Food & Drink

The 13 Best Brunch Spots in the Twin Cities

Updated On 12/28/2016 at 05:50PM EST Updated On 12/28/2016 at 05:50PM EST
Sonora Grill
Sonora Grill | Jana Ann

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 13 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

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.

Jana Ann

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.

Coutesy of 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.

Flickr/jpellgen

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 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.

Hickey photography

Cook St. Paul

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. 

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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Keane Amdahl is a Twin Cities food writer. Follow along as he continues to be inspired on Twitter @FoodStoned.

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

A buzzy corner cafe in St. Paul, the Buttered Tin is as warm as its name evokes, serving up popular brunch plates like huevos rancheros Benedict and biscuits & gravy, plus savory sandwiches like a beef short rib Reuben. The true stars at this sunny spot are the desserts though, which are available to-go at the bakery counter. We're talking cinnamon rolls, cupcakes, and the Buttered Tin's take on a classic Twinkie.

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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)

With tiled floors, warm wooden accents, and high ceilings that capture tons of natural light, Meritage has all the trimmings of a classic Parisian brasserie, including the exceptional fare and expert wine list. Situated in Downtown St Paul, it's a prime spot for date night or dinner before a show, though stopping in for weekend brunch is highly encouraged too, when dishes like an omelet du jour, eggs Benedict, and eggs en cocotte are prepared. At lunch and dinner, you'll find traditional plates like steak frites, roasted duck breast, and swordfish au vin, plus plenty of fresh selections from the oyster bar.

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

The Copper Hen is as adorable as it the name implies, offering a variety of from-scratch breakfast sandwiches, savory hand pies, and homemade yogurts & granola inside a country-chic space in Whittier. You'll want to come to the always-popular brunch for decadent options like the Farmhouse B.E.L.T. (slab bacon, fried egg, arugula, and heirloom tomatoes on country bread), biscuits & gravy, short rib hash, and buttermilk pancakes with cinnamon whipped cream. Though you can have a sit-down meal from brunch through dinner, it's always a smart move to swing by the bakery counter for a quick treat like a Mason jar cake or cast-iron skillet cookie.

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

In a gorgeously Gothic subterranean space in the heart of Downtown Minneapolis, you’ll discover chef-owned Hell's Kitchen, which is known for its, well, heavenly all-day brunch. Alongside hearty dishes like the fan-favorite wild-rice & hazelnut porridge, lemon-ricotta hotcakes, and the aptly named Juicy Lucifer burger with a molten cheese center, it hosts live music during weekend brunch, plus late-night “rock-the-house” shows Thursday through Saturday that run 'til the wee hours of the night. It prevents things from getting too hellish with painted reminders on the wall to ditch "surly attitudes" and "stingy tips."

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

You're heading to this sunny and spacious diner in Downtown Minneapolis for all-day breakfast made from locally grown ingredients, including a stacked roster of omelets, breakfast sandwiches, and multiple takes on eggs Benedict. It's an ideal brunch spot for those low-key Sunday mornings, but if you're stopping in for lunch or dinner, turn your attention to the lineup of grilled cheeses, particularly the avocado tuna melt (pickles, bacon, tomatoes, and mozzarella), and the popular weekday happy hours with specials on wine, beer, and appetizers like beef empanadas and mac & cheese bites.

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

Rethink your typical brunch routine by heading to this compact Cuban cafe in Southwest Minneapolis, where signatures and doodles from customers cover the walls and booths, a clear display of the huge fan-base Victor's has amassed through specialties like banana pancakes, eggs Havana, and ropa vieja. Get ready for a wait for this colorful spot, which stays lively from morning to night. It's well worth it once you get your hands on some wild-rice & banana porridge or the Cuban sandwich with locally smoked honey ham, slow-roasted pulled pork, and Swiss cheese on freshly pressed Cuban bread.

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

Elegant in its simplicity, Grand Cafe in Kingfield offers an unfussy bistro setting that's become one of Minneapolis' hottest brunch spots -- literally and figuratively, thanks to the large white oven in the center of the dining room, and decadent dishes including omelets with seasonal vegetables, corned beef hash, and eggs Benedict made with either ham or Grand's own house-cured gravlax. There are cures to your sweet tooth on the menu as well, such as brioche French toast with whipped cream, orange caramel sauce, and toasted pistachios. Brunch is the reason to come, but dinner certainly hits the mark too, featuring mostly French-inspired plates like cassoulet with duck confit and blanquette de veau.

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

The folks at Cook in Payne-Phalen are whipping up hearty American breakfasts (though you'll find some Korean influence on the menu as well) featuring locally sourced and scratch-made specialties, like bread-pudding French toast with a caramel banana sauce, short rib Benedict, and a good ol' fashioned plate of eggs, toast, and hash browns. Whether you’re in the mood for a traditional diner-style breakfast or a straightforward lunch, Cook has you covered. Asian inspiration can be found in plates like Korean-style pancakes (ground yellow beans mixed with spicy sausage, spicy cabbage, and bean sprouts) and the Seoul Cubano sandwich (short ribs with Korean pepper flakes, spam, pickled Korean peppers, gruyere, dill pickles, and spicy mustard on grilled and pressed house bread).

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

Choices vary from week to week at this cozy hidden gem in Nokomis, where Italian specialties take center stage and brunch draws large crowds on weekends, particularly for the buffet-style service and, of course, the bottomless mimosas. While the menu isn't guaranteed, the warm and welcoming service is, as well as the relaxing vibe on the outdoor patio. Not to mention, whether it's a classic like spaghetti & meatballs or an inventive twist like fennel sausage pizza, the quality is always top-notch.

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

The revered HauteDish, between the Warehouse and Gateway districts, rocks a menu with artfully presented, reinvented takes on Midwestern classics like mac & cheese with king crab and truffle oil, blackened fish tacos, and steak & potatoes. Perfect for empty stomachs at any hour, Haute offers choices for breakfast (go for the chicken & waffles), lunch, and dinner, but if you go in later hours, you'll be able to choose from a long list of house-made cocktails and dozens of draft beers from nearby breweries, too.

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