Downtown Minneapolis, the hustling, bustling cosmopolitan, glittering center of it all. The iconic skyline, the worker bees flooding in and out each work day, the home of several professional sports teams AND many great establishments for food, drink and entertainment. One thing we soon realized once the check came, downtown is expensive. But when in Rome, or uh, Minneapolis, you gotta go for it. Even the dessert.
Bridget – This gem sits right next to the Gutherie Theater in the Downtown East neighborhood. Spoonriver lives and breathes it’s true farm to table concept. The restaurant owners even started the Mill City Farmer’s Market which takes place on Saturdays in the adjacent space between Spoonriver, the Gutherie and the Mill City Ruins. So cool! Let me tell you, Spoonriver had some of the freshest food I’ve ever had.
Kelley – Bridget and I decided on drinks and appetizers before we moved to a new spot for dinner. We then sampled the Avocado Salad Rojo and their Spoon Dips (hummus, red pepper-walnut pate, vegetables, olives and focaccia. Can I just say, DAMN was that good.
Gold Medal Park
Bridget – Yet another park we had never been to. Built in 2007, the park sits next to the Gutherie Theater and the Mississippi River. Kelley and I lucked out on a quiet night at the park with gorgeous weather as we strolled around. There’s a 30 foot high mound at the center of the park which you can follow the sidewalk that brings you to the top. Amazing views of the downtown skyline, the Mississippi River, the Mill City Ruins and the Stone Arch Bridge.
Stone Arch Bridge & Mill City Ruins
An iconic bridge that probably has been flooding your social media accounts for years. The Stone Arch Bridge was built in 1883, was originally a bridge used for railroads but has since been refurbished into a pedestrian bridge for #MinneapolisBasics like ourselves to snap pictures of. Bridget and I had to stop here for the blog, we wouldn’t be doing the Twin Cities justice if we didn’t include it!
Father’s Day brunch brought us to Hell’s Kitchen on 9th Street and Marquette. On weekends, Hell’s Kitchen has a 35 foot “Jacked Up Bloody Mary” bar plus a huge mimosa bar. They have a huge selection of toppings, bloody mixes, garnishes, and hot sauces that will blow your mind.
Kelley – I got huevos rancheros (AKA a large mound of egg, hash, beans, salsa goodness) with my mimosa chalked full of fruit, gummie bears and licorice. I also ate off Adam’s plate of lemon-ricotta hotcakes when he wasn’t looking. Sorry Adam… It just looked so good!
Bridget – One of my favorites at Hell’s Kitchen is their ham and pear sandwich–slow roasted ham, poached pears, melted Swiss and Fontina cheese on sourdough. Sounds like an odd combination but YUM. My dad ordered the ham/pear sandwich and he said he liked it. Win!
The Bachelor Farmer
The Bachelor Farmer features some of the freshest locally-sourced ingredients possible, they even have a garden on their rooftop where they grow vegetables and herbs! The space was in an old warehouse with exposed brick, simple decor and unfinished wood tables. A very modest setting but the food did all the boasting. Disclaimer — there was a strict no cell phone policy at this establishment so there are only a few photos we tried to snag.
Bridget – I got their fresh cisco (a small fish caught in Lake Superior) baked with pork fat and served in a broth of greens and barley. It was the most perfectly baked fish I’ve ever had. Crispy on the outside but tender, buttery and slightly sweet on the inside. Kelley had the roasted oyster mushrooms with red Russian kale, broccoli, wild rice and green onion. We finished off our meal with a plate of Kladdkaka (a sort of chocolate cake, perfectly moist and not too sweet) with almond Florentine and amaretto ice cream. Holy yum.
Bridget – Walking in “Simple Man” by Lynard Skynard was blaring over the speakers and so I really liked the vibe of this edgier establishment! I met up for happy hour with our cousin, Laura, who also maintains a blog that specializes in brunch in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area! We sipped several glasses of their house white and red while catching up. Laura and I split their cheese board which featured a delicious and tasty mustard spread, cheeses, meats, pickles and olives. Devil’s Advocate has an extensive craft beer menu so be sure to catch their happy hour specials from 3-7 pm if you’re downtown!
Once the tallest skyscraper in downtown Minneapolis, visiting the Foshay Tower is a must. Completed in 1929, the Foshay features a swanky hotel, two lounge bars (Prohibition and Living Room), a museum/observation deck on the top floor, and an amazing steakhouse, Manny’s. The museum is rather small but the views on the observation deck are unreal. The observation deck allows you to walk around the entire perimeter of the Foshay and take in the gorgeous urban scenery of Minneapolis (if it’s clear you can see the skycrapers of neighboring downtown St. Paul)!
If you’re a beer snob…. Fulton Brewery
Located just a few blocks from Target Field. Fulton has a great outdoor and patio space, with a lot of Minneapolis pride in their decor. If you like IPAs, try their Sweet Child of Vine or if you like lighter beers, Lonely Blonde is another great beer.
If you’re more into happy hour….The Local
Arguably the best bar in downtown Minneapolis. The Local is a proud Irish establishment, you’ll notice the Irish flag blowing in the wind on the corner of 10th Street and Nicollet Mall. Step inside, belly up to the bar, order yourself a pint and take in how gorgeous their huge hand-carved back bar is. Check out their great selection of Irish beers and whiskey while you’re there. Slainte!
If you’re craving a burger…Red Cow
The honest to God best bison burger I’ve ever had. If you like bacon an unhealthy amount like Bridget, try their 60/40 burger (60% ground beef and 40% bacon). Try their state fair quality Wisconsin Cheese Curds with their triple berry ketchup too.
If you’re looking for some green pastures… Loring Park.
The largest park in downtown Minneapolis. If it’s nice out, swing around the pond or take a stroll through the Loring Greenway. Loring Park has many walkways, tennis and basketball courts, a few ponds, a few sculptures, and playgrounds. What’s not to love?
If you’re a live music person… First Ave & 7th Street Entry.
Yes, the one concert venue made famous by Prince in the movie Purple Rain. Live music almost every night of the week, mostly smaller acts but you’ll get the sense that Minneapolis truly is a music city!
If you’re looking for brunch… Eggy’s Diner
A short distance to Loring Park, Eggy’s Diner is your modern diner experience. Strong coffee (they give you to go cups if you don’t finish!), fresh ingredients, and a large breakfast menu to satisfy your heart’s desire. No booze at Eggy’s, this place is for the hardcore breakfast people. We tried their American skillet and Spanish omelet. Delish.
If you’re more into sports… Head to a Twins Game at Target Field. See a Minnesota Timberwolves basketball game or the 3-time WBNA champions, the Minnesota Lynx at the Target Center. The Minnesota Vikings will be kicking off the 2016/17 season at U.S. Bank Stadium where the 2018 Super Bowl will be held.
But if you’re more into hockey (this is Minnesota after all) or minor league baseball you’ll have to head over to St. Paul to catch the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center plus the St. Paul Saints at CHS Field…
So maybe that’s where we should head next… Bridget, grab the car keys. We’re headin east.