Category Archives: Neighborhood Features

Brooklyn Park, MN

Brooklyn Park is the 6th largest city in Minnesota with a population of 77,000 people and it is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River. In 1852, the federal government opened the area to settlers. In 1860 two towns of Brooklyn Center and Crystal Lake were formed, and the original area was larger than now.  Brooklyn Park is a great area to live, especially for families since there are so many parks and community centers.

Brooklyn Park has a house that would fit almost any budget. The median home price is around $185,000 and there are about 599 homes for sale. There are so many housing options; you can choose from charming starter homes to new construction in the Shadowbrook  Neighborhood. There are also many new construction homes near Edinburgh Golf Courses.

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Brooklyn Park schools belong to three different districts – Osseo Schools, Anoka-Hennepin and Robbinsdale Schools. There is also a number of private schools as well as three colleges – North Hennepin Community College, Hennepin Tech College, and Rasmussen College.

There are many new restaurants opening; here you can find not only great dining options with food from all over the world, but also delicious takeouts any time of the day. One of the popular places is Fiesta Cancun Grill & Bar where you can  enjoy not only authentic Mexican food, but also a fun atmosphere.

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Fat Nag’s Eggs is a great place for breakfast and brunch; it is well known for its delicious pancakes and eggs benedict. Another place people seem to love, is Travail Kitchen & Amusement where chefs are cracking jokes and meals are interactive; be prepared to be asked to eat off a hook hanging over your head. For those who are fans of Thai and Vietnam cuisine, Sweet Basil is a great option; here you can enjoy their delicious curry on a nice day sitting on a patio!

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Brooklyn Park has over 1,700 acres of park land! In addition to that, there are many environmental areas with a lot of trails. Most of the park have playground and pavilion areas for picnics and entertainment. There are also about 48 tennis courts available, as well as ice rinks.

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For the golf fans, Edinburgh Golf Course is a popular and a challenging option; it also has great restaurants on-site and is a popular place for wedding receptions.

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If you prefer to live in suburbs but still would like to be close to the city, Brooklyn Park is a great option. Considering overall lower housing prices, and abundance of parks and places for outdoor activities that suit any age, Brooklyn Park might be a great choice for you and your family!



Neighborhood Resources

Neighborhood Schools

Faith Communities

 Woodland Elementary School  Edinbrook Church
 Park Brook Elementary School  Living World Christian Center
 Edinbrook Elementary School  Grace Fellowship
 Monroe Elementary School  Brooklyn Park Evangelical Free Church
 Brooklyn Middle School  Crossroads Alliance Church
 Park Center Senior High School  Discover Church Brooklyn Park
 Athlos Leadership Academy  Berean Baptist Church

Public Parks

Local Restaurants

 Zane Sports Park   Sammy’s Pizza & Restaurant
 Willowstone Park   Wagner’s Drive-In
 Central Park  Fiesta Cancun Mexican Grill & Bar
 Brooklyn Park Historical Farm  MT Noodles
 Brooklyn Park  China Hope

Payne-Phalen, MN

The Payne-Phalen neighborhood is also known as the “Greater Eastside”. The neighborhood is in a great location and has great parks, lakes, trails, as well as great coffee shops and restaurants. Many Germans, Irish and Italians made it home in early times. It used to be a very industrial area, but many companies closed and then many new Americans and Latin Americans made this neighborhood their home.

The cost of living in Payne-Phalen is cheaper than in other parts of St. Paul, and some properties can be half a cost compared to other parts of the city. While renting a one-bedroom apartment in St Paul costs $839 on average, you can get the same in Payne-Phalen for around $700.

There are many traditional houses in Payne-Phalen. There are a lot of Italiante, Queen Anne and Bungalow style houses built in 1800’s and 1900’s. Parts of the neighborhood, close to Phalen Park, also have rambler and ranch-style homes built in the 1950s and later.

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There are a lot of restaurants and bistros in the neighborhood. For those who love spicy foods, check peppery curries at Eastside Thai, spicy fajitas at Taqueria Los Ocampo or hot Szechuan Style Pork at Sui Yep Cafe.

Tongue in Cheek is an East Side bistro where you can try delicious wild salmon or steak. If you want to try a variety of options at once, you can have a seven-course tasting menu.

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At Ward 6 East Side you can find an affordable sandwich, cocktails. It is also a place to listen to live music. There are options for nightlife as well. Vogel’s Lounge is a dive bar that has been popular since the 40’s; this is a place to relax, play dart and watch games. You can also check out LoDo,  the Bulldog Lowertown or Kelly’s Depot Bar. If you are a fan of swing dancing, the Wabasha Street Caves would be a great choice for that.

