Hardy notherners love a hearty breakfast to kick off their day. From apple soufflé pancakes, to walleye hash and eggs, to huevos rancheros, Minnesota’s best breakfast spots know how to fill up your belly and satisfy. Here are the 10 best places in the state to grab that hugely important meal!
This iconic Dinkytown spot has been feeding University of Minnesota students, staff, and destination diners for more than half a century. As good as the food is—try a Spike or the blueberry pancakes—eating at Al’s is also an experience. The joint has one counter that seats fewer than 20 people at a time. If there’s not a line out the door, it’s probably 30 below, or Al’s is closed.
There’s nothing fancy about Uncle Loui’s Café in Duluth. And there doesn’t have to be: Their recipe works. Good food, big portions, and hot coffee have kept customers happy for a couple dozen years. In fact, after a fire forced Uncle Loui’s to close in 2007, customers demanded that they reopen, which they did—with the same menu of delicious comfort food (like the eggs Florentine).
Britton’s Café is as well known for the size of their portions as they are for the quality of their breakfasts. The stuffed hash browns and chicken fried steak are among the popular items that can make a meal for two—or two meals for one. The service is consistently good and the coffee is always hot. Hit an ATM before you go though: Britton’s is a cash-only establishment.
Good Day Cafe is another place that seems to always have a line, no matter what time you show up—and the place is not small. Rather, the food is that good. Fresh ingredients, house-baked goodies, and an espresso bar all contribute to an elevated breakfast experience. Signature dishes like Iggy’s Fried Egg Sandwich and apple soufflé pancakes are why diners don’t seem to mind waiting. If you want a real treat, get there before they run out of beignets, which they bake fresh daily—but they always sell out.
The former Zumbro River Café has merged with a Dunn Bros. Coffee franchise—which is a very good thing. Now you get awesome coffee and awesome breakfast food all under one roof. Zumbro River has kept all their popular breakfast items on the menu. The main difference the merger makes is that counter service is replacing full table service. Customers order at the counter and their food will be delivered to their table.
Although its flagship location is in South Minneapolis, Colossal Café’s two locations in the capitol city weigh in favor of calling it a St. Paul favorite. Besides, its Como Ave. location in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood is way hipper. Colossal’s ingredients are locally-sourced and their dishes are made from scratch. The “flappers”—their yeasty pancakes—are among the most popular orders, but the sausage and biscuits will knock you off your chair.
Originally from Colombia, Maria Hoyos has been feeding Minnesotans her signature style of breakfast for over two decades. Customers flock to Maria’s for the cachapas Venezolanas—her addictive corn pancakes. The Saturday plantain-and-black beans special will leave you happy and sleepy, and the calentao con huevos (Colombian breakfast) is always a winner.
It seems that a lot of regulars head over to The Place to watch their food being made—the chef puts on a show while he works. The entertainment’s just the appetizer, though. The payoff arrives when the plates hit the table. Try the stuffed pancakes or one of the inspired chef’s specials like the beef brisket breakfast scrambles.
One of the Twin Cities’ perennially-popular breakfast spots, Hell’s Kitchen is known for delicious, scratch food and one hell of a Bloody Mary bar. The huevos rancheros will have you shouting “Olé!” And you’ll want to call your friend Ole to tell him about the darned good walleye hash and eggs.
The Eagle Valley Café is a beloved local spot in Wabasha that keeps the citizenry awake and full. Traditional breakfast fare—the French toast is particularly good—made from quality ingredients and served with care is what elevates this spot. Careful though: They don’t take cards, so be sure to bring some cash.