Recently, I took a lightning fast trip to Minneapolis to visit a blogger friend, This Big Wild World, for the weekend. (Thanks for letting me spend the night!) It really was almost exactly 24 hours. I drove 5 hours from my little corner of Wisconsin and arrive Saturday at 11am, and left around 2 pm Sunday. Nonetheless, we still PACKED my 24 hours in Minneapolis with adventures! My next trip back will definitely involve some of these..and new adventures!
First Stop: Glam Doll Donuts (NE)
The FIRST stop on my day trip to Minneapolis was a visit to Glam Doll Donuts (NE location). This was a special stop, as I had seen this deep fried mac & cheese donut that I had. to. eat. Might I say, it was worth it. I got my delicious looking cheese pull; peep the video on my Facebook page here. There’s plenty of gooey cheese, and the breading was nicely seasoned as well. You already know I’ll be back to visit…
Pro Tip: They do make these fresh… so they’re HOT. Also, if you plan on eating a lot, definitely split this with a buddy….because, you can see it also comes with homemade chips.
Location: 510 Central Ave NE
The REAL Lunch: Juicy Lucy at Matt’s Bar
Did you REALLY go to Minneapolis if you didn’t eat a Juicy Lucy?
According to the locals, everyone seems to have their own favorite restaurant that serves the best Juicy Lucy. I went to the ever so popular Matt’s Bar. Be prepared for a wait, but this Lucy is definitely worth it! I personally didn’t mind as it gave me time to digest that delicious donut shown above. Matt’s Bar is a small bar with that local loved vibe. You can order it with or without onions, but… you may still end up with onions either way.
I’ll be honest… I had no idea what a Juicy Lucy was. It’s a burger filled with goey melted cheese (and a LOT of it!).
From what I was taught, there’s a science to how to properly eat the juicy lucy. First, the cheese is basically molten lava. The waitress WILL warn you about this. Not only should you beware for your mouth, but any dribbling down your fingers too! (My mistake…). Start off with a slight nibble to create a small hole to let the steam out, and hold it upright to keep the cheesy goodness inside. After it cools for a short while, eat the edges to create a slightly bigger hole, but hold the very edge of the burger! If you manhandle it… you’ll end up with a volcanic explosion.
Location: 3500 Cedar Ave
Strolling through Midtown Global Market
After all this food, we took a walk through the Midtown Global Market. It’s an indoor market filled with various vendors and restaurants of different cultures, from Moroccan clothes and Mexican candies, to a brewery, and cuisines of all sorts: Mediterranean, Indian, Mexican, sushi and more. Too bad we did already eat… I’m thinking my next visit will include some Moroccan food from here. YUM
Location: Office-G10, 920 E Lake St
Continuing our efforts to work off all of the carbs and cheese, we walked down the Pedestrian Bridge to take in the beautiful views of the river and the city. You can also see the (I-35W) Saint Anthony Falls Bridge on this walk—the same bridge that collapsed in 2007.
Unique Cocktails at Norseman’s Distillery
After all the walking and wandering, we spent the early evening lounging and enjoying craft cocktails at Norseman Distillery. This distillery makes their own gin, rum, vodka, whiskey, and various liqueurs. They offer seasonal beverages along with their unique static menu. You can see my choices above, The Ramos, and below, Yo-Play, and I absolutely loved them! I’d never had such unique drinks, and I’m so glad I stepped outside my comfort zone to order them.
The egg whites in the Ramos are whipped, which gives the drink its fluffy and bubbly texture. It’s a creamy, citrus-y drink, but not overly sweet. In the Yo-Play, black pepper might seem weird at first, but it really balanced and played well with the creaminess of the greek yogurt.
Location: 451 Taft St NE
Japanese Comfort Food for Dinner at Zen Box Izakaya
After cocktails at Norseman Distillery, we went to Zen Box Izakaya for some delicious Japanese comfort food. My first experience with ramen was heavenly. Pictured above is the Kimchi Ramen, which had the perfect amount of spice. All of the flavors and foods mingled in a beautiful medley of flavors. Zen Box, I will definitely be back.
Location: 602 S Washington Ave
Morning Coffee (and more!) at the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market
I always find it so interesting to see what farmer’s markets are like in different cities. The Minneapolis Farmers Market had a bit of everything! You can find fresh fruits and veggies here, meats, homemade sausages, cheese, coffee, soaps, and seriously so much more. My friend & I rented scooters (read below) and rode them to the market; perfect start to the day and a much more fun option to get to the market.
Rent Scooters through Bird
As much as I thought I’d bust my ass riding a scooter (since it’d been over 10 years since I was on one…) this was SO much fun, and definitely going to be a repeat. October was a bit too chilly for a scooter ride, but if you come better prepared (than me) with gloves and a hat, the weather won’t affect you! Bird is an app that lets you rent scooters, and it shows a map of where they’re located throughout the city.
Beautiful Brunch at Tilia
I’ll say, if you get a chance, sit by the bar near the kitchen. It is SO fun to watch the cooks work their magic, working together seamlessly to create these beautiful dishes. Tilia has a sophisticated vibe, which you’ll feel from the moment you walk in to getting your plate of food! I ordered the classic buttermilk waffles, served with seasonal fruit and maple sabayon sauce. So delicious!
Location: 2726 W 43rd St
Enjoying Minneapolis Chain of Lakes
After all, Minnesota IS the land of 10,000 lakes. It would be a crime to not visit at least one. There are five lakes total in Minneapolis’ Chain of Lakes: Cedar Lake, Brownie Lake, Lake of the Isles, Bde Maka Ska, and Lake Harriet. We wandered around Bde Maka Ska and Lake of the Isles. The views are just beyond gorgeous, especially during fall!
Find the Cherry at Minneapolis Sculpture Gardens
Did you REALLY go to Minneapolis if you didn’t see the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry?
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is an 11-acre park with around 40 sculptures from the abstract to bright and colorful to interactive! It’s a beautiful park to burn off a few more calories from breakfast.
Location: 725 Vineland Pl
Visiting the Beautiful Basilica of Saint Mary
The Basilica of Saint Mary is so beautiful and magnificently large, you can spot it from the interstate. If you love architecture and seeing gorgeous Catholic churches, the basilica is worth a stop! Come during mass, or pop in during working hours to see its beauty.
Pro Tip: Parking is free on Saturdays and Sundays on the west side of the church.
Location: 88 17th St N
Sometimes I truly wonder how we fit all of these activities in a full 24 hours!