As the calendar makes the turn to spring, I start dream of patio sipping and garden dining. We’re so close to enjoying the sunshine and green growing plants I can almost feel the buzz of bees in the air. Almost, but not quite. We know spring is just a concept for at least another month or two. Instead, we have to make our own spring.
Thanks to many amazing restaurants, cafes, shops, playspaces, and indoor gardens in the Twin Cities, you can find green life and delicious floral aromas at indoor venues around the metro to help you bridge the gap from slushy snow to green grass. Sip your coffee among lush greenery, take a walk through rows of colorful flowers, dine in the tropics without even needing a passport. There are plenty of ways to receive the healing powers of growing life while we all wait for Mother Nature to catch up.
Spy House Emery Hotel | 215 4th Street South Minneapolis, MN 55401
Hotel lobby’s and lounges are some of my favorite secret places to get work done. They always make me feel like I’m on important business travel, without the hassle of an airport. The incredible boutique Hotel Emory in downtown MInneapolis now hosts a Twin Cities favorite award winning boutique roaster, Spy House coffee. But the best part of this space is the lush greenery in the middle of the lobby, so grab your coffee and set up among the plants.
Hours: Open Daily 6:30am – 5:00pm
Macanda | 294 Grove Lane E, Wayzata, MN 55391
The latest restaurant by celebrated chef Danny del Prado opened in Wayzata on the shores of Lake Minnetonka features an eclectic blend of Latin American flavors. While the location and view is ideal in the warm months of the year, while we wait to dine alfresco, Macanda brings the outdoors in with a variety of eye popping plants. The restarauntuer is not new to this plant concept as you can find other botanical delights in some of their other great spaces like Colita with that succulent wall and Cafe Ceres filled with plants at each location.
Hours: Monday – Thursday 5:00 PM – 11:00PM *Kitchen closes at 9:30PM; Friday & Saturday 4:00 PM – 12:00AM *Kitchen closes at 10:00PM; Sunday 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM *Kitchen closes at 9:00PM
Khâluna | 4000 Lyndale Ave S. Minneapolis MN 55409
Stepping into Khâluna feels like entering a tropical resort in South East Asia. And that is before you even try any of their amazing cocktails and cuisine! Tropical plants all around the space make you feel warm and alive, even when the snow still sits outside. But the best part is how they bring spring to your table. Try one of their many incredible cocktails, mocktails, and tasty plates served with edible flowers. You’ll feel springy in no time!
Hours: Daily 4pm-10pm, Sat and Sun 10am-2pm
Em Que Viet | 1332 Grand Ave, St. Paul, MN 55105
If spring flowers is what you seek, then you must make your way to Em Que Viet. Inspired to create a modern space to highlight the traditional vietnamese dishes parent restaurant Quê Viêt has been creating for decades, Em Quê Viêt brings a creative and modern vibe to the cuisine. The owners describe their new restaurant in Saint Paul as “younger, trendy, sassy version” of the restaurant visitors have loved for years. And stepping into Em Que Viet, you understand why. Pops of colors in huge hanging flower arrangements catch your eye at every turn. They even changed up the decor for the season. You’ll feel like you’re in a garden, or even under a garden! Not a bad place to be in the middle of winter.
Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 11am – 2pm | 4 – 10pm, Friday – Saturday: 11am – 2pm | 4 – 11pm
Looking for something to do other than eat or drink?
Check out any of these indoor gardens, conservatories, or play areas to get your much-needed botanical fix!
Como Park Conservatory | 1225 Estabrook Dr, St. Paul, MN 55103
The Como Conservatory released their new spring flower collection in the Sunken Garden late March featuring thousands of tulips, daffodils, ranunculus, foxglove, acorus, hydrangea, hyacinth, and pansies in a rainbow of colors.
Hours: October – March: 10AM – 4PM, April – September: 10AM – 6PM
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s Meyers-Deats Conservatory | 3675 Arboretum Drive, Chaska, MN 55318
The conservatory at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum offers stunning variety of indoor plants and foliage, from maples to aspens to oaks before their gardens come alive later this spring.
Hours: Daily 9am – 6pm
Minnesota Zoo Tropics Trail | 13000 Zoo Boulevard, Apple Valley, MN 55124
Don’t forget about the Minnesota Zoo Tropics Trail! Wander through the rainforest in our own backyard and enjoy the humid warmth of the tropics, all while you hunt for animals like lemur, kangaroo, or a red panda at play.
Hours: Daily 10am-4pm
Speaking of play, do your kids need to stretch their legs? We love indoor playgrounds for this option, and we love even more when they bring the outdoors inside. Edinborough Park in Edina and Woodbury’s Central Park are both great options where you can let the kids run and play while basking in the therapy of lush vegetation. It will be just enough to pass the time before you are really in the great outdoors for months to come.