When most people hear “Minneapolis”, they think one thing: cold. Having spent the majority of my life growing up in the Twin Cities area, I can confirm that, while cold, Minneapolis has so much more to offer than just bitter freezing temperatures and vowel-induced accents. In fact, even though I’ve spent much of the last six years of my life trying to adventure outside of the Minnesota “bubble”, I continue coming back to the cities as perhaps one of my favorite places to visit. Minnesota remains one of the most active states in the US per capita and if walking/biking on any one of the gorgeous state trails doesn’t float your boat, one of our more than 10,000 lakes surely will. The Twin Cities area is also home to a wealth of great, locally owned shops and some of the best restaurants that would make any foodie swoon. Planning a visit to MN soon? Here are a few of my favorite spots to grab a bite in the Land of Lakes.
Even though it may be a newcomer to the MPLS scene, Penny’s Coffee has quickly risen to the top of some serious coffee shop competition just within a year of opening its first location. If the gorgeous green granite walls at the Washington Ave location wasn’t enough to win you over, their extensive and delicious menu will definitely take the crepe. And yes, I meant crepe. Penny’s is home to some of the most delicious and authentic crepes I’ve ever had, with such classic creations as the “Fromage” (a crepe filled with gruyere cheese and topped with a light mint and arugula salad) and recipes more daring like the "Jian Bing", a twist on a Chinese street crepe. Pair any one of their delectable crepes with a cup of coffee (they partner with La Colombe out of Chicago) or my personal fave: a golden milk latte with oat milk. Just trust me when I say that one bite and you’ll find yourself craving crepes like crazy in the days, weeks, and months to follow. Maybe it’s the seating, maybe it’s the hip tunes playing over the speakers, maybe it’s just the variety of people that gather there. Whatever your reason for being there, Penny’s coffee should absolutely occupy space on your Minneapolis itinerary.
As someone who appreciates interior design and delicious food, I was so excited to visit The Lynhall. The Lynhall is a market-inspired café that seeks to “create a space which inspires our employees, customers, and makers to gather around great food experiences”. I can fully affirm that the staff and owners have done just that. The Lynhall is a great place to catch up with a friend, share a meal with family, or even sit and work in a truly beautiful space. Every inch of The Lynhall’s design is clearly so well thought out, not to mention well-decorated, and somehow it’s still so inviting and warm. The staff are friendly, the food is fantastic, and the space provided me with so much inspiration just over brunch alone. Located on trendy Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis, it’s hard to picture my next visit to MN without a stop to The Lynhall.
Even on an overcast day in Minneapolis, The Bachelor Farmer Café still managed to appear so cheery and full of light. With their signature robin’s egg blue and mustard tiles, modern brass light fixtures, and bathrooms that are straight out of a Wes Anderson movie, The Bachelor Farmer Café is, in short, charming in every which way. And if their tempting array of pastries and sweets isn’t enough to tempt you, their lunch menu surely will. I can speak from personal experience that their open faced smoked salmon sandwich and squash soup are absolutely to die for. However, based on their menu, I can’t imagine you can go wrong ordering anything they offer. With its friendly staff, casual yet trendy atmosphere, this place just might be one of my favorite new spots to work when I visit Minneapolis. And located right in the stylish North Loop of Minneapolis, The Bachelor Farmer Café is a convenient spot to stop any time I need a break from shopping in all the cute stores nearby.
Since Minnesota is frozen 9 out of 12 months each year, it’s only fitting that we’re home to some of the best frozen treats out there! Milkjam Creamery is my favorite place to go for a sweet treat in the city. Just down the road from The Lynhall, Milkjam boasts 16 unique and creative flavors of ice cream along with some pretty genius menu items. There’s the “Ridin’ Duuurty” (ice cream made from oreo milk with oreo chunks and salted peanut butter) if you’re feeling particularly indulgent. If you’re 21+ and ready to celebrate, “Poppin Bottles” (champagne sorbet with sprinkles) is for you. Or maybe you’re someone who loves doing things a little different and isn’t afraid to go dark with the “Black” (deep, dark, rich cocoa). Best of all, any of these flavors can be served in Milkjam’s famous “Jam Bun”: a scoop of ice cream or sorbet between two gently warmed glazed donut halves. Y’all, heaven is for real, and it can be experienced year-round at Milkjam Creamery in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
by Hannah Senn
Hannah Senn is a regular contributor at Badala and is the Creative Director at Moveable Feast + Co. We love having her voice in the Badala family and quoting Mean Girls non-stop. For more of her wanderings, see @hannahsenn on Instagram.