(Last Updated On: September 29, 2023)

People visit Minneapolis for many different reasons. First, due to the Nordic influences on its cursing, numerous distilleries and breweries, and more, this is one of the hottest foodie locations on the continent. Second, it’s one of the biggest cultural hotspots in the country, with 80 professional theater companies and the Minnesota Fringe Festival. 

However, food and culture are not the only reasons people would go to Minneapolis. Anyone participating in the city’s nightlife will confidently add one more entry to this list. For those willing to repeat the same, here are a few tips for a memorable nightlife experience in Minneapolis. 

Top nightclubs and bars

The natural first step in setting up a good night out would be to find a club or a bar where you can enjoy it. When it comes to Minneapolis, there’s no shortage of such venues. For instance, you could go to:

  • The Exchange & Alibi Lounge: Not many places are more iconic or endemic to the Minneapolis nightlife than The Exchange & Alibi Lounge. The simplest way to explain it is to call it an upscale dance club with a great lounge. You can dance your night away or enjoy craft cocktails and seafood here. 
  • Prohibition bar: What about the people nostalgic for the roaring 20s or speakeasy of the Prohibition era (but only the good parts)? The best place for them to visit would probably be the Prohibition Bar. In the past, the go-to speakeasy was probably Marvel Bar until it was permanently closed.
  • The Pourhouse: Another great prohibition-themed bar, with arguably the best bottle service in Minneapolis, is The Pourhouse. The best part is that if it’s a game night (a festival-like experience in Minneapolis), the place will quickly transform into a sports bar. This isn’t that difficult to do when taking into consideration that the place has a 25-foot HD projection screen and 50 TVs

Remember that this list evolves quite rapidly, and the examples listed above are just that – examples. For instance, Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge, one of Minneapolis’s go-to places for good nightlife, was closed this August (that’s right) just one or a few months ago (depending on when you’re reading this article). So, when you read this guide, the list may be completely different, with various entries added or missing.

Best nightlife districts in Minneapolis

At the end of the previous segment, we mentioned that bars, lounges, and nightclubs always close. While true, their locations never remain closed for good. Even if the new club doesn’t open in that same spot right away, it will be in the neighborhood. Some parts of the town are more popular as nightlife locations.

  • Downtown Minneapolis: When it comes to the list of the areas with the best nightlife in Minneapolis, you just can’t move past the Downtown. If you want to narrow it down, the theater districts and bars of Hennepin Avenue are just second to none and are worth your time and attention. 
  • Uptown: Another amazing location to visit is Uptown. If you’re looking for trendy bars and restaurants, this is one of the areas where you’ll find the highest concentration. You might also want to visit Lyn-Lake, with its amazing art scene and numerous live music venues.
  • Northeast Minneapolis (Nordeast): You’ve probably heard so much about the Minneapolis Breweries, and if you’re interested in seeing them up close, visiting this area is particularly enticing. You might even find the answer to whether glass-bottled beer is superior to other packaging options or is just the beer. 
  • West Bank: You can never move the nightlife too far from the university area, and West Bank is probably the best example of this. So, mark this location as another great place worth visiting.

Another important thing to remember is that many people don’t want to stay in the same place for the entire night. They prefer to barhop, and if that’s the case, picking the location as a starting point is very important. To make this triage, you should look at the neighborhood, not just the bar. 

Late-night eateries

Let’s not fool ourselves; most nights out end up at a fast food joint, but which are open late at night and, more importantly, worth visiting? 

The problem with eateries is that they’re changing (closing and opening) quicker than other entries on the list. 

So, it just comes down to what you’re up for:

  • Jucy Lucy: This is the endemic Minnesotan variation of cheeseburger that will surprise you with its taste, especially when you’re already too drunk to count calories. If you want to go to the source, go to Matt’s Bar and Grill.
  • Coal-fired pizza: Some people see pizza as their go-to late-night snack, so you should consider visiting Black Sheep Coal-Fired Pizza. Since the place operates in two separate locations, it’s easier to reach than you would think.
  • Donuts: If you have a sweet tooth and want something tasty, doughy, and delicious, look for the best local donut place. In this scenario, the best choice is probably Glam Doll Donuts.

While the reputation of these locations often tells of the quality, there are so many amazing spots still waiting for you to discover them. So, don’t be so strict in your itinerary, and give yourself some time to go out there and explore the area. Chances are that you’ll find good places near the club you’re visiting (not by accident), and this is a great opportunity to get something delicious without getting too much out of your way. 

Wrap up

In the end, you shouldn’t dismiss Minneapolis’s numerous special events and festivals. We didn’t bring this up sooner because they’re unavailable all year round, and we wanted to make this guide more universal. Yes, you can enjoy a night out in Minneapolis any night, and no, you don’t have to wait for a special occasion. Of course, you don’t have to stick to our list to have a good time, but now you at least have an outline of some of the amazing things this area offers. 


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