Minneapolis is the City of Lakes but may be best known for its ties to Prince. The city boasts a fantastic music scene, with venues like First Avenue Nightclub where the 1984 Purple Rain movie was filmed, and Orchestra Hall, as well as countless music festivals and concerts. The critically-acclaimed Guthrie Theatre showcases fantastic productions. The city is also known for its art scene with the Minneapolis Institute of Art that doesn’t have an admission fee to the one of the nation’s largest urban sculpture garden that features the iconic cherry on a spoon.
And because of its vast amount of lakes, parks, and trails, there are countless recreation activities, making Minneapolis one of the top 10 most active cities in America and one of the top 5 best bicycling cities in the US.
Within the last 10 years, Minneapolis has built two new sports stadiums – US Bank Stadium for the Minnesota Vikings and Target Field for the Minnesota Twins. The building of these two stadiums has upped the number of places to eat, drink and visit around the two destinations. There are so many wonderful things and hidden gems that make Minneapolis a great destination city.
Five Hidden Gems of Minneapolis
This ice cream shop is not your typical run-of-the-mill soft serve. Each ice cream cone is a delicious piece of art that you can’t help but snap a photo for your social feeds before you devour the deliciousness.
The ice cream shop offers traditional soft serve as well as vegan and lactose-free options. There’s usually a line, especially in the hot Minnesota summer months, but the wait is worth it. You can build your own cone with toppings like bacon, puppy chow, fruity pebbles, potato chips, and more. Or you can order one of their specialty cones like the Gone Bananas that includes bananas, puppy chow, nuts, peanut butter and glitter. Yes, glitter! All the ice cream cones are topped off with edible glitter.
Bonus, the ice cream shop shares a courtyard with Able Seedhouse and Brewery. After you’ve had your sugar fix, stop on over and grab a pint or two at this dog-friendly brewery. The brewery has a great outdoor patio area complete with yard games.
This is perhaps one of the more unique destinations on our list of the hidden gems in Minneapolis. But, don’t let the name fool you! This is not your traditional country club – this is kooky restaurant and bar where you can add mini golfing or the Danger wheel as part of your dining package. This unique restaurant offers traditional American food and is the only country club housed in an old A&W Root Beer restaurant.
The Danger is a vertically revolving patio (Ferris wheel) that you won’t be able to find at any other restaurant and bar. You can dine and drink while taking in the breathtaking views of the city’s Northeast Arts District. The Danger runs year-round – even in the cold Minnesota winters. If you plan to attend during a colder season, make sure to dress warm and take advantage of the warm drinks and fleece blankets available before you start your ride.
The mini golf course just opened in 2018 and is an interactive and dog-friendly golf course. Part of the thrill, and challenge, of the course is maneuvering around the dogs and people who are dining on the course. It fits in perfectly with the rest of the kooky, unique country club theme of Betty Danger’s.
Located in Uptown Minneapolis, Chino Latino offers dishes from all over the world so you’re bound to find something tasty you want to eat. This restaurant has great food and a fun atmosphere but half the fun at Chino Latino is looking at the names of the dishes.
For main dishes, you can get the Swingers Party Platter, the Cuban Pork Crisis, or the Phuket Noodles. And you won’t want to pass up desserts at Chino Latino when they have delicious desserts like The Fire Goddess’ Sacrificial S’mores Platter where you get to roast your marshmallows at the table or the Horchata Tres Leches which they describe as a sponge cake soaked in boozy cinnamon toast crunch milk.
Uptown has a great night scene and Chino Latino is definitely one of the venues to stop at to get fantastic drinks. They offer beer and wine, as well as sake, hard liquors and champagne. And with names like XXX Punch, Honolulu Hangover and El Orgazmo, you’ll want to also check out their specialty cocktails.
Chino Latino tends to be on the pricier side but it’s worth it to take in the fun atmosphere and eat or drink at this unique restaurant.
As the City of Lakes, Minneapolis is known for its great water destinations. Minnehaha Regional Park is part of the Minneapolis Parks & Recreation system. This beautiful 193-acre park features hiking trails, scenic river views, bluffs, and a beautiful 53-foot waterfall hidden in the middle of a busy city. For someone who likes both the big city and being able to connect with nature, this is the park for you.
The park is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle and find some peace on the trails. There’s space for grilling and picnicking. There’s plenty of trails for walking, biking, blading, and overall exploring. You’ll be amazed at how the trails can offer a solitude away from the big city.
If you are a burger enthusiast, you have likely had a variation of the Jucy Lucy. This iconic burger is two patties with cheese cooked between the two slices. If you are a fan of this burger or burgers in general, you need to head to Matt’s Bar & Grill and have the original Jucy Lucy. The bar has picked up popularity when then President Barack Obama stopped in to have one of the iconic burgers in 2014. It’s definitely worth the stop to try the original.
No matter what you have in mind for your Minneapolis getaway, you betcha there are plenty of things to eat, drink and see. But don’t forgot to look into these hidden gems of Minneapolis for your next trip!
Gemsman’s Hidden Gems Series
Check out the other cities featured in Gemsman’s hidden gems series: