Minnesota isn’t the biggest state, or the most famous, but we do know how to make things big. For example, the Mall of America is the biggest in the nation. We have part ownership of the country’s largest freshwater lake. We even have more than a few giant Paul Bunyan statues! On the flip side, Minnesota knows the importance of keeping things small, too. For example, these tiny but mighty restaurants in Minnesota may not be huge, but they sure are delicious.
1. Kaffe Stuga - Harris
Kaffe Stuga is quaint, long-standing restaurant in the small town of Harris, right on Highway 61. Family-owned and operated since its opening more than 50 years ago, this eatery serves up the tastiest home-cooked food you’ll find in the area. Unsurprisingly, the Swedish meatballs at this Swedish restaurant are to die for. But the entire menu is great. It’s pure comfort food!
Address: 43821 Forest Blvd, Harris, MN.
2. Wilbert Cafe - Cotton
Halfway between Duluth and Virgina, you’ll find the small town of Cotton. This unincorporated community may be tiny, but it is home to big flavor. Wilbert Cafe is a small spot with a hometown vibe, serving up generous portions of tasty food at a reasonable rate. Be sure to try the chicken pot pie soup. It’s all the rage for anyone who stops in!
Address: 9105 Highway 53, Cotton, MN.
3. World's Best Donuts - Grand Marais
World’s Best Donuts isn’t a traditional restaurant, but this donut shop is too awesome to keep off the list. This family-owned donut continues to deliver delicious delectables after three generations in business. Hungry patrons line up outside of this small establishment on the banks of Lake Superior. Sometimes the line is out of the door and all the way to the street! Next time you’re in the area, make sure you stop in at this little spot.
Address: 10 East Wisconsin Street, Grand Marais, MN.
4. Tendermaid - Austin
Austin, Minnesota, most known for its SPAM museum, is home to a unique restaurant with food you won’t find anywhere else in the state. Decades after opening, Tendermaid is still serving up the best loose meat hamburgers you’ll ever find. The restaurant is tiny but absolutely charming with its old-school atmosphere.
Address: 217 4th Avenue Northeast, Austin, MN.
5. Tutti Fruitti Market Farm - Sauk Centre
If breakfast food is what you crave, look no further than this charming Sauk Centre eatery. From the delicious Hoe-Down Skillet to the delectable caramel roll french toast, there is something to satisfy every single craving! The dining room is so cozy, you may be tempted to stay for their amazing lunch specials. Even more charming: this family-owned restaurant is located right on their farm!
Address: 38914 County Road 186, Sauk Centre, MN.
6. Band Box Diner - Minneapolis
From the outside, Band Box Diner looks tiny. And does it ever live up to that promise on the inside! This 1939 diner, complete with the classic diner finishes, has a vintage charm with a homey feel that you just can’t find at larger joints. You won’t be disappointed, especially if you stick with classic foods like burgers and fries!
Address: 729 South 10th Street, Minneapolis.
7. Whistle Stop - Lake City
This little unassuming restaurant, located on the main drag in Lake City, doesn’t look like much from the outside. But looks can be deceiving. This little restaurant serves up big flavor in every one of its menu items. The Patty Melt is melt-in-your-mouth fantastic and the breakfast served all day, will please any appetite. Be sure to top off with a piece of delicious pie.
Address: 55026 US Highway 63, Lake City, MN.
8. Al's Breakfast - Minneapolis
Al’s Breakfast is probably the most famous tiny restaurant in Minnesota. At just 10 feet wide, this little eatery can serve just 14 diners at a time. Be prepared to wait your turn to belly up to the counter. But when you do, your wait will be forgotten! The small size isn’t the only notable thing at Al’s. The food is also delicious.
Address: 413 14th Avenue Southeast, Minneapolis.
9. Judy's Cafe - Two Harbors
This tiny restaurant is full of flavor! Serving tastes from grandma’s kitchen, the folks at Judy’s Cafe are as welcoming as they come. Whether you’re craving breakfast foods like eggs, toast, and hashbrowns, or something on a bun, Judy’s Cafe will always deliver. The hot pot roast sandwich, served with mashed potatoes and gravy, is sure to be a crowd pleaser. And when it’s in season, be sure to snag a piece of their delicious strawberry pie.
Address: 623 Seventh Avenue, Two Harbors, MN.
10. Tiny Diner - Minneapolis
Tiny Diner lives up to its name in size. But don't let this little diner fool you. They serve up meals packed with tons of flavor. Inside this quaint restaurant, you’ll find a classic diner look with only a few tables, and a long row of stools at the counter. From lunchtime classics to comfort foods galore, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your cravings at Tiny Diner.
Address: 1024 East 28th Street, Minneapolis, MN.
Have you been to any of these tiny but mighty restaurants? Let us know your favorites in the comments below!