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“Not much to look at but a fun experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Al's Breakfast

Al's Breakfast
413 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414-2005 (University / Dinkytown)
612-331-9991
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Ranked #34 of 1,583 Restaurants in Minneapolis
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: American, Coffee Shop, Diner
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Dining on a budget
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch
Neighborhood: University / Dinkytown
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Top Contributor
379 reviews 379 reviews
162 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 142 cities Reviews in 142 cities
272 helpful votes 272 helpful votes
“Not much to look at but a fun experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

Al’s Breakfast is an old fashioned, cash only diner located in the center of Dinkytown next to the University of Minnesota campus. From both the outside and inside it looks like a dive but the food and experience are great. We arrived at about 8:30 AM on a Saturday morning and all the chairs were full but the wait was not too bad. The place is TINY so it is tough to move around when you have to move from the line to your seat. Don’t hang up your jacket in the back unless you know you are sitting in the back or you will need to fight your way back through the crowd.

While waiting in line you can look at all the interesting old memorabilia and cash from many different countries that is hanging on the wall across from the counter. It is also fun to watch the manager keep the line in order and organize when and where everyone will sit. Don’t get in line before your entire party arrives as they will call you out and send you back outside. They seat you as space opens up. My wife and daughter were seated about 5 minutes before me.

I had French toast with homemade syrup and my wife and daughter had ham and cheese omelets with a side of hash browns. Everything tasted really good. The hash browns were moist and not dry and tasted great (probably not real good for you). If you are in a big hurry do not get an omelet as they take the longest (the pancakes are served quickly).

The servers and fry cook were friendly, helpful and fun to watch. Since you can only sit at the counter they can tell when you need more coffee or need to clear your plate. This is a great place to eat breakfast and I highly recommend it.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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152 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sequim, Washington
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“A step back in time.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

Al,s Breakfast. Is a small cash only dinner where patrons wait behind behind those eating at the counter stools. There is a reason for the line to get served, mainly, the ample fresh cooked food and friendly down home service. This is a landmark which has served th U district for over 50 years and probably has changed little in that time.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver Island, Canada
Top Contributor
142 reviews 142 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
“You saw it on 3 D's”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

This classic diner is just as seen on "Diners Drive-ins and Dives". Excellent breakfasts (amazing pancakes and Corned beef hash). Only 13 seats at the counter so we went on a Monday morning and only waited about 20 minutes

Visited January 2013
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minneapolis
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“An Institution”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

It's like being in the front row of a theatrical production, with the cast just begging for you to interact with them. Insult the cook about the hash browns and let the fun begin. Truly a great place to eat. As a bonus the food is quite good.

Visited April 2012
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Minnesota
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“I cannot believe I am saying this.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

Okay, so it is hard to even find this place. It is one of the dingiest, dirtiest places. Broken windows, worn out dirty little hole in the wall. The people were waiting outside - and it was very cold. So I was determined to try it. We waited outside for 30 minutes until we got inside the door. If you are claustrophobic (which I am) it is a lesson in perserverence. So we get inside the tiny door (very tiny) and then finally into the tiny, tiny, tiny space behind the stools which are full of patrons .
We are almost on top of them. If you put your head back you whack your head on the coat hooks.

So I am angry, hungry, feeling penned in, but determined....
The staff - well, how can I put it ... crazy, tattooed, foolery, devil may care, screaming, jumping. I am carried away. The food looked good and everyone was enjoying, as fast as they could as they were getting drooled on by patrons hovering over them.

So we sit, and get coffee, then a space opens up and we are told to scoot down, dishes and all. I order the blueberry pancakes as I have heard about them. I cannot believe they could be THAT good. My husband orders an egg dish.

Okay, I am aghast that I am going to say this. They are heaven and I now understand - the wait, the overcoming of close proximity and the dirt. Loved them and am still thinking about them to this minute. Darn it. What an experience.

PS. Don't take a date there unless she is a college student on your first date. Unless you blindfold her and let her get a taste of pancakes first.

Visited January 2013
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