Known for its fun artist community that’s spawned endless breweries and dive bars, Minneapolis’s Northeast neighborhood can be a lot to take in.
But talk to any Twin Cities local, and you’ll quickly realize that Northeast is one of the most popular neighborhoods in town.
So we created this huge guide just for you. Whether you’re looking for history, attractions, food, or drink, this local’s insight will share everything you need to know about the Northeast neighborhood in Minneapolis.
A Quick History of Northeast
Northeast Minneapolis–otherwise lovingly known as “Nordeast” by the locals–was one of the first proper neighborhoods of Minneapolis.
In the 1870s, the area bordering the Mississippi River just to the North of downtown was known as St. Anthony. When the industrial North Loop began to spill over, seeking new places for housing and retail, the city of Minneapolis annexed the community, and Nordeast was born.
Today, it’s one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods in the United States and one of Minneapolis’s most sought-after commercial areas. Renovated historic warehouses are juxtaposed alongside new residential development, attracting a global community of young professionals and business owners. It’s a happening place.
Basic Layout of the Neighborhood
The actual boundaries of Northeast Minneapolis come up for debate from time to time, and no one organization claims an “official” neighborhood distinction. But, when it comes down to it, the healthy debate is an excellent example of how the locals feel about ‘Old Nordeast.’
There’s no need to take things so seriously here.
For the purposes of this guide, we’re calling Northeast the area bordered by the Mississippi River on the south and west, up to 37th Ave NE to the North. NE Stinson Boulevard and Interstate 35W form the boundary to the East.
Go ahead and argue with us. We’ll settle it over a shortie at Grumpy’s.
While most visitors to Northeast come for the food and drinks, there are a few landmark places to know around the neighborhood.
Northeast Minneapolis Arts District – The Northeast Minneapolis Arts District was the catalyst for getting the neighborhood back on the map in the early 2000s. Focused on preserving the rich artist connection to the community here, they host a variety of events for the more than 1,000 working artists that call Northeast home.
Riverfront District – The second area of note in the neighborhood is the Riverfront District which spans along the Mississippi River from E. Hennepin Avenue to NE 37th Ave. Nearly all of this area is open to the public for walking, biking, and exploring. A few spots to check out along the way include Nicollet Island Park, Boom Island, and the Sheridan Memorial Park.
Boom Island Lighthouse – Part of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area and the National Park Service, the lighthouse at Boom Island was used primarily by the logging industry to separate cut logs before the sawmills at St. Anthony Falls. The miniature lighthouse was restored in 2018.
Hennepin Avenue Bridge & Grain Belt Beer Sign – Travelers leaving downtown Minneapolis to head north across the Mississippi River often take the Hennepin Avenue Bridge. This large suspension bridge pops up in many iconic downtown Minneapolis skyline shots. Visitors can also spot the Historic Grain Belt Beer Sign on the west side of the bridge.
Medtronic Garage – Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft aren’t the only giant companies born from a garage. Located on 19th Ave. NE in the heart of Northeast Minneapolis, a small 800 square foot garage stands where Palmer Hermundslie and Earl Bakken founded Medtronic, one of the largest companies in the state.
Minnesota Firefighters Museum – The historic no-nonsense attitude of Northeast locals meant that most of the city’s museums were built in other neighborhoods. Except for the Minnesota Firefighters Museum on 22nd Ave and Madison Street. 12,000 square feet of historical artifacts, fire engines, and equipment tell the stories of some of the state’s firefighting heroes.
More than 120 restaurants, bars, and businesses call the Northeast neighborhood home. That’s a whopping number of choices, enough options for every taste and pocketbook.
Too busy to sort through the options below? Check out our local awards for The Best Restaurants in Northeast.
Anchor Fish & Chips – The best fish and chips in the city (according to us) and a favorite on our list of the best seafood in Minneapolis.
Aster’s Cafe – One of the best patios in town, the neighborhood’s best place to go on a first date, and some of the best views of Downtown Minneapolis anywhere in town. Relax for a morning brunch or a quick happy hour.
Beast BBQ – Casual spot for classic BBQ. Ribs are some of the best in town, served with comfort food favorites. Hushpuppies and the mac and cheese are the crowd-favorites here.
Betty Danger’s Country Club – Dinner with a side of mini-golf and a Ferris wheel ride? Gaudy holiday decorations that rotate throughout the year? Vintage cocktails and hilarious staff? It’s hard to describe precisely what happens in a visit to Betty Danger’s. You just have to experience this “Best Bar in Minneapolis” for yourself!
