Here it comes! The most relaxed work-week of the year. The week for leisurely breakfasts with your family, your kids, every day of the week. But wait! What the heck is even open every day of the week? Sure, you may know the Twin Cities hottest weekend brunch spots—Tilia, Haute Dish, Meritage—but what do you do when you’ve got a day off on a Tuesday?
The following is my list of the very best breakfast and brunch joints open at least six days a week. Print out a copy and stick it on the fridge, so when you find yourself contemplating a gloriously free morning and are also craving pancakes and friends, you know how to make it come together. And be sure to pick up our January issue, when the Mpls.St.Paul Magazine food dream-team of Andrew Zimmern, Stephanie March, Peter Lilienthal, Beth Dooley, and I dish up all the brunch and breakfast secrets of the Twin Cities—I’ve seen the printer-proofs, its an amazing issue.
Top 10 Everyday Twin Cities Breakfast Restaurants
Victory 44 Super-fancy Dogwood espresso drinks, avant-garde chef creations such as salmon-pastrami eggs Benedict and good-old reliables such as “eggs on toast, simple and pure.” Undeniably one of the great Minnesota breakfast spots. Open for breakfast Tu-Sa 7 a.m. Su 8 a.m. victory-44.com
Manny’s Business breakfast? Don’t forget that ever since their move to the W, Manny’s is a hotel restaurant, and so has to serve breakfast daily. Of course, they don’t have to serve the best steak and eggs in town, but they do, because that’s how they roll. Open for breakfast 6:30 a.m. daily. mannyssteakhouse.com
Breakfast at Birchwood
Birchwood Café Healthy, local, homemade, eating at the Birchwood is like eating in California—the part with a lot of snow. And this time of year the restaurant starts serving its legendary local omelets before the sun rises. Open for breakfast M-F at 7 a.m. and weekend brunch at 8 a.m. birchwoodcafe.com
Bon Vie You know about Bon Vie, St. Paul’s breakfast cult superstar, right? The waffles with fresh strawberry-sauce might be one of the reasons. Open for breakfast M-Sa 7:30 a.m., Su 8 a.m. bonviecafe.net
Photo by Stephanie Colgan
Exterior of Mickey's Dining Car in St. Paul
Mickey's Dining Car
Mickey’s Dining Car Did you know that Mickey’s, the classic old St. Paul dining car smack-dab in the middle of downtown, has been discovered by a new generation of hipsters? True, you can’t get in there with a shoehorn after bar-close these days. But you can get in for buttermilk pancakes every weekday morning—and whether you add a malt is up to you. Open for breakfast 24 hours a day. mickeysdiningcar.com
Hot Plate Don’t forget about Hot Plate, tucked away just south of Minnehaha Creek on Bloomington, with its biscuits and wild rice gravy, perfect to pair with creek-adjacent big-hill sledding or dog walking on the plowed paths. Open for breakfast 8 a.m. daily. mrmosaico.com
French Meadow Bakery
French Meadow Because French Meadow is the top breakfast for those avoiding gluten, animal products, or processed flours, many lose sight of the fact that it has some fantastic decadent options too, like light as a feather pancakes and intensely flavorful Cajun hash browns. Open for breakfast 6:30 a.m. daily. frenchmeadowcafe.com
Good Day An ace in the hole for big groups—because it’s just off the highway, and has a palatial parking lot—Good Day is tops with kids for its silver dollar pancakes, and even more popular with grown ups for its bacon and gruyere omelet. Open for breakfast 7:30 a.m. daily. gooddaycafemn.com
Zumbro Cafe Teddy bear pancakes for the kids, absolutely top-notch savory options for the grown ups, and is it crazy to say they have the best toast in town? Really, it seems that way, perfectly toasted slabs of New French sourdough, which goes splendidly with Bull Run Coffee. Open for breakfast Tu-F at 7 a.m. and for weekend brunch at 7:30 a.m. thezumbro.com
Is it a cop-out to have a five-way tie for 10th place? Yes. Sure. Sure it is. Total cop-out. But what else could I do? But these places are all so good, all run by the same company, and essentially interchangeable, the best is really more a question of the best that’s close to you for classic diner plates of eggs and such, and those crazy good waffles. All open for breakfast 7 a.m. daily (The Lowry opens for breakfast at 6:30 a.m.) blueplaterestaurantco.com
Victor's 1959 Café
Breakfast at Victor's 1959 Cafe
That’s my top 10. Tied for 11th place—well, it was a pile up. If you’re looking for more breakfast ideas here are some of the rest of the best: Colossal Café, Wise Acre Eatery, Hazel’s Northeast, Victor’s 1959 Cafe, the Bad Waitress, Fat Nat’s, Yum Kitchen, Hell’s Kitchen, the Copper Dome, Sun Street Breads, FireLake Grill House, Cosmos, the Nicollet Island Inn, Café Barbette, Collette Bistro (at the Sofitel in Bloomington), Patrick’s Bakery, and a couple more. Then pick up the January issue for the dish on best brunches and morning eats from every cuisine.