The Purple Onion Café and Catering


WELCOME to the p.o.

A family affair for 23 years, the Purple Onion Cafe´ offers good food, locally roasted, Fair Trade, coffee and a comfortable place to hang, chat, and study. The way a coffeeshop should be. 

We Cater! Bring the P.O. to your office or event. Click here for more info.

See you soon.

Farewell Old Friend

"For the times, they are a-changin'" - Bob Dylan

"For the times, they are a-changin'" - Bob Dylan

September 3rd, 2016 we bid farewell to our sister store, Espresso Exposé. A U of M staple. The one who paved the way for the Purple Onion to later, also become part of campus. Little did owner, Pat, know when he opened in 1991 that the doors would still be open 25 years later. The way he describes his time with Expo reminds me of being a mom. Or in his case, a dad. Constant worries of safety and well being. Everyday learning, and also teaching new things. A circle of people that come in and out everyday-some are in it for the long haul, and some spend a short and meaningful time with us. Can you believe that some of our regulars have been visiting us (sometimes2-3 times) every day for upwards of 22 years? Loyalty and Sacrifice- but he wouldn't have it any other way. For pat, Expo was family. And for everyone else- baristas, managers, customers, regulars, past and present- I believe they would say the same. 

Expo opened the doors one last time for an acoustic show called "Expo Forever" on Friday, September 2nd. We shared coffee, laughs, tears and some amazing music. We wrote on the "Why I love Expo" chalkboard wall until there was absolutely no black showing what. so. ever. Thank you to our amazing staff for putting in work to make the night so special. You can view the video of Pat's speech at

Expo Forever.

Locally Roasted - Fairly Traded - Organic 

Drink Local.

For 24 years The Roastery has been providing MPLS with locally roasted coffee the SAME DAY it was roasted. This is one of the many reasons we are so proud to call Jeremy, our roaster. Our coffee is Fairly Traded and Organic. Select brews are Rainforest alliance certified. We take pride in serving the most economically sustainable coffees possible. We use compostable to-go cups and encourage all to bring your own mug for a discount!

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6:30 am-10 pm

Saturday & Sunday

8 am-10 pm


The Purple Onion Cafe


1301 University Ave SE Minneapolis, MN 55414