Category Archives: Neighborhood Profile

Neighborhood Profile: West Bank

The fourth and final stop on our University of Minnesota neighborhood tour is West Bank. This part of campus is chock-full of unrivaled restaurants and fun things to do. Bored? Swing by Cedar Riverside and spend an afternoon in this area. When it comes to West Bank, there’s no such thing as wasted time, there’s only time well spent!

Food Food Clipart

Hard Times Café


This Twin Cities café is truly one of a kind. For starters, it’s open 22 hours a day (closed from 4 to 6 am), only accepts cash payments, and has an all vegan menu. The food is cheap and tasty, and this eatery serves breakfast throughout the day. Moreover, you can get access to their free Wi-Fi and complimentary street parking. Oh and know that no one will come to your table to take your order! Instead, grab a pen and a piece of paper and write it down yourself. Simply record your order, write the price in front of each item, and then total the numbers up at the end. When your food is ready, the chef will yell out your name and you best go fetch it… fast. You won’t be waited on hand and foot here, you’ll get a sense of what life was like back in the “hard times”.

Acadia Café


This café and music venue is located in the heart of West Bank and they serve up some of the most delicious grub. You can order anything from hummus & pita chips to a tex mex burger at this food joint. Acadia even has a scenic outdoor seating area draped with lights and flowers. Additionally, this café strives to provide entertainment for the Minneapolis area seven days a week and they host karaoke night every Thursday. To see an all-inclusive list of upcoming events at Acadia Café, visit today!

Mapps Coffee & Tea


This picturesque coffee shop helps to bring a worldly ambiance to our college campus. Located on the lively corner of Cedar and Riverside Avenue, Mapps Coffee is a family owned business providing elite customer service. Stop on in to enjoy their cozy atmosphere and to sip on one of their delicious drinks. You’ll find everything from mint frappes to green tea smoothies on their menu. Oh and don’t forget to test out their Turkish coffee that’s brewed to perfection! For a full list of menu options, click here.

Afro Deli

Afro Deli

This delightful deli offers everything from coffee and tea to lunch, dinner, and dessert. The venture manages to weave together a sense of community and culture. Afro Deli provides a variety of foods at affordable prices and better yet, the cuisine is served quickly. You can find newly made Mediterranean, African and American food here that showcases a wonderful blend and balance of flavors as well as indoor and outdoor dining to accommodate your seasonal seating desires.

Fun fact: In 2013, the Afro Deli won a Minnesota Daily Grapevine Award for “best campus restaurant”. Want to see their rockstar menu? It’s right here waiting for you!

The Wienery

The Wienery

Yep you guessed it, The Wienery specializes in making hot dogs. Diners can customize their dogs by choosing from a range of different styles and toppings. Also, any dog can be made Mexican style (wrapped in bacon!) for a mere $1.50 surcharge. This restaurant serves everything from breakfast to dessert and offers foodies a diverse selection of grub. Whether you’re in the mood for a veggie melt or a rootbeer float, this restaurant is sure to satisfy your cravings. And here’s some noteworthy news- this family owned and operated restaurant was featured on the Food Network’s TV show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives! Pretty cool, huh? Click to view the short video segment.



This well-known restaurant opened its doors to the Cedar Riverside community in 1977. Today, it’s Davanni’s #2 shop, cooking up quality calzones, hot hoagies, zesty pizzas, flavorful pastas, succulent salads, delicious desserts, sharable dishes, and a plethora of vegetarian options. Oh and another thing, Davanni’s delivers! To place an order for delivery, simply visit

The Lucky Dragon Restaurant


The Lucky Dragon has a vast menu consisting of many classic Vietnamese and Chinese dishes. This diner’s portions are massive and their prices are unbelievably low. You basically receive two meals for the price of one, making this an ideal spot for college kids. Swing by the Lucky Dragon Restaurant sometime to receive exceptional customer service and savory soft serve ice cream cones.


Shopping bag

Thrifty Outfitters 

Thrifty Outfitters

If you’re an outdoors enthusiast living on a little budget, you’re sure to love Thrifty Outfitters! This locally owned outdoor gear store vends quality products at discount prices and always has a wide-ranging selection of equipment in stock.

