24 Hours in Minneapolis with Ship & Shape

by Stephanie

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 KaplanErin Smith, and Maddy Nyeare 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

24 Hours In Minneapolis

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.

24 Hours In Minneapolis

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.

24 Hours In Minneapolis

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.

24 Hours In Minneapolis

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.

24 Hours In Minneapolis

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.

24 Hours In Minneapolis

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.

24 Hours In Minneapolis

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.

24 Hours In Minneapolis

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


B-Squad Vintage

Hymie’s Vintage Records

Finn Style

Farmers Markets

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


Suggested For You


  • Thank you for this tour around my favorite city and hometown. I’m out in the suburbs and need to get out more. Love the Rose garden near lake Harriet, a must visit for some beautiful blooms and a walk around the lake

  • Spoonriver (Spoonriver.com) is an exceptional place to eat in downtown Minneapolis.

  • This is a really good list and I’m so glad you included at least one of our gorgeous parks. While Minneapolis excels at all things cultural, our outdoor spaces (especially the Chain of Lakes) are not to be missed.

  • Visit the Light Grey Art Lab gallery! It’s across the street from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. The shows are really fun and the artwork is phenomenal!

  • I would add the Swedish Institute and its amazing cafe, Fika, these European American gems. Minneapolis also offers rich cultural diversity, with many businesses and locales that are owned and frequented by communities of color. Stop at Sonora Grill on Lake Street for funky, delicious, affordable Latin fusion cuisine. Hit up Selam Coffee on south Minnehaha Avenue to relish a 3 hour, traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony, with beans roasted tableside while the copal incense curls upward. The Keefer Court Chinese bakery enjoys national renown for its traditional Chinese barbecued pork buns. And, Mercado Central offers delicious made on the spot juice blends and the best tamales in the city. Want a henna tattoo that is the envy of all your friends? Head to the Karmel Mall and hit up the locally famous henna artist who is all the rage among East African women. And hit up Ancestry Books on Minneapolis’s Northside, a locally owned, brand new bookstore with a terrific, well-curated selection.

  • These people have taste – these are all stellar Minneapolis recommendations. Cool!

  • Forget Mayday Cafe! Try as they might, their coffee and baked goods are not great. For pastries and espresso, Sunstreet Breads and the aforementioned Patisserie 46 are infinitely better. Hola Arepa in South Minneapolis is known for their killer arepas, but is also possibly the best place in town to grab a cocktail. And if beer is more your style, don’t miss the Minneapolis micro-brew scene. Dangerous Man Brewery in Northeast Minneapolis would be my top pick!

  • The best breads and pastries in the Twin Cities are at The Baker’s Wife in south Minneapolis. It’s an absolute must-eat!

  • I realized you didn’t include one theater on here!! This city if full of ’em, choosing 3 personal favorites to add to this map: Walking Shadow Theater Company, In the Heart of the Beast, Open Eye Figure Theatre & recently the new favorite Children’s Theatre at MIA for everyone who has Babies in their lives and can’t go to grown up shows.

  • Powderhorn represent! I’m so happy to see that you’ve included some spots in my neighborhood, which so often gets short shrift. And it’s true, May Day has *the* best scones I’ve found in Minneapolis (right on the nose with the cheddar-jalapeno recommendation—those are typically out on Thursday and Friday—and the bleu cheese dill ones are also the bizness). Bravo, gals, you’ve done MPLS proud with this guide!

  • Excellent work, ladies! MSP has so many fab spots it’s hard to keep up and it’s nice to see some different businesses highlighted instead of the usual suspects.

  • Fabulous picks ladies — way to highlight the independent companies:). Love the photos too. It would be great to see your winter selections in another post.

  • We moved to Minneapolis a year ago from NYC and are really enjoying it! I’ve got so much to still explore – thanks for the recommendations! I’d love a local design resource list too.

  • Wow, wow, wow! I work at Knowmad Adventures in South Minneapolis (not too far from many of the places mentioned in this post) and I have to say this list is spot on! We have had our fair share of Bogarts doughnuts, we love Hola Arepa, and we spend many of our lunch breaks paddle boarding on or walking around Lake Harriet! I feel like I just read a day in the life of myself ;). Great post Ship & Shape, thanks for sharing!

  • Thank you so much for this article! My husband and I are planning a 4th of July getaway in Minneapolis! We have a travel blog, sweetwander.co, and we will be writing about our experiences!

  • Thanks for the guide! Last weekend I went to visit my friend and used this guide to show her around her city! (I also used the other Minneapolis guide D*S has). From this list we hit up: Hello Pizza (MUST try the soft serve with olive oil), Bogarts, Lake Hariet (including lunch at Bread and Pickle, and the rose garden. We also hit up he Walker Art Center. Which for other visitors, has a put-put course designed by artists and your ticket gets you admission to the Walker Art Center. It’s also by the sculpture garden.

    I would also recommend the adorable store I Like It (from the other Minneapolis list). AND Black Coffee and Waffle Bar was amazing.

    Thanks Ship and Shape! And also D*S for continuing to add travel guides. I always start here when I’m planning my next trip.

  • Also, the murals around the city and top notch. Way to keep it awesome Minneapolis!