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 at a broad assortment of cafes and restaurants. You can taste your way around the world at the coffee shops and cafes alone, but to stop there would mean missing out on the full-service favorites that keep visitors coming back. 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…even drinking shrubs and hot sauce.
Continue along Nicollet Avenue to admire and pose in front of some of the 10 murals painted by the famous Wall Dogs in 2008. Many of them depict nostalgic neighborhood scenes, such as the Twin Cities Trolley and the 1926-era Nicollet Field.
Take a moment to stop and smell the roses—literally—at Lyndale Park Gardens on Kingfield’s western edge. 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 air 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 has been shown to reduce discomfort and even fight infections. It’s also great for people with asthma, allergies or stress. Tickets for sessions can be purchased online.
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, and if you’re really lucky, you may spot Fred the resident unicorn (he even has his own stable that’s available for rent).
Up for a little south-of-the-border flavor? Kingfield rocks the Latin-American cuisine scene. Victor’s 1959 Café transports diners to the colorful land of 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. Fresh riffs on Mexican fare await at La Fresca, where you can dig into 48-hour marinated ribs with agave sauce. Just be sure to save room for the tres leches cake.
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.
Filipino food isn’t always easy to come by, but leave it to Kingfield to have that niche covered, too. Apoy crafts memorable beef, shrimp and chicken entrees, and their brunch omelette with grilled eggplant and other veggies comes piping hot in a cast-iron skillet.
Where to Shop
Kingfield’s originality isn’t just limited to its restaurants and cafes. The name says it all at Odds ‘N’ Ends, a paradise for shoppers who love to find a one-of-a-kind treasure, whether it’s an antique, a piece of furniture or a pretty work of art. The Foundry Home Goods is the perfect destination for anyone looking to spruce up their homes with mod dinnerware and kitchen accessories, or great storage solutions.
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.
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).