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A Local’s Guide to the North Loop Neighborhood in Minneapolis

North Loop Neighborhood Minneapolis

Where is the North Loop neighborhood?

Also known as the Warehouse District, the North Loop is one of the central commercial and entertainment districts in the entire city.  Hundreds of recommendations for our top bars, restaurants, and “favorite things” are located in this area of town.

The boundaries of the North Loop neighborhood form a rectangle immediately north of the downtown blocks.  The borders include:

  • Mississippi River to the northeast
  • Plymouth Avenue to the northwest
  • The 4th Street freeway entrance to I-94 to the southwest
  • Cedar Lake Trail to the southeast.

A Quick History

North Loop Minneapolis History

One of the things North Loop locals love is the storied history of the neighborhood.  Since the late 1880s, the area has seen its fair share of ups and downs.  Up to 1930, the area was primarily centered around manufacturing and distribution (hence, the Warehouse District name).  At its peak, more than a half-million Model T’s left the line in the North Loop to supply the thriving Minneapolis community.

As the Twin Cities manufacturing community became more automated and jobs shifted to other areas of the city, many of the warehouses were left vacant until the early 1980s.  That’s when the Minneapolis art and theater scene began moving into the neighborhood’s affordable commercial spaces.

It wasn’t long before a slew of other developers recognized the rehab potential for the abandoned warehouses here. In the early 2000s, the Minnesota Twins announced plans to move from the Metrodome to a new outdoor stadium in the neighborhood.  The construction led to connections with public transportation, thousands of new apartments, and condos.

Some Fast Facts About the North Loop

  • As of 2020, the North Loop is the fastest-growing neighborhood in Minnesota.
  • Sixty-two buildings in the neighborhood are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Milky Way candy bars, Creamette pasta, and the world’s first pop-up toaster are among the inventions that made their start in the factories of the North Loop.
  • Forbes magazine named the North Loop “One of America’s Best Hipster Neighborhoods.”
  • In 2016, Fodor’s Travel included the North Loop in their annual “Go List” of the 25 best destinations in the world.

North Loop Neighborhood Attractions

North Loop Minneapolis Attractions
Target Field in the North Loop

While there’s plenty that attracts visitors and locals to the North Loop, here are a few highlights of things you won’t want to miss when you visit:

The Architecture – Among all the neighborhoods in Minneapolis, the North Loop has some of the best-preserved architecture. So even if you don’t frequent any businesses, it’s an excellent place for an afternoon walking tour to admire the buildings.  The North Loop neighborhood association is currently developing a walking tour that includes highlights and history from nearly 20 different buildings in the area.  Check out the map here.

Minneapolis Farmers Market – Founded in 1876, the Minneapolis Farmers Market is one of the longest-running outdoor markets in the Midwest.  In 1937 it moved to its current home at the corner of Lyndale and Glennwood Avenue North.  Seasonally, you’ll find 170 stalls of local produce and handmade goods here.

Target Field – Home to our hometown Major League Baseball team, the Minnesota Twins, Target Field opened in the North Loop in 2010.  A few years later, it put the neighborhood on the national stage by hosting the 2014 MLB All-Star Game.  Regardless of your baseball fan status, Target Field is a terrific outdoor venue and one of the neighborhood’s best attractions.

Target Field Station – When the ballpark was built, the City of Minneapolis worked hard to connect it with the major public transportation networks in the city. Right outside Target Field, you’ll find one of the busiest transit hubs in the entire Twin Cities. Nearly 500 trains travel through here each day, including the Green and Blue line light rail and Northstar Commuter Rail.

The Fillmore Minneapolis – Connected to Target Field Station, you’ll also find The Fillmore, one of the premier concert and entertainment venues in the North Loop.  Named after the famous San Francisco venue, the Fillmore opened in February 2020, just before the pandemic with a sold-out feature with Brandi Carlile.

The LAB Theater – Originally opened by the Guthrie Theater for workshop space more than 20 years ago, the 6,000 square foot LAB Theater now hosts some of the city’s best live theater, dance, and fashion events.

Restaurants

north loop restaurants
Appetizers from The Freehouse in Minneapolis’s North Loop neighborhood

While it would mean giving up some other favorite Twin Cities spots, it’s possible to spend years eating and drinking exclusively in the North Loop.  You’ll find the best variety in the Metro and some of the best dining in the United States right here in Minneapolis.  Many of the names on this list appear on our “Best of” lists:

Avocadish – the first avocado bar in the Midwest featuring an all-avocado menu. Located in the Graze Provisions + Libations building.

Bar La Grassa – One of the best places for Italian in the Metro. Probably our favorite in all of Minneapolis.

Billy Sushi – The star of the Twin Cities sushi scene.  Check out our full review here.

Black Sheep Pizza – The first coal-burning pizza restaurant in Minnesota with a sister location in St. Paul. Takes the cake for best beer + pizza pairing menu.

Borough – Craft cocktails and small plates focused on the Minnesota seasons.  Part of the same restaurant team heading up Twin Cities favorites PS Steak and Parlour.

