How could I have ever underestimated another mid-size Midwestern city? People do it all the time with Cleveland, how could I have been so foolish to do it with Minneapolis?! The city is diverse, alive, and super Instagrammable (which, let’s face it, is v important these days.) Without further ado, here are my Minneapolis must-sees and a few skippable spots.
(Oh, mini-disclaimer: I spent most of my time in Northeast Minneapolis, the hipster arts district, and doing a lot of eating and drinking. Something about travel makes me want to delight in the food culture of that place and not think too hard about my eating habits. Miraculously, I didn’t gain any weight!)
Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport
If you’re flying in and out of MSP, this is the spot. This airport has a lot going for it: a decent number of quality little shops and food places, a monorail system to transfer concourses, filtered water fountains for your water bottle, one of the most spacious and well-lit bathrooms I’ve ever been in, it’s a Delta hub, and boasts FREE AIRPORT WIDE WI-FI. If that’s not enough, upon arrival, there was a therapy dog hanging out on the way to baggage claim. A DOG!!!!
Mall of America
Once the largest mall in the United States, the Mall of America still packs in pretty much any store you could imagine, plus a movie theater, theme park, escape room game, and mini-golf course to boot. Everyone knows it by name, so it’s a fun humble brag to talk about meeting your daily step-count by walking around the Mall of America.
Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge
Hands down, this was my favorite thing I did in Minneapolis (besides hangout with my best friend Carrie, obv) Just take a look at the website! This place has a sense of humor and more attention to theme than Disney World- yeah, I said it!
The tiki theme is everywhere, from the entrance to the patio to the bathrooms. There are wicker chairs all around the restaurant, and each is a perf photo opportunity.
Psycho Suzi’s also has an extensive tropical food and drink menu. The drinks come in fun glasses with heavy pours.
Notably, Psycho Suzi’s had some of the best service I encountered in Minneapolis, making it a total must-see.
Other Cool Spots
The Sheridan Room in NE-MPLS has a cool cocktail list and a tasty happy hour menu.
Crepe & Spoon offers vegan and gluten-free options for ice cream and crepes. Look how cute this waffle cone for Twin Cities Pride was!
Betty Danger’s Country Club is the sister spot to Psycho Suzi’s, serving Tex-Mex dishes in a kitschy, over-the-top funhouse version of a WASPy country club. The place is notable for its Ferris Wheel, which gets you five rotations for $6. It gives great views of the city and you can eat and drink on board.
The Saloon is a sprawling gay club with some awesome drinks. Be warned though, ladies: the urinal to toilet stall ratio is 12:1. I’m not joking.
Northeast Social has one of the most intimate layouts I’ve ever been in and great bang for your buck when it comes to hangover-curing brunch.
Oh Instagram, you have led me astray. Here are some spots that are cute for a photo but not much more.
Inside the Mall of America, Dough Dough offers scoopable cookie dough without the threat of salmonella from eating raw cookie dough- Fab right? This place even offers flights of dough, a shareable sampler platter.
So why do I think you can skip it? It made me sick, almost violently so. Even two bites ensured a trip to the bathroom within the hour. A yikes from me.
Instagram makes you think that you need a pic like this one:
You don’t. In addition to street parking, high prices, cones left unrolled at the tip, and awkward and uncomfortable customer service, Milkjam doesn’t even have spacious seating. Many of the flavors on the menu just weren’t my jam and the flavor I did pick… made me violently ill again.
Overall, I was very impressed by Minneapolis and would love to make a return trip. I made this list because I did not find a lot of travel advice regarding this underrated city, especially none aimed at adults.
Much love and many thanks,