Top 5 Brunch Spots in Missoula

By Aaron Kell

This ranking is purely subjective based off of my own tastes buds and preferences. To determine this I visited many restaurants offering brunch in Missoula, MT. I took into account a few variables: price, menu, and service/wait time. As we all know, the person who invented Brunch deserves a gold medal, some mornings (or afternoons) it’s even a life saver.

 

  1. The Shack
    Address: 222 W Main St, Missoula, MT 59802
    The-Shack“`

 

This place has one of a kind atmosphere with it’s decor. You will feel as if you stepped back in time into a western saloon. The menu has much to offer, from broiled Rainbow Trout, to Chicken Fried Steak, to plain cold cereal.   If you are a fan of omelettes then this is your place!  They have up to 15 omelette varieties to choose from. Optimal dining times would be during work week, as there is a wait usually on weekend mornings.

http://www.theshackcafe.com/

 

 

  1. Hob Nob
    Address: 531 S Higgins Ave, Missoula, MT 59801

HobNob

Just the name itself says “cozy” and that is what Hob Nob is.  This breakfast and lunch spot is the perfect stop before the Missoula Farmers’ Market or riding your bike to campus.  Brunch is now complete with bakery items baked in-house, and ever changing breakfast and lunch specials.  A well kept secret of the Hip Strip is the fantastic burgers Hob Nob offers as a lunchtime special in summertime.

http://www.hobnobonhiggins.com/

  1. Paul’s Pancake Parlor
    Address: 2305 Brooks St, Missoula, MT 59801

paul-s-waffle-house

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course Paul’s kills it with the pancakes, but the Parlor’s menu actually offers much more.  From BLTs and Polish Hot Dogs to Sirloin Steaks and seafood, Paul’s has something for the group that just can’t decide! For the breakfast lovers at heart, Paul’s offers many variations to their breakfast combos to ensure no classic (or new!) favorite pancake flavors or sides are left out.

http://paulspancake.com/

  1. Old Post
    Address: 103 W Spruce St, Missoula, MT 59802

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A classic Missoulian favorite for Sunday brunch with your friends.  Complete with tasty Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas, the deck at The Old Post is the best way to enjoy your eggs. The French Bread in the “Stuffed French Bread” is made from handmade brioche bread, topping scrambled eggs and bacon.  For those who can’t say no to a good breakfast sandwich, give the J-Mac a try.  It’s worth the extra charge to get your egg (cooked over-hard) and sausage on a bagel instead of the English Muffin, if that’s what you prefer.  Something unique about The Old Post is they serve a Southern favorite here, in Missoula, MT! Get it as a side with your next authentic scramble.

 

  1. Catalyst
    Address: 111 N Higgins Ave, Missoula, MT 59802

Catalyst
The Catalyst is a Missoula favorite.  Throughout nearly all hours of service, it’s likely there will be a wait.  However the friendly wait staff and cozy basement with several couches and chairs, and a selection of current magazines make this wait tolerable.  The many different sandwiches and soup specials make The Catalyst is a hot spot for lunch, but brunch is what keeps you coming back.  Whether it’s an omelette, breakfast sandwich, or huevos rancheros, a recommended favorite side dish is the potato casserole, served in its own pastry dish.  For those who can take the heat, try the Green Chili version of the potato casserole.

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If You’re Not Doing This, You Should Be

How To: Never Be Ill

It’s that time of year again where any office space, classroom, or restaurant turns into a battleground between our health and the bugs that cause illness and run rampant through our communities.  If you’re anything like me then you have entirely too much going on and can’t afford to lose the battle to the common cold, seasonal flu, or whatever else they’re calling it these days. I decided after a victory over a sinus infection three years ago that I would do anything it took to not get sick, ever. This is why I have developed a quick and inexpensive regimen to keep myself guarded and armed all year long. I haven’t had even an inkling of illness in three years and think that everyone should benefit from these simple ways to stay healthy. Here is 5 ways to arm your body and never get sick again.

 

Garlic Bombs

Perhaps the most importangarlict weapon in the arsenal is the garlic bomb. Packed full of fiber, vitamins C and B6 as well as minerals like potassium and calcium, garlic give the immune system a HUGE boost, allowing it to work overtime in destroying any virus or unwanted visitors that may enter your body. While most people like garlic in small amounts and mixed into food, I have found it highly effective to finely chop a clove or two and drop it in about ¼ cup of water and down it quickly to avoid the garlic aftertaste that lingers in the mouth after chewing it. It also reduces blood pressure, cholesterol, prevents dementia, detoxifies heavy metals in your blood and improves athletic performance.  You can’t have too many of these so drop them as often as you’d like!

