7 of the Best Places to Eat in Lanesboro, MN

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7 of the Best Places to Eat in Lanesboro, MN

Let’s talk about the best places to eat in Lanesboro, MN. Tucked away in the heart of southeast Minnesota, about 125 miles southeast of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul), Lanesboro is a charming small town known for its scenic beauty and busy biking scene. Downtown Lanesboro is not known first for its dining options, but after a recent visit, I’m guessing that is about to change.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the town offers various dining options that cater to all tastes and preferences. Lanesboro is the perfect place for a culinary journey. You’ll find everything from cozy cafes to fine dining. What follows is my guide to some of the best places to eat in Lanesboro, MN, and yep, I’ve tried them all!

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The Best Places to Eat in Lanesboro MN for Breakfast

Home Sweet Home Café & Cakery

The breakfast menu for Home Sweet Home Restaurant
So many excellent choices – it was hard to pick.
a Bowl of Oatmeal with a side of fruit
The best oatmeal and fruit cup EVER!

Step into Home Sweet Home Cafe & Cakery, a fun little restaurant owned and operated by the Mason family. The Masons are deeply rooted in their community, and each family member plays a vital role in the operation, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere that makes you feel like part of the family.

Alan brings his farming and mechanical expertise, while Liz’s extensive experience as a baker and pastry chef shines through on the menu. Gregory manages the dining room, and Emily helps out wherever needed.

One of my favorite aspects of Home Sweet Home Cafe & Cakery is their all-day breakfast. I started my day with a simple bowl of oatmeal and a fruit cup. To my delight, the fruit cup was a delightful surprise, one of the best I’ve ever had with a meal. The fruits were fresh and ripe, cut into just the right bite-sizes, and the variety was perfectly balanced.

They also have a lunch menu with daily specials and weekend supper specials. Their desserts are on fire! Everything is scratch-made, and they do offer gluten-free options. But if you want the big bang, consider their catering services for your next gathering or ordering a custom cake. You won’t be disappointed.

210 Parkway Avenue N

Lanesboro Pastry Shoppe

A dark red brick exterior with a sign stating "The Pastry Shoppe"
Such a homey entrance.
a tiny meringue torte
Mini Lemon Meringue pie anyone?

If you’re looking for a delightful pastry or a warm cookie to begin your day or satisfy your need for an afternoon snack, then the Lanesboro Pastry Shoppe is the place to be! Serving made-from-scratch goodies baked up daily, you will have no trouble finding just the right sweet treat!

The Pastry Shoppe also serves a mighty fine breakfast, as evidenced by the bustling set of tables full of hungry diners at mid-morning. I stopped in for a quick snack, and boy, I was glad I did. I had a warm Snickerdoodle, and my friends enjoyed a fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookie. We intended to take a bite and return the rest to our room for a later snack, but nope. We three all devoured our treats on-site!

My favorite feature of this little bakery is the no-menu breakfast. I had not heard of this before, but in the proper form of small-town familiarity, you can simply tell the server what you’d like, and the bustling kitchen staff will whip it right up for you. I’m a little bit sorry I didn’t experience breakfast for myself, but I did get to experience that cookie, and that alone was worth the visit!

Next time, I’ll surely be starting my day here!

202 Parkway Ave N

Paddle On Coffee (and Maker Emporium)

The outside of the building with a green canopy.
I love that all the shops and restaurants have welcoming seating outside.
a hand holds an iced Chai Tea Latte
Iced Chai Tea Latte! And see those fish? So cool!

One of Lanesboro’s most attractive features is the people’s entrepreneurial spirit, and nowhere will you find that on showcase better than Paddle On Coffee. They feature local ingredients and support local makers who run their own small businesses, making this the perfect place to pick up some handmade gifts for your next occasion.

But don’t get distracted by the fantastic maker boutique. Take a look at the gorgeous fish photographs that line the wall. The prior building owner photographed the many fish caught right in the Root River, photographed them, and featured them. Paddle On owners couldn’t do anything but leave these treasures up for their customers to enjoy.