Brasa – Known around town for the rotisserie chicken, this Twin Cities favorite has an approachable, farm-to-table menu for families, date nights, and take-out.
Cali’s Vietnamese – Hole-in-the-wall spot on Broadway Avenue for pho, curry, and Vietnamese staples.
Centro – Laid-back counter service tacos and margaritas. The happy hour and lunch specials make this a great neighborhood hangout. Popular summer patio spot.
Chimborazo – Take your tastebuds on a field trip to the Andes mountains at one of the best Ecuadorian restaurants in the Midwest. The best world fare in the neighborhood.
Element Woodfired Pizza – Tiny building. Big pizza prowess. We love the extra cheese and perfectly charred wood-fired pizzas here.
Eli’s East – Sister restaurant to Eli’s downtown, Eli’s East has everything you’d expect on a New American menu and a solid brunch.
Elsie’s – Grab a beer, burger, and your bowling ball. Elsie’s is one of Minneapolis’s only remaining bowling alleys and a popular Northeast hangout on weekends. One of our favorite bowling alleys in Twin Cities.
Emily’s Lebanese Deli – This family-run deli and cafe has served authentic Lebanese food since the 1970s. The menu here is packed with good things, including the garlic sauce Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives raved about.
Erte & The Peacock Lounge – Likely the spendiest option in the neighborhood, we love the French-inspired menu at Erte for special occasions. The Best “Fancy” Restaurant in Northeast.
Football Pizza – Yes, it’s exactly what you think. Football-shaped pizzas topped with all the favorites. Plus a few Afghani menu choices. There is a better vibe for take-out than dine-in, but the locals love it here.
Gardens of Salonica – Tiny authentic Greek restaurant on Hennepin and 5th Street in the heart of Northeast. The family has been operating in this location for more than 30 years. Save room for dessert!
Gorkha Palace – Best Indian/Nepalese food in the neighborhood and one of our go-to places for take-out. The spices here are ground fresh in-house and paired with local ingredients.
Hazel’s Northeast – Need to meet a friend for a long lunch or looking for the perfect pancakes? Try the all-day diner menu at Hazel’s. The local’s spot for family breakfasts.
Hai Hai – Two-time James Beard Award Finalist Chef Christina Nguyen turns up the heat on traditional Vietnamese and Southeast Asian dishes in this Twin Cities favorite. You might think you know Pad Thai and Spring Rolls, and then there’s Hai Hai.
The Herbivorous Butcher – If vegan and butcher aren’t often in your vocabulary in the same sentence, you haven’t been to the Herbivorous Butcher yet. BBQ ribs here look and taste just like the real thing.
Holy Land – A Twin Cities household name, Holy Land has been stocking fridges with hummus, pita, and Mediterannean favorites for more than 30 years. The Central Avenue location has a deli and market with great lunch options.
Ideal Diner- Neighborhood landmark, Ideal has served breakfast and lunch to Nordeast locals since 1949. We love their handle, “Where regular people feel special, and special people feel regular.”
Jax Cafe – The legacy of Jax Cafe at 20th and University started in the 1930s with a small bar and cafe. By the 1960s, Jax became one of the city’s oldest operating steak and seafood restaurants. You’ll still feel the supper club vibe here.
Khao Hom Thai – Straightforward, casual spot for classic Thai dishes on Lowry and Central Avenues.
Kieran’s Kitchen – Located in the renovated Food Building, Keiren’s is the anchor cafe, deli, and market here. You’ll find great bread, meats, cheese, and fresh pasta.
Kramarczuk’s – Nothing says Nordeast like Kramarczuk’s sausage. We want to list this one on the “Attractions” list since it’s been drawing people from all over the Twin Cities since the 1960s. You’ll find cafeteria-style Eastern European dishes and the best Polish market in town.
Listo! – Stopping at The Quarry for shopping, don’t miss this Chipotle-style restaurant. The neighborhood knows it as a cheaper, better quality, and local version of the counter-service build your own Mexican chain.
Maya Cuisine – Sometimes we’re just in need of authentic, no-frills Mexican food. Don’t miss the tamales and salsa selection here.
Marino’s – Neighborhood favorite for take-out Italian food. Pizzas are okay, but the sub sandwiches here are the absolute favorite.
Market BBQ – All-things BBQ at this old-school joint on Lowry and University Avenue. Complete with the red and white checked table cloths. You might also spot the food truck out and about during the summer.
Masu Sushi – Even though sushi is the top of the menu here, Masu is one of our favorite spots for ramen in the Metro. One of the best sushi spots in the neighborhood.
