A world of food choices await you in Hopkins, from Brazilian to Japanese, from small coffee shops to white-tablecloth fine dining,
If you're a fan of hole-in-the-wall insider establishments, try Sambusa King. Tucked next to an office building behind a strip mall, this hidden gem is definitely worth finding if you're looking for Middle Eastern/African, or Somalian, food. Comfortable booths provide eat-in seating, but just don't expect a romantic dinner spot. They also provide for take-out on those busy nights. For a reasonable price, you can have a hefty portion of roasted goat, rice and vegetables plus a drink. For smaller appetites, try the African beef or cheese samosas. Generally, portions are huge and flavorful.
Known for innovative pizzas, Pizza Luce also offers a variety of hoagies, salads, appetizers and desserts. They have creative vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Build your own pizza -- they have a wide variety of toppings available, including applewood smoked bacon, mock duck and a dozen different kinds of cheese. Try one of their specialities, the Pizza Athena, with a list of ingredients that sounds like a top-notch Greek salad.
Looking for a night out? Live entertainment energizes Mainstreet Bar and Grill on Friday and Saturday nights, usually with well-known local bands. Expect anything from Grunge to 1980s Pop and Rock, to Hip Hop. On weeknights, pool tables, games like Texas Hold-em with cash prizes, and big screens keep the entertainment thriving. With your Surly beer, try the Juicy Lucy, a grass-fed burger stuffed with cheddar and Swiss.
The first settlers arrived in Hopkins in 1852, and by 1887 it was a sleepy agricultural village. The Minneapolis Threshing Machine Company employed most of Hopkins' residents. By 1928, the first streetcar arrived in Hopkins, connecting it to Minneapolis.
Since 1934, an annual Raspberry Festival takes place in Hopkins. The entire community turns out to enjoy food, music and vendors displaying crafts. There are plenty of family oriented activities, making this a must-visit for all ages.
One of the premier facilities of its kind in the Twin Cities area, Hopkins Pavilion hosts soccer, lacrosse, in-line roller hockey, skating and ice hockey. The Hopkins Activity Center provides programs for all ages with a gym and meeting rooms, while housing The Hopkins Historical Society.
The Hopkins Center for the Arts focuses on building community through the arts. The Arts Center features a theater, art gallery, multipurpose spaces for rehearsals, community activities and small performances, a visual arts classroom, and a dance studio.
U.S. Highway 169 and State Highway 7 run through Hopkins. Growth in the southwest metro area puts high demands on existing roads and transit systems, especially during rush hour.
The Metro Transit bus system can get you to downtown Minneapolis as well as other suburbs. Express buses whisk you downtown during rush hour. Bus riders reach their destinations through a combination of regular route and Transit Link. Transit Link, a dial-a-ride minibus or van service, transports with curb-to-curb service. Available to the general public, it serves areas where regular transit route service is not available. Reasonable fares vary based on the distance traveled, and groups who travel together get a discount.
Park in any of the over 1,000 public parking spaces in downtown Hopkins. Some of the spaces require permits. You can park free in any of the downtown parking lots for 1 to 3 hours, depending on the lot. The City has two designated electric-car-permit stalls located in the parking ramp, which include electrical outlets.
Residents, elected officials and City staff have worked hard to make Hopkins a walking- and biking-friendly city. Based on an active-living approach, conditions make it safe and easy to include walking and biking as part of your daily routine in Hopkins.
Cost of living in Hopkins is slightly lower than the surrounding suburbs in the Metro Minneapolis area. Median apartment rentals in Hopkins run $1070 per month, a bargain compared to the median price of $1508 per month in the Minneapolis-St Paul Metro area.
Hopkins average gas price sits at 95 percent of the national average. Metro Transit bus fares range from 75 cents to $3, depending on time of day and type of ticket. The express bus to downtown Minneapolis is $3 during rush hour.
Expect to pay about $4 for a local craft beer in a bar and a typical lunch, including a non-alcoholic beverage, can be had for about $12.
Many locally owned shops fill the city center. Mill City Sound showcases some of the finest new and used record and CD selections you can find. They also sell an excellent selection of sound systems to play your new music, such as old school analog stereo equipment. Turn up the volume to experience awesome music and a great cup of coffee in their live sound room.
Hillary's Gifts on Main Street carry creative gifts with a personal touch and designed with real emotion. Hillary's specializes in custom and hand-made gifts From a wooden step stool with a child's name on it to hand-painted pillows for a housewarming gift, Hillary's blooms with choices for every occasion. They also sell gift baskets chock full of goodies.
Half a block south of the Main Street clock tower, visitors to Hopkins can find the Hopkins Farmers' Market in the 9th Avenue parking lot. Open 7:30 a.m. to noon on Saturdays from June through October, residents choose from an abundance of just-picked locally grown produce and free-range meat, poultry and eggs. Sip a cup of artisan roasted coffee while browsing among knitted hats and sweet-smelling soaps hand-crafted by local artisans.
Driskill's Foods provides a full service grocery store featuring a scratch bakery. For something a little different, try Paradise Market, a Russian deli and grocery store, or Shanghai Market, which carries Chinese and Thai ingredients.
Hopkins has 15 parks within it's borders, providing plenty of outdoor fun and exercise. Sledding hills, sports fields and innovative playgrounds keep residents active year round. Leashed dogs are usually welcome, although sometimes only in restricted areas.
Four trail heads of the Three Rivers Park Regional Trails converge in Hopkins. The trails have very gentle slopes and are ideal for biking, walking and running. These trails provide accessibility for wheelchairs and strollers, too Valley Park has additional nature trails for residents to explore.
Shady Oak Beach offers a playground with areas suitable for ages 1 through 12. Just a few of the features include water tables, water misters and a fossil dig for exploration. This area is available from April through October. A sandy beach shoreline stretches out for 76 feet and draws crowds in the summertime, as do canoe rentals and fishing.
The City of Hopkins provides community garden areas in Valley Park, and Downtown Park is home to "Music in the Park" every summer.