Dogs & Coffee: Places to Visit When Traveling to Minneapolis with Your Pup


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Have you ever wished you could visit a city where you could get both quality coffee made with modern techniques and experience friendly, educated baristas? One of the best locations to experience both of those things is none other than Minneapolis. Coffee is huge there, perhaps because of the frigid winter temperatures and the presence of so much snow. Or it could be because of the slow pace and Midwestern values of the place, where sitting down with a friend and a warm beverage is a fantastic addition to any afternoon. Regardless of the reasons behind it, there’s good coffee there and in homey atmospheres that might make you linger more than expected.

For those of you who love your dogs just as much as your morning latte, Minneapolis fits the bill there too. Like many other cities in the United States, dogs are huge in this part of Minnesota. You’ll find dozens of parks that happily offer exercise for dogs and their owners. There are also coffee houses, bars, and restaurants that have space for dogs, whether indoors or out. Beyond that, you can expect to find many pet friendly apartments, a large selection of veterinarians, and other practical and fun locations that cater to the furry members of the family.

As such, Minneapolis and the Twin Cities in general, make a fantastic destination to move, visit, or tour with your dogs. Today we’re going to look into the locations that make Minneapolis a town for coffee and dog lovers, tips for visiting the area on a vacation, and much more. But first, we’re going to look at Minneapolis itself and what you should know before heading there on a trip with your dog in tow.

What to Know Before Visiting Minneapolis

If you like to visit places where you can get to know the locals and fit in quickly, Minneapolis is a fine choice. The city is known for being filled with friendly and helpful residents. No matter where you visit in the city, you can be assured that the locals are always willing to help you out by answering questions or pointing you in the right direction. Midwestern charm is huge here, but there are some other things you should know before heading on a trip to the Mini Apple.

Minneapolis and St. Paul Are Known as the Twin Cities

If you aren’t a local to the area, hearing the term “twin cities” can be a little confusing. It relates to St. Paul and Minneapolis which are neighboring cities in Minnesota. Minneapolis boasts the highest populated city in the state while St. Paul is the state capital. When you visit one city, visiting the other is a simple matter and each has its own distinct feel. Minneapolis is a bustling city with diverse nightlife options and high-rise buildings, while St. Paul has a focus on community and classic architecture. That might give you an idea of which city is more suited to your personality and hobbies.

The State is Known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes

Are you someone who likes to fish? Anglers, campers, hikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts are sure to love the presence of nature beyond the boundaries of the city of Minneapolis. The state is known as the land of 10,000 lakes and that is no exaggeration. Even in Minneapolis, there are around 15 lakes in the limits. You’ll often see people swimming, running, and cycling along the lake front. Others like to fish for walleye and pike during summer and fall while indulging in ice hockey when the lakes are frozen. You and your pet dog will appreciate all the exploring you can do in a natural environment, even in the city.

Research the Public Transportation in Advance

One of the things Minneapolis is known for is the inexpensive and convenient public transit that spans the city as well as St. Paul. The main form of transportation is the Metro Transit, which includes both trains and bus service. It offers service to downtown Minneapolis, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, the Mall of America and tons of other tourist locations. The fares are reasonable, and you can expect to pay less than four bucks, often less, depending on what time of day you use the transit. Those who are only going a few blocks in downtown will often spend no more than two quarters for a ride. Sometimes you’ll even see free fare buses in certain areas.

Make Sure to Wear Layers in the City

You might be surprised to find out that Minneapolis is a bit cooler than you would think, no matter what season you visit. It’s always a good idea to have a few layers that you can toss on, depending on the temperatures when you visit. Even walking leisurely around the city or sunbathing at one of the many lakes, you might be a bit cooler than expected. Even if you’re visiting in the hottest part of summer, it’s a good idea to bring more layers than you expect to use. You may not need them, but if you do, you’ll be glad you have them ready and don’t need to suffer through the cold or hit up a store for a jacket or hoodie.

Winter Can Be Brutal When Outdoors

Minnesota is known for offering harsh winters, so planning for indoor activities during those months is a must. The great thing is that because the winters are known for being freezing, there are plenty of options for enjoying normally outdoor activities in Minneapolis, but inside. You can try climbing walls or indoor water parks for that spark of excitement you want. Those who want to experience nature in a comfortable location might want to try the Como Park Zoo or the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory to stay warm and take things in. If you trek to Bloomington, you can hit up the Great Wolf Lodge for climbing walls, an indoor water park, miniature bowling alley, and a ropes course.

