You Had Me At Hello: Hi-Lo Diner in Minneapolis


Hi-Lo Diner

4020 East Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55406

Diners make me think of classic, hearty, stick to your ribs, enjoy the grease and eat with gusto meals. I think of worn-in but loved counter stools, servers who have seen years come and go and know all the regulars by name.

And when I heard that an original 1957 Fodero Diner had traveled from Gibsonia, PA to Minneapolis, MN, I had to check it out! The hype around Hi-Lo Diner had Minneapolites lining up around the block.

Hi-Lo Exterior

Lucky for us, we ventured in a little after the regular dinner hour and found seats right away. I loved the crisp, clean feel of the interior with the turquoise blue booths. It may lack that worn in feel, but it’s a diner alright! A diner whose weekly specials are heavily influenced by classic movies.

Hi-Lo Specials

Name that movie anyone?!

They also have a fun cocktail, beer, and wine list; and by fun I mean ICE CREAM Cocktails! What could be better on a summer night? We ordered the Periscope Down, which is Fernet Branca, 1919 Root Beer, and cold press.

Hi Lo Ice Cream Cocktail

The mint wasn’t overpowering, and all the flavors blended nicely.

To start, we went with the “Also” portion of the menu, the only item there being the Hi-Lo Wings.

Hi Lo Wings

I could smell these babies coming. They were some of the most fragrant wings I’ve ever had. They brought back memories of eating Jamaican jerk chicken. They are a must try.

Next, I went with one of their Hi-Tops. What is a Hi-Top you ask? Well, apparently it’s like a donut, but, not a donut. Fresh, made to order, fried dough topped with sweet and savory items. I ordered the Gary Coop’er, which had me falling in love at first sight. It’s a beaut!

Gary Coop'er

This Hi-Top with buttermilk fried chicken, bourbon maple syrup, country gravy and micro arugula was a sweet and savory match made in heaven.

Finally, the country style meatloaf is exactly what comes to mind when I think of diner food. With notes of thyme, onion, garlic and dried cherries; the meatloaf comes with mashed potatoes, beef gravy, and asparagus. This is a hearty, stick to your ribs, eat with gusto type of a dish! I almost wished my dining partner and I had switched plates; this was delicious!

Hi Lo Meatloaf

There are a number of other items I’d like to try, and we did not even get to the pie menu! Next time, the peanut butter chocolate pie will be all mine 🙂 Check out Hi-Lo for a Minneapolis diner experience!


Christina W

I grew up moving around the world for my father’s job; which fueled my love of food and new food experiences. Put something new in front of me and I cannot wait to dig in. Italian food is my downfall… a bowl of noodles and sauce does not stand a chance with me. You can also find me in the kitchen, throwing in this and that, attempting to make the best sauce. I love cooking and experimenting, however baking is a total disaster for me. Having to measure ingredients perfectly is not my thing. This aversion to attention to detail in the kitchen is comical, as I am an attorney and attention to detail in the office is critical. Next to food, traveling is my second love. I just ticked off my bucket list spots of Vietnam, Cambodia and Spain. Much of what I did in all three locations was eat, eat, eat! Minneapolis, Minnesota is my current home and the restaurant scene is exploding! The buzz on new places is exciting and I try to make it to many of them; burger places, Minneapolis’s new fried chicken craze to all of the new Italian spots. I write about many local Minneapolis restaurants and my travels on Olivedoesthecity. I’m excited about joining the Girls on Food community, connecting with others and learning about food around the country!