 

 

 

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar Shots

A shot of this one or twice a day will bring your whole body to the equilibrium that it is constantly working to achieve. This allows for your energy to be used in other ways, like fighting off infection and increasing brain function. It balances the pH levels inside of your body as well as on the outside such as nourishing your skin and hair. It aids in weight loss, removes candida which causes sugar cravings, poor memory and fatigue, and can reduce heartburn. Take a standard sized shot (1 oz) of this with turmeric to reduce the acidity or dilute with water. The ‘raw’ part is imperative because it contains probiotics that help with digestion. I use Bragg’s brand which can be found at any grocery store. If you can take a shot of whiskey, you can take a shot of this!

ACV

Turmeric Powder

Bright orange in color, this spice does not try to camouflage it incredible benefits. Turmeric is a root that is harvested and ground into a fine powder. It has anti-inflammatory qualities, fights infection and destroys any free-radicals (cancer-causing organisms) that enter the body. It severely reduces the risk of diabetes, cancer, heart-disease, and contains repairing properties for brain stem cells. The daily recommended amount is 1-2 tablespoons. I get my turmeric fix by mixing 1.5 tablespoons in a standard sized shot glass with apple cider vinegar. Adding ¼ teaspoon of black pepper increases bioavailability of the turmeric so you can reap all the benefits. If the turmeric and ACV is too much for you, try mixing it with ¼ cup water instead. This one is a must not just for fighting off colds but for a long (and cognitive) life!

Hot Lemon & Honey Water

This has not only changed the way I think about coffee, but chalemonnged the way I think about mornings. Drinking this on an empty stomach (before coffee) cleanses and hydrates the lymphatic system which, when dehydrated, is the leading cause of illness. It also cleanses the colon, skin, and digestive system. The enzymes in the lemon give a nice, clean boost of energy first thing in the morning without caffeine. If you’re interested in a beautiful healthy glow outside and highly functioning system inside, then this is drink for you. I use a half a lemon and 1.5 teaspoons of raw, natural honey and look forward to this treat every morning! A must have while fighting a viral invasion.

 

Ginger Tea

This last one is a bit more time consuming but equally as important. Ginger has been used for centuries for its preventative, healing and aiding properties. It allows for better absorption of vitamins and minerals, cleanses the body of unwanted bacteria and boosts the immune system to fight infection. It is also an anti-inflammatory and reduces risk of colon and stomach cancers and ulcers. Steep 2 tablespoons of shredded ginger in hot water and drink like tea 1-3 times per day. Ginger tea helps pull the rest of the regimen together and keeps you getting the most of everything you put into your body.

 

There are many other spices, oils and foods you can eat to keep you healthy, but my personal five favorites continue work flawlessly for me. Since I have started this I have been sleeping more soundly, waking up with ease, have increased energy and stamina, clearer thinking, and an overall improved mood. Try one, or all of these amazing weapons and see for yourself the positive effects they can have. Your body will thank you and you will be glad when you are healthy and come out of the battlegrounds unscathed! 

 

Happy Healthing,

Niki Bates

 

The Little Montana Guide for Coffee Lovers


The Little Montana Guide for Coffee Lovers

By James Rahr

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Introduction

With only 1,023,579 (2014) people in the 4th largest state in the U.S., it’s hard to imagine that in a place like San Francisco, with 852,469 people (2014), there are some bazillion coffee houses pulsing throughout the peninsula. This guide examines the top 15 coffee houses in the treasure state.

 

Geography

Let’s take into account of the space of Montana for a second. It’s pretty big-meaning that if everyone got their own piece of land, it would be 6.8 miles square. So it is difficult to navigate a coffee scene that is divided by this much space and not buildings.

Roastery

We also gave brownie points to brew spots where they had roasted their own coffee. Montana has a small intimate economic environment and so it’s no surprise that the roastery business seems like nurturing a relationship rather than performing business. A lot of coffee shops examined were using similar beans and similar espresso machines. The key diffferences between coffee shops then become softer and less factual than geography and roastery. In researching our sample size, which included 70+ coffee shops around the state, the cheeky question of ‘on average, what quantity of espresso beans do you use each day for crafting espresso drinks to drink on site?’ was asked. Some were reluctant to reveal this number, others felt no pressure, and for some it is difficult to estimate. However the specificity of this question can be referenced to provide a general inference for how much revenue is made with those beans, kind of like through-put in a manufacturing plant.

