French Meadow Bakery and Cafe

Twin Cities, Minnesota


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Classic Vegan Breakfast: 5 Stars.

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They have awesome pastries and great food all around. It's a bit expensive for minneapolis, but you sure get yer money's worth.

Go for breakfast and get the won't be dissapointed, I'll tell you that much.
Go for lunch or dinner too.

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This place rocks and is definitely my favorite restaurant in the Twin Cities. I go there a couple times a month and am always happy with the service & the food. The tempeh cutlet and bruschetta are amazing, and their vegan specials have never let me down. Specifically, they had these great northern bean cakes once that were phenomenal. At night the atmosphere is romantic, and during the day it's sunny & bright. The vegan breakfasts are wonderful - I recommend the oatmeal and the classic vegan breakfast. BONUS: Half-priced bottles of wine Sunday through Wednesday nights.

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Though there are only 6 or so vegan options I had a hard time choosing. I went with their "Classic Vegan Breakfast" which intrigued me most. It consisted of tofu scramble, hash browns, vegan sausage, and toast. The scramble had great texture and flavor. I panicked when I tried the vegan sausage, it was frighteningly convincing.

The atmosphere is homey. It was packed when I went for Saturday brunch. I did not see any vegan pastries in the cases but I didn't ask. I felt the prices for breakfast items were more than fair considering the quality and amount you get. I saw quite a few entries but cannot speak for the whole menu.

I was impressed and will be going back soon to try a lunch option.

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Excellent breakfast choices, can't wait to go back! Had the vegan blueberry pancakes, and I am looking forward to trying everyone's recommendations.

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I like French Meadow a lot more than I imagined I would... For some reason, I thought it would be filled with pretentious hipsters & that the service would be bad. I mean, the airport locations are VERY sub-par (like they ignore me for 15 minutes & are ALWAYS out of whatever I want to order & charge me $7 for a *tiny* fruit cup & then forget to make whatever dumb sandwich I eventually settle on)... However, all of the hosts/servers at this actual restaurant location are SUPER friendly & attentive, and there is a good mix of people here.

PLUS, the food is just too awesome for words. I have literally dreamt about the Tempeh Cutlet (on top of a blood orange vinaigrette with coconut red beans, braised greens, and brown rice). It is so freakin' incredible, my mouth is watering just typing about it. And I don't even like tempeh! I have tried making it multiple times at home, and it is just... Blech. Ew. But French Meadow does it right. They take gritty, tasteless tempeh & somehow turn it into a mind-blowing mouthgasm.

The Sweet Corn Arepas is also divine, and the Vegan Calzone is pretty darn good, too. The Grilled Tempeh Reuben is meh, alright - but I can no longer eat anything here but the Tempeh Cutlet. Everything I've had has been enjoyable, but the Cutlet is just... GOD, IT'S JUST SO GOOD.

My boyfriend & I once tried some sort of vegan Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cake (?) concoction that was delicious... But I'm normally so damn full after that Cutlet meal that I can't cram in any dessert.

It's very busy for brunch/lunch, but I have never had to wait long for a table at dinnertime.

I do I have to say that it ticks me off that they don't have vegan butter. I mean, they obviously want to cater to the vegan crowd because they have several vegan entrees, several vegan brunch & appetizer options, they have soy milk for lattes, AND they have a vegan special every night. However, if you go for brunch & order the vegan pancakes or toast, expect to get them dry because they don't have nondairy butter. It's not a deal breaker for me, obviously, but it's just kind of stupid, in my opinion. Their Blueberry Corn Pancakes (vegan) are delicious - but who eats pancakes without butter?! Vegans need it, too.

They also offer a lot of delicious wine (half price Sunday-Wednesday!), as well as many organic teas.

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My friend and I stopped in for breakfast yesterday and I have to say I was a bit disappointed. There only seemed to be 2 or 3 vegan breakfast options, and while my friend remembered their blueberry cornmeal pancakes as being fabulous, they didn't turn out to be so great. The pancakes had a decent flavor but they were too crispy on the outside and a bit too chewy, as though the batter had been over-mixed and then the pancakes cooked a bit too long.

I looked through the dessert case but didn't see anything labeled as being vegan. Either they weren't offering vegan desserts yesterday (which would be a real shame), or they just aren't labeling vegan desserts properly. I suppose I could have asked an employee if they had any vegan cakes that weren't labeled, but I wasn't too enthusiastic about getting dessert after a somewhat disappointing breakfast.

I'm hoping this was an off-day as I've had a few people tell me how good the pancakes are. I really enjoyed sitting outside and watching people pass by (minus the exceedingly loud guy having a 30 minute cell phone conversation at the next table), so I would be up for trying this place again.

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*Updated Review*
I ordered the tempeh cutlets and enjoyed the cutlets as well as the beans and greens immensely. The server brought me a basket of tortilla chips and salsa since I couldn't eat the bread basket (gluten). The service was friendly and prompt and we sat outside and had a lovely time.

