Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
The twin cities! Minneapolis-St. Paul is a destination worthy of a visit, whether you find yourself here for a weekend getaway or mid-week for meetings, MSP is a vibrant city full of friendly people, excellent restaurants and a ever-evolving arts scene. The airport is about 20 minutes from the center of Downtown Minneapolis, positioned right between both of the Twin Cities.
Firstly, this airport is MASSIVE! Think of the main terminal complex as one huge horseshoe, connected in the middle by a skywalk that can help if you have to go from one end of the terminal to another. The largest airline here is Delta, which runs a huge hub operation out of the main terminal complex. There are two terminals on separate areas of the airfield: The Massive Terminal 1, known as “Lindbergh” serving the majority of the airlines including Delta; and the much smaller Terminal 2 known as “Humphrey”, which serves primarily Southwest and Sun Country. There is a tram that runs along the longest portion of the terminal, which stretches on the North Side (Concourses A-E), which comes in handy as the terminal complex is nearly 1 mile long!
Should you end up at MSP on an extended layover, I can promise you that there will be no shortage of ways to occupy your time- between an incredible selection of shops and a huge variety of restaurants, you can find yourself wandering the concourses for hours! So where to EAT? Here are my top picks:
Ike’s Food & Cocktails (Terminal 1, North TSA Checkpoint)
Once you pass through security in the Lindbergh Terminal, you’ll be met with a sensory overload, a Mall-like atmosphere with what may seem like endless options. Most prevalent is Ike’s, which you’ll find almost immediately. Ike’s has my heart for one reason- THE PATTY MELT. Juicy beef, sweet & salty grilled onions, aged cheddar that is a cheese explosion all between the most buttery grilled parmesan bread- it is heaven! Stick to this and you’ll love Ike’s. Stray from it, I make no guarantees, the menu is hit and miss. That said, the menu here is CLASSIC Midwest Fare, complete with Pot Roast and a “Mom’s Blue Plate Special” that changes daily for a taste of some home cooking while you’re on the road. Bonus points if you’re here in the notoriously bitter cold of Winter- Ike’s will warm you right up!
Vino Volo (Terminal 1, Concourse C, Gate C8)
One of my favorite ways to unwind at the end of the day is with a glass of wine. I’m a big fan of Reds, and will never run away from the chance to sample something new, so if there is a wine flight on the menu I am one happy camper! Vino Volo is becoming a bit easier to find, so it’s not unique to MSP, but this location is one of my favorites. A great selection of wines includes bottles that you can grab to take home, and they include some regional specialties. Food is fresh and healthy, from light salads to cheese plates, including some to-go options.
Shoyu (Terminal 1, Concourse G, near the Entrance to Concourse G)