Hard Times Cafe

Twin Cities, Minnesota

Reviews


rating star

I went 20 years between visits to the Hard Times. I was happy to see how much they had improved the place since the 90s. Their kitchen is clean and up to date, and the food is delicious.

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rating star

Loved it, the food was great! I had the vegan biscuit breakfast with gravy, scrambled tofu, veg patty, and hash browns. Very tasty with good service, decor, and atmosphere. They have a nice tea variety and the Yerba Mate is wonderful.


rating star

While I enjoy just about any veg* restaurant, the food here isn't all that good. There are definitely a few other places around the Twin Cities where you can get a better veg* breakfast. Haven't tried lunch/dinner foods yet.

We had the vegan biscuits and gravy and they were OK. Also had the vegan helter skelter which was really bland.The scrambled tofu in it was not well prepared at all.


rating star

I love this place. I've only been a handful of times, but I'm continually impressed. The service is friendly (if not a little off-beat) and the portions are very generous for the price. The bakery case seems to be primarily vegan, there's lots of seating and the music isn't too loud. If I lived closer, I'd be there all the time.

I think my favorite menu item is the biscuits and gravy. Just don't forget to bring cash!


rating star

I'm starting to get very annoyed with the people on here complaining about the "customer service"
Hard times is VERY unique in the way they run the place. you grab your own menu, seat yourself, write down what you want, your name, and the price on a sheet of paper and hand the paper to the barista. When you food is done the cook yells your name.

There's not much interaction in that. I've never been glared at or even received an eye roll. No one has ever insulted my mother or called me ugly.

Sure it's a system that involves less interaction, but it's efficient and effective and NO ONE has ever been rude to me.

And as far as the food goes, it is simply fantastic. At the counter where they set your food for you to pick up, they have all sorts of yummy add ons including vegan spread, nutrition yeast, and hot sauce.

I've never had any better 100% vegetarian food.

This place is open 22 hours a day, which is great.

And as far as people calling the place dirty.. I'm willing to bet any Denny's is much dirtier than hard times.

At Hard Times all the tables, booths, and chairs, and counters are very clean. I wasn't bothered at all by any supposed, "uncleanliness"
at most I'd call it grungy.

Overall I LOVE Hard Times. fair price, great food, unique atmosphere.

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rating star

Don't expect gourmet cuisine. That's not what Hard Times is about. It's a greasy spoon kinda place. And damn do they serve it up right! I highly recommend the falafel platter or a tasty burrito. Hard Times is also great because it's collectively run, so you know you're supporting the workers directly rather than supporting some kind of hierarchical system in which the boss at the top lives large while the workers at the bottom scrape by.

You don't find many places like this... check it out!


rating star

So, Hard Times is pretty much my favorite restaurant. That said, I didn't give it 5 stars because you really have to know what you're getting at Hard Times and I could totally see someone having an unpleasant experience there.

The coffee: Really really thick, kind of murky. French Pressed. I love it-- it's some of my favorite coffee in the city, but it's too much for a lot of folks.

The baked goods: The Espresso Cupcake is the best cupcake i've gotten from a cafe. Their muffins are a little dense for me. Their cookies are usually really good. I don't like the peanut butter cup. They change it up a lot, and some of the best items are random one-offs.

The soups are really good, and just about everybody loves the vegan biscuits and gravy.

The service is quick, especially when it's not too busy. I've ordered soup and had it ready before I sat down. If you expect the staff to smile at you and compliment your shirt you'll be totally disappointed. On the flip side, if someone working there smiles at you or makes conversation, you'll know it's because they actually want to, rather than faking it to keep their manager happy. It's more honest that way.

Make sure you write what you want down on a slip of paper and put your name on the bottom, otherwise you'll piss off the barista. If you've got a super common name, like Matthew, make sure you put your last initial down so that you don't hear your name called, pick up someone with the same names food, and then come to blows thinking that you stole each others' food.

