Top 10 Brunch Spots in the Twin Cities

I am a brunch fiend. If you want to know the way to my heart, it involves (socially acceptable) booze and breakfast foods served at a time that doesn't require me to wake up before 10 am. I'm always on the hunt for new places to brunch at, and these are some of my favorites in the Twin Cities. Do yourself a favor and check them out, like, tomorrow. Let me know what your favorite brunch places are in the comments!

1. HiLo Diner

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Such a cute diner from the 1950's, famous for "Hi-Tops" aka heavenly donuts served both savory and sweet. The one we ordered is called the Minneapple Bliss, and is covered in caramel, apples, pecans, amazing whipped cream and caramel sauce. Additional props for their drink selection; I had a grapefruit mimosa made up of grapefruit juice, champagne, grapefruit bitters, and a tarragon tincture. They don't take reservations and there's usually a wait, but not more than 20 minutes (it's worth it.)  

Go order: Lavender Creme Brûlée French Toast and a Grapefruit Mimosa

2. Birchwood Cafe

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I don't mean to be dramatic, but if I could live in Birchwood Cafe I would. They are just SO COOL. They host "know your farmer" events to meet your producers, screen films on food-related issues, and they've raised money for HIV/AIDS, food justice, and climate change. I just love them. Also, their food is AMAZING. They have kombucha on tap, a great selection of savory, sweet, and healthy items, and they're super veg and vegan friendly. Brunch is very popular, but it's seat yourself so wait times aren't as bad. Sit at the community table and get to know your neighbor.

Go Order: Whatever their seasonal Savory Waffle is and Kombucha from tap

3. Tangletown's Wise Acre Eatery

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This place gets MAJOR bonus points for aesthetics. The inside looks like my dream bedroom. Imagine a chic farmhouse with lots of rustic wood, chalkboard menus, and so. many. plants. The French toast was some of the best I've ever had and they have some great veg options. Plus, it's truly farm-to-table, with most of their food sourced from their own Tangletown Gardens in Plato, MN. 

Go Order: "Back to Bed" French toast, and The "L" cold press. 

4. French Meadow Cafe and Bakery

 Photo Courtesy of  French Meadow

Photo Courtesy of French Meadow

Such a great staple. Their brunch menu is large and in-charge. They've got so many amazing options, though the menu varies based on location (there's one in Minneapolis AND St. Paul, how's that for convenience.) and they've got a great drink menu. We all know how important that is. They've got lots of veg options, including an awesome vegan tofu scramble if you're staying on the healthier side. On a different note, the breakfast quesadilla and cajun hash browns are life-giving when you're maybe half-dead from a Sunday morning hangover. There are two types of people. 

Go order: The breakfast quesadilla and a Greyhound

5. The Copper Hen Cakery and Kitchen

 Photo Courtesy of Copper Hen Cakery and Kitchen

Photo Courtesy of Copper Hen Cakery and Kitchen

To be honest with you I think it might be entirely impossible to take a bad picture in this entire restaurant. A brunch instagrammer's paradise. I will guarantee a beautiful post from this brunch. Make sure you make a reservation or you're going to be waiting possibly hours to get into this hot spot. It's in a great area on Eat Street in Uptown though, so you'll have lots to walk and see while you wait, at least? It is a bakery, so they have amazing baked goods as well as comfort food brunch options. 

Go Order: Farmer's Brunch and a bottomless Mimosa (for under $10!!!!)

6. Black: Coffee and Waffle Bar

 Photo Courtesy of  Black: Coffee and Waffle Bar

A novelty you must try. The Minneapolis location of this joint became a little bit over-run with high school and college students conducting iPhone photo shoots (I am not innocent here), but for good reason. The waffles are incredible and also, yes, very visually appealing. I am a firm believer in the power of carbs, and their selection of unique flavors is just so good. They also serve local Dogwood coffee, which is great, but no booze. They don't have any vegan options, sadly, but plenty for vegetarians. 

Go Order: The staple Naughty Waffle, or whatever their seasonal specialty is

7. The Freehouse

 Photo Courtesy of  The Freehouse

Photo Courtesy of The Freehouse

The Freehouse gets points for being in my favorite area, North Loop, and also for having a very cute and dog-friendly patio. GREAT brunch cocktail list, although they're on the spendier side. They have a really good combo of savory and healthy items, like a fried gnocchi dish (you will soon learn, gnocchi is my favorite food in existence. period.) alongside dishes like avocado toast and a brown rice based breakfast bowl.

Go Order: Keep it classy with a French 75 and the Avocado Toast

8. Hell's Kitchen

Go on Saturday or Sunday, and go for the booze. Make no mistake, their food is also incredible, but go. For. The. Booze. They have an ENTIRE ROOM dedicated to their build-your-own Mimosa and Bloody Mary bars, and seriously you guys it's a spiritual experience. Think mimosas topped with sticks full of fresh fruit, cupcakes, and candy, and Bloody Mary's (Maries? What is the plural of Bloody Mary) topped with.. what could pass as your entire brunch. The lemon ricotta pancakes are almost equally life-changing. Make a reservation. 

Go Order: Lemon Ricotta pancakes and for the love of god the MIMOSAS

9. Hola Arepa

 Photo courtesy of  Hola Arepa

Photo courtesy of Hola Arepa

You will not find better latin-inspired food than at Hola Arepa. They've got an adorable patio for the summer months, and a dish called Arepas that are basically the marriage of cornbread and pancakes (I live for cornbread. This is groundbreaking). They also have a brunch cocktail called Breakfast of the Tiki Gods made of cold press, plantation dark rum, house-made horchata, pineapple, falernum, du Nord Frieda, lime and bitters. I am DROOLING.

Go Order: Black Bean and Queso Fresco Arepa, Mini "Churro", and a Breakfast of the Tiki Gods (duh)

10. J. Selby's

 Photo Courtesy of  J. Selby's

Photo Courtesy of J. Selby's

I seriously couldn't be happier with how well J. Selby's has done in St. Paul. It's a 100% vegan restaurant, all my meat-eating friends LOVE to go there, and it's constantly busy, no matter what time of day you go. Luckily, you order up front and seat yourself, so we've always been able to find a seat without a wait. There are so many swoon-worthy things on the menu I don't even know what to tell you to get. The breakfast burrito is amazing, so is the breakfast hash, and so is the French toast. Go during normal brunch hours for burgers that will make you wonder why you ever started eating meat. They also have awesome kombucha on tap and house-squeezed fresh orange juice. And great beer and wine, if you are so inclined.

Go order: The hemp bread French toast topped with cinnamon apples, and a house-squeezed fresh OJ
Sedona Anderson