The 10 best breakfasts in St. Paul

Categories: Top 10
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Breakfast. Most days it's just cereal, a piece of fruit, or one of those sad grab-and-go muffins at the gas station, but when you get up early enough or make plans to meet friends, breakfast becomes an event. Instead of chancing your poached eggs on an amateur, wasting calories on anything less than the best baked goods, or getting fancy when you really want no-frills (or vice versa), consult this, our handy guide to the best breakfasts in St. Paul.

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Yes, Copper Dome uses canned fruit, fake maple syrup, and from-concentrate juice, but the place is a total institution. The exhaustive breakfast menu features more than a dozen omelets, crepes, waffles, and lacy potato pancakes that have no equal. Don't expect anything fancy (there are Lil' Smokies on the menu, people), come with cash, and think of this as the one place where both small children and aged grandparents will be free of complaints. 

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Tony Nelson
It's such a pleasant surprise to find out that a restaurant you love and frequent for lunch or dinner also does daily breakfast. At Shish on Grand Avenue, they take every imaginable combination of eggs, feta, spinach, spicy sausage, and pita bread and make unique, flavor-packed morning meals. Shish's chewy-crisp lamb bacon is worth the trip alone, but we love the affordable Benedicts and the hearty Jerusalem breakfast -- a this-and-that platter with spiced ground beef, hummus, olives, falafel, and veggies.

A staple of the Payne-Phalen community for decades, Magnolias is a no-frills family-friendly eatery with nary a sherry reduction or micro green in sight. Instead you'll find diner-ready dishes like corned beef hash, steak and eggs, and crispy, buttery French toast all served by ladies who all look vaguely familiar, like maybe they were extras in a John Waters movie. The textbook biscuits and gravy are available by the half order as a side, which is as much as any one sane person can eat. In short, Magnolias has all the scrappy charm of an underdog baseball team. The portions are big, the food is scratch-made, and clip art is everywhere. 

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Benjamin Carter Grimes
Chai cinnamon roll at Groundswell
Every neighborhood should be so lucky as to have a place like Groundswell anchoring it. It's homey yet hip. Quick enough for an early AM coffee and gluten-free muffin stop, but comfortable enough that you'll want to linger when you have the time. During the week the breakfast menu is limited, but every item is a winner. We particularly love the perfectly in-between texture and tang of the cornmeal buttermilk waffle and the fact that you can get the two-egg breakfast sandwich with Groundswell's south-by-Midwest version of pimento cheese. Coffee and espresso drinks are top-notch, and unlike some other establishments in St. Paul, no one scoffs if you ask for your latte with almond milk. 



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51 comments
Mike Bougie
Mike Bougie

Good point. It's hard enough to get a table there on the weekend.

Jeremy Deysach
Jeremy Deysach

They have been posting the same thing so many times one of the restaurants has already changed ownership, name and menu already.

Jillian Bridges
Jillian Bridges

Seriously lame and like the 50th time u posted this. Only noteworthy breakfast place on the list is Neighborhood.....why would you put a place on the list that used canned fruit as #10......I know it's the midwest but St Paul does have a few better things to offer that isn't canned crap. Or does it? Uptowner is a great bfast joint.

bpsass
bpsass

I only disagree with the copper dome.  I used to live on Randolph in St Paul,  and its really the worst of breakfast spots in the city.  Unless youre into small, cheap portions and greasy frozen food. 

Eric Hurst
Eric Hurst

Yeah city pages are about to be deleted for these lame posts

Hilary Simonson
Hilary Simonson

This list is out of date: Copper Dome has a new name, new owner and different menu now. You're missing the very best of Sunday morning breakfast spot in Saint Paul: The Strip Club Meat and Fish.

Mike Bougie
Mike Bougie

No mention of highland grill? They have the best eggs Benedict in the twin cities. Certainly worth noting.

Steve Rood
Steve Rood

I SAID NO MORE BREAKFAST POSTS. Going to call the authorities soon.

bigmonster_ak
bigmonster_ak

How does WA Frost not make this list?  The food and patio at 1045 am is literally heaven on Earth


Arclight
Arclight

The "real" best places are usually the best kept secrets as well.. So glad my fave didn't make the list.. It's already difficult enough to get a table as it is. 

HMAnderson
HMAnderson

Mentioning institutions such as Magnolia's (marginalized) and Mickey's (basically defamed) in the prologue of arbitrary ratings, such as these, is not a fresh tactic. It says more about the activity the writer hopes to inspire, than the institutions. I doubt Magnolia's frets much about being relegated to the past on a list that betrays a small vein of pretension. Mickey's still has lines, and had lines when Coffee Cup abandoned it's 7 Corners location. Now... including The Copper Dome, while leaving off Key's, a legitimate slight. Those are at least similar models (as opposed to other establishments on the list). Copper does have a sprawling menu (and a new owner). But sprawling menus (often at the expense of focus) is the more the province a Denny's copy writer. Copper is great, but most know Key's executes better at breakfast time- and Copper is hardly open for longer than breakfast time. Including Copper probably shades some of that pretension, however.

