Minneapolis on Memorial Day Weekend--What to Dü?
April 28, 2015 8:18 AM   Subscribe

SO and I will be in Minneapolis for a bunch of days around Memorial Day. I used to be a frequent visitor, but haven't been back in a few years now. What are things we should do?

We're staying in Midtown, and have not yet decided whether or not to rent a car. We'd probably prefer to just mostly take buses and light rail, and pay for the occasional cab (to Nye's Polonaise, before it becomes dearly departed...). Our hotel is a quick walk from Lyn-Lake, which is probably the area I was most familiar with when I used to visit more, but we hope to range a bit more widely.

The kind of stuff we want to check out:

-Awesome brunches
-Live rock music (I've looked at the schedules for Turf Club and 1st Ave already, never really went to other venues there)
-Good coffee
-Neat food
-Record stores (apart from Treehouse)

We have lots of time to fill and love to make plans, so hit in the face with your Best MPLS Tips!
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese to Travel & Transportation around Minneapolis, MN (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
-Awesome brunches

Triple Rock! PITCHERS OF SURLY COFFEE BENDER! Just read the menu, it's hilarious.

-Live rock music (I've looked at the schedules for Turf Club and 1st Ave already, never really went to other venues there)

Triple Rock Social Club. First Avenue (famous as the club from Purple Rain).

-Neat food

Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge is a tiki bar pizza place where you can buy your tiki mug for a few bucks more, hang out on a patio surrounded by tiki gods, etc. It's campy and over the top and everything is delicious.

Also, a local can help more with specifics, but it's worth it to know that Minneapolis is riddled with secret beaches in the woods. SECRET BEACHES.
posted by Juliet Banana at 8:25 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

Well, Lyn-Lake is different, and by different I mean "super gentrified". Like, I barely recognize the place and I used to be over there weekly.

I recently had a simple but extremely tasty dinner at Tofu House. We got there early as it's quite, quite small.

I also had a very nice Sunday brunch/lunch at Teahouse Chinese.

A lot of people like Tiny Diner. Service can be a bit dilatory, but I don't particularly care about that. Not much vegan on the menu, lots of meat, but if you are not vegan or having a lapse-of-veganism (ahem) they make exceedingly tasty biscuits.

I have been meaning to try Little Szechuan's hotpot-only location. The non-hot-pot locations are good, but not as good as the original Little Szechuan was before it switched to all-hot-pot, and I prefer Teahouse.

I used to go to Roadrunner Records a lot. I notice that this City Pages article (which is other wise just the usual suspects) has some interesting stuff in the comments.

Maybe this will prompt me to buy more records - after Let It Be closed and Oarfolk turned into Treehouse (and I can't help it, I just don't like Treehouse as much) and my record-buying buddy went to graduate school on the West Coast I just lost the will to browse.
posted by Frowner at 8:51 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

Also, have you thought of taking in a show at the Trylon? They seem to have taste that is, like, diametrically opposed to what I want to see, so I don't get over there very often, but it's a charming and delightful and tiny space. Buy your tickets online ahead of time - nothing sadder than arriving at show time to see the "sold out" sign.

Peace Coffee has an actual coffee shop down the street from the Trylon now too - often jam-packed with the creative class and their laptops, but a nice space.

In fact, you could go to Gandhi Mahal on Minnehaha, walk up to Moon Palace Books, have a coffee and then take in a movie.
posted by Frowner at 8:55 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you like biking, Minneapolis now has a nifty bike sharing/rental system, with many bike racks in the Lyn-Lake area.

For records, my husband spends many happy hours at Hymie's and Roadrunner Records Minneapolis.

The line is always long at Colossal Cafe for its great brunch and coffee.

And the James Beard Award-winning Patisserie 46 has mouth-watering French pastries. Every day they serve a breakfast & lunch item too. Note that it is *closed* on Mondays, including Memorial Day. It's great to walk around Lake Harriet and then wander over to Patisserie 46 for coffee and pastries. They have an outdoor patio under the shade of nice trees.

East of Lyn-Lake, but on Lake St, is the yummy Himalayan restaurant where you can find fresh Nepalese, Tibetan and Indian food.
posted by apennington at 9:42 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

There is SO MUCH cool stuff now. I always take visitors from out of town to Bar La Grassa (excellent Italian-ish food), one of the breweries (usually Dangerous Man but Bang Brewing is pretty great too), Angry Catfish (the best and weirdest coffee shop in town), arty places like the Northern Clay Center or the Soap Factory. Lowertown in St Paul is a blast on farmer's market days, with the art galleries and the fresh food everywhere. Craftsman on East Lake has the best brunch in town, and it happens to be near a great little record store (Hymie's) and a feminist coffee shop (Blue Moon) and a hipster coffee shop (Dogwood). Shish in St Paul is worth a trip for the best Mediterranean food you've ever had (and it's cheap). The Minneapolis Institute of Arts has gotten to be pretty spectacular, I could get lost there for a week. Midtown Exchange has around 20 up-and-coming restaurants so it's the place to go if you like food.

I don't know about concert schedules but Harriet Brewing on East Lake has live rock music almost every night. Sometimes it's good, and it's always interesting.

Getting around without a car has gotten a lot easier, between the Green Line light rail line and Nice Ride bike share. The Cedar Lake bike trail has been finished which makes it easy to bike from Uptown to Downtown. Car2go is finally here and is great for filling in the gaps.

You should definitely make a list of places to go in each neighborhood. Minneapolis is very walkable but it's not at the point that you can just wander around any given neighborhood and expect to stumble upon cool stuff. The awesome breweries and galleries and coffee shops aren't clustered together, they're sprinkled in with houses and office buildings. You could get off the bus on a boring residential street and not realize that there's amazing fun stuff a block away.
posted by miyabo at 10:26 AM on April 28, 2015

Go to the Batchelor Farmer! Believe me now and thank me later.
posted by BeBoth at 12:18 PM on April 28, 2015

As the days are getting longer and the nights a little warmer, you should take the Blue Line to SeaSalt at Minnehaha Falls. There are few better places to catch a band, watch people, eat food, drink beer and see a waterfall. Anywhere.
posted by lstanley at 6:07 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

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