Order your cuppa (I chose a Chai Tea Latte) and take a few minutes to explore the hand-crafted items for sale while you wait for the baristas to mix your drink to perfection. Once your drink arrives, you’ll be able to find a place to settle in and make use of their fiber internet connection to get some work done.

Or, if you have bigger fish to fry (pardon the pun—the walls are covered with fish portraits), consider reserving one of their meeting spaces or popping in for one of their local groups, which discuss everything from poetry and writing to painting, gardening, and even philosophy.

This popular modern coffeehouse hang-out is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee. With an espresso bar and an array of snacks, including pastries, this coffeehouse is a great place to start your day or take a break from exploring the town. The cozy atmosphere and friendly service make it one of the local favorites, which means it’s also suitable for visitors.

115 Parkway Ave N

The Best Places to Eat in Lanesboro MN for Lunch

Clara’s Eatery

a sage colored building with pink chairs in front
The pink chairs outside beckoned me in…
Square takout container with assorted meats and cheeses
The Puppy Plate at Clara’s – To Go!

In the middle of Lanesboro, Clara’s Eatery is a beloved spot for locals and visitors. I can attest to this because, as a first-time visitor, I immediately fell in love upon opening the door. Of course, it could have been owner Christina & Jordan Evenson’s excellent taste in décor, as the interior is decked out in the most delightful pink! And if you know me, you know anything pink is the fastest way to my heart! Or it could be that the Eatery is named for Jordan’s grandmother, a lifelong Lanesboro resident. The name is the perfect sentimental choice!

But besides the pinkness of the joint and its heart-warming name, Clara’s is known for its made-from-scratch cooking and use of local produce. Clara’s delightful seasonal menus change according to the ingredients available and the dishes most desired throughout the year. Clara’s Eatery will satisfy you whether you’re in the mood for a cold sandwich or a hot meal.

I ate there twice and stopped in a third time for a quick ice cream treat. The hard part was choosing from the different flavors of Chocolate Shoppe ice cream. The Chocolate Shoppe is a Wisconsin supplier that allows only one retail establishment to carry its brand per community. You won’t find this yummy treat anywhere else in Lanesboro, and since they are open year-round, you will always have ice cream available!

My first Clara’s meal was the Puppy Plate, a mini charcuterie selection of meats and cheeses, a few crackers, and a veggie garnish. Clara’s also offers a similar Monkey Plate with a selection of fruits and a Bunny Plate with seasonal veggies served with Ranch. Perfect for the kiddos or the hungry Hip Grandma!

My second trip included a slice of Carnivore pizza packed with yummy meats and a cheesy breadstick. Of course, the crust is scratch-made, and I would be remiss not to mention that you can order a take-and-bake pizza to heat up at home. And my favorite thing? They have canned Diet Coke, too! Yep – Clara’s knows how to speak Hip Grandma.

111 Parkway Ave N
(507) 467-2200

Pedal Pushers Cafe

a lunch menu for Pedal Pushers Cafe, one of the best places to eat in Lanesboro, MN
Everything on this menu is yummy!
a bacon-topped burger and fries
Delicious burger with fries!

If you pass through Lanesboro by bike, you’ll have a special appreciation for Pedal Pushers Café. This fast-casual restaurant offers an excellent, elevated menu boasting locally grown meats and in-season produce. The décor centers around those who love biking, from the bicycle adorning the exterior to the many bike-related touches within.

The cafe’s menu features a variety of delicious options, including cold sandwiches, smoothies, and farm-fresh dishes. I enjoyed a tasty beef burger while one of my dining companions indulged in a vegan burger, which looked phenomenal, even to this red-meat-loving lady! We ordered table food for all to share, including crispy Truffle & Parmesan Fries, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, and White Cheddar Cheese Curds. All three shareables were hot, fresh, and perfectly prepared. Yum!

I thought we would be too stuffed for our main dishes, but you should’ve heard the sighs and happy moans of delight when the server delivered our meals. I would have been pleased with every dish served around that table, from the homemade Chicken Pot Pie to the Blackened Chicken Grain Bowl and the Fish Tacos. Yum!

