Mickey’s Diner is one of the only original classic dining cars still in operation in the Midwest. It’s a St. Paul institution and has won accolades as one of America’s best diners by reviewers from Gourmet to the Food Network.
In addition, Mickey’s is on the National Register of Historic Places. This architectural gem was manufactured in New Jersey in 1937, and opened to hungry St. Paulites in 1939. Its red-and-yellow exterior, closely resembling a railroad dining car of that era, sports wide train-style windows and brightly-lit, Art Deco signage.
With its shiny facade, it’s no wonder Mickey’s and has been featured in several full-length motion pictures including The Mighty Ducks movies, Jingle All The Way, and A Prairie Home Companion. Yet Mickey’s popularity doesn’t derive only from its classic movie star good looks. Mickey’s is just plain fun.
Inside, four booths and 17 stools snugly adjoin a long serving counter, with griddles, grills, coffee urns, Mixmasters, and virtually every other kitchen accoutrement known to man carefully clustered behind the counter. Climb up on a stool and enjoy Mickey’s charmingly sassy and irreverent cooks and servers add to the 30’s ambiance.
Oh, yes, there’s the food, too. Mickey’s features the short order menu you might expect in a classic diner. Yet, the food is cut above what one might imagine with meats, dairy products and bakery items are all locally sourced. They make delicious soups and stews in-house from scratch, and the aromatic coffee is ground fresh and roasted locally.
Breakfast (served 24/7) includes Mickey’s frisbee-sized buttermilk pancakes, fluffy three-egg omelets, tasty breakfast meats and crispy hash browns/potatoes O’Brian. Hungry diners order juicy burgers and grilled sandwiches along with Mickey’s famous bean soup, chili and Mulligan stew. Entrees include fish and chips, homemade fried chicken, pork chops, strip steak and liver and onions. It’s all grilled before your eyes.
But save a little space in your tummy for a classic hand-dipped shakes and malts and some of the best apple pie around.
Tiny and popular, Mickey’s is best visited slightly off the regular dining hours to avoid a wait.