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The exterior of a blue-painted building that reads “Dine-In-Theater” with people milling around it.
Blue Moon serves waffles every morning.
Justine Jones

Where to Find Breakfast at the Minnesota State Fair

Breakfast sandwiches, lefse, and maple-sweetened coffee at the fair

Justine Jones is the editor of Eater Twin Cities.

The most die-hard crowd at the Minnesota State Fair might be the folks — usually of an older, wiser generation — who assemble at 7 a.m. sharp at the fair’s last two remaining church dining halls, Hamline and Salem. Yes, the crowds are smaller in the early hours, but the real magic of a morning at the fair is that the day is full of promise. You’re dreaming of maple bacon and saucy Gizmo sandwiches, and not yet dealing with their aftermath. Here’s where to start the day with a hearty breakfast and hot coffee at the Minnesota State Fair.


Breakfast sandwiches and burritos, for walking and eating

Tejas Express: The legendary breakfast burrito at Teja Express clocks in at just $5. This spot serves chilaquiles, too, topped with either scrambled eggs and beans or chimichurri chicken and crema. North wall of the Garden, on Dan Patch Avenue

The Peg: The Peg’s signature “Peg Muffin” comes stuffed with sausage, a fried egg, cheese, and tomato. If you have time to sit, French toast, country-fried steak, eggs, and pancakes are also on the menu. Outside southeast side of Agriculture Horticulture Building

Farmers Union Coffee Shop: While the Farmers Union’s buttery pork schnitzel sandwich may be too heavy for breakfast, the fried green tomato sandwich — topped with either bacon or sweet corn relish — is not. North side of Dan Patch Avenue between Cooper Street and Cosgrove Street

Blue Moon Dine-In-Theater: Blue Moon serves five breakfast sandwiches: sausage, bacon, andouille, veggie, and the “hangover” sandwich. The waffles and cheesy hash browns are also super popular, as is the pull-apart gorilla bread. Northeast corner of Carnes Avenue and Chambers Street

French Meadow Bakery & Cafe: This breakfast croissant comes with egg, cheese, and a choice of ham, bacon, or Philly steak meat. French Meadow serves lots of baked goods, too, like cinnamon raisin twists and gluten-free sconuts. North side of Carnes Avenue between Nelson Street and Underwood Street

Steichen’s Grocery: Find a coupon for Steichen’s reliable breakfast sandwich in the Blue Ribbon Bargain Book, served from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. With the discount, it’s just $4. Down the alley behind the sheep barn and Cafe Caribe

Spam: The fair’s Spam stand sells just four foods: Spam burgers, Spam curds, canned Spam, and a delightfully greasy Spam breakfast sandwich. East of Chambers Street, just south of the Grandstand

A fried green tomato sandwich topped with corn relish on a golden bun in a white paper dish.
The fried green tomato sandwich at the Farmers Union.
Justine Jones

Eggs, pancakes, and the like

Hamline Church Dining hall: This beloved circa 1897 dining hall might have the fair’s biggest breakfast menu. The Holey Hamloaf breakfast sandwich, one of this year’s best new foods, is tangy and meaty and heaped with caramelized onions; a sunny egg yolk peeks through the toast. Hamline has also collaborated with pancake legend Al’s Breakfast to serve blueberry cakes. Cornbread, sausage, sweet rolls, and other breakfast staples are also on the menu. North side of Dan Patch Avenue between Underwood Street and Cooper Street

Salem Lutheran Church Dining Hall: Salem is the fair’s other legendary church dining hall. For breakfast, it serves French toast, bacon and sausage, pancakes, and a breakfast sandwich. The highlight here, though, is the deliciously smooth Swedish egg coffee. North side of Randall Avenue, just south of the Eco Progress Center

Hansen’s Foods: Hansen’s serves simple, hearty omelets, bacon, eggs, and hash browns, all in the $2 to $10 range. In the far southwest corner of the fair, just before the Christensen Pavilion

Lynn’s Lefse: Find lefse with lingonberries, butter, bacon brown sugar, and whipped cream at Lynn’s Lefse. In the Food Building, south wall

French Créperie: The Créperie isn’t just a dessert place — it serves breakfast crepes made with scrambled eggs, cheese, and ham or bacon, plus an array of savory crepes that work for breakfast in a pinch. North side of Carnes Avenue between Nelson Street and Underwood Street

Scotch Eggs: The fair’s Scotch eggs — hard-boiled, wrapped in sausage, rolled in bread crumbs, and deep-fried — are polarizing among fairgoers. But they have a devoted following, and are certainly a filling breakfast. West side of Liggett Street between Carnes Avenue and Judson Avenue

Big Fat Bacon: Grab a side of maple-glazed bacon (served on a stick) at Big Fat Bacon. South side of Dan Patch Avenue between Nelson Street and Underwood Street

The Produce Exchange: The enormous, perfectly in-season peaches at the Produce Exchange come with a variety of toppings, including yogurt, cream, and goat cheese. Northwest corner of Carnes Avenue and Underwood Street, across from the Food Building

Two omelets on white paper plates and a small paper boat with a hashbrown patty in it.
Omelets at Hansen’s.
Justine Jones

Coffee

Salem Church Dining Hall: The aforementioned Swedish egg coffee from Salem dining hall is a must, but the ante has been upped this year: It’s now best paired with a fresh hot Amish doughnut from Peachey’s Doughnut Co., just a stone’s throw from Salem. North side of Randall Avenue, just south of the Eco Progress Center

Farmers Union Coffee Shop: The Farmers Union’s maple nitro cold brew is smooth, creamy, and subtly sweet. Espresso, chai, lattes, mochas, cold press, and traditional drip are also served here. North side of Dan Patch Avenue between Cooper Street and Cosgrove Street

Java Jive: This vast coffee menu features cappucinos, refreshing espresso tonics, matcha lattes, steamers, and espresso floats. South side of West Dan Patch Avenue between Liggett Street and Chambers Street

Anchor Coffee House: Head to Anchor for cold brew lavender shandys, vanilla cream lattes, and even iced herbal teas alongside traditional drip coffee. West side of Underwood Street between Dan Patch Avenue and Carnes Avenue

Racks of glazed doughnuts behind a glass pane.
Amish doughnuts from Peachey’s.
Justine Jones

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