Neighborhood Profile: Dinkytown

It goes without saying that the University of Minnesota campus is huge. From the calm of St. Paul to the hustle and bustle of Dinkytown, there is always something to explore. And since exploring isn’t always the easiest thing to do when you have a paper to write, a midterm to cram for, and hours to work, CEHD Undergrad has stepped in to bring you the must-see destinations of four campus neighborhoods: St. Paul, Dinkytown, Stadium Village, and West Bank.

Read on for the best of our first neighborhood, Dinkytown.


11133721_10205169494388421_3414045571303667639_nLoring Pasta Bar is great anytime, but don’t miss Sunday’s all-you-can-eat buffet filled with a variety of Loring’s signature pastas; breakfast favorites like French toast and scrambled eggs; and college luxuries like fresh fruit, sushi, roast beef, and mussels. And don’t even get us started on the dessert table: Crème brûlée chocolate covered strawberries, and cannoli anyone?

13126_10205169490668328_6243790982012511203_nLands End Pasty Company serves pasties, AKA Cornish pastries that look little giant hot pockets, but taste so much better. Visit the shop to try a meat or vegetables pasties for a delicious lunch or snack.

11150295_10205169486548225_1640683347246156436_nAl’s Breakfast is only ten feet wide and seats fourteen, resulting in a line that is out the door most mornings. The line seems to speak for itself in terms of the quality: guests rave about the Eggs Benedict, blueberry pancakes, and hash.

11133856_10205169487188241_1031536288258519816_nShuang Cheng Restaurant has been serving Cantonese food family style in Dinkytown for over twenty years.

1520630_10205169485468198_8937929704588293892_nJersey Mike’s is the newest restaurant to open in Dinkytown, selling subs “Mike’s Way” (with onion, lettuce, tomato, and a blend of red wine vinegar, olive oil, and spices) and slicing the meat right in the sub line. If you’re really hungry, the Jumbo sub is 15 inches.

644423_10205169494108414_4258926350705631291_nAnnie’s Parlor has burgers, fries, and THE. BEST. MILK. SHAKES.


11149335_10205169486868233_3657501139316690274_nEspresso Royale isn’t your typical grab-and-go coffee shop. Spend an afternoon studying while getting your caffeine fix (don’t miss the $2 Tuesday latte special!) and people watching the happenings of Dinkytown through the huge storefront windows.

purple_onionPurple Onion Café has a full menu and tons of coffee drinks, making it the perfect place for grabbing a bite to eat or cramming for a test—or both! 

10929973_10205169494828432_9034330555444365815_nBordertown Coffee is situated in an old fraternity house and serves up baked goods and ethically purchased coffee Monday through Friday.


gina+willGina + Will is a Goodwill resale shop selling sport and formalwear, interview attire, and casual clothing and shoes.

11082531_10205169490068313_4391769535370382558_n-1Fast Eddie’s Place has been repairing shoes beaten down by the elements and the daily walk to class for over thirty years.

Varsity Bike and Transit offers bikes, accessories, and repair to the local biking community.

Things to Do

Varsity Theatre brings national and international musical acts (past performers have included Ed Sheeran and Imagine Dragons!) to your doorstep. Weird bonus fact: the Varsity bathroom won Cintas’ America’s Best Restroom award in 2013.

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 11.20.26 PMStone Arch Bridge is less than a mile from Dinkytown and one of the best places to check out the Minneapolis skyline. Bonus: across the bridge is Izzy’s Ice Cream, which was named Reader’s Digest’s Best Ice Cream Shop in America in 2005.

4578043267_79d1d869c8_oAveda Institute is down University Avenue a mile outside of Dinkytown, but the prices of trainee-led haircuts and services, massages, manicures, and more make it noteworthy.

southeast_libSoutheast Library is part of the Hennepin County Library branch, allowing you access to virtually any book and providing a quiet place to study on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday.

Photo sources: Aveda Institute, Izzy’s Ice Cream

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