Minneapolis’ Bryn Mawr neighborhood offers outdoor fun alongside delectable dining in a friendly community with a small-town vibe

Images by Jay Peterson

By Aubrey Schield

Located just a few steps outside downtown Minneapolis, Bryn Mawr is quickly becoming my new favorite Twin Cities ‘hood. While the hustle and bustle of spots like Uptown and Lowertown (in downtown St. Paul) makes for a fun night out with friends, visiting this quaint neighborhood northwest of downtown Minneapolis is like coming home. Maybe it’s the idyllic craftsman-lined streets. Or maybe it’s the way Mother Nature is on display in more than 650 acres of natural landscape. And I can’t leave out the welcoming restaurants and cafes that call Bryn Mawr home. All in all, it’s a neighborhood worth visiting time and time again.

Bartender pouring a pint of Dangerous Man beer at the brewery

Check out some of my favorite things to do in Bryn Mawr.

Bassett Creek Trail: Hop on your bike and enjoy this five-mile, paved trail that hooks up with French Regional Park in Plymouth and Luce Line Regional Trail to the south.

Bryn Mawr Garden Tour: This bi-annual event gives residents and visitors alike the chance to see the many extravagant gardens around the neighborhood.

Cuppa Java: It’s not just the catchy name that makes me love this corner coffee joint. In addition to the traditional coffee beverages, you can order sandwiches, malts, beer and wine.

Sparks: Tucked into a residential area in the neighborhood, this restaurant serves up wood-fired pizzas alongside a menu of thoughtful spins on old classics. Warm up your appetite with fire roasted shishito peppers or fingerling potatoes, then dive into the gem salad, which is punctuated by a soft boiled egg and herb vinaigrette with Parmesan. For something that will stick to your ribs a little more, I recommend the shrimp gnocchi.

Theodore Wirth Park: Bryn Mawr is surrounded by nature, and nowhere is it more apparent than in this park and the adjacent Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary. Read more about all there is to explore at Theodore Wirth here.

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