It's not actually dirty, just grungy. You can see the kitchen, and it's super clean and sanitary. The bathrooms are full of graffiti but people don't piss on the seat. The tables are carved up but they get wiped down as often as you'd expect from a cafe.

Hard Times is one of the few all vegetarian restaurants in the cities, and it's collectively run to boot! That alone makes me love it.


rating star

If you can get past the harmless but pretentious hipsters and also not so scary crusty kids this place is awesome. Very environmentally friendly with a co-op feel. I had pancakes with vegan butter when I went and it was pretty tasty (I normally don't enjoy vegan spread).

Some of the homeless people that hang out around the building are have pretty colorful personalities and make for some great stories.

The food is good but some of the counter workers aren't very friendly if you haven't been, but the free shelf makes up for salty attitudes


rating star

Vegan biscuits and gravy, oh how I love you.

Probably have ate here over 100 times in my life, and I just can't get enough. Have tried everything on the menu and what I usually recommend the most are the Vegan BISCUITS AND GRAVY! Also, the Philly Cheese Steak, and seitan Gyro. Their tofu scramble and vegan trash breakfast also win at life. Their soups are usually quite excellent also!

Also, their baked goods, particularly their cupcakes are AMAZING!
annnndddd their
Coffee= the best.

Image for Michelle Lewis

rating star

I have several vegan favorites at Hard Times: the seitan gyro, which is awesome and juicy and fresh, the tofu scramble served on brown rice (this tends to be a little heavy on the tofu for my taste, so I make a special request to up the veggies and go easy on the tofu, and the cooks are obliging), vegan tacos, vegan sloppy joe. The great thing about Hard Times is that the cooks always do each dish a little differently, according to their creative flair. I like the fact that the staff is independent and creative! The coffee is super fresh, made in a french press, and if there are a few little coffee grounds floating on the surface, it just makes it all seem a little more raw :)


rating star

I love this place! The workers do not go out of their way to be nice but they take your orders cook good food generally very fast. And once you get to know the people there they are actually very cool and love to chat. The menu is packed with vegetarian and vegan options clearly delineated. The prices are very reasonable. Coffee is made with a french press flavorful and strong.

I work nearby. I read a review that someone supposedly got sick after eating there. I have eaten there 2-4 times a week for the last 3 years so probably 300 plus times and never once felt ill. Yes the place is a bit grungy but that is what gives it such great character! If you have never had anything there the biscuits and gravy is a great bet and very inexpensive. They shred the potatoes if you order hash browns, they cut everything up fresh. Try it out for yourself. It is an extremely cool place and they do NOT serve any meat

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rating star

Atmosphere: 2.0
Definitely the grungy-artsy cafe type. Not very clean. Some of the decor was nice, quirky, and interesting, but it was just scattered across the place in a somewhat haphazard manner.

Service: 2.0
The service was quick, but rude. It would have been somewhat explainable if it had been busy when we went to visit, but it really wasn't. It's possible the employees were (all) just having bad days, but service really could have been better the evening we were there.

Food: 2.5
This review possibly needs revision for after I try more than just one dish and some cookies there. That said, the one dish I had, a tofu scramble dish with tortilla, was pretty bland. The "tofu scramble" parts tasted like tofu, the components didn't taste bad together, but certainly didn't complement each other. All-in-all, the entree I ordered was pretty nondescript. The two cookies I tried were really quite excellent, however. Especially the orange-spice sandwich cookie, which was very flavorful and surprisingly orangey.


rating star

The menu is clear about their definition of vegan vs. vegetarian, but this kitchen harbors virulent intestinal pathogens that can't read and are not compassionate to humans. My bowels are still erupting four days after a light snack at this place on Riverside Ave. I don't hold it against them that they are not good with customers, but they are messing with my health.


