Twin Cities: Breakfast Served All Day
A menu stating "Breakfast Served All Day" is a comfort for those of us with erratic sleep schedules. Recently, however, I've found that having the option of ordering pancakes past noon is becoming more and more elusive in the Twin Cities. Don't local restaurants know it's the most important meal of the day, even if you don’t get around to it until 4 p.m.? Hence, I've chosen to highlight a few spots that are still doing it right, serving not only the best of breakfast, but also dishing it up all day long.
• Al's Breakfast: Lauded as the "narrowest" restaurant in Minneapolis, this once-hidden gem is now famous thanks to a visit from Guy Fieri for his Diners, Drive Ins and Dives show on Food Network. This Dinkytown destination is best for solo diners, small groups, and those who don't mind dining on bar stools. If you can stand the claustrophobia, your stomach will thank you.
• Day By Day Café: All of your favorite breakfast staples, from caramel rolls to hash browns to huevos rancheros, are at your fingertips at this West Seventh Street institution. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, with multiple rooms packed with books and toys, plus a peaceful patio outdoors.
• Keys Café: A must-try of the Twin Cities, this family-owned local chain boasts so many breakfast specialties — many in supersized portions — that you’ll be hard-pressed to choose just one.
• Hell's Kitchen: Don't be intimidated by the name; Hell's Kitchen is just as homey as a breakfast venue can be in the middle of downtown Minneapolis. What sets it apart are unique menu items like wild rice porridge and homemade peanut butter. Reservations are recommended; it’s also rumored that PJ's are, too, at least on the weekends.
• The Uptown Diner: If sleepy hipsters and "sweet utopia" in the form of Kamikaze French Toast is your style, this is your hangout. With plush booths and a "let it all hang out" attitude, you can’t get much more casual than this Uptown staple.
Erica Rivera is the author of the memoir "Insatiable" and the e-cookbook "Man Eater." She is the co-owner of the Twin Cities mobile bakery MILF and Cookies and blogs at crazysexydelicious.com.