The Airport is South of the City

If you are flying into the Minneapolis area, you’ll find that your destination is actually in Bloomington, Minnesota. It’s also fairly close to the Mall of America so you can have the requisite visit to that location right away if you want. Regardless of whether you are headed to Minneapolis or St. Paul, you’ll want to find a way to go up north. If you have a car, that’s simple enough. If not, that’s okay too. You can take the Metro Transit north, hire a Lyft or an Uber, or take a taxi.

Fit in With the Vibe by Being Minnesota Nice

“Minnesota Nice” is something that is a huge draw for people who are coming to visit. People are friendly, kind, and polite in nearly all scenarios. If you want to fit in, try putting other people first and see what happens. Don’t be afraid to make small talk with a barista or another dog owner at the park. If you run into someone, take time to apologize. Say “have a great day” and treat people the way you want to be treated. It’s all a part of the culture in Minneapolis and being part of what makes the city so charming will help you fit in with all the people who are around you.

Theater is King in Minneapolis

Outside of New York City, Minneapolis has the most theater cities of anywhere in the world. There are nearly 450 theaters in the state of Minnesota with more than half of those in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Some of the locations to consider visiting include the Orpheum Theatre, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, State Theater, and Minnesota Public Radio’s Fitzgerald Theater. If you want more than a show, Chanhassen Dinner Theater will give you fun, food, and excitement in one location.

Culture Also Extends to Museum Offerings

Of the 10 largest art museums in the United States, Minnesota boasts two of them. The Walker Art Center is a fantastic destination and lies near the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, which is an urban sculpture garden. The other museum is the Minneapolis Institute of Art, which is located on eight acres and entirely free to visit. Each of these locations is well worth a visit for anyone who wants to experience culture and creativity while in the city.

Deals and Discounts Abound in the City

If you come from a location with sales tax on pretty much everything, Minnesota may be a breath of fresh air. There is no sales tax on apparel and accessories, which means you can save cash when you shop at the Mall of America. This destination is the largest mall in the United States and twelfth largest around the globe. If you want even more discounts, visit a guest services desk and pick up a coupon book. This will save you some serious cash, as well shopping at some of the many outlet malls around the city.

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Grabbing a Cappuccino with the Dog in Minneapolis

If you are going to be in Minneapolis with your dog, you probably want to find locations you both are welcome for coffee, meals, and more. Nobody wants to leave the dog stuck in a hotel room or at a doggie day care while on vacation. In this city, you certainly don’t have to. There are hundreds of locations that cater to pets and their owners by offering patio space where you can indulge in coffee or a meal with your dog. With so many options, you’ll easily find a space you love that allows you quality time with your furry pet. We’ll share a few of the options below to get you started.

Common Roots Café

Common Roots Café is a dog friendly restaurant that features space to sit with your pet while enjoying delicious food. This café is open every day from morning until night, so you can stop in whenever you like. The restaurant offers as many organic, local, free-range, and grass-fed ingredients as possible. There are also vegan and gluten-free options. We recommend stopping in for breakfast to try the challah French toast, root vegetable hash, or famer’s breakfast. If you are in a hurry, this restaurant also offers pickup orders of anything on the menu. You can also order bulk bagels, but two days’ notice is needed.

Caribou Coffee

While Caribou Coffee is a large chain, it’s worth a try when in Minneapolis if you’ve never visited before. It’s also a dog friendly option so you can enjoy cold brew while hanging out with your puppy. If you want to try something new, make sure to order the coffee of the day. You’ll get a unique coffee that is fresh brewed for the best quality. This shop offers hot coffee, iced coffee, and blended coffee, along with teas and choices for kids. However, there’s more than coffee at Caribou Coffee. The place sells a number of bagels, breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and more.

Urban Eatery

At Urban eatery, you can try a truly unique dish from the menu while sitting at a patio seat with your favorite pooch. Many of the dishes are composed of local, fresh ingredients thanks for partnering with local farmers. The dinner menu is available every day, while brunch is available on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Some of the standout options on the dinner menu include chicken liver pate, ratatouille, grilled chipotle chicken, and the proper burger with cheddar and sautéed onions. There are also coffee options on the menu from organic brewed coffee to espresso, latte, and cappuccino.

Cuppa Java

Another coffee destination is Cuppa Java, which has ten tables outside to share with your pet. The restaurant and coffeehouse offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner and a takeout menu for those who are in a hurry. There are also plenty of pastries available if you want a quick bite with your cup of joe. If you’re looking for something more substantial, there are also salads, wraps, sandwiches, and sides for a great lunch to eat there or on the go. It’s a relaxing, casual location that will let you take in the sights of the city.


