Great Neighborhoods: Uptown/Lyn-Lake, Minneapolis

Despite what its name suggests, the Uptown area is actually situated to the west (slightly southwest actually) of downtown Minneapolis, bordering the scenic Lake Bde Maka Ska. The district name may sound familiar—Prince’s hit “Uptown” immortalizes this area as the artists’ hangout he experienced  in the ’80s.

Plenty of greenery and lakeside beauty are found in the Chain of Lakes, a truly incomparable series of five urban lakes (including Bde Maka Ska) with 13 miles of paved year-round biking and walking trails.

For a bite to eat, try local, homegrown fare at Heyday or enjoy a quiet afternoon with a chai tea at the charming Victorian house Namaste Cafe. Galactic Pizza may become your new standby pizza joint with its specialty, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options available for eat-in or takeout. Late night snacks and distinctive drinks can be found at Muddy Waters. Other area faves include The Pourhouse, Origami Sushi, Stella’s Fish Café & Prestige Oyster Bar, and Uptown Tavern & Rooftop.

Lake Street is a converging point of cuisine and cultures from all corners of the globe. While many restaurants have brick-and-mortar locations throughout the neighborhood, you can find several options at the Midtown Global Market, located in the historic Midtown Exchange building. A mix of fusion cooking awaits you at World Street Kitchen, and their next door ice cream shop Milkjam Creamery provides the perfect sweet ending.

While on the stretch, check out the Lyn-Lake neighborhood, a bustling community at the intersection of Lyndale Avenue and Lake Street. From rooftop dining and libations at Moto-i and LynLake Brewery to eclectic shopping along Lake and outdoor recreation courtesy of the Midtown Greenway bike trail, this area truly has it all.

One of the best aspects of living in the Uptown/Lyn-Lake area is the myriad entertainment options available. Restaurants like Famous Dave’s and Icehouse offer live music on the weekends. HUGE Improv Theater is known for its hilarious long-form comedy improv, and there are acts almost every day of the week. Theatrical and musical productions are popular options at the Jungle Theater, and you can catch an indie flick or a cult classic at the Uptown Theater or Lagoon Cinema. Try your hand at retro arcade games at the adults-only hotspot Up-Down Minneapolis while sipping on craft brews. In August, nearly 400,000 visitors flock to the area for the Uptown Art Fair, earning it many top accolades among collectors and fair-goers alike.

While Uptown and Lyn-Lake are favorite day excursions for Twin Cities locals, residences are always in high demand. Families tend to flock to beautiful 20th century homes, but  there are plenty of classic apartments and new rentals that can place you right in the center of this mini-city—a perennial favorite for young professionals and college students.