rating star

Our son took us to Hard Times for lunch. First time vegan experience, way better than I thought it would be! Bean Burritto (glutton-man-size) was great, salsa better than most, and the spicey tomato soup was excellent (great texture and flavor). Atmosphere - I'm so old it looked like a mix of beat-nick, hippie, punk, hobo and today. Clientele - all ages, dress, clothes, tatoos and piercings, very interesting. Barista and Cooks - all smiles yesterday. Background music - nice mix electric and accoustical. Cleanliness - tables clean, silverware clean, plates and glasses clean, counter- needed a little help (but it was lunch rush hour). Overall experience great! Will return during fall semester.


rating star

I LOVE this place and recommend it to anyone willing to overlook a grungy appearance. I swear their utensils and plates are clean.

People complain about the baristas and cooks being unfriendly, but it's part of their charm. Keep going and you will break through their shells. Their personalities don't detract from the overall experience.

Delicious food (my favorites: every kind of muffin, biscuits and gravy, french toast, vegan sloppy joes), breakfast all day (and I mean, ALL DAY... 22 hours) and interesting people. Love it.

Image for Benjamin Kutschied

rating star

If I had written this review six months ago, Hard Times would have received a much lower rating. Much lower. All it took was a barista with a good attitude to make my visit a great experience.

The food is good. I would even go so far as to call the Vegan Biscuit Breakfast with Gravy great. The service, however, has always been terrible. I don't expect any sort of royal treatment when I visit a cafe, but a customer shouldn't be made to feel like she or he is ruining an employee's day by placing an order.

I am happy to report that I have received excellent service the last few times I have eaten at Hard Times! The barista this morning was actually smiling. I ordered and paid for my food without him rolling his eyes at me once. The cook even acknowledged my presence when I thanked him for the food. Let's hope they keep this up!


rating star

I really don't know how I feel about the Hard Times Café. On one hand, it's totally awesome that they have marked vegan options and that it's an all vegetarian place. But all these complaints about the café's cleanliness and service are also completely valid.

I had a veggie wrap that didn't taste too great, so I ordered a side of hummus that was definitely missing something to. On my second trip I ordered the vegan grilled cheese. It was great to have greasy American food that was vegan, but the cheese was pretty gross. The tomato wild rice soup was good, though. And the price for a sandwich, soup and Naked Juice was about ten bucks, which was super cheap!

The place could use some cleaning, that's for sure. I enjoy the culture and atmosphere, and really -- you can clean the place without sacrificing that. The bathroom was worse than many freeway rest stops in the middle of nowhere. And there was ridiculously loud head-banging metal music with deep screaming that seriously made me consider going out in the freezing weather to eat in peace.


rating star

I've been to Hard Times a handful of times. I make better tofu scramble at home and get bored really quick with the abrasiveness of the people that work there. I don't know if gruffness is something that appeals to most folks but I'm paying you and supporting your business. There is no reason for you to be rude ALL THE TIME. I don't think I've ever encountered a single friendly person there. If you hate people so much, which I can relate to, perhaps you should find another line of work. That said- the Vegan biscuits and gravy are well worth all the sass.


rating star

Fun place, kind of a 70's punk atmosphere, grungy, loud, probably not the kind of place for a "first date" or anything like that, but they have good prices, great food, and an interesting clientele. I love that, as a vegan, I can eat pretty much anything from the menu. Remember to bring cash! I had the seitan gyro which was delicious, as well as a vegan brownie. Light and fluffy, perfect for a chocolate lover such as myself.


rating star

i love this place. my boyfriend and i go here when we want to spend little money on good food. we are big fans of their biscuits and gravy-THEY ARE THE BEST WE'VE EVER HAD! ANYWHERE! the cookies and treats cannot be beat. they make some of the ost interesting, delicious, affordable (fresh!) food out there. just make sure you prepare to pay only with cash and for a nice rustic atmosphere.


rating star

This is a great place to go for a casual meal at almost any time of the night.

