Transit-Oriented Dating: Snelling-Midway

Photo of an A Line bus at Snelling and University station

A Line at Snelling and University on its opening day (Metro Transit)

If you’re an urban planner or someone curious about the field, you’ve probably heard of transit-oriented development (TOD). It’s an important consideration for transitway projects like Metro Transit’s Green Line and Blue Line, but probably isn’t of much interest to most people.

Several other TODs may have more appeal, such as Tangerine-Orange Daiquiris, Tacos on Demand,  Taxidermied Otter Dioramas, Ties on Dogs and the subject of this post: Transit-Oriented Dating. This is the first of what I hope will be a crowdsourced series of Twin Cities date ideas that are all accessible via transit.

Of course, these don’t have to be dates. They can also be transit-oriented nights out with friends, but TONOWF doesn’t have the same ring as TOD.

Photo of Thai dishes served at On's Kitchen

Pad Thai and red curry at On’s Kitchen (Emily Phuong | Yelp)

Today, I have some TOD ideas for the Snelling-Midway area, accessible by the Green Line, the A Line rapid transit bus and three local routes (16, 21, 84). If you’re a fan of spicy food, start your night at On’s Kitchen; if you’re a fan of spicy food and are down for more of an adventure, head to Fasika, get the veggie platter and try not to embarrass yourself while using your injera as a lentil delivery system. (Forks are available, but using flatbread is the customary way to enjoy Ethiopian food; it’s messy, but that’s half the fun.)

Photo of Allianz Field

Allianz Field (Minnesota United)

If it’s a Wednesday evening or a weekend between March and August, you can likely catch the Minnesota United Futbol Club (MNUFC) playing at the new Allianz Field just south of University, or you can join some boisterous supporters to watch at The Black Hart of Saint Paul. Soccer not your jam? Catch some live music at the Turf Club. Bonus: The cover for these shows is often only $5 to $10, which makes it a pretty affordable outing.

Photo of Ginkgo Coffeehouse

Ginkgo Coffeehouse (Google Maps)

If you’re still hanging out in the area the next morning, take the A Line or the #84 (Snelling) bus north and grab a coffee at Ginkgo Coffeehouse, across from Hamline University. Head across the street to Flying Pig, the new cooperative thrift store that opened July 20, then walk or ride south and browse the used and rare books selection at Midway Book Store, which has been on the northeast corner of Snelling and University since 1965.

What are your favorite transit-oriented dates in the Twin Cities? Sound off in the comments, or become a writer and share them in your own post!

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11 Responses to Transit-Oriented Dating: Snelling-Midway

  1. John Danielson July 29, 2019 at 9:48 am #

    What a great idea!!!
    There are SOoo many great restaurants, coffee shops and bars along the Green Line in St. Paul. I truly believe it is the better twin. Yes, the Green Line was to be an express line to connect the two downtowns and the neighborhoods on the line were going to be bypassed. Thank goodness they came to their senses and added the stops along the way. Only wished they could have made a stop closer to the “X”.

    The Hmong community really had a wonderful impact on the business development on Uni. The markets and restaurants are a must stop. I think it was at the Lao Thai that has the best avocado malt.

    • Rosa July 29, 2019 at 10:48 pm #

      We like to just take the train and stop at any random restaurant. We try to do it a couple times a year.

      Also it’s great to take the train to the Little Night Market. Somehow being in the crowd eating and listening to music and watching the train go by in that background is like living in a sci fi movie

  2. Jenny Werness
    Jenny Werness July 29, 2019 at 9:57 am #

    This is so lovely! My last TOD was dinner to A-Line to Green Line to Lynx game. We also do a lot of bike oriented dates (is that a thing?).

    • mplsmatt July 29, 2019 at 10:03 am #

      I’m personally in favor of bike oriented dating (BOD) and pedestrian oriented dating (POD).

      • Jenny Werness
        Jenny Werness July 29, 2019 at 10:14 am #

        Yes! And SOD (scooter oriented dating).

        • ianrbuck July 31, 2019 at 9:23 pm #

          That one might have some unintended interpretations.

    • Alicia Valenti July 29, 2019 at 11:12 am #

      100%! I would love if there were a BOD series complementary to the TOD series!

      • Rosa July 29, 2019 at 10:50 pm #

        Anything in Uptown is BOD because driving there is terrible.

        • Frank Phelan August 3, 2019 at 8:10 am #

          Nobody drive to Uptown anymore. Too much vehicle traffic.

          (Hat tip to Yogi Berra.)

  3. mplsmatt July 29, 2019 at 10:01 am #

    Fun post! The dating possibilities of the Lake/Minnehaha area actually came up in a conversation I was having at Open Streets. I frequently meet with a friend to browse books and grab pizza at Moon Palace/Geek Love and then head over to The Trylon for a movie. Du Nord, Peace Coffee, Hook and Ladder, and several restaurant options nearby to mix and match the food/entertainment/beverage rendezvous of your choice. I tend to bike over but the 7, 21, 53, and Blue Line all have stops in the vicinity.

    • Alicia Valenti July 29, 2019 at 11:12 am #

      You should write a post or two about it 🙂 (and BOD/POD posts are also welcome)

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