The Arts District of Northeast Minneapolis is a sought-after spot for activity and creative inspiration. Iconic restaurants, craft breweries, and trendy shops line the streets, and the area houses some of Minneapolis's most talented local artists and creatives, which can be seen through gallery showings, art demonstrations, and festivals.
Things to Do
Old warehouses housing artist studios, modern galleries, and live performance spaces are a hallmark of Northeast Minneapolis's Arts District. The area’s 400-some artists open their galleries and show off their stuff at a variety of fairs and art crawls, including the legendary Art-A-Whirl, which occurs annually on the third weekend in May. For an extensive directory of Northeast art galleries and events, visit the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association.
Where to Eat & Drink
The Arts District has some notably great night-out spots, including Hai Hai (buzzy spot serving Southeast Asian street food and craft cocktails with a great patio), North East Social (American/Continental bistro), Erté and the Peacock Lounge (French-American food, craft cocktails), Anchor Fish and Chips (Alaskan cod, Irish pub food), Dangerous Man Brewing Company (craft brewery and taproom), and Young Joni (award-winning wood-fired pizza, Korean grill).
Farther north on the riverfront you'll find Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge, a pleasingly ridiculous series of dining rooms and a massive terrace swathed in Polynesian decorations. On the menu are tiki drinks, pizza, and Minnesota favorites like cheese curds and tater tots. Nearby is Suzi’s sister venue, the exceptional Betty Danger’s, which draws inspiration from George Orwell classics "Animal Farm" and "1984" and where one can drink fruity cocktails while riding a ferris wheel with beautiful skyline views. Yes, seriously.
You can’t swing a fixie bike around Northeast without hitting a dive bar, namely 331 Club (vintage dive bar, live music), Mayslacks (old school dive, roast beef sandwiches, live music), Shaw’s (sports bar, live music), Grumpy’s (tavern, bar food, video games), and Northeast Palace (live music, dancing, karaoke).
The craft beer scene landed hard on Northeast Minneapolis. The dizzying options include the 612Brew and its enormous indoor, wood-brick space and a small, atmospheric stone amphitheater outside. They keep about 10 house beers on tap at a time. Bauhaus Brew Labs serves a German-American beer hybrid in their busy taproom which hosts events like film screenings, trivia and live music. Indeed Brewing Company has two taprooms, serving pints of their flagship Day Tripper Pale Ale, IPAs, experimental brews, and the Wooden Soul series of wild, sour, and barrel-aged beer. Finally, there is Sociable Cider Werks, for those who like a little apple zing with their brewery explorations. Because everything is in such close proximity, you can either make yourself comfortable at one spot or opt for some variety and hop from place to place. There are no bad choices here.
Head less than two miles up Central Ave and find a pocket of incredible cuisine. Try Durango Bakery, a Mexican pastry shop that serves fresh breads, donuts, tres leches cake, and other delicious baked goods. Across the street you'll find Adelita's Mexican Restaurant where you'll find dishes from Northern and Southern Mexico, Ecuador, Columbia, and more. They put their own twist on each dish to create an elevated version of cultural favorites.
Where to Shop
In between the restaurants and neighborhoods are plenty of stores worth whipping out your wallet for. Explore the open studios at the Northrup King and Solar Arts buildings, located in the heart of the Northeast Arts District, during the art crawl and all year round. In addition to fine art, you'll find jewelry, clothing, home decor, and more.
Home decor shop Curiosity is another great place to check out local artisans and one-of-a-kind goods like recycled wood planters, embroidered baskets, and boho-chic rugs. For a unique collection of women’s global fashion by designers who only use fair trade and sustainable fabrics, dive through the racks at Key North Boutique. And because Minnesota-made products are the best thing ever (no sarcasm, all truth), check out I Like You for unique handmade gifts by local artists.
If you were born in the wrong decade or prefer to spend your money on unique and used products, Rewind Minneapolis and Moth Oddities are great stops for vintage scores. Magus Books & Herbs stocks up on a wide assortment of metaphysical supplies for those looking to expand their spiritual perspectives. Find everything from crystals, tarot decks and art to jewelry, oils, and yes—you guessed it—books and herbs.