Are you visiting the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota and looking for a place to enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Good news: the Mall of America has just about every type of restaurant food imaginable. Bad news: the prices typically range from high to outrageous at many of these eating establishments.
Located directly adjacent to MOA, IKEA is best known for their unique furniture and other household goods. But did you know IKEA also has a restaurant? The food is quite good and VERY inexpensive! IKEA thinks that if you can be lured into the store with a rock-bottom meal deal, you may leave with $500 worth of home furnishings. Let this work to your advantage!
You’ll find IKEA located directly north of the Mall of America. Although not connected to the Mall, it is right next door. You can walk over in a few minutes, eat, then walk back and resume your shopping at the “Mega Mall.” Take the money you saved and use it to buy a souvenir to remember your visit to Minnesota AND the great dining deal you got at IKEA!
I get asked this question all the time. Many people believe the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota (suburban Minneapolis/St. Paul) offers tax-free shopping at stores and restaurants. The short answer is “no.”
Sales at the Mall of America are subject to a sales tax rate of 7.525%. This breaks down as follows: 6.875% Minnesota state sales tax, .25% metro transit sales tax, .40% Hennepin County sales tax which funds the Minnesota Twins stadium and Target Field. In addition, alcoholic beverages are subject to an additional 5.5% tax: 2.5% additional Minnesota state sales tax on liquor, plus a 3% “drink tax” which is levied by the City of Bloomington.
The myth about the Mall of America being tax-free likely stems from the fact that sales of clothing and footwear are exempt from all state and local sales taxes. This is true everywhere in Minnesota, not just at MOA. There is no dollar limit on this exemption: a $2 pair of socks and a $1,000 custom tailored suit are both free of tax. Since all surrounding states and Canadian provinces tax both clothes and shoes, the Mall of America becomes an attractive regional shopping destination. This is especially true during July and August for back to school shopping, then again in November and December for Christmas and holiday shopping.
Groceries are also exempt from sales tax in Minnesota. This can get tricky, however. Candy and soda pop are taxed, as are all restaurant meals. Legally, the tax applies to “prepared” foods. So, if you buy a frozen burrito from a convenience store, it is not taxed. But if you heat it up in the microwave before leaving the store, it is then “prepared” and thus subject to sales tax. Candy is taxed while cookies are not. Here’s my favorite: if you buy vegetables in a grocery store, they are not taxed. But if you purchase those same vegetables from the store’s salad bar and use them to make yourself a salad, it is then considered “prepared food” and subject to sales tax. Confused? Me too!
Back to tax free shopping at the Mall of America: the general rule to remember is that clothes and shoes are not taxed. Everything else is. Have a great time and enjoy your Twin Cities shopping vacation!
This archived Back to School promotion was active previously but has NOT been confirmed for 2023. I will keep watching to see if it or a similar offer returns. As soon as I receive further information, this page will be updated. Be sure to check back often!
For one day only, selected retailers at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota (suburban Minneapolis/St. Paul) are offering 20% savings on everything! This in celebration of MOA’s 20th Anniversary!
On Saturday, August 11, 30 Mall of America retailers will be offering 20% off everything in their stores! Special coupons are required to get this deal, available for download from the Mall of America’s website. Here’s the complete list of participating stores:
P.S. from Aéropostale
The Children’s Place
Some restrictions apply. See stores for complete details. 20% savings available only on the Mall of America’s 20th Birthday: Saturday, August 11, 2012 at participating retailers.
Mall of America extended summer shopping hours: Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday/Friday/Saturday: 9:300AM-9:30PM. Sunday: 11:00AM-7:00PM. Most stores will be open holiday hours on Labor Day (Monday, September 3.) Don’t miss the annual Mall of America Labor Day Sales!