Minnesota's Most Awarded

Family Owned
Cafe and Bakery

Ditch the Dishes, Embrace Summer Fun at Keys Cafe!

Ditch the Dishes, Embrace Summer Fun at Keys Cafe!

As the summer sun warms our days, the last thing you want to do is spend hours in a hot kitchen. Keys Cafe is here to be your summer escape! We offer a haven for families seeking delicious, cost-effective meals that everyone will love. All our meals are made from scratch and you’ll quickly find out they are more than healthy portions.

Imagine a table filled with classic comfort food – Keys’ renowned Hot Turkey Sandwich, or melt-in-your-mouth slow-cooked beef piled high on fresh bread, just ask MSP Magazine. Or perhaps a lighter option featuring a steaming bowl of homemade soup, crafted with love using Barbara’s original recipes, paired with a perfectly toasted sandwich.

At Keys Cafe, there’s something for everyone. From bountiful soup and sandwich options to classic burgers and hot meals, everyone’s tastes can find something they’ll enjoy. In addition, our kid-friendly atmosphere and kid’s menu mean you and your kids can spend some quality time together without breaking the bank.

After your meal, every customer will tell you that “Don’t Forget Dessert” has never been more true than at Keys Cafe with our bakery. Indulge in decadent chocolate cake, explore our assortment of mouthwatering pies, or discover hidden gems amongst our other sweet treats! Every delicacy lives up to the promise of every customer saying “Don’t forget dessert,” because you’ll leave satisfied.

At Keys Cafe, we offer a warm and welcoming atmosphere where you can relax, connect, and truly enjoy each other’s company. Escape the summer heat and the mountain of dishes – Keys Cafe is your home away from home for delicious food and warm, friendly service. Join us this summer and let Keys Cafe be the backdrop for your happy memories.

MSP Magazine Features Keys Cafe’s Special Hot Beef Sandwich

MSP Magazine Features Keys Cafe’s Special Hot Beef Sandwich

The iconic and unique Hot Beef Sandwich at Keys Cafe, a long-standing favorite among patrons, has garnered notable attention in an article from MSP Magazine exploring this classic dish of Hot Beef’s comforting appeal. Barbara Hunn, the visionary founder of Keys Cafe, was prominently mentioned and quoted, sharing insights into how her take on the dish has had enduring popularity with her dedicated regulars and the cafe’s commitment to traditional, made-from-scratch cooking.

In the article, “In Search of Hot Beef” Barbara Hunn reflects on the changing dining trends and the unique charm of the Hot Beef Sandwich that’s been a historic Minnesotan dish for many years. “The younger group doesn’t order it,” Hunn remarked. “They go to your trendy restaurants, your fast-food restaurants. That doesn’t have anything to do with me. I’ve had hot beef on the menu here for 47 years. You have to have a chef or someone on staff who can do the whole thing from scratch. That’s the way we’ve always done it. After you decide to do it all from scratch, it’s easy.”

This recognition by MSP Magazine highlights how for nearly five decades, Keys Cafe has served up hearty, comforting meals for its customers. The Hot Beef Sandwich stands out as a testament to the timeless appeal of well-crafted, homemade food, even when it may not be in vogue for modern American food’s current styles and tastes.

Keys Cafe prides itself on its menu which features a wide array of dishes made from scratch, ensuring each bite is as memorable as the last. The cafe’s approach to traditional cooking techniques and a cozy, welcoming atmosphere make it a beloved destination for those seeking genuine comfort food.

And if you want to find out why customers still regularly order a sandwich featuring “soft pot roast–style beef, fork tender, with a good beefy gravy, real mashed potatoes, bread—and because why not?, a scoop of stuffing”, stop by your local Keys Cafe and join our ever-growing family.

Minnesota Parent Awards Keys Bakery

Minnesota Parent Awards Keys Bakery

We are thrilled to announce that Keys Cafe & Bakery has been honored with a prestigious award by Minnesota Parent, voted as the 2nd Best Bakery

Every day, our bakers create the items that so many customers have loved for so many years from scratch. Pouring their passion and expertise into every batch of dough ensures our offerings are fresh and filled with the taste of home.