And don’t worry if you don’t have time to eat in-house. You can order ahead and swoop in to get your meal to go. You’ll even be able to pick it up from the bike-themed to-go table up front!

121 Parkway Ave N

Michigan Road Trips banner image with pink background and navy and white words, including an image of Michigan

The Best Places to Eat in Lanesboro MN for Dinner

The High Court Pub

a brick building with a sign stating "The High Court Pub"
The High Court Pub has an upper level inside.
a flatbread pizza on a bar
High Court Pub Pepperoni Flatbread

On my first rainy evening in town, I found myself looking for a place to grab a quick bite before retiring. Enter the High Court Pub. This local watering hole is known for its extensive beer selection and full bar. They also make a mean flatbread! I bellied to the bar and ordered my classic Diet Coke and a Pepperoni flatbread.

Soon after, I chatted with my neighbors at the bar, and they shared why they love this place. They are seasonal locals who stay at a local campground and make a point to come into town for a visit at least weekly. They had only great things to say about the owners, who were working hard on the Tuesday evening I arrived.

The actual evening began with their weekly Trivia Night shortly after I arrived. The bar was hopping, the trivia was fun, and the food was great! And every drink that rolled out from the bar looked amazing! If you’re looking for a casual atmosphere with good eats, well-crafted bar drinks, and even a little entertainment, the High Court Pub is for you.

109 Parkway Ave N

Juniper’s Restaurant

Juniper's Restaurant from the outside
The building is historic and unique.
a pasta dish with tortellini and garlic toast
The Pasta of the day was amazing!

I’ve saved one of the best for the last. Juniper’s is the perfect pick when you’re ready to sit down and settle in for an elevated dining experience in the heart of biking country. This one-of-a-kind full restaurant, owned by Chef Tyler Shipton and partner Ame, offers fine dining in a cozy, welcoming setting. We enjoyed sitting outdoors on the spacious deck with a lovely view of one of the covered bridges over the Root River. Indoor seating is available as well.

Juniper’s menu is known for its fresh, local ingredients and features an array of dishes that highlight the best of Lanesboro’s culinary scene. Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty dinner or a light bite, Juniper’s will provide a memorable and relaxing dining experience.

Because we dined with a group, we ordered several shared menu items to sample them all—this might be my favorite way to dine! Among our choices were a Creamy Mushroom Soup, Battered and Deep-fried cauliflower served with an apricot chutney, a Burger Royale with smoked gouda, onion jam, and garlic aioli, and the Pasta of the Moment, which changes according to Chef Tyler’s mood. 

109 Parkway Avenue S
(507) 467-4040

Additional Places to Explore

Another Time Ice Cream Parlor is a local favorite serving a wide selection of ice creams – perfect for a cone or a cup on a hot day. It is in the pink building on Main Street with umbrella-covered tables where you can sit and enjoy!

You will find Sylvan Brewing in a former granary building on the west end of town. Sylvan specializes in craft ciders and delicious beer. Belly up to the bar for a cold drink on tap, or bring a growler home with you. Keep an eye on the Sylvan Brewing Facebook Page for their live music schedule. https://www.facebook.com/SylvanBrewing/

The Aroma Pie Shoppe is in nearby Whalan and is a 5-mile bike ride down the trail. When you’re in Bluff Country, you must check out the world-famous Pie Shoppe for one or two slices of pie, fresh-baked, of course!

Wrapping it All Up

Lanesboro, Minnesota, will surely capture your heart for a whole list of reasons, not the least of which is the fantastic food scene. Lanesboro has everything you need, whether you are searching for a fine dining experience, a casual cafe, or a cozy bakery. With its commitment to using fresh, local ingredients and providing personable service, dining in Lanesboro is more than just a meal—it’s an experience. So next time you find yourself in this charming town, explore its many culinary delights and create delicious memories.

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Green background with pics of 2 restaurants, a burger, and a grain bowl