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3 Days in MSP

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Hi There,

I am a New Yorker who is moving to MSP this fall. I will be there for a visit the weekend after next and am looking for good places to explore. I only have 3 days to visit and 3 days to sell my significant other (who is very into food) to come and join me on my move! We are interested in the full range -- fancy foodie spots on the high end and smaller hole-in-the-wall joints that are just plain delicious on the low end.

Thanks in advance -- I am already excited to read what people have to say!

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  1. Quick! Someone mention Matt's, etc. and Juicy Lucys so we can have THAT debate again. (Sorry for the inside joke, shlmsp, Ju(i)cy Lucys are a burger with cheese in the middle - apparently only found here - and which some msp hounds love and some hate but which always get mentioned as being unique to msp...)

    Okay onto serious suggestions-- I would go with what we do best here in the Twin Cities- Vietnamese and restaurants that feature local produce and meats with a side-trip for breakfast.

    *Vietnamese/pho joints. Saigon (in St Paul) is my personal favorite of the authentic pho places. Fairly hole-in-the wallish, great pho, good mixed (ethinic/racially-speaking) crowd...and it's always crowded. It's on University Avenue in St Paul and in a neighborhood (Frogtown) that is dominated by Asian/Asian-owned businesses. More high-end but also Vietnamese is Ngon Bistro, one of my favorite places in all of MSP. It's got more of a fusion/Vietnamese-French style cuisine although pho and bun are on the menu (some quibble with the authenticity of the broth) there are also wonderful entrees that shouldn't be missed. They use local, organic meats and produce and that's definitely a highlight. Should you like beer, Ngon is also one of the best places to taste some of the wonderful microbrews that we have here. They always have a local beer on cask as well as seasonal specials.

    *Al's Breakfast. Just be prepared to wait, especially as you'll be here on the weekend. It's got, what 12? 14? stools and is very popular so there's usually a line. Great breakfast food, total hole in the wall, it oozes character. My favorite thing to get is the Spike (eggs with garlic, cheddar and mushrooms) but the pancakes- Wally Blues are a regular favorite- and the hashbrowns are fantastic.

    *Restaurants that highlight local produce and/or meats. Heartland is the most dedicated of these - I believe that ONLY mid-western ingredients are used. Wonderful, creative chef. More high end, kind of a special place for dinner although there's also a wine bar for more casual dining. The Strip Club is a steak and fish place that I love-- local, grass-fed beef is featured. Over in Minneapolis, Restaurant Alma is also a perennial favorite of mine, we often choose Alma for date night. They feature a tasting menu that changes at least seasonally. The chefs at all three of these places are known for their dedication to featuring & highlighting local products in creative and tasty ways.

    Enjoy your weekend!

    -----
    Restaurant Alma
    528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

    Ngon Vietnamese Bistro
    799 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104

    Saigon Restaurant & Bakery
    704 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104

    Al's Breakfast
    413 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

    The Strip Club
    378 Maria Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106

    Heartland
    1806 Saint Clair Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105

    1. Sea Salt Eatery. According to their website they open up again April 2nd. I just hope the weather is nice enough because it's largely outdoor seating.

      -----
      Sea Salt Eatery
      4801 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55417

      1. TB did a pretty good job of covering the higher end stuff.

        My post will jump around a bit...

        Breakfast/Brunch: Al's, Grand Cafe, Colossal Cafe. Mickey's in DT St. Paul makes a damn good pancake.

        Alma and Heartland are my two favorite fine dining spots and both have great tasting menus. Heartland offers two set 3 course menus, a $30 flora and $40 fauna menu. Alma offers $45 for 3 courses (starter, second, main) with 4 choices per course. Both are very locally/seasonally focused. If I could only go to one, it would be Alma.

        Beyond that, Brasa is one of my favorite more casual joints. Owned and run by the same chef as Alma, there are two locations, one in NE Minneapolis (just north of downtown) and one just W/NW of downtown St. Paul. Both offer patio seating which can be very nice, depending on the time. However, they don't take reservations.

        Not sure what area you'll be in, but I love Victory 44 in North Minneapolis. Another smaller, more casual place with a crew of young, inventive chefs (who are also your servers).

        On the other side of town, if you are a fan of beer or whiskey, The Happy Gnome is hard to beat. Their beer and whiskey lists are dizzying (literally hundreds of choices) and the grub is above average.