Coffee Connoisseuring

“To recognize, develop and promote specialty coffee.”

After accounting for the coffee shops location, and the to roast or not to roast question, the ability and efforts of the cafe to include the community and share coffee knowledge was taken into consideration. Some cafes or roasters do not have the capacity to utilize traditional coffee engagements, but other forms of community involvement were taken into account based on the audience of each individual organization and their geography, again.

 

The Best of the Last Best Place

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Polebridge Mercantile-Polebridge

This cafe is a weird one. It is a jack of all trades by far. Nestled over the river and through the woods, literally, this little shack is the place of gathering over a good espresso for many. There are plenty of specialty coffee spots around the state but this one tops the list for being geographically located right next to Glacier/Waterton National Park. Canadians and Montanans enjoy lattes and, the local favorite, a bear claw whilst gazing at the iconic scenery. The espresso machine is a bit old, like the character of the building, and the town, and the park, but that is what makes it so infinitely beautiful. Give the latte a try and breathe in the freshest air in the state and try and tell me you hate it. Just try.

 

 

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Coffee Factory Roasters-Redlodge

This tiny ski town is similar to those trickled along the continental divide. The powder falls and the mountaineers crowd the area. This little roastery becomes a port to skiers and boarders alike, fueling them for the day’s new runs. The tourists that arrive in the summer for the idyllic drive up the mountain and nearby pig racing attraction often stop and chatter about with the locals. In the winter, after the mountain warms and the ice melts and the lifts stop, the crowd slowly and sometimes sorely, saunters back to the coffee shop for a warm up.

 

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Rock Creek Coffee Roasters-Billings

Rock Creek Coffee Roasters is one of the older roasters in the area. It has a perfect location in the heart of the downtown of Montana’s largest city. Inside, the roasting is done right next to where the drinks are served. Bags of beans, roasted and not, are scattered throughout the cafe making a meaningful impression on those who visit. The company has stayed true to its italian roots in keeping drinks simple and not adding all the ‘loaded extras.’ If coffee isn’t your best friend, but after this place it might be, they offer a small selection of bottled beverages and light snacks. If anything, stop by, grab a latte, and shmooze with the barista over that week’s upcoming concert next door.

 

 

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Rockford Coffee Bar and Roasters-Bozeman

Cyclists and coffee experts gather at this local watering hole. Rockford coffee bar is a mecca for integration of roasts and espresso drinks. The roaster boasts the nickname ‘Bozeman’s coffee of choice.’ This is a true statement based on the number of people in the coffee bar at any given time of day. The roaster sells their beans online so those traveling or those who stopped in and fell in love with their techniques-like I did-can have the fresh roasts delivered straight to their door just after roasting has ended.

 

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Wild Joe’s Coffee Spot-Bozeman

Wild Joe’s sounds like a safari or something not related to coffee other than the word Joe. But do not be fooled by the name. WJ’s is spot in the heart of downtown Bozeman and is sure to ignite a curiosity for coffee in anyone. The interior features a coffee bar structure as you order from the barista and further along the cafe are a wide variety of seats  expanding all the way to the back of the building. In the back, is the best area. The cafe features local coffee information and new updates on brew methods and where their coffee source is currently. I read a fascinating article about the history of coffee  from 1974 while waiting for my latte. While the store doesn’t roast their own beans, their impeccable coffee knowledge and adoration are something to be admired. I highly suggest stopping in after a snowy day on the mountain.

 

 

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Sunrise Coffee-Missoula

While this coffee picture wasn’t from the actual cafe it still represents the attention to detail at Sunrise Coffee. Pat, the owner, and coffee specialist has dedicated a day once a month to sharing coffee expertise. The Coffee Lab, as he calls it, is a workshop like orientation to explore variations and brew methods of coffee. This cafe is a hidden gem and rightly so for the treasure state. Not too many locals know about it, but the cafe is slowly joining the local coffee hype.

 

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Off The Leaf Coffee Company-Billings

Anyone and everyone seems to know of Off The Leaf in Billings. You’ll be hard pressed to find someone that hasn’t gathered at the 819 location. Started in 2008 and still going strong, the company uses profits to help fund nonprofits, both local and those pertaining to coffee growing. The bar is also home to a pay it forward board on which locals pay in advance for others drinks. Thus many firemen and policemen can be found reading the newspaper with their morning cup. If you ever have time, try out their new location just down the street for a more intimate feel. This new location also has a drive through, so if you’re on your way out of town it’s a quick minute for one of the best coffees around.

