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A Night Out In Lowertown

Saint Paul's booming arts district, now known for entertainment options and premier dining destinations as well, has gained a reputation as one of the hottest neighborhoods in the country. Named by USA Today as one of the top up-and-coming neighborhoods in the country, there is certainly a lot of hype surrounding Lowertown. But Lowertown is also a neighborhood that keeps its secrets. Where do you go on a night out in the city?

The brand new Saints stadium now defines the eastern edge of Lowertown, and on game nights you might want to take the green line light rail down to avoid the hassle of parking. You'll get dropped off at the last stop, right in front of the Union Depot with all of your drinking and dining destinations within a block or two away.

If you are lucky enough to find a spot, parking is free after 5 p.m.

Heartland- Lamb Terrine
(credit: CBS)

Heartland Restaurant And Wine Bar
289 5th St. E.
St Paul, MN 55101
(651) 699-3536

Award-winning Heartland Restaurant now also has a more casual wine bar and a burger bar featuring some of the best burgers in town. These are a perfect option if you don't feel like sitting down for an elegant three-course dinner. Whether you're feeling fancy, or just like sinking your teeth into a bison, lamb, pork or beef burger (or corn dog or house-made sausage) this is the restaurant to start your night.

Saint Dinette
261 E. 5th St.
St Paul, MN 55101
(651) 800-1415

The brand new Saint Dinette is another must-try for dinner. Specializing in French-inspired North American fare, from New Orleans to Montreal, the creative menu is executed with the type of care we've come to expect from the team that brought us Strip Club Meat and Fish. Look for the corn on the cob, covered in lobster roe, the beef ceviche in dulce de leche or just the cheeseburger oozing with a how-do-they-do-it house-made American cheese.

Big River Pizza
280 5th St. E.
St Paul, MN 55101
(651) 683-2186

If you're looking for something quicker, and even more casual, the farm-to-table pizza joint Big River Pizza is now open as well. Grab a slice or share one of their excellent pizzas before heading out into the wild word of Lowertown.

Related:  Northeast Minneapolis Ranked Best Arts District In U.S.

Music & Entertainment:

Bedlam Theater
213 4th St. E.
St Paul, MN 55101
(651) 209-0597

Bedlam Theater is perhaps the most interesting venue in Lowertown for nightly entertainment and antics. From local live music to traveling acts, DJ sets, poetry, and, yes, theater, you can find some amazing acts onstage and off. An arts hub as well as entertainment venue (and with some awesome cocktails and food to boot) it often acts as the epicenter of the arts district.

Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar
(credit: CBS)

Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar
308 E. Prince St.
St Paul, MN 55101
(651) 228-9274

The coolest place in Lowertown long before the recent boom, Black Dog always has something interesting to enjoy in its bohemian space. From jazz and folk music to literary events, art shows and everything in between, you're sure to find an interesting act any given night of the week. Make sure to check their schedule on their website.

Related: Walking Tour of Minnesota's Cathedral Hill Neighborhood

275 4th St. E, Suite 102
St Paul, MN 55101
(651) 224-8888

Golden's has become more than just a breakfast space. With a full bar and some of the cheapest drinks around, plus nightly events like Comedy Fight Club, Golden Mic (their open mic) and live music Thursday through Saturday, it's now a nightlife destination.

Public Kitchen & Bar
(credit: CBS)

Public Kitchen And Bar
229 6th St. E.
St Paul, MN 55101
(651) 348-6456

Down below the enormous restaurant lies a subterranean space, known simply as "the lounge," where you can find great local music acts on the weekend. But even when there isn't music playing, the basement lounge is a great place to kick back and relax with a cocktail, or a glass of wine or beer.

SW Craft Bar
111 Kellogg Blvd E., Suite 150
Saint Paul, MN 55101
(651) 224-2019

The renamed (formerly Senor Wong) and now remodeled SW Craft Bar has perhaps the most creative tap list in the area, and has great cocktails as well. The new patio is a great place to enjoy a drink on these warmer nights, and the bar is cozy for the colder ones coming. But what is less-known is that it's also a fantastic place to catch live music on the weekends.


Barrio Tequila Bar
235 6th St. E.
St Paul, MN 55101
(651) 222-3250

For tequila, one of the now veterans of the neighborhood, Barrio, is never a bad choice. The never-ending selection of tequilas and excellent margaritas are sure to get the buzz going, and it's always a lively atmosphere as well. If you're there on the weekend, look for a dance party vibe to take over after the sun goes down.

bulldog northeast
(credit: CBS)

Bulldog Lowertown
237 6th St. E.
Saint Paul, MN 55101
(651) 221-0750

Next door to Barrio is the Bulldog. Featuring an expansive tap list (especially if you're into Belgian-style beers) and lots of games, there is plenty to keep you busy while you drink and get lost in what is typically the busiest spot in Lowertown.

Kelly's Depot2
41 Kellogg Blvd. E.
St Paul, MN 55101
(651) 298-0099

Kelly's Depot is known to locals as a no pretense, great place for a pitcher of beer or a strong (and cheap) cocktail. You quickly become part of the family enjoying a drink or two here, and if you're looking to step away from the flashier additions to the neighborhood, this is your place. You can often find DJ sets on their patio as well.

Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.
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