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St. Paul breakfast

We're heading to a show at the Ordway in late March, and we're staying downtown that evening. We would like to have a great breakfast on Sunday morning before heading home. Where should we go? We really don't need anything fancy....just plain yummy. Thanks!

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  1. Me, I'd go to Day by Day Cafe, El Burrito Mercado, or Capitol View Cafe (untried by me, but it sounds great). All yummy and not fancy, but they're not quite in downtown St. Paul, so you'll need a car. See this thread for more ideas:



    Day By Day Cafe
    477 7th St W, Saint Paul, MN 55102

    El Burrito Mercado
    175 Cesar Chavez St, St Paul, MN 55107

    Capital View Cafe
    637 Smith Ave S, Saint Paul, MN 55107

    1. Depends on what your personal definition of yummy is, but I'd consider Mickey's Diner, a downtown institution which has been open 24 hours a day since World War II...

      Mickey's Diner
      36 7th St W, Saint Paul, MN 55102

      1. I haven't tried El Burrito for breakfast, but I've been to Capital View, Day By Day, and Mickey's. My take is that they're all good. If it's a nice morning (unlikely in late March, but it could happen), breakfast on the back patio at DbD is a wonderful meal. Mickey's has it over the other two for the tell-everyone-about-it experience (Mickey's and Cossetta's being the two restaurants in St. Paul that everyone seems to recognize). CV offered good food and a more sedate experience in the two times I've been there.

        1 Reply
        1. re: steve_in_stpaul

          Mickey's has the atmosphere (in a tawdry kind of way) but would you recommend the food? It's been years since I've been there, but never was real impressed.

          Now Day by Day is another matter. Real downhome homemade breakfast. Great quality. The inside is fun and quirky and the outside patio is very restful and nice. My favorite breakfast there is the Earth Breakfast: scrambled eggs in hashbrowns and onions with cheese melted over and toast. The full range of breakfast options including waffles, pancakes, rolls, all kinds of egg dishes and fruit. Everything homemade.

        2. Me? I'd head up Cathedral Hill to the New Louisiana Cafe at Selby and Dale. Frosts probably has a nice brunch too, although I haven't actually eaten brunch there.

          W.A. Frost & Co
          374 Selby Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55102

          Louisiana Cafe
          613 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102

          5 Replies
          1. re: bob s

            I like the "cajun" dishes and Louisiana Cafe.

            Bon Vie, a little cafe on Selby not too far-ish from Louisiana Cafe has good breakfasts, too, though it's been awhile since I've been there. More of a coffeehouse kind of setting.


            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              Is Bon Vie the cafe associated with A Piece of Cake Bakery? In any case, here's the Places link. (Follow the link to see their menu.)


              Bon Vie
              518 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102

              1. re: AnneInMpls

                Yes, they are connected somehow, though I don't know exactly what the connection is. http://www.apieceofcakebakery.net/ As you can see from my link, they seem to share a website... What more they share, I don't know.


            2. re: bob s

              I second the recommendation for Bon Vie. They serve delicious plates of hash and a really rich eggs benedict.

              The Louisiana Cafe didn't meet my expectations on my one visit there (one visit because I didn't feel like it was worth going back). The hash browns were undercooked, the pancakes had that stingingly sweet from-a-mix taste, and I felt that everything was overpriced.

              1. re: Quince

                For anyone who cares about homemade or not, Louisiana Cafe uses a mix
                for their hollandaise, and I would bet money it has yellow dye in it. I prefer
                food made from scratch if at all possible.

            3. Thanks for the great suggestions! We've never been to Mickey's in our numerous trips to the Cities. That might be the perfect spot for us! Especially if we have a bit too much fun after the show....sounds like good hangover/"out too late the night before" breakfast food!

              3 Replies
              1. re: 4maxwelz

                Seriously, Mickey's is about the people watching & the atmosphere, not at all about the food. An archetypal greasy spoon diner is, well, greasy.

                But if it tickles your fancy, the best suggestion is to go in the middle of the night, right at the tail end of your too much fun ... and close the circle in the morning with a real breakfast at Day by Day, which if I have my urban legends straight, got its start from a couple of recovering 12-steppers.

                1. re: KTFoley

                  To meld the comments about mickeys, lousiana cafe and bon vie - i can personally attest to the food at either mickeys or LC as being excellent hangover food. after four years at macalester eating at the grandview (same owners and menu as LC) i agree with faith that there food is a bit mass-produced, but definitely in a good, typical greasy breakfast kind of way. mickeys is really only good in a "im still drunk and damn this is greasy/delicious" kind of way, but YMMV.

                  Bon Vie is lovely - heavy focus on fresh ingredients and relatively more creative (assuming that combinations of eggs and potatoes and hollandaise doesnt count as creative). Usually a pretty small selection but ive never been disappointed with breakfasts or lunches there - and now that i think about it i once had a tomato soup with the ploughman's lunch that was to die for.

                  Each has its place, LC if you want lots of food and dont care if its from scratch, mickey's if your still feeling it/looking for the scene, and Bon Vie is my pick for good food in a cute atmosphere (i dont think ive ever been waited upon there by anyone under 60).

                  1. re: KTFoley

                    My wife and I love the food at Mickey's. Yes, it's "greasy spoon" type food, but it's done very well, we think. It's not Al's Breakfast, but it's pretty good.

                2. After a quick look at the responses you received I have to note that most of the restaurants mentioned are not actually in downtown except Mickey’s Dinner.

                  If I was looking for breakfast after a night at the Ordway I would give strong consideration to Meritage Restaurant. It is just two blocks from the Ordway. Has several very tempting looking breakfast items priced around $10. (house made Hollandaise ) I have had great meals there a couple of times and trying their breakfast high on my to do list.

                  No one has mentioned the Downtowner Woodfire Grill. It has a very similar menu to the Capital view and the Louisiana Café both of which have been recommended. As I understand it the three of them are not a chain; however, they do share several menu items and a similar logo. They each have there own vibe and specialty. The Woodfire is only a couple of blocks west of the Ordway on W7th. You could walk if its nice. They have parking. At Capitalview I often get the pork chili and eggs. Louisiana Café has catfish, eggs, and hash browns which I love. Woodfire has a full Liquor license and a more upscale décor and the best pancakes of the three. All three have a item called the Cajon breakfast: Hash browns veggies and at the Woodfire sausage toped with eggs and covered with hollandaise which is very good.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: JGS601

                    While I completely agree with your point that many of the recommendations aren't "downtown" St. Paul, I'm scratching head at your "Downtowner" comment in regards to its relationship to the Louisiana Cafe (and to the Capitol View, for that matter).

                    Are you sure you aren't getting the Downtowner confused with the Uptowner on Grand Ave (which I understand has/used to have connections to Louisiana Cafe and a couple of other spots around the Cities)?

                    I most certainly could be wrong, but I also wasn't under the impression that the Capitol View Cafe had anything to do with the Uptowner and related restaurants--Capitol View has a Mexican'ish vibe going, with huevos rancheros and chorizo, etc. whereas the Lousiana Cafe and Uptowner have more of a "Cajun" vibe with the hot links and catfish, etc. I think the fact that the Downtowner has a cajun special on its menu is a matter of coincidence, not common ownership. Can someone confirm--I would most definitely be interested in knowing.

                    The link that Anne provided in the first reply to this thread has an extensive discussion of breakfasts right downtown including Meritage, St. Paul Hotel, and Key's. While the OP is staying downtown, he didn't specifically mention he wasn't willing to hop in a car and drive to a St. Paul breakfast spot that was convenient to downtown, which, I think, is why folks have chimed in with other ideas, particularly since the thread Anne linked is a very recent discussion on breakfast spots specifically downtown...so we didn't have an identical discussion to the one we had only a week or so before...


                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      I think the Downtowner Woodfire Grill is owned by a Persian couple. (I think his first name is Mo.) If you look, you may find a few Persian touches on that menu. The Louisiana Cafe and its siblings are owned by a guy who was born and raised in St. Paul (son of Irish Supermayor Charly McCarty who was mayor of St. Paul for a time in the 1970s.) So I don't think there is a connection there.

                      There had been a restaurant right downtown for a while called the Downtowner. Don't know if that had been owned by either family.

                      Don't know anything about the Capitol View.

                      1. re: karykat

                        I love the Moe's fries (seasoned with a bit of cumin) at the Downtowner, actually...but that's lunch and dinner.


                  2. If downtown isn't a requirement. I would recommend Jay's on Raymond just north of University Ave. Their food is excellent. There is a waffle of the day as well as their regular menu. It's one of my go-to places for a Sunday breakfast.

                    1. You really need to go to Cecil's. It is amazing-not too far from Downtown, in Highland Park. It's a fantastic Jewish Deli. I've always gotten Ruebens, so I can't vouch for the breakfast, but I keep wanting to try the potato pancakes. The Ruebens reel me in every time though. I don't get it-I don't like ;rye bread, swiss cheese sauerkraut or corned beef, but somehow when Cecil's puts it together I know what they eat in heaven for lunch.