You might have people ask for your vegan chocolate chip pancake if you don't eat it right away, but its a good place to eat when you're craving some vegan biscuits and gravy!

Always check the soup specials on the chalkboard, the options are amazing!


rating star

Yum yum yum, I love this place. I come here at least once a week, and have never had a bad meal or a bad experience with the service. The cooks and baristas are nice and efficient as long as you do your part to be a polite and attentive customer. I've been on a biscuits and gravy kick lately--a half order is a lot of food for just $3. Tasty, simple vegetarian food.


rating star

I am glad to see that the majority of reviews here are positive, but I would like to address those who say the service is lackluster, the restaurant is dirty, and the food is bad.

Yes, the folks who work at Hard Times are by and large a terse bunch. So what? If you want a bubbly waitress to pretend to be your friend for fifteen minutes, go to a restaurant. The help at Hard Times is cursory and even standoffish, but I am there for the food, not their company.

Yes, the bathrooms are scandalously putrid. Graffiti-laced and featuring chipped doors, no mirrors and off-white plastic toilets, it can be a fright to use the bathrooms. The floors do not appear to me to be any more gross than floors anywhere else, and tables are wiped down frequently. If you're concerned about sanitation in the food prep area (don't be) watch the cook for yourself as he and everything he does is plainly visible from the front counter.

The food is fucking fantastic. Get off your high horse. The made-from-scratch pastries available up front are made fresh daily and there is a constant rotation of new and interesting desserts to try. My recent favorite is peanut-butter-filled chocolate cookies. I can also recommend the seitan philly, biscuits and gravy, and their quesadillas.

Portions are good, prices are low, variety is in abundance. If you want to make friends, try a dating website, but for the love of god, don't try to make small talk with the baristas at Hard Times.


rating star

hard times has been my favorite restaurant in the twin cities for a couple years. the excellent vegetarian / vegan food and extremely reasonable prices make it somewhere i like to eat again and again. i went last weekend for the first time since becoming a raw food enthusiast, and i was at first nervous because i couldnt get my favorite sandwiches (the reuben or the banh mi, which is soooooo good) and the wonderful vegan baked goods (they also have 1/2 price ones that are only a day old and still tasty). but i ordered the garden salad, and at first i was only given a small bowl that lacked all the vegetables as stated on the menu. i was disappointed that this salad cost $5. i wasnt sure what to do at first, but i went back up to the counter and politely asked if it was the correct salad, and the cook was so nice to fix it right away and without a bad attitude at all. anyway, theres been a lot of reviews lately saying that the workers are rude, and i have never found that to be the case. my most recent visit proved very enjoyable and my interaction with the staff was certainly pleasant.


rating star

I am being generous with the "fair" rating. The attitude of the people working there is absurd. The food is quite awful. Contrary to popular belief, it is not that cheap. It's too bad, too. I would love to support an all-night vegan diner, but it's just a piss-poor place. Ah, fie; fie on it.


rating star

Wow, what a dump. The food might have been good, but I couldn't really eat it, as all I could think about was how dirty it was. The floor was dirty, but with the snow and tracking in, I could have overlooked that. The windows were streaked with grime. I have never seen a food establishment this dirty ever. I was with a group of people, otherwise I would have immediately left after walking in. The group did decide, never again.

If they clean the place significantly, I'd be willing to try it again. We need more vetetarian restaurants in the Twin Cities. It's too bad that this one was so dirty.


rating star

I love the Hard Time's menu which has many vegan options. I have ordered their vegan pancake twice, with two very different results. Once was at dinner time and the pancake was good, but very oily. The second time was for breakfast today and it was completely different - perfectly thick and fluffy without a hint of greasiness. I ordered cranberries in it, and they were tart, plump and juicy and it was the best pancake I have ever eaten (and I love pancakes!)
I have also ordered their East African peanut stew/soup and it had great flavor but could have been hotter in temperature.
Overall Hard Times offers a multitude of options for vegans and vegetarians at college student prices. Just be aware that you might order the same food and get completely different results every time.

*update* today I ordered the Shaman's Special with tempeh and got a wonderfully seasoned heaping dish of veggies, brown rice, tempeh, sesame seeds, and ginger. It was delicious.

Image for Cass Danger

rating star

Good food, shitty service. I was warned that the punk kids that work there weren't overly friendly but I still can't believe how rude they were. They were completely un-interested in customer service and it seemed like one of them was mocking a friend who brought in his own take-out container instead of getting plastic or styrofoam. Not cool.

That said, I really enjoyed the vegan gyro that I had. The chips that it came with were just plain old tortilla chips but I ordered a side of salsa, which was super flavorful and tasty. I tried a bite of my friend's vegan cheesteak and it was also very good. I had a chocolate-dipped orange cookie, which was so-so, but I really liked the banana-chocolate chip muffin that my friend ordered, it was surprisingly moist.

P.S. Don't use the bathroom.


rating star

I went there for the first time ever when I was doing some projects to prepare for the RNC protest and was hungry and everyone in my group always talks about it. So me and this other girl went and I ordered a Falafal and it was amazingly good! It was good with a huge plate full of food and it was even cheap. The atmosphere is awesome! The time I went there they were busy, so the staff came off as not so friendly, but I don't blame them. But I'm soooooooooooo looking forward to my next visit!!!!! :D


rating star

I love Hard Times. I've only been there a few times, but have had an overall good experience each time. I can never remember the name of the plate I get, but it's breakfast tofu, toast, and hashbrowns, all vegan, of course. I always get a half order, which is still a huge plate of food! The vegan sausage is good, as well as the vegan blueberry cobbler. They're not lying when they say they have the strongest cup of joe around.


rating star

If you're a person with even an okay palate, don't come here. The food is absolutely terrible, with no taste and textures often completely off. I can't express how horrible the whole experience of going to Hard Times is. The people who work there are not only rude, but mean about concerns of the customers. The vegan baked goods are...not that good. We got a peanut butter cup and it tasted like wood chippings. We have gone there over and over again thinking that the food would get better, but it just got worse. The soup just taste like water and ANY dish you get, taste exactly the same. Even if you put EVERY condiment they offer on, it still doesn't cover up how disgusting the food is. I would recommend walking a a few block over to the Triple Rock where the food AND service is amazing.


rating star

This is one of my favorite spots in the Twin Cities. The vegan biscuits & gravy is quite amazing, otherwise I order the steamed rice & veggies (with or without seitan - either way is delicious). The vegan bakery selection is usually very good. The vegan chocolate dipped orange shortbread cookies, the vegan banana chocolate chip muffins, and the chocolate espresso cupcakes are all my favorites.

When there are soups available, the west african peanut soup is the best soup in town.


rating star

For what this place is, hipster employee owned and operated co-op, it's perfect. If you want a fancy sit down, this isn't the place for you. Good food, limited non-breakfast selection, fun atmosphere.

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rating star

Hard Times is the ultimate punk-rock all-night vegetarian cafe and restaurant. At any given moment expect to see intellectual punkers, hobos with coffee, and everyday folks playing chess. The atmosphere is pure 1970s grunge, with a kick. The music is a bit too loud, but tolerable; the food is well-priced and tasty, with various comfort-foods, gyros, tacos, burgers, hummus and desserts. They can make pretty much anything vegan and everything is vegetarian. Waits for food are long and the service isn't the friendliest, but it's crisp and mostly efficient. Come to Hard Times for the food and the vibe. It's a Minneapolis institution.


rating star

What a unique, funky, cheap, and delicious place to eat, sip coffee, and chat with friends! Even if you go there for a meal, save room for a muffin or a cookie... they're definitely worth it. A great place for people-watching, as folks from all over the city come in. And food even non-veg*ns will love. If you're looking for a cheap, fresh meal, you can't beat Hard Times.


rating star

Awesome. I tend to go here now when its quiet Sunday AMs; but used to frequent the 1-4am in my younger days when smoking was allowed indoors. Awesome food, always different depending on the cook, which I love.

