Top 10 breakfasts in the Twin Cities

Categories: Top 10

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Hell's Kitchen: Damn good breakfast food
​Breakfast is such a vulnerable meal. Torn from the comforts of bed, pushed out into the cold world with a gurgling stomach and drooping eyelids, a person needs food and comfort. Nothing is worse than exposing a soft, hungry underbelly only to be served torpid, beige hash browns, eggs poached into golf balls, or worse, surly service. An early meal can render an entire day sulky and gray or sunny and optimistic. To save you the agony of an awkward start, we've compiled a list of the best places to start any day.

10. Hell's Kitchen
Hell's Kitchen is not the place to go when you wake up on a Sunday morning and feel like, well, hell. With a tongue numbed by an evening of cigarettes and a head clouded with the after-effects of too much booze, one can't properly appreciate a breakfast menu that is a far cry from greasy hangover fare. Take the Mahnomin porridge, for example. Homegrown Minnesota wild rice layered with hazelnuts, cranberries, and blueberries and doused in a mixture of maple syrup and cream. Then there are the epic quarter-pound pecan-caramel rolls swimming in a rich glaze. The odd-ball bison sausage bread, so studded with nuts and sweet bits that it's hard to understand how it came into being, is tasty enough to induce late-night, sweaty cravings. Even something so simple as the special peanut butter shows why this daytime institution continues to be a favorite downtown Minneapolis destination. (80 S. Ninth St., Minneapolis; 612.332.4700)

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A boho beauty
9. Barbette
While Barbette has had its share of chefs over the years, each adding a note of their own flavors to the mix, the basics remain solid: Trusty, comforting foods with a hint of French flair. The eggs Benedict are gently poached and arrive atop salty slices of Fischer Farms ham on delicate toasts, drizzled with a bright, buttery-rich hollandaise. Daily quiche specials appeal to both omnivores and vegetarians, packed either with seasonal veggies or hunks of meat, mixed with cheese and a healthy amount of cream, and served in a flaky crust. Yet a meal needn't be laden with butter and cream. Balance the decadent with the saintly: Mixed greens are served with most dishes. Perfectly dressed with just a tart touch of vinegar, a whisper of shallot, and a conservative bit of oil, each leaf is crunchy and refreshing. And you can't miss the skinny, crisp, award-winning fries served with a little tin of saffron aioli. Waffles are a sizable Belgian affair, thankfully topped with real maple syrup. Better still is the brilliant lemon curd, just barely sweet and pucker-up tart, dappled with berries. The staff is laid back and eclectic, full of Uptown eccentricities. Many of the employees have been at this neighborhood café for years. They honestly do care that you have a great start to your day. (1600 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612.827.5710)

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The best of both biscuits and scones, all under a blanket of gravy
​8. Mill City Cafe
​Sporting one of the best patios for early-in-the-day dining, Mill City Cafe is a destination even for those far from its Northeast neighborhood.  Area residents can pop in for a cup of strongly brewed coffee or linger over mimosas (served by both the glass and the pitcher.)  Dish highlights include the decadent biscones (that's what you get when a mommy scone and a daddy biscuit love each other very much) served under a wonderfully salty mushroom or sausage gravy and eggs any way.  Quiche arrives densely custardy and stuffed with seasonal ingredients.  The bacon is perfectly chewy-crisp with a hint of sweetness.  The room is a corner in a converted warehouse, with that cozy blend of brick and wood and walls dotted with local art.  Outside, the patio is tucked behind trellises covered with creeping vines, giving it a Secret Garden sort of mystique.  A beautiful place to run away with a special friend to linger through the day. (2205 California St. NE, Minneapolis; 612.788.6188)

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Ethereal yogurt with homemade granola
​7. Wise Acre Eatery
A garden store that opens up a restaurant? That sounds like an odd evolution, but anyone familiar with Tangletown Gardens knows that its approach to landscaping reaches far beyond the average mulch. With the addition of Wise Acres Eatery across the street, the farm-to-table food movement found itself an elegant coffee shop setting, full of delicious bakery options. A simple breakfast of the house-made granola, mixed with thick, creamy yogurt and sprinkled with fresh fruit, is a deceptively simple, deliciously elegant offering.  The sticky, sweet buns are sure to please any sweet tooth. The eggs served your way have obviously been very recently collected from happy chickens, their orange-hued yolks standing up tall and proud.  As the sun creeps across the bright, open room, casting shadows on the floral arrangements, friends can linger, sip, and savor the fleeting, golden morning. (5401 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.354.2577)

