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Food & Drink

Abang Yoli Has Killer Breakfast Sandwiches Now—for Under $8

They've also got a hotteok waffle, which might be the best six bucks I've spent in 2024.

10:04 AM CST on January 11, 2024

Em Cassel|

Abang Yoli’s hotteok waffle and bacon breakfast sandwich

You could make the case—and a few folks already have—that 38th & Nicollet is the best corner for food and drink in Minneapolis.

You've got Boludo. You've got Kyatchi. You've got Petite León, and Cocina Latina, and recent Racket fave Thai Curry. There's Five Watt for coffee; Nighthawks for brunch, lunch, and dinner; and Abang Yoli for Korean fried chicken—and, as of last week, also for breakfast.

On January 4, Abang Yoli rolled out a new a.m. menu, which became known to me in an Instagram reel highlighting the divine-looking, chili-crunch-drizzled egg sandwich. Two days later, I headed to Kingfield to try one for myself.

The streamlined breakfast offerings include four sandwiches, two bowls, and a hot waffle. We opted for the sausage sandwich and the bacon sandwich, to try the ingredients in isolation, but on a return visit I might live a little and splurge for the Seoul Sunrise ($12), which combines bacon and sausage. And of course, we needed to try the Korean hotteok waffle with chocolate ganache, for reasons I don't think I need to outline here.

Both sandwiches are served with a kimchi slaw at their base, a hearty dollop of chermoula aioli on top, and a drizzle of chili crisp, unless you prefer to opt out of any of the above. There's a leaf of Boston lettuce on each, and they arrive on a grilled Japanese milk bun.

On the bacon sandwich, the house-cured, pomegranate-glazed meat is a true treat; the steak-like slab of pork is almost candied in its cooked form. The chili crisp's warmth tingles on your tongue, with added heat and crunch from the bed of kimchi.

The same can be said about the chili and kimchi on the sausage sandwich, but here the chermoula aioli really shined. A North African sauce you'll often see with fish or chicken, the chermoula is herby and fresh, with lots of cilantro and cumin. As an aioli, it becomes a harmonious breakfast sandwich spread, freshening up each bite of savory sausage.

While the griddled milk bun is a worthy vessel, these are multi-napkin affairs. Once you pick 'em up, there’s no putting 'em back down—unless you're putting them down to circle back to the counter for a knife and fork. At $7.50, each egg sandwich felt like a steal, and you could even forego the protein and shave off an extra buck.

Then there's the hotteok waffle, which might be the best six bucks I've spent in 2024. Its insides are like a squishy cinnamon roll; its outsides, dusted in sugar and drizzled in chocolate, are bready, wheaty, and never cloying. This is the sort of sweet you’ll keep picking at long after you’re sated. Abang Yoli doesn't have a dessert menu, but... personally, I think it could be an all-day offering.

Breakfast is available from 8-11 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. A planning note: Abang Yoli does not have coffee, so you'll want to involve a stop next door at Five Watt before or after placing your order at the counter—a minor bother for a majorly worthwhile breakfast.

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