Fargo Monthly’s Flavor Awards 2017: Final Results

by on May 11, 2017

Photos by Paul Flessland
Graphics by Sarah Geiger

Our annual Flavor Awards are back for a second course, and the winners are coming in hot, freshly mixed or maybe even right out of the oven. We had the people of Fargo-Moorhead nominate and vote for their favorite local dishes, drinks and establishments over the course of the last few months to find the best of the best in the local dining scene. And now, after an overwhelming number of responses and support, it’s finally time for us to showcase what came out on top in our second annual Flavor Awards.


We know that it’s dang near impossible to ask every single human being in FargoMoorhead what their favorite dishes and drinks are, but we did our best to come up with a survey method that would reach thousands of people. And it worked. Here are some of the details behind the Flavor Awards.

1. These results are generated by the public. This is about what you, the people of Fargo-Moorhead, like to eat and drink.

2. The nomination process took place from February 20 through March 13, with hundreds of individuals submitting the names of their favorite local dishes and drinks based on a given category.

3. We took note of every single item that was nominated and narrowed things down to find the top five in each category with the most nominations. Some categories had to be narrowed down to the top six or seven due to multiple ties.

4. The final voting round with the top nominees in all 18 categories took place from March 17 to April 5.

5. Each establishment was allowed to have a maximum of two items per category in the final voting round.

Fargos Best Burger

JL Beers

JL Beers

518 1st Ave. N, Fargo
4240 32nd Ave. S, Fargo
810 13th Ave. E, West Fargo
2902 Highway 10 E, Moorhead

The Humpty Dumpty burger has been a staple menu item at JL Beers since day one, and has created somewhat of a legacy for itself when it comes to local burger lovers.

JL Beers

With just a fried egg and cheese stacked amidst perfect buns and a patty, this burger proves that less really can be more when it comes to great flavor. You can also add bacon or even substitute the beef for a black bean, wild rice and quinoa patty if you’re not a meat-eater.

Fargo best appetizer

Toasted Frog Cheesy Fried Pickles


305 Broadway N, Fargo

If you’re not a pickle fan, think again, because this heavenly appetizer will probably change your mind. This Toasted Frog classic is made up of dill pickle spears wrapped in Havarti cheese, fried and served with a Sriracha-Ranch dipping sauce. All it takes is one bite to fall in love with these cheesy-fried pickles of greatness.

Fargo Best Taco

Vinyl Taco Crispy Chicken & Mango


520 1st Ave. N, Fargo

This taco was the runner-up to another one of Vinyl Taco’s creations in last year’s Flavor Awards, so it comes as no surprise to see it at the top this year. In this tortilla, crispy crusted chicken is accompanied by fresh spinach, shredded cheese, fresh diced mango and a house-made sweet onion vinaigrette for a sweet and savory flavor combo.

Fargo Best Dessert

Nichole's Fine Pastry


13 8th St. S, Fargo

This decadent dessert tower is something you might see in your dreams, and you probably won’t be able to resist eating every last bite of this good-looking treat.

Nichole's Fine Pastry

The bottom layer of the tower is a layer of chocolate cake with an outer coating of chocolate crunch. The rest is a silky dark chocolate mousse enrobed in a dark chocolate glaze and it’s sure to make your heart skip a beat at first bite.

Nichole's Fine Pastry

And you can’t forget about that perfect little golden flake on top.

Fargo Best Bloody Mary

Lucky's 13 Pub


4301 17th Ave. S, Fargo

What more could you ask for in a Bloody Mary when you’re getting a mini sandwich on top? Not much, really. This Bloody Mary creation is made with vodka, Lucky 13’s signature homemade mix–which is award-worthy in itself–topped with a mini BLT sandwich and served with a 7-ounce pony beer. You can’t complain about multiple treats in one. Before you run out the door to the restaurant right now, this special delight is only available with the BLT on top Saturdays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Fargo Best Sushi Roll

Wasabi Sushi & Asian Grill


623 NP Ave., Fargo

This sushi roll is not only a culinary masterpiece when it comes to flavor, but truly picture perfect. Wasabi’s Dakota Roll is made up of spicy tuna, crunch and avocado and it’s topped with a spicy crab salad that features spicy mayo, wasabi sauce and Sriracha.


