Where we eat: Head to PK Egans in Canby for pizza and coat button fries

Canby is 165 miles west of Minneapolis.

Some of Minnesota’s best restaurants are hidden in plain sight, out past the suburbs and miles off the interstate.

We recently asked readers for their favorite eateries in communities with 10,000 people or fewer — sometimes far fewer. The Where We Eat team will visit some of the top choices over the coming months and feature them here. Today, we're talking about PK Egans, a family-friendly destination on your way to South Dakota.

How to get there

PK Egans is located in Canby, Minnesota, population 1,746. Canby is 165 miles west of Minneapolis.

What to eat

The restaurant is best known for its pizza and coat button fries.

First, the pizza: PK Egans makes its crust from scratch. They grind their own meat and blend their own cheeses. The crust is thin, crispy, and cornmeal-coated.

The most popular pizza is the PK’s Favorite (with Canadian bacon, pepperoni, sausage, black olives, green peppers, and cheese). While you’re studying the menu, you will notice some unconventional pizza toppings, like almonds, pickles, eggs, smoked oysters, and sauerkraut. But if unique toppings aren’t your thing, don’t worry: They have all of the traditional toppings available as well.

No trip to PK Egans is complete without an order of coat button fries. These thick-cut fries are made completely from scratch, in-house. They contain a crispy, flavorful coating and are cooked to perfection on the inside.

When Corinne Pesek and her husband opened PK Egans in 1978, their goal was to create a restaurant that the whole family could enjoy. “Back then, there was a lack of family-friendly restaurants in the area. If you wanted to take your family out to eat, you basically had two options: a bar or a burger joint.”

Today, some 38 years later, PK Egans remains a family favorite for diners throughout the area. On any given visit, you will see couples, families, and groups of students. Nearby sports teams sometimes stop here on their way home after a game.

Many young people from the area had their first jobs at the restaurant. “Our restaurant was built on the backs of high school and college students. Over the years, we have employed hundreds of them. Many people gained a lot of experience working here.”

The vibe

Casual, cozy, and family-friendly. The walls are adorned with old photos and memorabilia.

PK Egans draws in diners from all over the area. People are accustomed to driving 30 or 40 miles to eat there, coming from Hendricks, Ivanhoe, Dawson, Madison, and other nearby communities.

Some of the busiest times at the restaurant are holiday weekends, when relatives are in town and want to go back to their favorite hometown restaurant.

Prices and hours

Pizza prices range from $5.25 for a mini cheese pizza, to $20.50 for a large specialty pie.

Coat button fries are $6.50 for a full order, and $4.50 for a half order.

PK Egans is open every day from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

You can find out more about PK Egans on its Facebook page.

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