        -----
        Happy Gnome
        498 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102

        Victory 44
        2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

        1. Here's a partial list of restaurants that seemed to go over well with my out-of-town visitors:(including ones from large cities with abundant dining options)

          Fine dining: Heartland, Alma, 112 Eatery

          Delicious ethnic eateries, mostly Vietnamese: Quang, Jasmine Deli, Fasika (Ethiopian) , Ngon (Vietnamese/fusion)

          Ice cream: Izzy's, Sebastian Joe's. We have great ice cream here.

          The Hmong market on Como in St Paul also has good food. I liked the sausage, ribs, and sweet coconut and tapioca dessert we got there.

          -----
          Jasmine Deli
          2532 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404

          112 Eatery
          112 N 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

          Sebastian Joe's
          4321 Upton Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410

          1. Congrats! I was the significant other on the exact same kind of trip two years ago. If she is a foodie, make sure you go to the Mill City Museum. It tells the story of flour milling in the twin cities and is really fun. On our weekend "preview" before moving, we ate at The Nook, Sunsets of Wayzata (brunch), Cosetta's and Craftsman. We also popped into PJ Murphy's - a bakery in St. Paul, and I remember thinking that I would never miss the crummy Safeway doughnuts I got in DC. We also took a tourbus ride (through MetroConnections) and it was worth every cent...when we moved here we already "knew our way around." If you find yourself on Grand Ave in St. paul, stop in the Golden Fig, a shop that is a purveyor of local goods like jam, chocolates, cheese, etc. One more idea go look at the area where the St. Paul downtown farmer's market is and pop into a restaurant down there...the open air part of the market isn't open yet, but if you use your imagination, you'll see one of our area's jewels. ...Good luck!

            -----
            Mill City Museum
            704 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

            1. You should definitely make a trip to the Midtown Global Market. Not only do they have great Mexican (los ocampo in particular) and great Mexican seafood (La Sirena Gorda), but also an outstanding bakery Salty Tart, helmed by Beard award nominee Michelle Gayer. Parking is free, so that would have to be a big sell for someone coming from New York.

              Quang is, for my money, the best Vietnamese in town, and sort of a local institution. You would be remiss not to visit one of our Vietnamese restaurants. There's a great scene here.

              Some of my absolute favorites include Heartland, The Strip Club (if you like steak, this should be up the list), and Victory 44.

              A quick warning on Al's and Sea Salt, there can be long waits at both, some of which will be experienced outdoors.

              -----
              Midtown Global Market
              920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

              The Strip Club
              378 Maria Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106

              Victory 44
              2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

              Salty Tart
              920 E Lake St Ste 158, Minneapolis, MN 55407

              19 Replies
              1. re: kevin47

                Thank you!! These are great responses and give me a good base for reading all the restaurant blogs and articles I have stumbled across. Speaking of which, if anyone knows of any good/active food blogs, magazine or other such things, that cover the area I would love to hear about them.

                And thank you again! I am so excited to plan this stuff!

                1. re: shlmsp

                  There are lots of sites but you might like to start here: www.heavytable.com

                  It produces its own content but also aggregates other news stories and maintains a decent blogroll of local posters

                  1. re: KTFoley

                    Thanks, KTFoley and justalex! I have been exploring heavytable almost obsessively. It looks great!

                  2. re: shlmsp

                    I consider the Heavy Table to be a goldmine of local food news. If you scroll down on the lower right of the site, you'll find links to a lot local food blogs. Enjoy!

                    http://heavytable.com/

                  3. re: kevin47

                    One other quick question that might be out of the chow range of interests but which, hey, I figured I might as well ask! Any thoughts on a great neighborhood for food and/or coffee where I might want to live full time once I am there? I'll be working in downtown Minneapolis but want to be sure that on the weekends and after work it isn't always a big drive for something tasty.

                    If this is too far off topic no worries. Just thought I should ask!

                    1. re: shlmsp

                      Northeast Minneapolis has the closest proximity to the widest variety of food, and is close to Downtown. There are more than a dozen restaurants that wouldn't make the "three days" list, but would be worth regular weekend trips. You are also close to Holy Land deli and East Side Co-op.

                      Uptown would be a solid (albeit more expensive) bet. The food scene their (Lucia's excepted) is geared toward affluent suburban interests.

