Sun Street Breads making Minneapolis a baking Mecca

Nicollet Avenue bakery uses ingredients like house-made granola and locally brewed beer

These exquisite breads, naturally, are the foundation of Sun Street's café offerings. "Desperation dinners around our house typically come between two slices of bread," Tofte jokes. Meals served before 11 a.m. are based on biscuits with a crackling crust, tender crumb, and rich, buttery flavor—they're better than most of the ones served north of the Mason-Dixon Line. The optimal way to eat these biscuits is drowned in the café's feisty sausage gravy, a comforting creaminess spiked with throat-tingling peppercorn bits. For excessively decadent diners, the Southern Fried Biscuit sandwich takes the concept one notch further by adding a chunk of fried chicken and a strip of bacon.

The build-your-own biscuit sandwiches offer various combinations of proteins (sausage, ham, bacon, a surprisingly good vegetarian pinto patty), eggs (scrambled, fried, basted), and cheeses (cheddar, Swiss, jack). But don't feel overwhelmed by all the permutations, as you really can't go wrong. The only combination to skip is a breakfast sandwich dubbed the Royale—a crepe filled with mushrooms, Swiss, and greens tucked into a biscuit—that comes out too heavy on the carbs.

Tofte also bakes an assortment of pastries for those who like to start the day sweet. Stare at the wares long enough and the regulars in line behind you will probably start offering their opinions. They'll point you toward the Downtowners, which are delicate rolls made with cinnamon-dusted croissant dough. While the Downtowners' spiral shape suggests they should be coated in icing, you'll really never miss it. The scones, which also come neighbor-recommended, are equally delicious, especially the ones filled with fresh raspberries and pastry cream that makes for a thick, gooey complement to the pastry's crumbliness. Sun Street's kolache come shaped like inner tubes and are equally buoyant—their soft, chewy frames are almost like glazed doughnuts. From the cookie selection, purists should try the assertive ginger confections that are capable of staying moist for days. Those with kitchen-sink tastes can go with the Crusher, a chocolate chip cookie studded with salty pretzels and bits of sugar cone.

The baker's goal is "to squeeze as much flavor out of the grain as possible," Solveig Tofte says
Emily Utne
The baker's goal is "to squeeze as much flavor out of the grain as possible," Solveig Tofte says
Emily Utne

Location Info


Sun Street Breads

4600 Nicollet Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55419

Category: Restaurant > Bakery

Region: Southwest Minneapolis


Sun Street Breads
4600 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis
Bakery items $1-$9

Come lunchtime, the Range sandwich is a satisfying pileup of pulled pork, coleslaw, and arugula on a pillowy hoagie roll, though it could perhaps use an additional condiment that's spicy or sweet. But Tofte's greatest meal achievement is her elevation of America's iconic dull, dry meatloaf into something delightful. Slices of Red River Valley potato flax bread make a robust base for a thick slice of Swedish potato sausage—it's made with pork, beef, potato, onion, and allspice, and baked into a loaf. The meat is slathered with apple butter and fried shallot cream cheese that lend a fabulous sweet, creamy tang. This sandwich makes a whole summer's worth of grilled hamburgers seem obsolete.

Tofte and Ouimet were wise to envision their bakery as a multipurpose business. Customers can experience Sun Street as a breakfast joint, a sandwich counter, or a coffee shop (they brew bright, smooth cups with beans from Dogwood roasters), in combination with a place to conduct grocery shopping. In response to the rise of local eating, there has been a subtle shift in consumer perception of food procurement, and Sun Street is part of that. It's a place where getting your daily bread doesn't feel like a chore but a nourishing social opportunity.

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