Food & Drink

The 15 best brunch spots in the Twin Cities

Published On 10/01/2014 Published On 10/01/2014

You already know where to find MSP's best Boozy Brunch deals, but do you know where to find the plain best brunch? Of course not! There's no way you can answer that question... not without reading our list of the 15 best brunch spots in the Twin Cities first, obviously.

The Buttered Tin

Buttered Tin

Downtown St. Paul
This relatively new addition to the St. Paul food scene is straight-up murdering brunch thanks to crazy delicious baked goods; their daily preparations of loaded hash browns; plus heavier eats like biscuits and gravy and a beef short rib Reuben. 

Heyday

Heyday

Uptown
Ever since these guys opened their doors, people haven't been able to get enough, which is why it's a good thing they do brunch and offer items like yogurt panna cotta; biscuits and gravy w/ smoked butter; and something they’re calling the Croque Heyday, which comes with pastrami and Gruyère on brioche.

Keane Amdahl

Sonora Grill

Powderhorn
These guys started their distinctly South-of-the-border brunch service at the beginning of the summer and basically use it as another excuse to pile flavor on your plate. Pro tip: you need to get the chilaquiles. Don’t ask questions, just do it.

World Street Kitchen

World Street Kitchen

Uptown
The staff here have been proving that huge flavor can be served on the fly (but not on, like, an actually fly since those things are not-huge. And pretty gross) for a while now, so head on down for biscuits with miso gravy, or a plate of caramelized lamb belly w/ cheesy hash browns & “secret sauce”, or if you feel like keeping it real, some PB&J French toast. 

Meritage - St. Paul Restaurant

Meritage

Downtown St. Paul
Regarded as one of the top French restaurants in the Twin Cities, the folks here are kicking it classic-style when it comes to brunch. You can go for the omelet du jour, eggs Benedict, or the super classy eggs en cocotte, but whatever you do, don’t forget that it is completely acceptable to order a giant platter of oysters for brunch. No one will judge you.

The Copper Hen Cakery & Kitchen

The Copper Hen Cakery & Kitchen

Whittier
Like everything at this rustic-ly chic hipster hangout, the brunch menu's array of breakfast sandwiches, savory hand pies, and homemade yogurt & granola are totally adorbs. And simple. And delicious.

Hell's Kitchen-Minneapolis

Hell’s Kitchen

Downtown Minneapolis
It's a Minneapolis institution for a variety of reasons, but mostly so you can gather up a posse of out-of-towners and stuff 'em with updated classics like the Mahnomin porridge or the lemon-ricotta hotcakes. Pro-tip: make reservations in advance.

Hen House Eatery

Hen House Eatery

Downtown Minneapolis
Got something going on in Downtown Minneapolis? Swing through the Hen House and hook yourself up with some of the tasty morsels this classic diner is cooking up with as many locally grown, ethically harvested ingredients as possible, which means you should feel totally fine about that extra order of hash browns that you were thinking about getting.

Victor's 1959 Cafe

Victor’s 1959 Café

Southwest
Your usual brunch probably doesn't include banana pancakes, fried plantains, yucca, black beans, and all the other Cuban dishes '59 is slinging, but once you try 'em you'll be rethinking your usual brunch... and the current status of trade relations with a certain island off Florida.

Grand Cafe

Grand Café

Southwest
This place is simple, elegant, and a near perfect Sunday brunch spot. The dishes are all interpretations of classics, featuring omelets made using a variety of seasonal vegetables; corned beef hash; and eggs Benedict made with ham or their own house-cured gravlax.

Cook St Paul

Cooks

Payne-Phalen
They claim to be serving up American classics along with a variety of house-made baked goods, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t find a surprise or two on their menu. Along with their classic egg combo breakfasts and traditional-style omelets, they’re also firing off short rib eggs Benedict, pancakes that has hash browns cooked into them, and savory Korean-style pancakes.

Al Vento Restaurant

Al Vento

Nokomis
This is the place to go if you want to stuff your face full of breakfast classics and antipasti, plus it's the only buffet that we’re including on this list. Choices vary from week to week, but you can always count on the bottomless mimosas. 

The Rookery

Rookery

Robbinsdale
This food nerd favorite is slinging things like mussels w/ fennel, apple & orange; a beggar’s purse filled w/ cauliflower, ham & Mornay; and an egg dog w/ chorizo & Gruyère. What’s an egg dog you ask? It’s exactly what it sounds like -- eggs stuffed in a casing posing as sausage. Brilliant!

The Bachelor Farmer

The Bachelor Farmer

North Loop
If you’re feeling particularly Scandinavian, the Bachelor Farmer is an absolute must. Along with a variety of house-made pastries and breads, and several elegant yet accessible brunch options, they’ve also got an array of pâté and pickled things that're totally Swe(et)den.