6. The Lowry--Uptown

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Shirred eggs with truffle cream and charred toast
The Blue Plate Company has been in the business of breakfast since its inception. The Highland Grill was its original neighborhood joint with the mismatched coffee cups, mammoth waffles, and hip/retro interior, and it continues to have lines that wrap around the block on weekends.  As good as the others are, though, we think Blue Plate has finally nailed it with the Lowry, its latest restaurant in the heart of Uptown.  It has sunny windows, a chic wood interior, and a menu full of satisfying, comforting meals, all sporting a little chefy-chef finish.  One of the best dishes, confoundingly enough, is the Continental breakfast: lush yogurt with bright, light fruit served with a side of Bare Honey (a contender for best-tasting local honey).  The shirred eggs are mushy, gushy, and opulent with truffle cream.  For a more robust dish, the chilaquiles are a spicy affair, full of chorizo and black beans and served with hash browns--impossible to walk away from without a little waddle in your step.  The mile-high waffles and funky vibe are here too, just done with that specifically Uptown flair. (2112 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.341.2112)



Location Info

Sun Street Breads

4600 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

Colossal Cafe

1839 E. 42nd St., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

Victory 44

2203 44th Ave. N., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

Lucia's Restaurant and Wine Bar

1432 W. 31st St., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

Hazel's Northeast

2859 Johnson St. NE, Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

The Lowry

2112 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

Wise Acre Eatery

5401 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

Mill City Cafe - CLOSED

2205 California St. NE, Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

Barbette

1600 W. Lake St., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Music


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124 comments
David Bruning
David Bruning

Al Vento, full German style buffet with cured meats and various cheeses and unlimited real mimosa or bloodies for $20 a person... beat that! Oh your the sort who pays $10 per drink, Uffda!

Robin Scholer
Robin Scholer

So I guess we're scooping City Pages on the Best of '14. Chart House brunch in Lakeville. Huge shrimp, mussels and raw oysters on the salad bar.

Janet Coil
Janet Coil

Breakfast at The Lowery is the best for me.

Michelle Hill
Michelle Hill

What a misleading headline. Isn't Saint Paul half of the Twin Cities? I am tempted to stop bothering with Cities Pages because Saint Paul is ignored too often. Try Shish, Keys Café, Ward 6, Trotters, Swede Hollow, Louisiana Café, and a few others and write one for your other half.

Dan Smith
Dan Smith

I've eaten at half of these and I gotta say Eli's East and Blackbird should be on the list in front of a few of them.

Jen Smith
Jen Smith

The Good Day Cafe in Golden Valley and Jensen's Cafe in Burnsville definitely deserve a spot on this list!

Kim Hanson Ruedy
Kim Hanson Ruedy

Missed RJ riches in moundsview And Capitol View Cafe in St paul

Carol Berg
Carol Berg

You missed the Chanhassen American Legion!!!

Mark Gorzycki
Mark Gorzycki

RJ riches in Mounds View has the greatest 'big ass' pancakes in the world!!

Tom Aaker
Tom Aaker

Defiantly missed Maggie's Restaurant Wayzata That place is da bomb for breakfast and Zaa!

Matthew Hegge
Matthew Hegge

Editorial Fail! This is what happens when you have no staff.

Melinda Roller
Melinda Roller

Spring street travern is by far the best place for breakfast just sayin

Jonathon Michael Ziemer
Jonathon Michael Ziemer

Any top breakfast list that doesn't included Al's Breakfast is bad, and you should feel bad.

Weston Holland
Weston Holland

False. Modern Times has THE best breakfast ever.

Steven Tentis
Steven Tentis

Why is this list consistently being published and marketed by city pages when it was written in 2012....the entire landscape on cuisine,especially when it comes to breakfast and brunch in this town has dramatically improved since then. Please update...

Andy Yee
Andy Yee

Shalee, what would you add to that list? I know I would add The Good Day Cafe in Golden Valley.

JimmyJam
JimmyJam

No Victor's? This list is not valid.

Jean White
Jean White

Breakfast is my favorite meal. I eat it at lunch and supper too.

Theron Horn
Theron Horn

I think Cynthia & I should meet you two at all 10. Actual we've been to Victory 44, awesome.

Milo J. David
Milo J. David

You forgot one of the best ever. Al's Breakfast

Christian Abrahamson
Christian Abrahamson

Hell's Kitchen is very overrated. The first and last time we went there the manager gave us a discount because the guacamole was brown. Also, why no love for st.paul?

Ann Danger
Ann Danger

Jensen's Cafe in Burnsville is my favorite.

Sue Kennedy
Sue Kennedy

You mean top 9 in Mpls with 1 St. Paul spot thrown in for good measure.

Ashlee Marie
Ashlee Marie

and which serve alcohol with their breakfasts? For us graveyard shifts.....

Heather Guse
Heather Guse

As another commented, Mill City is now the Mill Northeast on Central

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