Between Minneapolis and St. Paul, the homes of numerous independent cafes and restaurants, there are plenty of places for a foodie to love. Here are a few of my top recommendations for eating out in the city of Minneapolis.
Cheap food was my best friend as a college student in Minneapolis. Here are my favorite places that tend to run a little cheaper than most of the restaurants in this relatively expensive city.
Al’s Breakfast has been around for over 50 years and is open between 6am and 1pm for SUCH delicious brunch. Most of the main dishes are under $10, with some of the smaller plates (like a few pancakes) costing less than $5. I recommend the Waffle Suzette and the Jose egg dish (it sold me on hash browns, which I used to despise). Be prepared to wait in line, and bring cash! (Though there’s an ATM right down the street, if needed.)
Annie’s Parlour on University Avenue is just down the road from Al’s Breakfast and has, honestly, the most amazing burgers, which cost between $5 and $7. You can’t pass up their malts, either—choose from the nearly twenty flavor options or combine two (my personal go-to is Chocolate-banana with Reese’s). The malts cost as much as a burger at $6, but they are big enough to share between two people.
Lago Tacos in the Lynlake Uptown neighborhood is a personal favorite of mine. Tacos are sold individually for a few dollars each. Try the sesame chicken tacos, the taquitos, and the dessert quesadilla.
Moto-i, also in Uptown, is an unassuming, multi-level Asian restaurant and bar. I only recently went here for the first time, and I recommend it because you can sit out on the rooftop, which has beautiful views of the downtown skyline. Most of the main noodle and rice dishes are pricier at between $10 and $15, but they also have delicious steamed buns for $4 each. Try the Benny Buns in particular if you are in the mood for breakfast for dinner (so good).
The Uptown Diner is the perfect place for greasy food and late nights—and if you like pancakes that are bigger than your face.
Wally’s is a Mediterranean place, also in Dinkytown (can you tell I spent a lot of time there as a student?), that has a sandwich menu—basically smaller wrap versions of their main swarma, falafel, and gyro plates, but still plenty filling and between $6 and $8.
If you want something really cosmopolitan and fancy, look no farther than downtown. To be honest, these are a tad outside my budget, so I haven’t actually been to them…but I’ve heard great things!
The Capital Grille, a fancy steakhouse.
Hell’s Kitchen, an American-style restaurant.
The Lynhall, a cafe near Uptown with a trendy, healthy menu and weekend brunch. The Copper Hen is a similar type of restaurant with similar price points and tiny cakes in mason jars.
The Melting Pot, which is a fun fondue place.
The Newsroom. I’ve heard breakfast here is especially good—and that the bar is designed to look like a ship.
The trendy Glam Doll Donuts has gorgeous (and delicious) donut creations as well as a number of other food offerings.
Insomnia Cookies has locations all over the US, but they chose a perfect spot when they set up shop in Dinkytown, right next to the University of Minnesota campus. If you have a late-night sugar craving, they are open every night until 3am. Try the double chocolate mint cookie.
Izzy’s Ice Cream near the Stone Arch Bridge is always bustling and often has different flavors from the location in St. Paul.
Milkjam Creamery in Uptown is a Minneapolis favorite with original flavors.
Pumphouse Creamery is a little hole-in-the-wall place with organic and dairy-free options.
Sebastian Joe’s is a popular stop in the Linden Hills neighborhood; try the raspberry chocolate chip flavor.
Wedge Table juice bar—my parents used to take me to Wedge Community Co-op when I was a little kid to get “oats cream” (dairy-free ice cream made with oats). Now the co-op, which has a cafe, deli, and juice bar inside, has moved to equally delicious coconut milk-based shakes and soft-serve ice cream. There are also a lot of vegetarian/vegan food options.
Cozy coffee shops
The Cafe Meow on Hennepin Avenue has some delicious fruity coffee drinks during the summer months. The pastries were not quite as impressive, in my opinion.
Isles Bun and Coffee is a snug cafe near the Lake of the Isles with tasty cinnamon rolls and a trendy feel.
Rustica in Calhoun Square has unique drinks and amazing pastries.
Spyhouse Coffee Roasters has a number of locations throughout the city. It is not only the place to be for hipsters in Minneapolis but also the study location of choice for college students. I’m not really a coffee connoisseur, but I think their coffee is good. They don’t have many food options, but you can get a substantial helping of granola and yogurt for around $5.
Uncommon Grounds in the Uptown area has, apparently, an amazing chai latte.
What are your favorite places to eat in Minneapolis?
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