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Best Breakfast in the Twin Cities: Our Local’s Awards

best breakfast in minneapolis, st. paul, and twin cities suburbs

Like most Twin Cities locals, we love two things: dining out and breakfast.

Combine the two and we’re in heaven.

Lucky for us, Minneapolis & St. Paul are packed with great breakfast spots.

Today, we’re giving out our awards for all the best breakfasts around the Twin Cities. From hugely popular restaurants to lesser known gems, you’re sure to find your perfect breakfast on our list.

Map of the Best Breakfast in Mineapolis, St. Paul, and the Twin Cities Suburbs

Best Breakfast Spots in Minneapolis

The most popular: Al’s Breakfast

 

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Over the years, this tiny Dinkytown spot has built a loyal, almost cult like following who do their best to squeeze into one of the 14 coveted stools as frequently as possible. If Al’s is open, there’s usually a line out the door, and a crowd inside packed shoulder-to-shoulder almost directly behind the few lucky souls enjoying their meals at the counter.

The whole tradition was enough to award the tiny place a coveted 2004 James Beard Award in the “America’s Classic Restaurants” category. Trust us, this one’s an experience.

Best breakfast in downtown Minneapolis: Hen House

 

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This ultra popular downtown location feels like a modern twist on the classic diner. Sure, the menu features all the classics you’d expect from a breakfast powerhouse (their omelettes are tops) but the whole vibe is exactly what you’d expect from a diner placed right in the heart of downtown Minneapolis.

Whatever you do, just don’t forget to check out the extremely tempting pastry case on your way out…

  • Address: 114 S 8th St, Minneapolis, MN 55402
  • Website: Hen House

Best cheap breakfast in Minneapolis: Our Kitchen

 

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If you’re looking for a fancy brunch with artisan Bloody Marys and pickled quail eggs, then I’ve got some bad news. You’re in the wrong place.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a greasy spoon, All American cheap breakfast, then you’ve hit the spot! Our Kitchen delivers that promise in spades. After downing their legendary plate-sized pancakes or a mountain of buttery hash browns, you’re sure to leave ready to take on the day. Or placed into a serious food coma. Either/or.

  • Address: 813 W 36th St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
  • Website: Our Kitchen

Most unique breakfast: Victor’s 1959 Cafe

 

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This Cuban favorite is mostly know for their savory dinners, but here’s a little secret: Victor’s breakfast menu is out of this world.

Start things off with their custom blend off Cuban coffee before diving into an authentic Cuban breakfast plate, like the delicious Ropa Vieja breakfast special, Eggs Havana, or even a Cuban Hash. You won’t find a breakfast like this anywhere else in the Twin Cities.

Best diner: Band Box Diner

 

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Originally opened in 1939, Band Box Diner has a long and wild history that includes a rapid chain-franchise expansion through the 1950s, failure in the 1960s, and passionate restoration in the 1990s.

Safe to say, the restaurant’s come a long way since the days when it was a favorite hangout for card-playing gangsters. Throughout it all, Band Box is more than alive and kicking. Today, it’s serving up what we think is the best diner food in all of Minneapolis.

  • Address: 729 S 10th St, Minneapolis, MN 55404
  • Website: Band Box Diner

Best waffles: Birchwood Cafe

 

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Two words: Savory. Waffle.

These fan favorites mix savory (eggs, corn, & bacon) with the sweet (spicy honey butter, maple syrup, & powdered sugar) to create one of the most beautiful harmonies we’ve ever experienced. And we’re not the only huge fans. These savory legends have single handedly created a rabid fan base who wisely crown Birchwood with the best waffles in the Minneapolis.

  • Address: 3311 East 25th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406
  • Website: Birchwood Cafe

Best breakfast sweets: Isles Bun and Coffee

best breakfast sweets in minneapolis - isle buns

What’s there to say about the legendary cinnamon and caramel rolls at Isles Bun and Coffee? These mountains of sweet, sticky heaven might be the city of Minneapolis’s ultimate guilty pleasure. With a line around the block at all hours of operation, there’s a seriously delicious reason these sweets have become so famous.

Best Breakfast Spots in St. Paul

St. Paul is no slouch when it comes to breakfast, either. These early morning spots are some of our favorites.

Most Popular Breakfast in St. Paul: Hope Breakfast Bar

 

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Hope burst onto the scene in 2019 after renovating one of downtown St. Paul’s historic buildings into a beautiful, bright, airy space. Then these folks really made a name for themselves when they suspended operations during COVID-19 to turn the breakfast bar into a temporary food shelf, giving away thousands of meals to families who’d been impacted by the tough times.

When they reopened, St. Paul welcomed back Hope with open arms. Today, you’ll find the place absolutely packed at all hours of the morning, with eager breakfast-goers ready to scarf down the Southern Fried Chicken Waffles or famous Wild Blueberry Pancakes, with some Avacado French Toast and Mimosas added for good measure.

The Lowertown Favorite: The Buttered Tin

 

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Owned by Alicia Hinze, who you may or may not recognize at the multiple-time champ from the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, the Buttered tin has solidified itself as the most popular breakfast spot in Lowertown Saint Paul.

