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1 City 5 Ways

Bachelor Farmer

Dine at The Bachelor Farmer, then explore the charm of Minneapolis' North Loop neighborhood.

Minneapolis is on right now. From the tiny, ambitious Piccolo to the dozens of food trucks that line downtown streets in warm weather, the city’s chefs are taking risks all over the place. What’s more, Minneapolis—lovely in the fall—has been getting props for its arts scene (most notably the cutting-edge Guthrie Theater and Walker Art Center) for years. And then there’s the music: Prince, yes, but also new bands such as Poliça, Now Now and Atmosphere. We haven’t even started on the many parks and waterways. And the ultimate bonus? Another vibrant city right across the river.


Sea Change photo courtesy of Shea, Inc.        

Where to Stay: Le Méridien Chambers
Ralph Burnet, one of the USA’s greatest collectors of young British artists’ work, fills his hotel with his personal collection. Will there be a Tracey Emin in your bathroom?

Morning: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Minneapolis’ own MIA holds one of the world’s most important Rembrandts and a renowned Van Gogh. Architecture buffs: Be sure to discuss how the new Target wing designed by Michael Graves adds to or detracts from the original McKim, Mead and White design.

Lunch: Sea Change
This restaurant from chef Tim McKee (a James Beard award winner) was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel. So you can feast on langoustines under Nouvel’s massive photographs of famous playwrights. 

Afternoon: Walker Art Center
The Walker is one of America’s “big five” players in modern and contemporary art. After taking in the works, head out to the sculpture garden and the iconic “Spoonbridge and Cherry” sculpture. 

Dinner: Piccolo
When globe-trotting chefs such as Anthony Bourdain and Hugh Acheson travel to Minneapolis, they go to Piccolo, a teensy south Minneapolis restaurant where a truly original chef, Doug Flicker, makes art you can eat. 


An open-faced sandwich at FIKA. Photo by Travis Anderson.        

Where to Stay: Radisson Blu
Minneapolis has a new outpost of Radisson’s new luxury line. With décor that channels “Scandinavian simplicity,” a great location and upscale offerings from FireLake Grill, the hotel is a great downtown base camp. 

Morning: Ingebretsen’s
Started as a meat market in 1921 by Charles Ingebretsen, this store today sells a range of goods from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland—from lefse to linen—that reflect the state’s cultural heritage. Uff da! 

Lunch: FIKA and American Swedish Institute
Located in the 1908 Turnblad Mansion and modern new Nelson Cultural Center, the institute’s fun exhibitions and programs celebrate Sweden and her nordic neighbors. Don’t miss a stop at FIKA for a delicious smörgåsar sandwich.

Afternoon: FinnStyle
A fan of Marimekko and iittala? This store carries the widest selection of Finnish-designed goods in the United States. The airy showroom on the edge of downtown is the perfect place to pick up some modern Nordic design to take home. 

Dinner: The Bachelor Farmer
This stylish restaurant, opened in 2011, serves updated versions of traditional Scandinavian fare. And don’t miss a stop at the buzzy Marvel Bar downstairs for a craft cocktail or two. 


First Avenue photo courtesy of Meet Minneapolis.        

Where to Stay: Loews Minneapolis Hotel
Just a hop and a skip down First Avenue from the iconic music venue (and right across from Target Center), the Loews boasts modern lines, warm guestrooms and the elegant Cosmos restaurant, serving elevated New American cuisine. 

Brunch: Icehouse
Located on the site of the former Icehouse recording studios, this spot serves stellar food and cocktails: For brunch, think brisket hash and a bloody mary with a mini-doughnut and bacon (!). Add live jazz on weekends and you may find yourself parked here for hours. 

Afternoon: Hymie’s
At this vintage record shop on East Lake Street, scoop up an awesome Ramones LP or rare 45—or just spend some time hanging out at one of the listening stations. You might even catch a live performance by a local band. 

Dinner: Loring Pasta Bar
Get your carb on at this Dinkytown institution that features whimsical décor and free live music. Fun fact: When this was Gray’s Campus Drugs, Bob Dylan lived in an apartment upstairs. 

Evening: First Avenue
You’ve perhaps heard of a man named Prince? The artist might be Minneapolis’ favorite export, and he got his start right here (see: movie, Purple Rain). This place still rocks with high-caliber touring bands and DJs. 


Minnehaha Falls photo courtesy of Meet Minneapolis.        

Where to Stay: Aloft Minneapolis
Two-wheel enthusiasts looking for an urban adventure should shack up at this budget boutique hotel downtown. You’ll find a Nice Ride kiosk near the front entrance where you can rent a bright green cruiser through the city’s flagship bike share program.      

Breakfast: Birchwood Cafe
Hop on your bike and pedal south on the path along the Mississippi River. In a few miles, you’ll reach this local favorite, which has the best quiche in town and a funky-indie vibe that’s pure Portlandia (in a good way).   

Lunch: Minnehaha Falls
Three miles south of Birchwood is Minnehaha Park, perched atop a limestone bluff and home to a 53-foot waterfall. Grab lunch and a Surly Furious ale at Sea Salt, the top-notch fish shack near the park’s entrance.    

Afternoon: Mill Ruins Park
From the falls, hook up with West River Parkway and ride back downtown. Or return your bike and take the nearby light-rail Blue Line to Mill Ruins Park—the Twin Cities’ answer to the Parthenon (the ruins are from a 19th-century flour mill).

Dinner: Sanctuary
This adventurous bistro creates killer combos with Asian, Mediterranean, American and French flavors. Think barramundi with cherry moonshine sauce, lemon oil mash potatoes and dark chocolate pesto.


A room at The St. Paul Hotel. Photo by Ted Wentink.        

Where to Stay: The Saint Paul Hotel
It was known as the “million-dollar hotel” when it opened in 1910. Charles Lindbergh used to stay here. St. Paul’s grand dame has maintained her figure.

Breakfast: Mickey’s Diner
An art deco dining car serving hamburgers, malts and pancakes 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Embrace the grease. And if you’re with kids, the wonderful Minnesota Children’s Museum is right down the street. 

Afternoon: Common Good Books
Prairie Home Companion host and radio legend Garrison Keillor’s charming and beautifully curated bookstore brings in celebrated authors, from Hillary Clinton to Keillor himself. 

Dinner: Louis at Cossetta’s
In the past year, the fourth generation of the Cossetta family from Calabria, Italy, finished a $15 million renovation of their classic eatery on St. Paul’s West Seventh. Louis is the new rooftop restaurant. 

Evening: Turf Club
When First Avenue’s owners bought this beloved 300-capacity music venue, they added a kitchen and renovated the bathrooms but didn’t dare touch the photo booth that Lady Gaga graced with her presence in 2010. 

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