A Budget-Friendly Guide to the Mall of America
Post updated 12/29/21
Hey there! Today I am posting something a little different than usual : A frugal guide to Mall of America®.
I live just a few miles from Mall of America (MOA™) in Bloomington, Minnesota. And I know this Mall like the back of my hand. If you’re new to my blog, you should know that I’m all about bargains and budget shopping.
I’ve come up with some lists to help you get the most out of MOA while sticking to a budget. I hope you enjoy!
Best places to get deals on clothing:
- Nordstrom Rack: Be prepared to dig deep to find the best deals at this store. I recently found a super cute winter coat on clearance for just $39 – one that I can wear for years to come. A brag-worthy find, if I do say so myself.
- Ragstock: Ragstock stocks both new and recycled/vintage clothing – the only retailer at MOA to stock used clothing. There are deals to be found in this store, from flannels to leggings to ugly Christmas sweaters and more.
- Forever 21: I don’t like spending a lot of money on trendy clothing and accessories, because these items can look dated in just a few months. What I love about Forever 21 is that I can afford to purchase these pieces without overspending. I especially love perusing the jewelry and accessories section for fun pieces to spice up my outfits.
- Francesca’s Collections: Shopping at this cute boutique is like going through the closet of your most fashionable friend. Everything here is so gosh darn cute! And the best part? Most of the items in this store cost less than $40. Fabulous.
Best budget-friendly eats:
- Burger Burger: This is my favorite place to eat at the MOA. Get a really great, filling burger for $7.00 or $8.00. (Try the John Wayne!) They also have really good fries with a wide array of dipping sauce options.
- Johnny Rocket’s: Get a lot of food for not a lot of money at this 50’s style diner in the south food court.
- Culinary on North: The north food court is full of fun dining options: Shake Shack, Naf Naf Grill, Chick-fil-A, and Piada (Italian sandwiches) all offer plenty of options on a budget. Take your fast food and grab a table at the north end of this food court, which offers great views of the city as well as planes landing and taking off from MSP airport.
- Poukei: This new addition to the north food court offers poke bowls and sushi burritos. It’s not the cheapest fast food dining option, but I love their food. You can get a filling meal for about $11.00. I have tried the spicy salmon poke bowl (with kimchi, avocado, Japanese pickles, carrots, yum yum sauce, and eel sauce) and the tempura shrimp sushi burrito. SO good, you guys!
Best places to get something for nothing:
- The South Food Court: Want to grab a quick bite but feel overwhelmed with options? Take a stroll around the South Food Court. Some of the food stands give out free samples. My favorite? The mango chicken at Ruby Thai.
- Pepper Palace: You can sample almost every hot sauce, barbecue sauce, and salsa in this store. Take my advice: Start mild!
- Lindt chocolate: What’s better than chocolate? Free chocolate! Rumor has it, Lindt sometimes hands out free chocolate truffles to shoppers.
Best places to indulge:
- Duck Donuts: Savor each bite of made-to-order donuts at this food stand. Try a classic sweet donut or go for something totally different, like one of their donut breakfast sandwiches.
- Lush: Sampling is encouraged at this intoxicatingly fresh cosmetics store. The friendly staff routinely offer skin treatments and explain how to use their unique body products. My favorite product? The shampoo bars that make my hair smell super fabulous.
- Coffee and tea: Stay caffeinated during your trip to the Mall of America. Throughout the mall you’ll find 6 Caribou Coffees, 2 Starbucks shops, a Dunkin’, Chatime Tea, Sencha Tea Bar, and other cafes to pick up a latte, boba tea or your beverage of choice.
- Ice cream: You can’t mention indulging without talking about one of many ice cream shops at the MOA! Spoil your supper at Cold Stone Creamery, Haagen-Dazs, Wafles & Dinges, Minnewaffolis or Sugar Factory.
Where to stay
Want to make a weekend out of it? The new Radisson Blu is connected to the Mall of America by skyway. How convenient is that? After a day of shopping, eating, and entertainment, nothing feels better than being mere steps away from your hotel room.
The rooms are modern and comfortable. And I loved the Minnesota-themed accents. The headboard featured pictures of the Minnesota Twins, Bob Dylan, the Walker Art Center, and other local icons.