Arts District

The Arts District of Northeast Minneapolis is a sought after spot for activity and inspiration. Artist galleries, iconic restaurants, craft breweries, and trendy shops line the streets. This area also houses some of the most talented local artists and creatives, which can be seen through gallery showings, art demonstrations, and festivals.

Things to Do

artist at art-a-whirl
Art-A-Whirl, photo by @morganelizabethphotos

Old warehouses containing artist studios, galleries and live performance spaces are a hallmark of Northeast Minneapolis. 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

ferris wheel at betty dangers country club
Betty Danger's Country Club

The intersection of 13th and University has some notably great night out spots radiating out in all directions. These include North East Social (American/Continental bistro), Erte (French-American food, craft cocktails), Anchor Fish and Chips (Alaskan cod, Irish pub food), Dangerous Man Brewery (craft brewery and taproom) and Young Joni (award-winning wood-fired pizza, Korean grill). 

Still on the riverfront, but farther north is Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge, a pleasingly ridiculous series of dining rooms and massive terrace swathed in Polynesian decorations. On the menu are tiki drinks and Minnesota favorites like cheese curds and tater tots. Nearby is Suzi’s sister venue, the exceptional Betty Danger’s Country Club, “a country club for the 99 percent,” where one can munch on Tex-Mex and 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 311 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’s 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, cakes 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. Also be sure to check out Holy Land, a local favorite for Arab, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine! They're known for their gyros, falafel, hummus and kabobs and they've even been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

Where to Shop

person shopping at madre cacti

Madre Cacti

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 fair off season. 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. If you’re looking for more greenery to fill your living quarters and work space, or for the perfect kind of gift that says ‘Hey, you rock’, make a stop at Madre Cacti, a hot commodity for cactuses from Mexico. 

If you were born in the wrong decade or prefer to spend your money on unique and used products, Rewind Minneapolis, might just be calling your name. 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.