All-vegetarian, and a good amount of vegan options. I like the tofu scramble, very garlicky and brown rice a plus. I LOVE the seitan gyros. The coffee is infamous and I love it. Decent vegan baked goods.

Overall, great atmosphere, though you may not like it if punk rock, kinda dirty feel isn't your thing. Music can get really loud, lots of colorful characters from the neighborhood frequent this place, too.


rating star

this is a great place, i have lived all over the country and only in minneapolis have i found such awesome vegan biscuits and gravy. they are SO delicious.
the only problem with hard times is that you often have to wait a very long time to get your food. it can get very busy in there and there is usually only one person cooking. but if you have the time it is definitely worth the wait.


rating star

This place is awesome! It's a workers' cooperative, and the atmosphere was therefore a breath of fresh air. Highly recommended!


rating star

Both the atmosphere and good ol' diner food in vegan and vegetarian styles make this place fantastic. It vies for my wandering attention on the West Bank with the Triple Rock. Like the T-Rock, it is biker- and vegan-friendly. And they're open almost 24 hours. (Closed from 4-6 a.m., I think.)

Food portions are very large and very affordable as well. My favorite is the black beans, rice, salsa and kale, which goes for about $6-7 for a heaping plateful. Good coffee. Great place to hang out with a group or by yourself to catch up on reading. Informal, collective, eclectic.


rating star

I recently ate here for the first time and was very pleased with my vegan seitan gyro and my vegan brownie. I also had some kind of vegan chickpea soup which was good, but not as good as the brownie or gyro. My companion got a vegan muffin, a side of vegan sausage and the vegan Helter Skelter - all of which he thought were tasty, though the toast was not good (part burnt & part undone). The atmosphere was a little unpleasant, with lots of people walking through and a little too noisy. But we'll definitely go back for the food. p.s. - open quite late!


rating star

Update: Desserts continue to be outstanding and cheap. The Vegan Helter Skelter is a ginormous amount of food! The veggie bean burrito is bland, but again - lots of food.

Tons of choices, reasonable prices, large amounts of food. I ate here with five other people and everyone's food looked great. I had the seitan gyro on the recommendation of these reviews, and while it was good, I was expecting a little more magic after all the fuss. It was good, though, and I would recommend it. The carrot ginger pecan muffins are also excellent. My only issue was that I am pretty certain that there was some rotten lettuce in my sandwich and when I asked about it they told me it must have just gotten steamed. They were really busy so I didn't push it, but if there's something wrong with your food, it will pay to be assertive about it.


rating star

The staff was super nice and I loved what I ordered.


rating star

ok- i have to start out with the absolute confession of bias heart and head - but HTC is more than an eatery - it's a haven, a home for those that need it. i've been coming to the hard times since i was 14 and have loved it through all it's transformations, struggles, and acquittals (pun intended). not only are you in the middle of one of the few and true random and chaotic spots left in the world, but you get to eat awesome helpings of potatoes, veggies, beans and soup to go with it. Top this off with the coffee 'strong enough to defend itself' as their t-shirts once said and you have the best place in the world to spend an a hour, a day, or in my case, 13 years. get thee to the hard times fool! why art thou not there now?


rating star

I love Hard Times - the atmosphere is laid back, they're open late (and early), the food is great, and you never know what you'll see.

Probably my favorite part about Hard Times is the ever-changing menu, and the fact that you can get the same dish twice but have them completely different. I guess that doesn't appeal to everyone, but it keeps HTC as one of my top veg places to go. :)


rating star

If you can deal with the fact that the place is dirty and the staff rude, the food is actually pretty darn good.


rating star

I like that Hard Times has so many vegan options, is open late, and it's collectively run! Their vegan shortbread cookies are my favorite thing there and the selection of vegan baked goods is impressive! I'm not a big fan of the food though. I've ate food here twice and just recently tried their tofu scramble and it was pretty bland.