                      Longfellow and (sadly) NoMi have the fewest options, so if you move there, definitely try the Craftsman (Longfellow) or Victory 44 (NoMi) first, since you'll be spending a lot of meals there.

                      -----
                      Victory 44
                      2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

                      1. re: kevin47

                        I'm going to disagree with Kevin a lot here. South Minneapolis, which I think he is categorizing as Longfellow, has tons of options. I live in the Lyndale neighborhood which puts me close to Eat Street and Lake Street. I can walk to many East African, Mexican and Vietnamese places of awesome quality. I can also walk to a range of American places including higher end ones like Grand Cafe (though not high end) and coffee shops.

                        Whittier is also a nice neighborhood, between my 'hood and downtown. Eat Street, the premier cheap ethnic food area is in Whittier. Also close to all the Mexican goodness on Lake street.

                        Seward and Longfellow are south and east of downtown, with Longfellow further south. Lots of great Mexican. Some really good "granola" type places, like the Birchwood. Some of the best Thai in town at True Thai. IMHO, the best co-op in town, the Seward Co-op. And Town Talk Diner, Craftsman, and tons of coffee shops.

                        NoMi is pretty bad for food other than Victory 44 and lots of wings, ribs, and fried food places. All of NoMi has one grocery store and it isn't that great of one. BUT you will get the nicest house at the nicest price in NoMi and it is really working on bringing in more goodness.

                        Maybe someone else can comment on SouthEast. Lots of good options over there too.

                        -----
                        Birchwood Cafe
                        3311 E 25th St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

                        Town Talk Diner
                        2707 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

                        True Thai Restaurant
                        2627 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55406

                        Victory 44
                        2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

                        1. re: churchka

                          Longfellow generally refers to the Seward, Longfellow, Cooper, Howe and Hiawatha neighborhoods. Here is a good map of the major neighborhoods which might help you when you hear people discuss the various regions (NoMi refers to Near North and Camden).

                          http://tinyurl.com/yf5umzx

                          There are restaurants in Longfellow (some very good), but it's an expansive area, and almost entirely residential. You'll never be more than ten minutes from a few good choices, no matter where you live in the city, so it depends on your expectations.

                          1. re: kevin47

                            I think this is pretty true for anywhere in either Mpls or St. Paul proper, that no matter where you live in the city, you'll never be more than 10 minutes from a few good hole-in-the-wall choices. My favorite hole-in the wall establishments tend to be clustered along:

                            ~ University Avenue in St. Paul (Russian Tea House, BonXai, Fasika, Saigon, Big Daddy's, Bangkok Thai Deli, Ngon Bistro, Trung Nam, Little Szechuan, Hmong "International" Market, Cheng Heng...etc.);
                            ~Marshall Street St. Paul/Lake Street in Mpls (Pineda, Midtown Farmers Market, El Centro, Mercado Central, Midtown Global Market, Los Ocampo, Hamdi, La Hacienda, Gorditas el Gordo, lots of cute Mexican bakeries);
                            ~Eat Street in Minneapolis (okay, getting tired of listing stuff--http://wikitravel.org/en/Minneapolis/...), and,
                            ~to a lesser extent, Franklin Ave in Minneapolis (Maria's, Himalayan, Luce, Franklin St. Bakery), and
                            ~Grand Ave in St. Paul (Grand Ole Creamery, Punch, Brasa, Golden Fig, Bravo Bakery, Cafe Latte for desserts, Everest on Grand, St. Paul Cheese Shop, Shish, Italian Pie Shoppe, I like it if I'm looking for mom & pop deep dish), Coffee News Cafe).
                            ~I'm less familiar with it because I have a lousy sense of direction but that swath of NE Minneapolis where Kramarczuk's is. Isn't Surdyk's over there, too? I make someone drive when we go over there, or I'm biking it, so I never pay attention as much as I should. Also good that I can never navigate to because I'm directionally-challenged that swath of Lyndale where Common Roots is and Lucia's (I like the cafe/take-out) is. There's even that cool strip-mall over by Lake Calhoun with a Punch and Rustica etc. Really, these are cities of neighborhoods.

                            I echo what MSPD recommends actually, in terms of location, if you like this kind of condo/loft-like living and don't need a lawn. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6970... If you do need a lawn, if you can get yourself near the river or the Grand Rounds bike-way or the Midtown Greenway, you can pretty much bike everywhere. Minneapolis, especially, is bike friendly. Even downtown St. Paul has come up recently in terms of good chow access (Barrio, Bulldog, Tanpopo, Meritage, Babani's, and Farmers Market) if you want to live the condo life.

