7 of the Best Indie Bookstores in Minneapolis & St. Paul
by Elizabeth Zender
Calling all Midwestern bookworms: These bookstores in Minneapolis & St. Paul are a dream!
Bookstores can be found just about anywhere in the Twin Cities. Shopping local is a big part of the culture here, and the indie booksellers in the area are doing something really special with the bookish community.
To local and traveling book lovers alike, make sure you drop in and experience that Minnesota Nice atmosphere that everyone’s been telling you about. You can’t go wrong with any of these bookshops. Fun atmosphere, yes, but don’t forget–you might just get a book out of it!
Here are some of the best bookstores in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
1. Magers & Quinn Booksellers
3038 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408
If you’re heading to the Twin Cities, you have to stop into Magers & Quinn.
It has been in business for over 25 years and is a major part of the Uptown community. It’s the first bookstore I went to when I first moved to the Twin Cities 10 years ago, and I was so happy to arrive.
Take a step in through the front door and you’ll find shelves upon tables upon shelves. It is wall-to-wall books. You can find anything you’d want there: current, rare, and incredible books.
2. Moon Palace Books
3032 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55406
This gem expanded its walls in the last few years, creating space for a cafe, music, and, of course, more books.
At Moon Palace Books, you’ll find what you’re looking for and stumble upon a few surprises, like the wide variety of books and zines by local authors. This store prioritizes a sense of comfort; all are welcome in this space and the staff is the best.
It’s cute on the outside (see above!) and full of good vibes on the inside. Whether you live here or you’re just visiting, Moon Palace is a must-see.
3. Wild Rumpus Books
2720 W 43rd St., Minneapolis, MN 55410
If you need a children’s book, you’ll find it at Wild Rumpus. You’ll probably be greeted by a shop cat sleeping in the window, and, as you wind your way toward the back, you’ll find a few birds and creepy crawlers too.
I’ve never seen a more expansive collection of children’s books than at Wild Rumpus. You have old favorites by Kevin Henkes and Mercer Mayer next to new favorites by Gracey Zhang and Daniel Haack. If you need to entertain young readers, you’ll want to drop by.
Want to take a literary road trip? Check out our list of Bookstores in Ann Arbor or Bookstores in NYC.
4. Black Garnet Books
1319 University Ave W, St. Paul, MN 55104
Where should you go to first in St. Paul? My vote is Black Garnet Books!
Dionne Sims created this beautiful little space to bring creators of color to the front. Black-owned and operated, this space is brand new; it went from a small pop-up circa 2020 to a storefront earlier this year. You’ll have books, merch, and good vibes coming out of this one!
5. The Irreverent Bookworm
5163 Bloomington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55417
This queer and woman-owned bookstore in Minneapolis might be on the small side, but the interior is immaculate. It’s cozy, it’s whimsical, and it’s beyond welcoming.
Do you want a used book? You can find it here. Do you need to try a book before you buy it? You can do that here. Do you want to bring your dog with you to smell that good book smell? You can bring them here. Find what you need within the nooks and crannies of the Irreverent Bookworm.
6. Once Upon a Crime
604 W 26th St, Minneapolis, MN 55405
When you’re walking the streets of the Whittier neighborhood, you might just miss this shop if you’re not looking for it.
Down a few steps to the front door, you’re suddenly in a world of suspense. If you need a good mystery-thriller, this basement bookstore’s got you covered. They love the genre so much, they don’t stock anything else. If you too love surprises, solving crimes, and the unknown, you have to take a look at Once Upon A Crime.
7. Next Chapter Booksellers
38 Snelling Ave S, St. Paul, MN 55105
If you want to take a scenic walk through the Macalester College campus, you’ll want to stop into Next Chapter.
You’ll find new books by new authors and a wide variety of staff recommendations. Anytime I’ve struggled to find something at a chain bookstore, I’ve found it here.
Those are some of the absolute best bookstores in Minneapolis & St. Paul. Did I miss any? Let me know!
About the Author
Elizabeth Zender spends most of her days begging high school students to exchange their phones for a book. In her free time, she can be found baking or playing video games with a cat in her lap.
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