People & Places

  • Best Neighborhood


    Sitting right on the border of Edina, the Armatage neighborhood has quickly staked its claim as one Minneapolis's unsung hotspots for foodies, families, and fitness, providing a little something for everyone. For the food lover, uber-popular Café Maude offers a phenomenal Sunday brunch (the full menu is pretty good too), Café Vin brings a French flair to the neighborhood, and… More >>
  • Best Hipster Neighborhood


    Last summer, Minnesota was named "Most Hipster State in the U.S." by BuzzFeed, a website that regurgitates all viral media it considers worthy of regurgitation. As BuzzFeed put it, while Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood is allegedly the hotbed of hipsterism, it is actually the Minnesota hipster aesthetic that Williamsburg hipsters seek to imitate. So what is the most hipster neighborhood within… More >>
  • Best Undiscovered Neighborhood

    St. Paul's North End

    There's nothing pretty about Rice Street. Named after fur trader-turned-politician Henry Mower Rice, who is buried in the neighborhood's storied Oakland Cemetery (the oldest in the city), the street was ushered into its status as the central corridor anchoring St. Paul's North End neighborhood in the 1890s with the arrival of the street car, and it's still about as utilitarian… More >>
  • Best Corner

    Grand Avenue and West 46th Street

    If you're looking for the best corner in the Twin Cities, why not pick one that represents our idyllic combination of small-town quality of life and cosmopolitan sophistication—and one where you can also eat like a king. In the comfy Kingfield neighborhood of south Minneapolis, the intersection of Grand Avenue and West 46th Street offers the best in food, drink,… More >>
  • Best Street

    Lake Street

    Lake Street has pretty much everything. From the hoity-toity to the down-and-out, a vast array of humanity congregates along this throughway. The street's western end is nestled between Lakes Calhoun and Isles, where rollerbladers and yuppie types rule. To the east, Lake ends at the Mississippi River; the street changes names as it continues into St. Paul. Bicyclists and young… More >>
  • Best Lake

    Cedar Lake

    The northernmost body of water in Minneapolis's Chain of Lakes is also the cleanest and has the most rustic feel. Cedar Lake features unpaved walking paths, and it doesn't have a road around the lake for cars, which makes for a blissfully quiet atmosphere. Swimmers have three beaches to choose from, so they can consider the time of day and… More >>
  • Best View

    Minneapolis skyline from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

    The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is filled with amazing things to see, but one of the museum's prettiest pictures isn't inside its walls but outside. On your next visit, venture up to the top floor and walk to the far north end. There you'll find an enormous glass window framing the city's best view of the modest but magnificent Minneapolis… More >>
  • Best Building

    Cathedral of St. Paul

    You don't have to be Catholic, or even religious, to appreciate the Cathedral of St. Paul. The magnificent stone edifice, with its great copper-clad dome, overlooks the city of St. Paul from its perch on Summit Hill with an angelic grace, a testament to, at the very least, human engineering and perseverance. Modeled after the great cathedrals of Europe, it… More >>
  • Best Bus Route

    Route 94

    While some people see public transportation as a party on wheels, the majority of bus riders are just looking for the quickest and easiest way to get around town. Running from downtown Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul, Route 94 provides a quick loop in both cities before hopping on I-94 for an express trip to the sister city. With a… More >>
  • Best Local Website

    MPLS Bike Love

    Here in the Twin Cities, nothing makes us feel warmer and fuzzier inside than our rich bike culture. And why not? We live in a state covered in snow and ice for half the year, and Minneapolis is still regarded as one of the best cities for bicycling on planet Earth. MPLS Bike Love has played no small part in… More >>
  • Best Local Blog

    Ripple in Stillwater

    Ever since the entire planet figured out Tumblr, the internet has been saturated with digitized diaries and cat pictures and the term "blogger" has become somewhat pejorative. It's a shame, because Minnesota is home to so many great political and news blogs, many of which scoop the mainstream media by miles. Lately, none has been quite as impressive as Ripple… More >>
  • Best Tweeter

    Chris Kluwe, a.k.a. @chriswarcraft

    Chris Kluwe, the lovably geeky Vikings punter, has achieved the impossible in celebrity tweeting: a Twitter feed that won't insult the entire country's homosexual community or be read top to bottom in vocal fry. Instead, @chriswarcraft is pitch perfect. He gives his 42,000-plus followers a voyeuristic window into his fancy, fancy world ("In a limo ... wondering if I should… More >>
  • Best Local YouTube Video