*Old Review*

I visited French Meadow for breakfast on a Tuesday morning. Though there were many vegan options, there weren't that many for a gluten-free vegan to enjoy beyond hashbrowns and tofu scrambles. I ordered the Cajun Hashbrowns without cheese and was surprised to find my dish lacking any flavor whatsoever. I haven't eaten much Cajun food, but was under the impression that it was supposed to be very much filled with flavor.

Nonetheless, I will return here to try other options on the menu. Surely it cannot all be as deadeningly bland since most reviewers have rated it much more favorably. I also will hope to find a gluten free vegan bakery option next time I visit.

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I should begin with a caveat - I do love French Meadow's lunch and dinner offerings. The tempeh cutlet on their dinner menu, as others have mentioned, is without comparison - one of my favorite dishes in the Twin Cities.

That said... I just can't get behind French Meadow breakfasts. You can get better-tasting, less expensive breakfast at the Triple Rock, Seward Cafe, or Hard Times.

French Meadow's blueberry corn pancakes are excellent, but they are $8 for two, $6 for one (one pancake?!!?). The classic vegan breakfast, however, is nothing to write home about. Hashbrowns (browned on one side, not both), vegan sausage, a thin band of scrambled tofu (blandest I've ever had) and a few pieces of un-margerined toast (it IS worth mentioning that French Meadow bread is excellent, but still...), yours for a mere $9.50. Even the oatmeal is $7. I wanted my usual Triple Rock Mother Biker so badly after seeing this sad plate arrive at my table...

Also, I have to say, I found the hybrid cafeteria-type service annoying - you have to go in, stand in line, place your order, assemble your own water glasses if you want any, and bring your cold drinks to your table, in addition to a placecard by which your waiter/waitress will match your order and serve your food. Seward has a similar set-up, but I have to say, their breakfasts are more tasty and less expensive. I expect saving the wait staff the work would come at some kind of cost savings, but no.

Takeaways: French Meadow lunch and supper are well worth the trouble and the extra expense, but if you're hankering for a tasty, reasonably-priced breakfast, look elsewhere.

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The tempeh cutlet owns my soul.
I literally have a salivation reaction just mentioning it.
Add in the spicy and creamy coconut red beans with delicately spiced rice, amazing braised greens and a truly outstanding bruschetta and it's heaven on a plate.

Turtle cake is delightful, too.
I tend to take my slice home since cake NEEDS soy ice cream or soy milk to really be complete, IMO.

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I end up at the French Meadow at least once a month. The Classic Vegan Breakfast is always great - perfectly spiced tofu scramble, fantastic vegan sausage made on site, and hashbrowns.

For lunch and dinner, I usually go with the Sweet Corn Arepas, which are topped with the vegan sausage and a balsamic reduction, atop mixed greens. My partner always goes for the Tempeh Reuban, and we often share the two between us.

The BBQ Tempeh wrap is vegan if you ask for no cheese - paired with the coleslaw, it makes quite a tasty meal.

I find their deserts disappointing as of late - the only vegan cake they offer anymore is the Turtle Cake, which gets old after the second time having it. They still have one or two vegan cupcakes, but the only item I can really recommend is the Raspberry Chocolate bar.

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I really like this place. The food is consistently great and there are plenty of vegetarian options. Because it is often busy, the service can be a bit off-putting sometimes. I haven't had good luck coming here with big groups. During brunch hours try to avoid sitting near the door or counter line because you will not have a peaceful meal. The dinner hour has a much more relaxing atmosphere.

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i made my first visit to french meadow for dinner tonight and it was the best vegan meal i've ever had. their bread is what stands out and not to be missed. while i went with my non-vegetarian father, he ordered the rachel and devoured his meal stating it was the best rachel he has ever eaten. while i ordered the grilled tempeh rueben and was in pure bliss! the tempeh was cooked to perfection so i was delighted because tempeh is so rarely used in restaraunts. we were hoping for desert (vegan turtle cake and carrot cake for my father) but unfourtuantely we didnt leave enough room. though we did pick up a couple loaves of bread and muffins. next time we will be back for desert and espresso!

as a side note, plan on getting a decent table before 6pm on a weekend because it will defintely start to fill up quick. also the decor is clean, earthy, and has an upscale french cafe theme; quite lovely and cozy. lastly, not only is it an enjoyable place to spend a cold winter evening with delicous and healthful food, the wait staff could not be any more friendly! they were so accomidating and helpful. truely a wonderful vegan experience.

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I love this place. The decor and atmosphere are sophisticated and European in feel. The service is super-friendly and attentive and knowledgeable. The food is spectacular for the most part, but take a pass on their attempts at Asian-style dishes. Their vegan stromboli was succulent, subtle and filling. Their vegan turtle cake was the best cake I've ever had, vegan or otherwise. It was moist, not overly sweet, and well balanced with cake, sugar, caramel and nuts. The prices of the food are extremely low given the high class atmosphere and the high quality of the food. The vegan dishes max out at $12 and most are closer to $9; their desserts are $3.95, though in other places, they'd be twice that price, with half the taste. Highly recommended.
Pros: Quality * Prices * Service

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I've been here a couple of times over the last few years, and my food experiences have been fine. I do complement them on having a selection of vegan items. It's a popular place so it can get crowded during the typical breakfast/brunch hours.

