Hennepin & Lake: Uptown

"It’s all about being there. Everybody’s going Uptown. That’s where I wanna be."

This area of Minneapolis is working to rebuild its community after recent police officer-involved shootings. The community continues to stay resilient and hopeful. You can help by supporting local businesses in this area.

Made famous in Prince's song "Uptown", the area surrounding Hennepin and Lake Street in Minneapolis is a youthful fusion of global cuisine, local retail, and lively nightlife with nature rooted just beyond the bustling main intersection.

Block by block you'll find multitudes of restaurants, bars, and shops, and adventuring a little further will bring you to Bde Maka Ska (formerly Lake Calhoun), the largest fixture in the city's Chain of Lakes

A favorite for rooftop brunch fans (per the weather's approval), Uptown will not disappoint.

Things To Do

downtown skyline on the lake
Bde Maka Ska, Photo by Krivit Photography


Minnesotans celebrate the outdoors like few other cities. Sure, we like our winters, but the first time the temperature pokes its head above 45, the shorts come out (no kidding) and people flock to the lakes and parks. The Chain of Lakes is the city’s most popular of our many, many parks. (Fun fact: By design, no Minneapolis resident lives farther than six blocks from a park.) 

The Chain of Lakes is also a key component of the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway, a 51-mile loop composed of parkways, trails, and the Mississippi River Boulevard. It’s the only scenic byway in the country located entirely within an urban area. The chain is composed of Bde Maka Ska (formerly Lake Calhoun), Lake Harriet, Lake of the Isles, Cedar Lake, and Brownie Lake. They all have bike and pedestrian paths, boating docks, boating, kayaking, gardens, and picnic areas. Also available at some lakes are facilities for archery, fishing, tennis, soccer, volleyball, grills, skiing paths, ice rinks, and lakeside restaurants. 

Perennial Cycle on Hennepin sells, repairs, and rents bikes if the sudden desire to bike around the lakes hits while you are bike-free. If it’s aquatic transportation you’re looking for, Wheel Fun Rentals rents stand-up paddle boards, pedal boats, kayaks, and canoes among other biking equipment as well.

Arts & Nightlife 

Bryant Lake Bowl & Theater is an all-in-one date night destination, with bowling, live shows, and a great tap selection (where else can you enjoy two entrées, a bottle of wine or a few beers, and one round of bowling for $28 per couple?).

For more cinematic entertainment options, Lagoon Cinema screens new releases, but it’s better known for showing indie, foreign, and avant-garde films that are otherwise absent from larger, national theater chains.

A prominent hot spot for a night on the town, Uptown appeals to bar hoppers, late nighters, and fun seekers alike. Some popular night spots include Amazing Thailand, Stella's Fish Cafe and Oyster Bar, The Pourhouse Uptown, and The Fremont—just to name a few.

Where to Shop

book store

Love to cook? Kitchen Window features local, national, and international kitchen appliances, accessories, glassware, grills, storage, food, ingredients and much more in their massive 20,000 square foot store. They also hold cooking classes and sharpen knives.

Unique shoes can be found at John Fluevog, which is located in the historic Uptown Minneapolis Theater. Covered features designer brands for women and has a group of "lifestylists" to help you find the perfect outfit—by appointment only. Urban Outfitters and H&M offer affordable, trendy menswear and womenswear. Along with clothing stores, there's Penzey's Spices and CB2 (home decor).

A neighborhood institution, Magers & Quinn Booksellers has been Uptown’s independent, new and used bookstore and literary events space for over 20 years and among the best bookstores in the state. They also sell cards, maps and other gifts.

Where to Eat & Drink

barbette restaurant

Offering a trip across the Atlantic for your taste buds is the much-loved French bistro Barbette. Serving breakfast, brunch and dinner with frequent live music, its daily late night happy hour is a crowd favorite. Even better, they get much of their ingredients from farmers and producers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. 

Lake & Irving Restaurant and Bar serves up globally influenced gastropub dishes—like korean gochujang smoked chicken wings, hot fries with ghost pepper aioli, loaded burgers, and Hawaiian loco moco—along with a great patio, top-notch cocktails, and welcoming neighborhood vibe. They also host trivia every Thursday night!

Kiku Bistro serves creative Japanese options, including excellent sushi. Darbar India Grill has a giant menu of contemporary Indian dishes, including numerous lamb, seafood, and vegetarian options—and some of the best naan in the area. Local health food chain, Agra Culture Kitchen & Press, serves light fare with plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options, along with juices and smoothies. 

La La Homemade Ice Cream sells traditional and creative ice cream flavors as well as ice cream cakes, take-home pints, and floats made with house-made sodas. (Check out more sweet treat options along Lake Street).

There are a few cozy places in the neighborhood to have a quiet date night and Troubadour Wine Bar is one of them. It’s an intimate, upscale place with small plates, live acoustic music and, of course, thoughtfully selected wine.

How to Get to and Around

downtown bus
Metro Transit

(Starting point of Meet Minneapolis Visitor Center on Nicollet)

Free parking in this area is typically limited to neighborhood streets and may require a bit of a short walk, but is perfect for getting your steps in! A few places have dedicated parking, otherwise you’ll most likely find the closest parking at a meter or nearby ramp. Good news is that prices are comparable to most other places outside of downtown. If you’re not up for the short walk, paying for a closer spot will definitely not break your bank.

From the Meet Minneapolis Visitor Center in downtown, the quickest way to get to Hennepin & Lake on public transport is to catch the Metro Transit Route 6 Bus, which runs through downtown on Hennepin Ave. every 10 minutes. It’s about a 25 minute ride in good traffic.

Other Public Transit Routes in the Area:
Bus Routes: Route 6, Route 12, Route 17, Route 21, Route 23, Route 53, Route 114, Route 115, Route 612

For more information on route options from your point of interest, visit Metro Transit's website and for information on other transportation options in the city, visit our Maps & Transportation info page.

See More of Lake Street

Known as the mid-line of Minneapolis, Lake Street stretches all the way through east and west of the city limits. Uptown is just one section of this popular and energetic street. Check out more of what to see and do along Lake Street with these travel guides:

Sweet Tooth Tour
Family Fun Tour
Fish Tacos Tour
Music & Books Tour
Green Tour

Neighborhood Map

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