With an explosion of Microsoft money and young talent, downtown Fargo is morphing from a Coen Brothers punch line to the Seattle of the Plains. At Zandbroz Variety (420 Broadway; 701/239-4729), you'll find Art Deco jewelry, letterpress stationery, even an authentic soda fountain. • Northern Home (300 N.P. Ave.; 701/271-1550) showcases Stickley Arts and Crafts-style furniture in a renovated warehouse. • Monte's Downtown (220 N. Broadway; 701/526-0149; dinner for two $70) is renowned for its extensive martini menu (more than 30 options) and its sushi night, held on the first Monday of every month. • Canvases by local painters Star Wallowing Bull and Walter Piehl are displayed at the Plains Art Museum (704 First Ave. N.; 701/232-3821; • Tuck into a delicate petit four from chef Nichole Secker at Nichole's Fine Pastry (13 S. Eighth St.; 701/232-6430). • The Mighty Wurlitzer organ still plays regularly between double features at the Fargo Theatre (314 Broadway; 701/239-8385), a 1926 movie house. • A former flophouse, the Hotel Donaldson (101 Broadway; 701/478-1000; doubles from $119) has 17 rooms, each dedicated to a regional artist, and a restaurant, Untitled (dinner for two $70), that fuses Scandinavian and Native American cuisine. Before calling it a night, head up to the rooftop bar, complete with prairie grass and views of the Great Plains skyline. Make that silo-line.
—Jennifer Baumgardner

Monte's Downtown

The Hotel Donaldson