A northwest suburb of Minneapolis has boldly claimed itself to be the "restaurant capital of Minnesota," however, some are questioning whether or not that's an accurate declaration.

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So what exactly makes a city a "restaurant capital"?

According to Experience Maple Grove, the city that has declared itself the restaurant capital of Minnesota, all it takes is "nearly 150 restaurants," and a "restaurant row" full of chains like Panda Express, Chipotle, and Village Inn.

Is Maple Grove really the restaurant capital of Minnesota?

The total number of "restaurants" on Experience Maple Grove's list is 130, which I would not consider "nearly" 150, so we have a little truth-stretching going on right out of the gate.

With that info, let's break it down a little. Maple Grove has a population of about 70,500. With 130 restaurants in the city, as they claim, there are 1.84 restaurants per thousand people.

Ok, that's not bad considering Minnesota as a whole has about 1.77 restaurants per thousand people, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Still, many cities across the state boast a higher restaurant rate per thousand people than Maple Grove.

Minneapolis has 2.66 restaurants per thousand people, Rochester has about 2.68, and Duluth has 2.36 restaurants per thousand people.

RELATED: How a Small Minnesota Town Became the ‘Restaurant Capital of the World’

Like Maple Grove's list of restaurants, those stats include ice cream and other dessert shops, every Caribou and Starbucks location, and some bars -- those are not restaurants at all. Take them off the list and Maple Grove's number of restaurants drops from 130 to 115.

That's still a good number of restaurants for a city the size of Maple Grove, but still not enough to call it the restaurant capital of the North Star State. On top of that, I think restaurant density is not the only factor that should be considered when naming a place a restaurant capital.

What else should be considered when naming a city the restaurant capital of Minnesota?

minnesota restaurant capital

Other factors one might consider are how a city fares when it comes to innovative and unique dining concepts, cultural influence, a reputation for attracting foodies from all around, and perhaps some award-winning restaurants. I'm not seeing a lot of that in Maple Grove.

All that said, Maple Grove's "restaurant row" on Main Street is a nice well-kept area with a plethora of retail shops and places to eat. Any city or town would consider itself fortunate to have a bustling shopping and dining district like this.

Experience Maple Grove also says, "Maple Grove residents are known to eat out so often that we’ve earned the nickname ‘No Stove – Maple Grove’!"

Hang on now, EMG, do people really say that about Maple Grove or did you just give yourself a nickname? If it's the latter, that's not how nicknames work.

This is clearly just a marketing tactic by the smart people at Experience Maple Grove, and it seems to be working because here we are. Well played, EMG. Well played.

All 37 Minnesota Restaurants that Have Been Featured on the Food Network

Many Minnesota restaurants have been featured on the Food Network over the years. Some have closed now, but I checked out the Food Networks website, the Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives website, and TVFoodMaps.com to find all of the Minnesota restaurants that have been featured on their channel in the past and found these 37 (in no particular order) that are still open.

Gallery Credit: Carly Ross

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