What exactly constitutes a “hidden gem”? Is it literally hard to find, or can it simply be lesser known? And how is it supposed to feel? Authentic? Kind of old-school? A little mystical, maybe? We’d say it’s some combination of the above, depending on the place and patron (after all, one person’s AMAZING DIVE BAR DISCOVERY!!!!! is another’s regular hangout). Populists that we are, we split this story between Minneapolis and St. Paul and picked out four streets and one skyway system with an unusually high number of holes in walls. Each can be explored in a day, so venture forth, brave souls—may this treasure map be your guide.
It's an amazing melting pot and home to some of these most interesting hidden gems in the Twin Cities.
One of the most underrated drags in town, East Lake Street is turning a corner.
The 5.5-mile corridor is a blue-collar Champs-Élysées, with the old Schmidt Brewery sign as the de facto Arc de Triomphe of West 7th Street.
From 19th-century aristocrats parading horse-drawn carriages to 1950s drag racers tearing down the strip, the St. Paul stretch of University Avenue has a history of showing off.
The serpentine eight-mile gerbil cage called the Minneapolis Skyway is full of fantastic fare.