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Inside Grand Avenue’s Adorable Cafe Serving Those Internet-Famous Pancakes

Soufflé pancakes, honey-soaked toast, and a beautiful setting at Thirty-Six Cafe

A white table with a smoothie bowl and toast topped with ice cream
This small, sweet spot is serving treats in an ethereal setting
Emily Winters/Eater Twin Cities

With every person who approached the register Macy Lee, co-owner of the new Thirty-Six Cafe warned that the soufflé pancakes could require a considerable wait. After she and her sister-in-law opened the cafe, word spread quickly about the beautiful room and those thick, soft, and wiggly pancakes. The dish has already taken the coasts by storm, and the Twin Cities’ first spot daring to serve them, has been a little over-whelmed by the response. Good thing that’s not the only thing on the menu.

Lee was inspired to open the cafe after a trip through Thailand, where she fell in love with the sweets there, particularly the honey toast. At Thirty-Six cafe, that means thick cut white bread is scored and toasted, before being topped with plenty of floral-sweet honey, two scoops of vanilla ice cream, and a few slices of strawberries. Most of the dishes on the menu are sweet and breakfast ready. There are savory salmon and avocado toasts, smoothie bowls, coffee drinks, and those pancakes.

The creamy walls are offset by pale pink pillows on a pink velvet bench, and white tables are flanked by pale pink velvet and gold chairs
The interior is awash in soft pinks and enough florals to put a Michael’s out of business
Emily Winters/Eater Twin Cities

While Lee handles the front of house, her sister-in-law Soua is busy in the kitchen, cooking the food as fast as the tiny kitchen allows. The soufflé pancakes require whipped egg whites up into stiff peaks and carefully folding them into batter to maintain the height and gentle wiggle the dish demands. Several varieties are served with toppings, include a classic with sweetened, condensed milk, whipped cream, and strawberries and a bananas foster flavor with banana slices, caramel, and chocolate sauce.

A latte with a heart shape in the foam sits at the edge of a white table, near a pink chair
A latte is garnished with gold leaf and sweetened with honey
Emily Winters/Eater Twin Cities

Because the pancakes can only be prepared two at a time, the wait times can grow a bit untenable during busy hours. On our visit, it was two hours until they were ready. However, most diners were happy to pass the time with other snacks, and large mugs of espresso drinks.

Even the light fixtures are adorned with flower crowns
Emily Winters/Eater Twin Cities

As the cafe settles into whatever the new normal will be, the hours may change. For now, it opens at 7 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m.

Thick slice of white bread topped with ice cream, strawberries, and a drizzle of honey
The toast Lee fell in love with in Thailand is recreated at the cafe
Emily Winters/Eater Twin Cities
Thick, soft round pancakes topped with whipped cream and strawberries
Soufflé pancakes are a practice in patience
Joy Summers
A side view shows one pancake is a couple of inches thick, topped with whipped cream and caramel and chocolate drizzles
It takes many egg whites whipped up into peaks to achieve the soufflé effect
Joy Summers/Eater Twin Cities
Sister-in-law, co-owners chef Soua and Macy Lee
Emily Winters/Eater Twin Cities
A small counter with three stools in front of a map that says, “Adventure Awaits.”
Lee said she wanted to build a cafe that was perfect for hanging out with her girlfriends
Emily Winters/Eater Twin Cities

Thirty-Six Cafe

949 Grand Avenue, , MN 55105 (651) 493-0163