                            Otherwise, what I'd look for (and did when I relocated to the Twin Cities) is easy access to those convenience you need access to on a near-daily basis:

                            A good co-op (my favs: The Wedge (Mpls); Seward (Mpls); Mississippi Market (2 locations, St. Paul).

                            A good farmers market.

                            A good neighborhood bar/pub. While it might be fun to preemptively shame us out of the whole "Matt's/Juicy Lucy" discussion, I think the family-friendly bar culture is part of the character of the Twin Cities, particularly St. Paul, and having access to a good neighborhood watering hold is part of a great neighborhood. Not to be a contrarian to Turtlebella whose recs I otherwise wholeheartedly endorse, but his is actually the right time for this conversation. Some good options with nice welcoming feel, generally family-friendly, and with decent chow: the Nook (St. Paul); Blue Door Pub (St. Paul); Busters (Mpls); Sweeneys (St. Paul); Tavern on Grand (St. Paul); Obbs (St. Paul). I can't think of others right now, but that's a start. (I'm not a fan of Matt's, but, again, it just matters what kind of atmosphere you like).

                            A good coffee or breakfast spot. Places like Kopplins (St. Paul), Longfellow Grill (Mpls)/Highland Cafe (St. Paul), Bon Vie (St. Paul), Coffee News Cafe (St. Paul).

                            Ice cream: Izzy's or Crema or Sebastian Joe's or Pumphouse or Grand Ole Creamery or Conny's Cream Cone Soft-serve in summer or even Sea Salt Eatery in summer.

                            Maybe a good pizza joint, if you can. Contenders for best pizza tend to typically be for "upscale" pizza, Luce, Punch, Black Sheep, and for gloppy pizza, Savoy's or Carbone's.

                            Those are the things I'd be looking for if I wanted to find a neighborhood to settle in.

                            If I wanted to experience some great high-end dining with a local twist, places I'd be happy to drive to, regardless of which neighborhood I lived in: Meritage (St. Paul), Heartland (St. Paul), Craftsman (Mpls) even though service can be all over the map, 112 Eatery (Mpls), La Belle Vie (romantic special occasion). And, in summer, the patio of WA Frost (St. Paul). And don't overlook the bars of these places, either.

                            Good luck! And welcome (in advance).

                            ~TDQ

                            -----
                            Midtown Global Market
                            920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                            Little Szechuan - West End
                            5377 16th Street, St. Louis Park, MN 55416

                            Grand Ole Creamery
                            750 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105

                            Coffee News Cafe
                            1662 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105

                            Cafe Latte
                            850 Grand Ave Ste 1, Saint Paul, MN 55105

                            Crema Cafe
                            3403 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                            Obb's
                            1347 Burns Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106

                            Longfellow Grill
                            2990 W River Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55406

                            112 Eatery
                            112 N 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

                            Sebastian Joe's
                            4321 Upton Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410

                            Bravo Bakery
                            1106 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105

                            Hamdi Restaurant
                            818 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                            Meritage
                            410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

                            Bon Vie
                            518 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102

                            La Hacienda
                            2467 7th St W, Saint Paul, MN 55116

                            The Blue Door Pub
                            1811 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55104

                            Italian Pie Shoppe
                            7107 42nd Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55427

                            Mercado Central
                            1515 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              Oh I wholeheartedly agree about living near good watering holes/pubs (I just didn't want the whole "take your significant other to Matt's! No, the Nook! for a juicy lucy" vs. "No no no juicy lucy's are horrible" debate to start up yet again when it's so tired out and there's so much more to talk about!) Obb's is actually in my 'hood but we haven't made it there yet for whatever reason, but everyone I know who has likes it a lot. And I am a fan of Blue Door - great beer list - but my husband no longer eats conventionally raised meat or we'd go there more frequently. In fact, the neighborhood that Blue Door is in - Merriam Park (St Paul) - is a really nice one. Nice old houses, convenient to both Mpls and downtown St Paul, more affordable, I'm guessing, than the adjacent Mac/Groveland neighborhood. And you'd be close to Izzy's (ice cream) and the new cupcake bakery, Sweets Bakeshop.