And really, that’s for three main reasons:

  1. Huevos Rancheros Benedict
  2. Bananas Foster French Toast
  3. The Crab Cake Benny

Take your pick for whatever you’re in the mood for, and prepare to fall in love with a new breakfast spot.

The Most Legendary Breakfast in St. Paul: Mickey’s Diner

 

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From the moment you lay eyes on this 1930s diner car, you know you’re looking at a classic. Until COVID-19, this place had had operated continuously since 1939. That’s 24 hours a day, 365 days a year since before World War II. Think about that!

In that time, Mickey’s obviously built up some serious history. From notable appearances in movies like The Mighty Ducks and Jingle All The Way, to hosting a who’s who of celebrities, there’s a reason this tiny little diner is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Step inside today, and you’ll be transported right through all that history. With a true-to-era interior and a hearty menu, Mickey’s is an experience that every local and visitor needs to take in at least once.

Best Waffles: Black Coffee and Waffle Bar

best waffle breakfast in st paul - black coffee waffle bar

I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that a waffle bar does waffles right. But boy, does Black Coffee and Waffle bar do waffles RIGHT!

When you’re in the mood for a Fat Andrew (an amazing waffle with bananas, cinnamon, peanut butter sauce, and powdered sugar) an Apple Strudel waffle (apples, cinnamon, caramel, and whipped cream) or even a Strawberry Cheesecake waffle, there’s only one place to go.

  • Address 1: 2180 Marshall Ave #5758, St Paul, MN 55104
  • Address 2: 1500 Como Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
  • Website: Black Coffee and Waffle Bar

Most Unique Menu: Cafe Astoria

 

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Cafe Astoria absolutely exploded onto the scene, and in our opinion, that meteoric rise was propelled along by two unique menu features they do better than anyone else: smoothie bowls and crepes.

On the smoothie bowl side, you’re looking at tons of delicious fruit packed options. For the crepes? Some seriously unique and delicious combinations, whether you’re looking for savory or sweet. If you order a Turkey, Swiss and Apple Crepe and finish it off with a Nutella and Banana dessert crepe, is that okay? Because we’ve definitely done that before…

  • Address: 180 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55102
  • Website: Cafe Astoria

Best Cheap Breakfast in St. Paul: Coffee Cup

 

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In a world of ever increasing flash, sometimes its easy to overlook the classics done right. The Coffee Cup, originally located in St. Paul’s sleepy North End neighborhood, recently expanded to a second location on Randolph Ave.

No matter which location you visit, this spot silently churns out what we consider some of the best, most criminally underrated classic breakfast in the entire Twin Cities.

  • Address 1: 1446 Rice St, St Paul, MN 55117
  • Address 2: 1333 Randolph Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
  • Website: Coffee Cup St. Paul

Best breakfast with locations in both Twin Cities: Colossal Cafe

 

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At Collosal Cafe, everything on the menu here is made from scratch, and the result is some of the freshest omellettes and heartiest pancakes around. Like a true Twin Cities business, they have two locations, and both are relatively convenient for both downtown residents.

  • Address 1: 1446 Rice St, St Paul, MN 55117
  • Address 2: 2315 Como Ave, St Paul, MN 55108
  • Website: Colossal Cafe

Best Breakfast in the Twin Cities Suburbs

If you’re willing to venture just a bit outside of city limits, there’s a few can’t miss breakfast spots waiting to be enjoyed.

Best Swedish Pancakes: Taste of Scandinavia

 

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There’s a few different Taste of Scandinavia locations scattered around the Twin Cities suburbs. But no matter which location you visit, you’re sure to find the Twin Cities’ best Scandinavian pancakes – those oh-so-perfect paper thin, crepe-like covered in loads of fruit and whipped cream.

  • Address 1: 401 W 98th St, Bloomington, MN 55420
  • Address 2: 845 Village Center Dr, North Oaks, MN 55127
  • Address 3: 2900 Rice St #100, Little Canada, MN 55113
  • Website: Taste of Scandinavia

Our favorite breakfast in the suburbs: Fat Nat’s Eggs

 

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If you’re looking for a somewhat more up-scale greasy spoon, you cannot go wrong with Fat Nat’s. The lengthy eggs benedict menu is sure to please any benedict connoisuers out there, but we’ll also throw a shout out to the Huevos Ranchers (that Green Chili is legit New Mexico level good) or the Fat Nat’s Slider – a grilled cheese sandwich ingeniously slathered in hollandaise sauce.

  • Address 1: 3530 Winnetka Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55427
  • Address 2: 8587 Edinburgh Centre Dr, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443
  • Address 3: 2700 39th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55421
  • Website: Fat Nag’s Eggs

Favorite eggs benedict: Good Day Cafe

 

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This breakfast favorite out in Golden Valley is absolutely worth the trip.

There’s just so many rockstars on this menu – awesome eggs benedict topped with crab cakes, fried egg sandwiches featuring avocado, delicious waffles and pancakes, and legit coffee and espresso to finish it all off. It’s no wonder this place is always packed.

  • Address: 5410 Wayzata Blvd, Golden Valley, MN 55416
  • Website: Good Day Cafe
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