A Taste of Montana: Unearthing the Charm of Echo Lake Café

Echo Lake Café

Nestled in the breathtaking landscape of Montana, the Echo Lake Café has long been a cherished destination for locals and tourists alike. With a rich history, resounding praise from patrons, captivating surroundings, and a menu to die for, it’s no wonder that this cozy eatery has become a must-visit spot for food enthusiasts and adventure seekers. In this blog, we’ll explore the captivating story of Echo Lake Café, the rave reviews it has garnered, its enchanting surroundings, the sumptuous food, and why a trip to this culinary haven is well worth the drive.

A Journey Through Time: Echo Lake Café’s Rich History

Established in 1960 by Eleanor and Charles Baker, Echo Lake Café started as a small coffee shop that soon gained a reputation for its mouthwatering breakfasts and warm, inviting atmosphere. Over the years, the café has grown and adapted to the changing times, expanding its menu offerings while maintaining a steadfast commitment to using fresh, local ingredients. This dedication to quality has cemented Echo Lake Café’s status as a beloved institution in the heart of Bigfork, Montana.

Voices of Approval: Praise from Patrons

Echo Lake Café has consistently earned rave reviews for its delicious dishes and friendly, attentive staff. Customers especially love the homemade huckleberry pancakes, the delightful eggs benedict, and the savory bison burger. The café’s commitment to exceptional service and a welcoming environment has made it a favorite among locals, out-of-town visitors, and even the occasional celebrity.

Nature’s Bounty: Echo Lake Café’s Enchanting Surroundings

Located amidst Montana’s awe-inspiring landscape, Echo Lake Café offers a truly unique dining experience. The café boasts panoramic views of the nearby mountains, and is close to Echo Lake, which is famous for its crystal-clear waters and stunning vistas. Nearby attractions, such as Jewel Basin Hiking Area, Swan Lake, and Glacier National Park, provide ample opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and wildlife spotting. The nearby  charming village of Bigfork further adds to the café’s allure with its vibrant arts scene, quaint boutique shops, and bustling local festivals.

A Culinary Experience: Echo Lake Café’s Irresistible Menu

Echo Lake Café prides itself on offering a diverse menu that caters to a variety of tastes. From their famous huckleberry pancakes to their mouthwatering bison burger, each dish is prepared using the freshest ingredients sourced from local suppliers. The menu also features a selection of vegetarian and gluten-free options, ensuring that every patron can enjoy a satisfying meal.

The Drive: A Scenic Adventure Worth Taking

A trip to Echo Lake Café is more than just a meal; it’s an experience that combines culinary delights with Montana’s awe-inspiring natural beauty. The journey to the café is a scenic adventure in itself, taking you through miles of picturesque landscapes and quaint towns. Once you arrive, the warm hospitality and delectable flavors of Echo Lake Café will make the drive seem like a small price to pay for an unforgettable dining experience.

In conclusion, Echo Lake Café in Bigfork, Montana is a hidden gem that offers a delightful fusion of history, rave reviews, captivating surroundings, and mouthwatering food. Its irresistible charm makes it well worth the drive, and it’s a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an extraordinary dining experience in the heart of Montana’s majestic landscape.

Echo Lake Café coffee bar
Echo Lake Café beef enchilada

Lula’s Cafe

Lula's Cafe Huckleberry Cherry Pie

Lula’s Cafe is a charming and cozy restaurant located in Whitefish, Montana. The restaurant is known for its delicious homemade pies, hearty breakfasts, and friendly service. Lula’s Cafe is located in the heart of downtown Whitefish, making it a convenient stop for locals and tourists alike.

One of the main draws of Lula’s Cafe is its homemade pies, which are made fresh daily using only the finest ingredients. Some of the popular pie flavors include huckleberry, apple, cherry, and pecan. The pies at Lula’s Cafe are so popular that they often sell out quickly, so it’s best to arrive early if you want to try one.

In addition to the pies, Lula’s Cafe also offers a full breakfast and lunch menu. The breakfast menu includes classic dishes such as pancakes, French toast, and omelets, as well as more unique options like the huevos rancheros and the smoked salmon Benedict. The lunch menu features sandwiches, salads, and soups, as well as daily specials that showcase the chef’s creativity and use of local ingredients.