                              -----
                              Obb's
                              1347 Burns Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106

                      2. re: shlmsp

                        We live in St Paul and while there are a couple of places we love right in our neighborhood (the Strip Club and Mañana - a pupuseria, the Dari-ette- a drive-in diner), most of the restaurants that we frequent are outside of our immediate 'hood but are no more than 15 minutes, 20 minutes if in Mpls. As long as you are near a freeway you can get anywhere fairly quickly.
                        I suppose you could live near "Eat Street" in Mpls - Nicollet Ave. South...what neighborhood is that? and be near a number of good places... Living in Midway (St Paul) would put you not far from a number of Vietnamese & good Thai....

                        -----
                        The Strip Club
                        378 Maria Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106

                        1. re: turtlebella

                          We live in the Crocus Hill/Cathedral Hill area of St. Paul and for good eats, we couldn't ask for a better place. In the heart great eats on Selby, Grand, and close to downtown StP, and all the ethnic food on University. And we're only about a 15 min. drive drive to downtown Mpls. That said, if you're working in downtown Mpls, the commute from St. Paul to Mpls. on 94 is a nightmare I wouldn't want to put myself through every day unless you wouldn't be driving during rush hour. For food though - I LOVE my 'hood!

                          1. re: Seige

                            This is true of the traffic on 94 at rush hour-- bad by our standards. Maybe shlmsp will take the Light Rail to work (someday)!

                        2. re: shlmsp

                          If I didn't have kids, I would love to live down by the Guthrie. Walkable to work, an abundance of cool new lofts/condos/apartments, great restaurants from finer dining to low-end. Sea Change and Spoonriver alone could keep you busy for a while. You're just a couple miles down the River Road (by bike or car) to Longfellow, etc. You have Seven Corners/Cedar Riverside, close to the U of M/Dinkytown. NE is just across the Stone Arch Bridge, Warehouse District is walkable/accessible by bike. You have the urban feel but the outdoor recreation of the Mississippi River. Farmer's Market in the summer.

                          I do a lot of volunteering for an organization based out of that neighborhood and I really love being able to spend time there. (In fact, I had a light meal at Spoonriver earlier today and was thinking of this thread while I was sitting there)

                          -----
                          Spoonriver
                          750 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

                          Sea Change
                          806 Second Street S., Minneapolis, MN 55415

                          1. re: MSPD

                            I want to loudly second this recommendation. As a current brooklynite, and once upon a time St paulitan this to me is the best advice for someone facing a ny->msp move. i love st paul but its pretty provincial, even for the twin cities.

                            TDQ's rundown is good but, to me, doesnt assess non-food quality of life issues. you didnt say where you would be working but assuming you are working in/near downtown minneapolis the warehouse district would be an easy choice inthe higher budget range and somewhere nearish to loring park would probably be my second pick in the less upscale area.

                            as MSPD points out you have some good things going on immediately in the warehouse district, but even better is that it is super central - possibly the geographic center of the twin cities (that may actually lie further south but then youre farther from transit access and downtown).

                            the loring park area is also close to downtown, but has the advantage of bordering along nicollet ave - eat street.

                            the mill city farmers market that sets up just outside the guthrie is totally awesome for some shopping and lots of snacking (i think of it as a cuter midwesterner version of the ferry plaza farmers mkt in sf). id guess its too early for them to have anything set up yet, but you can look around online and get a sense of it.

                            1. re: tex.s.toast

                              I can't believe I'm going to sort of contradict someone who is loudly seconding my own recommendation (ha ha)....

                              Prior to having kids, we also lived in St. Paul -- in the Highland/Mac Groveland area -- and loved it too. I didn't really get the "provincial" feel there personally, and wouldn't mind living there again one bit. It really depends on the vibe the OP is looking for I guess.

                          2. re: shlmsp

                            My sister lives in SE Minneapolis (steps away from Lake Hiawatha).

                            I really like that area. She's pretty close to Al Vento, Fat Lorenzo's, Levain, Sea Salt and a few other places (not to mention great bike paths). But better than that, she can take the light rail into downtown for work, dining, sporting events, etc.

                            -----
                            Fat Lorenzos
                            5600 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55417

                            Al Vento
                            5001 34th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                            1. re: BigE

                              Have to weigh in. Sorry to contradict you BigE, but that area may be geographically south and east but it is NOT SE Minneapolis. (welcome to MN geography). SE is the area by the U-from Central Ave to 280 or so.

