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Breakfast places in Twin Cities

Howdy - I'm looking for new places for breakfast in the Twin Cities area.

Here are some places I've currently enjoyed:
*Maria's for corn pancakes
*Sunnyside up for French Toast
*Egg and I for eggs

I've tried:
Triple Rock - okay if you can get past the night before beer smell
French Meadow - I know I'm supposed to like it but I'm always underwhelmed
Wagon Wheel in Robbinsdale - whatever, it was close by
Birchwood - always underwhelmed even though critics adore it, sigh

What am I missing? Any suggestions for the inexpensive but delicious?


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  1. It has been discussed elsewhere on this board, but the Colossal Cafe is fabulous! It is on 42nd at Cedar. Very tiny, very yummy, especially the pastries.

    I'm a huge fan of the corn pancakes at Maria's. I always get it with the cheese, no syrup.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Cassandra

      Thanks for the heads up about Colossal Cafe. I just joined the board and did not see the earlier breakfast post.

      Those pancakes at Maria's need only a fork and mouth to enjoy! De-licious!

      1. re: Cassandra

        My favorite is sharing the cheese with at least two people, (it's too much for me) and WITH the syrup. Yummy yummy. I've never had anything else. Farmer's market and Maria's with my best friend Sandy is one of the best rituals of summer...

      2. Hell's Kitchen -- most innovative breakfast in town; in my opinion, the best. (Search this board for specific reviews.) However, it's been discovered, so weekend waits are typical, and you'll probably have to pay to park at the surface lot across the street. On weekends, I recommend making reservations.

        Lucia's -- small, simple menu. Excellent preparations of French-style omelets, roasted potatoes, baked goods.

        Bryant-Lake Bowl -- funky but fun menu. Unusual combinations (egg scramble with goat cheese and banana peppers), but they work.

        Salut Bar Americain -- Oddly enough, the big room is almost empty during brunch, while people line up down the block to get into the Edina Grill. Brunch is their best and most decadent meal -- lots of seafood options, and a fabulous steak frites.

        Bad Waitress -- Some people are put off by the counter service. I like the ambience, the pumpkin pancakes, and hot chorizo sausage. Good coffee, too. Free wi-fi.

        Turtle Bread -- Nice job with a handful of griddle dishes, as well as your option to have a great croissant or pastry. If you're looking to commit early morning suicide by sugar, they have a chocolate bread French toast with raspberry sauce on the menu. Free wi-fi.

        1. hells kitchen is excellent!

          1. Don't expect to be able to take your time, or really even expect good service, but Al's Breakfast has the best cakes in town.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Nathan_1118

              Al's Breakfast also has wonderful hash browns and good eggs bennie. Oh, I love Al's!!!


              1. re: Nathan_1118

                Sorry but the looong wait, lousy service and rushed, cramped setting pretty much cancel out the mostly delicious breakfast at Al's. (Also can get really hot in the summer.) Much prefer HK or Lucia's, among others, where they take reservations.

              2. oooh i disagree, love love love birchwood and french meadow.
                also great are BLB, Lucia's, Barbette sometimes, and Peter's Grill for the atmosphere of an ol' diner.

                1. I saw your post earlier, but I was reluctant to offer any recommendations because at least one of the places you've mentioned is a place I like a lot and I'm not sure what you might be looking for instead. What, specifically, have you found underwhelming/disappointing about Birchwood and French Meadow? I've never been to French Meadow for breakfast (lunch only), but I like Birchwood for breakfast, except that one occasion I found them to be a bit heavy-handed in salting some potatoes. I understand that that there was a changeover in the kitchen management in late summer and I wonder how recently you were there for breakfast and if that had anything to do with it.

                  My only real complaint about Birchwood is that it's such a neighborhood hangout that there are a few too many screaming toddlers banging on tables for my personal comfort (one is okay, but last time I was there there were three. And, one of them banged on his table with some kind of implement the entire duration of my meal.) I understand that families have to have a place to go and neighborhood establishments like Birchwood exist to serve that segment, but I recognize that I'm just too much of a princess-and-the-pea when it comes to ambient noise sometimes so shy away from these kinds of places, expecially this time of year when it's too cold for a parent to take a frustrated, tired or overwhelmed toddler outside to distract and soothe him for a few minutes.

                  Nevertheless, I thought the chow was very good and if I were in an extremely tolerant mood, or happened to be cycling through the neighborhood on a nice day, I would gladly pop in for breakfast. The baked goods there are great, too.


                  1. Agree on Hell's K & Maria's...but Maria's location seems to keep it from getting too overcrowded (which makes it a frequent stop for us), and Hell's K can cost an arm & a leg if you're not careful (which is why we tend to go there only on special occasions...on somene else's dime!)

