11 Places to Bring Your Dog in South Minneapolis

By Investigative Dog-porter Kramer Canine. Photos: K. Lessard.

I’m not a dog who likes to be left alone for any reason, so while I spend my days (physically) lounging and rolling around on one of my many plush beds, I also use that time to brainstorm all the places I can go with my humans. There are so many neighborhoods in this Great (Dane) state of ours that cater to dogs like me, and nearby South Minneapolis is no exception.

There are many reasons I give South Minneapolis two paws up and a Basenji tail wag, so let’s dig right in.

Carver Junk Company

Shopping. Humans like to shop. Dogs like to accompany. I’d like to high-five several retailers in this fine neighborhood:

  • Carver Junk Company — As cool as a Golden Retriever during a summer dip, CJC sells always-changing ultra-chic refinished furniture, handmade gifts, and home décor. Better yet, this is the second year they’re hosting a “Puppy Kissing booth” where you can snuggle a puppy for just $1 (check their website for the next date); proceeds benefit charity. CJC is an ideal space for well-behaved, leashed dogs; water and treats available upon request.
  • Settergren Ace Hardware – Let’s talk about this gem of a local hardware store. First, they are super dog-friendly– I received tons of pets and praise while I was there, and of course, was offered a treat (or maybe two). Second, the Settergren family canine “Jager” spends most of his days at the Linden Hills location where I visited, so you may just meet him while you’re there. Third, six generations of Settergrens have answers to all of your hardware questions, so it’s a win-win for human and canine.
  • I’d like to carry a stick to Linden Hills Farmers Market. Located next to Settergren Hardware, this market showcases more than 50 vendors in a community-based setting. Open Sundays through October.
  • I like sniffing flowers. One of my humans loves buying flowers. So naturally, Lake Harriet Florist was a big hit when we stopped by for a little look see. Lake Harriet Florist offers daily orders, ranging from personal celebrations to weddings to big events. Their fresh cut flowers are available daily, and they can design on the (Dalmatian) spot. Cooper, the resident Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, is available to meet most days – and the florist offers a water bowl and treats for dogs. Maybe even a pat on the head or two as well. 

Food and drink. Where do I begin? Perhaps with the fact that the two-leggeds I live with prefer I don’t have human food, but I digress. There are five wooftastic establishments I’d like to call out for having great refreshments and dog-friendly patios:

  • Sandcastle (pictured above) – Located at Lake Nokomis (think playing in the park and then stopping for a treat), Sandcastle staff must love dogs, because they asked me if I wanted a treat before they asked my human for her order – score! I spotted a water bowl near the food pickup station as well.
  • Wise Acre Eatery – Stella will be spoiled at this fine establishment, who has both one of the coolest patios in town IMHO, a brought-to-you water bowl and amazingly awesome staff. Community based they are, for food comes directly from a Plato, Minnesota farm directly to your plate. Or mine, if I’m lucky and my humans aren’t looking.
  • Studio 2 Coffee Shop and Wine Bar – Think of this gem as a Sidewalk Dog hangout, for the patio is actually on the sidewalk. With a great menu offering, enlightening conversation and music on the weekends, it’s almost as adorbs as me.
  • Victor’s 1959 Café – I love this place, from the colorful and intimate patio to the Cuban culture and flare. It’s open for breakfast and lunch daily, and for dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Don’t let your people miss their sweet plantain omelette with creole sauce — drool.
  • For many social animals, summer=beer and beer=summer. If that sounds like your human(s), put thy leash in their hands and escort them to Wild Mind Artisan Ales where they’ll enjoy a variety of ales, many aged Belgian-style. All beer is brewed with Minnesota yeast. (Dogs are welcome indoors there, too!)

Exercise and socialization. Social dogs will love to get their bark on at off-leash Minnehaha Falls Dog Park over and over again. Open 6am to midnight, the park is the perfect place for Fluffy and Fido to yap all day (and night) long. There’s trees, and water, and sand, and did I mention trees? The six-acre park has both on- and off-leash areas, so make sure you’re in the correct one before releasing that leash. You’ll also need your pup to be vaccinated, licensed (Minneapolis or St Paul residents: You can buy or renew a license for your pooch on our site for the same price as the city’s — and ours include perks!), purchase a permit ahead of time, and make sure you follow all of the rules – check out the website before you head over and have a blast.

Head over to South Minneapolis this summer, and soon. Tell ‘em Sidewalk Dog’s Kramer sent ya!

(Don’t forget to share your South Minnie adventures with #SidewalkDog. We’ve got loads more dog-friendly action in our directory, too. Anything we missed? Speak!)

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