At every Keys Cafe & Bakery location, customers are greeted with various unique options that cater to all tastes and preferences. From classic favorites to innovative creations, our menu is a celebration of variety and quality. Our commitment to crafting homemade, fresh bakery items daily sets us apart, making each visit a delightful discovery of new flavors and cherished memories.

To be recognized by our customers highlights Keys’ joy and passion for being able to provide great service and yummy food for our customers. Come join the ever-growing family and community at Keys, and try something from our award-winning bakery!

Annual Keys Golf Tournament Tees Up to Support Austin Tschida

Annual Keys Golf Tournament Tees Up to Support Austin Tschida

Keys Cafe is proud to announce its annual Keys Golf Tournament, a charity event aimed at raising critical funds for those in need within our community. Each year, the tournament selects a local resident in need of support, and the proceeds go directly towards alleviating their financial burden.

Image of Austin Tschida family

This year, the Keys Cafe is honored to support Austin Tschida, a brave individual battling cancer. The funds raised through the tournament will provide much-needed financial assistance to Austin and his family as he undergoes treatment. The money will cover medical expenses and lost wages, ensuring Austin can focus on his recovery without the added stress of financial hardship. You can read more about Austin, a Fire Truck Technician, here, as his family is expecting another child in April.

This is the the 20th Keys Charity Fund Annual Golf Classic. This year it will held on June 10th, 2024 at Southview Country Club. In addition to raising money for Austin, there will be a banquet, an abundance of photos, and a photobooth waiting at the 10th hole with the Keys family themselves!

Join the Tournament and Make a Difference

The Keys Golf Tournament is a fun-filled day for golfers of all skill levels. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy a day on the course, connect with the Keys Cafe community, and contribute to a worthy cause. For more information on how to register, sponsor, or donate to the tournament, please visit the Keys Cafe website.

Together, we can make a difference in Austin’s life.

Celebrate Mother’s Day at Keys Cafe & Bakery

Celebrate Mother’s Day at Keys Cafe & Bakery

This Mother’s Day, treat your mom to the comfort and joy of Keys Cafe’s home-style offerings. We’re all about making moms feel special on their day with delightful dishes and delightful surprises that will make her heart warm and her taste buds dance. Whether she fancies breakfast in bed or a family-friendly feast, we’ve got you covered!

Every mom deserves to be celebrated, and we’re making it happen! All moms who dine with us this Mother’s Day will receive a special gift as a token of appreciation from the Keys Cafe family. It’s our way of saying thank you to all the wonderful mothers who fill our lives with love and care.

Begin Mother’s Day with the ultimate indulgence – breakfast in bed, courtesy of Keys Cafe & Bakery. With our takeout options, you can easily serve up a scrumptious surprise without messing up the kitchen. Not an early bird? No worries! Our breakfast is served all day long, so you can enjoy our cozy comforts at your convenience.

Raise a toast to the most extraordinary woman in your life with our freshly-stocked mimosas. Whether you join us in the cafe or take them to go, these bubbly beverages are the perfect companion to our delectable dishes and are sure to make this Mother’s Day sparkle.

There’s something about comfort food that just feels like a warm hug, and that’s exactly what we’re serving up at Keys Cafe. From savory favorites to sweet treats, like our irresistible chocolate House Cake, we’re catering to every craving. Make mommy say “YUMMY” when you bring her the flavors she’s been dreaming of.

Whether you’re planning to dine in with us for a festive outing, bring the celebration home with our Take and Bake options, or enjoy our tasteful creations delivered right to your door via DoorDash, we’ve ensured there’s a way to make every mom smile this Mother’s Day weekend.

Whisk mom away to Keys Cafe for a Mother’s Day filled with joy, good eats, and cherished moments. Hint: she’ll love the thoughtfulness—and the food! Your mom’s special day is just around the corner, and Keys Cafe & Bakery can’t wait to help make it unforgettable.

Creating Extended Family Is In Keys Cafe’s DNA

Creating Extended Family Is In Keys Cafe’s DNA

If you are reading this while sitting at a Keys Cafe & Bakery take a moment to look around and notice the staff hard at work keeping your favorite family cafe running.

Also notice that as hectic as the job is, the staff generally is upbeat as they hustle through their shift. Keys is a nice place to work, after all, and many of the staff feel that all the connections they make working at Keys creates an extended family.

Why?