                    Fat Nat's in New Hope & Papa's in Crystal are not as imaginative or unique, but they just do breakfast right.

                    If you can wait until 10am, Jun Bo in Richfield is a must for Dim Sum.

                    1. Moose & Sadie's - possibly the best huevos ever, plus a couple of quiches of the day and really good pancakes. On Third Ave a block east (north) of Washington in the Warehouse District.

                      Victor's 1959 - terrific mango pancakes, yucca frites, eggs, etc. Like Al's, it's small and the wait may be long, but I find it's worth it. On Grand Ave at 38th St in South Minne.

                      Uptown Diner (not the bar, the other place) has good straightahead brekkers.

                      I find Egg and I serviceable, but somewhat underwhelming and not worth the drive. If I lived nearby, I might frequent it more, but in that 'hood, I prefer French Meadow for their corn pancakes. That may be part of the issue - Egg & I is more of a straightahead breakfast place where French Meadow has some strange concoctions on their menu.

                      You don't know how lucky you are to live in this town if you like breakfast. I moved up here from ATL, and the only half-dozen or so places worth eating at (NOT Waffle House - that's a special case) are always jam-packed.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Loren3

                        So I'm confused - are you a Waffle House hater or lover?

                      2. I think Birchwood is worth the noisy toddlers (how DARE those unattentive parents allow their screaming toddler to bang around for the duration - seriously, people, let's have some consideration for others).

                        Anyway...they consistently serve up an incredible turkey burger (not really breakfast, but more brunch probably). And I've always found their breakfast to be quite delicious.

                        I don't care for Egg & I - simply no flavor. Sunnyside is alright, but in the recent past it's been way too greasy for me.

                        I've heard about Moose & Sadie's huevos and I have to try it sometime.

                        Otherwise Hell's Kitchen is hands-down winner for breakfast in the twin cities.

                        1. I can't just let Maria's be mentioned without a little hyperbole regarding the corn pancakes. I am a pancake guy, so to speak, and a seat at Maria's, in front of two corn pancakes, is the end of my quest for the holy pancake. She has managed to combine great taste with a lightness and bite that in my years of experimenting I have not been able to duplicate. Alas, I fear she will die with the recipie--she says not the cooks, or even her son knows the recipie (I think she is lying about her son--blood is thicker than batter). Take the cheese topping for the corn pancakes or leave it; top it off with 3 fat sausages. Do it. You will see what I mean.

                          2 Replies
                            1. re: westhop

                              If you're a pancake guy, you're needed in the pancake thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/348437

                              I think TCL will be adding the Colossal Cafe pancakes to her review soon. In the meantime, I'll add on to the suggestions as a good breakfast joint - although seating is very, very limited.

                            2. I so appreciate everyone's opinions and recommendations!
                              Breakfast is ON!

                              I've been to Hell's Kitchen once and the food was great - but it can be spendy quick. I keep forgetting about it so perhaps it's time to revisit but not on a weekend.

                              I miss Ruby's over on Loring Park where those pancakes were awesome, of course, that was back years ago.

                              1. I have to say that my only appreciation for the Egg and I and Sunnyside up is the fact that it keeps people away from the good breakfast places. On the other hand I too used to be a fan of Ruby's so maybe we have something in common after all.

                                Recently we have gone to the Clicquot Club Cafe for a cheap but good breakfast (unfortunately no pancakes but good french toast).

                                2929 E 25th St
                                Minneapolis, MN 55406
                                (612) 724-4700

                                Bad waitress, Zumbros (linden hills), and Town Talk diner are the other places we go to when we don't feel like splurging.

                                1. Regarding Al's Breakfast:

                                  Yes, you might have to wait a long time. Yes, it is ever so cramped. Yes, it is loud, and the servers & cook might abuse you & each other. Here's the thing, though: the food is fabulous and the experience is theater. Think of the restaurant as the stage and yourself as an actor in the play. The things the staff yell are all part of the experience and meant in good fun. I personally have never had what I would consider bad service (and I have a pretty low tolerance for bad service, as you might know from some of my other postings). So, I would recommend you don't go if you are in a hurry, don't go with more than 2 (or perhaps 3) people, and expect an entertaining and tasty experience.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Cassandra

                                    Anyone been to the Colossal Cafe? All of a sudden it seems to be
                                    getting talked about, and advertises something like 'best pancakes'

                                    1. re: Cassandra

                                      I hear yah about Al's - really I do. Thing is they burned the heck out of a Spanish omelette and then flatly refused to fix it. "Hey that's the way we do it." Only catch is the patron sitting two stools over ordered the exact same thing - not burned at all! (In fact it looked really good!) Rude wacky service is one thing but messing up dishes and arguing about it because they're too busy...well lots of luck. Enjoy the theatre!

                                    2. Joe's Garage: good service and food (Joe's eggs).
                                      Sample Room: good food (frittatas), kind of noisy.
                                      Hell's Kitchen: good food, but I've experienced consistently slow service.

                                      1. I realize it's pretty standard but Keys Cafe does standard egg dishes extremely well.

                                        Can someone post the address of Maria's?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: fruitbooter

                                          Maria's is @ E. Franklin & 11th Avenue. About 1/2 way in between 35W and Hiawatha on the south side of the street.

                                        2. I especially like the Key's dishes with the freshly-roasted turkey. Also, I love it when they bring out the homemade rhubarb sauce for you to put on your toast! It’s always a nice little bonus. The caramel rolls are great, too.

                                          I'm still hoping Abacus will come back and tell us what disappointed him about Birchwood and French Meadow. Specifics are always so helpful!



                                          1. Hey, where do people stand on the Copper Dome in St. Paul at Hamline and Randolph?

                                            I am not a breakfast person..too heavy and I feel disgusting for the rest of the day. But the pumpkin pancakes there were very good. It's one of those 200 different varies of pancakes places, so obviously the same batter with different additions. But I was quite impressed with the pumpkin cakes. And they didn't come with whipped cream or anything over the top.

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: jeanmt

                                              I must have ordered badly the last time I was there. The blueberry pancakes were poured over with what seemed to be canned blueberry pie filling. And it tasted just like that -- you know, as though the flaver has been surgically removed?

                                              1. re: jeanmt

                                                I put the Copperdome in the category of, it's nice for a neighborhood spot if you can get in early before the crowds. It's not something I'd cross town for, but it's cheap, and really a blast from the past. The food is nothing extraordinary, but it's reliable for what it is at the price point. I personally love looking at at the flour bags on the walls and all of the vintage food containers, packages, and promotions. It's a neat way to feel connected to the MSP-Metro-area's past as the flour producing capital of the world. It's been awhile since I've been, so I can't really remember what I've ordered that was particularly noteworthy (one way or the other), but I'll have to be on the lookout for those pumpkin pancakes.


                                                1. re: jeanmt

                                                  I went to Copper Dome last weekend. It took at least 45 minutes to get mediocre eggs, decent bacon, bad coffee. Will never go back.

                                                  1. re: Haricotsv2

                                                    I read somewhere (but can't remember where) that they recently changed ownership. That might explain the long wait, which sounds unusual for them. How did you manage to avoid getting pancakes? That, and rock bottom prices, is pretty much their thing. Almost all of their memorabilia is gone, too.


                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      I never understood the appeal of The Copper Dome - even before any recent changes. My experience was that the food was not that much cheaper than most places and the food (including pancakes) not particularly memorable.

                                                      Sorry to hear that the memorabilia is gone - to me that was the only interesting thing about the place.

                                                      1. re: bob s

                                                        I know. Those flour bags are what made the place unique. I didn't think their buckwheat pancakes were bad, actually, but when I heard there were new owners, I was hoping for a whole menu re-vamp. I was disappointed to ready about Margie's recent experience because it doesn't sound like things have changed for the better.


                                                2. I have to say I find the Copperdome extremely underwhelming. The service is downright surly. God forbid you would like an refill for your coffee or something. Totally not worth it for overcrowded, long waits, and average breakfast.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: lindseyanne

                                                    I will say this for The Copper Dome.... The fact that it gets so crowded is a sure sign of just how much people yearn for an old fashioned pancake house / neighborhood place like this. It's hard to believe you could go wrong opening up a place that actually had okay food... I've felt disappointed each of the few times I ate there, but I still think about going back hoping that it will be better this time.

                                                    Uncle Ira

                                                    1. re: Uncle Ira

                                                      I can't say I'm a big fan of Copper Dome. It always smells like rancid grease to me.

                                                      I love the Capitol View on Smith Avenue on the West Side of St. Paul. It's a completely unpretentious neighborhood joint with great food, including a number of Mexican breakfasts. The only disappoinment is rather weak coffee, but I can live with that for huevos rancheros and cajun benedict and great stuffed French toast.

                                                      1. re: Dasha

                                                        I keep forgetting about the Capitol View.. It's a great little place. I had the Cajun Benedict the first time I ate there and liked it so much I've never tried anything else on the menu. I'll have to give that french toast a shot next time I go there.

                                                        Uncle Ira

                                                  2. Big ups to Loren for suggesting Moose & Sadies. Best huevos rancheros in the city IMO. Great espresso as well. And if you're feeling adventurous for breakfast, get a ginger limeade.

                                                    For me, the best breakfast is:

                                                    The Springer (Spring Street Grill). Cheap, great conversations to overhear, I can stumble out of bed into it, and the #9 is an unbeatable hangover greasefest. Also, rumor has it they bring their bacon in from a magical butcher that cuts it thick and peppers it to perfection.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                      1. re: KTFoley

                                                        Corner of Spring and Monroe in NE Minneapolis. (St Anthony East neighborhood I think).

                                                        I recommend a summer visit as the patio is boss.

                                                        1. re: Foureyes137

                                                          Great bar food in the evenings, too. I fondly remember their wings. I have a friend who used to live a block from there. Her cat would run away, and would often be found hanging around the bar at Spring St Grill.

                                                          1. re: Loren3

                                                            Great neighborhood joint for sure. We spend many a Thursday night eating "Springer Wings" and the hot ham & cheese on rye while throwing back Premiums on the cheap.

                                                    1. I like Day by Day Cafe in St Paul on West 7th. Can't comment on the pancakes, but I like their egg dishes. Only drawback is no bloody mary's, but since it's run by people in recovery, I can let it go.

                                                      1. Someone asked what I don't care for in the Birchwood and French Meadow.

                                                        First, the food at French Meadow is always terrific and I enjoy the coffee. In fact, I do go to FM on occassion. However, when I go out to eat, I want to be served. The lines to order are too long, then finding a table - and then I get anxious, then mad and finally the food comes and not all the dishes come at the same time. So, it is frustrating. When I go out, I want someone to wait on me. I appreciate servers and would rather give a great tip to someone refilling my coffee and letting me relax.

                                                        Same for Birchwood. It is sooo loud. The acoustics are terrible - the food good. It's never a relaxing experience.

                                                        I tried Al's breakfast this morning with a pal (Friday) - it was fun. The place was packed, everyone was in a jovial mood, and it was a great experience. Certainly, more of an experience than a place to go with a group of friends.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: Abacus

                                                          Thanks for that--it was me who asked. In that same post, I expressed similar frustrations about Birchwood, so I can totally relate. What I wanted to know, which you've explained, is if your lack of satisfaction was with the chow or something else, and, it appears it's the latter. Thank you!


                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                            I agree completely about the noise level at the Birchwood. It's much more pleasant to eat outside on a summer afternoon - then you can't hear the screech of the espresso machines and the shrieking of patrons (adults and kids alike).

                                                            But don't try to score an outdoor table during weekend brunch hours - you'll only be frustrated. Too many lines and lurking, hopeful diners.


                                                          2. re: Abacus

                                                            I can understand that. Paying a quarter every time you want a coffee refill at French Meadow is annoying, too.

                                                          3. Hell's Kitchen is the most interesting.

                                                            Keys. Get the Number 2, two eggs, toast and Italian sausage hash. It will fill you up.

                                                            Maggies in Wayzata. Another filling place.

                                                            We may try McGarry's Irish Pub in Maple Plain for breakfast this weekend.

                                                            Sadly gone is the cabin breakfast place in Spring Park out on Lake Minnetonka.

                                                            1. YIKES! I realized that the place I sometimes enjoy for breakfast - especially the French Toast - is Sunnyside Up.
                                                              NOT THE EGG & I -

                                                              I like the crunchy French Toast and the smoking ban. The place reeked before and now it is back on my list - however, I was soooo wrong about the name. My bad.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Abacus

                                                                This could be an understandable mistake. The Egg and I used to be located where the Sunnyside Up Cafe is now. The Egg moved about 10 years ago to its new(er) location.


                                                              2. And for those of you in the late night crowd, Keegan's pub (on University across from Surdyk's) has a late night breakfast from 11pm till closing.

                                                                1. Did not see any mention to Town Talk Diner - i think they do great pancackes and awesome pulled-pork hash. their specials are usually great, too - the spicy sausage was a hit!

                                                                  1. I think if Hell's Kitchen were single and available, I would marry it. And I'd live forever on manomihn porridge, sausage bread, lemon ricotta pancakes, homemade peanut butter and kick ass bloody marys.

                                                                    I'm also a big fan of Bon Vie, which I did not see mentioned previously. They are on Selby in the Cathedral Hill area. It's the sister to A Piece of Cake bakery. Very fresh and tasty foods. Love the pumpkin pancakes (when they have them). Very nice tea selection. And the counter is very nice for single diners, you can talk to the servers or not as you prefer.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Uisge

                                                                      We went to Bon Vie this morning. Have been there several times in the past since we live in the 'hood and like it a lot, but there is something there now that I've not seen before. Lemon poppyseed pancakes. OMG! I was in pure pancake ecstasy! I love lemon poppyseed anything, bread - muffin - you name it. These pancakes were absolutely divine. Even the whipped cream on top had lemon in it and was sprinkled with poppyseeds. Hubby ordered the Hot Hash and Holly which he also really liked, but man - if you like pancakes. Do not pass go and get thee to Bon Vie!

                                                                      Bon Vie
                                                                      518 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102

                                                                      1. re: Seige

                                                                        Bon Vie is my favorite place to breakfast, too! The eggs Benedict are absolutely scrumptious and I'm on the same page as Seige, their pancakes are clouds of pure happiness. I love their variety of teas too.
                                                                        Mango Thai is another favorite of ours. Try the basil ginger duck ... Its amazingly good. And the thai curry chicken is amazing... authentic spices have not been scrimped on here. You can smell the kaffir lime leaves and various thai spices that permeate the sauce even before you take your first bite.... Mmmm mmmm mmmm lip smackingly good...

                                                                        Bon Vie
                                                                        518 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102

                                                                        Mango Thai Restaurant
                                                                        610 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN

                                                                    2. This past weekend (taking a break from the ongoing "Best Pancake" quest), we had breakfast at Spoonriver.

                                                                      Ever since Signature Cafe ended their brunches, we've been looking for a new place to have a quiet, leisurely Sunday morning meal. While many of the above are great "breakfast joints" there aren't a whole lot where you can spend your morning relaxing. We've had many of the same frustrations that Abacus had at Birchwood and French Meadow.

                                                                      Spoonriver has become The New Place. The menu is creative and locally sourced, and the execution is the kind of excellence you'd expect from Brenda Langdon. The Farmers Market Omlette has been a highlight of every meal. The place is very quiet, the service is lovely, and you can take a stroll through the new Guthrie or along the river afterwards. (And, in the summer... through the Farmer's Market) Here's the brunch menu: http://www.spoonriverrestaurant.com/m...

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Danny

                                                                        Great recommendation. Sounds lovely.


                                                                        1. re: Danny

                                                                          Have to try Spoonriver soon... Thanks

                                                                        2. Hey -- don't forget about Hot Plate - off Bloomington Avenue - it's reasonably priced, and while they have main staples like eggs benedict and omlettes, they have a daily special that include pretty decent pancakes with homemade blueberry sauce, and sometimes a few other not-so-typical breakfast items. Plus, while it can get busy - I've always really great service and the decor is a bit unique.

                                                                          Also - while I know it is a chain (Minnetonka and EP) - Redstone for brunch can be a great value. For $9.95, a giant caramel roll with pecans comes to your table to share, you get a mimosa or coffee or OJ included in that $9.95 price - and you can have a good many breakfast choices that include their hashbrown bake, a strawberry or melon wedge, and the entree itself....

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: snoboardbabe77

                                                                            SBB77's not kidding. Those caramel rolls are GIANT! Not bad either, if I remember right, though it'a been a couple of years.


                                                                            1. re: snoboardbabe77

                                                                              This reminds me of another good breakfast; Ike's.

                                                                              The gratis carmel-pecan roll is served clown-huge (more than 4 people could reasonably eat). The bloody marys are stuffed with about 15 different things (again, it's like a joke). Obligatory, but very fresh (and includes smoked salmon) omlet bar. Buttermilk pancakes bigger than the plate, good peppered bacon, other a la carte options are very tasty.

                                                                              However, I would only go here if I really wanted to take a 4 hour nap afterward. There is no way you will escape having consumed fewer than 1500 calories.

                                                                            2. Mmm...mmm...mm. Now, Ike's sounds like a good "it's freakin' cold outside I need some comfort food" place! Thanks for the heads up!

                                                                              1. I have 2 words that make it impossible for Al's to alienate me by being too crowded or even rude..those words are Bacon Waffle (that's right, as in together making a single entity)

                                                                                Another one that hasn't been mentioned is Serlin's on Payne Ave in St. Paul. You won't find
                                                                                any pumpkin pancakes here (or bacon waffles for that matter) just the basics. Really good,really cheap. And it hasn't changed in probably 60 years (actually I looked it up and it opened in 1946)
                                                                                Really good lunch too..authentic diner food.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: cherrylime

                                                                                  We tried Serlin's a few months ago, and it's like a time warp! Very friendly, everyday people serving and suggesting that you try some of the rhubarb pie as a breakfast top-off. They are famous for the pies, and they're all made on site. The rhubarb pie was delicious. I'd say it's a don't miss place for the experience as well as for the food.

                                                                                2. For big portions, Ike's is great for breakfast. Problem is that I don't dine out with a hangover too often any more, so if I'm gonna spend $20 per person on breakfast I'd rather have good fresh delicious & smartly prepared ingredients (Hell's K, for instance) instead of copious amounts of starch, egg, nitrates & greaze.

                                                                                  1. Not a huge fan of Copper Dome-even though Obama got pancakes to go there! My husband was horrified because a very well-endowed (big boobs!) waitress (also very cantankerous) brushed his pancakes with them. He was not happy to have that in his breakfast.