It’s an impeccable blend of classic flavors with just the right amount of spice, and you really can’t ask for much more in such a good roll.

Best Pasta

Drunken Noodle


623 NP Ave., Fargo

You can’t go wrong with this common Thai dish, and what makes it even better is that you can enjoy this pasta delight at Drunken Noodle for lunch, dinner or even your fourth meal late at night.

Drunken Noodle

This popular dish is made with rice noodles stir-fried with egg, tamarind sauce, bean sprouts and green onions, and it’s served with crushed peanuts and a lime wedge for that extra zest.

Fargo Best local beer

Junkyard Brewing Company


1416 1st Ave N, Moorhead

Junkyard Brewing Company has perfected this stout-style recipe with a mix of powdered peanut butter, roasted barley, Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch cereal and a secret natural peanut ingredient.


Similar to peanut butter cup candy, this tasty brew is sure to impress flavor palates of all sorts. Whether you’re a craft beer lover or not, you really can’t pass up the opportunity to try this bandit of a beer, because it’s sure to rob the No. 1 spot in your heart.

*Be sure to stay updated with the brewery on social media to find out when Peanut Butter Bandit is available on tap or in cans!

fargo best wings

Doolittles Woodfire Grill


2112 25th St. S, Fargo

Yes, that sauce might get all over your hands, but Doolittles doesn’t “mess” around with their wing game, and you’ll know that for a fact after one bite. These traditional wings are rubbed in 14 different herbs and spices before being coated in a special housemade sauce that’s got all of your favorite buffalo flavors plus sweet hints of honey and herbal notes of thyme and basil. Better yet, the wings are cooked rotisserie style, so you’ll also get that perfect woodfire-smoked taste with every bite.

Fargo Best Pizza

Rhombus Guys


606 Main Ave., Fargo

This Rhombus Guys classic is definitely a gift from the pizza Gods and truly a slice of heaven for meat lovers with its well-rounded combination of pepperoni, sausage, Canadian bacon, beef, bacon, mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce. It’s the perfect pie to satisfy all types of meat-eaters out there, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone in your pizza party who doesn’t enjoy it.

Fargo Best Sandwich

Grand Junction


435 Main Ave., Moorhead
3051 25th St. S, Fargo
1100 19th Ave. N, Fargo
5050 13th Ave. S, Fargo

As a staple sandwich shop for many years in the Fargo-Moorhead area–not to mention a previous Flavor Awards winner–Grand Junction sure has things figured out when it comes to grilling up savory East Coast-style subs. Their Chicken Cordon Bleu sandwich is a mouth-watering combination of chicken breast, ham, swiss cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, honey mustard and mayo for a comforting delight in a heavenly slice of French bread.

Best vegetarian dish fargo

Vinyl Taco


520 1st Ave. N, Fargo

Vegetarian dishes vary far and wide across every restaurant in town, but the public clearly fancies tacos this time around. This veggie taco is loaded with grilled queso fresco, creamed corn, pico, black beans, serrano-avocado salsa and blanco crema. Even if you’re not a vegetarian, this taco will do you no wrong.

Fargo Best Cocktail

The Boiler Room


210 Broadway N, Fargo

If you’re looking for a cocktail that is refreshing yet perfectly comforting for the winter months, this seasonal winter mule from The Boiler Room is going to satisfy all of your taste buds. This approachable cocktail is made in the classic copper mug with Smirnoff Cherry Vodka, lime juice, simple syrup and orange juice before it’s topped off with ginger beer and garnished with a Luxardo cherry, an orange slice and cinnamon sticks. It’s a fantastic blend of invigorating fruit flavors with a heart-warming finish from the cinnamon.

Fargo Best Coffee Shop

Beans Coffee Bar


5675 26th Ave. S, Fargo
2550 University Drive S, Fargo

Try the White Chocolate Mocha!

This locally-owned coffee shop will warm your soul the second you walk in the door and smell the donuts. Yes, you read that correctly. You get a mini donut with your drink purchase and that’s pretty great. With two thriving locations in town, Beans Coffee Bar has become a true favorite with the community and its coffee lovers. The shop gets all of their baked goods from local bakeries and they even have areas designated for kids to play.

