Where to go and what do the next time you're in the city that spawned Prince.
CRAIG FINN OF THE HOLD STEADY'S RECOMMENDATIONS:
1. Grumpy's (Northeast location):
2200 4th St NE, 55418
I haven't lived in Minneapolis for 14 years but my last apartment there was just around the corner from this place. I really think the best bars are small, and this one fits the bill. It's really a comfortable hang, and a great mix of locals, musicians, artists, etc. This is the one bar I try to get back to when I visit.
2. Muddy Waters
2933 Lyndale Ave S, 55408
When I lived in MN this was a coffee shop that sold Pop Tarts and sugary cereals as their food offerings. After I left they moved up the street and started serving really good food and drinks in a great atmosphere. I guess we all grow up, but these guys made it look cool.
3. Convention Grill
3912 Sunnyside Rd, Edina, MN, 55424
My vote for best burgers in Minneapolis, I grew up close to this place and it's still pretty much exactly the same. It requires a drive to the suburbs but it's very much worth it. It's a small menu but for me, it also serves up a lot of memories.
215 E Hennepin Ave, 55414
A classic place in Minneapolis for sausages. It's been around forever and it's always been good hearty food. Luckily, they have a booth in the Minnesota Twins stadium, so I can usually grab a Bratwurst from them when I go back for a game.
5. First Avenue & 7th St Entry
701 1st Ave N, 55403
There are a bunch of good clubs around this country but I don't think anyone compares to First Avenue in my mind. The staff is probably the main reason why, but the room also holds a lot of magic. I've seen a ton of great bands here: Replacements, Hüsker Dü, Jesus Lizard, Descendents as well as some artists that went on to be huge: Green Day, Eminem, etc. It's my favorite place to play in the whole world.
6. Triple Rock Social Club
629 Cedar Ave, 55454
When I lived in MN this was just a bar but in 2002 they made it a venue and a great one at that. Erik Funk from Dillinger Four created this club and it has a great vibe and excellent vegetarian friendly food. I've had a lot of great nights in this building and my old band Lifter Puller even got to play opening night at the club.
7. Treehouse Records
2557 Lyndale Ave S, 55405
When I first started buying independent records I would do so at a place called Oar Folkjokeopus, known colloquially as "Oar Folk." It was a great record store and had a big place in the Minneapolis scene of a certain era. I made some purchases there that changed my life in some way. At some point it morphed into Treehouse Records, with a new owner but a similar commitment to being a great store. They have cool helpful staff and a great selection and I always like stopping in.
8. Extreme Noise Records
407 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Important to mention in that they just celebrated 20 years as a store. This is a punk and hardcore leaning store run by a volunteer staff. It's a great place to be turned on to music from those genres and they have also hosted shows, etc. I've bought a lot of things there over the years in their different locations and the fact that they are going strong is a testament to a strong scene. Definitely something cool and unique to Minneapolis.
9. Walker Art Center Sculpture Garden
725 Vineland Place, 55403
This has been there forever and is one of the first things I think about in Minneapolis. I especially like going down there in winter when it's really cold and quiet, the sculptures look especially stark and impressive then. I really love the bridge that runs from the sculpture garden to Loring Park over Hennepin and Lyndale Avenue. It at least used to have a John Ashberry poem that ended with the line "And then it got very cool," which I always thought was very cool indeed.
10. Mississippi River
The defining feature of the city is the Mississippi River. There are many ways to access it obviously but I really like the part around North East Minneapolis close to Boom Island. There is a romance in the way it starts in MN and goes all the way to the Gulf. If you get a chance to get on a boat in the Mississippi it gives you a unique (beautiful) view of the city that you don't get from the streets.
11. Crystal Court, IDS Center
80 S 8th St #650, 55402
The ground floor of the IDS Center in Minneapolis has always held allure for me. I worked in this building for a while and I always think of this atrium as a classic Minneapolis place, perhaps because Mary Tyler Moore rode the escalator up to the second floor in the intro to her sitcom. It's a big airy space that actually has a lot of life in the winter when it's cold out. The IDS is a big blue building that towers over the city skyline.
2528 Nicollet Ave, 55404
Because of the 5$ craft cocktails, great bar to check out live bands too.
3001 Lyndale Ave S, 55408
Local watering hole, everybody knows everyone. Mac and cheese!
105 W Lake St, 55408-3119
It's been shut down, but it turns up.
6. Byerlys Creations
5725 Duluth Street, Golden Valley, 55422
This place is a secret, but it has a grilled cheese restaurant!
7. Triple Rock
629 Cedar Ave, 55454
Played my Lizzobangers release show there. It's an amazing rock club.
8. First Avenue & 7th St Entry
701 1st Ave N, 55403
Because it's the greatest in the country. Purple Rain!
9. B Resale Forever!
2613 Nicollet Ave, 55408
I've been shopping there since I was in The Chalice, it's my favorite shop. Go there!
10. United Crushers Building
Southeast Minneapolis Industrial area
It's the highest point I've been in Minneapolis, has a great view of the city, totally illegal; don't go!
11. Bareass Beach
Do I need to explain why?
Any porch or rooftop
"Stooping" is the best thing to do in the summer in Minneapolis.