Hai Hai | Northeast Minneapolis

Hai Hai NE Minneapolis Cocktails
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Once upon a time, on the corner of University and 22nd Ave NE, there was a magical place called the Deuce Deuce/Double Deuce/the 22nd Avenue Gentleman’s Club.

26 Year old Tara first heard of this place when she worked at a Minneapolis Liquor Distributor and was surrounded by middle aged salesmen who made questionably sketchy comments about how they liked to end their Friday night sales calls “at their home office there.” However, Tara was never to satisfy her curiosity of the place that inspired yelp user Jorge to leave a permanent review for, stating that “the only thing harder than my dick, was having to leave the place,” because it closed. #RIP

Speeding ahead, the only thing more upsetting than not getting to experience going there was living so close to this building and having to pass the graffiti’d eyesore everyday.

When Tara first heard it was to be bought by the people who owned Hola Arepa, she was beyond excited and even MORE excited to realize they had such a great sense of humor when they named their new Southeast Asian street food restaurant & bar, “Hai Hai” which means “22” in Vietnamese. A tongue in cheek homage to the building’s roots.

Drinks:

Hai Hai NE Mpls Cocktails

This place was crazy busy and only takes limited reservations so we decided it was worth the hour wait and we had plenty to occupy our time with…COCKTAILS! Their cocktails are made with real cane sugar, so they do tend to be a bit on the sweet side, but boy are those slushies delicious!

We had decided after a few rounds to test the slushies out at the bartender’s recommendation and after an hour of making friends and trying to bob & weave out of the way of the servers, we were definitely feeling it when it came time to finally sit at our table.

Hai Hai NE Minneapolis Cocktails

*My favorite: the Lychee Keen slushie with gin, lychee, Cocchi Americano & lemon.

Food:

Hai Hai Northeast Minneapolis

I have to admit that I was quite a few cocktails in so my priority was definitely NOT dissecting the menu and I did not know what was in any of the appetizers we ordered. All I knew was that we needed some quickly to soak up some of the sugar cane (ok ok AND the booze haha).

We got the Hai Hai Spring Rolls (which were extremely light), the Thai Dips & Crudites (I was not a huge fan of the sesame-shrimp chips, but the dips were good), and the Fried Wontons (which Tipsy Tara definitely did not read, because after my first bite and complete confusion I finally read the menu and realized there was also chicken liver pate……..let’s have an honesty moment: Liver Pate is not exactly a “pleasant” surprise. So while the flavors were interesting, this appetizer is not likely one I would repeat).

As for the actual meal, we had Sugarcane Shrimp, Sticky Rice, and for the life of me I cananot remember what the third dish is…I guess I did have too many cocktails. Oops!

All in all, the food has very unique and strong flavors. The menu is definitely out of my comfort zone, but it’s an experience I’m going to repeat.

SEE THE FULL MENU

Service/Atmosphere:

Girls Night at Hai Hai

It should come as no surprise that we had a really fun time. The bartender ended up being a complete gem and found a lamp to angle at us when it was too dark for our selfie to turn out haha. That is 10/10 customer service for sure!

Despite it’s roots, the place was very clean, had a great design, and a good flow for as crowded as it was. A definite Northeast experience!

Hai Hai
2121 University Avenue NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
Tuesday – Friday: 3PM – Midnight
Saturday – Sunday 10AM – Midnight, Brunch Served:10AM – 3PM

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