There are several reasons why you should consider eating at Lula’s Cafe. First and foremost, the food is delicious and made with care. The homemade pies are a standout, but the breakfast and lunch menus are also excellent. In addition, the restaurant’s cozy atmosphere and friendly service make it a welcoming spot to enjoy a meal with friends or family.

Overall, if you’re looking for a charming and delicious dining experience in Whitefish, Montana, Lula’s Cafe is the perfect choice. Whether you’re in the mood for a slice of homemade pie or a hearty breakfast, Lula’s Cafe is sure to delight your taste buds and leave you feeling satisfied.

Lula's Cafe Logo

Cafe Kandahar

cafe kandahar at Whitefish Mountain Resort

Cafe Kandahar is an acclaimed restaurant located in the mountain town of Whitefish, Montana. The restaurant is known for its unique blend of international and regional cuisine, as well as its use of locally sourced ingredients. The menu at Cafe Kandahar is carefully curated by Executive Chef Andy Blanton, who has received numerous accolades for his culinary expertise.

Chef Blanton has a deep respect for the local ingredients that he uses in his dishes, and he is known for his creative approach to cooking. The restaurant’s menu changes frequently to reflect the seasons and the availability of fresh ingredients. Some of the signature dishes at Cafe Kandahar include the bison tenderloin, elk carpaccio, and Montana Wagyu beef ribeye.

The restaurant itself is located in the Kandahar Lodge, a cozy and intimate setting that complements the restaurant’s focus on quality ingredients and attentive service. The lodge is nestled in the heart of the Whitefish Mountain Resort, surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Rocky Mountains.

There are several reasons why you should consider eating at Cafe Kandahar. First and foremost, the food is exceptional, and Chef Blanton’s commitment to using local ingredients ensures that the dishes are always fresh and flavorful. The menu offers a unique blend of international and regional cuisine, providing a dining experience that is both sophisticated and approachable.

In addition, the atmosphere at Cafe Kandahar is warm and welcoming, with an intimate setting that is perfect for a romantic dinner or a special occasion. The staff is knowledgeable and attentive, ensuring that your dining experience is enjoyable from start to finish.

Overall, Cafe Kandahar is a must-visit restaurant for anyone traveling to Whitefish, Montana. Whether you’re a foodie looking for a unique culinary experience or simply looking for a cozy and intimate setting to enjoy a delicious meal, Cafe Kandahar is the perfect choice.

cafe kandahar, Whitefish MT

Polbridge Mercantile

Polbridge Mercantile, Polbridge Montana

What is the Polbridge Mercantile, and is it worth the trip?

The Polebridge Mercantile is a historic general store located in Polebridge, Montana, near the northwest entrance of Glacier National Park. The store has been in operation since 1914 and is known for its homemade baked goods, including huckleberry bear claws, bread, and pastries. It also offers a selection of groceries, camping supplies, and souvenirs.

Many visitors consider a trip to Polebridge Mercantile to be worth the effort, as it offers a unique and authentic Montana experience. The store is located in a remote and beautiful area, surrounded by forests, mountains, and wildlife. It’s a popular destination for hikers, campers, and outdoor enthusiasts who want to stock up on supplies or enjoy a delicious pastry before hitting the trails. Visitors can also enjoy a picnic outside the store or visit the nearby Polebridge Ranger Station and Kintla Lake.

That being said, Polebridge Mercantile is located about an hour’s drive from the town of Whitefish, and the road leading to Polebridge can be rough, especially in winter. Visitors should also be prepared for limited cell phone service and no access to electricity. However, many people find the trip to Polebridge to be a rewarding and memorable experience, and it’s definitely worth considering if you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure in Montana.

Polbridge Montana

The Desoto Grill

The Desoto Grill, Kalispell

The Desoto Grill in Kalispell is famous for its delicious BBQ dishes, especially its smoked meats. Some of the most popular items on the menu include the brisket, ribs, and pulled pork, which are all smoked in-house and seasoned with a special dry rub. The restaurant also serves a variety of tasty sides, including mac and cheese, baked beans, and coleslaw. Additionally, The Desoto Grill is known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere, with a cozy interior and a staff that is attentive and knowledgeable about the menu. Overall, The Desoto Grill has built a strong reputation for providing a high-quality dining experience, and it is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.

