SOUTH MINNEAPOLIS

The METRO system has not only made it easy to travel between Bloomington, downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul, but it has also encouraged neighborhood growth along its stops.

Image by Janelle/flickr

The METRO Transit system has not only made it easy to travel between Bloomington, downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul, but it has also encouraged neighborhood growth along its stops. It has created a lifestyle—and an enviable one at that—with light rail cars routinely packed with sports fans, downtown cube dwellers and travelers with suitcases. Thanks to its influence, formerly sleepy neighborhoods in South Minneapolis like Longfellow, Powderhorn Park, Midtown and Kingfield are all hot properties again. South Minneapolis encompasses several bustling neighborhoods, such as the lakefront shopping and nightlife district Uptown and the foodie paradises found at Midtown Global Market in Midtown/Phillips and along Eat Street. However, the smaller hoods have a lot to offer to visitors and locals alike, too. Check out some of our favorite activities and cozy neighborhood joints in South Minneapolis:

Catch a Show

East of Hiawatha are quiet neighborhoods filled with craftsman bungalows and hidden treasures such as the Riverview Theater, known for its class movie house space, cheap seats and popcorn made with real butter. Pull up a seat at Uptown Theatre for an independent or foreign film with a beer or glass of wine in hand. South Minneapolis is also home to the performing and comedic arts with the Children's Theatre Co., In the Heart of the Beast puppet theater, Frank Theatre, Jungle Theater and HUGE Improv Theater.

Diners and Coffee Shops Galore

Visitors are in for a treat with a smattering of mom-and-pop restaurants in town. For good ‘ol diner fare, head to Matt's Bar and Grill (inventor of the Juicy Lucy burger), The Tiny Diner, The Malt Shop, Hi-Lo Diner, or Nighthawks Diner & Bar, and find farm-to-table dishes at Corner Table, Wise Acre Eatery, Colossal Cafe, Blackbird and Birchwood Cafe. Other standout eateries in the area include sushi at Kyatchi, Latin plates at Hola Arepa, brunch at Tilia and vegan eats at Modern Times.

Twin Cities locals love getting their cup o' joe from local coffee houses, and South Minneapolis is no exception. With too many cozy neighborhood cafes to name, here are a handful of our favorites: Five Watt Coffee, Vicinity Coffee, Peace Coffee, Dogwood Coffee Bar and Spyhouse Coffee.

Get Outside

When entertaining out of town guests, make sure to bring them to Minnehaha Regional Park, whose winding winding trails lead to a 53-foot urban waterfall. Also in Minnehaha, one may visit the classic Longfellow House for some Minneapolis history and information on the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, a 50-mile scenic tour through the city via car, bicycle or foot. Other popular scenic locales include the Chain of Lakes (don't miss live music and outdoor movies every summer at the Lake Harriet Bandshell) and Lake Nokomis, which is famous for hosting the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships every winter but is just as active in the warmer months.

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