Welcome to LynLake, an area of Minneapolis at the intersection of several neighborhoods that converge at Lyndale Avenue and Lake Street. We asked our readers what they would recommend for a day, afternoon, or night out in the area. Enjoy this guide of things to eat and drink, places to shop, and places to explore – created and described entirely by our readers.
Note: Because “LynLake” is an area, not a technically-defined neighborhood, we gave people a bit of liberty with how they wanted to define what was technically in the area.
WHAT SHOULD SOMEONE DO WITH A FREE DAY IN AND AROUND LYNLAKE?
“Have a night out - Get a drink or two and play a couple rounds of bowling at Bryant Lake Bowl. Enjoy a fancy cocktail at Volstead's Emporium. Then go to Up-Down if a crowded arcade-bar sounds fun - or go to the Uptown VFW if you want to sing karaoke or just watch others do the singing. Uptown VFW also has a lot of dance parties- check the events page on their website!"
“If you're not from Lynlake, bike the Greenway to get here, have a beer on the LynLake Brewery rooftop, then check out a show at Jungle Theater, Bryant Lake Bowl Theater, or HUGE Theater, then grab a bite to eat at any of the many restaurants.”
“Get a massage at Vida Bodywork, shop at Legacy Glassworks for beautiful glass blown work and THC/CBD products, have dinner at Trio Plant-Based or Lagos Tacos, see a show at the Jungle Theater, then get a beer at LynLake Brewery.”
WHAT ARE THE BEST COFFEE SHOPS, BARS, AND RESTAURANTS IN AND AROUND LYNLAKE?
Bob's Java Hut – A local coffee shop with a fun history. Several years ago several motorcyclists were tired of being harassed by another coffee shop on Lyndale Ave. because their bikes were taking up valuable parking space from their customer's cars. The question was asked - why not open a new coffee shop where annoying cars take up space from the motorcycle?
Third Space Cafe - Such a lovely combo of coffee/tea and paninis, plus a truly welcoming place to hang out solo, with colleagues, or friends.
Wuollet Bakery & Coffee - Great donuts, great coffee, baristas are the best!
DINE (with a few good drinks)
Bryant Lake Bowl & Theater - Iconic retro bowling alley/bar/restaurant/theater - cheap date night on Mondays is the best!
Fire & Nice - Wide ranging menu featuring a wood-fired pizza selection (many named after Minnesota sports icons, or their current menu featuring Mighty Ducks characters) and an extensive beer selection.
French Meadow - Bakery, restaurant, coffee shop, and bar with homemade food and drinks. French Meadow was a farm-to-table establishment long before that term became a catch-phrase, which has been a guiding force since Lynn Gordon founded the country’s first certified organic bakery in 1985.
It’s Greek to Me (CLOSED)- We love It’s Greek to Me! Lamb chops, Spanikopita, Shrimp Santorini, mmm-mmm. The outdoor patio and fountain are a summer pleasure.
Lake & Bryant Cafe - Very pleasant cafe with a wide variety of food and drinks.
The Lynhall - A European market-inspired restaurant, bakery, event space and kitchen studio.
moto-i - Great ramen and Sake cocktails. Nice rooftop. The buns are a must try!
World Street Kitchen - Delicious fusion food. The Bangkok Burritos are great.
Wrecktangle Pizza - Amazing pizza and great vibes - Reliable choice for any meal.
DRINKS (with a few good bites)
Iron Door Pub - Classic sports bar with excellent wings, other bar food, and a great atmosphere for watching games, drinking a beer, or something in-between.
Up-Down - Super popular barcade. Always completely packed with 20-somethings on the weekend.
Uptown VFW - Not your typical VFW - Draws a super diverse crowd of all ages/races/sexualities, and has great karaoke.
Volstead's Emporium - Awesome prohibition style speakeasy that often has live music. Make sure to make a reservation if you want to get let in during dinner hours!
Caffrey's - A neighborhood eatery with deli sandwiches and more.
Chicago's Very Own - Chicago style sandwiches and butter cookies are delicious. They also have popcorn and hot dogs. Black-owned as well!
Szechuan Spice - Chinese restaurant with authentic Szechuan-style cooking.
WHAT ARE THE BEST STORES TO SHOP AT IN AND AROUND LYNLAKE?
CLOTHING & SPORTING GOODS
Buffalo Exchange - used clothing, a bit pricier than somewhere like Goodwill, but they have a good selection.
Corner Store Vintage - Vintage store with a huge denim collection.
Planet Soccer - Huge selection of soccer gear, jerseys, apparel, and more.
Bill's Imported Foods - International grocer specializing in Greek/Mediterranean items.
La Société du Thé - Tea shop featuring Chinese, Indian and many more sources.
Art Materials - Art supplies for artists of all stripes, proudly serving the creative community of the Twin Cities.
Legacy Glassworks - A glass shop featuring a rotating local art gallery, glassblowing classes, THC, CBD, and more.
Smitten Kitten - Smitten Kitten is an education-based sex toy and supply store for everyday people.
The Eye Mpls - Metaphysical store that provides books, music, tools and services to support creativity, spiritual awakening (or deepening) and centered living. Although we specialize in the tools and supplies for Earth-based and Mystery Paths such as Wicca, Druidry, Shamanic studies, New Age, and more.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE FREE THINGS TO DO IN AND AROUND LYNLAKE?
Bryant Square Park. Has a playground and small pool for kids. Has ice skating in the winter. Also a nice park to walk around - it is surrounded by cute old apartments and has nice old trees.
Check out all the murals!
The Lyn Lake Street Art Series happens in summer, which is a free event to check out and the main reason the area is so vibrant and colorful.
Soo Line Community Garden. A local community garden maintained by neighbors along the Midtown Greenway.
Highpoint Center for Printmaking. A local printmaking shop that has regular classes to teach you techniques and occasional shows to view works from local artists.
WHAT ARE THE BEST NEIGHBORHOOD EVENTS IN AND AROUND LYNLAKE?
Lyndale Open Streets in June. For one day, Lyndale Avenue is closed to cars and taken over by walkers, bikers, boarders, and more. Businesses all up and down the street feature specials and tables line the sidewalks for people to stop by and visit.
LynLake Street Art Series in July. Watch artists create cool street art across the whole neighborhood
WHO ARE SOME PEOPLE THAT KEEP LYNLAKE GOING?
“Joan Moser voluntarily runs the neighborhood's Food Share program, which helps hundreds of households receive monthly groceries. She also organizes lots of neighborhood events, like potlucks and Halloween events.”
“Morgan Luzier, who owns Balance Fitness. She's a rockstar who keeps the neighborhood connected.”
If you have additional suggestions for our guide, let us know via the Add Context area below. The LynLake Neighborhood Guide is sponsored by Ackerberg.