New Yorker visiting Minneapolis: 3 days
Hi, I am attending a conference in downtown Minneapolis (Hilton) and staying at the Radisson (3 blocks away, connected to skyway).
I will be traveling solo but still want to walk/explore the city (2 evenings).. So what neighbourhood/cuisine should i visit to get a taste of the city.
Also any good breakfast/lunch places in downtown(3 lunches/breakfasts) I should check out?
Traveling solo and eating at Alma and 112, I recommend the bar seating. You'll have more people to talk to than if you sit at a table. 'Course if you're an introvert, go for the tables.
The bar seating is usually not reserved and it's usually got one seat open and they serve the whole menu in both places.
Jfood is not sure how often you have tried the solo bar seat at both these restaurants but there is a MAJOR difference between obtaining a seat and the experience once seated.
112 is a freakin' nightmare to get a bar seat, jfood has about a 50% success rate. Once seated the chairs are extremely close together and there is very little room for the service. It is almost like eating in coach on an airplane.
Alma on the other hand is a wonderful place for a solo bar experience and obtaining a seat is much easier, jfood is batting 100% there. Plus the experience is much more pleasant at Alma versus 112.
The lighting is also quite different, 112 is much darker and Alma has a much lighter feel due to the large expanse of windows.
To answer your second question:
1) Hell's Kitchen, a board favorite, sits smack between the Hilton and the Radisson. It's swamped for breakfast/brunch on the weekend, but is probably manageable for a weekday. (I assume your conference is during the week). I haven't been to it since it moved last year, so I don't know whether or not the crowds are as bad.
2) The Bombay Bistro in the Medical Arts Building has a good Indian buffet at lunch time. Note that there are 2 Bombay Bistros near each other and they have different menus (but both have a buffet). The one that I'm recommending is inside the Medical Arts Building, which you would enter from either Nicollet or 9th Street. (The 9th Street entrance is just north of Hell's Kitchen). The other one - which is fine, but not as good - faces Marquette Avenue.
A couple of other points: I believe that the Radisson is more than 3 blocks away from the Hilton. It's definitely walkable in 10-15 minutes, though. It will seem much further if you use the Skyway. The Skyway system is great, but it's convoluted - particularly down by the Hilton.
Also, I'm not sure what Tex was meant when he said that the Stone Arch Bridge is not over a river. It does, in fact, cross the Mississippi.
This recent request is nearly identical to yours, and so is a good starting place for answering your query. If you have already done some board searching, or if you have something more specific in mind -- tastes, budget, etc. -- those might be details that would lead to different answers.