Plus ++

  • There’s a repair shop with experts on staff
  • New bargains are constantly arriving (so shop here regularly!)
  • Thrifty Outfitters offers free yoga classes on Saturday mornings from 8:15- 9:00 am


Theatre in the Round

Theatre in the Round

This matchless theatre is host to a year-round schedule of performances produced by professional artistic directors. Here, more than 300 volunteer actors, designers, and technicians bring shows to life and the stage sits directly in the middle of the venue. The way these comfy seats surround the stage creates an intimate feel for the audience members, a memorable experience for the artists, and a cozy atmosphere for all. At Theatre in the Round, the spectators are physically closer to the action, making productions all the more thrilling. If you’re looking to see one heck of a show, check out this venue on a Friday or Sunday. On Fridays and Sundays only, students with a valid school ID pay just $15 for entry. Oh and don’t forget to arrive fashionably early (that’s a thing!) because Theatre in the Round has a lovely lounge where snacks, drinks, and conversation can all be enjoyed before showtime.

Cedar Cultural Center

Cedar Cultural Center

The Cedar Cultural Center is a unique, non-profit performing arts organization celebrated for hosting an array of productions. Come here to see indie, folk, experimental, jazz, and blues artists play, or to catch comedy acts, dance routines, fascinating films, spoken word performances, and community events. This center presents the best of local, national, and transnational music and puts on more than 250 events each year- attend one of them! For a comprehensive list of events, visit

Continue reading Neighborhood Profile: West Bank

Neighborhood Profile: Stadium Village

The third stop on our UMN neighborhood tour is Stadium Village, undergrads! In this area of campus, you’ll find tasty restaurants, cute, little coffee shops, and plenty of fun things to do. This spot is also home to all of the U’s sports arenas. So if you’ve got school spirit, swing by and let your fellow Gophers hear it!


Raising Canes


Raising Cane’s menu consists of quality chicken fingers and crinkle cut fries that won’t disappoint. This restaurant’s secret sauce also gives them bragging rights; it adds just a touch of spice to an already amazing spread. Additionally, their quick service can’t be beat and you can find yummy garlic bread inside their box combo meals. Wanna hear a fun fact? The founder of Raising Canes received the lowest grade in his class for a business plan that he wrote in college. His professor told him that a chicken finger restaurant would never work, but he didn’t let that stop him. And, thank goodness he didn’t. Stadium Village just wouldn’t be the same without Raising Canes!

Buffalo Wild Wings


On sunny summer days, what beats dining outdoors? Answer: nothing. This Buffalo Wild Wings location has an expansive patio offering outside seating. Inside, they have wall-to-wall HD TVs and big screens, helping all of the Stadium Village sports fanatics to catch their favorite games. Moreover, BWW has tasty wings and “Boneless Thursdays”, where each boneless wing just costs you a mere $0.60 (GASP!). This restaurant is located in the historic No. 19 Fire Station Building, which was constructed in the year 1893 and is one of the two original Minneapolis fire houses still standing. Isn’t that pretty nifty? We think so!

Big 10 Restaurant/ Sub Shop


This famous restaurant is known for their superb subs and award-winning wings. They also serve up signature burgers, chicken sandwiches, wraps, salads, fresh soups, homemade chili, and an array of apps. Although the Big 10 Restaurant and Sub Shop have been around for over 5 decades, people still continue to rave about the great food and friendly customer service.

Yogurt Lab


If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’ll love Yogurt Lab. This self-serve frozen yogurt shop makes their yogurt fresh daily. They offer mouth-watering yogurt flavors and an endless variety of toppings. At Yogurt Lab, you’re encouraged to get creative while crafting your tasty treat and you’ll be surprised to find that there are 16 unique flavors on tap at all times.

The Tea Garden


Mmmmmm, bubble tea. Originating in Taiwan, bubble tea combines brewed teas with a range of exotic natural fruit concentrates. You can order yours shaken, blended, or served cold. And the best part? You’ll find tapioca pearls at the bottom! Their menu also includes tea lattes, fruit teas, chais, coolers, and shakes, which can also become bubble teas if you choose to add bubbles to them. The Tea Garden’s loose leaf teas are sure to satisfy your taste buds and their selection of gourmet sandwiches, snacks, and desserts will keep you coming back time and time again. This teashop provides customers with free Wi-Fi, making it a prime study spot. Additionally, on some weekends, you’ll find that the Tea Garden features live performances by Jazz musicians and DJs.