Fargo Best Breakfast Dish

The Shack on Broadway


3215 Broadway N, Fargo

If you’re starting your day with breakfast at The Shack, then you’re definitely starting your day on the right track. This dish is comfort food at its best, and it’s got one big, fluffy homemade biscuit completely smothered in a special housemade sausage gravy and served with a side of freshly-shredded (never frozen) hashbrowns. Your happiness will skyrocket with each and every bite, even if it’s earlier than 7 a.m.

Fargo Best Late Night Dish

Taco Bros. Food Truck


428 Roberts St. N, Fargo

Available only from spring to early fall depending on the weather, Taco Bros. has become an incredibly popular local favorite for lunch, dinner and late-night eats of delicious real Mexican food. The Trust You Bro Platter is really all about trust (which is easy knowing how good the food is), and it’s filled with a mix of anything the chef feels like serving you. This platter has got a gringo taco, which is a flatbread asada taco with pico, lettuce, cheese, Sriracha sour cream and chipotle mayo; a corn taco with chicken, pico, lettuce, cheese and Sriracha sour cream; rice and beans.

Best New Joint

Front Street Taproom


614 Main Ave., Fargo

*The public was asked to consider not only the food and/or drink quality of this establishment while nominating and voting, but also overall traits such as customer service, atmosphere, affordability, selection, etc. This award was open to any establishments in the dining industry that opened within the last year.

Front Street Taproom

Occupying what used to be the One World boutique for many years, Front Street Taproom has brought a refreshing flare to the Main Avenue block of downtown and is proving to be the ultimate tribute to locally-made products.

Front Street Taproom

And if there’s one thing that’s incredibly important to this community, it’s supporting local crafts. Because let’s be real, the brewers in this region are highly skilled at what they do, and Front Street allows them to be recognized further.

Front Street Taproom

The taproom–with its vintage, cozy and welcoming feel–has 30 local beers on tap from North Dakota and Minnesota and recently has started serving local ciders, kombucha teas and wine.

Front Street Taproom

The taproom’s unique atmosphere is truly a great place to gather with friends (sans all the distractions from televisions like most bars), play games over brews or even hold a meeting or a party.

Front Street Taproom

Oh, and if this place wasn’t attractive to you already, their recent back patio addition will for sure draw you in to enjoy a cold brew under the sun.

Establishment Features:
• Happy Hour: $1 off pints Monday-Thursday from 4-6 p.m. and noon-5 p.m. on Fridays
• Back alleyway patio seating
• Upper-level public seating space that’s also available for party or meeting rental
• Growler fills
• Open Mic Night with local DJ CMPTRDSTR Monday nights at 7 p.m.
• Trivia every Tuesday at 7 p.m. Trivia is also written by the staff, making it unique to the bar
• Vinyl Night with Vinyl Giant at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays
• Live music Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights starting at 9 p.m.
• You can bring in food from wherever you’d like, and you can also get Rhombus Guys pizza delivered for free since it’s right next door. The taproom also serves local snacks such as Jen’s Bread, pickled eggs from Fargo Brewing Company Ale House, Grandma G’s Funükum, Maddie & Maize popcorn and more.

Best Overall Establishment

Wurst bier hall


630 1st Ave. N, Fargo

*The public was asked to consider not only the food and/or drink quality of this establishment while nominating and voting, but also overall traits such as customer service, atmosphere, affordability, selection, etc. This award was open to any establishments in the dining industry.

Wurst Bier Hall

Good beer, good food and good vibes. It’s safe to say that those are three things Würst Bier Hall has mastered that keep people coming back time and time again.

Wurst Bier Hall

This German beer hall has 41 craft beers on tap and a well-rounded food menu focusing on a variety of German classics such as sausages, bratwursts, sandwiches, burgers and local fan favorites such as the spaetzle mac & cheese and knoephla soup.

Wurst Bier Hall

Recently, Würst has also added spirits to their drink menu and has dived right into offering tasty beertails (beer + liquor), mixed brews and cocktails.

Wurst Bier Hall

With a spaciously unique atmosphere and long communal tables lining the room, Würst has become one of the best places in town to gather with those who matter most to you.

Wurst Bier Hall

Whether you’re stopping by for lunch, enjoying a beer over bingo or passing a famous boot full of beer around with your closest friends (following the rules of the boot, mind you), there’s truly something for everyone to indulge in at this Fargo favorite.

