Family-Friendly

These places know how to make it a good morning for you while keeping the kiddos entranced.

Family-Friendly

It’s not date night, so you’ll probably have the kids in tow. These places know how to make it a good morning for you while keeping the kiddos entranced.

Hazel’s NE

Do not be surprised to see a line out the door on weekends—the neighborhood OWNS this breakfast spot. Drunken banana French toast, granola-infused hippie cakes, chicken-fried steak (!), and eggs are all served in a homey, comfortable hey-how-are-ya atmosphere. 2859 Johnson St. NE, Mpls., 612-788-4778, hazelsnortheast.com


Highland Grill, Longfellow Grill, Edina Grill, and 3 Squares

You can’t go wrong with one of these joints. They were born with the soul of a diner but raised on tomato chutney and chorizo. Creative but comfortable, urban but humble, they kick out basics such as banana waffles and oatmeal flapjacks, but also keep it fun with breakfast panini and chilaquiles. Several metro locations, blueplaterestaurantcompany.com


Keys

Even if you have to truck it across town to get there, the Keys restaurants always feel like your hometown café. They’re the kind of places that sneak up on you and become a family tradition because everyone seems to find something from the menu to become rabidly loyal about, be it the monstrous caramel rolls, the fat omelets, or the cinnamon French toast. They’ve been schlepping breakfast for more than 35 years, so they must be doing something right. Nine locations including 8299 University Ave. NE, Spring Lake Park, 763-785-6004, keyscafe.com


Cafeteria

Cafeteria is famous for its make-your-own-bloody-mary bar and its inherent challenge: How many slices of bacon, fat green olives, and cubes of cheese can you fit on a skewer? But Cafeteria also plays peppy dance music, opens at 9 am on weekends, offers a $5 kids menu with solid pancakes and chocolate milk in a sippy cup, and brings out coloring mats for every child and a finger puppet with every entrée. Order a fruit platter and a loaf of warm banana bread for the table when you sit down, then take turns with your spouse fixing up your bloody mary to your liking while your kids color and take dance breaks by the big windows. 3001 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-877-7263, uptowncafeteria.com


Pinstripes

If you’re tired of your kids throwing things across the table during a meal, let them throw bowling balls. The buffet at Pinstripes will fill them on omelets and treats, and when they get restless, they can knock down pins (and not each other) for $5 per kid per game. Meanwhile, you surf ’n’ turf it with prime rib and seafood. 3849 Gallagher Dr., Edina, 952-835-6440, pinstripes.com


ALSO VERY FRIENDLY


Pancakes

Pancakes

Whether you call them cakes or flapjacks, there’s no denying the power of the pancake to deliver a gut-filling, heart-warming morning meal. Here's nine critic's picks.

Diners

Diners

Not many people order Adam and Eve on a Raft these days when they want eggs and toast, but there are still pockets of greasy griddle-top cooking that bring you back to simpler days and simpler eggs.

Eye-Openers: Breakfast Cocktails

Morning cocktail anyone? From bloody marys to coffees, these drinks will give you a mighty wake-up call. Sip on these ten critics' picks.

Egg Sandwiches

Egg Sandwiches

A complete dish in your hands, the egg is the perfect food, especially when joined by some melty cheese, perhaps a little salty breakfast meat, and a bit of cheffy bravado.

Coffee Loves Pastry

Coffee Loves Pastry

If you have to grab and go, make it meaningful with both caffeine and pastry groups representing.

Donuts

Donuts

The humble hunk of sugary fried dough can be as simple as cake or as funky as chai these days. These five represent.

Reservations Required

Reservations Required

Easter and Mother’s Day are the biggest brunch days of the year. Here are the classic spots if you want to call early.

Manly Mornings

Manly Mornings

Meaty and massive are perhaps the two main characteristics of a morning meal that will satisfy a manly appetite. Not that that’s necessarily a gender thing.

Ethnic

Ethnic

Morning is universal. You don’t have to stick with the same old eggs and cakes.

Late Night

Late Night

Tucking into a mess of eggs or stack of cakes at the end of an evening just seems to cap the revelry. Plus, it will carry you through until bloody mary time.

Don’t Diss the Buffet: 3 to Hit

Don’t Diss the Buffet: 3 to Hit

Three different spins on all-you-can eat brunch buffets.

Make the Drive: Worthy One-Offs

Make the Drive: Worthy One-Offs

These breakfast dishes make these dining spots a destination.

Andrew Zimmern: Make The Most of The Most Important Meal

Andrew Zimmern: Make The Most of The Most Important Meal

Three-egg omelets were fine when you filled up and headed outdoors to earn your living, but now we need more balance.

Beth Dooley: What’s So Special About Al’s Breakfast?

Beth Dooley: What’s So Special About Al’s Breakfast?

It has been six decades since the original Al—Al Bergstrom—started flipping hash in an 11-foot storage shed squeezed in the alley.

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