From classic waffles and pancakes to hearty hashes, no meal is more foundational than breakfast. This map is designed for early birds in search of a delicious start to the day — savor breakfast tacos in Northeast, sweet banana churro waffles in St. Paul, or a tender ropa vieja with plantains on a sunny south Minneapolis patio. (Also in the category of morning delights are Twin Cities brunches, coffee shops, and bakeries.) Here are 15 excellent breakfasts around Minneapolis and St. Paul.Read More
15 Essential Twin Cities Breakfasts
Challah french toast, breakfast burritos, and classic buttermilk shortstacks
The Buttered Tin
The second its doors opened in St. Paul’s Lowertown, The Buttered Tin became a local breakfast favorite. Here, old-school breakfast favorites are given new life: Try a Benedict made with Lake Superior walleye, banana foster French Toast, or a smothered breakfast burrito. The Buttered Tin also serves boozy breakfast drinks, like Irish cream cold press, mimosas, and a sparkling rose.
Hope Breakfast Bar - St. Paul
Hope Breakfast Bar specializes in over-the-top breakfast food like banana churro waffles, German chocolate pancakes, and biscuits smothered with chili and topped with eggs. There’s also an impressive lineup of creative espresso drinks and breakfast cocktails: Favorites include banana milk coffee, peach and rose punch, and espresso martinis. (A note for suburbanites: Hope Breakfast Bar also has a second location in St. Louis Park.)
The French Hen Cafe
The French Hen Cafe serves a French and Creole-influenced breakfast menu daily in Cathedral Hill. Anyone with a sweet tooth should try the coconut lime French toast — on the savory side, there’s a mushroom vegetable crepe and a Creole market hash. Split the difference with the massive, salty-sweet pancake, which is loaded with bacon, cheddar, and chives, and served with sides of maple syrup and honey butter.
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Hot Hands Pie & Biscuit
It’s all in the crust at Hot Hands. For breakfast, choose from the savory pot pie selections, or sweet pies like caramelized vanilla with an oatmeal cookie crust, raspberry hazelnut, or banana cream, topped with a mascarpone that looks like fluffy ski moguls. Also on the menu are a variety of biscuit pairings, a breakfast sausage roll, and other pastries.
Modern comfort foods are the theme of Highland Grill’s vast menu. The classics are done so well here — a simple stack of the fluffy pancakes is a great bet, as is the blueberry French toast, served with whipped cream cheese. Or try the sweet potato hash, made with spicy hunks of Italian sausage, kale, and zippy peppers.
An excellent spot for breakfast carbs, Colossal Cafe serves giant caramel rolls, crumbly biscuits, and yeast-based pancakes that rise to impressive heights. Try the simple short stack with maple syrup, or the signature topping of honey-brown sugar syrup, apples, walnuts, and slices of brie cheese. Other classics like omelets, frittatas, and breakfast sandwiches are available as well.
Ideal Diner has served Northeast Minneapolis since 1949 — today, it’s one of the few spots in the Cities you can get a cup of coffee for $1.75. Breakfast dishes are served all day: Try the Polish Man breakfast of two eggs, Polish sausage, and hash browns, or the Nordeast omelet, made with steak and caramelized onions. The buttermilk short stacks are remarkably fluffy, too. Note that Ideal Diner has just 14 stools at its counter.
Sandwiched between Monroe Street and the BNSF train tracks in Northeast Minneapolis, Mexican cafe and bakery Vivir serves an excellent breakfast burrito, stuffed with tender braised beef, rice, beans, pico de gallo, and scrambled eggs. Also on the morning menu are chilaquiles verde, breakfast tacos, cemitas. If you like to end breakfast on a sweet note, save room for chocolate mole cupcakes and conchas.
Alma’s lovely, mellow cafe serves excellent baked goods (think seasonal fruit galettes, blueberry danishes, and chocolate croissants) from the pastry case. On the breakfast menu are egg sandwiches, baked egg strata, and more, served all day. The steel cut oatmeal comes topped with brown butter roasted apples.
Employee-owned since 2020, this quirky downtown Minneapolis icon serves infamous lemon ricotta pancakes (sell-your-soul-to-the-devil amazing, reviewers attest), dense sausage bread made with dates and black currants, and walleye hash and eggs. Make a reservation ahead of time if you can. The Ralph Stedman art and gothic basement interior make mornings spent in Hell worthwhile.
Maria’s robust pancake menu makes for a fantastic breakfast feast: Choose between chocolate chip, wild rice, plantain with cotija cheese and more. A cozy neighborhood gathering spot, Maria’s serves Columbian fare and American breakfast classics. The weekend specials feature arepas, black beans, sauteed yucca, and sweet plantains.
Common Roots Cafe
Common Roots Cafe’s cheery space has a real neighborhood feel. The bagels here are top-notch, and the menu also features classic breakfast dishes with a twist, like a turkey confit hash and challah French toast with cardamom brown sugar syrup. Common Roots has also maintained a longtime commitment to sustainability — it even publishes a monthly breakdown detailing the percentage of its ingredients that are local, organic, and fair trade.
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Victor's 1959 Cafe
This classic south Minneapolis restaurant has been serving Cuban favorites and classics for more than 20 years. Order the Basque stew — eggs with a Creole stew of Spanish chorizo, ham, and vegetables — or the slow-cooked ropa vieja with eggs and plantains. Victor’s has a great coffee menu, too: Try grab a creamy cafe con leche from the little sliding glass window out front. The tropical-themed patio is a great spot for sunny weekend mornings.
Sun Street Breads
Sun Street Breads serves stellar baked goods from award-winning baker Solveig Tofte in Minneapolis’s Tangletown neighborhood. The atmosphere is casual and, of course, sunny: Light pours in from floor-to-ceiling windows, and a sidewalk patio is open in the warmer months. For a heartier breakfast, pair a delicate cardamom bun with a biscuit egg-and-bacon sandwich, or poutine.
Wise Acre Eatery
A true farm-to-table restaurant, Wise Acre Eatery serves dishes made with ingredients straight from its Plato, Minnesota farm. Come for a weekend breakfast and try a buttermilk cheddar biscuit sandwich with kimchi and gruyere, or a fresh quiche made with peas and arugula. The owners also operate the garden center next door, so the space here is lush with greenery.