On bad days, we seek familiarity, often times in the form of food. Comfort food, like our parents and grandparents made, evoke nostalgic feelings, which seemingly always make us feel better. Minneapolis and Saint Paul have a variety of thriving small businesses with incredible mom & pop restaurants. No matter where you’re from, you’ll find comfort in food in the Twin Cities. Here are the 11 best mom & pop restaurants in Minneapolis-Saint Paul.
1. Al's Breakfast
Nothing says cozy like pancakes and waffles along a counter with 13 other people. Al's Breakfast is a classic mom & pop joint in Dinkytown and has been serving up the best breakfast around since the 1950s. It's a small spot, but an amazing one. Al's Breakfast, 413 4th St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414.
2. Victor's 1959 Cafe
Who doesn't love a snug Cuban cafe that serves traditional food? It's impossible to not fall in love with Victor's 1959 Cafe once you sink your teeth into one of their medianoche cubanos. Even though this is a mom & pop restaurant, it's a good idea to make reservations since the tiny cafe only has a few tables. Victor's 1959 Cafe, 3756 Grand Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55409.
3. Key's Cafe
Key's Cafe is an institution in the Twin Cities. With three of their nine locations in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, you're never far away from the perfect patty melt or decadent brownie.
You wouldn't assume you'd be able to find incredible home cooked Ecuadorian food in Minneapolis, but you'll be pleasantly surprised. Chimborazo is a small, vibrant spot in Northeast Minneapolis that is just waiting to serve you the best slow roasted meat or delectable yuca. Chimborazo, 2851 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418.
5. Curran's Family Restaurant
At first glance, this restaurant doesn't seem to say much, but it's just the place when you're seeking comfort food. We recommend the homemade pot roast that will remind you of your grandma's. Curran's Family Restaurant, 4201 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409.
6. Kramarczuk's Eastern European Deli
Borscht, cabbage rolls, and pierogies aplenty, this James Beard Foundation favorite in Northeast is the ultimate stop for Eastern European comfort food. Kramarczuk's has been owned and operated by the Kramarczuk's since 1954. Kramarczuk's Eastern European Deli, 215 E Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55414.
7. My Huong Kitchen
The Whittier neighborhood has many amazing Vietnamese restaurants, but there isn't one quite like My Huong Kitchen. Their pho is the perfect way to slurp your way to recovery from any ailment and their spring rolls are what dreams are made of. Nothing says mom & pop restaurant like this place. My Huong Kitchen, 2718 Nicollet Ave. #101B, Minneapolis, MN 55408.
8. Hot Plate
Quirky and family friendly breakfast spots are something everyone in Minneapolis and Saint Paul can resonate with. This mom and pop restaurant knows its way around eggs and all other breakfast fare. Hot Plate, 5204 Bloomington Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55417.
9. It's Greek To Me
Sometimes we all need a little bit of elevated comfort food; family owned and operated It's Greek To Me is the best spot to get a beautifully roasted rack of lamb and superbly executed moussaka. These flavors ooze nostalgia. It's Greek To Me, 626 W Lake St., Minneapolis, MN 55408.
10. Mickey's Diner
Mickey's Diner is one of the most important spots in all of the Twin Cities. Who doesn't want down home comfort fare served at a diner car? Mickey's is proudly open 24 hours a day, so whenever you need your fix for a short stack of pancakes or a burger, you have a place to go. Mickey's Diner, 36 7th St. W, Saint Paul, MN 55102.
11. Our Kitchen
Walking into Our Kitchen makes you feel like you're at home. The exterior looks like a small house, and inside you'll find some stellar home cooked breakfast and lunch. You'll almost expect mom & pop to come around the corner to greet you. Our Kitchen, 813 W 36th St., Minneapolis, MN 55408.
There are just some days where all you need is a proper home cooked meal. Lucky for us in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, we have a million places to choose from for our comfort food. What’s your favorite mom & pop restaurant in the Twin Cities? Let us know in the comments below.