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Taking Off: What You Need to Know About the Hottest Neighborhood in Minneapolis Right Now

View of the Minneapolis skyline from the Hewing Hotel entrance.

Disclaimer: I might be biased. But as a former resident of the North Loop neighborhood in Minneapolis, I can’t resist hyping this somewhat hidden gem to anyone who will listen. 

To Twin Cities locals like me, we know the North Loop is one of the hippest neighborhoods in Minneapolis, and watching its transformation over the past decade has been astounding. To the out-of-towners who have never visited Minneapolis or who haven’t been in a long while, though, I’m telling you now, you cannot visit Minneapolis without at least a meal or post-work cocktail with colleagues in the North Loop. 

Sitting about 1.5 miles from the Minneapolis Convention Center, the North Loop is easily accessible to meeting attendees in town. And, it’s incredibly convenient to those staying at the new Four Seasons Minneapolis—a game-changing luxury property, which opened last summer as the first five-star hotel in Minneapolis—situated right at the edge of the neighborhood. Planners should also take note that historic properties with private event spaces in the North Loop await to help you take your event or banquet to the next level. Once a hub for manufacturing, old warehouses here have found new life in restaurants, bars, condos and even a hotel.

Case in point: I remember being struck by a plaque on my walk home one day a few years ago, posted on an old building converted to condos, claiming to be the home of the Milky Way bar. Manufactured on Washington Avenue in the 1920s, I was delighted to learn that my favorite candy bar had its origins steps from my front door.

Colonial warehouse in the North Loop
Warehouse building in the North Loop. Photo by ©KrivitPhoto

One of the main draws of the North Loop for meeting attendees is undoubtedly the restaurant scene. Here, you will find a thriving community of up-and-coming chefs, award-winning hot spots and food halls with rotating vendors. Some must-tries include Spoon & Stable, housed in what was once a horse stable in 1906, serving delicious plates from James Beard Award-winning chef Gavin Kaysen, who now also runs the signature restaurant, Mara, at the Four Seasons. James Beard Award-winning chef Isaac Becker’s Bar La Grassa is an always-packed Italian restaurant with an impressive bruschetta and pasta list. Arguably the best burger in town can be found at the upscale Parlour Bar, best enjoyed with an old fashioned or any one of the basement bar’s other creative cocktails.

The list goes on, and the neighborhood only continues to grow. And now you’re in the know. You’re welcome in advance for scoring some cool points with future attendees!

[Related: Record Numbers and Major Events Set Minneapolis Up for Success in 2024 and Beyond]

Where to Stay in the North Loop, Minneapolis 

Hewing Hotel exterior
Hewing Hotel exterior. Credit: Hewing Hotel

While the Four Seasons Minneapolis at the edge of the North Loop border gets all the buzz, don’t overlook the Hewing Hotel, a boutique property from Aparium, a hotel group that specializes in converting historic spaces into premium accommodations. The 124-room property offers 7,500 square feet of event space, including a ballroom and private dining room at Nordic-inspired Tullibee restaurant. Locals love the all-season rooftop, which offers a sauna and heated spa pool in true Nordic wellness tradition. 

Where to Eat in the North Loop, Minneapolis

New Argentinian wood-fire steakhouse Porzana is making big waves in Minneapolis. Chef Daniel del Prado is one of the city’s most prolific restaurateurs and has worked at some of the city’s most beloved restaurants, including North Loop Italian-favorite Bar La Grassa. Porzana, though, may be his best endeavor yet. Sample prime Argentinian cuts, grass-fed or grain-fed prime steaks, or opt for creative, hand-made pasta. (My personal favorite? The sweet corn agnolotto.) Three private event spaces are also available, ranging from 20-60 in capacity, and don’t miss a cocktail at Flora, the speakeasy room at the back entrance. 

Fun Activities in the North Loop, Minneapolis

Catching the Minnesota Twins play at beautiful Target Field is a must for anyone in town on a Minneapolis summer day, where the buzz and energy fueled by the pleasant weather is contagious. Chef-driven restaurants and private event spaces also make the stadium a fun option for offsite events. Visiting in the winter months? Venture to THR3 JACK in the heart of the North Loop and play a round of golf at one of its six simulator suites with tasty food and drinks. 

Read more meeting and event news in Minnesota.

Taking Off is a column from the desk of Senior Content Director and resident destinations expert, Danielle LeBreck, which uncovers the destinations you haven't thought of for meetings or events, from under-the-radar locales to new neighborhoods you should know about. Read more Taking Off columns here.

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About the author
Danielle LeBreck | Senior Content Director

Danielle started at Meetings Today in March 2019 after seven years of editorial experience in the travel and food industries. She oversees all of the destination content for Meetings Today and collaborates with the team on digital content strategy and content marketing initiatives.