                              I too like the HIawatha/Nokomis area, but prefer Longfellow. As others have said, food is everywhere, the other amenities you are looking for may drive your decision to a greater degree. (Apartment versus house; mass transit commute versus car; proximity to the airport is huge if you travel for business; kid friendly or not, etc.)

                              1. re: rockyd

                                Depending on how you plan to spend your time, the Nokomis neighborhood might be a good place to check out. It's fairly close to everything, but has 2 lakes, a golf course/ cross country ski course and the parkway. There are quite a few bike trails, if one of you will be biking to work or for pleasure. Being a $15 taxi ride from the airport or close to the light rail is also nice.

                                I live in the Nokomis neighborhood and love all the restaurants we have: Colossal Cafe (great breakfast sandwiches), Buster's (awesome selection of beer, good burgers), the Baker's Wife (excellent bakery, reasonable prices), Chris & Robs (quick chicago dog or pizza), Marla's carribean.

                                We're less than 5 minutes away from: Al Vento (great food & ambiance), Singapore!, Dominguez (hole in the wall Mexican), Sea Salt, Turtle Bread, Pumphouse Creamery.

                                We have a great butcher shop (Everett's) with a wonderful small town feel, too.

                                The only thing missing is a really nice grocery store. We have Bergan's (which is a little hit or miss with the produce) or the Super Target. Just a little further away, there's a Rainbow and Cub on Lake & Hiawatha.

                                -----
                                Pumphouse Creamery
                                4754 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                                Al Vento
                                5001 34th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                        3. I would not disagree with any of the previous suggestions. My thought is to find someplace with a river view. I love living here, because I love the Mississippi (and the lakes.) The food may not be the most exciting, but the Nicollet Island Inn is a lovely brunch or lunch (go while it is daylight) stop right on the river. There are some other places I have not been to in the same area. Or, cross the river and dine at Spoonriver or Sea Change in the Guthrie and enjoy a walk along the river before or after your meal. As mentioned already, I agree the whole Mill City Museum, stone arch bridge area is worthy of some time.

                          One non-river suggestion. Lucia's in uptown is almost always a fabulous, locally-based meal. They have a pretty good lunch/take-out place if you are in the area during the day.

                          Enjoy your trip and welcome to Minnesota.

                          -----
                          Lucia's Restaurant
                          1432 W 31st St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                          Spoonriver
                          750 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

                          Nicollet Island Inn
                          95 Merriam, Minneapolis, MN 55401

                          Sea Change
                          806 Second Street S., Minneapolis, MN 55415

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: rockyd

                            My list of delicious places to visit and neighborhoods to explore keeps getting longer and longer. Excellent. Thanks to all for the great ideas.

                            1. re: shlmsp

                              As a chow-minded guy who recently (last fall) made the move in the opposite direction, it would be helpful, at least for me, to know where in NY you currently live, or at the very least which NYC neighborhood or area fits closest with what you are looking for.

                              Absent any and all other factors which will contribute to your decision (are you looking to rent or buy, do schools matter, are you ok with having to change into a more car-based lifestyle) this would give me a place to start from in terms of recommending neighborhoods in the twin cities.

                              A major shift in my outlook towards chowhounding in NYC versus MSP relates to scale: the way people talk about their neighborhood here in NY is the way I felt (and i think this is common) about the whole scene in MSP. Most people who pay attention would be able to name their favorite places to get x, y and z anywhere in the twin cities, in a way that is just not possible here. The bad news is you will likely have to drive farther to get to that cool new place across town, but its not like anyone relishes hour plus long subway rides anyway.

                          2. I have to join the recommendations for the Nokomis/Standish-Erickson of South (east) MPLS. I used to live off of 42nd and 28th with the Baker's Wife Bakery and Buster's right there. Also very close by is the Colossal Cafe, Matt's (home of the Jucy Lucy - which I will be in the "love" camp), Fat Lorenzo's, Tad Cook's 19th hole (great local BBQ) and the Sea Salt Cafe. Especially worth mentioning is Singapore on 34th and 56th. While a strange experience (expect this - terrible service), the food is absolutely amazing. While low in finer, foodie dining (only Al vento really qualifies) the combination of lakes, parks, access - use and love the light rail, activities as well as some great local theaters and wine bars it can't be beat.

                            -----
                            Fat Lorenzos
                            5600 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55417