This eatery offers an outdoor seating area perfect for you and your dog. The staff are happy to provide your pet with fresh water while you enjoy a meal made of fresh ingredients. You can get the meals individual and family style with a side of your choice. In addition to plates like pulled chicken and slow roasted pork, the restaurant also sells large portions of chicken, beef, and eggs. For the vegetarians out there, a menu is available with plenty of options like spicy masa corn cakes, vegetarian bean fritter sandwich, and crispy yuca with citrus and garlic mojo. Stop in between two and five on weekdays to take advantage of happy hour.

Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room

Located on University Avenue, you’ll find Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room. This is a location that is clearly built for dog lovers, as they can order fresh water along with appetizers, entrees, and even dog-friendly desserts. Some of the options include chewy smoked pig’s ear, K-9 chicken, salmon cakes, and Izzy’s peanut butter banana pupcream sundae. You and your dog can hang out on the patio in nice weather and the heaters will ensure you stay toasty and warm. There’s also plenty of coffee which is provided by Peace Coffee and refills are free.

Gigi’s Café

If you want to hit up a location that is always there for you, Gigi’s Café could be the place. They offer three meals a day and some of the best coffee in town. The outdoor seating is dog friendly and there is free wireless and parking for patrons. The coffee here comes straight from farmers and is organic. It’s also roasted in Minneapolis at B&W Specialty Coffee. Breakfast is available the whole day with selections like broccoli cheddar scramble, biscuits and gravy, corned beef hash, and chorizo breakfast burrito. If you stop in later for dinner, try one of the pizzas or the chicken pot pie for a plate pleaser.


Nightingale serves a large menu of delicious dishes, along with wine, beer, and various cocktails. The patio outside is dog friendly so you can bring along your best friend while you have a meal or enjoy a drink or two. There is a daily happy hour when you can get drinks and snacks for an inexpensive price. On Saturday and Sunday, there is also brunch available like eggs benedict, brioche French toast, chilaquiles, and shrimp and grits. The ingredients for the dishes are sourced locally and there are several Minnesota beers available to try.

Sociable Cider Werks

This location is a taproom with tons of brews to taste. It also offers pet-friendly tables so you and pooch can enjoy the place together. While the brewhouse doesn’t serve food, there is a foot truck outside so you can grab some grub to go with your beer. The interior of Sociable Cider Werks offers an industrial feel mixed with Italian leather and decadent mahogany wood. It’s a cozy destination but one that can get busy, so you can get to know some of the residents of Minneapolis or hook up with other visitors trying the place for the first time.

Dog Parks and Other Outdoor Activities in the City

We already mentioned how many natural features you can find in Minneapolis, and thankfully, several of them are accommodating to those with pet dogs. There are seven local parks that offer off-leash areas so your pet can run, jump, and play without restraint. However, there is a permit required to use off-leash parks in Minneapolis. Paying for one permit gets you access to all off-leash locations in the area. Any dog who will be off-leash must be vaccinated against rabies first.

Minnehaha Dog Park

While dogs are allowed on any part of Minnehaha Park, the southern side offers access to the off-leash dog areas. The park is partially fenced and there is a parking lot at East 54th Street and Minnehaha Avenue. There are tons of amenities at the park including a bike path, disc golf course, playground, bandstand, garden, and picnic area. Those who want a grab a snack at the park will find Sea Salt Eatery in the park, which offers beer, wine, and seafood dishes from April to October. Pets are welcome at the patio but not in the restaurant. There are also nearby restrooms, wading pools, and a volleyball park.

Minneapolis Airport Dog Park

This isn’t an official city park, but it does provide access for your dog to run around off-leash. There are open spaces, paths, and a large wetland area. It is partially fenced, but there are areas that have no border, so make sure to keep an eye on your pet if you visit. This is one of the parks where there is no need for an off-leash permit, but you will need to bring your own poo bags and water, since they are not available. If you’re at the airport and need to give your day a place to get out some energy, it’s the most convenient option. However, it doesn’t have the same level of amenities as the city parks in the city.

Lyndale Park Rose Garden

This is less of a park and more of a flower garden, but it has space for dogs as long as they are on leash. There is a parking lot nearby but it is paid, so be aware of that. If you’re a flower lover, this place will be everything you could want. It’s the second oldest public rose garden in the country, and you can see over 100 different varieties of the flower. It’s a great place to hang out and read a book or just enjoy your time among the roses. If you decide to check it out, the garden is open from 7:30 AM to 10 PM so you have a large gap of time to head in and see what the place is like.