I visited again in Jul 07, and was definitely happier with the vegan selections they had for breakfast. I love the vegan sausage and blueberry corn cakes. Delicious! They have a number of vegan pastries, which are hit/miss. Some are really delicious, and others are terribly dry (I don't care for the cupcakes, but the carrot cake is delicious). I was also happy to find them at the MSP airport as well.

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Update: The sweet corn aeropas (or whatever they are) are excellent. Again, a little pricey, but the dish really was superb.

I went here with some friends for dinner once and didn't have money, so the waiter brought out an "extra large" sample of soup. The sample was so big I couldn't eat it all. Very sweet of him. The wait staff all seem to be aspiring actors, so they're a little flamboyant. It is a nice place to go to sip on a lemonade and talk for an hour while sitting outside. The best thing they have are the vegan chocolate cupcakes. They are excellent! get a cup of tea if you're eating them there, because the frosting sticks to your teeth and the tea helps. Yum. But if you go in when they're closing down, they won't even sell you a cup cake. I guess actors can be moody.

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Great Atmosphere and food, fancy with good vegan options and desserts. There is a new vegan special every day. The tempeh cutlet dinner is fantastic, highly recommended.
For the desserts I would recommend something other than the chocolate raspberry bars, which are pretty tasteless. The dessert selections vary and usually include vegan cake.

Update: The vegan turtle cake is my favorite dessert, also a great deal at $4 for a large slice.

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The staff was really nice. I liked the atmosphere. They have a lot of vegan & vegetarian options. I would recommend this place, if you don't mind paying a lot.

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This place is amazing. The nightly vegan entrees are awesome, and the menu items are great as well. This place has a wonderful atmosphere, and outside seating is available in the summer. Very romantic.

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While it isn't the luxury of all-vegan Millenium in San Fran, this place is definately vegan friendly and a great place for a fancy gourmet dinner.Last time I went, I had tempeh cutlets, vegan mashed potatoes, greens covered with a mango gravy - in a fancy presentation. They have 1/2 price bottles of wine during the week, including organic bottles. And have nummy vegan baked goods and desserts.

Brunch is ok for vegans - they have a respectable vegan reuben and two tofu sandwiches. I am not sure about breakfast goods beyond bakery items.

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This is my favorite restaurant in the world. It's a bit expensive, so I probably wouldn't go here for just a sandwich, but their dinners are worth every penny. I once had a pierogie dish here that was far and away the best thing I have ever eaten in my life. To be perfectly honest, some of their vegan desserts aren't the best--they're good, but not quite on the same level as the vegan dinner entrees. The ambience is completely perfect, as well. One thing to watch out for: they only serve dinner for a short period during the evening, and the time they stop seating is earlier than the closing time listed on the door.

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I've only been here about 3 times, and only for breakfast and dinner, so my review may not be all that reliable. They have very few vegan items for breakfast unless you want to eat bread. Dinner is definitely overpriced, but salads were tasty. Last time we went the bread was stale, which I thought was really strange for a place that calls itself a "bakery."

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The first time I dined here was about 2 years ago after my trip to Paris. I was still a meat-eater then, and the foods reminded me so much of France. I guess it's a good thing since the place is called French Meadow.

I came back twice within the last 2 weeks with different friends and rediscovered this place. Sesame salad was just delicious; the sesame noodles salad as well. Tempeh was great, as well as the soup I had. Over all, my revisit was pleasant though the "french" elements in all of them were just not there! Is any of the French a vegetarian or vegan? So what's distictive about this place that they charge you a bit too high? Perhaps the location and the sidewalk seating area.

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The sesame salad was amazing. I thought it was brought straight out of the garden. My friend and I were saying ' Yum' thoughout the meal savoring every bite. Even when the meal was finished I was feeling the fresh salad greens lingering through out my mouth. Wow! I will be back there next week with more friends who are coming from out of town.

Then, the lo carb breads are exquisite. I was so pleased with my dinner experience and the waiter was attentive and fun. I am making this my number one spot to go out to eat.

This was my third stop in 10 days.

Thank you so much! So much quality for such a good price!

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I have only had the desserts here but they are delicious! I love their chocolate vegan cake the most, and my only complaint is that their items can be pretty pricey.

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Great place for breakfast (and popular too, they'll be a wait to get a seat most of the time on weekends if you don't get there early). Good bakery items, with vegan selections too.

Dinner is usually pretty good. They've got a few vegan items, and some that can easily be made into vegan dishes. The vegetarian black bean chili is good, the tempeh is always a treat. Appetizers can get a little pricey for their size.

I just wish they'd branch out thier vegan deserts- they're usually chocolate. Their non-vegan deserts look so good it makes me jealous!

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Yum yum French Meadow. You can get a big bowl of soup with bread for $6. What a deal. They have the vegan black bean chili every day, and have another vegan soup daily.

The dinner entrees are pretty pricey (around $18) but it really is great food. It looks all fancy-schmancy, too.

For anyone interested-- bottles of wine are half price on Saturdays.

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