The Mill Northeast – Popular spot for American bar food, including small plates and craft cocktails. An excellent all-around choice for happy hour with co-workers or casual dinner out.
MOMO Sushi – Sushi and a cozy patio. Their front terrace is packed all summer with sushi and sashimi lovers. We love the three-roll lunch special.
Nicollet Island Inn – Best View. Best Brunch. Best Place for A Romantic Date. Best Business Lunch. If there’s a “Best in Minneapolis” list, chances are, Nicollet Island Inn is on it. A regular feature in national publications and travel magazines, it’s a destination that every local and non-local has to experience at least once.
Nixta Tortilleria – Open weekends, Nixta is an artisanal tortilleria and Mexican take-out hot spot. They make all their tortillas from heirloom corn using traditional techniques. The difference shines in their well-crafted but straightforward menu.
Northeast Social – Another one of the classic bar/grill combos in the neighborhood, this tiny neighborhood bistro is well known for its weekend mimosa and weeknight dessert menu.
Olive and Lamb – Fast-casual, no-frills Mediterannean food on University and Lowry Avenues. The menu has a broad range of prices and flavors, but the gyro and kebab plates take the show.
Parkway Pizza – Minneapolis pizza chain with gluten-free and vegan menu options. Take out here gets busy on weekend evenings, so best to order ahead.
Que Viet Village House – Home of the MN State Fair Egg Roll, Que Viet has been serving authentic Vietnamese dishes in Northeast since 1980. The menu here is simple, flavorful, and, we’ll admit, highly addictive.
Ray J’s American Grill – Twin Cities sports bar and grill on Central and 5th Street SE. Plenty of TVs and waffle fries to go around.
Red Stag Supperclub – Opened as the first LEED-CI registered restaurant in Minnesota, Red Stag has shared a local and organic menu with the NE Minneapolis neighborhood since 2007. A classic Minnesota supper club atmosphere with fresh world flavors.
Sammy’s Avenue Eatery – Popular spot for breakfast sandwiches and soup/salad lunch combos. You may also see the Sammy’s food truck in the neighborhood.
The Sample Room – Small plates and create-your-own flights of cocktails and wine at this cozy spot. Precisely as the name suggests, this spot is best for sharing.
Sheridan Room – Located in the Sheridan area of Northeast, the sandwiches and burgers here come with great names (try out the “You wanna peach o’ me” and the “chimi buffet”) and a great atmosphere.
Smack Shack/The 1029 Bar – Only in Northeast will you find some of the best lobster and seafood paired with a classic Midwestern dive bar. The original Smack Shack food truck, hands down, has the best Lobster Mac and Cheese in town.
The Sonder Shaker – Tucked into a cozy historic space a few blocks northeast from the Stone Arch Bridge, most people know and return for the craft cocktail menu.
Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room – Anchoring the northwest corner of the University and Lowry Avenue intersection, Stanley’s has an extensive menu of craft beers and local flavors. Dog-friendly patio (including a doggy menu) and decent weekend breakfast.
Spitz – Chain hot spot near Hennepin and Central Avenues for Turkish street food. The bright colors are always inviting here, as are the happy hour specials–some of the best in the neighborhood.
Stray Dog – Searching for vegan and vegetarian options might challenge the traditional Northeast steakhouse menus, but not at Stray Dog. Half the menu here is vegetarian and can be made vegan upon request. The veggie club and Chicago dog are two Twin Cities favorites.
Uncle Franky’s – For the days you’re craving a hot dog and a chocolate shake, Uncle Franky’s on Broadway in Quincy Street was named one of the best hot dog joints in America and one of the 10 best juicy lucys in town.
Young Joni – It’s hard to compete with James Beard award-winning pizza. Young Joni is some of the best pizza in the neighborhood and some of the best in the business anywhere.
One of the reasons Northeast has remained so popular over the years is the lively bar and nightlife scene. From the dive-iest of dive bars to some of the Cities best, NE Minneapolis has a little bit of everything:
Bunny’s – For 80 years, Bunny’s bar has operated in the exact location near the Broadway bridge. On Sundays, you’ll find a line out the door for the free bloody mary with their signature breakfast.
Dusty’s Bar – Dusty’s claim to fame is the Dago sandwich, an Italian pork sausage patty burger served with their signature potato salad and pickles. “The Works” is a local favorite, along with the cheap drinks and live music.
Grumpy’s Bar – Grumpy’s has been operating continuously since 1906! In one of those years, Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine called it the single best bar in the Twin Cities, and it’s our favorite for the Most Legendary Dive Bar in Minneapolis.
Mayslack’s – Mayslack’s has a storied history in Minnesota. Opened in 1955, it’s been a neighborhood corner bar since the beginning. The interior is almost all original, with old tile floors and creaky wooden booths. Dive bar at its best.
NE Moose Bar & Grill – Stop at the “Moose on Monroe” for an authentic Nordeast bar experience. Bingo and pull tabs. 2-4-1’s most nights of the week. And an all-you-can-eat Friday night fish fry.
Northeast Yacht Club – We recently heard this place described as a “down-to-earth blue-collar dive bar” and have to agree. Popular for the pool tables and pinball.
Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge- How Minnesota does Tiki bar. Right on the Mississippi River for one of the best summer patio spots to sip your tropical fare. One of our “Best Bars” in town.
Spring Street Tavern – It’s hard not to miss the Spring Street Tavern; the lime green exterior screams friendly neighborhood Irish watering hole. You’ll find great wings and an underground bar area with live music.
Shaw’s – Don’t let the dive bar looks deter you from one of the best burgers in the neighborhood.
Terminal Bar – Minneapolis music and comedy bar with a popular Monday night open mic night. The love for dive bar wood paneling runs deep at Terminal. So much that it stretches outside to the bar’s front.
Tony Jaros’ River Garden – More than 50 years ago, Tony Jaros (pronounced Jair-is) started serving his signature “Greenie” cocktail out of this Marshall Avenue bar. It combines Tony’s signature sno-cone syrup concoction, vodka, Tom Collins mix, and lemon-lime soda. Finish your Greenie and follow it up with the Pinkie, Brownie, Blue, and Orangie for the full line of River Garden specialties.
Vegas Lounge – One of the Twin Cities’ most popular karaoke bars, you’ll find an open mic 7 nights a week and bingo, meat raffles, and pull tabs. Plenty of old-school Nordeast bar vibes to go around.
Coffee Shops and Bakeries
The Buttered Tin – Newcomer to the Northeast neighborhood, St. Paul favorite Buttered Tin just opened a second location on Marshall and Lowry Avenue. Now, how will we ever decide where to go for breakfast?
Carma Coffee – Cute cafe with plenty of seating and a garage door open all summer long. Lots of big windows, but without the modern “stuffy” feel you’ll find elsewhere in Northeast.
Diamond’s Coffee Shop – Located in the heart of the Northeast Arts District, Diamonds has a full coffee bar, breakfast sandwiches, and plenty of quirky decor on the walls.
Dogwood Coffee Northeast – One of three Dogwood locations in the Twin Cities, this Northeast roaster curates incredible coffee and incredible spaces. You’ll feel right at home here.
Five Watt Coffee – Coffee shop with beer, wine, and cocktails. A menu ‘inspired by craft cocktails and driven by espresso.’ Many of their specialty drinks include house-made syrups and bitters.
Matchbox Coffee – Cash-only coffee house with outdoor seating right next door to Dangerous Man Brewing Company. This shop is teeny-tiny but a good stop for grab and go.
Mojo Coffee Gallery – Because who doesn’t love their coffee and breakfast with a side of pottery? You’ll find good coffee and great local art for sale from Minnesota potters. An excellent place to go when you need a mojo boost.
Sarah Jane’s Bakery – One of the last classic bakeries in the neighborhood, Sarah Jane’s has made-from-scratch donuts, danishes, bread, and pastries. Giant cases lined with so many sweets it’s hard to choose. Bakery is exactly how the old Nordeast locals remember.
SiP Coffeebar – Sandwiched between Broadway and 13th Avenue in the historic Keg House building, the bright and airy SiP coffee bar has a cult cold brew following of Northeast locals.
Spyhouse Coffee Roasting Co. – Our top choice for setting up for an afternoon of studying/working, this Twin Cities roaster serves exceptional coffees. Northeast is home to the Spyhouse roasting facility (and a great summer patio).
Breweries, Distilleries & Cideries
If there’s one thing Nordeast is known for, it’s the craft beverage scene. Some of the Twin Cities’ best brewing and distilling happens in this neighborhood. Here’s a look at all the tap and tasting rooms (and a link to our Ultimate Guide to All the Breweries in Minneapolis)
56 Brewing – Warehouse brewery with a gorgeous taproom. The team at 56 has come a long way, with big plans to grow an inclusive community of brewers and drinkers.
612Brew – One of the first taprooms to open in the Nordeast brewery district, the namesake here comes from our beloved Minneapolis area code.
Able Seedhouse & Brewery – One of the newer additions to the brewery district, Able focuses on locally grown throughout the entire brewing process, including locally sourced seed and grains.
