This blog post was updated on October 23, 2018.
It’s no secret that the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul (well, the entire state of Minnesota) is a hotbed for Scandinavian immigrant culture. Where exactly are the best places to get your dose of Nordic goodness, infused with a particular Midwestern charm? This fan of all things Scandinavian (and lifelong Twin Cities resident) weighs in.
2600 Park Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407
The American Swedish Institute is a fantastic arts & cultural center and museum. It is comprised of the historic Turnblad Mansion (the former residence of Swan Turnblad, publisher of the Swedish language newspaper Svenska Amerikanska Posten, and his family) and a contemporary, state-of-the-art addition—the Nelson Cultural Center— that houses galleries, classrooms, a research center, a performance space, a delightful gift shop and the award-winning restaurant, Fika. The ASI hosts a number of cultural events throughout the year, including a sumptuous Christmas banquet and a Halloween bash featuring the nine worlds of Norse mythology.
50 2nd Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Owned and operated by Eric and Andrew Dayton (MN governor Mark Dayton’s sons), The Bachelor Farmer is a hip and homey restaurant that serves innovative Scandinavian dishes. Committed to buying from local purveyors, The Bachelor Farmer also grows its own produce on a small farm located on the building’s roof. Be sure to get there early and have a craft cocktail at Marvel Bar (located downstairs) before tucking into your inspired Scandinavian fare. If you’re in the shopping mood, head to the adjacent men’s and home shop, Askov Finlayson (also owned and operated by the Daytons).
1601 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407
A Twin Cities beacon of Scandinavian culture since 1921, Ingebretsen’s is more than just a gift shop. In addition to carrying the best in Scandinavian knits, woodwork, textiles, books, pewter jewelry, serving dishes, art glass, regalia, toys and more, they also serve as a cultural resource, offering classes, book signings and other events throughout the year.