lowry bridge northeast minneapolis

There’s so much to discover in Northeast Minneapolis. (Photo: Getty Images)

Tips + Trends

Discover Why Northeast Minneapolis Is One of the Twin Cities’ Coolest Neighborhoods

Northeast Minneapolis is an eclectic place — artsy but laid-back, hip yet cozy. For decades, it was known as a working-class neighborhood full of Eastern European immigrants, dive bars and a church on seemingly every block. Those roots are still on full display, even as the neighborhood has evolved.

Today, Northeast is a thriving hub for the arts and a home to immigrant communities from across the world. Put it all together and you’ve got a place that’s cool but effortlessly so, where exploring yields endless delights (and Midwest welcomes).

As always, check for travel restrictions and closures before planning your trip.


The heart of Northeast Minneapolis’s art scene is the Northrup King Building. Built as a seed warehouse in 1917, it’s now home to more than 250 artist studios. A few blocks away, a similar rebirth is in full swing at the Casket Arts Building, a onetime (yes) casket manufacturer, now home to another 100-plus artist studios.

While most studios around the Northeast Arts District aren’t open regular hours, there are frequent events, including the annual Art-A-Whirl festival; check out the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association for all the details.

Northeast is also a hotbed of performing arts, and two of the best venues are at the corner of 13th Avenue and University Avenue: the 331 Club, with music every day (and no cover, ever) and Ritz Theater, home of local stalwart Theater Latté Da, known for its imaginative takes on musicals.

For a different view of the neighborhood’s creative side, head to i like you, a gift shop filled with posters, jewelry and other goods by local craftspeople and often featuring a wry, locally focused sensibility. (Hello, T-shirt featuring Prince as a centaur.)


boom island lighthouse
Sneak a peek at the Boom Island Lighthouse. (Photo: Getty Images)

Northeast Minneapolis has some of the most captivating views in town, featuring the Mississippi River and, if you get to the right spots, the downtown skyline shimmering across the water.

See it all at Boom Island, once a staging area for local lumber mills, now a tranquil park with plenty of places to sit and marvel at the panorama. Adventurous types can rent a kayak at Boom Island and get out on the Mississippi River themselves, but for a more low-key experience, walk north along a path that extends about a mile upstream along the riverfront.

Eat and Drink

northeast minneapolis street
Check out the neighborhood’s many hot spots. (Photo: Getty Images)

Few streets in Minneapolis have a higher density of restaurants than Central Avenue, and honestly, you’d do well to simply start walking and exploring on your own. Some of the best bets have been around for years, like Holy Land, a large Middle Eastern deli, and Sen Yai Sen Lek, a Thai restaurant best known for its alluring noodle dishes.

Around Northeast, several new restaurants are building on the themes and legacies of their longstanding neighbors and adding a chic, modern flair.

At Young Joni, James Beard Award–winning chef Ann Kim crafts next-level wood-fired pizzas — try La Parisienne, with prosciutto, Gruyere, ricotta and brown butter — along with entrees that nod to her Korean heritage. The restaurant’s semisecret back bar offers the low-key aesthetics of a Minnesota family cabin with a full menu of creative cocktails like the Free Jetski, which includes gin, lemon, oat milk orgeat and fino sherry.

You’ll find yourself in the tropics at Hai Hai, with its sunny dining room filled with actual greenery. Chef Christina Nguyen uses Vietnamese street food as a starting point for dishes like banana blossom salad and turmeric and dill fish, the flavors fresh and lively.

Sibling restaurants Centro and Popol Vuh share a building and Mexican flavors, but chef Jose Alarcon takes them in different directions: tacos at the laid-back Centro, and more elevated, modern dishes at Popol Vuh.

After dinner, head to the historic warehouse across the street to find Indeed, one of the best and most convivial of Northeast’s many taprooms, where small but beloved local breweries show off their goods. There’s a certain scruffy charm here, and at most of the taprooms, befitting the neighborhood’s overall spirit.

If you’d like to end the night with a more high-energy vibe, head to Psycho Suzi’s and grab a seat on the bustling patio for a Tiki drink and one more spectacular view of the Mississippi.