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Two breakfast tacos made with eggs and garnished with purple onion sit in a silver tray on patterned paper. They have a side of salsa verde.
Breakfast tacos from Vivir.
Tim Evans/Eater Twin Cities

15 Essential Twin Cities Breakfasts

Challah french toast, chimichurri steak and eggs, and pancakes with pure maple syrup

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Breakfast tacos from Vivir.
| Tim Evans/Eater Twin Cities

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. (For other morning delights, check out local brunches, coffee shops, and bakeries.) Here are 15 excellent breakfasts around Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Note that these restaurants are listed geographically.

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Guavas Cuban Cafe

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Guava’s is known for its Cuban brunch fare, but it opens at 8 a.m. daily, making it an equally great option for a quick, hearty weekday breakfast. The menu leans savory, catering to meat lovers with chimichurri steak and eggs and vaca frita braised beef hash. But the egg dishes — like the Havana breakfast, which pairs eggs with moro rice and a warming picadillo — are just as satisfying. Guava’s also serves Cuban-style coffee drinks.

Wise Acre Eatery

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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.

Five round white plates are on a table. Place on them are sliced brisket, grilled asparagus, cheddar biscuits, a colorful salad, and a spinach quiche.
Farm-to-table breakfast at Wise Acre Eatery.
Wise Acre Eatery

Sun Street Breads

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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.

Victor's 1959 Cafe

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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.

Our Kitchen

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Our Kitchen flies a little under the radar — it’s a tiny restaurant on West 36th Street that looks more like a country cottage than a bustling breakfast spot. But step inside for one of the best diner breakfasts you can find in Minneapolis. The pancakes are rough-hewn and studded with chocolate chips; the hash browns have a golden, crispy lid. Fair warning, you may have to wait to snag one of the bar stools.

Maria's Cafe

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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.

Al's Breakfast

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Al’s Breakfast is the Twin Cities’ greatest old-school breakfast diner. As Dinkytown’s dining scene has shifted throughout the decades, Al’s 10-foot-wide storefront has barely changed since 1950. Grab a seat at one of the 14 bar stools for an iconic American breakfast: a salami scramble, poached eggs over corned beef hash, or blueberry-walnut pancakes with pure Minnesota maple syrup. Al’s opens at 6 a.m. most days, but plan to wait a while for a seat during the breakfast rush.

A black and white photo of a man in a white apron standing behind the counter at Al’s breakfast. The heads and shoulders of two people are visible in the foreground.
Al’s Breakfast in Dinkytown.
Katie Cannon/Eater Twin Cities

Alma Cafe

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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.

Ideal Diner

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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.

A breakfast sandwich with a gooey egg yolk on a bun is front and center, with an orange cocktail with a frothy top, and a white bowl of crispy potatoes in the background.
A breakfast sandwich from Vivir.

Highland Grill

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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.

Two fluffy pancakes with golden crust are topped with a scoop of butter, melting. On the side is a small silver pitcher.
Pancake classics at Highland Grill.
Highland Grill

Hot Hands Pie & Biscuit

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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.

A cafe interior with pink and light wood walls, wooden booths, dark chairs, and cylindrical lanterns in the ceiling.
Inside Hot Hands.
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities

The French Hen Cafe

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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. 

Hope Breakfast Bar - St. Paul

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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, and more to come around the metro.)

The Buttered Tin

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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.

A restaurant’s interior with white walls, a counter to the left, and diners seated at tables to the right.
Inside the Buttered Tin.
Katie Cannon

Guavas Cuban Cafe

Guava’s is known for its Cuban brunch fare, but it opens at 8 a.m. daily, making it an equally great option for a quick, hearty weekday breakfast. The menu leans savory, catering to meat lovers with chimichurri steak and eggs and vaca frita braised beef hash. But the egg dishes — like the Havana breakfast, which pairs eggs with moro rice and a warming picadillo — are just as satisfying. Guava’s also serves Cuban-style coffee drinks.

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.

Five round white plates are on a table. Place on them are sliced brisket, grilled asparagus, cheddar biscuits, a colorful salad, and a spinach quiche.
Farm-to-table breakfast at Wise Acre Eatery.
Wise Acre Eatery

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.

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.

Our Kitchen

Our Kitchen flies a little under the radar — it’s a tiny restaurant on West 36th Street that looks more like a country cottage than a bustling breakfast spot. But step inside for one of the best diner breakfasts you can find in Minneapolis. The pancakes are rough-hewn and studded with chocolate chips; the hash browns have a golden, crispy lid. Fair warning, you may have to wait to snag one of the bar stools.

Maria's Cafe

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.

Al's Breakfast

Al’s Breakfast is the Twin Cities’ greatest old-school breakfast diner. As Dinkytown’s dining scene has shifted throughout the decades, Al’s 10-foot-wide storefront has barely changed since 1950. Grab a seat at one of the 14 bar stools for an iconic American breakfast: a salami scramble, poached eggs over corned beef hash, or blueberry-walnut pancakes with pure Minnesota maple syrup. Al’s opens at 6 a.m. most days, but plan to wait a while for a seat during the breakfast rush.

A black and white photo of a man in a white apron standing behind the counter at Al’s breakfast. The heads and shoulders of two people are visible in the foreground.
Al’s Breakfast in Dinkytown.
Katie Cannon/Eater Twin Cities

Alma Cafe

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.

Ideal Diner

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.

ViV!R

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.

A breakfast sandwich with a gooey egg yolk on a bun is front and center, with an orange cocktail with a frothy top, and a white bowl of crispy potatoes in the background.
A breakfast sandwich from Vivir.

Highland Grill

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.

Two fluffy pancakes with golden crust are topped with a scoop of butter, melting. On the side is a small silver pitcher.
Pancake classics at Highland Grill.
Highland Grill

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.

A cafe interior with pink and light wood walls, wooden booths, dark chairs, and cylindrical lanterns in the ceiling.
Inside Hot Hands.
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities

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. 

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, and more to come around the metro.)

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.

A restaurant’s interior with white walls, a counter to the left, and diners seated at tables to the right.
Inside the Buttered Tin.
Katie Cannon

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