The JW Marriott Austin’s Burger Bar on Congress has received rave reviews since opening with the hotel in February. Locals, visitors— and even group attendees—line up at lunchtime and in the early evening for burgers, shakes and fries. The grab-and-go joint has a walk-up food truck-style window, a nod to the food trucks that occupied the space before the hotel was built. “Food trucks are a big part of Austin’s culture, and the JW Marriott Austin wanted to celebrate this aspect of our city in a unique way,” says Jay Spurr, director of sales and marketing for the JW Marriott Austin.

Baldamar’s location—next to the Von Maur in Roseville Center—might give the wrong first impression. The hip, fine dining restaurant is a fresh concept to the area, one that could easily fit into a more foodie-centric area. Randy Stanley, owner of 6Smith in Wayzata, calls Baldamar a legacy restaurant that just happens to be next a mall (he similarly describes 6Smith as a restaurant that happens to have a lake attached). “I’ve always liked this part of the Twin Cities,” says Stanley. “I love the thriving, local community.

 

Chicago’s Public House lets guests have their cake and eat it, too … in shake form.

 

These on-trend spots offer new options for groups.