 

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Morning Glory Coffee-West Yellowstone

When I spoke to the owner of this wayside cafe located just feet from the oldest National Park in the country I was enamored with his affection for the industry. In such a rural area, but also highly trafficked during seasonal periods, it is rare to find such a commodity. The owner was extremely aware of the coffee scene nationally and has been in past years a member of the Specialty Coffee Association of America. The coffee house also features Montana Made goods and Teas. It is the ultimate spot for Yellowstone visitors, souvenir hunting, and coffee lovers.

 

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International Coffee Traders-Bozeman

International Coffee Traders  is the perfect study sanctuary. Located less than a block away from Montana State University, this roaster and cafe is a picturesque sample for any prospective student magazine or publication. But don’t let their demographic fool you, their coffee is just as in top-notch as any Blue Bottle-esque cafe. While they don’t offer any cupping classes they do encourage coffee passions and anything related to the nearest ski hill.

 

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Gil’s Goods-Livingston

Gil’s goods is a one part to a menage a trois of entrepreneurial endeavours. The coffee part comes from the restaurant slash bakery. The building is part of an old hotel, The Murray, and is definitely a must see if you’re ever in Livingston. The small town encourages tourism and travel, especially being on the gateway to Yellowstone National Park. This shop provides the perfect pick me up and one of the best lattes in the area. You might even be lucky enough to bump into Kesha or Leonardo, like some of the locals have.

 

 

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Colter Coffee-Kalispell

Colter Coffee is the epitomy of western when it comes to a cup of Joe. The coffee collective of Kalispell knows too well that Colter Coffee is the center for good coffee. If you’re looking for a true western experience and happen to be near Glacier National Park, I highly encourage going here. The company was one of the firsts in the area to integrate light roast coffee. The friendly barista’s will always tell you about the weather, what activities are going on that  weekend, and always, always share their love of coffee.

 

 

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Montana Coffee Traders-Whitefish

Montana Coffee Traders roasts their own beans making it a highlight of the Whitefish downtown scene. The company has locations across the northwest region of the state. Since 1981 the company has been roasting beans out of its iconic farmhouse. A fact the company likes to share is that the beans are roasted at the same altitude as they are grown. The company also sells to multiple coffee houses and retail organizations across the state. Polebridge Mercantile, a middle-of-no-where-place we will see later, is a recipient of the beans.

 

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Black Coffee Roasting-Missoula

Quonset huts are corrugated galvanized steel structures that usually aren’t utilized as coffee houses. But when Black Coffee Roasting Company expanded it seemed like the perfect design for a unique experience in sharing coffee. The shop now features other beverages other than their homemade beans but with local ingredients. The simplicity and minimalism is the perfect interior to harbor a specialty coffee crowd. The shop does not offer wifi to explicitly create a more meaningful and intimate environment.

 

 

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Revel Coffee Roasters-Billings

The most hipster of the selection of coffee shops in the state. You’ll be fortunate to find this one if you have time in Billings, MT. The craft coffee connoisseur and owner of the biz is Gary Theisen. He’s been featured in Sprudge and noted in numerous local publications. His goal is to change the perception of coffee and roasting strategies. He began roasting when he was fifteen and continues to share his passion and insatiable curiousity with customers frequently. His operation is small but no less in quality. His coffees are featured around the community in various restaurants, retail locations, and other coffee houses.

 

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Cold Smoke Coffee-Bozeman

Fairly new into the coffee scene, Cold Smoke arrived in Bozeman, MT in 2011. The coffee house was started from a passion to share coffee. The roaster and cafe  promotes awareness of where the sources come from. The roastery is off site, but I’m sure with a nice smile and little conversing about the love of coffee, owners Caleb and Laura would let any coffee aficionado in for a tour. With regular cuppings and various other community engagements this little cafe can easily boast being, if not number one,  in the top five coffee house around the state.

 

Conclusion

While this coffee shop list is not exhaustive, the shops in here were specifically looked at for the three above engagements. This survey was conducted only on studies basis and was not paid for by any organization. Photos taken from Instagram accounts of businesses or related location tags.

 

James Rahr is a Marketing Major at the University of Montana. He anticipates graduating in the Fall of 2016. Coffee is a passion of his.

