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Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.15mi
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  3. Distance: 0.20mi
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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, 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

4.4

ambience

4.3

value

4.3

noise

Moderate

97% would recommend it to a friend

Authentic (27)
Casual (27)
Fun (25)
See All
Fit for Foodies (24)
Happy Hour (23)
Comfort Food (22)
Good for a Date (22)
Creative Cuisine (20)
Neighborhood Gem (18)
Great for Lunch (16)
Good Vegetarian Options (16)
Pre/post Theatre (16)
Bar Seating (12)
Good for Groups (12)
Tapas (11)
Healthy (10)
Worth the Drive (9)
Quick Bite (9)
Business Meals (9)
Special Occasion (8)
Hot Spot (8)
People Watching (7)
Cozy (7)
Open Kitchen (6)
Late-night Find (6)
Spicy (6)
Vegan (6)
Good for Birthdays (6)
Kid-friendly (5)
Gluten Free Options (4)
Good for Anniversaries (4)
Family Style (4)
Local Ingredients (4)
Vibrant Bar Scene (4)
Handcrafted Cocktails (4)
Tasting Menu (4)
Great Beer (4)
Great for Brunch (3)
Great for Outdoor Dining (3)
Romantic (3)
Organic (2)
Scenic View (2)
Quiet Conversation (2)
Seasonal (2)
Afternoon Tea (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Private Room (1)
Disabled Access (1)
Modern Decor (1)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
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249 reviews
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 (Minneapolis)·Dined a day ago

We had 2 kids with us and everything was great!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Boise)·Dined 5 days ago

Zen Box is awesome! My wife and I have been here numerous times and it's never been anything but great. My wife had the Tonkatsu ramen as usual, and it was spot on as usual. We've also had the Yakisoba noodles numerous times including tonight. Probably the best we've had in the Twin Cities. The small plates, skewers, and rice bowls are all home runs as well. The Veggie Curry seemed a little flat with just carrot and potato, but good flavor overall. You won't be disappointed at Zen Box Izakaya.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 15, 2017

Tonkatsu Ramen was fantastic. Rich flavor. The edamame is served chilled which I am not particularly fond of, but overall the meal was great.

Tags: Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, People Watching, Fit for Foodies, Fun, Happy Hour, Quick Bite, Good for a Date, Tapas, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on July 14, 2017

I went to Zen Box with my mom this previous Friday. It was spectacular. My experience with Japanese food is extremely limited and i'm glad we chose here to expand my pallet. The restaurant has great vegetarian and vegan options, which i greatly appreciated. I also got to work on my chopsticks skills (they're still sub-par but i'll get there eventually! ;) ) Would definitely go again, and recommend to friends as well.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Great for Lunch, Fun, Vegan, Fit for Foodies, Good Vegetarian Options, Happy Hour, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on July 11, 2017

Just didn't like that we kept on having to keep flies from getting to our foods. But beside that the food was great. My kids loved the place as they had anime figures by the entrance and by the bar area.

Tags: Good for a Date, Quick Bite, Kid-friendly
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on July 8, 2017

Our favorite restaurant we have tried the Minneapolis area! Amazing food and service! Next time we are in town, we will most definitely be back!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Fun, People Watching, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Tasting Menu, Special Occasion, Kid-friendly, Hot Spot, Healthy, Casual, Happy Hour, Tapas
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on June 30, 2017

Amazing all the way around. I had been searching for a quality Japanese restaurant and finally found it. I grew up in Japan and was looking for a place that had all my favorites how I remember them. I believe Zen box does everything they can to create an authentic experience. The beef bowl is on point reminds me of my late night Sukiya trips. The yakisoba is memorable and has texture and flavor of the many festivals I went to. The katsu curry took me right back to all the ski lodges I had lunch at. The ongiri was perfectly reminiscent of my Lawson trips before a long drive. The chu hai put me right back into a night club. I will be coming here quite frequently as this place allows me to travel time.

