The 8 best granolas in the Twin Cities
Sean McPherson The granola at Common Roots
After your third brunch date in as many Sundays, your body will be asking for a holiday from the Hollandaise. Now is the time to point yourself in the direction of a granola-friendly eatery. Not only will this give your pocketbook a bit of a rest, as granola is often on the more affordable side, it will leave you more productive and less likely to be couch-ridden than the bloody Mary/bacon/omelet trinity you've been studying since college.
Grain Free Guten Free Granola Snacks
At most breakfast spots and coffee shops in the Twin Cities one can order granola. Sometimes it's a dish of hastily thrown together yogurt and pre-made granola with a banana sliced up by the one kitchen staff they don't trust by the range. Granola is an afterthought for many establishments, something you bring out for the guy with the dietary restrictions or the lady asking for hot water and a grapefruit rind. But, for the more health-conscious, Birkenstock-wearing diners in the Twin Cities, there is now some granola worth traveling for. You just have to know where to look.
Sean McPherson Fruit and yogurt with granola from Moose and Sadie's
8. Moose and Sadie's
212 3rd Ave, Minneapolis
Moose and Sadie's is located at the epicenter of the North Loop young professional scene. If you feel a little self-conscious about eating a big omelette next to all the pencil thin data strategists we recommend the modest yogurt and granola bowl. At $5.50 this granola is a good deal, with sweet clusters and whole almonds in almost every bite. This isn't the easiest for silent, dignified granola consumption, but for a crunchy sweet snack on the small side, this spot is right on the money.
Sean McPherson Granola from Trotter's Cafe
7. Trotter's Cafe
232 N. Cleveland Ave St. Paul
Trotter's has been a St. Paul institution since opening in 1989, and they've been doing the fresh ingredients, farm-to-table cuisine thing since long before it was trendy. In addition to their lunch and dinner menu, Trotter's is celebrated for its house-made granola, which they sell in bulk and as a breakfast entree ($6.50 with milk or yogurt, $7.95 with bananas and strawberries). Our bowl was filled with freshly cut fruit and an oaty granola that never got caught up in tooth-challenging clumps. Trotter's doesn't skimp on expensive ingredients inside the granola either, serving generous amounts of slivered almonds and cashews --though it could benefit from a touch more of a sweet honey fastener to keep everything together. At $7.95, it is one of the more expensive options on our list, but the ingredients and quality of fruit justify the upcharge.
6. Espresso Royale
411 14th Ave SE Dinkytown
The Dinkytown Espresso Royale is home to one of the best kept secrets in the granola universe. For years this location has been serving 16-ounce cups more than halfway filled with lightly strawberry flavored yogurt and topped with sweet granola that miraculously stays crunchy and crispy in the same container. You'll be glad they left the final fourth of the cup open because you'll need that space to feverishly stir the granola together as you race out to your car to dine. Next time you're waiting in a unfathomably long line at Al's Breakfast next door, abandon ship and dig into some of the finest granola in the Twin Cities. Get there early -- they've been known to sell out.
5. Birchwood Cafe
3311 East 25th Street Minneapolis
The Birchwood Cafe began serving their granola over 18 years ago, and not long after, customers were asking to pick it up in bulk to take home. That's all well and good, but the best way to enjoy Birchwood's granola is right from the source, accompanied by seasonal fruit and Kalona SuperNatural Yogurt. They call it F-Y-G and at $8 it is affordable compared to most Birchwood prices but still a little pricey for an everyday breakfast. Save it for a special morning and rest assured that Birchwood does not skimp on the quality of the granola, yogurt, or fruit.