There are not as many places for shopping except floral stores and bookstores, though the neighborhood is close to downtown, which is a popular place for Payne-Phalen residents. If you like small boutiques, head to Grand Avenue that has plenty of those.

There are also a lot of outdoor options if you choose to live in Payne-Phalen. You can go for a walk along the Lake Phalen or take your puppy to the Arlington-Arkwright Dog Park where you furry friend can enjoy some off-leash time.

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There are also many parks and trails, and golf courses. In the fall you can go to Payne Arcade Harvest Festival and Parade.

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Another great convenience of the neighborhood is that there are public transportation options.Metro Transit route 64 runs through the neighborhood, taking residents to downtown St. Paul or far flung suburbs such as White Bear Lake. Bikers enjoy the safety of bicycle lanes throughout the neighborhood and into downtown.

Many restaurants and shops are opening in the area, which makes Payne-Phalen a vibrant neighborhood!




Neighborhood Resources

Neighborhood Schools

Faith Communities

 Ames Elementary School  East Emmanuel Lutheran Church
 Bruce Vento Elementary School  Payne-Phalen Evangelical Free
 Farnsworth Aerospace Elementary School  New Hope Baptist Church
 Frost Lake Magnet School  Holy Trinity Church Garden
 Phalen Lake Elementary School  First Covenant Church
 Johnson High School  St.Patrick’s of St.Paul

Public Parks

Local Restaurants

 Phalen Recreation Center   Tongue in Cheek
 Phalen Regional Park   Vogel’s Lounge
 Gateway Trail  Wabasha Street Caves
 Wilder Recreation Center  Ward 6 East Side
 Arlington Arkwright Off-Leash Dog Park  Cook

Maplewood, MN

Maplewood is located in Ramsey County Minnesota. The history of Maplewood goes back 150 years. It was initially occupied by Dakota Indians. The area was full of lakes and scrub oak trees. Then Dakota Indians were pushed out of the land by Ojibway, who wanted the land for hunting. That’s when the southern Maplewood was being settled as well. Carver Lake was named after Thomas Carver who began farming around the lake. This area later became McLean township.

The median home price in Maplewood is $190,700, which is higher than the national median. There are 15,934 housing units in Maplewood. Approximately 11,029 are owner-occupied and 4,210 are occupied by renters. The median household income in Maplewood, Minnesota is $57,822. The median household income for the surrounding county is $53,152 compared to the national median of $53,046.

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When parents consider where to live, one of the important factors is the quality of a school district. Maplewood schools belong to St.Paul Public School District, North St.Paul – Maplewood School District, and Mounds View School District. There are 119 elementary schools, 72 high schools and 132 middle schools in Maplewood. In addition, Maplewood is considered to be better educated than the typical community in the nation – more than 52% have high school diplomas and 20% with college degree and 9% with post-graduate degree.

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Maplewood is home to the corporate headquarters and main campus of 3M Corporation. Thus, it is considered a neighborhood of office workers, administrative support, and sales professionals. It is also home to the Maplewood Mall. Maplewood mall was open in 1974 . Since then the mall was renovated and a Metro Transit hub was open bringing more visitors. So, if you are up for shopping, dining and entertainment, visit the mall which has stores like Macy’s, Kohl’s, H&M and many others.

Maplewood Mall

For those who like to explore dining options, there are plenty of places to try. Some of the popular places are Wild Orchid, 5-8 Tavern & Grill, Jake’s City Grille. For those who love Mexican cuisine, Catrinas Mexican restaurant is a great place to check out. For evening entertainment options, you can visit Music Mix Entertainment, live music venue. There is another venue called “Myth” where you can enjoy a variety of concerts.

For those who enjoy outdoors, there are plenty of parks and trails. Battle Creek Regional Park is a great place for walking, biking, and picnics. It is a beautiful park with many water streams. Also, one part of it is a off leash dog park with plenty of ponds.

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There is Keller Golf Course for those who like to spend time golfing. It has been updated recently with the new grassing and plenty of challenging holes. Also, you can enjoy brunch and lunch there with great food and cost.

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As you can see, Maplewood is a great city to live in an there is so many things to do! Come check it out, it may be a town for you!




