Food & Drink

The 9 Best Breakfast Spots in the Twin Cities

Published On 04/01/2015 Published On 04/01/2015

Don't get us wrong, brunch in MSP is great, but you can never seem to get it on, like, a Wednesday... because then it's just called breakfast, so we decided to round up the nine sweetest old-school AM-eat spots -- we're talking straight forward greasy spoons, here -- in the Twin Cities. Feast your eyes:
 

Mickey’s Diner

Downtown St. Paul
What you're getting: America's All Day Favorite Meal
If you’re like us, you often feel like eating breakfast in a place that’s good enough for the Mighty Ducks. Fortunately for all involved parties, we’ve got the legendary diner from one of the best films of the 1990s right here in our own backyard, and they server a platter of farm fresh eggs fried in butter, a generous portion of your favorite breakfast meat, hash browns, and toast.
 

Flickr/Joel Gillman

Uptown Diner

Uptown
What you're getting: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pancakes (?!)
This converted Burger King boasts everything from big ass breakfast burritos to spicy, Cajun-style breakfast scrambles, meaning that you’re certain to find something greasy enough to help you combat the hangover you’re likely sporting because hey, you are in Uptown after all.

Keane Amdahl/Thrillist

Buttered Tin

Lowertown
What you're getting: Breakfast Hot Dish
Nothing is overly complicated, but everything is overly delicious. These folks are making one of the finest biscuits and gravy on the market today and their daily soft scramble or hot dish with a nice side salad is a perfect way to jump start your morning.

Keane Amdahl/Thrillist

Cook

Payne-Phalen
What you're getting: Short Rib Eggs Benedict
A new-ish addition to this exploding area of St. Paul, the folks at Cook are serving classic “American-style” breakfasts featuring locally sourced or scratch-made specialties like a bread pudding French toast with a caramel banana sauce, a short rib Benedict, and a good solid plate of eggs, toast, and hash browns.

Keane Amdahl/Thrillist

Colossal Café

Nokomis/St. Anthony Park
What you're getting: Apple Walnut and Brie Flappers (pancakes)
Don’t let the name fool you because this place is about as small as they come (at least the original Nokomis location is), but the breakfasts do serve up some mighty big flavors. Offerings include a list of different breakfast sandwiches, a biscuits and gravy that uses both pork and bison sausage, and pancakes topped with apples, walnuts, and brie drizzled with a honey-brown sugar syrup.

Keane Amdahl/Thrillist

Victor’s 1959 Cafe

Southwest
What you're getting: Cuban Scrambler
Did someone say, “Cuban breakfast?” This South Minneapolis staple has been spicing things up since 1999. The banana pancakes easily rank among the best in the city and a simple plate of eggs and beans with a side of fried plantains will redefine the way you think about breakfast.

Keane Amdahl/Thrillist

Tiny Diner

Powderhorn
What you're getting: The Breakfast of Champions
Sure, you can get a simple brûléed grapefruit drizzled with local honey and a bit of mint, but you can go bigger with The Breakfast of Champions which features three eggs, a short stack, hash browns, sausage, and toast. Also, they have scrapple.

KEANE AMDAHL/THRILLIST

Our Kitchen

Uptown
What you're getting: The Kitchen Special (two eggs, sausage, hash browns, toast & coffee)
Simple breakfast just doesn’t come any better than this. We’re talking about all of your favorite diner staples like steak and eggs, eggs and cakes, eggs and bacon, and eggs and whatever else it is that you generally like to order with eggs. We would also argue that these guys have the best hash browns ever. EVER. The trick with this place, like any good breakfast place, is timing. Seating is incredibly limited, so you should probably expect a wait.

Flickr/Peter Merholz

Al’s Breakfast

Dinkytown
What you're getting: Buttermilk Pancakes
People start getting here early and the line generally doesn’t die off until some time in the early afternoon (basically around the time they close) because their pancakes are legendary and their eggs are... well, eggs, but they’re really, really good eggs.

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1. Mickey's Diner 36 7th St W, Saint Paul, MN 55102 (Downtown St Paul)

If you’re like us, you often feel like eating breakfast in a place that’s good enough for the Mighty Ducks. Fortunately for all involved parties, we’ve got the legendary diner from one of the best films of the 1990s right here in our own backyard, and they server a platter of farm fresh eggs fried in butter, a generous portion of your favorite breakfast meat, hash browns, and toast.

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2. Uptown Diner 2548 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55405 (Uptown)

This converted spot boasts everything from big ass breakfast burritos to spicy to Cajun-style breakfast scrambles to great bugers.

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3. The Buttered Tin 237 7th St E, St. Paul, MN 55101 (Downtown St Paul)

St. Paul bakery and lunch spot that's slinging homemade Ho Hos and Twinkies.

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4. Cook St. Paul 1124 Payne Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55130 (Payne Phalen)

The folks at Cook are serving classic “American-style” breakfasts featuring locally sourced or scratch-made specialties like a bread pudding French toast with a caramel banana sauce, a short rib Benedict, and a good solid plate of eggs, toast, and hash browns. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic diner-style breakfast or a hearty yet simple lunch, Cook has you covered. Plus, the menu items have a bit of Korean influence.

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5. Colossal Cafe St. Paul 2325 Como Ave, St. Paul, MN 55407 (Saint Anthony Park)

This uptown breakfast spot is famous for their from-scratch made menu, including signature dishes like the yeasty pancakes known as "flappers" and the local favorite meatloaf sandwich. Using only fresh, local ingredients, Colossal Cafe serves up American comfort food on their homemade breads and rolls. The original Minneapolis location remains in the tiny cottage where it began, so seating is hard to come by. But with two other locations in the St. Paul area, there's now more than enough Colossal Cafe to go around.

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6. Victor's 1959 Cafe 3756 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55409 (Southwest)

Head over to Victor’s 1959 Café for some of the best banana pancakes, fried plantains and yucca, black beans, and so many other Cuban dishes.

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7. Tiny Diner 1024 E 38th St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

Tiny Diner is not, in fact, a literal, miniature diner, but a small restaurant in Powderhorn Park that's all about sustainability, from the way it sources its food to the way the restaurant itself is built. Using mostly its own garden to grow its ingredients, this spot provides the freshest fare possible in the form of all-day breakfast, lunch and dinner. Aim for a patio spot when you come here so you can admire the view of the garden out back while you polish off your country scramble or scallops.

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8. Our Kitchen 813 W 36th St, Minneapolis, MN 55408 (Uptown)

Simple breakfast just doesn’t come any better than this. We’re talking about all of your favorite diner staples like steak and eggs, pancakes and breakfast sandwiches. But the real stand out on the menu is the hash browns, perfectly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Also serving lunch (and some pretty good burgers) this casual corner diner serves up the comfort and familiarity you want in a neighborhood breakfast spot. A seat at the counter is best, so you can watch your food being cooked, but with the limited seating space and popularity of Our Kitchen, there will probably be a wait for any seat at all.

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9. Al's Breakfast 413 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (University)

Come early to this 10-ft wide Dinkytown diner to grab one of the 14 stools, but the huge bacon waffle, with chunks of salty porcine goodness baked into the fluffy waffle, is worth the wait.

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