Great Neighborhoods: North Loop & Northeast

Looking for hip digs in Minneapolis? Look north, and look east.
Smack Shack
Smack Shack

Courtesy Smack Shack

Minneapolis’ North Loop neighborhood is known for many hip features, but its competitive foodie scene, plentiful boutiques and industrial architecture top the list. And if you ask locals for the artsiest neighborhood, they’ll point to Northeast, with its craft breweries and arts district. Nicknamed “NoLo” and “Nordeast,” respectively, these ’hoods are easily two of the hottest in Minneapolis.

The North Loop, in the Historic Warehouse District, has hot restaurants and stellar residential setups. Thank recent revitalization efforts, as downtown Minneapolis has expanded business and housing opportunities. The Minneapolis Downtown Council reported that the downtown population has in fact jumped 14.5 percent since 2017, the largest year-to-year rise in a decade.

Hai Hai
Hai Hai

Photo by TJ Turner

Tried-and-true restaurants include Moose & Sadie’s, a locally sourced café; the award-winning Italian at Bar La Grassa; plus Smack Shack, the Bachelor Farmer and Borough. In the back of Gavin Kaysen’s French-inspired restaurant Spoon and Stable, the renowned local chef recently opened Demi, a fine dining tasting-menu spot. Don’t miss the cocktail scene, with basement joints Marvel Bar and Parlour pouring the finest drinks by some of the region’s top mixologists. Plus, local boutiques and big brands have made their home in the North Loop, so it’s desirable for shoppers, too.

Spoon and Stable
Spoon and Stable

Courtesy Spoon and Stable

Next to downtown Minneapolis, the North Loop keeps residents close to the action—including the games and events going on at the Minnesota Twins’ ballpark, Target Field, nearby. From the North Loop, residents connect easily to other Minneapolis neighborhoods, with prime Metro access and the area’s walkability. But what really sells the neighborhood is the jaw-dropping housing inventory. This former industrial spot has become a selection of urban lofts—beautifully converted warehouse spaces of exposed brick, glass and steel. Skyline views attract young professionals, and empty nesters are keeping pace, too.

Just north and east of the North Loop is, well, Northeast. This spot draws in city lovers and artists. Immigrants first populated the area, and their cultures still resonate here. (Streets in Northeast were named after United States presidents in the order that they served, to help immigrants learn them for their citizenship test.)

Broken Clock Brewing
Broken Clock Brewing

Courtesy Broken Clock Brewing

Today, Northeast’s annual Art-A-Whirl festival features almost 800 artists, and some of our best suds come from local breweries, such as Dangerous Man Brewing Co., Indeed Brewing, Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative and many more. For food, Eater magazine named a Northeast restaurant among the country’s best of 2018: Hai Hai serves up dishes that explode in bright Southeast Asian flavors.

For that community feel, visit the Northeast Farmers market, open May through October. Whether you’re looking for weekly fresh produce, homemade soaps or pretty pottery, you’ll find it here, along with live music and chef demonstrations. You might even meet some new friends.

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