MORE

The 8 best granolas in the Twin Cities

The granola at Common Roots
The granola at Common Roots
Sean McPherson

After your third brunch date in as many Sundays, your body will be asking for a holiday from the Hollandaise. Now is the time to point yourself in the direction of a granola-friendly eatery. Not only will this give your pocketbook a bit of a rest, as granola is often on the more affordable side, it will leave you more productive and less likely to be couch-ridden than the bloody Mary/bacon/omelet trinity you've been studying since college.

See also: Grain Free Guten Free Granola Snacks

At most breakfast spots and coffee shops in the Twin Cities one can order granola. Sometimes it's a dish of hastily thrown together yogurt and pre-made granola with a banana sliced up by the one kitchen staff they don't trust by the range. Granola is an afterthought for many establishments, something you bring out for the guy with the dietary restrictions or the lady asking for hot water and a grapefruit rind. But, for the more health-conscious, Birkenstock-wearing diners in the Twin Cities, there is now some granola worth traveling for. You just have to know where to look.

Fruit and yogurt with granola from Moose and Sadie's
Fruit and yogurt with granola from Moose and Sadie's
Sean McPherson

8. Moose and Sadie's 212 3rd Ave, Minneapolis

Moose and Sadie's is located at the epicenter of the North Loop young professional scene. If you feel a little self-conscious about eating a big omelette next to all the pencil thin data strategists we recommend the modest yogurt and granola bowl. At $5.50 this granola is a good deal, with sweet clusters and whole almonds in almost every bite. This isn't the easiest for silent, dignified granola consumption, but for a crunchy sweet snack on the small side, this spot is right on the money.

Granola from Trotter's Cafe
Granola from Trotter's Cafe
Sean McPherson

7. Trotter's Cafe 232 N. Cleveland Ave St. Paul

Trotter's has been a St. Paul institution since opening in 1989, and they've been doing the fresh ingredients, farm-to-table cuisine thing since long before it was trendy. In addition to their lunch and dinner menu, Trotter's is celebrated for its house-made granola, which they sell in bulk and as a breakfast entree ($6.50 with milk or yogurt, $7.95 with bananas and strawberries). Our bowl was filled with freshly cut fruit and an oaty granola that never got caught up in tooth-challenging clumps. Trotter's doesn't skimp on expensive ingredients inside the granola either, serving generous amounts of slivered almonds and cashews --though it could benefit from a touch more of a sweet honey fastener to keep everything together. At $7.95, it is one of the more expensive options on our list, but the ingredients and quality of fruit justify the upcharge.

6. Espresso Royale 411 14th Ave SE Dinkytown

The Dinkytown Espresso Royale is home to one of the best kept secrets in the granola universe. For years this location has been serving 16-ounce cups more than halfway filled with lightly strawberry flavored yogurt and topped with sweet granola that miraculously stays crunchy and crispy in the same container. You'll be glad they left the final fourth of the cup open because you'll need that space to feverishly stir the granola together as you race out to your car to dine. Next time you're waiting in a unfathomably long line at Al's Breakfast next door, abandon ship and dig into some of the finest granola in the Twin Cities. Get there early -- they've been known to sell out.

5. Birchwood Cafe 3311 East 25th Street Minneapolis

The Birchwood Cafe began serving their granola over 18 years ago, and not long after, customers were asking to pick it up in bulk to take home. That's all well and good, but the best way to enjoy Birchwood's granola is right from the source, accompanied by seasonal fruit and Kalona SuperNatural Yogurt. They call it F-Y-G and at $8 it is affordable compared to most Birchwood prices but still a little pricey for an everyday breakfast. Save it for a special morning and rest assured that Birchwood does not skimp on the quality of the granola, yogurt, or fruit.

 

Canteen Girl granola from Urban Bean
Canteen Girl granola from Urban Bean
Sean McPherson

4. Urban Bean Coffee 2401 Lyndale Ave. S. Minneapolis

The Urban Bean empire recently sold its Bryant Ave. location to Liz Abene, who rebranded the neighborhood nook as Canteen. During Liz's long tenure as an Urban Bean employee, she introduced her Canteen Girl granola which is now served at the Urban Bean on Lyndale and at her own shop on Bryant. This savory granola comes with a much deeper and earthier look and taste than your average granola. Served with sweet strawberries to complement the mildly savory oat flavor, this understated dish boasts some contrast that is lacking in the sweet-on-sweet granolas from other locations.

Granola from Nina's
Granola from Nina's
Sean McPherson

3. Nina's Coffee Cafe 165 Western Ave. St. Paul

Nina's is the coffee shop to beat in Cathedral Hill. There is a lot to explore on the menu, but there are few items as memorable as their granola, which comes packed with a powerful maple flavor and crunchy bits of flax and oats that keep every bite unique. Nina's also justifies their $7 granola charge by dropping a veritable fruit salad on top of this crunchy treat, throwing in bananas, apples, and blueberries. If maple isn't your thing, keep a safe distance from this granola, but if you're always looking for a way to fit more syrup in your life, you've found your breakfast of champions.

Granola from Maeve's
Granola from Maeve's
Sean McPherson

2. Maeve's 300 13th Ave NE Minneapolis

Maeve's just switched to making their granola in house and the results are nothing short of delicious. On our visit they were running low on the granola, but they gave us a head's up before our barista walked it over that it'd be a touch skimpy. We sure would've loved more: This sweet and oaty affair gets a tart boost from the raisins, bananas, and strawberries, and at $5.50, it is one of the more affordable granolas that includes freshly sliced fruit on the list.

Common Roots granola
Common Roots granola
Sean McPherson

1. Common Roots 2558 Lyndale Ave S Minneapolis

The granola at Common Roots has a reputation for being the best -- and for good reason. The counter-staff assured us that the granola is vegan, but the sweet honey flavor had us looking for the beehive. The texture splits the difference between the full crunch of a whole almond and mechanically chopped slivers. The sweet yogurt is spread onto a wide shallow bowl and the dish is finished with strawberries and blueberries. If you are trying to get your first taste of fancy granola, start at Common Roots.

Send your story tips to Hot Dish.



Use Current Location

Related Location

miles
Trotter's Cafe And Bakery

232 N. Cleveland Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55104

651-645-8950

www.trotterscafe.com


Sponsor Content