Bauhaus Brew Lab – Snags our vote as the best taproom in the Twin Cities. If you can choose only one brewery on this list to visit, make it Bauhaus.
Broken Clock Brewing Co-op. – Broken Clock was one of the first in the Twin Cities to establish a member-owned cooperative brewing model. The brewing happens democratically here, with more than 1,000 shareholders.
Dangerous Man Brewing Company – We’re not sure why, but the taproom at Dangerous Man Brewing Company remains one of the best-kept secrets of the Twin Cities brew scene. Ask anyone serious about the local industry, and they’ll name the rotating selection of porters and stouts here as the best in the business.
Fair State Brewing Co-op – Another of the cooperative-run brewing companies in the Twin Cities, Fair State was named one of the Best Breweries in the World in 2015. They’ve also one The Summer Beer Dabbler twice. Best in class brewing here.
Falling Knife Brewing Company – Relative newcomer to the Northeast brewery district, Falling Knife opened in 2019 with the promise of beer, pinball, and rock n’ roll. The knife-shaped taps always bring a smile…
HeadFlyer Brewing – Headflyer joined the Northeast brewery scene in 2017, aiming to make a craft beer selection for every drinker. Their location in the historic Miller Textile building is a welcoming spot to try their flagship “It Was All a Dream” Juicy IPA.
Indeed Brewing Co. – Indeed has become a household name in Twin Cities beer, and there’s always something good to try on their seasonal menu. In addition, their taproom always has special events and parking lot parties during the summer.
Insight Brewing – One of the most popular taprooms in the neighborhood, it’s hard to go wrong with Insight. You may fight a little longer for a table and a pour here, but the beers are always worth the wait.
Minneapolis Cider Company – Craft cider and pickleball? While those might not make the obvious pairing at first glance, visit the Cidery, and you’ll see why it’s a brilliant match. Reserve a court and then try one of their signature craft cider drinks.
Tattersall Distilling – In 2013, Eater named Tattersall co-founder Dan Oskey as the Best Bartender in the Twin Cities. A few years later, he teamed up with friend Jon to open one of the top distilleries in Minnesota. They also recently expanded east, opening a River Falls, Wisconsin location.
Twin Spirits Distillery – Minnesota’s first one-woman-owned distillery, owner Michelle Winchester founded Twin Spirits in 2014. Their indoor cocktail room gives off a shabby chic vibe, and the giant white tent out front is perfect for summer sipping.
Sociable Cider Werks – Sociable started sharing craft ciders in Northeast before craft cider was even a thing. They have a prominent Twin Cities following and a growing beverage line-up of hard seltzers and non-alcoholic elixirs.
Of course, Northeast would have ice cream. There must be a place for dessert with a line-up of bars, restaurants, and breweries!
Crepe & Spoon – Seasonal ice cream and crepe shop on 22nd and University Avenue. An entire line-up of vegan ice creams and sweet treats.
Fletcher’s – Small batch ice cream shop that also serves waffles, coffee, and espresso. The lemon poppyseed milkshake is a personal favorite.
Minnesota Nice Cream Cafe – As the name suggests, when owner Katie Romanski opened her ice cream food truck in 2016, it was about sharing the best ice cream in the Twin Cities in the best way possible. Our vote for the best soft-serve + toppings in the Metro.
Even though the Northeast neighborhood of Minneapolis is better known for the food and entertainment, there are a few retailers here you won’t find anywhere else in the city.
Aveda Institute – The flagship home of cosmetics and beauty retailer Aveda, the Institute was founded here in 1978, just outside of the Northeast neighborhood boundary. Thousands of students have called the Northeast home while attending Aveda’s world-renowned training programs. The locals also know it as a cheap spot to snag a haircut and color.
Eastside Food Co-op – The hub for local and organic groceries in the neighborhood, Eastside Food Co-op has been open in Northeast since 2003, growing to more than 11,000 member-owners. The full-service coffee bar and lunch counter is a popular spot for grab-and-go meals.
I Like You – One of the Twin Cities’ best boutique gift shops, their famous “i like you” wall is one of Minneapolis’s most popular Instagram backdrops.
The Quarry – The main big-box retail center of Northeast, you’ll find all the large chain stores here, including Target, Cub, and Home Depot.
Surdyk’s – While just to the south of the Northeast neighborhood boundary, it’s hard not to include Surdyk’s Liquor and Cheese Shop on this list. Anyone in the neighborhood knows and loves Surdyk’s wine selection (and the free samples). The parking lot can get a little scary on weekends, but only because the prices and selection bring people in from all over the Metro.