It took me one visit to love Duluth. Even in February, when the winds hurl sub-zero winds from across the lake.
In February, we felt like we had the lake to ourselves. In the summers you have to share.
Last weekend we headed 2.5 hours north back to Duluth. A mere 2.5 hours north, I-35 takes you far away from the hustle and bustle of the Twin Cities. As the hills open up and you reach the port you’ll feel like you’ve different world.
There was a blues music festival down in the open park by the aquarium, bringing lots of visitors to the area. Canadian wildfires north cast a sort of sleepy haze over the lake.
Grand Avenue is a popular street running through St. Paul, Minnesota.
It’s also near our home, which means we’ve found ourselves here on Grand a lot over the past couple years.
People flock here for shopping, walking, and restaurants. There’s the adorable and independent Red Balloon Bookshop that many of our parents took us to when we were kids, The Bibelot, Grand Ole Creamery, Juut Salon Spa. Or some of us may remember dancing at the Wild Onion (RIP) and drinking at Billie’s.
It’s natural to get excited about all of the new restaurants opening around the Twin Cities. But, I wanted to dedicate this post to three places I love along Grand Avenue that have stood the test of time for 13+ years.
I just wanted to take this moment to write about my one of my favorite local pizzerias, Davanni’s.
Our closest Davanni’s is actually the local chain’s first of 21 pizza shops which opened in 1975.
I’m not even sure what type of pizza Davanni’s serves. It’s not New York-style and it’s not exactly Minnesota-style pizza. The crust choices include thin, traditional, and deep dish.
The deep dish (above) might not taste exactly like the classics from Chicago, but it’s something we crave from time to time. The traditional crust is my favorite.
I’m not going to claim that Davanni’s serves the best pizza in Minnesota. What I will say is that Davanni’s is like an old friend. It serves some of my favorite pizza and the pizza is always consistent.
Now that Davanni’s is our neighbor we eat there a lot.
Even though we’ve lived in the Twin Cities most of our lives, there are many classic and much talked-about restaurants we haven’t visited.
The North Loop area in downtown Minneapolis has boomed since our first move to Fargo and we haven’t spent much time there. In fact, we rarely go to downtown Minneapolis on weekends. I love working there, but am eager to catch the early bus after work to beat the traffic and crowds.
It’s possible to find parking downtown, but you will have to navigate around all of the construction, meters, and pay lots/ramps, all typical downtown stuff. If you can take a bus, the light rail, or Lyft, it’s a breeze. And, you don’t have to worry about enjoying some drinks.
It’s been years since I’ve visited the Mill City Farmers Market.
This market is larger than the Midtown Farmers Market (my recent post here) and much smaller than the Minneapolis and St. Paul downtown markets.
It’s really a perfect size.
Founded by Brenda Langton, the market is located in a space between Spoonriver and The Guthrie near the Stone Arch Bridge in downtown Minneapolis. On a nice morning, the scene is dreamy; Happy people walking their dogs and wandering the market, the morning sunlight glow illuminating the grassy hill and sculptures rising up from Gold Medal Park.
This stretch of 2nd street N. is very busy, but I never have trouble finding a street parking spot earlier in the morning. I like to visit the markets before 9 a.m.