Hai Hai named one of America's 18 best new restaurants

The restaurant opened last November in Minneapolis.
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The cha ca la vong at Hai Hai. 

The cha ca la vong at Hai Hai. 

Minneapolis is home to one of the best new restaurants in the country.

That's according to Eater.com, which named Southeast Asian street food restaurant and bar Hai Hai on its list of the 18 Best New Restaurants in America.

The eatery opened in Northeast Minneapolis last November under the leadership of wife and husband duo Christina Nguyen and Birk Stefan Grudem, the team behind Hola Arepa in south Minneapolis.

It has won plaudits from the first moment it opened its doors thanks to food inspired by the pair's journeys of discovery across Asia.

And it's now led to national plaudits, with Eater calling Hai Hai Nguyen's "breakthrough restaurant."

The dishes at Hai Hai convey Nguyen's upbringing in the Twin Cities Vietnamese community, Eater says, with her "stirringly personal food" giving the eatery "its depth of spirit."

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It gives praise to dishes including its banana blossom salad, and her take on the Hanoi classic cha ca la vong (pictured at top of page.)

"So much about this place uplifts: the beachy wallpaper prints, the citrus-fueled cocktails, and a confident, effervescent staff," it adds.

Nguyen was named for the first time this year a semifinalist in the James Beard Foundation Awards.

Hai Hai was also named on Eater.com's 2017 list of the Most Beautiful Restaurants in America.

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