I left Minnesota January, 1992. While I'd love to move back, when I have visited there's just one place that I absolutely have to go to before leaving - Al's Breakfast. It's literally a hole in the wall serving breakfast, but the pancakes are the best you'll ever eat.
It's about ten feet wide and seats fourteen at the counter. There's enough room behind the seats for a single line of people waiting for seats and in winter this space is also taken up by the parkas hanging on the wall hooks. I've waited in -10 weather to get in.
Don't believe how small it is? Here's a couple pictures:
- http://www.lileks.com/mpls/uofm/dinkytown/als.html (Lileks)
Once in, I always recommend the tall stack of whole wheat walnut blueberry pancakes. I am drooling just thinking about it. Also the strawberry and sour cream omelet, I think it's called the West Bank. Al's also has what I consider to be the perfect hash browns. Recognizing the significance of Al's Breakfast, they were awarded the 2004 James Beard Classic award.
If you ever find yourself in the Twin Cities, you must eat there. Just head to the University of Minnesota and stop in at Dinkytown. Get there early because they close at 1pm.