Minneapolis nightlife is a kaleidoscope of experiences that offers something for every taste and mood. With a diverse array of neighborhoods, each possessing its own unique vibe, the city invites you to explore everything from trendy speakeasies to timeless dive bars.
Whether you’re in Northeast enjoying a pint at a taproom, in Uptown sipping cocktails on a rooftop, or in Whittier pairing global eats with your favorite beverage, you’ll find enticing places to unwind. Minneapolis doesn’t just stop at drinks; the city boasts an extensive range of entertainment options.
From lively bars, nightclubs, and dance venues to intimate pubs showcasing local musicians, the city’s cultural offerings extend to theater performances, drag shows, and even ax throwing. So put aside the scenic waterfalls and hiking trails for the day, and immerse yourself in the vibrant, multifaceted world of Minneapolis nightlife!
In this guide, we’ll walk you through some of the best places to experience Minneapolis nightlife, offer tips for enjoying a safe night out, and provide an overview of the costs associated with partying in this bustling city.
Where to Party in Minneapolis
Minneapolis’ nightlife is spread across several key neighborhoods, each with its unique vibe:
Downtown: The heart of the city, downtown Minneapolis is home to upscale cocktail bars, lively nightclubs, and music venues, where internationally recognized artists often perform.
Northeast: Known for its art scene, Northeast Minneapolis offers a mix of laid-back breweries, trendy bars, and live music venues.
Uptown: Located just south of downtown, Uptown is a hip neighborhood with a mix of stylish bars, cocktail lounges, and dance clubs.
Minneapolis Nightlife Tips and Advice
Minneapolis is a safe city, but it’s always wise to remain aware of your surroundings and take basic safety precautions.
The legal drinking age in Minnesota is 21, so be prepared to show a valid ID.
Tipping is customary in the United States, and a tip of 15-20% is typically expected for good service.
Public transportation, including light rail and buses, operates until around midnight. Afterward, you can use a taxi or rideshare service.
Dress codes in Minneapolis can vary, but most bars and clubs accept casual to smart-casual attire.
Cost of Partying in Minneapolis
Drinks: Expect to pay around $5-7 for a beer, $7-12 for a glass of wine, and $10-15 for a cocktail in most bars and clubs. Prices may be higher in upscale venues.
Cover charges: Some nightclubs in Minneapolis charge an entrance fee, typically ranging from $10-20, but many venues offer free entry.
Taxis and rideshares: Costs can vary, but a short ride downtown will typically cost around $10-20.
Best Bars in Minneapolis
Brit’s Pub, located on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis, is a classic British-style pub that has been a local favorite for years. Known for its inviting atmosphere and a vast selection of beers (including many UK imports), Brit’s Pub is a great spot to unwind and socialize.
The pub features an impressive rooftop lawn bowling green and often hosts live screenings of international sports events, particularly soccer matches. With cozy interiors, a warm, friendly crowd, and a genuine British feel, Brit’s Pub is a perfect place for a laid-back night out.
The Terminal Bar
The Terminal Bar in Minneapolis is a renowned establishment known for its rich history and unique ambiance. Nestled in the city, this iconic bar has been a cultural hub since its opening in 1940. Originally situated near the Greyhound Bus Terminal, it attracted a diverse clientele, from travelers to locals. Over the years, the bar became a witness to social transformations, reflecting the evolving character of Minneapolis.
Its walls adorned with photographs taken by renowned photographer Tom Arndt, capture the essence of the city’s past. The Terminal Bar remains a testament to the spirit of community and the passage of time in the heart of Minneapolis.
Surly Brewing Company
As one of Minnesota’s most well-known breweries, Surly Brewing Company has become a must-visit destination for beer enthusiasts. Located near the University of Minnesota campus, the brewery offers an impressive selection of house-made brews, from hop-heavy IPAs to rich stouts and creative seasonal offerings.
The brewery’s expansive taproom features a modern, industrial aesthetic and includes an outdoor beer garden, making it an ideal spot to relax with friends while savoring Surly’s award-winning beers.
Housed on the 27th floor of the historic Foshay Tower, Prohibition Bar offers a chic, intimate setting paired with breathtaking views of the Minneapolis skyline. Its 1920s-inspired decor, complete with plush velvet couches and crystal chandeliers, transports patrons to a bygone era of glamour and elegance.
