Few Minnesota diners are open all night. We are fortunate to have Mickey’s Diner and The Nicollet Dinner anchor each of our two major downtown cities serving comfort food to hungry customers at any hour. Three other local eateries are also accessible almost any day of the week and at any time of the day. This rounds out the best five for a late-night nosh.
36 W. 7th St.
St Paul, MN 55102
Legendary Mickey’s Diner, built in the 1930s as a rail car in New Jersey, attracts nostalgic gourmands to downtown St Paul every hour of the day and every day of the year. This Minnesota institution also attracts historians, food channel personalities, moviemakers and replica artifact makers. The food is not bad either. Diners will find a good assortment to breakfast items and sandwiches to choose from. Dinners include choice of fried chicken or New York Strip. Be sure to add Mickey’s famous Potatoes O’Brien to any order.
The Nicollet Diner
1428 Nicollet Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
A few distinguishing characteristics of this always-open eatery are the huge portions, spiked milkshakes and hard floats. In addition, MacDonald’s was not the first malt shop to offer breakfast any time of day or night. Any time you are hungry for a fresh hamburger with hand cut fries, The Nicollet is open. The prices are reasonable when considering you can share a sandwich with your date or buy a large malt big enough to share with all your friends.
2548 Hennepin Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55405
The Uptown offers an eclectic selection of hearty breakfasts, like monster-sized pineapple upside down pancakes and creative concoctions of eggs or potatoes. Try the various Hollandaise creations like Caprese Benedict or Crab Cake Benedict. The lunch menu includes burger, soup and sandwich selections. Uptown’s highly skilled staff delivers these comfort foods with amazing speed to your table.
4800 Central Ave. N.E.
Columbia Heights, MN 55421
Newbies should try the Flameburger with hash browns even though the menu offers entrees like chicken, fried fish, shrimp and steak. The safe bet in any restaurant is to order the most popular item. This family-owned restaurant has perfected flame-searing ground beef on a char broiler by doing business since 1955. Order the quarter pound, half pound or even the one-pound Flameburger for a real treat.
Hard Times Café
1821 Riverside Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55454
Earthy and casual with bike parking outside, this west bank location is more conducive to college students’ late night style of life. Vegetarians and vegans especially like the budget-conscious selection of sustenance. Especially popular is the veggie wrap, hummus platter, quesadilla and seitan philly. Hard Times serves a mean burger, tasty gyros, and mouth-watering tacos. Its baked goods make for a delicious accompaniment to an unbelievable assortment of flavorful tea.