The South has headed north in the form of great food. While you still might find the very best southern-fried goodness below the Mason-Dixon, there are more than a couple places here in Minnesota that will hit the spot. Chicken fried steak is a classic dish that needs no introduction, and you won’t find it done better anywhere in Minnesota than the following five restaurants. Just make sure you take a little time to recover after you’ve finished eating.
Chicken fried steak doesn’t get much more classic than this: juicy, chicken fried steak with corn grits, country gravy and two over easy eggs. It’s a savory delicious meal that embodies everything that the dish should; it’s soul-hugging comfort food that will have you wondering if you’ll make it home before you collapse completely into a blissful state of satisfaction. The dish is only found on the brunch menu, but it’s definitely worth pulling yourself out of bed for (especially when you add one of Eat Street’s awesome cocktails on the side).
509 1st Ave. N.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55413
Magnolia’s has stood for decades serving up classic diner food in a classic diner setting, and those from the neighborhood can attest that the restaurant hasn’t lost a step. Known for its fried chicken (which you can get in bulk to-go), the country fried steak is a must-try for breakfast (with eggs) and dinner (no eggs). It’s an unassuming little restaurant, one you might miss if you didn’t know it was there, but when you leave full and satisfied, you’ll be happy to have found it.
2859 Johnson St. N.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55418
Check out this small northeast Minneapolis gem for any meal, but the chicken fried steak and eggs for brunch is an experience you’ll keep coming back for. The steak is chopped and fried just enough to get that perfect crisp without getting too heavy, covered in sausage gravy and two eggs, with hash browns on the side. The dish might not be a meal you could have everyday, as food comas are a real thing, but when you’re looking for a big Sunday meal, you really can’t do much better.
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This small diner serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner in St. Paul’s Merriam Park neighborhood. Though slightly overshadowed by the massive and historic O’ Gara’s right next door, Neighborhood Cafe might be the best place for a bite in the growing destination district at Snelling and Selby Avenues. The fried steak is always excellent here, and the Andouille sausage gravy adds just the right amount of spice. Added bonus: Try the chicken fried steak at any time of the day, before or after a day of shopping in the area, as it is available all day long.
Hot Plate is a unique little restaurant tucked away in Minneapolis’ Nokomis neighborhood. It has quirky decor, with walls covered in hand painted pictures and trinkets you might find in your grandma’s attic. It’s a best-kept secret kind of place that doesn’t even have a website. And, finally, it’s one of the best places in Minneapolis for chicken fried steak. The savory gravy has a slightly sweet note to eat to keep it balanced, and the steak is as juicy and delicious as they come. It’s worth seeking out this restaurant for breakfast any day of the week.
Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at Examiner.com, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.