The East Bank neighborhood (sometimes referred to jointly as the Nicollet Island/East Bank neighborhood) sits just across the Mississippi River from Downtown Minneapolis. This culturally-rich neighborhood is as close to “center” as any neighborhood gets in Minneapolis, both geographically and historically. The neighborhood is made up of Nicollet Island on the Mississippi River just east of downtown and the portion of the eastern riverbank located between Central Avenue and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad line (the second-largest freight railroad network in North America).
The East Bank portion of the neighborhood is commonly referred to as a part of Northeast or Old St. Anthony. Due to the fact that it is right by Downtown, the area has seen a lot of change in recent years, and what lies in the neighborhood now is an array of shops, restaurants and upscale condos.
The biggest part of this neighborhood is Nicollet Island, which lies just north of Saint Anthony Falls . The Hennepin Avenue Bridge crosses Nicollet Island, connecting Downtown and Northeast Minneapolis.
The establishments and homes on Nicollet Island are unique and historic. The classic Nicollet Island Inn was built almost 120 years ago and is known for its classic hotel as well as its fine dining. The private Catholic DeLaSalle High School is on the island as well as three multi-family residential buildings and twenty-two restored Victorian-era houses on the north end of the island. The south end of the island is home to the Nicollet Island Pavilion event center, which is home to many weddings and other events, and the Bell of Two Friends, a gift from the city of Ibaraki, Osaka, Japan.
The calm nature of Nicolette Island contrasts with the stores, restaurants and offices on the East Bank, but both neighborhoods are easily accessible from the University of Minnesota and downtown, and both are very much in the heart of Minneapolis.