                                                                                    1. Old thread revived! Since I last reported, the Hazellewood Grill and Tap Roo in Tonka Bay on County Rd 19 out Lake Minnetonka way has started serving breakfast.



                                                                                      1. I have never had better eggs benedict than I have had at Chez Colletes, some incredible hollandaise - this is in the main restaurant in the the Sofitel in Edina, corner of 494 and 100.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: Ozzy50

                                                                                          Ozzy50-if you are an eggs benedict fan (it is my favorite - no substitutions for me either like bison, crab cake, etc.) - just "regular" go to Bon Vie off Selby in St Paul. I have not eaten the eggs benny at Chez Colette but I've never had eggs benedict better than at Bon Vie. If you go, let me know what you think.

                                                                                          Bon Vie
                                                                                          518 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102

                                                                                        2. My mom and I went to Crystal Cafe this morning and we loved it. It's a small dinner and it's very blue collar. I love there pancakes, thin and light, so tasty. We had the frittada (sorry if that 's spelled wrong} It was delicious. It's kind of a greasy spoon, but we really like it.
                                                                                          I think it might be cash only to pay for your meal. Just my opinion..

                                                                                          1. Pastrami Tommys in Oakdale is known as a
                                                                                            sandwich shop, but their everything Omelet
                                                                                            is unbelievable, it comes with hashbrowns
                                                                                            and usually takes me a couple days to finish.
                                                                                            They will even deliver it you.

                                                                                            Pastrami Tommy's
                                                                                            1091 Geneva Avenue North, Oakdale, MN 55128

                                                                                            1. Sorry folks, I just don't get what the lovefest for Hell's Kitchen is... Yes, it's kind of "fun", but damn IT"S SOOO OVERPRICED for what you get. I don't care that you hand peeled the peanuts to make your homemade peanut butter (and honestly, it isn't that good - and I'm a peanut butter snob.) (oh and BTW, HK Staff, your sign out front does not display IRONY, it's a "conundrum", a "paradox" , or an "enigma" - or something else. It def is not ironic.

                                                                                              I have an opposite issue with Keys. Servings are way too big and they cost too much. Seriously... Let's be realistic. Just because you want to raise prices doesn't mean you need to give me more food. ugh.

                                                                                              I'm an Al's lover and I completely understand everyone's complaints about Al's. You're right. Some of the servers can be rude. It's cramped. It's hot in the summer. It's not about being comfortable and taking your time. What it is though, is why people like it. It's VERY GOOD FOOD, reasonably priced with reasonable serving sizes (not a pile of food, but also not a dollop.)

                                                                                              OK, I'm finished ranting.

                                                                                              Want a GOOD cinnamon roll or pecan roll? Go to The Isles (I recommend plenty of extra frosting!)

                                                                                              My other fave's:
                                                                                              Hot Plate
                                                                                              Colossal Cafe

                                                                                              Hell's Kitchen
                                                                                              80 South 9th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402

                                                                                              Al's Breakfast
                                                                                              413 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

                                                                                              Hot Plate
                                                                                              5204 Bloomington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55417

                                                                                              Cap's Grille
                                                                                              5000 Hiawatha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55417

                                                                                              Colossal Cafe
                                                                                              1839 E 42nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                                                                                              Keys Cafe
                                                                                              767 Raymond Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55114

                                                                                              Isles Bun & Coffee
                                                                                              1424 W 28th St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                                                                                              15 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: s4zando

                                                                                                Wow, I disagree with everything you say. I ***LOVE*** Hell's Kitchen. And it's not overpriced at all - in fact, it's a bargain! It's creative, high-quality food, and you typically have to pay more to get that, but Hell's Kitchen prices are low for such high quality and for its super-convenient downtown location. If you're satisfied by plain ol' scrambled eggs or a cinnamon roll, sure you can get those things for a lower price elsewhere. I'm not. I bet none of the other places you recommend serve bread pudding topped with creme anglaise, or Mahnomin porridge with wild rice and cream, or lemon-ricotta pancakes, or shrimp and crab cakes with poached egg. And THEIR PRICES ARE LOW!!! The bread pudding portion is huge, and is bargain priced at $4.95. Same thing for the porridge, only $3.95 for a cup. Hell's Kitchen is fun AND the food is great; furthermore, it's an incredible bargain!

                                                                                                But I thank you for bumping this dormant topic, so that I could read through the previous comments. I love this one from Uisge: "I think if Hell's Kitchen were single and available, I would marry it. And I'd live forever on manomihn porridge, sausage bread, lemon ricotta pancakes, homemade peanut butter and kick ass bloody marys." It's a great quote!

