After eating out every weekend for brunch I started to run low on money, and had to resort to not dropping $10 on a plate of just eggs and toast (but it’s homemade, artisanal bread…)!! I had to then do some research and get creative and not eat at the places being raved about by the adults around me. I had to realize I was on a college students budget, and shouldn’t be paying more than $2 for a single pancake. After about 10 min of research I realized I was missing out on some really great hidden places in the Twin Cities.
So here’s my list of must-try places that won’t leave you sitting at home broke the rest of the weekend 😉
If I lived within 10 blocks of this place on the weekends I would be there every drunken night, for sure. They are open 24 hours on the weekends, and they have an extensive menu of delicious breakfast options. A handful of omelet options, french toast, pancakes, waffles, hash browns, etc. You name it and they probably have it. They even have decadent cookie dough pancakes… That’s intense! Just because they serve a massive menu at any time of day, doesn’t mean the food is bad quality. That’s the great thing about the Uptown Diner; the food is great if you come at 2pm, and if you come at 2am.
Maria has been serving Colombian food for awhile. She started out in catering and then found a spot in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis. I discovered this place by accident. I was on an ethnic food kick and decided to wander in for breakfast because it’s located across the parking lot from my neighborhood Aldi store. I was very pleasantly surprised. The server recommended the corn pancakes with cotija cheese, and being a huge pancake fan obviously I went with that. They were massive and delicious! Sweet from the corn but salty from the cheese on top. They also have other delicious latin american dishes to try, but I recommend the famous pancakes.
Hidden within the ethnic gems on Central Ave. in Northeast is this incredible Ecuadorian spot. The menu is small but honestly, they could just have their ‘llapingachos’ on the menu and I would come every weekend. They are little potato cakes filled with cheese and they’re soooo good! They come with a green peanut sauce that can’t be missed too. I had a pancake the last time I went there and was very pleasantly surprised at how good it was. It almost tasted like cornbread which is NEVER a bad thing. You can get a plate of eggs and their famous ‘llapingachos’ with toast (their guava jam is life) for around $7, and it’s plenty of satisfying food!
Located right across the street from one of the best doughnut shops in Minneapolis, is this tiny shack of diner. It’s probably the definition of a ‘greasy spoon,’ but that’s why it’s so great! There’s very limited seating, but no one is complaining that they’re hitting elbows with the other customers because they’re just happy they’re being fed and for SUPER cheap. You can get a very generous three pancakes and a protein for just $9. There’s no skimping on portions at this family run spot. It’s for people who don’t want a fancy breakfast, just something that they didn’t have to slave over. I do recommend coming VERY hungry!
In the title for best ‘greasy spoon’ Mickey’s is a top contender. Located in the not so convenient area of downtown St. Paul is the infamous Mickey’s Diner. It was featured in the movie, the Mighty Ducks which kind of made it a landmark diner in the Midwest (or MN at least). It’s been on Food Network shows countless times, because they serve the perfect diner food. Nothing fancy. Just one guy standing at a griddle, slinging pancakes and french toast to the people drooling behind his back. Like the best diners, it’s open 24 hours so it’s especially popular on weekends for the college students rolling in after bar close. I experienced that first hand and had to wait awhile to get my plate of greasy yet perfect food. This is a great little old school date night spot that can be enjoyed any time of day, so go get that midnight malt you’re craving!