Are you moving to Minneapolis St. Paul?
After you’ve bought your winter coat, the next question you’re probably asking is, “Where should I live?”
One of my long-time best friends just moved here, so I’m fresh off all sorts of well-researched advice about where to live in the Twin Cities.
So, why not share all that info with you!
I’ve consulted with the rest of the DTC team for their thoughts and opinions, and that’s exactly what we’re doing today. As a reminder, our team has moved all around Minneapolis and St. Paul for anywhere from 10+ years to their entire lives, so I’d like to say we’re relatively qualified on this topic.
Plus, for fun, we’ve brainstormed who your average neighbor is mostly likely to be in each part of town!
Happy House Hunting!
*Note that we’re limiting today’s discussion mostly to Twin Cities neighborhoods. If you’re looking for the best suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul, well we’ve got a whole article for that, too!
For young urban professionals who want to be in the action (and don’t care how much it costs): North Loop, Minneapolis
At this point I think it’s official: North Loop is the most happening neighborhood in the Twin Cities.
The North Loop claims it’s the fastest growing neighborhood in Minnesota, and that influx of people has brought a tidal wave of new bars, breweries, restaurants, and attractions.
North Loop really has it all: MLB stadiums, the Minneapolis farmers market, food halls, countless bars and breweries, and easily the most impressive collection of award winning restaurants in the Twin Cities.
If you’re looking for big city living, this is your spot. (In fact, it’s actually the neighborhood I ultimately recommended to my friend moving here from San Francisco.)
The only con? All those attractions come with a not-so-cheap price tag.
Rent in the north loop has quickly become the highest in the metro, so expect to pay a relative fortune for a 1 or 2 bedroom place in any of the old warehouse lofts or new luxury apartments that fill the North Loop.
You can learn more about this area our North Loop neighborhood guide.
- Your average neighbor: probably a well paid, single, young professional who works in Minneapolis and likes to hit bars and restaurants every weekend.
For the arts, beer, and food lover: Northeast
What started as a local arts district in Minneapolis has since given birth to what’s maybe the foodie and brewery capitol of the Twin Cities.
Northeast, Minneapolis is located just 5 minutes across the river from Downtown Minneapolis. Over the years, its become known for its delicious down to earth restaurants, countless bars that mix dive atmospheres with hipster vibes, and more breweries per square mile than any other part of the Twin Cities.
If that sounds ideal, join the club! Northeast’s huge popularity means that the quaint old homes in this part of town have seen an astronomical increase in recent years, and it’s now one of the more expensive options in the Twin Cities.
- Your average neighbor: a young artsy couple who may or may not have hipster style and a dog who they love to bring with them to breweries.
- Average Rent: $1,635/moth for 781 square feet,
For the beer, and food lover who prefers St. Paul: West 7th
If Northeast is too pricey for you, I’ve always found West 7th to be St. Paul’s more affordable take on similar vibes.
Like Northeast, this neighborhood took off when the city decided to revitalize the old Schmidt brewing facility into huge artist’s lofts. The bars and restaurants quickly followed, and the area is now bonafide hipster hangout.
Feel free to read more in our West 7th Neighborhood guide or our article about the best restaurants on West 7th Street.
- Your average neighbor: A mix of newly arrived hipsters and older, blue collar workers from before West 7th became a trendy spot in the Cities.
For the new grad who wants to be close to both Twin Cities, affordably: Prospect Park / St. Anthony Park
The next up and coming spot in Minneapolis is the area between University of Minnesota main campus and the official start of St. Paul.
What used to be an odd sort of no-man’s land is currently being developed like crazy, which means there’s tons of newly constructed or renovated apartment buildings to find a little cheaper place to rent.
If you don’t mind endless apartment buildings, this area benefits from being just 15 minutes to St. Paul, 10 minutes to Minneapolis, and less than 5 minutes from the college shenanigans always happening in Dinkytown.
It’s also close to plenty of attractions taking over the previously abandoned industrial buildings here, like Surly Brewing, Can Can Wonderland, and the Market at Malcom Yards.
- Your average neighbor: a group of 20-somethings splitting rent, who are either still in school or recently graduated.
For the trend-setter… maybe… if you can find a good deal: Uptown
Okay, this is a complicated one.
From about 2010 to 2020, Uptown was arguably the most desirable place for a young or adventurous person to live in the Twin Cities.
But due to a combination of factors, one of which being the murder of George Floyd and the civil unrest that followed in the area, Uptown has seen a notable shift in recent years. Many local businesses have shut down or boarded up, and crime is unquestionably on the uptick.
While I wouldn’t rule out Uptown completely, I’d say it’s not quite as desirable as in years past, and I personally wouldn’t pay a big premium to live there.
That said, if you can find a good deal and are comfortable living in a neighborhood in transition, then Uptown is still a unique part of town with lots of interesting attractions, great food, and a perfect location.