You could say it was baked into the Keys Cafe DNA from the beginning as the business was founded by a working mother 50 years ago. 

Barbara Hunn balanced raising four children and getting a fledgling business off the ground, intermingling the two as her children quickly learned the family business by helping when needed.

This means Barbara understood that the demands of a job versus life can force employees into difficult decisions that may include leaving the job, something Barbara wanted to avoid as she was building her restaurant family starting with employees. 

Her children have carried that same tradition on to the Keys Cafe locations they now own and manage with their own family or their extended restaurant family.

Opening in June in Stillwater, the newest Keys location will continue the tradition with a third-generation of the Hunn Family opening the location.

It may be that what makes Keys Cafes great restaurants for working mothers is understanding.

“We know the stresses that come with working and raising children because we’ve all done it ourselves and are still doing it now,” said Barbara’s daughter Jean, who manages the Roseville Keys Cafe along with her daughter Frankie.

LIke all Keys, Roseville has scores of regulars coming to the restaurant every day being greeted by staff excited to share what’s new in their lives.

There are even more scores of customers coming to a Keys Cafe & Bakery for the first time every day and most will leave thinking about how good the made-to-order meal they just had tasted and how they may try the chocolate cake for dessert when they come back.

At all Keys locations, there are scores of regulars coming to the restaurant every day being greeted by staff excited to share what’s new in their lives. And there are even more customers coming to a Keys Cafe & Bakery for the first time every day and most will leave thinking about how good the made-to-order meal they just had tasted and how they may try the chocolate cake for dessert when they come back.

Vote for Keys Cafe in the StarTribune’s “Best Of” Awards!

Vote for Keys Cafe in the StarTribune’s “Best Of” Awards!

Keys Cafe has been nominated in the StarTribune’s renowned “Best Of” Awards for its exceptional services and delectable fare. This is an exciting recognition for a local institution that has long been a community hub, offering homely comfort and a haven for food lovers. With voting now open, it’s time for all of us, from loyal patrons to once-a-year customers, to come together and rally behind Keys Cafe.

There are various sections from Bakery to Cupcakes, Breakfast to Catering, and Minnesota-Made Food to Minneapolis or St. Paul Restaurant, there are so many different areas where you can help Keys get recognized! Here are all the categories we are nominated in:

  • Bakery
  • Breakfast
  • Best Cinnamon/Caramel Roll
  • Casual Dining
  • Cupcakes
  • Dessert
  • Diner
  • Brunch
  • Cookies
  • Family Friendly Restaurant
  • Pancakes
  • Best Sandwiches
  • Saint Paul Restaurant

We encourage you to show your support by casting your vote for Keys in the “Best Of” Awards at the Vote Minnesota website. Your vote isn’t just a sign of appreciation; it’s also a testament to the unyielding quality and spirit that defines our favorite cafe. If you’ve ever dined with us or are a regular every day, we hope you were able to experience the family and community one finds at Keys Cafe.

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Keys Cafe Serves Up a Slice of Pi Day Fun!

Keys Cafe Serves Up a Slice of Pi Day Fun!

Keys Cafe recently marked Pi Day in the only possible way, and that was with a truly remarkable amount of made pies, and in the multitude of flavors that we’re known for. On this special day, dedicated to the mathematical constant we all know as Pi (π), Keys Cafe went above and beyond, creating an astonishing variety of pies to meet the high demand.

The challenge was not just in the baking but also in the storing of the high amount of orders. Given the enormous Pi Day order from one company, Keys rented a cooled trailer, ensuring every single pie was kept in perfect condition until it reached the company’s employees. That’s how you show company appreciation!

From the early hours and days leading up to Pi Day, the cafe was a hive of activity, with the team meticulously preparing, baking, and packaging pies. The commitment to quality and the enthusiasm of our bakers allows Pi Day to be a day for our staff to show their love and quality for their work.

For those who were lucky enough to taste these pies, it was an unforgettable experience. The day not only showcased the cafe’s dedication to their craft but also its ability to rise to the occasion, literally catering to the community’s needs with innovation and efficiency. This Pi Day at Keys Cafe highlighted what the cafe stands for – quality, community, and the customer experience! Look on our Facebook page to check out our posts about the day.