Neighborhood Resources

Neighborhood Schools

Faith Communities

 Edgerton Elementary School  Trinity Baptist Church
 Weaver Elementary School  Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church
 John Glenn Middle School  First Evangelical Free Church
 St.Jerome School  Redeeming Love Church
 Beaver Lake Lutheran Church
 Maplewood Covenant Church

Public Parks

Local Restaurants

 Keller Regional Park  Gulden’s Restaurant & Bar
 Harvest Park  North China Restaurant
 Battle Creek Regional Park  Maiv’s Egg Roll Basket
 Afton Heights Park  5-8 Tavern & Grill
 Goodrich Park  Firehouse Subs









Linden Hills, MN

Linden Hills is a Southwest neighborhood of Minneapolis, bordered by both Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet. The neighborhood has a small town feel with beautiful views and an abundance of linden trees, hence the name of the neighborhood. Linden Hills was first developed in the 1800’s, when lake cottages were built for people to enjoy nature and escape the busy city life.  It is a charming neighborhood with many craftsman style houses and eclectic shops. These days, many of the cottages and 50’s ranch style ramblers are being replaced by new construction.

Most homes in Linden Hills are single-family homes, lake front houses, townhouses, and condominiums. With a median estimated home value just north of $500k, the area is a bit pricey compared to other neighborhoods in Minneapolis, but you get what you pay for when it comes to desirable location and square footage. According to City-Data, the population of the Linden Hills neighborhood is 8,345. The median age is 38.5. There are 46.9% males, and 53.1% females. An impressive 92% of the residents here have a 2-year degree or higher, and median household income is nearly 2x the Minneapolis average!

Linden Hills has a downtown called “The Village,” a historic area where many unique restaurants and shops are located. One place you should be sure to check out is the Wild Rumpus bookstore – it’s a great place to bring your kids since it has a great selection of children’s books, and they actually have animals (anything from cats to chickens) roaming around the store! The store definitely lives up to its “wild” moniker.

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Another great place to visit for breakfast and brunch is The Zumbro Cafe. It’s a cozy place known for its delicious buttery pancakes and fresh sandwiches. This eatery has been around for twenty years – that’s how you know it’s good!

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Another place worth visiting is Tilia restaurant. It’s a great neighborhood joint that has a cozy feel and great food; they even have vegan options and options for those who are lactose intolerant.

If you’re looking for a fun indoor way to entertain your kids during the winter, you won’t want to miss Creative Kidstuff, a three-level store filled with books and educational materials, that also hosts fun events for your young ones.

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Another local hotspot: Linden Hills Co-op. It isn’t too big or too small, but it has everything you need; if you prefer to shop local, organic, and fresh, this is the place to go!

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Linden Hills is a great neighborhood for outdoor activities year-round. There are many walking and biking trails, and Linden Hills Parks has playgrounds and tennis courts.  Around Lake Harriet you can find the Rose Gardens and Peace Gardens. Every winter, Lake Harriet also plays host to the annual kite festival. During the spring and summer, there are many events held at the Lake Harriet bandshell.

Linden Hills Festival is another entertaining event that people of all ages will enjoy. Held annually at Linden Hills park, festivities include live music, games, pony rides, a silent auction and art fair! It takes a lot of volunteers to organize such a big event, so check it out if you’re looking for volunteer opportunities.

The Heritage Streetcar museum was built to preserve the rail heritage and street-running rail vehicles. It currently operates two heritage streetcar lines, and the streetcars themselves are 100 years old that have been restored to function. Here you can find more information and tickets (just keep in mind that they don’t operate on rainy days).

This neighborhood offers so much to love – from great schools, friendly people and eclectic restaurants to many outdoor activities for the whole family. If you enjoy all that, Linden Hills is the neighborhood for you!


Neighborhood Resources

Neighborhood Schools

Faith Communities

 Carondelet Catholic School  Linden Hills Congregational United Church
 Lake Harriet Lower Elementary School  St. Thomas the Apostle Church
 Southwest High School  Christian Science Church
 St. John’s Episcopal Church

Public Parks

Local Restaurants

 William Berry Park  The Harriet Brasserie
 Linden Hills Park   Tilia
 Waveland Park  The Zumbro Cafe
 Naviya’s Thai Brasserie
 Trattoria Tosca
 Great Wall Chinese Restaurant
 Hello Pizza
 Lake Harriet Pizza
 Bread & Pickle
 Milio’s Sandwiches

Phillips, MN

Phillips community is located south of downtown Minneapolis and it is subdivided into 4 neighborhoods: Phillips West, Midtown Phillips, East Phillips, and Ventura Village.  Due to the new streetcar routes,  Phillips neighborhood started to develop quickly. More residential areas led to many business developments; there are industrial and commercial buildings as well. The name comes from Wendell Phillips, who was a 19th century abolitionist. Phillips neighborhood is very diverse; it has many people of different nationalities. There are also several large companies in the area, such as Wells Fargo Mortgage, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Allina Health Care Services, and Honeywell International headquarters. Phillips neighborhood is a home of Minneapolis Pioneer and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery. It is considered the oldest existing cemetery in Minneapolis, the first burial happened in 1853! Over 180 veterans who fought in the War of 1812 and World War I are buried there.


Houses in Phillips are as diverse as its residents. The styles range from historic Victorian homes to smaller homes, duplexes, and apartments. There are a number of new condominiums and apartments along the Greenway. According to City-Data, the population of Phillips is about 19,273; the median age for females is 29.5, and males 29.3; there are 9,875 males and 9,397 females. The average household income is $29,974; the average value of a detached house is around $165, 567, and the median rent is $585.


The most popular place to try ethnic food in the area is Midtown Global Market. It is an indoor marketplace that offers a great cultural experience and has a variety of Thai, Mediterranean, Mexican, and Italian restaurants. One of the highly rated restaurants is The Rabbit Hole, Korean style bar and restaurant, great place to have some kimchi, phan noodles, and much more. If you are craving some delicious tamales, stop by La Loma Tamales. Another popular place is Safari Express, where you can enjoy classic East African dishes. In addition to restaurants, there are many small grocery shops to browse around for some unique foods and spices.


If you are looking for a good Chinese buffet, then Teppanyaki Grill & Supreme Buffet is the place to go; it has a great variety of hot and fresh Asian food. Seafood to Go is another place worth stopping by if you have sudden seafood cravings; it is a take out only though.

American Swedish Institute (ASI) is a museum and a cultural center featuring Swedish history exhibits. ASI is housed in a Turnblad mansion, built in in 1910 for Swedish immigrants Swan and  Christina Turnblad. This is a place to learn about Swedish history. All My Relations Gallery is a small art gallery that features contemporary Native arts; it presents workshops and events in community through organizing tours, classes, and interviews with artists. There is also a puppet and a mask theater right on E Lake Street, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater. This is a great place to enjoy puppet and mask plays, circuses; they also participate in May Day parades.



Midtown Greenway is a 5.5 mile trail and it connects the CHain of Lakes with Mississippi River. According to CBS Local, Midtown Greenway was named top bike path in the U.S. There is a Freewheel Bike Center that includes a bike store and repair shop. East Phillips Park is a perfect place for family picnics and other outdoor activities such as baseball, softball, and basketball.

With both, residential and commercial areas, Phillips is a great place to raise a family or start a business. Check it out!




Neighborhood Resources

Neighborhood Schools

Faith Communities

 Phillips Elementary School Holy Rosary Church
 Phillips Junior High School Augustana Lutheran Church
 Augsburg Fairview Academy Straitgate Church
 Trinity First Lutheran School The Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church
 Center School Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church
 Southside Child Development Center Christ Church International
Mount Olive Lutheran Church
Jubilee Community Church

Public Parks

Local Restaurants

East Phillips Park Hamdi Restaurant
Phillips Park Franklin Street Bakery
Midtown Greenway Maria’s Cafe
Deg Deg Grill
A la Salsa Restaurant

Eden Prairie, MN

Where on Earth could you live that is 12 minutes southwest of Downtown Minneapolis, with 170 miles of trails and 2,250 acres of park land. It’s located on the North bank of Minnesota River and is the 12th largest city in Minnesota. Fox Sports North, KMSP, WFTC are based here. In 2014, Money Magazine has named this city one of the best places to live in America. If you have not guessed it yet, Eden Prairie is the city. You know the city, which is home to and has the training camp for the Minnesota Vikings! The football team with Adrian Peterson. Eden Prairie was not always a city but once a town, in 1853 Elizabeth F. Ellet named it Eden for its gorgeous prairies.

Paths and Trails

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If you are not a football fan that is ok, there is so much more to enjoy. The city has 13 miles of nature trails for walking and hiking. If you are more into being on two wheels, then Eden Prairie has 120 miles of bike trails while you are coasting through the picturesque scenery including 18 lakes like Mitchell Lake; furthermore, while along your journey, you will have the opportunity to view the beautiful paths: Birch Island Woods, Cardinal Creek Trail, Richard T. Anderson Trail, Edenbrock Trail, Purgatory Creek Park Pavilion, and Riley Creek Trail.

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Eden Prairie Center

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When you are in Eden Prairie, you have to stop at the Eden Prairie Center. The Eden Prairie Center has 125 great shops and restaurants, as well as an impressive food court. While you are enjoying your meal you can relax next to a three story fireplace to keep warm, especially during the Minnesota winters. If the kids are along and rowdy you can have them burn off the energy at the area’s largest indoor play area. After you are done eating, kickback and relax and enjoy a movie at an 18-screen AMC Theatre.

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When the kids are restless, send them to Eden Prairie’s Airmaxx Trampoline Park, where kids and adults can jump endlessly on trampolines or zap friends, enemies, or random laser tagger in the laser tag area. If you are up for a little bit of pout pout, then come play escape the Pharaoh’s curse, in the cosmic mini golf course, or if your fingers have too much energy then blast away in the arcade. If the arms want to have a little play then come relieve them with the mini bowling.   


Wildfire: After all those adventures in Eden Prairie, come enjoy a bite of steak, chops & seafood. Think of it as a little taste of Chicago. Marvel and enjoy the 1940’s decor, and if you are not big into meats, then treat yourself to one of their many scrumptious salads, such as their signature dish Wildfire Chopped Salad. They even have many gluten free dishes and they do catering, not too mention if you are having a baby shower or a wedding, they even do that.

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Benefits of living in Eden Prairie are the parks and trails, a perfect way to get into or stay in shape, great restaurants, Vikings training camp, and great shopping experiences like the Eden Prairie Center. The city has quiet, safe neighborhoods and Eden Prairie  presents the best schools in Minnesota. Great Place to Raise a Family!

Attractions of Eden Prairie:

  • Staring Lake Park
  • Hershey Co.
  • Eden Prairie Ice Castle
  • Vikings’ Practice Site

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A snapshot of 2010 demographics for the City of Eden Prairie 

  • The population of Eden Prairie is 60,797
  • The median age of an Eden Prairie resident is 37.6 
  • 73 percent of the City’s residents are 18 years of age or older
  • 4.8 percent of the City’s residents are 65 years of age or older 
  • 61.3 percent of the City’s residents have obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • There are 23,930 households in the City 
  • The average household income within Eden Prairie is $122,783 
  • The median value of a single-family home in Eden Prairie is $257,360


Neighborhood Resources

Neighborhood Schools

Faith Communities

 Eden Lake Elementary School Eden Prairie Islamic Center
Eden Prairie High School Prairie Lutheran Church
Early Childhood Family Education Faithful & True Ministries
Central Middle School St. Andrew Lutheran Church
Prairie View Elementary School Prairie Community Church
Forest Hills Elementary School Grace Church
Cedar Ridge Elementary Resurrection Life Church
Oak Point Elementary School Pax Christi Catholic Community
Eagle Heights Spanish Immersion ICCC Altawaba
Eden Prairie Community Education Victory Lutheran Church

Public Parks

Local Restaurants

Eden Prairie Park & Rec. Redstone American Grill
Staring Lake Park Lions Tap
Purgatery Creek Park Pavilion The Prairie Tap House
Riley Lake Park Campiello
Homeward Hills Park Eden Vietnamese Restaurant
Miller Park Punch Pizza Eden Prairie
Edenvale Park Detello’s Pizza & Pasta
Staring Lake  Outdoor Center Aurelia’s
Round Lake Park Great Mandarin Restaurant
Crestwood Park IBiaggi’s Ristorante Italiano


Downtown Minneapolis, MN

Downtown Minneapolis is divided into two parts, Downtown East and Downtown West. Downtown West is the heart of Minneapolis, with recognizable high-rise buildings, Nicollet Mall (home to some of the city’s best restaurants and shopping), and the Warehouse district. Also, many notable buildings like the Foshay Tower, built in 1929, are located in Downtown West.

Downtown East is a mix of residential and commercial buildings. Here you will find the Mill City Museum, Guthrie Theater, and Gold Medal Park. Many of the one-time industrial properties, such as old mills and factories, are being converted into residential dwellings. For example, the former Pillsbury flour mill complex was recently transformed into the A-Mill Artist Lofts, a 251-unit affordable housing project that serves working artists.

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According to DMNA, Downtown Minneapolis was a center of many businesses and financial activity. After the Great Depression, due to businesses moving to the suburbs, the downtown area became dirty and buildings weren’t maintained well enough. It was agreed that rebuilding was needed, and, thus, many buildings were leveled and new buildings and highways were built, resulting in the beautiful city we know and love today.

Many people enjoy downtown living because of the close proximity to entertainment and dining options, parks and bike trails. Most of the homes in the downtown area are apartments, condos, and lofts. Also, there are old commercial buildings and warehouses that have been converted into lofts. According to City Data, the population of Downtown West is 6,187, the median age is between 33-35, and the median rent is $949. Downtown East’s population is 1,274 with the median age of 32-36, and the median rent price is $1,107.

