Shop, Eat And Be Merry

Shop, Eat And Be Merry

Celebrate the season with a festive afternoon of holiday shopping.

Grand Avenue

Clients with a penchant for history will enjoy an afternoon on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, often called “the last city of the East” (Minneapolis being the first city of the West). Visit Irish on Grand for tweed caps, fisherman’s sweaters, Irish sausages and Cadbury chocolates; Bibelot Shop for unique ornaments, clever stocking stuffers and gifts; and the Grand Hand Gallery where much of the fine art, pottery and jewelry is by artists from Minnesota and Wisconsin. Stop at the cozy, cabinesque Tavern on Grand for a pint of Wall’s End from Northgate Brewing on the other side of the Mississippi River, followed by walleye tacos, walleye on a stick or walleye scampi served with Minnesota wild rice.; Tavern on Grand, 651-228-9030,

Mall of America

Like a tiny village inside a holiday snow globe, the first Mall of America Shop Local Holiday PopUp Marketplace offers a delightfully curated (and climate-controlled!) shopping experience. Situated in Sears Court from Nov. 27 through Dec. 28, the marketplace showcases nearly two dozen local purveyors of gifts, candy and other Minnesota-made products. Afterward, stroll over to Twin City Grill, settle into a leather booth and admire the vintage photos of the Twin Towns on the mahogany-paneled walls. Order a round of Minneapolis Manhattans, meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy, and the banana cream pie. Mall of America, Bloomington, 952-883-8800,; Twin City Grill, 952-854-0200,


Clients with a well-populated Instagram feed will appreciate an excursion to Nordeast, so-named for the way the early Eastern European denizens pronounced “Northeast.” Pause as you cross the Hennepin bridge for a glimpse of the iconic Grain Belt sign and then head over to Surdyk’s for gorgeously packaged foodie gifts, Bone Adventure for locally made, eco-friendly pet presents, and I Like You for idiosyncratic T-shirts, original art and handcrafted stocking stuffers. Conclude the tour at the nearby Red Stag Supper Club. Order a pint of Minnetonka-brewed Miraculum from Pryes Brewing Co. and juicy cheeseburgers made with Wisconsin Limousin beef from Peterson Farms.; Red Stag Supper Club, 509 First Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-767-7766,


If it’s a sunny bluebird late-autumn afternoon, leave the office early and head out to the historic town of Excelsior on Lake Minnetonka. Pay a visit to Excelsior Bay Books for indie bestsellers, e-books and clever toys; Que Sera for whimsical pillows, handmade journals and other gifts dreamed up by designer Mary Lauer; and Brightwater for outdoorsy gifts from Minnesota Leather Works, Duluth Pack, J.W. Hulme and other local brands. Take a table by the window at Coalition and enjoy zesty Minnetonka mules served in copper mugs, savory roast chicken with roasted fingerling potatoes and cipollini onions, and a slice of locally baked fruit pie. Excelsior-lake, 952-474-6461; Coalition Restaurant, 227 Water St., Excelsior, 952-283-1952,

Linden Hills

Clients with a sense of humor will get a kick out of Linden Hills, where Jingle All the Way with James Belushi and Arnold Schwarzenegger was filmed. Indulge the inner (and outer) children in your life with a stop at Creative Kidstuff for fun-but-educational toys, games and stocking stuffers. Duck through the gnome-sized door at Wild Rumpus, where cats, rabbits and other wild things share space with books for avid young readers. Treat your inner adult to a pound of signature Holiday Blend from Coffee and Tea Limited next door, and then pop into the Harriet Brasserie for a bottle of Prosecco and steak frites with béarnaise, followed by a slice of Brigadeiro chocolate cake and a glass of port.; the Harriet Brasserie, 2724 W. 43rd St., Mpls., 612-354-2197,