Native Restaurant Review: Owamni in Minneapolis

Native Restaurant Review: Owamni in Minneapolis

On November 23, my family and I traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to spend my birthday at Sean Sherman's (a.k.a the Sioux Chef) new restaurant, Owamni. It was an experience we will never forget.

Located at OwamniYomni, a sacred site to Dakota and Anishinaabe people, or west of Mill Ruins Park, this high-end Dakota restaurant has swiftly climbed the ranks to become one of the most popular dining experiences for locals and foodies alike.

“Sioux Chef” Sean Sherman, Founder of Owamni Restaurant in Minneapolis (Photo Courtesy NRDC)

The restaurant is booked out for about two months, so securing a reservation is almost impossible. But beyond giving Minneapolis residents a look at decolonized indigenous Dakota food, what Owamni and Sioux Chef Sean Sherman offer to local Native patrons is an experience of being seen.

Sitting down at our table, the very first thing I noticed was the music playing in the background. Fawn Wood's newest song “Tapwe Oma” played followed by Gunner Jules's song “Day Dreamin.'” The sun had pretty much fully set, and the lights around the building cast a beautiful golden glow against the deep blues of the Mississippi river banks. The entire wall facing the river is glass, making it a perfect spot for a proposal or memorable moment. 

We ordered tea and began to look over the menu. All of us recognized the foods, ingredients and traditional names. I saw a braid of Timpsila hanging on the wall by my table and smiled to myself before leaning to my husband and asking, “Is this how Chinese people feel at Chinese restaurants? Or Italians feel at Italian restaurants? This is so amazing.” That was when it hit methe depth of what Sherman had created for Natives in Minneapolis and beyond. With Owamni, he invited other indigenous communities to join in normalizing Native cuisine.

We ordered almost everything on the menu. My children adored the Game Sausagethey finished everything! We also loved the Cedar Bison Pot Roast, Crickets Maple Seed Mix, and Root Vegetables. We shared the dishes family-style so we got to try a little bit of everything. Because it was my birthday, we finished with a chocolate cake.  While our kids, who are 8 and 10, did well, the scene is definitely more apt for adults. We hope to return to Owamni soon. I highly recommend making this restaurant a destination of yours as well. If you're Dakota, Lakota or Anishinaabe the experience is even more meaningful. 

Check out Owamni's website here.

Note – Owamni provided a special table for my family.

Last Updated on June 28, 2024 by Paul G

One Comment “Native Restaurant Review: Owamni in Minneapolis”

  • Avatar for Tracy Marquez

    Tracy Marquez


    My daughter was fortunate to get a reservation there. She was blown away by the flavors of the food. My grand daughter, picky eater, enjoyed the meal as well. They had trout taco, turkey cranberry with cornbread, sweet potato and the salad with crickets on it. I can’t wait to be able to travel that way and go to this place.

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