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Need a good brunch spot in Minneapolis or St Paul. Thanks!

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  1. When you say brunch, do you mean cloth napkins, mimosas, and a slice of cantaloupe at the end, or do you mean breakfast any time of the day on a weekend? Is this for a special occasion? I think there might be different answers depending on the occasion.

    1. If you mean formal Sunday brunch, the Lake Elmo Inn. Reservations would be a good idea.

      1. My three favorite breakfast places in Minneapolis are:

        1) Lucia's - great atmosphere. Rotating slection of fritatas and pancakes/waffles. The baked goods are also great.

        2) Zumbro - Really good neighborhood spot in Linden Hills. I am particularly fond of their take on Huevos Rancheros and their corn and blueberry pancakes. They also have the best bacon in town - very smokey and meaty. A little more casual than Lucia's but still nice.

        3) Al's Breakfast - This is more breakfast than brunch. Great greasy spoon atmosphere -- just a counter with 14 stools. Their blueberry pancakes are excellent. The long wait attests to the fact they are doing something right.

        1. Per Alice's response, if you meant cloth napkins and a made-to-order omelet station among the buffet lines, Nicollet Island Inn leaps to mind.

          YMMV: Others may posit that buffets and good chow are mutually exclusive.

          I love Al's but I also feel the subtle pressure not to linger talking over coffee. People are lined up waiting -- staring holes in your back, in fact -- and they want to turn those 14 stools as much or more than the staff do. Ditto for Zumbro and one of my other favorites, Maria's Cafe.

          So I'll chime in with a related question: where are people's favorite places to go where they can get eggs and waffles or pancakes cooked to order, and can spend time at a table with friends or a newspaper? Must have EXCELLENT coffee. In Minneapolis I like being able to read the whole newspaper at Anodyne (43rd & Nicollet) enough to order the oatmeal or the special scramble. But in St. Paul?

          (And yes, when we monopolize a table we tip extravagantly in return. Thanks for asking.)

          4 Replies
          1. re: KTFoley


            Day by Day Cafe sounds right for you. The food and coffee are good and you can generally get a table far enough from the line that your back will be safe from evil stares. The pancakes are good - don't know if they have waffles.


            1. re: KTFoley

              Last winter my husband and I had occasion to sample several weekend breakfast/brunch spots around the Twin Cities. Here are our favs:
              The Uptown Diner on Hennepin in Mpls. Great Andouille and huge breakfasts, no pressure to hurry, free parking and reasonable prices.

              Victor's 1959 cafe at 37th and Grand in Mpls. Mango pancakes, need I say more?

              The New Uptowner on Grand Ave in St. Paul, huge breakfasts and great sausages.

              Hell's Kitchen - wild rice porridge, crab cakes with poached eggs, rosti potatoes, thick sliced bacon, huevos ranchers and servers in their jammies. pricy but great.

              Key's Cafe - everything made to order, amazing Italian hash, great value. There are several locations in the twin cities, though the original on Raymond Ave in St. Paul, just north of University is my fav. Try the Eggs Florentine covered in their homemade hollandaise sauce.

              Last but hardly least:
              The Uptown Bar and Grill on Hennepin in Mpls. - get the Gyro breakfast, a heaping mound of gyro meat accompanied by cucumber sauce, 2 eggs to order, crispy hashbrown and toast. Pair it with one of their signature bloody mary's and you get to keep the glass (they actually give you a clean, new one to take home)

              happy eating.

              1. re: Jill S

                Did you notice any difference between the menus in the Uptown Diner and the New Uptowner Ave Diner? Uptown, Grand Ave., New Uptowner, Louisiana Cafe -- all good. As near as I can tell they have nearly identical menus.

                1. re: Jill S

                  I always like the Eggs Bennedict at the Sunny Side Up cafe-the coffee is really bad though.

              2. My new favorite spot is Zeno's in Uptown at the corner of Lagoon and Hennepin. They have a good variety of brunch foods, and you can also order lunch. Great tea and coffee, drinks if you want them. You can purchase entrees or their brunch which consists of a breakfast entree, a basket of mini muffins (I think you get 1/2 dozen.), and a mimosa.

                Great food, fun atmosphere!

                1. My favorite place for a weekend breakfast / brunch these days is Hells Kitchen on 89 South Tenth Street in downtown Minneapolis. I have never had a bad meal there, and though I have heard some complain of bad service, I've never seen it. The menu is diverse and interesting, ranging from the standard egg / bacon / potatoes combo to more unusual offerings like crab cakes with poached eggs and hollandaise. The huevos rancheros are delicious. Sometimes they have sweet potato fries (sauteed in duck fat) with bernaise a special: through caution to the wind and order them if they do! The tomato juice is homemade, as are the jams and peanut butter.

                  The only downside is that it is a bit pricey, but well worth it in my opinion.

                  You will need reservations (or face a long wait) if you show up after 9:00 am on a weekend.

                  Link: http://www.hellskitcheninc.com/

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Jeff Roberts

                    do they still have the lobster scrambled eggs there? I never got to try them and they sound great.

                  2. I love all of the above mentioned brunch places. They are all fantastic and Hell's kitchen is out of this world, but their lines are around the block sometimes as well. The reservatons are their saving grace. I hate waiting in line for food! So, over the years, when I want a consistantly good brunch with the whole mimosa/omlette bar thing included, I sneak into the much overlooked brunch bar at Taxxi in the Hyatt on Nicollet and 13th. They always have a great selection of hot entrees and all the traditional brunch favorites including bottomless mimosas at a very affordable price of around $15. People just don't seem to know how good this place is, because there is always available seating. The service is excellent, too. Taxxi makes a very good "plan b" if you are planning on fighting for a table at one of the trendy places and it's a great way to ensure your guests will find something they like to eat. Hands down, it's the most painless brunch in town.

                    Image: http://www.planet99.com/pix/12434_1.jpg

                    1. What does everyone think about Ike's for brunch? I have heard the bloodies are a meal in there self.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: jaysin612

                        We went to brunch at Ike's this morning and I have to say, except for the wait for a few things, and the fact that it was a bit busy, even at 1pm, it was pretty good.
                        It was like 46 for two brunchs and a screwdriver. We did get a glimpse of the bloodie and it looked great. My dad will love one of those.

                        A bit starchy agreed. But I like that in a breakfast. Brunch consists of Eggs of your choice, sausage, bacon, hashbrowns and pancakes.

                        1. re: jaysin612

                          If you're a fan of the more classic brunch items, try the Monte Carlo.

                          And if it's a mondo bloody mary you're after, try windows on minnesota.

                        2. Not a big fan of Ike's brunch.
                          Pluses: Big Portions, Grease, Low Lighting, Good Bloodys
                          Minuses: Limited Selection, Grease, Starch, Low Quality.

                          1. My best weekend place is Moose and Sadies on the northwest edge of downtown Mpls. Fresh, bright, breakfast food is how I think of it. Stuff you know but with a little bit extra, french toast served with a bit of mascarpone instead of butter for instance. My usual dining companion goes there for the huevos rancheros. The ginger limeaid is my favorite drink in town.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: AmandaAnn

                              Easily the best huevos rancheros in town! Peace coffee. Yumi tea. Delicious pastries. Fluffy quiche. And now that Spring may actually be on its way, excellent outdoor seating with a view of downtown.

                              Just try to time it around the yoga studio upstairs. Go around the half hour and the line will be shorter. But they're pretty mellow about hanging out reading and drinking coffee. It's typically a pretty quick turn on most tables, so the one or two people who linger aren't much of a problem.