Darby’s Pub & Grill – Popular spot for pre-Twins game hangouts.  Traditional sports bar feel with all the burgers-and-fries staples you’d expect.

Demi – Where the Minneapolis foodies go to feel like they’ve received a “true culinary experience.” Prix-fixe menus with the best-curated dishes you’ll find anywhere in Minnesota.

Freehouse – One of the best patios in the neighborhood and an excellent spot for a first date or dinner with friends.

Graze Provisions + LIbations –  The North Loop’s food and beverage hall, featuring chef-inspired food stalls, a decent beer lineup, and a rooftop for summer hangouts.

J.D. Hoyt’s Supper Club – One of the longest-running restaurants in the North Loop, JD Hoyts has fed locals and famous Twin Cities visitors alike for more than 25 years.  The 1970’s supper club atmosphere with an on-point Cajun-inspired menu.

JUN – The spot for modern Sichuan-style Chinese in the North Loop.

Kado no Mise – Japanese for “Corner Restaurant,” serves classic Japanese dishes and sushi.  Approachable menu and one of our favorites for the best traditional sushi in town.

Kaiseki Furukawa – Looking for an unforgettable night of Japanese dining in the North Loop?  The multi-course menu at Kaiseki Furukawa is one of the best in town–and one of the spendier!

The Loop – Generous menu and 360-degree bar. A popular spot for happy hour and late night.

The Monte Carlo – Low-key classic steaks and seafood in a retro 1900’s bar. A comfortable patio and a great Sunday brunch menu.

Nolo’s Kitchen – Standard American fare on Washington Avenue.  Full menu in the dining room upstairs, small plates and cocktails downstairs.

North Loop Galley Food Hall – The North Loop’s other food hall, home to neighborhood favorites Ono Hawaiian Plates, Soul Fu, and Wrectangle Pizza. 

Office Pub & Grill – For when you need to tell the boss you’re ‘staying late at the office.’ Sports bar with giant TVs, standard burgers-and-fries menu options.  All the tables here come with USB cables and stock updates for the next working lunch.

Parlour – Regularly named the best burger in the Twin Cities and one of our favs on this list. 

Red Cow – Twin Cities burger spot with a reputation for variety and that ‘neighborhood bar’ feel. A great spot for cheese curds.

Red Rabbit – Red Cow’s sister restaurant, Red Rabbit, has the same hangout-all-night vibe, only serving an Italian menu of pizzas, pasta, and small plates.

Senjusan – Japanese-Italian fusion served in the heart of the North Loop. Sister restaurant to Discover the Cities favorites Martina and Colita.

Smack Shack –  Catch of the day style seafood, sandwiches, and soups in one of the best spots in the North Loop. Add in the cocktails and patio, and you quickly understand why there’s almost always a wait.

Snack Bar – Small plates all around.  Menu explicitly designed for quick bites and snack-sized shareables.

Soul Bowl – All things soul food minus the pork.  One of the best vegetarian and vegan options in the North Loop.

Soul Fu – One part Southern home cooking.  One part Southeast Asian flair.  Located in the North Loop Galley.

Spoon and Stable – James Beard Award winner and Best in Class farm-to-table in the Twin Cities.  Plan for a reservation, and then plan to have an unforgettable dining experience.

Stadium Bar & Grill – A Target Field must-try with a dog-friendly patio and a thin crust pizza you’ll want to take a second look at.

Trax Burgers and Bar – Locally sourced burgers-and-fries menu curated “for the after-workers and the before-the-show-goers.”  A top pick before or after a Twins game.

Wrecktangle Pizza – Fresh, straightforward pizza parlor located in the North Loop Galley food hall. Detroit-style slices in all the best ways.

Bars

There is no shortage of bars in the North Loop neighborhood, including some of the most popular spots to stop before or after a Minnesota Twins game.

Acme Comedy Company – One of the Top 5 comedy clubs in the country, Acme has been bringing headliners from around the world to the Twin Cities since 1991.  The club offers a mix of bar and dining packages to round out an evening of laughs.

The Basement Bar – As the name suggests, head below ground for this bicycle-themed bar.  Live music and DJs on the weekends and a rooftop in the summer.

Bunker’s Music Bar & Grill – Twin Cities fans of Roots, Funk, and R&B know all about Bunker’s.  Prince used to frequent the bar for regular drop-in jam sessions, which hosts live music nightly. 

Cobble Social House – Cocktails and swanky event space. One of the best places to grab a charcuterie board with a couple of friends.

Cuzzy’s –  All the townie bar feels right next to Target Field.  This spot comes complete with dollar bills on the walls.

THR3 JACK – Sports bar meant for an all-night hangout. Maybe even a little competition?  Six world-class simulator rooms are available to play bar games and golf in some of the best courses around the world.

Upstairs Circus- For the DIY enthusiast, Upstairs Circus combines the best craft cocktails with the best crafts.  Book a reservation to complete an easy-to-assemble DIY project while you and your friends enjoy drinks.

Wine & Beer Hangouts

wineries and breweries in north loop msp
Fulton Taproom in the North Loop

Perhaps something locally brewed is what brings you to the North Loop.  Some of the Twin Cities’ best craft brewers and wine bars have set up shop in the Warehouse District.