    Street Stories

    Consider the commonplace. Be mindful of the mundane. And never "ho-hum" the humdrum. This seems to be the driving philosophy behind "Street Stories," a locally produced series available both at MPLS.TV and on YouTube. Executive producer Joanna Solotaroff, who works by day as a community organizer and by night as an improv actor, puts both skills to use curating the… More >>
  • Best Myth

    Stillwater Bigfoot

    Last summer, a YouTube video captured an image of a tall, blurry, ape-like figure loping through the woods somewhere near Stillwater. It's not the first time a Minnesotan has reported a Sasquatch sighting, but it is the most exciting in recent history. There have long been rumors circulating about Bigfoot taking up residence in the northeastern part of the state… More >>
  • Best Meme

    The Duck-Dog Debacle

    The whole "drunk anchor" meme from Mankato probably traveled further and got more clicks, but then it ended up being sort of depressing. By contrast, the "duck-dog" situation was always primo cocktail party material, and still is today. To recap: An ambitious WCCO report tries to nail a Chinatown meat market in New York City for selling dog meat that… More >>
  • Best Local Girl Made Good

    Semonti Stephens

    It's hard to know whether working in the White House is anything like The West Wing, but some Minnesotans have firsthand details. One is Crystal native Semonti Stephens. As deputy communications director to First Lady Michelle Obama, Stephens participates in a variety of public events and juggles the daunting number of daily requests for face time with her boss. The… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Made Good

    Jim Burke

    It takes a mix of hard work and luck to make a mark in Hollywood. Edina native and veteran film producer Jim Burke might add that it's important to have the right collaborators. For example, the University of Minnesota alum has a professional connection with director-writer Alexander Payne dating back to 1999's Election, but in recent months the focus has… More >>
  • Best Politician

    John Kriesel

    In today's divisive world of Minnesota politics, sane moments are hard to come by. That's why Republican John Kriesel made such an impression. At the end of the 2011 legislative session, when everyone was ignoring the pressing budget crisis in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, Kriesel was one of the only Republicans who refused to toe… More >>
  • Best Villain

    Michael Brodkorb

    Michael Brodkorb is a villainous mastermind of epic proportions, worthy of a role in a 007 movie. But instead of holding the world hostage with, say, a laser or something, Brodkorb is holding Minnesota Republican legislators hostage with secrets of their own sexcapades. Last winter, Brodkorb was fired from his position as a GOP Senate communications staffer amid allegations of… More >>
  • Best Scandal


    Regardless of one's political leanings, we feel pretty comfy saying the year's biggest scandal was the resignation of State Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch after allegations she had an affair with a "male staffer." It now seems clear the staffer was the former deputy chair of the state Republican Party, Michael Brodkorb. Koch was confronted and pushed into resignation; Brodkorb… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Single Men (Straight)

    Fulton Brewing Taproom

    This is probably not the award the founders of Fulton Brewing were hoping for when they opened the first taproom in Minneapolis this spring, but sorry fellas, it's true. Throughout the brewery's soft open for growler sales and recent unveiling of the taproom, cute, well-dressed boys in their 20s and 30s have been lined up out the door. Maybe a… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Single Men (Gay)

    Camp Bar

    While Minneapolis may seem like the best place to find a guy, due to the number of gay bars throughout downtown, your best bet for making a connection is at Camp Bar in St. Paul. Unlike at the louder and more crowded scene across town, as a patron of Camp Bar you have the run of three separate spaces to… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Single Women (Straight)

    Hipshaker at the Kitty Cat Klub

    Despite what those LiveLinks commercials tell us, being on the prowl is more fun than picking up a phone. That said, finding an event that manages to be flirty without feeling like a meat market can be tough. Thankfully, Hipshaker dance night has been bringing the ladies out to the clubs for almost a decade. The soul and funk party,… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Women (Lesbian)

    Grown & Sexy at Hell's Kitchen

    Grown and Sexy, the quarterly queer performance and dance party, sells out at Hell's Kitchen because DJ Shannon Blowtorch, Sweetpea, and Nadine DuBois team up to provide a unique blend of crowd participation and socialization, fertile ground for meeting someone special. Move your body in marathon dance-party style to soul, funk, hip hop, Top 40, electro, Latin, and club bangers.… More >>
  • Best Make-Out Spot

