48 Degrees North

The Warm Embrace of Flathead Valley Coffee

When it's below freezing, warm ambience and a homely fireplace matter just as much as a drink’s delicious taste. Here are five cozy coffee shops across the valley to thaw out at.

By Anusha Mathur
Ceres Bakery. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Where the Pine Tree Grows: Montana Coffee Traders

30 Ninth St. W., Columbia Falls

Twenty years ago, Montana Coffee Traders opened its Columbia Falls café in the old Pines Café and Fish Museum, where an ancient pine tree cuts through the middle of what’s now a bustling dining room and community hub. Visitors to Glacier National Park can find a one-stop shop for their breakfast needs, with grab-and-go burritos, sandwiches and pastries available for convenience. But there’s no need to rush. A full menu allows diners to enjoy a sit-down meal, while an assortment of books and gifts provides an ideal browsing-ground while sipping an espresso drink featuring locally roasted beans. This mainstay institution is about as cozy as it comes. 

Sleek & Chic: Ceres Bakery

318 S. Main St, Kalispell

Sandwiched in between Main Street’s quintessential brownstones, Ceres Bakery’s pale white exterior and vibrant blue awning is hard to miss. Inside this millennial chic facade is a treasure trove of mouthwatering pastries and, of course, coffee. The space is clearly partitioned in half. A bustling entryway is designed for busy customers to grab a latte and hurry on their way. Meanwhile, a separate space with community artwork is perfect for more leisurely patrons to sip and stay a while.

Ceres Bakery. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Community Gathering Spot: Odd Fellows Coffee House

111 Sixth St. W., Columbia Falls

The interior is eclectic, but so is Columbia Falls, and these eccentricities are what make the shop so beloved. Odd Fellows never misses the chance to celebrate the holiday season. So, this winter, in addition to business-as-usual, the shop is staying open late to keep its community warm. After the annual Night of Lights parade on Dec. 1, visitors can grab a candy cane mocha or hot chocolate. On Dec. 22, they can stop by for family-friendly homemade ornament crafting.

Winter’s Cradle: Black Rifle Coffee Co.

305 Second Ave. W., Kalispell

Flathead Living isn’t typically in the business of highlighting nationwide coffee-chains; however, the main wintertime draw of veteran-owned Black Rifle in Kalispell isn’t coffee or military-themed apparel. The shop’s massive lounge space was clearly designed with a Northwest Montana January in mind. A towering fireplace forms the store’s centerpiece while log-cabin style sofas and weathered brown lounge chairs create little nooks. Black Rifle proves that even the toughest veterans and first responders love cozying up on a winter afternoon to watch snowflakes fall outside the window.

Young, Wild, & Free: Wild Coffee Co.

309 Central Ave., Whitefish

It’s a small valley after all, so your favorite spots are more interconnected than you might realize. Although it opened in 2019, Wild Coffee Co. has deep roots in the Flathead, created by the owners of Sweet Peaks Ice Cream. If doing good by giving back to the community keeps you warm, then grab a drink and sit in the rustic, exposed-brick lounge/workspace – 1% of the shop’s profits are donated to local public land stewardship organizations.