Mississippi River and Minnehaha
The Mississippi River and Minnehaha byway districts have majestic water views of the river, the falls, the creek, and both Lake Hiawatha and Lake Nokomis. The Mississippi path covers the west side of the river from 35W downtown to Godfrey Parkway and the east side to just shy of Marshall Avenue. The Minnehaha district picks up at Minnehaha Park, follows the Minnehaha Creek, encircles Lake Nokomis, and continues to Lake Harriet. Together, these paths cover over 20 miles and make for a great day trip, with plenty of time for snack breaks. Here are our recommendations on where to pull off the trail and grab a bite to eat.
3311 E 25th St.
The Nice Ride bikes out front say it all, as far as we're concerned. A mere five or six blocks from the Grand Rounds at East 25th Street, the Birchwood makes a fantastic entry point to the trail. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the cafe can please your hot dog loving kids and your vegan best friend, all while keeping sustainability in the mix. The Birchwood cobbler is a particular Hot Dish favorite that is not to be missed.
2990 West River Pkwy
A few pedals from the path, this Blue Plate restaurant has killer banana waffles, a full bar and an inviting patio, making it easy to settle in for breakfast or a burger. Uber-convenient to the Grand Rounds, it's perfect fare for those who dig comfort food and a warm neighborhood vibe. Refuel with some sweet potato fries in one of Longfellow Grill's cozy booths before heading back out on your bike.3. Sea Salt Eatery
4825 Minnehaha Ave
Cruise right into Minnehaha Park for some of the best seafood in town. If you come for a weekend dinner, the line can be dauntingly long, but it's worth the wait. Gorging on fresh oysters and fish (sourced from Coastal Seafoods), then washing it down with a Summit or a bit of Spanish wine, is a perfect bike ride reward. Remember, though, that Sea Salt is only open through the end of October.
3933 E Minnehaha Pkwy
While the falls and lakes may be more popular, Longfellow Gardens is our picnicking pick. An urban oasis packed with multi-hued blooms and leaves, it sits above the site of the original park and boasts a far-off view of the downtown skyline. Throw a blanket on the grass or sit on the benches and look out over the creek, park, and surrounding areas as you dine. If you forget to bring provisions, Sea Salt is just a short walk or ride away.
4737 Cedar Ave S
The frozen treat options in the Minnehaha district are numerous and delicious, but our fave is the old-fashioned homemade ice cream at Grand Ole Creamery. Turn north onto Cedar and give yourself a prize for biking all that way. Whether you get peanut butter fudge swirl, maple nut, or vanilla malt, the jumbo cone will not do you wrong. Worried about calories? Get back on your bike and work it off simply by riding home.