Uptown may not be the same place Prince wrote a song about, but that doesn’t mean you should write it off.
While the Minneapolis neighborhood has undergone a great deal of change, especially over the past few years, it’s still a shopping destination with a blend of local institutions, millennial-friendly furniture and clothing stores, and some foodie stops for good measure.
CLOTHING AND MAKEUP:
Where you’ll find it: 1201 Lagoon Ave.
What you’ll find: This local boutique got its start in Dinkytown selling the popular designer denim brands of the ’00s. Eventually the shop expanded and moved to a bright, sophisticated spot on Lagoon. Covered has mastered a nice mix of trendy, budget-friendly pieces, unique brands you won’t find in other Twin Cities shops, delicate jewelry, cozy cashmere, and, of course, denim.
Pro Tip: Hit up Covered for cool, not-too-formal special occasion dresses, which are great for things like weddings and New Year’s Eve fetes.
Where you’ll find it: 2900 Hennepin Ave.
What you’ll find: The Fluevog store looks as though it would have been right at home in the “old” Uptown. The shoes, with their instantly recognizable curved heels, are a little alternative, a little vintage, and a little punk rock.
Where you’ll find it: 2912 Hennepin Ave.
What you’ll find: The name is Swedish for “great raincoats.” Okay, not really. However, this Swedish retailer does make some great outdoor gear. Their backpacks are currently de rigueur for the VSCO girls, if you need their stamp of approval.
Where you’ll find it: 2922 Hennepin Ave.
What you’ll find: MAC needs no explanation. The makeup company made a name for itself with its brightly colored cosmetics and artistry, and continues to operate on the frontlines of beauty today. Stop in for everything from a simple matte lipstick to a full face of Halloween makeup.
Pro tip: Buy a pair of lashes and they’ll apply them for you.
Where you’ll find it: 3006 Hennepin Ave.
What you’ll find: Urban Outfitters has been part of the Uptown shopping scene since the mid-’00s. What’s the secret to its success? It’s a big, expansive store, with shoes, clothing, vinyl, gifts, Instax cameras, housewares, and more. Currently, the Urban vibe is all ’90s throwbacks, all the time, and it’s popular with visiting teens.
Pro tip: Head upstairs to the clearance section; you can find treasures amid all the discounted teeny sundresses.
Where you’ll find it: 1433 W. Lake St.
What you’ll find: Oh, Ragstock. What would Uptown be without you? While Ragstock is technically a chain, the Uptown location has a special magic. Maybe it’s because it’s in a basement? Ragstock is a go-to spot for Halloween costumes, with a mix of (inexpensive!) vintage pieces and new items to cobble together your costume. It’s also piled to the ceiling with jewelry, accessories, cheeky tees, and way, way more. Ragstock is always changing but always staying the same, and that makes it an essential part of Uptown.
Where you’ll find it: 1609 W. Lake St.
What you’ll find: Combine is a newbie in the neighborhood, though its founder, Michael Pickart, ran the iconic, dearly departed Intoto for years. The new shop features a casual, California-cool vibe with brands like Splendid, Seavees shoes, and Velvet, as well as home goods and jewelry.
Sephora and H&M
Where you’ll find them: 3001 Hennepin Ave. (Calhoun Square)
What you’ll find: Much like MAC, these two massively popular, omnipresent retailers don’t really need an explanation, but they’re both in Calhoun Square and thus warrant a spot on this list. The Sephora space is clean, organized, and filled with friendly, helpful employees, and if the Mall of America H&M stresses you out, you may find the Calhoun version a bit more calm.
Where you’ll find it: 3001 Hennepin Ave. (Calhoun Square)
What you’ll find: On the second floor of Calhoun Square you’ll find Sharp360, a menswear store filled with pretty much everything an Uptown guy could need: shoes, workwear, casualwear, and suiting.
Roam Furniture & Lighting
Where you’ll find it: 2914 Hennepin Ave.
What you’ll find: Fulfill your mid-century modern dreams at Roam, which boasts a mix of local and international furniture and home designs, from graphic lighting fixtures to long, elegant couches.
Where you’ll find it: 3045 Hennepin Ave.
What you’ll find: CB2 is part of the Crate + Barrel family. Its modern, hip-but-not-trendy furniture and housewares with accessible price points fit right in with the Uptown neighborhood, particularly with residents in their mid-twenties and thirties. Treat yourself to an upgrade from IKEA, or pick up a few inexpensive home accessories to give your place a boost without spending a ton of your hard-earned cash.
Pro tip: Want your house to look like you have your shit together? Invest in a set of CB2 glassware and mugs and display them on an open shelf. Boom! You’re a grown-up.
Where you’ll find it: 3028 Hennepin Ave.
What you’ll find: Penzey’s is a politically active spice company (that paid around $100,000 for pro-impeachment ads on Facebook), offering basically every spice you can think of in its cozy Uptown space.
Pro tip: The spices make great gifts.
Where you’ll find it: 3001 Hennepin Ave. (Calhoun Square)
What you’ll find: If you aren’t obsessed with Le Creuset and its myriad of colorful cookware, you will be after a little time at Kitchen Window. Whether you’re shopping for a new stock pot or need a super random, niche kitchen tool, Kitchen Window’s experienced, friendly staff will hook you up with exactly what you need.
Pro tip: Don’t miss out on their “sidewalk sales” just outside the shop’s indoor entrance.
BOOKS AND CRAFTS:
Magers & Quinn
Where you’ll find it: 3038 Hennepin Ave.
What you’ll find: This Uptown institution is packed with books of all kinds, including work from local authors, expensive antique editions, and new bestsellers. It’s easy to get lost in their shelves for an hour or two and emerge with a pile of paperbacks you didn’t know you couldn’t live without.
Pro tip: Magers & Quinn buys books, so bring in your used novels and nonfiction and trade for new ones.
Where you’ll find it: 3048 Hennepin Ave.
What you’ll find: Feel like splurging on a cute card for your mom or BFF? Got the urge to get crafty? Planning a party? Head to Paper Source, aka paradise for the Martha Stewart set. The store boasts an impressive selection of greeting cards, walls full of fancy gift wrap/craft paper, stamps, gifts, and party decor.
Pro tip: Need a planner that isn’t hideous? Paper Source has way cuter planners than your local Office Depot.