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Hard Times Cafe.

A guide to local favorites in Cedar Riverside

Hard Times Cafe.
  • By Cinnamon Janzer
  • Photos by Jenn Ackerman
Cedar Riverside
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From bars and restaurants that represent Minneapolis’s thriving East African communities — including a large Somali population that earned the area the nickname “Little Mogadishu” — to hipster staples and live music galore, Cedar Riverside is a vibrant community visitors overlook. It’s just off the University of Minnesota’s West Bank that houses many of the school’s humanities and arts offices; there’s always something creative and academic going on. Yet the neighborhood itself is brimming with homes with blossoming gardens and hums with an environmentally conscious vibe throughout.

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Cinnamon Janzer is a writer and editor living in Minneapolis whose work stems from the intersection of travel, culture and social justice.

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Cedar Riverside

Part Wolf
Whether it’s watching soccer, playing bocce ball or the pub’s dog-friendliness, there’s all kinds of reasons to like Part Wolf (formerly the Nomad, changing hands in 2019). The bar has an interesting selection of beer that you’ll rarely encounter elsewhere.
Part Wolf, 501 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, Minn. 55454
Cedar Cultural Center
This nonprofit hosts musicians and comedians, from global talent to up-and-coming bands, as well as talks and poetry readings across its 200-plus events each year.
Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Ave. S, Minneapolis, Minn. 55454
Red Sea restaurant
With a happy hour that includes $3 beers and $4 drinks alongside some of the most popular Ethiopian food in the city, the Red Sea is an easy favorite. The spot also has live music.
Red Sea restaurant, 320 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis, Minn. 55454
Hard Times Cafe
This vegetarian and vegan restaurant has a distinct punk-rock edge, evidenced from time to time by the slightly grumpy staff. Order by writing on the little pieces of paper on the counter, and don’t expect to pay with a card.
Hard Times Cafe, 1821 Riverside Ave., Minneapolis, Minn. 55454
BaarakAllah Restaurant
This spot does a variety of East African dishes, including Somali staples. Come here expecting large portions of spicy food, and you won’t be disappointed.
BaarakAllah Restaurant, 408 Cedar Ave #1, Minneapolis, Minn. 55454
Milwaukee Avenue Historic District
This quaint row of historic houses spans two contiguous blocks just off bustling Franklin Avenue. It was originally an alley, but today it’s a collection of almost dollhouse-looking homes that’s part of the National Register of Historic Places.
Milwaukee Avenue Historic District, 2007 Milwaukee Ave., Minneapolis, Minn. 55404
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Cinnamon Janzer
Cinnamon lived in Minneapolis in the late 2000s while getting her undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus. After years of living elsewhere, she visited a friend in the western Twin City in summer 2016 and quickly remembered how much she loved it. She moved back soon after.
Jenn Ackerman
Jenn is a contributing photographer to The Washington Post based in Minneapolis.