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SHOPPERS' UTOPIA

With more than 520 stores and attractions, people from all over the globe flock to Mall of America, a world-class shopping destination.

Image by Don F. Wong/Greenspring Media

With more than 520 stores and 50 restaurants, not to mention theaters, an amusement park, an underground aquarium, comedy clubs and more, Mall of America is the undisputed leader in creating the ultimate shopper-tainment extravaganza.

Two men walking past the Puma storefront. Their sign is made up of red blocks with the white Puma logo placed across them.

Image by Todd Buchanan/Minnesota Monthly

Morning:

Get a great parking spot up front in one of the many lots that flank all sides of the mall. Start your day walking—not just a healthy idea but a practical one—to see firsthand the incredible array of shops. Getting the lay of this land is paramount for a successful shopping excursion. One lap around a single level of the mall is .57 miles, giving you plenty of time to window shop. Stores typically open at 10 a.m., but Mall of America comes to life well before then.

When the shops do open, you’ll be ready. Spend the morning hours focusing on levels 1 and 2. Most locals will tell you the best way to navigate the expanse is to simply walk in a circular motion around each level, always taking the same set of elevators or escalators up to the next. The key is to pace yourself, and enjoy the people-watching as much as you do the merchandise.

Grilled strips of chicken and steak are laying on a bed of fried onions and peppers with cilantro placed on top. A small bowl of diced tomatoes and onions sits next to it.

Image by Cantina Laredo/Courtesy of Mall of America

Lunch:

With 50-some restaurants to choose from, it’s tough to call your attention to just one. However, one of our favorites is newcomer Cantina Laredo for a sit-down meal. Culinary on North is a great way to experience a new kind of food court that blends old standbys with incredible sit-down and to-go newcomers. Try Piada Italian Street Food, which is a fast-casual chain of made-to-order piadas, pastas and chopped salads.

Afternoon:

Spend the afternoon finishing up level 2 and immersing yourself in level 3, stopping for a mid-afternoon caffeine fix at local favorite Caribou Coffee. Its unique location allows for spectacular people-watching.

The entrance to Rick Bronson's House of Comedy features their blue and white neon sign outside the door. In the background is their bar with empty tables and chairs, and shelves of liquor line the wall behind the bar.

Image by Mall of America

Evening:

Dinner options abound, but some of our favorites are CRAVE, Tucci Benucch, Twin City Grill, the adjacent FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar at the Radisson Blu or the incomparable Cedar + Stone, Urban Table at the JW Marriott. Better yet, have apps and a pre-dinner cocktail at one and dinner at another.

Follow up an incredible meal by heading to the level 4 of the mall for an entertainment zone for all tastes. Choose from 21+ theaters showing Hollywood’s latest where you can order your beverages of choice, Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy, or catch your favorite sports team in action at Sky Deck Grille & Lanes—think Chuck E. Cheese for adults.

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City Secrets

Valet at your disposal is just one of the latest perks offered by the mall. Simply pull up to a valet station at the north entrance off of Lindau Lane, the Radisson Blu or the JW Marriott. When you’re done shopping, use your mobile device to contact valet and your car will be brought to the location nearest you.

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