The old-fashioned Pines Cafe (30 9th St. W., 406/892-7696, 6 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, about $7), a handy stop along Highway 2 in downtown Columbia Falls, has been taken over by Whitefish’s Montana Coffee Traders. Stop here for good breakfasts, lunches, baked goods, and espresso drinks.
The Nite Owl and the Back Room (522 9th St. W., 406/892-3131 or 406/892-9944, 5 a.m.–11 p.m. daily, $5–17) is a casual bar, café, and dinner house complex that serves really good pizza, chicken, and ribs. It doesn’t look like much, but ponder the always-full parking lot and rest assured that this is the best inexpensive food in Columbia Falls.
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition