The Best Brunch Restaurants In MinneapolisNeapolitan breakfast pizza in a converted bank lobby, cheese blintzes with lingonberry sauce, and more.
Here’s our pitch for the perfect Minneapolis weekend: bike around the Chain of Lakes, window shop in the North Loop, and of course, grab a bite. Thankfully, the city has a lot of brunch options worth getting out of bed for on a Saturday morning.
Maybe you’ll get your Midwestern dolce vita on while enjoying a Neapolitan breakfast pizza, embrace the Minnesotan Nordic connection by ordering some cheese blintzes with lingonberry sauce, or doodle on the ceilings of a neighborhood cafe while you wait for some plate-sized pancakes. You can find all that and more, along with boozy slushies and even a Bloody Mary garnished with a spicy cheese curd.
A morning at Martina is the breath of fresh air you’ll want after the longest week ever at work. While waiting for your order of the must-have potato churros, take a deep breath in the restaurant’s relaxing, simple space with its pop of palm trees—the minimalist feel is a nice break from the kaleidoscope that was your Google Calendar the past couple of days. Then, you can move on to steak and eggs with chimichurri, a breakfasty mafaldine carbonara, or the almond flour pancakes garnished with berries and maple syrup. Pair it all with a Caffé cocktail, a mix of mezcal, brandy, and coffee, which is the perfect way to put a buzzed-but-caffeinated kick in your step before your next weekend plans.
Giulia is located in a repurposed bank lobby with marble columns, and there’s even a private dining room that has a walk-in vault-turned-wine cellar. Start with a plate of tiramisu zeppole stuffed with chocolate and mascarpone, plus a cappuccino made with espresso sourced from local roaster Spyhouse. If you want some drama at the table, order the Neapolitan breakfast pizza—made with dough that’s been fermented for three days, the pie is cut tableside so you can fully appreciate the theater of the runny egg yolks.
Vines dangling from the ceiling above you and a colorful mural of Nina Simone and Erykah Badu to your left. No, you’re not chilling at your artsy friend’s stylish North Loop loft, you’re eating at Stepchld. Their menu has dishes that pull flavors from a variety of countries, like birria tacos seasoned with an Ethiopian berbere spice blend, and pork belly and ginger coconut rice punched up with kimchi and gochujang aioli. The roasted brussels sprouts flavored with apricot and curry are so good they’ll win over people who haven’t eaten anything green in the past decade, and the Cooper Burger is anything but basic, thanks to an aioli made with chili-packed spice mix mitmita. For a sweet ending, split the crepe-style, einkorn flour ricotta blueberry pancakes.
With boozy slushies and a jungle of plants, brunch at Hola Arepa feels like partying in a rainforest treehouse. There’s a variety of arepa fillings to choose from, but top picks are the slow-roasted pork or the vegetarian-friendly black bean version. Crunch your way through the rest of the morning with the chips and choose-your-own salsa trio (be sure to include the aji verde) paired with a Buenos Dias cocktail made with rum, cold brew, coconut cream, and cinnamon. On warm days, grab one of the stools at the outdoor bar and sip the Horchata Colada slushie spiked with rum.
Nolo’s Kitchen & Bar are such experts at comfort food that they literally have “comfort all day long” spelled out not once, but twice, on the building’s exterior. Get the serotonin pumping after feasting on the cheddar cornmeal waffle with buttermilk fried chicken and the extra-large cinnamon sticky buns with salted caramel sauce. Located in a former hardware store, the rooftop has views of converted warehouses and factories in the surrounding North Loop neighborhood. There’s also a rooftop bar where you can challenge friends to a game of foosball, but if you just want to curl up in a ball and nap after a giant walleye sandwich, that’s totally understandable.
Nearly every surface inside Victor’s 1959 Cafe is covered with layers of signatures and doodles left by previous diners—bring a Sharpie to add your contribution (it’s more likely to stand the test of time if you can reach the ceiling). This is the sort of spot you’ll be coming back to over the years. Not just because you want to show off your scribbled, magnum-opus autograph to your friends, but because the food is genuinely great. There are plate-sized pancakes drizzled with fresh mango puree, flank steak simmered in a sherry sauce until it falls apart into tender shreds, and a Cuban sandwich filled with locally-smoked honey ham. Add on a café con leche sweetened with a housemade sugar paste, and order an extra guava and cream cheese empanada to enjoy for breakfast tomorrow.
At first glance, Hi-Lo is a retro diner with chrome fixtures, neon signage, and breakfast that’s served all day. But if you inquire a bit further, you’ll find out that the building was originally built in 1957 outside of Pittsburgh, and in 2015 the building was transported by semi-truck across state lines.
Their menu has modern tweaks on diner favorites: dessert-for-breakfast types should order the lavender-scented french toast, and if you swing savory, try the hearty Tex-Mex burrito (vegan chorizo available by request). Or go both ways with the Gary Cooper hi-top, a housemade donut topped with fried chicken and served with country gravy and maple-bourbon syrup. The Hi-Lo Bloody Mary screams Midwest—it’s made with a pickle and Slim Jim mix and served with a spicy cheese curd garnish.
Tullibee is a restaurant that taps into the fact that many Minnesotans proudly claim Scandinavian heritage. The minimalist interior is full of wooden surfaces, and dishes like their cheese blintzes with lingonberry sauce and eggs benedict on rye bread with dill-spiked hollandaise are nods to the Nordic. The spinach omelet is great as is, but it’s even better when you add smoked whitefish for a Great Lakes touch. Tie together all the flavors from your meal with the almond and cardamom knot.
The Kenwood has iron chandeliers, framed oil paintings, and plaid wallpaper, so naturally, you’ll feel like the lady of the manor while cutting into the fluffy pancakes with pistachio butter. You might need some time to digest the Italian eggs benedict made using pieces of focaccia and topped with housemade porchetta, arugula, and Calabrian chili hollandaise, but it’s absolutely going to fuel you for the rest of the day. But don’t overlook a vegetable-centric option like the English pea soup on the seasonal menu because they’re often sleeper hits.
Rain, shine, or snowpocalypse, warm up at Union’s heated rooftop solarium, which has great views of the Minneapolis skyline. While bottomless mimosas might be a brunch staple, try the blueberry version—it’s made from locally-distilled Tattersall blueberry liqueur, champagne, pineapple, and lemon. Anything on the menu that seems a little extra is a sure bet, like the beignets with a Nutella dipping sauce and the toast loaded with shrimp, guacamole, and even more fresh avocado. And if snow starts coming down, at least you can watch from the comfort of a solarium while sipping on a drink.