Thank you for the wonderful experience.

Tags: Late-night Find, Romantic, Great for Lunch, Bar Seating, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Business Meals, Casual, Tasting Menu, Good Vegetarian Options
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on June 28, 2017

Great food. Great staff. Best ramen ❤️❤️❤️
I always have a great time whether I'm dining with my hubby or with my friends, it's great food and great service everytime.

Tags: Good for Groups, Authentic, Comfort Food, Neighborhood Gem, Business Meals, Happy Hour, Special Occasion, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on June 27, 2017

LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE ZEN BOX!! <3 <3 <3

We love everything about this place. We have been eating at Zen box for years and have not once had a bad experience. This is a testament to the business and how it has sustained for so many years.

In fact, we just moved to the Mill City area and part of why we chose our place was because it is close to Zen Box!

Tags: Tapas, Bar Seating, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on June 24, 2017

The Zen Box is one of my favorite restaurants in the Twin Cities. Always tremendous food and always attentive to special requests. Inventive cocktails perfect for hot days. Knowledgeable staff--all of whom seem to work hard and enjoy being part of the Zen Box. Excellent experience --a true gem.

Tags: Healthy, Local Ingredients, Happy Hour, Neighborhood Gem, Business Meals, Fun, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on June 22, 2017

Food was good - nice that they have meals that give you a variety of foods that you can try. Prices are very reasonable.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on June 19, 2017

The kimchi ramen is a must and is a dish I consistently return for.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on June 16, 2017

Excellent service and food! We will return in the near future.

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

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on June 9, 2017

Our server was fantastic. The food came out quickly and was delicious.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on June 7, 2017

Always outstanding.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on June 3, 2017

All the food is great but some of weekend Ramen specials are amazing.

Tags: Romantic, Casual, Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Happy Hour, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on June 2, 2017

Already a favorite; treated my octogenarian parents, who are fairly adventurous eaters, to a happy hour course of many shared small plates, and had a blast. Don't usually photograph my food, but couldn't resist a shot of my dad's entracement with the dancing Bonito flakes on his octopus dish. The wait staff was very patient with us, even as the restaurant started hopping on a Friday night. We'll have to come back with them soon, because we never made it to the amazing ramen bowls!

Tags: Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Bar Seating, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Pre/post Theatre, Good Vegetarian Options, Casual, Good for Groups, Quick Bite, Happy Hour, Good for Anniversaries, Fun, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on June 1, 2017

We have been here several times in the last year and their food is super consistent. Great variety of tastes and options. The staff is very knowledgable and always helpful.

Tags: Quick Bite, Casual, Cozy, Hot Spot, Happy Hour, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on May 31, 2017

I have recommended this restaurant to probably every one I know! Anytime someone asks for a restaurant recommendation, I send them to Zen Box. As always, the food was delicious, great service and great ambiance. This time, we ate here before our show at the Guthrie and it worked out great. Parked only once and made it to the show with plenty of time.

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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on May 20, 2017

Fresh and delicious food very helpful and friendly staff. Wonderful atmosphere My husband and I had a wonderful date night.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Authentic, Quick Bite, Romantic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Great for Lunch, Tapas, Happy Hour, Good for Groups, Late-night Find, Special Occasion, Fun, Sunday Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Good Vegetarian Options, Comfort Food, Great for Brunch, Kid-friendly, Afternoon Tea, Vibrant Bar Scene, Organic, Cozy, Hot Spot, Bar Seating, Worth the Drive, Gluten Free Options, Good for Anniversaries, Spicy, Casual, Vegan, Healthy, Great for Outdoor Dining, Disabled Access, Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on May 20, 2017

I love this place! Every time we go, the service is stellar, the food is amazing, and the owners are very kind.