HauteDish

HauteDish

North Loop
Pardon their French (!), but HauteDish's goal is to bring high-cuisine cachĂ© to fun small plates, shareables, and stick-to-your-ribs  AM-eats (chicken & waffles, anyone?), all of which are even better when you get one of their specialty brunch cocktails to go with 'em.

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1. 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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2. Heyday 2700 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408 (Uptown)

When it comes to affordable yet elegant cuisine, Heyday is your spot. It's easily one of the best restaurants in the Twin Cities, if not the country. Head to this rustic-chic space (it sports exposed brick and a gorgeous wooden-beamed ceiling) for favorites like the chicken liver tart, chilled blue mussels, and grilled quail, which all help to create a downright exquisite menu. Be sure to leave room for at least one of the inventive desserts including pea shell sorbet, and wash it all down with a creative cocktail like the Don't Think Twice with pisco, aperol, grapefruit, and elderflower.

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3. Sonora Grill 920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407 (Powderhorn)

With new digs and a full bar at Midtown Global Market, Sonora Grill is a great place to grab a taco before venturing onto other foods at the Global Market.

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4. World Street Kitchen 2743 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408 (Uptown)

WSK offers a beautiful amalgam of global flavors that introduces Uptown diners to tastes of the Middle East, Asia, and the Mediterranean with additional American and Mexican influences, all in a fast-casual brick and mortar version of their food truck that started it all. “Fusion” menu items include Bangkok burritos, yum yum rice bowls, and the sweet onion stuffed falafel burger. It’s a family-run joint, and the Wadi family certainly has done an awful lot to progress food culture in the Twin Cities via its restaurants, food truck and cookbook.

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5. Meritage 410 Saint Peter St, St. Paul, MN 55102 (Downtown St Paul)

Meritage is a swanky French brasserie slinging lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, including eats like an outrageous French onion soup, oysters, and crepes. Their wine list is expertly curated, and perfect for anyone with any range of wine knowledge.

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6. The Copper Hen Cakery & Kitchen 2515 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404

It really doesn’t get more rustic-hipster chic than this. This place is banging out a variety of breakfast sandwiches, savory hand pies, and homemade yogurts and granola. Simple and sweet is the name of the game here.

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7. Hell's Kitchen 80 S 9th St, Minneapolis, MN 55402 (Downtown)

In the heart of downtown Minneapolis, appropriately located in a beautiful underground space, you’ll discover a chef-owned restaurant known for its damn good food: unique but not fancy, interesting but not fussy. Open for for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks 7 days a week, the restaurant/bar also offers free live music most evenings and during weekend brunch, plus late night “rock-the-house” shows Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays til 2am.

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8. Hen House Eatery 114 S 8th St, Minneapolis, MN 55402

The Hen House is a classic diner that's got food made form locally grown, ethically harvested ingredients. Be sure to stop by for the brunch too.

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9. 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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10. Grand Cafe 3804 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55409 (Southwest)

This place is both simple, elegant, and a near perfect Sunday brunch spot. The dishes are all interpretations on classic dishes featuring omelets made using a variety of seasonal vegetables, corned beef hash, and eggs Benedict made with ham or their own house cured gravlax.

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11. 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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12. Al Vento 5001 34th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55417 (Nokomis)

This is the place to go if you want stuff your face full of breakfast classics and anti-pasti. Choices vary from week to week, but you can always count on the bottomless mimosas.

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13. Rookery 4124 West Broadway, Robbinsdale, MN 55422

This Robbinsdael spot serves a great brunch that includes dishes like mussels with fennel, apple, and orange, and an egg dog -- which is ecactly what you think it is: eggs stuffed in a casing posing as sausage.

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14. The Bachelor Farmer and Marvel Bar 50 2nd Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401 (North Loop)

Upstairs, at the Bachelor Farmer, you'll find a friendly brick-and-wood restaurant offering a variety of organic dishes made with ingredients from its rooftop garden and other local growers, while downstairs is a dimly lit speakeasy with expertly crafted cocktails. There, at Marvel Bar, you'll want to order the signature cocktail, Oliveto, which features olive oil, egg white, lemon, Licor 43, and Gordon’s gin.

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15. HauteDish 119 Washington Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401 (Downtown)

The much-lauded Dish, between the Warehouse and Gateway districts, rocks a menu with artfully presented, reinvented takes on Midwestern classics like mac and cheese with king crab and truffle oil, blackened fish tacos and, steak and potatoes. Perfect for empty stomachs at any hour, Haute offers choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but if you go in after the late evening, you'll be able to choose from a long list of house cocktails and dozens of draught beers from nearby breweries.

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