- A. J. Samuels
At the confluence of prairie and mountain lies Great Falls. Home to a vibrant community, the city is also resting point for road-trippers and truckers, making for a collection of good food. Here is our list of the city’s 10 best places to grab breakfast or brunch.
With a no frills decor that hasn’t changed in years, 2K’s is a local haunt with huge portions and cheap prices. Typical diner eggs are made to order, along with homemade cinnamon rolls and biscuits ‘n gravy. For a filling side to any breakfast, order the house pancake that is bigger than the plate. The counter and small dining room are lined with locals until breakfast ends at 11:00am, at which point 2K’s one-pound burgers offer a massive option for the late-risers.
2K’s Kafe, 406 3rd Ave S, Great Falls, MT, USA +406 727 2053
Five Loaves Coffeehouse & Bakery
The popularity of this locally owned coffee house and bakery is evident from its second location in town. Made-from-scratch muffins, scones and quiches are served in a small, five-table dinning room, or packaged to go. The cheddar and bacon breakfast pocket – filled with hash browns, egg, onion, peppers, bacon and cheddar cheese – is a small pastry that packs a punch. Specials at Five Loaves are worth a taste, including their Sunday homemade biscuits ‘n gravy. Any of this spot’s pastries make a great breakfast, especially alongside a barista-prepared coffee, latte or smoothie.
Since opening in June 2015, Roadhouse Diner’s emphasis on classics, freshly prepared with locally sourced ingredients, has been well received. Owner/chef Jason Beam uses bread from nearby Wheat Montana Bakery, as well as local beef, veggies and potatoes, in many of his recipes. Roadhouse even has its own blend of Montana coffee, roasted fresh daily. For a breakfast that sticks to your ribs, try the skinny man’s ruin: two eggs, sausage, bacon, ham, home fries covered in onions, peppers, mushrooms in cheese sauce, pancakes and toast. Inventive daily specials and homemade baked goods are posted online, including options such as the cheesesteak omelet.
Roadhouse Diner, 613 15th St N, Great Falls, MT, USA +406 788 8839
What started as a health store in downtown Great Falls has expanded to a full restaurant, deli and bakery. Those looking for a healthy alternative to a greasy spoon will appreciate the gluten-free and vegetarian options at Daisy’s. With made-from-scratch baked goods, this tucked-away restaurant is prime for breakfast all day. Daisy’s menu changes weekly, ensuring fresh and flavorful meals that satisfy regulars. Local favorites include coconut cookie baked oatmeal, gingerbread waffles and chicken caprice quiche. Homemade bread and muffins also make the locally owned Daisy’s a downtown staple.
Daisy’s Deli, 508 1st Ave N, Great Falls, MT, USA +406 452 0361
Tracy’s Family Restaurant
This Great Falls institution is a 50s diner that avoids the gimmicks of similarly themed restaurants. Since opening in 1952, Tracy’s has maintained the original U-shaped counter and jukeboxes, making for a classic diner meal free from the forced nostalgia of 50s chains. The third-generation owned spot serves breakfast all day, including steak and eggs and corned-beef hash. Open 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays, Tracy’s is one of the few late-night restaurants in town, making for a solid greasy eggs, hash browns and milkshake anytime. The service mirrors the 50s decor, making for a pleasant breakfast with plenty of coffee refills.
Big Sky Bread and Pastry
Baker Matt Carlson executes the best baked goods in town, turning out a combination of artisan breads and classic French pastries. Big Sky’s new downtown location includes a coffee bar, which makes the locale perfect for picking up breakfast to-go or enjoying it in the rustic dining area. Carlson’s croissants are the highlight: he makes butter, chocolate, almond, and ham and cheese, as well as the occasional croissant du jour. The daily specials are worth dropping in for, including the recent maple bacon donut and Montana huckleberry muffin. Big Sky’s granola is a welcome addition to the menu and is well worth stocking up on for breakfast at home.
Lippi’s old-fashioned revolving pie case is both display for the tasty homemade desserts, and a mark of how long this local spot has been around. House-cooked breakfast is served all day, offering big plates and small bills. The pork chops and eggs are a Lippi’s speciality, with the option to cover the accompanying hash browns in gravy for only a dollar more. Owner Cathy Kuether makes her own chokecherry syrup, perfect for lathering onto a stack of house pancakes. In a modest and simple space, Lippi’s provides a quality Montana breakfast.
Lippi’s Kitchen, 705 Central Ave W, Great Falls, MT, USA +406 761 4546
Clark & Lewie’s Pub & Grill
Located in Great Fall’s O’Haire Motor Inn, Clark & Lewie’s serves meals hearty enough to make vacationers waddle back to their rooms. Although the location suggests the restaurant caters to tourists, locals frequent Clark & Lewie’s too, particularly for their eggs Benedict which comes with a side of hash browns. Besides the traditional dish, this spot also has a Montana version of eggs benny – topped with steak or smoked salmon – and a southern eggs Benedict – biscuits topped with sausage, poached eggs and gravy. The house cinnamon roll is a meal in itself and is covered with cream cheese frosting. If you happen to be staying in the family-run hotel, Clark & Lewie’s also provides room service, making the inevitable food coma all the more manageable.
The Other Place
The O.P. is a local bar that includes casino machines and a liquor store, making it the last place you would expect to find a quality breakfast. Though if you brave past the patrons playing slot machines in the dark, hazy interior, you will be justly rewarded with hearty eggs and hash browns. O.P.’s portions are so notoriously large that they offer a 1/2 breakfast option. The chicken-fried steak and eggs is cheap and served with hash browns and gravy. Even the heartiest of eaters will have breakfast and leftovers for a cheap price. O.P. also serves one of the best Bloody Marys in town. Where else can you play the slots, buy a case of beer and enjoy a delicious breakfast?
The Other Place, 1200 9th St S, Great Falls, MT, USA +406 761 1694
Best Donuts is this locale’s mantra, product, and only exterior sign. Located in a former ice cream restaurant, the shop places all the emphasis on making the best donuts in town, leaving the no-frills establishment as-is. The open kitchen makes a small selection of fresh-glazed treats, and they will fill the pastry with cream or jelly right in front of you. Get to this spot early for a warm donut fresh out of the fryer, or some donut holes as they are known to sell out quickly. For a cheap breakfast, get the local favorite – a maple bar filled with custard.
Best Donuts, 1101 Central Ave, Great Falls, MT, USA +406 453 0765