Keys Cafe Named Among Best Locations for Pie in Minnesota by Explore Minnesota

Keys Cafe Named Among Best Locations for Pie in Minnesota by Explore Minnesota

Keys Cafe is thrilled to announce it has been recognized as one of the best places to enjoy pie in Minnesota, according to the latest feature by Explore Minnesota. The esteemed designation highlights Keys Cafe’s commitment to serving up delicious, classic pies that have become a staple for bakery lovers throughout the Twin Cities.

In their feature, Explore Minnesota lauds Keys Cafe for its “classic takes on classic flavors,” emphasizing the affordability of their delicious offerings despite their high quality and popularity. With six convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, Keys Cafe has cemented itself as a go-to destination for those seeking comforting, homemade pies without the need to preheat their oven.

Keys Cafe takes pride in being recognized as one of the cornerstones of the Twin Cities bakery scene. Over the years, the cafe has become known not just for its exceptional pies, but also for its role as a mainstay in the community. The recognition from Explore Minnesota serves as a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire Keys Cafe team, who strive to meet the highest standards of quality and taste with each pie they bake.

At Keys Cafe, every pie is made with care, reflecting classic flavors that promise to delight customers through the summer, the holidays, and beyond. Come discover our renowned bakery and pies at any of our locations around the Twin Cities and beyond. All of the desserts you see when you come in are “made with care”  from the hands of one of our bakers. Join the family and stop by today!

Keys Cafe & Bakery Celebrates 50 Years Of Serving The Food You Grew Up With

Keys Cafe & Bakery Celebrates 50 Years Of Serving The Food You Grew Up With

Serving fresh, made-to-order dishes and made-from-scratch bakery items in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere has been the driving force behind 50 years of service at Keys Cafe.

On Nov. 1, 1973, Founder Barbara Hunn opened the doors to the first Keys Cafe on Raymond Avenue. Barbara, her family, and all of the Keys’ staff have been welcoming in diners as members of the family ever since.

Barbara and her extended family gathered in early October to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Barbara opening that first Keys Cafe. Providing the Raymond Avenue community, and every one to come, a family restaurant serving quality made-to-order food, baked-that-day treats, and a familiar feeling of community that the staff provides for every customer that walks in.

Barbara can still be found working shifts several days a week at the Raymond Avenue location where she helps her grandson Grant, who now manages the location. But beyond that, she also keeps a regular schedule at several other locations where she still makes the delicious soup customers order on the regular.

And beyond Raymond, every Keys Cafe you enter is owned and operated by a member of Barbara’s family. So when she walks in to make her special soup or work a shift, she’ll be right alongside one of her children or grandchildren keeping on the family tradition she started.

During the 50th anniversary celebration at the North End Event Center on the State Fairgrounds, all four of Barbara’s children were on stage with her to celebrate with 500 or more members of the extended Keys family the enduring success and legacy of Keys.

Barbara spoke to the crowd saying, “I am so blessed and it is all because of all of you,” she said sweeping her hand across the event center. “I could not have done it alone, thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”

Customers, employees of the present and past, as well as vendors, friends, and family members not working directly in the family business, filled up the hall. While enjoying the buffet, the famous Keys Cafe Chocolate Cake, and catching up with people they may see every day or haven’t seen in years, everyone was able to celebrate what Keys has meant to them and their communities.

It was a Keys Family Reunion.

50 years in, the Hunn family isn’t slowing down, having announced earlier this month that Keys Cafe will open another Keys location in Stillwater in early 2024. Bringing the number of restaurants owned-and-operated by the Hunn family up to nine(!) across the east metro area.

Barbara’s son Roy and his wife Amy will own the new Stillwater location, and of course, one of their daughters will manage it. She learned the family business working with her parents at the Hudson Keys Cafe. Showing once again that Keys is truly a family tradition that will keep living on.

The new Stillwater Keys plans to provide a warm, comfortable and relaxed environment. Where staff and customers share moments building friendships around ‘The Food You Grew Up With.’ But if you’ve been to any of its eight predecessors, you wouldn’t have had any reason to expect otherwise.

Newsletter Gift Card Giveaway

Provide us your email address for a chance to win one of five $20 Keys Cafe Gift Cards we are giving away to celebrate the launch of our newsletter!

Entries accepted through March 31, 2024.

Winners will be notified by email.

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