When most of us think about Minneapolis, we think of lakes, culture a-plenty, freezing winters and folks who embody “Minnesota nice.”
We’ve got something to add to the list: Food. Glorious food. Forget the fact that SPAM is made in Minnesota and believe us when we say the food scene in Minneapolis is worth booking a flight for.
From organic and health-conscious, to deep fried and paired with craft brew, Minneapolis has it all — and we’re showing you how to spend 24 hours eating, drinking and checking out the sights in between.
Hungry eyes, growling stomachs, can’t lose.
1. Sip an elevated coffee at Five Watt Coffee, where the specialty list reads more like an inventive cocktail menu than anything at your average coffee house. In the warmer months, test out the Hibernator — cold press, toasted almonds, honey and milk — and when the cold hits, opt for a Kingfield — vanilla, Big Watt coriander bitters, espresso milk and black Hawaiian sea salt.
2. Follow up coffee with a breakfast you won’t soon forget. Victor’s 1959 Café is just a stumble away from Five Watt, and it’s a spot where the Cuban menu changes the breakfast game, You can go as simple as a Spanish omelette or as complicated as bistec criollo (thinly sliced, marinated steak with eggs and sautéed vegetables), and walk out feeling ready to take on the Minne Apple.
3. Start your Minne cultural awakening with a trip to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Entry is always free, and the incredibly wide-ranging permanent collection and unique temporary exhibitions mean there’s something for every taste.
If you haven’t quite gotten your art fix, wander up to the Walker Art Center, where contemporary visual arts and design exhibitions, dance, theater, music and film screenings fill the rooms. Outside, you’ll find the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden — an 11-acre site, which is home to the iconic piece Spoonbridge and Cherry by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.
1. Fresh farm produce takes center stage at The Third Bird, where the clever menu is surprisingly affordable. If you find yourself there on a weekend, you’ll have the benefit of brunch, consisting of twists on classics like kale benedict and trendy options like kimchi fried rice with pork belly and poached egg.
Speaking of brunch, the offering at Hell’s Kitchen has a unique menu that brings the locals in droves. We hear the hash and eggs is an MN icon every visitor should try and just looking at that BBQ ribs and waffle above says enough.
2. Get your wheels at one of the many Nice Rides or Minneapolis By Bike rental shops before making your way down to the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, which houses 50 uninterrupted miles of delicious green parks and blue lakes. The stretch is divided into seven smaller sections, including the Chain of Lakes and the Mississippi river gorge area, so you can explore as little or as much as you like.
3. Sweets are sweeter when you feel you’ve earned them, so make the most of your post-biking tummy-rumble and head to one of the city’s famed donut shops. Bogart’s Doughnut Co. boasts made-from-scratch brioche doughnuts in classic flavors like brown butter glazed and Nutella-filled.
If experimental is more your vibe, Glam Doll Donuts, where flavors like butter and Sriracha and apple bourbon fritter with bacon are on display, is the place for you. The shop also offers an incredible range of vegan donuts.
1. Take that sugar rush straight to Nicollet Mall, a 12-block stretch of shops in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. The two-level, open-air shopping mecca offers all the major brands and some boutiques, with something to suit every taste; it’s worth a wander, if only for the atmosphere.
2. Get your pre-dinner cocktail at Marvel Bar, a speakeasy with a relaxed, neighborhood vibe that locals love. The menu here may be short, but that won’t make your decision any easier; every single drink on offer is unique and totally mouthwatering.
3. Fresh and simple reign supreme for Minneapolis dinner. If you’re thinking farm-to-table, The Bachelor Farmer and Spoon and Stable both offer seasonal dishes that are a little on the pricey side, but worth it for a true foodie who wants a meal that won’t soon escape memory. The Bachelor Farmer is a little more formal, while Spoon and Stable is as hip as they come.
Not feeling it? Head straight to Black Sheep where the coal-fired pizza is simple, cheap and unbelievably delicious.
4. The night’s not over yet. Head out to the much-loved Acme Comedy Co. to catch an open mic night or standup show, or check out what’s on at First Avenue & 7th Street Entry — a downtown danceteria that’s been running since 1970.
If partying’s not your flavor, finish off the night right at Izzy’s Ice Cream, an award-wining creamery with incredible flavors such as blackberry, blood orange, and honey on rotation. Alternatively, Insomnia Cookies are famous for their late-night offering, and you can opt to take home a pack or try out one of their insane cookiewiches.
Need help finding a spot to grab a bite or a place to stay? We made you this handy map.