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A while back, we wrote about the Best Walkable Neighborhoods, at least according to Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. The magazine gave a few other “best” neighborhoods lists for different criteria, and we promised to discuss those at some point. Well, moving down the list, this post will hash out the Best Downtown Neighborhoods. Given the focus of past posts, we hope you’re able to guess one right off the bat… Minneapolis’ trendy North Loop. The other neighborhood in the spotlight is St. Paul’s Lowertown, and rounding out the top 5 are Loring ParkUptown and Mill District.


1.      North Loop

We feel like a record on repeat when it comes to the North Loop. It’s cool, and it knows it. Real estate comes at a high price, but you’d be neighbors with some of the hottest restaurants in town. We feel like we gave the neighborhood a thorough vetting in our last post, so if you’re looking for more, check it out.  


2.      Lowertown

In sharp contrast to the North Loop, Lowertown is a neighborhood we haven’t yet discussed. St. Paul in general doesn’t garner quite as much of our attention as the City of Lakes, but Lowertown, home of the Saints’ eye-catching stadium and the weekend’s popular Farmers Market, is quite deserving of some consideration. Similar to the North Loop, Lowertown has a unique feel with beautiful, historic buildings, river views and its own little park retreat (Mears). Owning is more affordable here than in any of the other neighborhoods on this list, but you’re in an entirely different city. This neighborhood also has some of the area’s best and freshest restaurants. This list from Twin Cities Eater does a thorough profile of the restaurants to explore. A couple that you may have heard of are Saint Dinette and the Buttered Tin. Oh – and thanks to the relatively new Green Line, transportation is a breeze.


3.      Loring Park

This well-known neighborhood on the SW corner of downtown Minneapolis has become even more walkable and self-sufficient since the arrival of Lunds & Byerlys. Food lovers will find plenty of restaurants to excite the palate – Butcher & the Boar, Café Lurcat, and Lotus Restaurant to name a few – whereas the newly renovated Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis Convention Center, and nearby Walker Art Center and theaters will provide a plethora of entertainment options. Lest we neglect the namesake for the neighborhood, Loring Park itself is a gem. It plays host to many events throughout the year including the Holidazzle in the winter and Movies in the Park and the Loring Park Art Festival in the summer.


4.      Uptown

People tend to have a love/hate relationship with Uptown. Adjacent to both Lake of the Isles and Lake Calhoun, its residents don’t have to go far for a bit of natural beauty and recreation. With all it has to offer in terms of restaurants, bars, and retail, however, Uptown is a constant hub of activity. If you’re one of those that avoids Uptown like the plague, you should find some time this summer to take a trip through it. You’ll probably find that you hardly recognize it. Development has transformed corners and blocks of the neighborhood that now hold shiny new and amenity-packed condos and apartments. Rent is absurdly high and owning isn’t a breeze either. Whether you hate it or adore it, one thing’s for sure: Uptown’s here to stay.


5.      Mill District

Oh, beautiful Mill District, overlooking the Mississippi, so near the action but far enough away for some peace – you’ve got us all wrapped around your finger. Southeast of the North Loop, the Mill District was the first to attract development and undergo a facelift. The area was transformed with beautiful parks and paths to allow public access to the river. The Guthrie moved in to its striking and innovative space next to the fun Mill City Museum, and droves of theater attendees encouraged the arrival of new restaurants and living spaces. Many a dream centers on living in one of those condos overlooking the river. And now, the Vikings’ brand new space, U.S. Bank Stadium, commands the space just a few blocks away. Mill District is just across the river (go ahead and take the picturesque Stone Arch Bridge) from the subject of a recent post, the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood.


So there you have it: 5 neighborhoods ruling the downtown scene. Finding your own space in these neighborhoods could prove to be a challenge, given their level of popularity. That’s where we come in. We recently helped sell a couple of off-market lofts because we knew the right people. When properties are flying on and off the market in a matter of days (or less!), it helps to have some well-connected go-getters in your corner. Please be in touch when you’re ready: 952-258-3100 or email.


Photo By Kerry Woo from Nashville - Downtown Minneapolis, CC BY 2.0,