Tags: Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Vegan, Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Good Vegetarian Options, Local Ingredients, Good for Groups, Fun, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies, Seasonal
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Austin)·Dined on May 19, 2017

We love this place - one of favorites, and we try different ramen restaurants around the country. Tonkatsu ramen broth is so rich.The best part of the evening was recognizing the owner and chef who agreed to take a pic with our son who is a huge fan.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on May 19, 2017

My favorite place to grab some ramen on a rainy day

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food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on May 19, 2017

The food was ok in my opinion. I eat a lot of authentic Asian cuisine both at home and outside. The ramen lacked broth and felt more like a stir fry, the highlight would be the squid balls, other than that I felt it catered more to Midwest taste than actual authentic Japanese taste. The ambiance was loud and packed tight so not best or most quiet date spot. The servers were wonderful. They were fast, polite, and attentive.

Tags: Tapas, Pre/post Theatre, Happy Hour
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food3
ambience3
service5
value2

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on May 12, 2017

Excellent! Great variety of dishes.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on May 5, 2017

Fun place to have a tasty and cozy dining experience.

Tags: Good for a Date, Casual, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine, Comfort Food, Cozy, Happy Hour, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on May 4, 2017

My favorite place. The food is amazing, servers friendly and efficient and just a great experience every time. The owners are gracious and you can tell how much they care. Can't recommend more highly.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Good Vegetarian Options, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on May 2, 2017

Awesome food. Bad service.

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food5
ambience3
service1

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on May 2, 2017

Local fave. I don't know that much about Japanese cooking, but this seems fairly authentic to me. Awesome for before the Guthrie. Great veggie sharable small plates: broccoli, sprouts, sweet potato, seaweed salad, tofu. Excellent fried gyoza. Also some decadent stuff like short ribs, pork belly, tempura avocado, fried chicken. Pretty good ramen. Very good udon noodles.

Tags: Good for a Date, Authentic, Hot Spot, Quiet Conversation, People Watching, Bar Seating, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good Vegetarian Options, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Lunch, Healthy, Paleo Friendly, Gluten Free Options, Casual, Pre/post Theatre, Fun, Happy Hour, Spicy, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value5

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on May 1, 2017

I don't get the rave reviews. Food is salty and bland. The wait staff all stand by the hot lights of the kitchen staring at the diners. Odd experience. Cocktails were expensive and watered down. Won't be back.

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food2
ambience2
service2
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on April 27, 2017

Excellent food...delicious sushi, awesome wings. Super friendly staff. Great location. We'll definitely be going back.

Tags: Casual, Healthy, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on April 27, 2017

Good food healthy yet yummy.
Noisy but fun.
All servers were smiling and very helpful

Tags: Good for a Date, Organic, Creative Cuisine, Scenic View, Afternoon Coffee, Vegan, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on April 25, 2017

Been here many times. Consistently great all around.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Comfort Food, Creative Cuisine, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on April 22, 2017

Amazing! Sharing restaurants are fun and sharing Japanese food is double fun! Go!
There were about 10 more things we wanted to try but we were only 3 people, so I guess we will just have to go back!:)

Tags: Good for a Date, Authentic, Tasting Menu, Fit for Foodies, Comfort Food, Creative Cuisine, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on April 21, 2017

Zenbox is perfect for a taste of Japanese food that you grew up with but are too lazy to make for yourself. The food is prepared nicely, service is great, good location near the Guthrie and just yummy in general. I pretty much stick to the same stuff every time - pickles, seaweed said and kimchi ramen - other people have ordered other items and it all tastes good. Nice beer selection.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Fun, Happy Hour, Casual, Comfort Food, Creative Cuisine, Great for Lunch, Pre/post Theatre, Business Meals, Great Beer
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on April 19, 2017

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

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on April 19, 2017

Great lunch!

Tags: Bar Seating, Business Meals, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on April 17, 2017

Perfection.

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

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on April 15, 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, 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, Neighborhood Gem, Quick Bite, Happy Hour, Spicy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value5

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