Earning a Crown for Culinary Diversity.
Once farm country up until the late 1800s, this thriving southwest neighborhood now celebrates the harvests of the region with a broad assortment of cafes and restaurants. You can taste your way around the world at the coffee shops and cafés alone, but to stop your visit there would mean missing out on all the other reasons to visit. The community spirit here is strong, and you can feel like a local at Sunday’s Kingfield Farmers Market or during the neighborhood’s annual PorchFest in June, when more than three dozen homes host bands performing on patios and in front yards. No matter the season, Kingfield is a place that’s always playing its own tune, and that’s exactly why you’ll love it.
Things to Do
From mid-May through October, the Kingfield Farmers Market is the place to be on Sunday mornings. The 30-vendor market is pretty modest by metro standards, but it’s won the City Pages Best Farmers Market award for outstanding quality and variety of vendors. It’s your one-stop shop for doughnuts, veggies, cheeses, spices, breads, coffee… even honey and hot sauce.
Take a moment to stop and smell the roses—literally—at Lyndale Park Gardens just west of Kingsfield on the shores of Lake Harriet. In addition to the 100-variety Rose Garden (fun fact: it’s the 2nd oldest public rose garden in the U.S.), three other gardens invite relaxation. Walk among the beautiful beds of the Annual-Perennial Garden, spot the fluttering visitors in the Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden, and take time to reflect among the meaningful sculptures of the Peace Garden.
For even deeper relaxation, take in the healing vibes at The Salt Cave Minneapolis. The cave is actually a room that’s surrounded with six tons of Himalayan crystal salt. Participants sit on comfy chairs and breathe in the salt-infused air, which is hyped to reduce discomfort and even fight asthma, allergies, or stress.
Where to Eat & Drink
With so many top-notch dining options filling one neighborhood, the question shouldn’t be “Where should we eat?” Rather, “Where do we begin?”
For a bright start to the day, try Sun Street Breads. You may just weep with joy after allowing the raspberry cream scones to melt in your mouth, and you’ll certainly want to take home a loaf of their freshly-baked artisan bread. More palate-pleasing pastries can be found at Patisserie 46. The Kouign Amann—a caramelized brioche pastry—is a favorite. Continue the good vibes at Royal Grounds Coffee, home to cheery baristas and fab cups of Java, plus a great selection of teas. Five Watt Coffee is another solid option for your caffeine fix.
Up for a little south-of-the-border flavor? Kingfield rocks the Latin-American cuisine scene. Victor’s 1959 Café transports diners to mid-century Cuba. Feel free to leave your mark on the heavily graffitied walls (it’s very much allowed) while you savor platos of Cuban chicken stew or lime-and-garlic marinated steak. Café Ena fuses Latin-American flavor with French techniques, plating beautifully unique dishes such as avocado-leaf-crusted salmon with a polenta cake and lemon mousse. Seeking a sharable meal? Chelas Tapas should go on your must-visit list. In the nearby Tangletown neighborhood, Chelas serves up Vietnamese and Latin bites and draws big crowds for their creative cocktails (their drink menu features gems like the Lychee Love — gin, raspberry and lychee puree).
There’s nothing conventional about Kingfield’s most raved-about American fare, either. Revival has built a reputation for serving some of the finest comfort food in the cities, and first-timers would be remiss to skip out on the now-legendary fried chicken, available in Southern Fried, Tennessee Hot, Poultrygeist, and gluten-friendly varieties. For more family-friendly neighborhood nosh, Tap Society serves up loaded burgers, chicken sandwiches, and rotating taps of local craft beers that you pour yourself (and pay by the ounce!). Finally, The Lowbrow is your place for the three Bs: burgers, beer, and brunch. They're committed to using locally farmed and sustainably grown ingredients, plus they have daily specials throughout the week, like half-priced wine bottle Sundays and great happy hour deals Tuesday - Friday.
Filipino food isn’t always easy to come by, but leave it to Kingfield to have that niche covered, too. Apoy crafts memorable meals like Longaniza Burgers, chicken and potato adobo, vegetarian pancit, and grilled ginger-soy chicken. Also in the neighborhood is Khâluna, a Laotian restaurant with a resort-feel and colorful dishes to satisfy your vacation cravings. And the long-awaited Abang Yoli just opened on the corner of 38th and Nicollet — a favorite for contemporary Asian cuisine and diet-conscious dishes. You can find one of the best chicken sandwiches in the city here, too.
Where to Shop
Shopping takes a backseat to playtime at Tower Games. It’s a home for serious board-gamers who want to meet up for a competitive round, but also for anyone who wants to give a new game a whirl. Following suit with Kingfield’s community spirit, everyone’s welcome to join in the fun.
Pick up something for the little ones at Kinoko Kids, named for the Japanese word for mushroom. You'll find quality toys, clothes, books, art supplies, and more for kids 0-10.
Music lovers take note: Kingfield is home to not one but two record shops, The Record Spot and Roadrunner Records. Stop in to grab a new arrival, hunt for rarities, and soak up some music stories from the owners.
Getting to and Around Kingfield
(Starting point of Meet Minneapolis Visitor Center on Nicollet)
Because the vast majority of this neighborhood is residential and dining establishments are nicely spread out, there’s usually plenty of free on-street parking to be found. Nicollet Avenue parking can get a little competitive on evenings and weekends.
From downtown, Metro Transit bus route 18 follows Nicollet with stops near many of the neighborhood’s acclaimed restaurants and cafés (expect a 20-minute ride). You can also reach the southeast end of Kingfield by taking route 11 to the I-35W and 46th Street Station (about 30 minutes).