Inspired by the concept of a neighborhood bodega, the creative team of Liz Gardner and Josef Harris aim to be a one-stop shop for their clients. Working under the name Bodega Ltd., Liz and Josef bring years of experience in the advertising and magazine worlds to each of their projects. Collaboration is a cornerstone of their work with clients, whether they are tasked with branding, social media, styling or product development work.

The duo could likely find success in L.A. or New York, but they choose to call the Twin Cities home. Josef says, “Minneapolis and the Twin Cities in general are incredibly accessible. There’s this amazing balance of a practical lifestyle with a certain level of refinement. You can’t get that experience in any other city.”

When the Super Bowl came to town, Josef and Liz wanted to share some of their Twin Cities favorites with others. The resulting book, A Stylist’s Guide to Minneapolis and St. Paul, is filled with suggestions for local shopping, eating and discovery. As Josef and Liz write in the guide, it’s “A capricious, biased, filtered, flawed and very personal annotated list of the places and experiences that make us choose the Twin Cities as our home.”

As you can imagine, they couldn’t fit all of their Minnesota gems into the book. So we asked Liz and Josef to share some of their favorite “uniquely Minnesota” spots. Here are seven gems, described in their own words:

Trio of Tours

Preserve Minneapolis Walking Tours – An organization that makes the stories of Minneapolis architecture more accessible through walking tours, Insta-meets and other events. We also love their self-guided tour resources available here.

Faribault Woolen Mills Tour – One of a handful of vertically integrated manufacturing facilities left in the U.S., Faribault starts with raw wool and ends with a finished product under one roof. You can take a tour of the whole process – it’s quite incredible!

Bob Dylan’s Hibbing High School Tour – Until I took this tour, I had no idea that the auditorium of the Hibbing High School was modeled after the Capitol Theater in NYC. Or of its Belgian chandeliers with thousands of Czech crystals. Or of the piano where Bob Dylan performed his first talent show. Don’t miss the walking tour of Bob’s Neighborhood.

Under-the-Radar Museums

Hennepin History Museum – Visit here for property genealogy research, historic photography shows curated by Star Tribune and Mia alum, and their newer “Open Storage” exhibit, where you can watch staff members document, research and photograph [the museum’s] collections.

Russian Museum of Art – Where else in Minneapolis, or in the U.S.A. for that matter, can you see a robust collection of Russian art housed in a beautiful Spanish-Colonial Revival space? Perfect for afternoon inspiration-seeking.

The Walker Art Center Library – Looking for something to do on the first Saturday of every month? How does a collection of 35,000 contemporary art books;150 art journal subscriptions; 1,800 artist books; 5,200 artist files; 6,000 A/V and film files; and 640,000 still images sound?

John R. Borchert Map Library – While this maps collection is vast (and open to the public), our favorite feature is the online aerial photos of the entire state. Starting with images in 1937 to the present, you can watch the city evolve.

Special Thanks: Otabo
Additional Media: Jack Davis
Minnesota Music: Artaria String Quartet, Cloud Cult, The Dirty Dirties, Amanda Grace, Javi Santiago
Production Team: Amy Melin, Brennan Vance, Ezra Gold, Jack Davis, Joe Demko, Ryan Klabunde


This story is made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the citizens of Minnesota.