Al's Breakfast is a throwback to the old school American diner. The coffee isn't nitro brew and the smell of bacon and hash frying on the flat top permeates the whole building. Which in Al's case is not hard to do because it has one of the smaller seating areas in Minneapolis. Al's Breakfast has been a staple of the quirky Dinkytown neighborhood since it was opened by Al Bergstrom in 1950.
Like any classic diner, the flat top is the workhorse at Al's. There is always something frying on the flat top. Al's doesn't have a freezer, deep fryer, or microwave oven because everything is made fresh to order. The scrambles are organized by season, and you can ask for your eggs cooked pretty much any way that's possible. One of the local favorites is the Jose, which includes hash-browns with homemade salsa poached eggs and cheddar cheese. For adventurous eaters there is always the west bank, an omelet cooked with mushroom and onions and then topped with strawberries and sour cream. The coffee at Al's is classic diner-style, served very hot and very strong and without any of the flourishes found at hipster coffee shops.
Al's is hardly an undiscovered gem. People in Minneapolis know how special the diner is, so a crowd forms out front just about every day. Making friends in the line is part of the charm at Al's and it does move fast. It is cash only so grab a couple of bucks, get your place in line, and soon you will be sipping on a coffee and watching a professional cook your eggs.
Cover photo courtesy of Hans Vivek via Unsplash.