Friday, March 11, 2011

Things to check out in Minneapolis

Well, the time is drawing near for AAPA 2011: Minneapolis! For those who have never been, Minneapolis is a very cool city. I personally recommend the following:

112 Eatery: the menu speaks for itself. The food is wonderful and the atmosphere is wood-paneled clubbiness to a T.

Hell's Kitchen: The Goth decor is forced and over-the-top, like a bad New Orleans transplant (which really makes no sense in Minneapolis), but the breakfast is to die for. Lots of local and organic fare, including some crazy good Ojibway rice porridge. Get a toast basket so you can try the homemade peanut butter. Trust me, it is delicious!

Walker Art Center: This is a truly impressive modern art museum, with a lovely sculpture garden nearby. I was really taken by surprise when I visited the Walker Art Center - the collections and curation are excellent.

Hotel Minneapolis: Swanky boutique hotel. While this place may be out of the price range for an overnight stay, the recent mod remodel of a swanky Deco building is worth a visit, and the bar is fantastic (the food - meh). Especially impressive is the all-marble elevator lobby.

The Westin Minneapolis: Another architectural gem, the Westin is situated in the masterfully remodeled historic Farmers and Mechanics Bank, built in 1941 and a shining example of WPA craftsmanship. The facade with its Deco stone carvings and the lobby - which still looks like a bank - are phenomenal.



  1. I've never been to Minneapolis - thanks for the roundup, Julienne! Am looking forward to geekery and good eats.

  2. Another great place for breakfast is Victor's. Yum yum.

    And I recommend Dulano's ( for pizza, cheap beer and good bluegrass.

  3. MPLS is an awesome city, particularly for food. I recall that MPLS had one of the first Sri Lankan restaurants in North America. It was very interesting/excellent food. Not sure if it was still there, since I went there in back 1993 (I'm thinking it was on Hennepin). Also, the Walker Art Center has more Marcel Duchamp than many other collections. Certainly fun to see.

  4. This is a fun place-

  5. Since MPLS is my home town - here as some suggestions - but I compiled this in 2008 and haven't had time to check and see if these places are still open. The places on Nicollet Mall are very close to the Hotel

    Downtown tip – because of the Skyway system, many restaurants/coffee shops are actually on the second floor of downtown buildings – these are usually “lunch” places that are open for the office crowd.

    Nicollet Mall

    The Local
    • 931 Nicollet
    • Irish pub w/ sidewalk seating
    • Beautiful interior w/ cozy seating
    • Lots of good beer & Irish whisky
    • Food is o.k. – typical pub food

    • 1010 Nicollet
    • Jazz club – live music every night
    • Has a separate restaurant
    • Also sidewalk seating – GOOD MARTINIS
    • Plus when I was there this summer they had a gin & tonic with homemade tonic – it was interesting
    • Decent food – though not cheap – at this price, I would go somewhere else

    • 1100 Nicollet
    • French influence w/ regional ingredients
    • I’ve never eaten here, but it is supposed to be excellent
    • Pretty upscale – dinner will probably run you around $40 + drinks
    • During the week I think they have a special prix fixe menu that is decent and reasonable

    • 1110 Nicollet
    • British pub (I prefer this place over The Local)
    • Sidewalk seating
    • Typical pub food, though good

    • 16 N. 6th Street (1/2 block W of 1st Ave)
    • • Also good, but the usual bar food

    Murray’s Steak House
    • 26 S. 6th St. (is E of 1st Ave)
    • Home of the “butter-knife” steak
    • Rat-pack-esque – been around since the ‘40s

    Café Brenda
    • 300 1st Ave N.
    • Excellent mostly vegetarian restaurant in upscale setting
    • Fresh, local ingredients

    112 Eatery
    • 112 N. 3rd St.
    • Excellent
    • Reservations a MUST – this is a narrow space, but on 2 floors
    • but can try and sit at bars on 1st or 2nd floor and eat

    • 118 N. 4th St.
    • Thai
    • been around for over 25 years – I remember it as being very good

    Monte Carlo
    • 219 3rd Ave N
    • Been around since the 1920s
    • GREAT for brunch or breakfast
    • There’s a decent espresso place across the street called Moose & Sadie’s

    Café Lurcat
    • 1624 Harmon Place (on Loring Park – very pleasant)

    Cedar Riverside

    NE of downtown – across I-35W on the Washington Ave Bridge. The center of the Somali community (there’s something like 25,000 in Mpls)– would have to take a cab or a bus – centered around Riverside and Cedar (hence the name). Also near the U of M. Good bars w/ live music, E. African restaurants