Image for Dave Rolsky

rating star

Hard Times makes some really good vegan desserts. The non-dessert food isn't too exciting but it's pretty cheap. I like the fact that it's open very late, too. A perfect place for late night dessert and tea.


rating star

I've been hanging out here for longer than it's been the Hard Times, and I still love this place. I eat meat, but I used to be vegan and I know good food when I get it. And this, my friends, is just damn good food. I wish you could still smoke inside. Oh well, I still go to Hard Times at least once a day, even if it's just for coffee. Don't forget the coffee. And it's (I think) about the cheapest place in town that actually serves real food. I mean stuff that doesn't come in a vacu-packed frozen brick. I've been in the kitchen, folks, and they really do make everything on site. No foolin'. Anyway, Hard Times gets my vote for best eats/coffee anywhere an the Twin Cities.

Image for Ramona

rating star

Update: I used to give Hard Times an 8 because it was too smokey but since it's now non-smoking I think it fully deserves a 9.

I really like Hard Times Cafe! All their food is vegetarian, it's reasonably priced, it's very close to campus, and the people there are never snobbish! They always have a ton of vegan options, including vegan omlets, gyros, falafel plates, tacos, rice and vegetables, soups, salads, burgers, pancakes, muffins, and cookies. Plus they are a co-op and they once made brownies for our group (CAA-UMNTC) to give out to students for free!


rating star

I wish I could move HTC with me wherever I go! 2 words, honestly: Seitan Gyros (someone said tempeh earlier, so maybe I have the wrong 2 words, but it's 2 words nonetheless). This place has fantastic vegan and veggie food, fair trade coffee, good reading, a great eclectic customer base, etc etc etc. One of my favorite eateries nationwide. I go there whenever I get back to the Twin Cities.


rating star

I'm a really big fan of the atmosphere as well. It's nice to have a place to hang out and talk, strategize, etc. until 4am when most places are closed. I can't really judge the food as much because i've only been there an had the same thing twice (how adventurous of me), but what I had I liked. The banana bread and the veggie burger i had were pretty good, but i'm not a big fan of the cheeze that was added the second time I tried the veggie burger. I also really like that's it's collectively owned and run, because most places I have a hard time supporting even if they have vegan options but still exploit their workers.


rating star

The Hard Times is one of the things that I actually miss about Minnesota, having relocated to CA not long ago. I used to make daily runs for the vegan pancakes and the vegan tempeh gyro is to die for. Unlike some people I know, I actually love the atmosphere. I've met some very unusual and dear friends there. They have a pretty good library too if you forgot to bring that favorite read. I always knew that if I suddenly had the urge to hear the pogues, eat tofu, and read Anais Nin at 3am, I had a place to go.


rating star

I don't care to spend much time at the cafe itself, but I do love thier yummy desserts! Some of the better vegan baked goods to be found in Minneapolis (which can also be purchased at the nearby North Country Co-op.)


rating star

Great vegan food at a cheap price! Lots of vegetarian stuff that can easily be made vegan, such a getting a haystack (big plate of taco fixings/ $6) without the cheese and sour cream. I also had vegan 3 berry pie there last week that was great but only available once in a while. It feel great to go some place that's collectively run, but my only gripe is how smokey the place is. They have a tiny non-smoking section with a ton of plants and weird art made from bike parts that I hide in.

Image for Gregory

rating star

You have to love Hard Times. It has good food at a fairly reasonable price, and it caters to a crowd often overlooked elsewhere. The bicycling culture that is drawn here is unequaled in the Twin Cities. Depending on your perspective, the loud music, the strange people, and smokey atmosphere may be enough to scare you away or draw you in. Rarely is a stop here uneventful.

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