Photos by Eliesa Johnson and Caitlin Abrams
El Nuevo Rodeo in Minneapolis, Minnesota
El Nuevo Rodeo
One of the most underrated drags in town is turning a corner. Buzz abounds at Midtown Global Market (think The Rabbit Hole, Kitchen in the Market, Hot Indian Foods). Formerly hidden commodities (e.g., Hymie’s Vintage Records, The Somali Museum of Minnesota, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, Ingebretsen’s) are becoming Minneapolis go-tos. Oh, and thanks to places like Forage Modern Workshop, Blue Door Pub, Harriet Brewing, and Sonora Grill, Longfellow is booming. Here are 11 places that are still below East Lake’s waterline.
From 35W to the Mississippi River
A 20 spot buys you eight perfect pieces of charcoal-grilled chicken and sides of lime rice, charro beans, salsa, tortillas, house potato chips, and a soda.
417 E. Lake St., 612-822-6172, pollo-movil.com
With tenants ranging from Manny’s Tortas to Taqueria Los Ocampo, Mercado Central is one of the best collections of food under one roof in Minneapolis.
1515 E. Lake St., 612-728-5401
Midori’s Floating World Cafe
You can’t go wrong with this tiny spot’s surprisingly robust Japanese menu, but the star of Midori’s show is the list of novel, affordable sake cocktails like Mintini Verde (sake, mint, and lime juice) for only $6.
2629 E. Lake St., 612-721-3011, floatingworldcafe.com
Nostalgia Zone Comics
One of the most complete comic book, magazine, and toy-collecting shops in the Twin Cities, Nostalgia’s been in biz since 1993.
3535 E. Lake St., 612-822-2806, nostalgiazone.com
As the old saying goes, no street is complete without a fused and stained glass studio. Owned/run by the same husband-and-wife artist team since 1996, GE offers classes, workspace, and even a retail store and gallery.
2716 E. 31st St., 612-721-9553, glassendeavors.com
What the formerly St. Paul–based Nepali/ Indian/Tibetan eatery lacks in size it more than makes up for with its tandoori oven, Kathmandu momos (steamed dumplings), and $10.95 all-you-can-eat lunch buffet.
2910 E. Lake St., 612-332-0880, himalayanmomo.com
Merlins Rest Pub
While the soccer neophytes flock to Brit’s Pub and those with slightly more knowledge hole up at The Nomad, the footy purists head to the Twin Cities’ most under-heralded traditional pub, Merlins. And if you’re not into soccer, you’ll be into Merlins’ self-professed “Whisky Bible,” a selection of 50-plus Scotch and Irish whiskies unmatched anywhere else in town.
3601 E. Lake St., 612-216-2419, merlinsrest.com
El Nuevo Rodeo
Come for the fresh Mex grub, stay for the salsa dance parties.
2709 E. Lake St., 612-728-0101, elnuevorodeorestaurant.com
Technically three blocks south of East Lake, the 50-seat micro movie theater shows films ranging from arthouse to cinema classics to former blockbusters.
3258 Minnehaha Ave., 612-424-5468, trylon.org
Danish American Center
Sure, there’s the American Swedish Institute and, now, the Norway House, but don’t forget about the D.A.C and its aquavit tastings, book club, and other events.
3030 W. River Pkwy., 612-729-3800, dac.mn
Pioneers & Soldiers Memorial Cemetery
The oldest existing cemetery in Minneapolis (the first burial was in 1853), Pioneers & Soldiers is one of the few cemeteries in the country to be designated on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s also where Jeremy Messersmith wrote the bulk of his 2010 album, The Reluctant Graveyard.
2945 Cedar Ave., 612-729-8484