Why you should move to Longfellow And Howe in particular.

We moved to the Longfellow neighborhood in South Minneapolis in 2013. As we’ve settled in, we’ve grown to appreciate how much we like this little corner of the city.

Two big barriers separate Longfellow from the surrounding area: the Mississippi River to the east and the generally crappy Highway 55 (aka Hiawatha Avenue), to the west. This carves out Longfellow into its own little town within the city. It flies under the radar in many ways. Other parts of the city are more safe/dangerous, connected/isolated, hip/stale, white/diverse, energized/depressing. Longfellow is a nice balance.



Houses at every price point.

In general, houses are more affordable on the west end by Minnehaha Avenue and increase in value to the east to the Mississippi. Most notable are the pockets of historic craftsman and Tudor cottages from the 1920s and 30s. Many homes are small compared to current American standards (~1500sf), but that should come as no surprise to anyone looking in the city for housing. Houses also seem noticeably smaller than in the neighborhoods west of Park Ave. Houses with three legit bedrooms (instead of a converted attic with low ceilings or a renovated basement).

Kids are everywhere. Many homes are flipping from senior housing to young families as the older generation retires, moves to assisted living, or passes on. The quality of the housing tends to vary from block to block, but overall I see slow and incremental improvements. There hasn’t been a gold rush of crappy flipped houses. Some investors are buying up tiny, run down houses and vacant lots and plopping down $500k+ suburban style boxes (many are terrible, some are lovely). Block by block, the worst houses are getting fixed up, new families are moving in, and home values are on the rise.


No discussion of south Minneapolis housing is complete without talking about the airport. By a twist of fate (and prevailing winds) many of the most desirable neighborhoods of Minneapolis are directly on the landing routes of the xx busiest airport in the country. As GIS assisted landings have become more common, mornings and evenings can become river of aircraft queued up for landing.

Longfellow has plenty of airport noise, but only departures and only one runway. If weather forces a plane to stay nearer to the ground on departures, or the plane takes a sharp turn to the east after taking off, it is certainly loud. But most days it isn’t a big deal.

For us, the levels of airport noise at our house is worth the tradeoff for a quick and easy 15 minute drive to the terminal.

Restaurants, Coffee, and Bars.

Longfellow isn’t the hippest or best neighborhood for restaurants, but we have solid choices. Our favorites:

What’s missing from Longfellow are the tentpole Asian cuisines. Korean, Thai, Vietnamese are completely absent. And the Chinese food is pretty bleak.

Also missing is a local brewery, a Neapolitan pizza joint, and [ahem] a Culvers.


Honestly, I’m not up to speed on the quality of the local schools. Minneapolis has a big ecosystem of public, charter, and private schools, and students can apply to any school in the system. The best schools have lotteries for their enrollments, the neighborhood schools run the spectrum from excellent to terrible.