AxeBridge Wine Co. – All the best in urban winemaking at the only spot making wine in the North Loop. Patio space in the summer and wines made from cold-hardy, locally grown grapes.

Bev’s Wine Bar – The not-so stuffy neighborhood spot for a glass of wine and cheese board. It has one of the best views of downtown and staff who know their way around the wine cellar. 

First Draft Taproom & Kitchen – 50+ taps of craft beer, wine, kombucha, cider, and cocktails.  Opened in 2018, they offer self-pour, pay-by-the-ounce beers, and wines for sampling. 

Fulton Brewery – One of the first microbreweries and taprooms in Minneapolis and a leader in the Twin Cities’ craft brewing scene. A North Loop classic.

Inbound Brewco – The newest brewery to make its way to the North Loop, Inbound is close to Target Field and offers a large, rotating selection of beers. There’s always something different on tap.

Modist Brewing Company – Round out your trip to neighbors Fulton and Inbound with a stop at Modist Brewing Company, right next to Target Field.

Number 12 Cider – 15+ taps of house cider with unique ingredients like avocado, eucalyptus, and wildflower honey.  Plenty of cozy farmhouse feels and a wood-fired pizza food truck.

Pedal Pub Twin Cities – Spend some time in the North Loop neighborhood, and you’ll likely spot the pedal pub.  Grab 12 friends for the original bar on wheels.

StormKing – Brews and barbecue-inspired, StormKing is a collaboration between master BBQ chef Jordan Smith and the head brewers at Rapids Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MN.

Unleashed Hounds and Hops – If you love bringing your dog to the bar or want to meet up with friends for a puppy play date, book a slot at Unleashed. It’s the first indoor/outdoor off-leash tap house and eatery in the Twin Cities. Located near the farmer’s market.

Coffee Shops & Bakery

A perfectly curated list of the best brunch, pastries, and coffee in the North Loop.

Bellecour Bakery – French bakery and bistro from our friends at Cooks of Crocus Hill.

Cafe @ Glass House – Locally-inspired breakfasts, lunch, and pastries in this gorgeous, airy event space. Headed up by Chef Louis Tufte from the Bachelor Farmer.

Corner Coffee – Minneapolis staple for a great cup of community-focused coffee.  The best place in the neighborhood to bring a co-worker or relax with a good book.

Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea – Hand-crafted coffee, teas, and ‘elixirs from around the globe.  You’ll find the classics here, along with a decent breakfast and lunch menu.

Hoppers Mini Donuts – No need to wait for the State Fair for your mini-donut fix.  Spot the food-truck based business around the neighborhood.

In the Loop Coffee Co. – The traditional neighborhood coffee shop.  All the great things you love about your no-fuss spot for pastries and a good cup of Joe.

Spyhouse West – The fourth location in the Spyhouse family offers bright sunny windows and plenty of space to spread out for a productive afternoon.

Deli

north loop delis

You’ll find two of our favorite deli options in the Twin Cities in the heart of the North Loop neighborhood.

C. McGee’s Deli – Family-owned deli open for breakfast and lunch. Their brown bag lunch is one of the most popular grab-and-go choices in the neighborhood.

Rise Bagel Co. – The Twin Cities has a surprisingly limited number of hand-crafted bagel options.  Rise has filled the old-world style bagel market in the North Loop since 2017.  They have a sizeable vegan-friendly menu and one of the best patio brunch spots downtown.

Shopping

Food and drinks aren’t the only things the neighborhood has to offer.  Here are some of our favorite retailers in the North Loop.

Cooks of Crocus Hill – The classic Twin Cities’ cooking store, offering cookware and classes.  You’ll also find the Bellecour Bakery at this location.

D.Nolo – Women’s clothing and accessories, with a few housewares mixed in. It’s a co-op shopping space, with different retailers all under one style-forward warehouse roof.

Bonobos – Brick-and-mortar branch of the men’s online clothing retailer.   Try things on in the store and get them shipped directly to your closet.

Grace Loves Lace – A top Twin Cities wedding retailer; they also offer a lineup of ready-to-wear dresses and special occasion formalwear.

MartinPatrick3 – Men’s and women’s apparel, furniture, and a stylish selection of gifts.  As soon as you walk into the store, you’ll recognize the attention to detail. It’s second to none.

PARC Boutique – Another boutique shop in the North Loop for apparel and home goods.  Everything here is less than $150.

Ribnick Fur & Leather – The longest operating retailer in the North Loop and all of Minneapolis.  One of the last remaining fur retailers in the Twin Cities.

Queen Anna House of Fashion – Globally-focused women’s retailer with a personal, concierge-style shopping experience.

The LOUPE – Luxury jewelry store with heirloom-quality designs.  Located within the Martin Patrick 3 space.

Hennepin Made – Long-time North Loop independent glass studio offering custom lighting designs. Their artisan team builds incredible custom lighting fixtures off Glenwood Avenue.

UMEI – A little bit of everything, all from Japan.  Cooking, dining, home decor. Stationary and socks. The folks here promise, “A place to dream with your eyes wide open,” and we get that every time.

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