Wurst Bier Hall

Establishment Features:
• Rock and roll bingo every Wednesday at 9 p.m.
• Trivia on Thursdays at 9 p.m.
• American Craft Beer Week (May 14-20) with tap takeovers
• Patio seating
• Oktoberfest (fall) and Maifest (spring) celebrations with special events and bar games



2nd – Rajun Cajun – JL Beers
3rd – Green Eggs & Ham – Pounds
4th – The Orange Windmill – Pounds
5th – Corker – Blarney Stone Pub


2nd – Sausage Apple – Blackbird Woodfire
3rd – Rockefeller – Rhombus Guys
4th – The Decoy – Rustica Tavern
5th – The Round Up – Round Up Saloon


2nd – Crispy Fish – Vinyl Taco
3rd – Pork – Romo’s Tacos
4th – Fried Avocado – Barbacoa
5th – Fish – Toasted Frog


2nd – 911 Roll – Wasabi Sushi & Asian Grill
3rd – Ichiban Roll – Izumi Sushi & Hibachi
4th – Angel Roll – Kobe’s Japanese Cuisine
5th – Red Dragon Roll – Kobe’s Japanese Cuisine


2nd – Cajun Chicken Ranch – Grand Junction
3rd – Emerald Chicken Sandwich – Blarney Stone Pub
4th – Crab Cake Sandwich – Boiler Room
5th – Crispy Chicken Sandwich – Blvd Pub


2nd – Pounds
3rd – Tailgators Sports Cafe
4th – Proof Artisan Distillers
5th – Blarney Stone Pub
6th – Wild Bill’s Sports Saloon
7th – Old Broadway Sports Zone


2nd – Spitfire Pasta – Spitfire Bar & Grill
3rd – Diablo Pasta Trio – Spitfire Bar & Grill
4th – Cajun Chicken Pasta – Doolittle’s Woodfire Grill
5th – Pad Thai – Leela Thai Cuisine
6th – Steak Stroganoff – Blarney Stone Pub


2nd – RumChata French Toast – Boiler Room
3rd – Chicken & Waffle – Boiler Room
4th – Sweet Potato Pancakes – Cajun Café
5th – Beantown Breakfast – Blarney Stone Pub


2nd – Fruit Tart – Nichole’s Fine Pastry
3rd – Jameson Bread Pudding – Blarney Stone Pub
4th – Bacon Bourbon Brownie – Blvd Pub
5th – Baklava Cheesecake – Santa Lucia


2nd – Paneer Tikka Masala – Everest Tikka House
3rd – Mooless – Pounds
4th – Florentine Veg – Blarney Stone Pub
5th – Matter Paneer – India Palace Restaurant


2nd – Poutine – Pounds
3rd – Scotch Eggs – Boiler Room
4th – Walleye Fingers – Doolittles Woodfire Grill
5th – Cheesy Bacon Jalapeño Dip – Blvd Pub


2nd – Irish Nachos – Blarney Stone Pub
3rd – Buff Chick – Sweeto Burrito
4th – Pepperoni Pizza – Pizza Patrol
5th – Pepperoni Pizza – Deek’s Pizza


2nd – Twenty Below Coffee
3rd – Atomic Coffee
4th – Young Blood Coffee Co.
5th – Babb’s Coffee House


2nd – Stone’s Throw – Fargo Brewing Company
3rd – Wheez The Juice – Drekker Brewing Company
4th – Broken Rudder – Drekker Brewing Company
5th – Experimental Sour series – Junkyard Brewing Company


2nd – Mango Bloody Mary – Proof Artisan Distillers
3rd – Bloody Mary – Boiler Room
4th – Signature Bloody Mary – Granite City
5th – Bloody Mary – Rhombus Guys


2nd – Cucular Cali – HoDo Lounge
3rd – Minons Barreled Reserve Old Fashioned – Proof Artisan Distillers
4th – Cadillac Margarita – Vinyl Taco
5th – Minions Mule – Proof Artisan Distillers
6th – Irish Trash Can – Blarney Stone Pub


2nd – Brewtus’ Brickhouse (West Fargo)
3rd – Blvd Pub
4th – Twist
5th – Wild Bill’s Sports Saloon


2nd – Junkyard Brewing Company
3rd – Drekker Brewing Company
4th – Mezzaluna
5th – Boiler Room
6th – Doolittles Woodfire Grill
7th – Pounds