#39 Dakota Jazz Club

#39 of 52 Must See Things in Minneapolis.

Come for the food, stay for the music. Or…come for the music, stay for the food. Few places do both food and live music really well. The Dakota Jazz Club is the exception. With an outstanding menu and performances by world-renowned artists, it’s the perfect place for a night out. Enjoy an amazing meal before or during the show, or simply sit back with a cocktail and be absorbed by the music.

Opened in 1985 in St. Paul, the Dakota has a history of hosting acclaimed chefs and musicians. Local, national and international artists have requested to play at the Dakota because of it’s reputation in the music scene. They’ve had performances from Prince, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Ramsey Lewis and Betty LaVette to Larry Graham and Dave Brubeck. As the music club grew, the owners decided it was time to move to make room for expansion. The Dakota ended up on Nicollet in downtown Minneapolis and has remained there since.

Prince frequented the Dakota Jazz Club, and even had a private entrance through a “special door.” He had his own table that was somewhat secluded from the rest of the club, and stopped by every month to hear various artists. He was also known to put on surprise concerts from time to time. One of his more well-known performances was the three consecutive nights he played back in 2013. The three shows were “Soundcheck,” “Jam,” and “Surprise.” The third concert wasn’t quite a surprise, but the place was still packed with fans.

Enjoy remarkable food, world-class music and experience some of Prince’s old stomping grounds at the Dakota Jazz Club.