Franklin Terrace Dog Park

Franklin Terrace offers over an acre of space for your dog to hang out and have a good time. Dogs are allowed on the entirety of the land, but there are specific areas where they may be off leash. You will need to locate street parking as there is no parking lot for the park. However, the park is fully fenced so you can enjoy hanging out with your pet without worries they will make their way too far from you. You’ll need to bring water and other items for your pet if you visit this park, since these items may not be available.

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

The sculpture gardens are much more than just a park, offering a space to enjoy art with your pet by your side. The gardens are open every day of the year from early in the morning until midnight, so you can likely find a time to visit that fits your schedule. The garden has been around since 1988 and shown many contemporary and modern art installations since that time. It’s free to come in for members, but others can expect to pay less than $20 for an adult pass. There’s tons of parking nearby, along with a bike sharing station and easy access to the Metro Transit. There is also a gift shop and restaurant with coffee service located inside.

Mill Ruins Park

Dogs are welcome at Mill Ruins Park, although they need to be on a leash while you visit. It’s open from 6 AM to midnight in the developed areas and 6 AM to 10 PM in the undeveloped sections of the park. There’s plenty to do here with a walking path and bike path so you can get some exercise with your pooch. There’s also a nearby paid parking lot and the park boasts drinking fountains if you get a bit parched. If you want to enjoy a tour of the area, you can hit up the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock & Dam Visitor Center. Tours are at 11 AM, 1 PM, and 3 PM.

Other Perfect Locations to Visit With Your Pet

While restaurants, coffeehouses, and parks are a huge part of what you need for a dog friendly trip, you never know when you’ll need other pet supplies. In case you need some poo bags, a groomer, or a dog sitter, we want to offer some options for you. That way no matter what happens while you’re visiting, you’ll be prepared and ready for it. We’ll start with a grooming salon that you can count on if your pup gets themselves into mud while exploring the city.

Ollu Dog Wash & Grooming Salon

Ollu offers a few different services for the dirty dog that needs cleaned up after a long day. You can stop in anytime to take advantage of the self-service dog wash, which includes everything you need to get your pet spic and span. There are also full-service options available by appointment. The full-service wash includes a bath, blow dry, brush out, nail trim, ear cleaning, bandana, and spritz of cologne. You can also add spa packages, teeth brushing, and more.

Downtown Dogs

If you need to leave Fido with someone while you take off for human only activities, there are a wide selection of doggy daycare and dog boarding locations to choose from. Downtown Dogs is one of them and it offers both options. The location has massive playrooms and an open-air design for the comfort of your pet. Downtown Dogs takes dogs of all sizes, breeds, and ages. It’s also extremely affordable so you don’t have to break the bank getting quality care for your pet in Minneapolis.

Rock Star Dog Walking & Pet Sitting

Need someone to take your dog for a walk while you’re busy at work or play? Rock Star is a great option with employed dog walkers who are all over the age of 21. The company is insured, licensed, and bonded to provide services in Minnesota. You can easily make appointments online and a GPS system is used for employee check-in and check-out. All dog services include fresh water, treats, food, and medication if needed. You can choose from a 20-minute, 30-minute, 45 minute, or hour long walk or visit to fit the needs of your pet.

Banfield Pet Hospital

If your pet is feeling down or is in an accident and needs medical care, Banfield Pet Hospital is the place to visit. It is located conveniently inside of PetSmart and known for offering quality, quick pet medical care. Services range from preventative care to emergency care, treatment services, and general surgery. There are also an in-house pharmacy and lab services so you can get lab results quickly and move on to proper treatment for your dog.

Dog Friendly Hotels and Dwellings for Visiting Minneapolis

There are dozens of hotels available in the city that allow you to come and go with your dog. However, it can be challenging to sift through all of them to find the one right for you. We did the work for you by finding a selection of hotels at different price ranges so you can easily choose the one that fits your needs.

The Grand Hotel Minneapolis

The Grand Hotel Minneapolis is a Hyatt property located in South Minneapolis and is the perfect location for a business traveler with a pet in tow. The hotel includes various amenities from business services to on-site restaurants, a fitness center, room service, and a concierge. The rooms range from single queen and queen bedrooms to suites with living rooms and work desks. Two pets can come to the hotel with you and there is no additional charge. However, only certain rooms are open to pet owners, so make sure to check before booking.

