The hungry will have no trouble finding delicious food at one of Minneapolis’s many restaurants. For a cheap breakfast or lunch, head to Rye Delicatessen & Bar for omelets, sandwiches and burgers. Minneapolis’s many pubs are great for hearty ale, but also usually offer full lunch and dinner menus. Check out Tugg’s Tavern for a classic bar menu, or, for a more upscale pub experience, go to Pig & Fiddle for great beer and rural European-inspired dishes. Visitors should remember that no trip to Minneapolis is complete without a stop at Hell’s Kitchen, where everything down to the ketchup is homemade and mouth-wateringly delicious. A must-try there are their light and fluffy lemon ricotta hotcakes, served all day long, or swing by late at night for live music.
For casual dining, Masa, Pizza Luce, and Thom Pham’s Wondrous Azian Kitchen are all great options. Minneapolis locals head to the Skyway near the Hilton, where Cafe Patteen serves fresh-baked scones.
Minneapolis also offers a wide range of fine dining for those looking for a nice meal out. Visit Chino Latino for an Asian-Latin fusion menu or Café Barbette, named “best French restaurant by populist vote.” Other divine options include French-Mediterranean fusion food at La Belle Vie, voted one of America’s top restaurants by Zagat in 2008, and the contemporary American menu at Heidi’s. Night Owls should head to award-winning 112 Eatery, serving food until at least midnight and named one of the best places in Minneapolis for elegant late-night dining.
For more restaurant suggestions, visit the Mpls./St. Paul Magazine website to explore their restaurant guide.
Minneapolis has a wealth of fascinating museums for visitors to discover. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is a great place to start. MIA includes paintings, photographs, prints and drawings, textiles, architecture and decorative arts spanning 5,000 years of world history. The Asian art collection is especially strong and not to be missed. After exploring the nearly 8 acre campus, break for salads and sandwiches at Mezzanine, located inside the museum. Next, venture over to the American Swedish Institute, housed in the Turnblad Mansion, to learn about Swedish-American and Nordic culture.
The Walker Art Center, considered one of the nation’s “big five” modern art museums, is a must-see for contemporary art enthusiasts. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, located on the north side of the Walker campus, is especially impressive. Or head over to the Mill City Museum, located in what once was the largest flour mill in the world, to learn the history of the flour industry and Minneapolis. Don’t forget to explore the Mill Ruins Park, located along the river just outside of the museum, after your tour.
Other worthwhile sights are the Basilica of St. Mary, the oldest basilica in the country, and the Northrup King building, a creative center for over 190 artists, small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Visitors enjoy open studio events and have the opportunity to shop for furniture, apparel, jewelry, and artwork at artist studios and small shops.
Minneapolis also offers many city tours. The Hitching Company combines nostalgia with tourism in their horse drawn carriage tours of the downtown area. To experience the city on more modern vehicle, The Magical History Tour leads a great Segway tour of the Riverfront area, covering history 10,000 BC to present. Other options are to take a ride on the Como-Harriet Streetcar Line or take a tour with Twin Cities Trolley and experience Minneapolis from the streets.
The best place to be in in the summertime in Minneapolis is outside. In the aptly named “City of Lakes”, a visit to at least one of the city’s bodies of water is an absolute must. Take a leisurely stroll around Lake Harriet, making sure to explore the Lyndale Park Rose Garden on the northeast side of the lake. Then head towards the band shell, situated on the west side of Lyndale Park, to catch one of the free daily concerts. Lake Calhoun is another spectacular lake to explore. Rent bikes from Nice Ride and get going! Afterwards, take a break for some fish tacos at The Tin Fish, located in the Lake Calhoun Pavilion. If you still have energy, rent a canoe and paddle around the Lake of the Isles or down Minnehaha Creek to catch a gorgeous view of Minnehaha Falls.
In addition to the lakes, the Stone Arch Bridge is not to be missed. Stone Arch is a former railroad bridge crossing, now serving as a pedestrian and bicycle bridge, which crosses the Mississippi River at Saint Anthony Falls. It is a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Next, head over to the Guthrie Theater’s Endless Bridge observatory to view St. Anthony Falls (and perhaps catch one of Guthrie’s fabulous shows while you’re at it). Relax at the end of the day at a Minneapolis Music in the Parks event – pack a picnic, grab a bottle of wine, and enjoy music or a movie in one of the city’s many parks.
Minneapolis has a plethora of places to shop, each area with its own unique feel. On Lake Street, you’ll find hundreds of nationally known stores, independent boutiques, and funky vintage shops. While there, don’t miss the Midtown Global Market, an internationally-themed public market where visitors can shop for food and arts and crafts, as well as sample global flavors at a variety of restaurants. For more eclectic options, explore Calhoun Square, an indoor mall in the vibrant Uptown neighborhood, and the surrounding shops on Hennepin and Lyndale Avenues.
Nicollet Mall, running on Nicollet Avenue from S Washington Avenue to 13th Street, is one of Minneapolis’s main shopping districts, offering department stores, small boutiques and everything in between. Gaviidae Common, on the 500 and 600 blocks of Nicollet Mall, offers many opportunities for retail therapy, which can be followed by a cappuccino and excellent people watching at one of the cafes lining the mall. Visitors should also explore the mall’s farmers market, open on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Of course, no visit to the Twin Cities is complete without an adventure to the Mall of America. With an indoor amusement park and boasting over 520 stores, there is something to be found here for everyone. And to sweeten the deal, Minnesota has no sales tax on clothing and accessories items. Happy shopping!
Along with bodies of water, Minneapolis is in no short supply of pubs. Kick back over a pint with friends at the end of the day at Brit’s Pub, which offers lawn bowling on the roof, or at Nye’s Polanaise Room, rated the best bar in the nation in 2006 by Esquire. Town Hall Brewery is also a nice option, where patrons enjoy a wide selection of house-made beer. Wine enthusiasts should head to the wine bar at Lucia’s to imbibe and share small plates. For cocktails and a night out on the town, try Prohibition, located on the 27th floor of the W Hotel.
Minneapolis also offers a wide range theater and movie options. Broadway shows can be found at the Orpheum Theater, while dramas reign supreme at the Tony-Award-winning Guthrie Theater. Be sure to enjoy an all-natural pre-theater meal at Spoonriver, located across the plaza from Guthrie. If theater doesn’t appeal to you, catch a movie at the 1950s style Riverview Theater, followed by a drink at the River View Wine Bar. While there are many other cinema options throughout Minneapolis, the best place to see a movie in the summer is in one of the city’s parks at a Movies in the Park event. For all things music, check out the Cedar Cultural Center’s calendar for a variety of folk, blues, jazz, and indie rock shows.
There's so much to do in Minneapolis!
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