The bar specializes in classic and Prohibition-era cocktails, all expertly crafted using high-quality spirits and fresh, flavorful ingredients. If you’re looking for a sophisticated evening out, Prohibition Bar is not to be missed.
Hewing Hotel Rooftop Bar
The Hewing Hotel’s Rooftop Bar offers a stunning blend of urban chic and rustic charm, complete with panoramic views of downtown Minneapolis. While the bar is exclusive to hotel guests during the day, it opens to the public in the evening.
The drink menu is as impressive as the views, featuring an array of craft cocktails, local beers, and an extensive wine list. With cozy fire pits and a rooftop pool, this bar provides a luxurious setting to kick off your night in the city.
Best Nightclubs in Minneapolis
As one of Minneapolis’ most iconic music venues, First Avenue has been at the heart of the city’s live music scene for over four decades. Known for its distinctive black-and-white exterior covered in stars bearing the names of past performers, this club has hosted a who’s who of music legends, from Prince to U2.
The club features two stages, the Mainroom and the smaller 7th St Entry, ensuring a diverse lineup of live music every night. With its rich history and commitment to showcasing the best local and international talent, a night at First Avenue is a quintessential Minneapolis experience.
Ground Zero Nightclub
Ground Zero Nightclub stands out in the Minneapolis nightlife scene as an alternative and unique venue. Known for its welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, this club caters to fans of industrial, goth, and other alternative music genres.
The club is famous for its “Bondage a Go-Go” night, a unique blend of dance music and performance art. Beyond that, Ground Zero offers a diverse range of themed nights, with music ranging from ’80s new wave to modern dark techno. Whether you’re part of the alternative scene or just looking for an unforgettable night out, Ground Zero Nightclub is a must-visit venue.
The Exchange & Alibi Lounge
The Exchange offers a sleek and modern nightlife experience in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. This upscale venue is known for its state-of-the-art sound system, vibrant light displays, and spacious dance floor, creating an immersive atmosphere for party-goers.
With a lineup of top local and international DJs spinning the best in electronic and dance music, The Exchange promises a high-energy night out. The club also offers VIP tables and bottle service for patrons seeking a more exclusive experience.
Rev Ultra Lounge
With its modern decor, LED wall, and high-quality sound system, Rev Ultra Lounge offers a dynamic nightlife experience in downtown Minneapolis. The club features a variety of music, from top 40 hits to EDM, ensuring a lively atmosphere that keeps patrons on the dance floor all night long.
Regular theme nights and events, along with occasional guest appearances by renowned DJs, add to Rev Ultra Lounge’s appeal as one of Minneapolis’ premier nightlife destinations.
Offering a blend of Prohibition-era charm and modern amenities, The Pourhouse is a vibrant bar and nightclub located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. The venue’s striking decor, featuring vintage chandeliers and a stage backed by a massive 25-foot HD screen, creates a unique backdrop for its diverse lineup of events.
From live music performances and DJ nights to themed parties and dance competitions, there’s always something happening at The Pourhouse. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away or simply enjoy a well-crafted cocktail, this venue provides a memorable night out in Minneapolis.
Minneapolis Nightlife Conclusion
The Minneapolis nightlife scene is a vibrant tapestry, echoing the city’s dynamic diversity and offering an array of experiences to satiate every preference. Be it the high-energy dance clubs or the charming neighborhood bars, Minneapolis promises an unforgettable night for all. Seamlessly blending Midwestern charm with urban sophistication, the city’s venues set the stage for nights filled with delicious drinks, outstanding music, and convivial crowds.
Whether a resident or a visitor, delving into Minneapolis’s nightlife is an adventure not to be missed. From the pulsating rhythm of First Avenue’s live music to the buzz of Uptown, or the unique charm of Ground Zero Nightclub, the city invites you to a myriad of after-dark delights. Armed with this all-encompassing guide, you’re primed to explore the city’s lively nightlife and etch lasting memories in the City of Lakes. So, gear up, bring along your friends, and brace yourself for the electrifying nightlife of Minneapolis.