Radisson RED Minneapolis

The Radisson RED Minneapolis is a modern hotel that promises a unique experience from the moment you step inside. Dogs are welcome and you can bring up to two without an additional pet fee. You can choose a room with a single king or two queen beds and enjoy a 55-inch television, blackout curtains, refrigerator, furniture, and more. When you check in, your pet will receive a water dish, food dish, bed, and bandana. As for you, the OUIBar + KTCHN is available so you can enjoy locally sourced food and a selection of drinks.

Nicollet Island Inn

Nicollet Island Inn is a luxury hotel that allows pets of up to 50 pounds. There is no pet fee, but you will be required to pay a $50 deposit, which is refundable at the end of your stay. The hotel offers king and queen rooms, as well as more spacious rooms with views of the city. There are plenty of amenities including cable television, natural and organic bath products, 400-thread count Egyptian sheets, work space, iPod docking stations, and room service during restaurant hours. You can also purchase spa and massage services right from your hotel room.

Aloft Minneapolis

Aloft Minneapolis is a reasonably priced hotel that is happy to allow two pets of under 40 pounds in your room. However, only dogs are allowed, and they cannot stay in the room when you are not present. The hotel boasts meeting space, a pool, and a fitness center. The rooms offer two queens or one king bed, some with beautiful city views. The hotel includes a gourmet eatery called Re:Fuel by Aloft where you can pick up make your own meals, cappuccinos, and other treats. There is also a bar that has fantastic cocktails with a casual dress code.

La Quinta Inn & Suites Minneapolis

Those who want a simple, inexpensive room that allows pets will appreciate the presence of the La Quinta Inn & Suites near Minneapolis. The hotel offers free internet, Wi-Fi, breakfast, parking, and local phone calls. There is also an airport shuttle for easy transportation to and from the hotel. You can choose from rooms with two double beds or one king bed. There are also suites available with refrigerators and microwaves. The hotel is near Mall of America and all the excitement of Minneapolis and its dog friendly coffee houses.

Wrapping Up

As you may have noticed, Minneapolis is a city with a lot to offer. There are hundreds of locations that are dog friendly, including cafes, coffeehouses, restaurants, bars, and parks. You’ll even find that many of the outdoor gardens and art installations offer amenities to cater to owners and their dogs. No matter what you want to do or where you want to go, you can likely find it and a location that allows your dog to be part of the fun.

So, the next time you head up north to Minnesota, use this guide to find the best places to stay and visit while you are there. You and your dog can bond and enjoy a new location with new people and pets to socialize with. It’s a town that isn’t like any other and well worth spending some time in. Besides that, you’ll also find some great coffee there!

Bonus Questions

1. How many dogs can you own in Minneapolis?

People who reside in Minneapolis may own up to four animals, which includes dogs, cats, ferrets, and rabbits, who are over four months of age. For example, someone could own three dogs and a rabbit or two cats, a ferret, and a dog.

2. Can you own a pitbull in Minnesota?

There is no federal law that says you can’t own a pitbull or any other breed of dog. There are also no state laws that prohibit you from owning a pitbull in Minnesota. You will need to check the specific laws for the city and county you are in to determine if the breed is allowed.

3. Can you own a sugar glider in Minnesot

In most areas of Minnesota, you are able to own a sugar glider as a pet. However, it’s always a good idea to check county and city laws, as certain areas may ban this pet.

4. What foods is Minneapolis famous for?

Some of the most famous foods from the Minneapolis area include cheese curds, jucy lucy burgers, hot dish, lutefisk, and Jell-O salad.

5. What is there to do in Minneapolis with kids?

There are tons of great attractions and entertainment options for those visiting Minneapolis with their children. You could visit the Minneapolis Science Museum, hang out and do some shopping at the Mall of America, enjoy the Escape Game Minneapolis, or visit some of the many lakes in the area.

6. What is there to do at the Mall of America?

Mall of America has all sorts of things to do depending on your personality and interests. There are roller coasters to ride, miniature golf to play, bowling, concerts, an aquarium, and much more.

7. Can you see Northern Lights in Minnesota?

There are a number of areas in Minnesota where you can view the northern lights. Some areas known for fantastic views are Cook County, Lake of the Woods, and Voyageurs National Park.

8. What is the state food of Minnesota?

The official state food is the honey crisp apple, while the state crop is wild rice. The state also has a blueberry muffin as the state muffin, the morel as the state mushroom, and the state drink is milk.

9. What is Minnesota known for?

Minnesota is known for various thing, including its large amount of shoreline, being the location of the Mall of America, and having tens of thousands of lakes.

10. Who is the most famous person from Minnesota?

Answering this is tough since many famous people hail from Minnesota. Some of them include Judy Garland, Prince, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charles Schulz, Bob Dylan, and Josh Hartnett.

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