Ms.harlane
Ms.harlane

I'm shocked to see French Hen in here and not Bon Vie. I live in the neighborhood and have been disappointed by French Hen time and again.

ParkerE
ParkerE

Went to Groundswell this morning to try the waffle and they said they didn't have waffles until 9:15.  We decided to wait and and placed our order 45 minutes later.  Then 5 minutes later she come to our table and tells us that they are out of waffles!  How are you going to be out of waffles when you were just written up in City Pages for your damn waffle!?  Very poor form.  We left and headed over to Neighborhood Cafe which did not disappoint.  

Lisa Pineda
Lisa Pineda

This is an accurate list finally! Best of all Keys Cafe is NOT on it.

Shelley Darst
Shelley Darst

Ward 6 is splendiferous!!! Bfast and other eats !

Jason Holschuh
Jason Holschuh

For my money it's the crab cakes eggs benedict at Good Day Cafe but that's not in St. Paul so I've failed. :(

imgadgett
imgadgett

missed the boat not listing the uptowner as no 1 or 2.  They and the coffee cup are the BEST i've ever had, not just in stp but in minnesota!  i travel from shakopee to eat there they are that good :)


Lisa Clare
Lisa Clare

Okay, suit yourself but that's my whole point, I love hole in wall restaurants. Nothing repetitive about them and I don't care what you say, nothing beats their whole wheat wally blues....tall stack !!!

Charleskorte91
Charleskorte91

before I saw the check of $9810 , I did not believe that...my... cousin truley bringing in money part-time online. . there moms best frend started doing this for only 18 months and just paid for the debts on their place and bought a great Lancia Straton . take a look at the site here 

>>>>>>>>  w­w­­w­.­b­a­y­9­1­.­C­ℴ­M


Eric Shawn Smith
Eric Shawn Smith

Al's is a hole in the wall with mediocre food. If I wanted that I would go to Mickey's in St.Paul, which is what this list is about.

Jessica
Jessica

The Strip Club would be my #1, as they're the only place in Saint Paul that serves consistently excellent breakfast. No missteps. Ever. So grateful to have this guarantee just a couple miles away. Try the French toast and the logger's tower and basically everything on the menu. And make sure to get one of their sausages.

spooky_helder
spooky_helder

I liked Bonnie’s Cafe. It was the only place I went for breakfast in Saint Paul when I visited last. Nice waitress, great food. She let us know that Bonnie had passed away recently (a year ago?). Interesting take on hash there!

apologist
apologist

Dear dummies, please note that the title of the whole god damn article includes the information that these are breakfasts in St. Paul.

Juliana Christa Berg
Juliana Christa Berg

Thank you CP for making a list that features Saint Paul solely and not focusing on one neighborhood ☺️

Peter Leahy
Peter Leahy

For those commenting on the lack of certain places, the list did say it was the best breakfasts in St. Paul specifically, not in the entire Twin Cities. And French Hen is delicious.

Angela Minder
Angela Minder

Looks like we have to get back to our breakfast dates, James Minder.

minanoonie
minanoonie

Missed Bonnies yet again! Roast beef hash!


Patrick Murphy
Patrick Murphy

The absence of the Uptowner on this list makes me question a number of things. Mainly, why I gave CP page views on this article in the first place. Hashbrown drawer or GTFO.

Helen Daniels
Helen Daniels

What no Hot Plate?! Best pancakes in town. Lingonberry butter baby.

Lisa Clare
Lisa Clare

Al's Breakfast in Dinkytown is the best !!!

emily.weiss
emily.weiss

This article was published before Copper Dome's ownership changed hands. Part of the criteria for making the list is that restaurants serve daily breakfast. Strip Club is fantastic but only has weekend brunch. We'll save that for another list!

emily.weiss
emily.weiss

@Jessica They would be on our list too, but they only serve weekend brunch. For this particular list we focused on places that offer breakfast daily. Brunch will be a future Top 10 for sure though!

emily.weiss
emily.weiss

I agree! Check back next week for our top 10 breakfasts in Minneapolis! There was so much good food in both cities, we decided to divide it up. 

apologist
apologist

Yeah, the best breakfast in St. Paul !!!

blamagdeleine
blamagdeleine

@emily.weiss Copper dome is absolutely disgusting, the fact that you would even consider it makes me question your ability to taste food. 

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