Hard Times Cafe

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 37 reviews )

1821 Riverside Ave (at Cedar Ave, Twin Cities), Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, 55454

Minneapolis vegetarian cafe with an extensive menu that includes vegan pancake, stir fry with choice of tempeh, tofu, or seitan, and greasy spoon style dishes like breakfast eggs, toast, and hash brown. Strong organic coffee. Open Mon-Sun 12:00am-4:00am, Mon-Sun 6:00am-12:00am.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo

Reviews (37)

First Review by condekedar

Great food, open 22/7 - Edit

Love to support Minneapolis' employee-owned, local, all vegetarian staple.
Love the banh mi! Huge breakfast menu! Large portions. Cash-only. Yummy bakery items. Clean but on the grungey side.

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excellent Banh mi - Edit

We love this place! Everything we've had is really good especially the bahn mi (Vietnamese sandwich).

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Hangover Heaven - Edit

I was skeptical at first and confused with the ordering process, but the food was awesome. After visiting a few bars the night before, this was exactly the breakfast needed to recover. Huge helpings, delicious, greasy, well-seasoned vegan breakfast. Loved it.

Pros: Comfort Food, Vegan Breakfast, Well-Seasoned Tofu Scramble

Cons: Write your own tickets

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Great Options - Edit

Stylish place to eat.

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If you need early-morning beans, here it is - Edit

Lots and lots and lots of beans. I could not finish the whole plate. I liked the large selection and the prices, but wasn't crazy about the room-temperature water I got with my meal. Great hours.

Why so many beans?

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Reviewer Avatar

  Contributions +116

Good Times at Hard Times - Edit

We enjoyed our experience at Hard Times Cafe. The food was great and affordable with many options to choose from including all day breakfast. There was also a variety of vegan baked goods and a wide range of sodas and warm drinks. It was kind of loud but the staff was friendly and they had board games!

Pros: many vegan options, great baked goods, unique atmosphere

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rice and bean realness - Edit

Ordered a tempeh lettuce tomato sandwich with red bean chili for 9.25. The Sammy was really good, and the soup was on point and spicy. Everything was well seasoned. Couldn't finish it. My friend got a plate of rice and beans which was only $3 and was about 10 inches wide. Three times as many rice and beans and she could eat. So worth the price.

Pros: open til early am , has wheelchair access ramp , is near many Pokemon go pokestops

Cons: rice and beans had zero seasoning, but for $3 who

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Good value. Big menu. Quality depends on who is cooking. - Edit

Update in June 2016: The staff behind the counter told me that they are no longer using honey in any items marked "vegan," including their bread and buns. They have not updated the menu to reflect this (the first page of the menu still has the bizarre statement that items marked vegan might include honey), however, and two of the guys didn't even realize what was written in the menu, so it's unclear whether this is a deliberate change in policy or just happened to be the case today, so vegans are advised to ask about honey just to be sure (until they update the statement on the first page of the menu).

Original review, from 16 Oct 2012:

First off, vegans beware that Hard Times, for some strange reason, takes the liberty of redefining the word "vegan" to mean simply "no meat, eggs, or dairy." Apparently they don't realize that "vegan," by definition, means no animal products whatsoever, because they state on their menu that some of their items marked "vegan" include honey. So be careful.

That said, the food is tasty. Much of what's on offer is comfort food, but they also have some more salubrious selections. There are several vegan desserts.

Service varies depending on who you happen to get standing in front of you, ranging from really extra-good to pretty apathetic.

The location is very convenient to the Minneapolis campus of UM.

If they were to fix the erroneous "vegan" definition, clean the bathroom, and keep the tables wiped, i'd give them 4 cows.

As for the loo, well, i think "punk rock gas station" is a fair description.

Pros: Very affordable, extensive menu, delicious (depending on who is cooking)

Cons: Menu says some items marked "vegan" contain honey, quality of preparation varies a lot depending on w

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Crunchy dive deliciousness with patience and cash - Edit

You might not want to go here if you've never been here before because it's sort of a dive and has an energy that says: only those who know, will dine here. What's there to know? How to order, how to be patient and how payment is cash only.

After that, if you can find a menu... You're golden. The food here has maybe 5 healthful options!? The rest is comfort diner style college kid feed me I am mad hungry portions of food. Check your nutrition goals at the door and you're good.

Most people come for a beverage and pastry/ cookie/ muffin... But with crazy hours and an extensive menu... While there, you may order up some huevos rancheros or tofu scramble or hash browns or something else you didn't know you wanted until you say the orders other diners hauled to their tables after their names were beckoned.

Food is simple but fresh and good, satisfying and tasty. Bring cash. It would be a shame to miss out on something that peaks your tastebuds' interests!

Pros: Hours and prices and portions , Vegan friendly, Vegan baked goods

Cons: Divey , Cash only

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yum yum yum! - Edit

Love this place and the vibes and the prices and the food is great! I had a vegan seitan philly cheese steak and an iced chai latte with soymilk :) Free wifi!

Pros: free wifi, sweet culture, delicious cheap food

Cons: wish parking was easier/cheaper

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Phenomenal! - Edit

Excellent vegan and vegetarian choices. Breakfast served all day. Amazing espresso drinks and tea varieties. Hip interior. Cheap street parking in front. Highly recommend!!

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Super cool - Edit

Hardtimes has a expansive menu of vegan items ranging from breakfast to desert. It's hard to complain with prices this low and food this good.

Pros: Cool staff, Great food, Home to memories

Cons: one jerky server I've met

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Hard Times Cafe Best for Vegan Comfort Food! - Edit

The best place for vegan comfort food. Prices are amazing, staff very supportive of vegans; bakery even offers great vegan muffins, cupcakes & cookies . Great, friendly casual atmosphere. Very generous portion sizes. Very convenient also, closed only 4-6 am every day. Down side: cash only.

Pros: Great food veg/vegan., Very inexpensive., Large portions.

Cons: Cash only.

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yum! - Edit

Cheap veg/vegan diner food. What more could you want! Biscuits and gravy are my jaaaaaam. Cash only.

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eh. - Edit

So this place had pretty good food, I will admit. However, due to its atmosphere I probably won't be going back.

Pros: good food

Cons: creepy atmosphere

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Awesome Bakery Case - Edit

At first I was turned off by the looks of the place, and then I tasted the food. Awesome. One of my favorite vegan places in Minneapolis. I am in love with the vegan rancheros and the bakery case. The gyro, biscuits, and others are good but those are my faves. Walk in, write your order on the ticket, pay cash only, and get a vegan cupcake while you wait. Day old muffins are usually $1 and huge. I can always count on hard times for cheap, tasty vegan muffins and cupcakes.

I added pictures for all six pages of their menu since they don't have a website.

Pros: Cheap, Tasty, Hours

Cons: Cash Only, No website

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ugh. - Edit

Terrible atmosphere. Very unfriendly staff. Blaring obnoxious heavy metal music.

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Greasy spoon with metal soundtrack - Edit

This place is great. Punk. Rock.

There's a sign on the door letting you know they have a puncture repair kit in case you've got a flat tyre on your bike.

And they played the whole of Iron Maiden's 'Somewhere In Time' album while i was in there. So for music, and pleasant regression to teenage metal days, five stars.

As for the food, I had the seitan fajita's and a side salad. The portions were large and the prices were cheap.

Awesome place!

Pros: Music, inexpensive, vegan friendly

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