    Prohibition, W Minneapolis—The Foshay

    Towering 27 floors high in the historic Foshay Tower, and originally designed as Wilbur Foshay's private retreat, this sexy bar atop the W Hotel Minneapolis serves specialty martinis and your not-so-standard bar fare snacks. Indulge in a plate of truffled deviled eggs and tenderloin carpaccio at a romantic table for two, sprawl out on the creme-colored leather bed tucked away… More >>
  • Best Place for a First Date

    Target Free Thursday Nights at Walker Art Center

    First dates are almost always incredibly awkward. Activities help things move along, lessening the likelihood of unpleasant pauses in conversation. Target Free Thursday Nights at the Walker Art Center are loaded with things to do that will keep things moving along. Each month the museum schedules special events throughout the building for guests to enjoy. Happenings include spoken-word performances, film… More >>
  • Best Break-Up Spot

    Nickelodeon Universe

    Breakups — the ones that don't devolve into car keying — are best done in private. However, sometimes it's best to go out with a bang. The Mall of America contains dozens of ways to ruin a relationship that will be funny later (much later), many of them in Nickelodeon Universe. Lumber past him on the Sky Trail ropes course… More >>
  • Best Place to People-Watch

    Saintly City Cat Club events

    The Saintly City Cat Club's signature event is the crowning of the Household Pet King and Queen, which coincides with the St. Paul Winter Carnival. After two days of careful cat judging, a king cat and queen cat are selected and squished into tiny blue crowns and capes at a coronation ceremony. Who wouldn't like to see the people who… More >>
  • Best Tourist Attraction

    Minnesota State Fair

    The Minnesota State Fair is often maligned by those who live near it, but for folks not from the Twin Cities, and especially those not from the state, the fair is quite a sight. After a series of territorial fairs, the first Minnesota State Fair was held in 1859 near what would become downtown Minneapolis, and it has now grown… More >>
  • Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests

    St. Anthony Falls

    Any attempts to show the Twin Cities area at its best to a skeptical visitor will need to cover a lot of bases: the city as cultural nexus, a place of historical import, a melding of civilization and nature, and a vibrant center of day-to-day life. It so happens that practically every great aspect of Minneapolis life is within walking… More >>
  • Best Place to Do Something for Free

    Art Shanty Projects

    When budgets are tight, it can be hard to find fun things to do that won't eat the measly contents of your wallet. This winter, the Art Shanties made a triumphant return to Medicine Lake with free shenanigans each weekend for all ages. This year's friendly frozen community featured basketball on ice, complete with motivational speeches, a fashion shanty where… More >>
  • Best Strip Club

    The Seville

    As meeting places for dirty minds go, the Seville Club has the cleanest reputation in town. It's as classy on the outside — resembling a quaint European bistro — as it is on the inside, with luxurious banquettes, exposed brick, and an upstairs VIP area. The customer gets everything he wants — gorgeous girls, a stiff cocktail, good food —… More >>
  • Best Charity

    The Bridge for Youth

    According to a November 2011 report by KARE 11, on any given night in Minnesota some 2,500 young people between the ages of 16 and 21 have nowhere to go. No support, no money, no hope, and vulnerable to exploitation. Not everyone has a sympathetic family member to turn to. Sometimes families are a big part of the problem. The… More >>
  • Best State Fair Food

    Sweet corn ice cream at Blue Moon Dine-in theater

    Sure, the cheese curds are delightful, and there's always a healthy line for the walleye on a stick, but it's the unusual pairings and unique concepts at the Minnesota State Fair that adventurous attendees get really excited about. Enter the sweet-corn ice cream, a dish that blends a serving of veggies with your dessert. While this may sound like an… More >>
  • Best Festival

    MNfashion's Minneapolis-St. Paul Fashion Week

    Not every city in the Midwest has a local fashion scene vibrant enough to sustain a week of runway shows, parties, and open houses, but each year MNfashion manages to pull off the impressive Minneapolis-St. Paul Fashion Week. This year's festival of fashion included the Minneapolis launch of the Red Dress Collection, a runway show dedicated to emerging designers at… More >>
  • Best Sign of Spring

    Return of the food trucks

    The smell of Korean barbecue and spiced doughnuts wafting across the Capitol lawn in St. Paul or through the streets of downtown Minneapolis is to an adult what the first tinkling sounds of the ice cream man are to kids. No one is following weather patterns more closely than the entrepreneurs behind Chef Shack, Dandelion Kitchen, Barrio, and Gastrotruck, who… More >>

Best of Award Graphics