Downtown Minneapolis is full of entertainment options for all ages. That is where the famous Hennepin Theater District is located, which has three historic theaters: Orpheum, State, and Pantages. Guthrie Theater, located on the Mississippi River in Downtown East, is one of the most renowned theaters in the nation. Not only can you see your favorite plays there, but you can also go on a backstage or an architecture tour. The Guthrie also offers great restaurants, a cocktail lounge area and a beautiful view of the Mississippi River (especially from the outdoor observation deck).

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In addition, Downtown Minneapolis is famous for its variety of restaurants and wonderful fine dining offerings. 112 Eatery is a very popular spot for dinner with great reviews; Butcher and the Boar is another delicious option. We’d also recommend Vincent A Restaurant, a french eatery known for its burgers with fluffy buns and savory dressings.

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If you’re looking for something a little more laid-back, check out Brit’s Pub. It has a great selection of beers to offer and a fun rooftop patio with lawn bowling. This is definitely one of Downtown’s most popular places come summer.

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For the live music lovers there is Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, with nightly music, dining and cocktails. First Avenue is also a famous live music venue where the biggest local and national artists and bands perform. In addition, there are a number of nightclubs such as Aqua and Karma.

Nicollet Mall is a great place to shop if you love chain stores, including a two-level Target store (the behemoth retailer is based out of Minneapolis, after all) and Macy’s. There is also Gaviidae Common shopping center, which has department stores and specialty retailers.

One of the things many people like about downtown living is that many places are within walking distance. There is public transportation and many bus routes that serve downtown, and there is also Light Rail that runs through downtown.

Many might think that Downtown Minneapolis is mostly for younger people, but it is changing since many families are moving to the downtown area as it becomes more and more family-friendly.  There are more playgrounds being built and other amenities like the YMCA. There are also plenty of parks for early morning jogs or to take your pooch for a stroll: enjoy a walk along the Mississippi River, Stone Arch Bridge or explore Loring Park, just at the outskirts of the Downtown area. Some of our other favorite parks include Gateway Dog Park, Gold Medal park, Triangle park, and Mill Ruins park. And of course you can’t forget the new Vikings stadium that is currently being built! Once it is complete, it will surely be a dream destination for football fans of all ages.

Downtown Minneapolis is rapidly becoming a popular and convenient neighborhood to live in (one of the best in the country) with close proximity to entertainment options, delicious dining, and plenty of family and outdoor activities.


Neighborhood Resources

Neighborhood Schools

Faith Communities

The FAIR School  St.Olaf Catholic Church
 Emerson SILC  Gethsemane Episcopal Church
Westminster Presbyterian Church
 First Covenant Church


Local Restaurants

 Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant  112 Eatery
 Orpheum Theater  Pizza Luce
 Pantages Theater  Butcher and the Boar
 Guthrie Theater  Bar La Grassa
 Brave New Workshop Comedy Theater The Local
 The Skyway Theater Vincent A Restaurant



Anoka, MN

Anoka is a northern suburb of the Twin Cities. It is affectionately known as the “Halloween Capital of the World.” It is believed that Anoka was the first city in the U.S. to put on a Halloween celebration in 1920, thus earning its nickname. The name Anoka itself was derived from two Indian words, meaning “on both sides” – because it is located on both banks of the Rum River –and “working waters.”


The first immigrants came to Anoka in 1844, and by the 1850’s it had a school, a store and a mill. Then, a ferry was established to connect Anoka to other cities. Between 1855 and 1884, the city was damaged by multiple fires, and many houses were burned, and the whole section had to be rebuilt.

Nowadays in Anoka, there are many restaurant to choose from. One such popular eatery is Truffles and Tortes Cafe. It is a cozy spot on Main Street that offers a great variety of delicious desserts. They also have a great selection of salads and sandwiches.


Casa Rio is also a delightful lunch or dinner option. The menu has a variety of Mexican cuisine selections and prices are very reasonable, as well.

Another popular place is Cork Wine Bar and Restaurant, where you can select your food and they will choose the wine for you. Also, servers ask about allergies and dislikes and then give food suggestions, which means your meal is catered to your specific wants and needs!


For some nighttime entertainment and live music, there is Nola Bistro and Bar. This is a fun place to talk, relax, and enjoy the evening with friends.

For art lovers, there is Krista Artista Art Gallery featuring Minnesota artists. You can also buy specialized gifts here, such as jewelry, pottery, and wood sculptures. For great acting, singing and directing you should definitely check out Lyric Arts Main Street Stage.

The median age in the City of Anoka is 38 years old: 49.8% of residents are male and 50.2% are female. According to City-Data of 2013, the estimated median household income was $48,792; median house/condo value is $161,612; median gross rent is $786. Anoka might be the right choice for you, with affordable housing/rental prices and plenty of things to do for entertainment.

