Asking local advice on where to eat usually elicits a recommendation to drive east and dine with a view at any Rainy Lake resort. In International Falls  there are some decent views at the Holiday Inn’s Riverfront Grill (1500 Hwy. 71, 218/283-4451, 6 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5 p.m.–9 p.m. Sun.–Fri., 6–11 a.m. and 5–9 p.m. Sun. summer, reduced hours rest of year, $7–18), which overlooks the Rainy River and a flower garden. It has a typical family-fare menu with burgers, pasta, steak, and seafood.
The Northwoods-themed Chocolate Moose (2501 2nd Ave., 218/283-8888, 6 a.m.–10 p.m. daily, $5–17) has a pretty similar menu with generally lower prices.
The Spot (1801 Hwy. 53 S., 218/283-2440, lunch 11 a.m.–2 p.m., dinner 4–10 p.m. Tues.–Sat., closed Sun.–Mon., $8–28) has the classiest dining room in town—in an old-style supper club kind of way. The menu is mostly steak and seafood—with many combinations of the two—though the lunch menu has several sandwiches.
With house-roasted coffees from around the world and the work of local artists on the walls, Coffee Landing Metro (444 3rd St., 218/283-8316, www.coffeelanding.com , 6 a.m.–3 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Sat.–Sun., $3–8) brings a little big city to The Falls. Besides caffeine, they serve bakery items, full breakfasts, and some sandwiches.
Tara’s Wharf (2065 Spruce St., 218/286-5699, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. daily summer) on Ranier’s waterfront is a popular stop for ice cream cones.
Hearty, friendly, home cooking is on the menu at Grandma’s Pantry (Ranier, 218/286-5584, 7 a.m.–7 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 7 a.m.–10:30 p.m. Sat., closed Sun.), including massive wild rice pancakes.