Oak Street Textbooks


This bookstore is cheap and offers a sense of convenience to its customers. Oak Street Textbooks not only sells new and used books, but it also provides other services to students. Oak Street Textbooks allows you to sell your books back to the store and they also let you rent out textbooks from them. Yes, yes, you read that right, they have a textbook rental program in place!

Fun things to do 

Williams Arena, Mariucci Hockey Arena, TCF Bank Stadium, & Goldy’s Locker Room


Are you an avid team supporter? Swing by Williams Arena to check out a Golden Gopher’s basketball game, stop into Mariucci Arena to see the Gophs play some puck, and then don’t forget to hit up TCF Bank Stadium to cheer loud and proud for our school’s football team. But wait! Before the game, make sure you check out Goldy’s Locker Room. Here you’ll find the latest and all-time greatest Gopher gear. They’ve got that maroon and gold apparel that college kids can’t wait to sport. Oh and don’t forget that TCF Bank Stadium also hosts some pretty cool concerts. Upcoming performers taking the TCF stage include: The Rolling Stones, Luke Bryan with Florida Georgia Line, Randy Houser, Thomas Rhett and Dustin Lynch, and One Direction.

CorePower Yoga


Sick of running and lifting weights? Try hitting up CorePower Yoga when you’re in need of a satisfying workout. They offer countless classes throughout the day, making it easy to fit a workout into your busy schedule. CorePower’s classes will challenge you, help you to alleviate a little stress, and make you break a sweat.

Shin Hair Salon/Karaoke

Whether you need a trim or can carry a tune, you should stop by Shin Hair Salon/Karaoke. The atmosphere here is lively, giving off a feel good vibe. With a business concept as unique as this one, this place deserves to be put on every UMN student’s bucket list. Without a doubt, you should check this place out!

Continue reading Neighborhood Profile: Stadium Village

St. Paul Neighborhood Profile

The second stop on our University of Minnesota neighborhood tour is is St. Paul. While some may think of St. Paul as the cows-filled counterpart of Minneapolis, its actually filled with its own set of unique shops, cozy cafés, and a multitude of new ways to spend an afternoon. So hop on a campus connector or catch a 3 bus and head over to our next UMN  neighborhood.


IMG_8945Colossal Café is located on Como Avenue and serves up breakfast classics like  pancakes, omelets, and pastries, in addition to a lunch menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, and Mac n’ Cheese– all made from scratch!

11173358_10205241151619807_1216437071937274767_nFinnish Bistro offers European dishes like quiche, lefse, and pasties;  live music performances; and cakes that look too good to eat (not that we wouldn’t.)

11173397_10205241154419877_9178634916669311796_nMim’s Cafe is across the road from St. Paul campus and the perfect place to fill up on  Middle Eastern favorites like hummus, kabob, falafel, and shawarma between classes. Lori’s Coffee House shares a building with Mim’s and is a favorite study spot of students who want a quiet place to get their caffeine fix.

IMG_9947Tim and Tom’s Speedy Market is a grocery store slash treasure hunt with tons of unique local and international products, including a meat counter, grab-and-go sandwiches and salads, and more ice cream and soda options that you’ll know what to do with!



IMG_9946Bibelot is the perfect place to find unique home goods, jewelry and accessories, and Minnesota-themed gifts. Step upstairs and explore a clothing shop with new and resale items.

11159529_10205241152299824_4650480932431059360_nMicawber’s Books is a local shop that’s provided bestsellers, fiction and nonfiction finds, poetry, and more to the St. Paul community for over 40 years.

dairy_salesroomSt. Paul Dairy Salesroom sells  ice cream, meat (Juicy Lucy’s anyone?!), cheese, and a variety of other items that CFANS students produce in the UMN dairy lab. Try one of the shop’s  popular ice cream flavors like Gopher Gold when the salesroom is open to the public Wednesdays from 2-5 p.m.


Things to Do           

1530311_10205241152619832_5093029095083579025_nSt. Anthony Park Library is a great alternative for when you just don’t feel like studying on campus.

11070610_10205241152059818_3194241939502992799_nCollege Park is the perfect place for a picnic, game of pickup basketball, or relaxing walk.



The Minnesota State Fairgrounds doesn’t only host entertainment two weeks out of the year! Some of our picks for the best non-fair entertainment:

Images: Minnesota State Fair logo