The Desoto Grill in Kalispell is generally considered to be a great place to eat. The restaurant has a 4.5-star rating on Google with over 1,100 reviews and is highly rated on other review sites as well. Customers often praise the restaurant’s BBQ dishes, including their brisket, ribs, and pulled pork, as well as their tasty sides such as mac and cheese and baked beans. Additionally, the restaurant has a nice atmosphere with friendly and attentive staff. Of course, individual opinions may vary, but The Desoto Grill has a strong reputation for providing a quality dining experience in Kalispell.

Sykes Diner & Market

Sykes Diner market - Exterior image

Sykes Diner & Market – Nobody Goes Away A Stranger

If you are looking for the perfect mix of a world class diner, great prices, friendly service and a welcoming atmosphere, then Sykes Diner and Market is the place for you. For over 100 years, Sykes has served the Flathead Valley community with wonderful homecooked meals with local touch and flavor. Over the years, renovations have been completed and updates made, but Sykes Diner has always remained a friendly place to grab a great meal at a great price. The Diner and Market are open seven days a week from 7am until 3pm on 202 2nd Avenue West in Kalispell.

Sykes Diner & Market Bear Pancakes
Teddy Bear Pancakes Topped With Whipped Cream, Strawberries, and Blueberries.

May I Recommend The Sykes Breakfast Menu?

So, recommendations….anything on the menu you will enjoy. Whether you decide on the Teddy Bear Pancakes decorated just as expected or maybe the Cowboy Steaks & Eggs is more your style, everything is absolutely wonderful. Gluten Free Waffles, Eggs Benedict, Biscuits & Gravy, or even something as scrumptious as a Fresh Cinnamon or Caramel Roll….. These are just few more items to consider on their very extensive menu. Price is always a consideration but at Sykes the price is just right, especially the $0.10 coffee during the Early Bird Special from 7am until 9am. The biggest problem most guests find is not the selection, taste or price, but simply what to choose. The solution is simple, come regularly and often until you have tried everything. This is the only way you can really be sure you have experienced the best of Sykes Breakfast. 

Sykes Diner & Market Eggs Benedict With Hash browns

Lunch, Grabs & Desserts

If you didn’t make it for breakfast or simple decided to hold off for lunch and dessert, these menus are equally and delectable. 100% Real Beef (Build Your Own) Burgers, Greek Chicken Salad, French Dip, Meatloaf or even Liver And Onions are all available for lunch or a late afternoon bite.

“Sykes Diner is committed to using fresh, local, and healthy products whenever possible to deliver the best quality food. Come join us for downhome cookin’ and a friendly atmosphere. ” ~ Owner, Ray Thompson

Don’t forget about Dessert! If you ever thought of splurging, dessert at Sykes is the time to do it. Mocha Chocolate Torte, Award Winning Huckleberry Bread Pudding, Home Made Pies, Shakes, Malts or just an old fashioned Sundae….if your mouth is watering, you now understand how important dessert can be at Sykes. 

Darcy Bauman At Diner

Coffee Shop & Deli & Pharmacy

Sykes now offers a quick stop coffee and deli to for the community serving all of your favorite types of coffee from hot and iced to blended. Plus, you can also grab a quick sandwich, wrap or panini before you head out for work, hiking or even fishing. There is also a pharmacy at Sykes that is a perfect complement to the entire location. Check out the Sykes Website for more information – HERE

406.Buzz Montana Living Magazine

Are you in the Buzz?

406.Buzz is your best resource for the latest events happening around the Montana Flathead Valley area. From Kalispell and Whitefish to Eureka and Columbia Falls, we’ve got the hottest events, best outdoor activities, restaurant lists, and so much more.  From farmers’ markets and breweries to festivals, music events and family fun entertainment, we know all the buzz happening around town.

Whether you are a local or a visitor, we have all the insider information on the best places to check out every day of the week. Check out our  Events Calendar – HERE –  and get in the buzz!