Review: Cheap Eats at Mickey’s Dining Car in St. Paul

The view of Mickey's Dining Car from 7th Street.
The view of Mickey’s Dining Car from 7th Street. (Photo by Rachael Onserio)

A St. Paul staple, Mickey’s Dining Car lives up to its ‘greasy spoon’ reputation. Complete with neon lights and hurried servers, Mickey’s is a truly singular experience.

Upon entering, expect to be greeted by sizzling oil, hurried servers, and a fully seated bar rather than a host with pagers. Diners either seat themselves at the alcohol-free bar, or in one of four booths.

The restaurant holds 36 comfortably, an impressive feat considering it appeared to be manned by three people. Mickey’s could, however, benefit from more staffing as the floors were literally squishy (with mud and other unidentifiable substances).

The menu features a plethora of classic American dishes – almost all of which are under $10. Breakfast all day is the hallmark of a Mickey’s regular. “The Classic” is the second most popular dish featuring “Mickey’s Cheeseburger with a few hashbrowns & a little mulligan stew.”

As advertised, the burgers are classic. Juicy and flavorful rather than inventive or unique; good at being what they’re supposed to be – burgers. The hashbrowns appear crispy but further penetration reveals their soft, decidedly un-crispy essence. The mulligan stew appears to be flavored by little more than salt and pepper.

Whatever you choose, rest assured it will be saturated with butter and oil. This makes for pleasantly crispy fries but mini grease puddles from hash browns and burgers.

If you don’t mind the calories or the 30 minute seating limit, then give Mickey’s a ride. Free parking, jukeboxes, and neon lights welcome you to an experience all on its own.