Located less than 2 miles south of downtown Minneapolis, Stevens Square
creates a rich and diverse mid-city experience. Living here puts you just minutes from some of the best nightlife and shopping in the Twin Cities, and ample public transportation leaves it all at your fingertips. The neighborhood itself has its own charm with a strong artistic presence and a trend toward green living.
Artists are drawn to Stevens Square for its laid-back vibe, breathtaking view of the downtown cityscape and close proximity to various art schools. Business professionals flock here for the affordable housing and convenient location. You also find a vibrant community of pet
lovers thanks to the neighborhood's abundance of pet-friendly apartments.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Despite its small size, Stevens Square serves up an eclectic blend of restaurants along Nicollet Avenue and throughout the neighborhood. Pick up your favorite latte at one of the local coffeehouses, or savor some authentic international cuisine ranging from casual Somali dinners to Tibetan comfort foods. You'll find a few fast-food options just south of Franklin as well as fine dining in downtown, but most neighborhood eateries offer mid-priced fare.
Whether you want to grab a drink or savor some authentic Asian cuisine, take a trip to Tibet Kitchen to enjoy a full bar and unbeatable oyster wings that have just the right amount of crunch. You would expect your typical international decor and touristy atmosphere, but Tibet Kitchen has more of a trendy bar vibe complete with sports games on the TV. Every dish has its special touch, but don't leave without trying the cranberry curry.
For traditional Somali dishes served with a banana and your choice of rice or spaghetti, stop by Boolaay Restaurant, a hidden gem where the smiling servers are more than happy to help you find the perfect lunch.
If you're in the mood for a good breakfast, head to Boiler Room Coffee to borrow a book to read while sipping on a blueberry tea latte. This trendy local establishment also serves up its famous fancy oatmeal, a hot breakfast made extra special with wild rice, cranberries and a side of heavy cream.
The neighborhood itself doesn't have many nightlife options aside from the bar at Tibet Kitchen, but some of the city's best clubs, taverns and bars await you in downtown Minneapolis.
History & Culture
The land that would become Stevens Square was platted in 1856 and developed by property owners Richard J. Mendenhall and Dr. Nathan B.Hill. Although they built a number of single-family mansions, the rapid growth of Minneapolis lead to further development with an emphasis on apartment buildings. New transit roads and the purchase of Stevens Square Park solidified the neighborhood's important place in the Minneapolis metro area. The multi-story brownstones that stand around Stevens Square Park serve as a constant reminder of the area's heritage and have been designated the Stevens Square Historic District.
Stevens Square has grown into an artistic hot spot thanks to the nearby Minneapolis Institute of Arts and Walker Art Center. Residential artists color the community, and you can enjoy the neighborhood's rich culture at Stevens Square Center for the Arts as well as numerous art festivals taking place at Stevens Square Park.
Whether you're biking, driving or taking the bus, Stevens Square's transportation system is a dream for commuters. Hop on Interstates 94 and 35W for fast access to any neighborhood in the Twin Cities area, or catch a ride on the bus lines for an easy commute. You can also catch a train at the light rail stations just to the north and east of the neighborhood.
Parking can be tough to find with most spaces equipped with mid-priced meters, but you can always hail a cab from the street corner for a fast trip into downtown. For even more options, call an Uber driver for a quick pick-up, or rent a vehicle with the local HourCar service.
Although you only find one bike lane along 1st Avenue, this mid-city neighborhood is becoming increasingly bike-friendly. You can even rent a bicycle at the Nice Ride bicycle docks; just pay for your rental, and drop off your bike when you're done. Car-free residents have an easy time biking or walking around the neighborhood with all their basic amenities available within a 20-minute walk.
With affordable housing and numerous entertainment options within biking distance, Stevens Square presents a cost of living that's below average for Minneapolis. You can find a one-bedroom
apartment for about $900 a month. Taking the bus into the Minneapolis metro center costs you $1.75, but the price goes up to $2.25 during rush hour. Car drivers can expect the pay around 11 percent lower than the national average for gas. When you go out to Tibet Kitchen or one of the nearby taverns, expect to pay $3 to $5 for a pint of your favorite draft.
Stevens Square lies just minutes from some of the best shopping in Minneapolis with both high-end fashion retailers and bargain shops covering the surrounding neighborhoods. However, you also find your basic amenities and a few boutiques right in Stevens Square with most of your options lining Nicollet Avenue.
If you're planning for your big day, stop into Flutter Boutique to try on a flurry of designer bridal gowns or search for bridesmaid dresses that follow the latest fashions. Sip on complimentary champagne as you try on trendy and traditional dresses in your private dressing room with a friendly consultant guiding the way.
If you're looking for vintage treasure, stop by Past Present Future to find tables, beds, cabinets and other furniture from the 1800s through the 1970s. You can also browse a gallery of fine art by artists like Alberto Vargas and Michael Bedard or rummage through collectible antiques.
To pick up your bread and milk, take a short walk to the Third Avenue Food Market or AM Food Market. During the growing season, you also find fresh produce at the farmers' market on the corner of Nicollet and Franklin.
When you need a quiet respite from the excitement of the city, get involved in one of Stevens Square's community gardens or stop by Stevens Square Park, the neighborhood's central
meeting place. Take some hot dogs to grill for a picnic, or let your kids meet some new friends on the playground. Since the neighborhood has the highest per-capita pet ownership rate in the city, you find plenty of dog owners exercising their canine friends on the grassy areas.
The park also hosts the free Cinema and Civics outdoor music and movie series each Wednesday during June and July. You can also check out the annual Red Hot Art festival to browse the work of local artists and take part in hands-on art activities for all ages.