                                                                                                Hell's Kitchen
                                                                                                80 South 9th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402

                                                                                                1. re: nsxtasy

                                                                                                  I'm in the middle. I think Hell's Kitchen is a really fun experience and has some interesting food. That said, they are a little bit sloppy in their execution, the place needs some cleaning attention, and their peanut butter is PACKED with extra sugar. It is an interesting experience, but not a gourmet experience.

                                                                                                  Hell's Kitchen
                                                                                                  80 South 9th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402

                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                    Extra sugar? It's just the right amount of sugar (mostly honey, actually, but that's still a form of sugar of course. ) You're just having a little spread on your toast, not making a whole meal of it.

                                                                                                    In general, though, I agree that all of the dishes are way over the top on richness.

                                                                                                    I think what makes HK so unique is that so much everything is made from scratch--all the condiments, for instance, and I think the yogurt--which is pretty unusual for a breakfast joint. Also, a couple of their dishes are absolutely unique--the bison sausage bread and the wild rice porridge.


                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                      It's half brown sugar and half honey, but I give in to you on the "it's just a bit" idea.

                                                                                                      Interesting about the bison sausage bread; I really liked it and it tripped a memorty trigger for me, so it googled "sausage cake". Sure enough, a previous generation made a lot of sausage cake, which is the same as the HK sausage bread. Is this a bad thing to find out? Of course not. It's kind of impressive that they plucked this out of the past and are unique in this choice.

                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                        i think hk was a gem before it moved to its new bigger digs. breakfast recipes are very good and the food is excellent when the execution is on. mitch still works the line so that's quite often, but it's a bigger place, looser kitchen maybe-- people can occasionally get a bum plate and i think that's where the complaints come in.

                                                                                                        they also use real mahnoomin and not fake paddy-harvested "wild rice." props. i think there is very little in the way of breakfast downtown, so more power to hk for keeping it real and not turning into a perkins.

                                                                                                        1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                          I wonder if the Duluth location strained their attention and resources... Plus the move to the new location and expansion of their menu. Maybe things will settle into a groove again.


                                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                            I thought Hell's Kitchen was outstanding when I was there for breakfast a few weeks ago. This was my first time there and I don't have any earlier visits to compare it with, but I just loved it.

                                                                                                            1. re: nsxtasy

                                                                                                              I personally have never had a bad breakfast experience at HK, which is why I continue to recommend it. Other meals is a different story. Also, just because it may not be as good as it once was, doesn't mean it's bad or at least not better than other options.


                                                                                                2. re: s4zando

                                                                                                  Can you specify which of these are "downtown"? We were hoping to go to Hell's Kitchen, but reservations for our group of 5 are limited to 8:30 or 12:45 on the weekend. Thank you!

                                                                                                  Hell's Kitchen
                                                                                                  80 South 9th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402

                                                                                                  1. re: mhcpita

                                                                                                    None of those are downtown Minneapolis. Try Manny's (steakhouse) for breakfast if you need upscale in downtown Mpls and can't get into HK. Or you could try the more downscale Key's Cafe in Minneapolis. HK, Manny's and the Mpls Keys are all within 2 blocks of each other.


                                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                      I've heard horrible, horrible things about Manny's breakfast from a foodie friend. His breakfast was completely inedible. I'd recommend Moose and Sadie's or Nick and Eddie's over Manny's. I'm sure Manny's is good for other things, but I don't think breakfast is one of them.

                                                                                                      1. re: Seige

                                                                                                        I've had two breakfasts there. One was fantastic. One was good (the short ribs benedict I had was too salty--reduced too far, I think). Both were pricy.

                                                                                                        Do you consider Moose and Sadies and Nick & Eddies to be downtown though? I was responding to a request for a place in downtown Minneapolis where you could make reservations for a group.


                                                                                                        Nick & Eddie
                                                                                                        1612 Harmon Place, Minneapolis, MN 55403

                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                          I consider them to be downtown, but I live in St. Paul so my view might be skewed. :)

                                                                                                    2. re: mhcpita

                                                                                                      >> Can you specify which of these are "downtown"? We were hoping to go to Hell's Kitchen, but reservations for our group of 5 are limited to 8:30 or 12:45 on the weekend.

                                                                                                      When I was researching my trip, I found this helpful discussion about downtown Minneapolis breakfasts on Chowhound, which asked and answered the question, "Where do you head for a weekend breakfast when faced with long wait times (+45 minutes) at both Keys Café and Bakery and Hell’s Kitchen? How about Fire Lake Grill House?"

                                                                                                      Downtown Minneapolis Breakfast at Fire Lake - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/773790

                                                                                                      1. re: mhcpita

                                                                                                        OK people. We did the 8:30 reservation at Hell's Kitchen for Saturday. I was tempted with Manny's...but, have never been and some of your reports aren't so great. I have loved Hell's Kitchen in the past...but, have never been to the "new" location. I think if one wanted to make money, you should open a breakfast spot in downtown Mpls!

                                                                                                        Hell's Kitchen
                                                                                                        80 South 9th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402

                                                                                                    3. Magnolia's on the east side of St. Paul. Fabulous!!!!

                                                                                                      1. Sunsets in Woodbury has a great Sunday brunch. Make reservations if you remember.

                                                                                                        Woodbury Cafe
                                                                                                        803 Bielenberg Dr, Saint Paul, MN 55125

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: danionavenue

                                                                                                          The buffet at Sunsets in Woodbury hasn't changed in 15 years. It is pedestrian steam-table goo.

                                                                                                          Just, yuck...



                                                                                                          1. re: HuaGung

                                                                                                            I gather it was not to your taste? ;)

                                                                                                        2. An update on Maria's - it was sadly quite bad a couple of months ago. There weren't very many customers and they were sort of of dirty and disorganized. They are obviously struggling right now. We did have an excellent brunch at Meritage this past winter, however. I know Meritage gets mixed reviews, but we enjoyed it very much.

                                                                                                          410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                            I'm sorry that you had a bad experience at Maria's, but I go fairly often - every 4-6 weeks or so - and have not seen any sort of downhill slide in food. It does seem a little less busy, but I would not have described it as "struggling" in any way.

                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                              I went there several months ago and it was packed on a Sunday morning. And the food was excellent.

                                                                                                              1. re: gryffindor249

                                                                                                                Maybe we hit them on a bad day, but I repeat: It was TERRIBLE! We had been there maybe 3-4 times over the last five or so years and been very pleased, but this trip was worse than disappointing.

                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                  Based on this thread, my wife and I went to Hell's Kitchen for breakfast on a weekday.

                                                                                                                  Living in South Minneapolis, we're already great fans of Colossal and Marie's. To be direct, Hell's Kitchen blew us away. Everything was so fresh. Compared to everyone else, it's immediately clear what freshly made home fries taste like! The rosti was also wonderful, as was the corn meal pancake. No breakfast is right without good coffee and I usually order orange juice at both Colossal and Marie's rather than drink weak coffee. Well, the coffee at HK was wonderful. No dark roast to hide crappy beans. This is high quality beans freshly roasted. Even the ketchup was home made.

                                                                                                                  Undoubtedly, the entrees at Hell's Kitchen is $3 - 4 higher than other places. Also, it costed us $5 to park. But the stuff is home made, from high quality ingredients. Enough talk. We now have a new favorite for breakfast.

                                                                                                            2. I just at at the Citizen Cafe this past weekend for the first time and liked it a lot. I tried the house-cured gravlax with a side of eggs. The gravlax was great and was served with toast points. The pancakes were humongous and looked very good as well. They're served with real maple syrup.

                                                                                                              It's a very solid addition to my breakfast repertoire and I'll be back to explore further. (But having said that it's not a drive from Woodbury kind of place. Definitely worth a detour though.)

                                                                                                              Citizen Cafe
                                                                                                              2403 E 38th St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

                                                                                                              1. I just had a great breakfast at Shish in St. Paul this morning. They have a lot of interesting possibilities and I plan on going back to try them. I just had gyro and eggs but it just hit the spot.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: nichal

                                                                                                                    +1 on Al Vento brunch. Great quality, something for everyone, good deal.

                                                                                                                1. I've got a local spot that's really growing on me: Capitol View Cafe, on Smith Avenue.

                                                                                                                  Nothing delicate about it, but the toast always comes unbuttered like I ask, the eggs are always cooked just right, the piled hasbrowns are crisp, and the service is usually fast and always unassuming and friendly. It's the type of place where I can sit down to breakfast with a book for company and end up being more than entertained by the talking over and between tables of the customers and the cook. Seems like it's a also a place where lots of people knows each others' names...and each others' histories, kids, spouses, from way back. Always cheers me up and makes me feel downright neighborly, no little gift from a neighborhood breakfast spot. Even if their coffee does leave a lot to be desired.

                                                                                                                  Lately I've been getting the Cajun Breakfast (hashbrowns, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, two over easy, hollandaise) with andouille sausage on the side. Indelicate, highly caloric, voluminous. Just the thing when I'm in the mood. Past trends went along the lines of some excellent oatmeal, and the machaca. I've not ventured out to the pancakes yet.

                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: clepro

                                                                                                                    I love the Cajun Breakfast at the Capitol View!


                                                                                                                  2. Bon Vie has the best eggs bennie I've had anywhere except my house. Magnolia's on the East Side of St. Paul had great traditional breakfasts.