Classic breakfast-only counter near the University of Minnesota campus.
A Minnesota dining icon. Unscripted short-order theatrics ("Short stack, two smoky mush with ham on a round and short-short whole-wheat Wally blues") are an off-the-menu side dish that's usually served up at tiny, 14-seat Al's. And the main course? Pancakes. You can't find better ones anywhere, particularly the slightly tangy buttermilks, which fry up hazelnut brown and laced with crunchy walnuts and pert blueberries. Al's griddlemasters also craft the best waffles in the state, sizzling bacon, perfectly poached eggs and big fluffy stuffed omelets. A Dinkytown institution, Al's is a 2004 winner of the James Beard Foundation's "America's Classics" award.
413 14th Av. SE.
6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.