The city has the “small town” feel with a historic downtown and just a great atmosphere in general. And don’t forget to visit Anoka to celebrate Halloween!


Neighborhood Resources

Neighborhood Schools

Faith Communities

 Lincoln Elementary School  St. Stephen Catholic Church
 Franklin Elementary  First Congregational Church 
Wilson Elementary School  Grace Lutheran Church
 Anoka Middle School for the Arts   Anoka Covenant Church
 Anoka High School  United Methodist Church
Anoka-Hennepin Regional High School  Grace Life Church
 Anoka-Hennepin Technical High Schhool  Zion Lutheran Church

Parks and Trails

Local Restaurants

Akin Riverside Park Casa Rio Mexican Restaurant
George Enloe Park El Azteca Mexican Restaurants
George Green Park Billy’s Bar and Grill 
John Ward Park Cork Wine Bar Restaurant
Mississippi River Community Park Truffles and Tortes
Rick Sorenson Park G’s Cafe
Rudy Johnson Park Avant Garden


Dinkytown, Minnesota

Dinkytown is an area to the North of the University of Minnesota East Bank campus. The origin of the name is still being debated. According to one of the theories, it was named after the streetcars used at that time called Dinkys; others say it was named after a Gopher football player Frank “Dinky” Rog in late 40’s.

This neighborhood is famous for its unique history and great variety of apartments, entertainment, and restaurants. In the late 50’s through the 70’s, Dinkytown had the highest student population in the US. This is the place where the legendary Bob Dylan spent his early music career. He used to live in an apartment where the Loring Pasta Bar is now and a coffee house called the Ten O’clock Scholar is where he began to perform. How cool is that!

Dinkytown is a center of campus life. Since it is so close to the campus, a majority of its population are college students, and most of the properties are rental properties. According to Find the Home statistics, 94.5% of properties are likely to be rented out.

With a spectacular view of downtown,  Annie’s Parlour is a famous place for burgers, malts and fries. They have been serving malts since the 1970’s! It is a great place to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and a late night dinner.

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Another great place is Al’s Breakfast. It is a tiny little diner that is known for great omelettes and mouthwatering buttermilk pancakes. Everything they offer is fresh and delicious, and the food is made right in front of you.

Al's Breakfast

Espresso Royale offers a warm and cozy atmosphere. It is perfect for students to study and enjoy the quiet. It is also a great summer cafe with a covered seasonal patio.

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Looking for a place that not only offers a great dinner menu, but also has vegan and gluten free options? Check out Kafé 421 and their Greek influenced Menu.

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Another popular place is The Loring Pasta Bar. It is located in the building where Bob Dylan used to live in Minneapolis. If you are looking for a great atmosphere, live music and scrumptious food, this is the place to go.

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For those who like biking, there is Dinkytown Greenway,  a state bike highway and trail that goes along the Mississippi River. This half-mile trail is also great for evening strolls – you can walk to the Metrodome and Downtown, easily get to University of Minnesota, and enjoy the surrounding neighborhoods.

Dinkytown is, indeed, a “dinky” neighborhood with so many great places and entertainment! Share with us why you love Dinkytown!

Quick Neighborhood Stats



Neighborhood Resources

Neighborhood Schools

Faith Communities

 PEASE Academy  University Church of Lutheran Hope
 University Baptist Church
 St. Lawrence Catholic Church
 Sojourn Campus Church


Local Restaurants

 Varsity Theater  Loring Pasta Bar
 Kitty Kat Club  Al’s Breakfast
 The Library Bar  Kafe 421
 Blarney Pub & Grill  Annie’s Parlour
 Burrito Loco Bar & Grill  Mesa Pizza Dinkytown
 Shuang Cheng Restaurant

White Bear Lake, MN

The city of White Bear Lake has a rich history that is full conflict. According to White Bear Township, the first inhabitants of White Bear Lake were Native Americans of the Dakota tribe. The Dakotas’ rivals, the Ojibwe, lived just east of White Bear Lake. Battles over land and resources occurred frequently between the tribes, and as a result, a treaty was put in place that forced Native Americans to give up their land to immigrants.

Native Americans were relocated from the land in the late 1800’s, but their influence on the area still exists today. The city name, White Bear Lake, is taken from the Dakota word “Mahto-mde” which means “Bear Lake.” (Did you notice that the word sounds very similar to the name of the neighboring city, Mahtomedi?) The Treaty brought the first wood frame home in White Bear Lake in 1858 called the Aubrey House. From there, settlers built homes and businesses using the great resources the land had to offer.

Though White Bear Lake has a complicated past, it has grown into a tightly knit community with a lot to offer.

