Ume O Nigiri evoke both Mom’s “rice balls” and the convenience-shop food of Tokyo and (Osaka) that David Chang describes in Lucky Peach magazine as world-class food unfound, unrecognized and completely overlooked—nevertheless, completely belly-warming and down home good.

—outgoing, timely and informed service; prompt, but not intrusive.

—ambiance, ambiance, ambiance: a corner shop with broad and tall window casings facing Washington Ave; the yummy food, cozy space and this expansive view lends itself well to snow-filled, clouded over aftenoons; the sake and hot noodles will serve a perfect counterbalance to the winter outside.

—irony: it’s so good that it will probably be busy . . . and loud; those preferring a little more intimacy and calm may want to scout out and reserve a corner table at an off hour, which may not exist in this particular slice of multiverse.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Casual, Bar Seating, Authentic, Cozy, Good for a Date, Afternoon Coffee, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Fun, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on October 7, 2017

I'm a regular at Zen Box, and love their service. It has the best Japanese food in town in my opinion, and the staff are always spot on.

I always use this place as my go to for special occasions

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

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on September 29, 2017

A delightful dining experience at a gem of a restaurant! Highly recommend the special.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on September 29, 2017

We regret not getting their signature ramen. The ribs were outstanding, as was the service, but the poke and sashimi with kimchee were just okay. Great atmosphere and staff.

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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on September 28, 2017

This place NEVER disappoints! The food and service was outstanding. This is one of our favorite goats for inexpensive eats in downtown Minneapolis.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 26, 2017

My boyfriend, and I went to Zen box for our 8 year anniversary. We both wanted to go to a restaurant we have never been to. Service was fast and genuine. The food tasted great. We chose this place because my boyfriend doesn't like sweet foods, and zen box has a great selection of items with different flavors. I highly reccomend for special occasions, it was pricey between the 2 of us. Overall I would go to zen box again!

Tags: Special Occasion, Authentic
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on September 23, 2017

Fantastic dining experience with great service at Zen Box Izakaya... Food was fantastic - so tasty and delicious - and the service were prompt and attentive which was appreciated.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Comfort Food, Vibrant Bar Scene, Authentic, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on September 17, 2017

The items the waitress chose for us were all delicious. We try to get her for service whenever we go there.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Healthy, Vegan, Authentic, Spicy, Gluten Free Options
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on September 16, 2017

Great place for a casual get together or date. The ramean was delicious and the ambiance seemed more authentic then other restaurants in the twin cities area. I will have to go back and check out some of the other great menu options.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
·Dined on September 13, 2017

Food tastes great. Great as usual. Zen Box is one of my favorite Minneapolis restaurants.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Comfort Food, Tasting Menu
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on September 12, 2017

I love Zen Box! Their pork ramen is PHENOMENAL! I also like getting their Lunch Bento Boxes, specifically the tuna poke. I'm always excited to eat at Zen Box.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Sunday Lunch, Authentic, Cozy, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Organic, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Healthy, Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Comfort Food, Good Vegetarian Options, Happy Hour, Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation, People Watching
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Detroit)·Dined on September 9, 2017

Excellent food. Would recommend to anyone. Lots of variety. Even the drinks were delicious and interesting.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Happy Hour, Waterfront, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic, Quiet Conversation, Bar Seating, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on September 8, 2017

Awesome service, excellent food, fun & delicious drinks!

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

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on September 6, 2017

Excellent food, especially the salmon sashimi and tonkotsu ramen. The ume shiso chu-hai was a tasty, very Japanese-influenced drink.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Tapas
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 1, 2017

Sold out on ramen.... turn out to be a great experience
We get to try different food on the menu

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on August 30, 2017

Its a good restaurant

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on August 30, 2017

Zen Box is one of the best, if not the best, places to go for Japanese comfort food. If it's your first time, definitely consider ordering the ramen if it's still available. Haven't order an appetizer or dish I have disliked yet. Show up early at 5pm to take advantage of their great Happy Hour!

Tags: Happy Hour, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Comfort Food, Good for Groups, Good for Anniversaries, Fun
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on August 25, 2017

As usual, the ramen is wonderful here. We tried one of the braised side dishes which were excellent.

Tags: Authentic, Healthy, Comfort Food, Pre/post Theatre, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on August 21, 2017

I love Zenbox. We live close and eat there frequently. The service is quick.
Happy hour is great with $4 wine choices. The broccoli and onions are great.
I love the fried chicken pieces, cabbage salad and so much more!

Tags: Spicy, Happy Hour, Good Vegetarian Options, Neighborhood Gem, Comfort Food, Creative Cuisine, Fun, Quick Bite, Cozy, Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on August 20, 2017

Excellent food. I had the Kimchi Ramen. Nice slices of roast pork, the egg was perfect.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on August 12, 2017

Great experience! Loved it. Food was delicious and the server was friendly and informative!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, People Watching, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Good Vegetarian Options, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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