Walking to Lake Bde Maka Ska on a warm summer day? Does it get any better?
- Your average neighbor: a younger renter, who may or may not be frustrated with the recent changes to the neighborhood.
For someone ready to settle down near Minneapolis: Nokomis, Richfield, or St. Louis Park
If you want to be near Minneapolis in your own home, the most popular choices would be the Nokomis neighborhood, the St. Louis Park suburb, or the Richfield suburb.
I know I said we wouldn’t be talking about the ‘burbs in this article, but I’ve always felt that both Richfield and St. Louis park looked and acted more like a Minneapolis neighborhood than their own cities. And at just 10 or so minutes from downtown, they might as well be.
In any case, these spots are good choices for smaller, relatively more affordable houses. Nokomis will be the most expensive, and prices in both Richfield and St. Louis park have increased pretty sharply, too.
But no matter where you choose, you’ll get a little more breathing room than the dense downtown areas, plus a backyard and lack of shared walls.
- Your average neighbor: a married couple who may or may not have recently started a family, but still likes to venture around town for occasional date nights.
For the well off homeowner who wants to be near Minneapolis: Linden Hills / Edina area.
If money is no object and you want a home near downtown Minneapolis, then you should probably be looking around the Linden Hills / Edina areas.
Both spots will be among the most expensive in the entire Twin Cities, but you’ll be rewarded with good communities, good schools, and desirable location close to Minneapolis.
I’ve lumped these two together, and while they neighbor each other, there’s some obvious differences:
- Linden Hills is a neighborhood of Minneapolis, known for it’s custom designed homes that line Lake Harriet and Lake Bde Maka Ska.
- Edina is actually a suburb of Minneapolis about 15 minutes from downtown, probably most known for its parks and shopping/entertainment hub around 50th Street and France Avenue.
In either case, you’re likely to find the following neighbor next door:
- Your average neighbor: a well-off family who holds a higher up position in either a downtown Minneapolis corporation or one of the many corporations headquartered directly in Edina.
For the couple who prefers St. Paul: Grand Avenue, Highland Park, Mac-Groveland, or Como Park
These four neighborhoods are some of the most desirable spots for St. Paul home owners.
Grand Avenue aka Summit Hill: Named after two parallel streets that are major local attractions. Summit Hill boasts turn of the century historic mansions, while Grand Avenue is known for its miles and miles of fun shops and popular restaurants.
Highland Park: A huge neighborhood of single family homes located smack dab in the middle of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Mac-Groveland: This small area actually has more of a college town vibe, since both Macalester College and University of St. Thomas sit just a mile from each other in this neighborhood.
Como Park: The northernmost neighborhood on this list, this the area near Como Park Zoo & Conservatory. It’s about 10 minutes further from the action, which also means this is a quieter part of town.
For any of the four neighborhoods, your average neighbor is likely…
- Your average neighbor: A more established family with a die-hard passion for all things St. Paul. (Mac-Groveland has a chance your neighbor is a student at the local colleges.)
For the St. Paul fan who wants to be in the city: Lowertown
What was once a big ghost town after the weekday ended has seen a recent revitalization ever since the St. Paul Saints (now the minor league affiliate of the Minnesota Twins) built a new stadium in Lowertown.
Now, tons of lofts and apartments fill the space. Their residents get to enjoy the close proximity to the St. Paul Farmers market as well as the small but growing collection of bars and breweries in the urban area.
Lowertown is also host to the annual St. Paul Art Crawl, thanks to the never ending number of artist’s lofts in the area, which means you’ll still find plenty of character and culture in this part of town.
If you’re looking for a downtown vibe without the Minneapolis price tag or the Minneapolis crowds, then Lowertown is worth a look.
- Your average neighbor: An apartment renter of any age, who might not be into all the glitz and glamour of downtown Minneapolis.
For the St. Paulie who prefers historical character: Cathedral Hill
One of the most interesting neighborhoods in St. Paul is the ultra-historic Cathedral Hill neighborhood.
This small urban area was first built up in the 1880s, when a fancy new cable car connected the area to downtown St. Paul. Today, just as it was 100+ years ago, Cathedral Hill is perfect for those who want to be just minutes from downtown St. Paul, while taking in a slightly different vibe.
That vibe these days means old historic buildings, plus a whole host of trendy (and slightly upscale) bars and restaurants that have moved into the spaces. (For more info, check out our picks for the best restaurants along Selby Ave.)
- Your average neighbor: Could be anyone! As this neighborhood comes into the limelight again, it seems to be attracting a diverse range of folks.
More helpful resources:
If you’re just moving to the cities, you should definitely check out the following parts of our blog:
- Honest Pros and Cons of of Living in Minneapolis
- Our huge selection of neighborhood guides, including: