Faribault, MN [Moved from Minneapolis-St. Paul Board]
Faribault is devoid of decent dining options, however, on a recent trip there for a 5K my wife was running in, we stopped at Bernie's Grill in the downtown area. It's only open from 6 AM until 2 PM but if you're just doing breakfast or lunch then it will work.
As I wrote in my review of the place on my website:
"Overall the food was good–not great or mind blowing–but just plain old down home diner cooking for inexpensive prices. I left full and extremely happy that we had eaten three great meals for less than we would have paid for two meals just a few miles further north."
It's definitely better than the chain options and certainly cozy enough for a nice stopover while meeting your friends half-way. Good luck!
129 Central Ave N
Faribault, MN 55021-5210