The 5 Best Coffee Shops to Study at in Missoula

Whether you’re a student at the University of Montana, an entrepreneur working to get a proposal together, or a business professional who needs the perfect place to meet with clients, these are the 5 best places to get whatever it is you need to get done in Missoula. Based on quality of coffee, Wi-Fi, and overall environment: Is your favorite coffee shop on the list?

Liquid Planet

7:30am-9:00pm, Everyday

Picture of the Liquid Planet storefront in downtown Missoula
Photo Credit: Liquid Plant

The first place I ever “studied” at in Missoula was a wonderful place called Liquid Planet. I think the name speaks for itself, and while the Wi-Fi connection has thankfully increased in reliability and strength over the years, the beverage selection has always been top quality. Great coffee and tea for any taste bud, and a wide variety of other beverages to shop around for, all make Liquid Planet a must-frequent venue if you are a Missoulian. Plus, there is a secret area in the back corner you can reserve for meetings or for studying in peace.

Market on Front

7:00am-9:00pm, Monday-Saturday
8:00am-7:00pm, Sunday

A visual of the unique seating area in Market on Front
Photo Credit: Market on Front

Relatively new and closer to campus, the Market on Front offers more than just coffee and a place to sit. It’s a one-stop-shop with a little grocery section and delicious prepared foods. Great quality Wi-Fi with limited seating makes a fan of this place hope that they are looking to expand in the near future. If you are looking to impress a client from out of town, this is the place to do it. And if you’re lucky, the owner may be around to deliver your mouth watering Chicken Florentine sandwich to you within minutes of ordering (this has happened to me on more than one occasion.)

City Brew Coffee

5:30am-9:30pm, Monday-Saturday
6:00am-9:30pm, Sunday
Downtown location closes at 9:00pm

View from the outside of the City Brew Coffee downtown Missoula location
Photo Credit: City Brew Coffee

Before conducting my research, City Brew Coffee never crossed my mind as a place to study in Missoula because honestly I had never been there before. Considered one of the coffee shops with high quality of coffee, City Brew will literally keep your mind (and your taste buds) happy. The variety in seating, relaxing music, and calming decorative colors will keep you focused for hours. If you find that it is difficult to get a parking spot downtown, try their new location off of Brooks! Plenty of room to park and an amazing fire place to cozy up by. Not to mention a very friendly staff.

Break Espresso

6:00am-10:00pm, Everyday

View from the outside of Break Espresso in downtown Missoula
Photo Credit: Sabrina Huang

This seems to be everyone’s favorite place to “get stuff done”. Break Espresso’s main selling point is not it’s coffee, but the seemingly unlimited amount of seating, reliable Wi-Fi, and baked goods are it’s irresistible combo. This place is always busy, so bring your headphones, grab a piece of pie, and get your productivity on!

Zootown Brew

8:00am-8:00pm, Monday-Friday
9:00am-8:00pm, Saturday
1:00pm-8:00pm, Sunday
Open until 10:00pm during Finals Week!

View of the outside of Zootown Brew in downtown Missoula
Photo Credit: Zootown Church

I went through a phase where I would only meet for group projects at Zootown Brew. There is plenty of seating (as well as comfy couches), and it’s so spacious that there is enough privacy to actually discuss your work with a group. Quality Wi-Fi and a hot coffee will keep you happy while you work. And when the caffeine finally runs out, you’ll have a perfectly comfy couch to go and relax on. After all that hard work you put in, you deserve it!

Honorable Mention: Florence Coffee Co.

6:00am-6:00pm, Everyday

View from the outside of one of Florence Coffee's locations
Photo Credit: Florence Coffee Co.

Technically, you can’t sit at the drive through and do your homework. The person behind you may get mad when you don’t move after 5 minutes. But I couldn’t create a list of Missoula coffee shops without mentioning the best coffee in town. If you’d rather study at the library, at home, or at work, swing by one of Florence Coffee’s three locations in Missoula and get a coffee on the go. My suggestion for coffee lovers with a sweet tooth: The Heaven Latte. The name says it all.

 

Did I miss your favorite study spot? Let me know by commenting below. Now, go get stuff done!

Photo Credit: KeepCalmomatic
Photo Credit: KeepCalmomatic

 

A special thanks to everyone who provided their input in my research, and most especially: Jessie Rogers, Savannah Witt, Paytyn Wheeler, Katherine Vincent, Brooke Moody, and Joelle.