As the other half of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis has quickly become a personal favorite of mine, and today the ladies of Ship & Shape (Annika Kaplan, Erin Smith, and Maddy Nye) are sharing their ideal 24 hours in the city. From small neighborhood cafes to a bit of lounging by the many lakes around the area, they show us all that MPLS has to offer. Go ahead and spend the day with Ship & Shape! —Stephanie
Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg
Click through for the full guide after the jump!
Photos by Ship & Shape and Isa Gagarin
All three of us live and work in South Minneapolis, and we tend to spend most of our time there. In our 24 Hour Guide, we wanted to focus on some favorites in our neighborhood and nearby, but we’ve included other notable places and neighborhoods as well. — Annika, Erin & Maddy
8:00 – We meet at our favorite neighborhood café, Modern Times, for the best house-made chai the city has to offer. A lot of our business meetings take place here, and we always bring out of town buddies here for great breakfast and lunch fare for carnivores and vegetarians alike. The atmosphere is super colorful, with hand painted tables by our friends Ty Kerr and Andie Mazorol, and a rotating show of local art on the walls, which attracts a variety of characters from our diverse South Minneapolis neighborhood.
9:00 – Just east of Modern Times is Powderhorn Park, where a huge May Day parade convenes each year. We stroll through the park to reach the aptly named May Day Café. Baked goods are the specialty here, and we’re crazy for their flaky, buttery croissants. We could just as easily indulge ourselves with their savory scones (the cheddar & jalapeño is definitely worth a try) but we settle on a few croissants to-go, and head southwest towards Lake Harriet.
10:00 – Summer in Minneapolis means being at one of our many lakes. We love Lake Harriet, and its neighboring Rose Garden, Bird Sanctuary, and Zen Garden. It’s about as close as you can get to feeling like you are walking through an old Northern European garden within the city. From spring to fall, something is always in bloom here. If we had a little extra time, we might walk around the lake and stop at Bread & Pickle for a snack or sandwich, but we already have a packed schedule for the day.
11:00 – The Twin Cities have a ton of antique shops to offer, but none of them do it quite like Hunt & Gather. We could easily spend a few hours in this store, looking through racks of vintage clothing, stacks of furniture, crystals, paper ephemera, rugs, and a great selection of plants and succulents. It’s one of our favorite places to find a treasure or a unique present for someone. If you’re lucky enough to end up in the store during one of their sales, you can expect to wander the two floors of antique insanity sipping a beer, or eating a cupcake. We never leave here empty handed.
12:00 – Around noon, we head over to our favorite pizza joint, Hello Pizza, to get a slice. We also love their arugula, fennel, and radicchio salad, and can’t resist a session in their photo booth. If we didn’t already have plans to get ice cream elsewhere, we’d stay for some vanilla soft serve with sea salt and olive oil. Another worthy lunch contender nearby is Clancey’s Meats and Fish. In addition to offering a beautiful selection of high quality, locally sourced meat, this woman-owned butcher shop and deli has the best sandwiches in town. We usually go for the roast turkey on a baguette. And we love the approach to condiments here — the default is everything, so unless you specify otherwise, you get the works. Yum.
1:00 – Next we’re off to Mille, one of our very favorite shops in town. A visit to this sunny, color-drenched boutique is always a stimulating and inspiring time. Owner Michelle LeBlanc hand picks all sorts of wearables and home goods from all over the US and beyond. Beautiful wares from designers and makers like Lauren Manoogian, Object and Totem, BZippy, and Odette share the shelves here with Indian textiles from Auntie Oti, imported Moroccan Boucherouite rugs, and natural skincare lines. The effect is a sensory overload of the best kind. And the big, pink table in the back seems to be a magnet for creative ladies in the city, so you can pretty much guarantee you’ll get a great conversation out of your visit here too.
2:00 – If we hadn’t had a croissant already, we’d probably walk down the street from Mille to the nearby Patisserie 46 at this point for a little snack. But we like to diversify our treats, so we head east to our favorite ice cream shop, the Pumphouse Creamery. We can’t recommend their cones more, made in house from whole wheat & buckwheat flours, and sunflower and flax seeds. They are the perfect vessel for the local, organic dairy ice creams. We walk across the street as we eat our ice cream to admire the cut flowers and houseplants at Spruce before heading out.
3:00 – We head down East Lake Street to wander around Forage Modern Workshop, a uniquely styled environment full of design-conscious home goods. The shop is connected to Parka, a cool cafe that reinvents Midwestern classics (and makes a great espresso from a bright pink machine!).
Continuing east would lead to the twin city of St. Paul, but we’ll take the West River Parkway that borders the Mississippi towards Downtown. Also lining the river is a bike/walk path that connects to a city-wide trail system that we’d encourage any visitor to check out.
4:00 – We spend the next couple hours in the North Loop, a neighborhood on the edge of Downtown. Lots of quality shops have opened up here in the last few years, including a handful of fine menswear outfitters (and Shinola and Filson are opening up shop here soon). Our favorite of the bunch is Askov Finlayson, and we stop there first to check out a great selection of periodicals, try on sunglasses, and get a dose of all the color in the shop. Next door are Askov’s sister establishments, The Bachelor Farmer (a hip, modern Scandinavian eatery) and Marvel Bar (more about that later!).
We head across the street to one of the prettiest shops in the city, The Foundry Home Goods. We stock up on beeswax candles, and admire all of the beautiful and simple utilitarian goods. In addition to a thoughtfully curated selection of goods from around the globe, the Foundry also stocks work by some of our very favorite Minneapolis makers. Ginny Sims’ ceramics, Isa Gagarin’s calendars, Nick Lundeen’s wooden and metal objects, and the Polka Dot Club’s children’s toys can all be found here.
7:00 – Our go-to downtown dinner spot is Bar La Grassa. You can eat a creatively traditional multi-course Italian meal here but we like to mix & match from the menu to sample lots of small plates. They serve the most amazing charcuterie, bruschetta, and fresh pastas. Don’t miss the calamarata with raw tuna! Other downtown favorites include Spoonriver for simple & special organic fare with lots of vegetarian options, or Butcher and the Boar for something meatier, where we’d also suggest a bourbon flight in the beer garden. When we want to stay in our neighborhood in South, we love Blackbird, and we’re excited about the newly opened Hola Arepa and Tiny Diner.
10:00 – The Marvel Bar has a smart speakeasy vibe and cocktails crafted with care. We start with a round of Ladykillers, and move on to the Oliveto, a beautiful two toned number that tastes like an olive oil and lemon tarte. The mismatched cement tiles add to the charm of this design sensitive space. A tip: go earlier for an aperitif when there’s no wait for a late night seat.
12:00 – We don’t tend to stay in fancy hotels when we travel but we would jump at the chance to stay at the Chambers, where contemporary art is the focus both throughout the hotel and in the attached Burnet Gallery. We always enjoy the patio of their restaurant & bar, Marin, where you can customize a gin & tonic from a “periodic table” of infused ingredients.
* We didn’t make it to Northeast Minneapolis in this guide but it makes a sweet day trip too. With open studios on first Thursdays in the Arts District, and local breweries with taprooms (like Indeed, Dangerous Man, and 612), Northeast has tons to offer. We love grabbing fancy picnic provisions at Surdyk’s Cheese Shop, or locally sourced comfort food from Brasa Rotisserie when we’re in the neighborhood.
A few more favorites:
Five Watt – new in our hood!
Peace Coffee – fair-trade roastery
Health and Beauty
Honeycomb Salon – superb natural hair and skin care
Present Moment Herbs and Gifts – check out the used book selection in the lower level as well
Art & Entertainment
Trylon Microcinema – classic and obscure films in a tiny theater
Icehouse – for great cocktails and music
Walker Art Center – outstanding contemporary art museum (free on Thursday nights)
Midtown Global Market – lots of merchants, we love Sonora Grill and Salty Tart
Eat Street – many blocks of international cuisine near the Minneapolis College of Art and Design
Wise Acre Eatery – farm-to-table
Bogarts Doughnut Co. – simple and good
Truce – cold-pressed juice