We certainly like to get our hygge on here in Minneapolis. But are we the coziest city in America?
Not according to the website Sperling’s Best Places, which recently ranked the Twin Cities the country’s third coziest metro area, behind top pick Seattle and No. 2 Portland.
Sperling’s set out to determine which American city best captures the concept of the Danish word hygge (pronounced HUE-gah), which Merriam Webster defines as “a quality of coziness that makes a person feel content and comfortable.”
Their list misses the mark by a few spots, said Julie Ingebretsen, one of the owners of Ingebretsen’s Scandinavian Gifts on E. Lake Street, where hygge-friendly wares like knitting supplies, candles, wool socks and cookbooks fill the shelves.
We should have been first, she said.
“We have more Danes. It’s a very Danish thing, for one. We have more cold. Hygge is best experienced when it is cold,” Ingebretsen said.
“Hyyge is partly the physical comfort thing, but it’s also the sense of community and spending time with friends,” she added.
So how did the Pacific Northwest cities manage to come out on top?
For their hygge ranking, Sperling’s scored the country’s 50 biggest metro areas based on four metrics: cozy weather (which they calculated by looking at average snowfall, precipitation, cloudy days and lowest January temperatures); the popularity of hygge pastimes like reading books, cooking and knitting; hygge venues like cafes or wine bars, and the percentage of homes with fireplaces.
Ted Sperling, the site’s social media and content manager, tried to put a more-positive spin on our No. 3 ranking. The Twin Cities “scored well across the board,” he said.
Our relative lack of fireplaces and hygge venues compared with Seattle and Portland knocked us out of first place, he explained.
Sperling’s didn’t take Scandinavian heritage into account, but it turned out that many of the top picks, like Minneapolis, all have very high rates of Nordic folks compared with the other large cities they tallied.
The least hygge city in America, according to their ranking? Sunny Los Angeles.