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This buzzing city is built on family-owned restaurants, repair shops, car dealerships and more. You will hardly find any chain businesses in White Bear because it is so full of local stores and eateries.

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There are many restaurants with awesome patios set on the beautiful shores of White Bear Lake. A popular choice is Admiral D’s Waterfront Tavern (shown below).

White Bear Lake018Admiral D’s menu includes a variety of reasonably priced items spanning Caribbean Pork Tacos, Strawberry salad, various burger options, and more!

Another icon of White Bear Lake is Cup and Cone. This establishment has been serving delicious ice cream with daily rotating flavors every summer for over 40 years. 

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In addition to great local restaurants, White Bear Lake is bursting with outdoor activities and green space. There are twenty four public parks in White Bear as well as the Tamarack Nature Center, two golf courses, three beaches, and many walking and biking trails.

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Other seasonal activities in White Bear Lake include going to the Pine Tree Apple Orchard and Marketfest!

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The Pine Tree Apple Orchard offers strawberry picking in the summer, and pumpkin picking, a corn maze, and hay rides in the fall! They also sell a wide variety of apple products during apple season in their main barn. Items include (but definitely not limited to) apple pies, apple butter, apple cider, and apple turnovers! For many families in the area, going to the Pine Tree Apple Orchard is an annual tradition.

Marketfest in White Bear Lake is a summer event that occurs every Thursday evening from mid June to late July. The festival includes food trucks, street performers, arts&crafts, and local vendors. Did we mention that it is free to attend?

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Have we piqued your interest in living in White Bear Lake? Here is some additional information that could help you out!

There are many reasons for families to choose White Bear Lake as their home. To start, over 50% of the people living in this suburb are married – that means a lot of other families to hang out with! Additionally, the crime rate in White Bear Lake is relatively low, and the schools are are great! In fact, Niche ranked the White Bear School district as above average in academics, and as one of the safest school districts in Minnesota and the USA.

Out of the 10,629 homes in White Bear, over 60 percent are single-family homes, with an median sales price of $222,957.  As reported by Trulia, median single-family home sales price has increased by 3% in the last three months. More people are realizing that White Bear is the place to be!

If you want to live on the large lake that White Bear has to offer, you might have to spend a little more! Lake homes on White Bear Lake start at around $150,000 and reach well into the million dollar range.


If you enjoy sailing, golfing, eating at local restaurants, and knowing your neighbors, White Bear could be the town for you! Below are some quick facts about the neighborhood to help you out!

Neighborhood Statistics


We love White Bear Lake! Are you a resident, or even a possible future resident? Let us know what you think!

Neighborhood Resources

Neighborhood Schools

Faith Communities

Birch Lake Elementary  First Lutheran Church
 Lakeaires Elementary  Eagle Brook Church
 Lincoln Elementary  St. Mary of the Lake
 Matoska International IB World School Elementary  St. John the Wilderness
 Otter Lake Elementary  White Bear Lake United Methodist
Willow Lane Elementary  Christ the King Lutheran Church
 Central Middle School  First Presbyterian Church
 Sunrise Park Middle School St. Pius X Church
White Bear Lake Area High School – North  St. Stephan Lutheran Church
White Bear Lake Area High School – South  Calvary Baptist Church
 Early Childhood Program  Redeemer Lutheran Church
White Bear Lake Area Learning Center  South Shore Trinity Lutheran Church
 Community Vineyard Church
 Parkview United Church-Christ
Victory Celebration Family Church
 Great Hope Church – The Nazarene
 White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church

Public Parks

Local Restaurants

Bossard Park Eat at Banning and Fifth
Cottage Park Nature Reserve Acqua Restaurant and Bar
Ebba Park Washington Square Bar & Grill
Hidden Hollow Park Cobblestone Cafe
Jack Yost Memorial Park Donatelli’s
Lakeview Park Orchid Restaurant
Lakewood Hills Park Cup and Cone
Lions Park Keys Cafe & Bakery
Matoska Park JJ’s Bierstube
McCarty Park Ingredients Cafe
Memorial Beach Bear Town Lounge & Restaurant
Podvin Park Black Sea Restaurant
Railroad Park Cravings
Ramaley Park Don Julio Mexican Restaurant
Rotary Nature Preserve Sam Thai Cuisine
 Spruce Park Ban Thai Restaurant
Stellmacher Park Ha Long Bay
Varney Lake Park Pizzeria Pezz
Veterans Memorial Park C.G. Hooks Eatery
West Park Pagoda
Weyerhaeuser Park Red Lantern Sushi
Willow Marsh Reserve Casa Lupita