Explore Coffee Road — a way to beat winter in the Badlands.  

We’re looking for one more cup of coffee. Got ideas?  We’d like to hear them.  Coffee is our way to stand victorious over the isolation and desolation of white, white and white — and cold. North Dakota’s legendary people and North Dakota’s legendary winters seem to duke it out every year, but it’s the people who win.  Winter tucks tail and runs away after a few months of battle.  And they do it one cup of coffee at a time.

Snow storms call out snow plows

Snow plows vs. snow storm. The plows always win, but what to do until victory is assured?


So, here’s a way to beat winter: Go exploring — for coffee! Take a drive for coffee, good coffee, good locations, good conversation, and good treats to go with the coffee.  Along Highway 85 you’ll find more than one coffee stop. So, explore “Coffee Road.”   

coffee cups in a row in a cafe

Small town cafes in Western North Dakota are known for cowboy coffee — hot strong and waiting to be drunk.

Ask any longtime North Dakotans, one way to beat winter is to get out of the house; change the scenery (though it can still be white). You don’t have to go to Arizona or Las Vegas. You can beat winter in western North Dakota with a good cup of coffee in your hand.

The North Dakota Badlands is home to small-town cafes and coffee shops.  Every one is distinctive with their own identity. Some are artsy, some are foodie some are downright homey.

Here are six we like along or near Coffee Road.  Got other ideas?



The Brew is an old church building in Dickinson.

The Brew in downtown Dickinson was once a church building where T Roosevelt attended. Now it’s home to coffee, baked goods, and art.

The first stop on the Coffee Road is in Dickinson. While there are several places to get to get good coffee, one place stands out because of its history: The Brew. Art in the back, food in the front. Carmel rolls made fresh every morning.



The Four Corners Cafe at Fairfield serves authentic Ukrainian food.

Authentic Ukrainian food fills the menu at Four Corners on Highway 85 north of Belfield at Fairfield. The coffee, pie and carrot cake will fill you enough to chase away winter’s angry clutches.

Driving North, almost by itself along Highway 85 is a long-standing pull off for travelers.  The region is a generations-old settlement of Ukrainians, so you can expect Ukrainian food (that I can neither spell nor pronounce) at Four Corners. Explore Coffee Road here and you’ll find an assortment of pie perfectly matched with coffee (rhubarb custard anyone?).  If you’re fortunate, carrot cake is the premium item to go with your coffee.  Go for the carrot cake!



JodeO's in Halliday.

JodeO’s is as authentic of a small town rancher cafe as you can find. Pie is good enough that they often run out.

Halliday is easy to miss. It’s just off of Coffee Road to the east on Highway 200 and Highway 8.  That’s where you’ll drive to JodeO’s, a hometown café, good for coffee, conversation, and pie until they run out. Muffins and caramel rolls, too!  Very popular.


Watford City

Exterior of Little Missouri Grill in Watford City.

The Little Missouri Grill in Watford City attracts hungry people with full-size meals and with coffee and pie.

1. Little Missouri Grill  

Headed north from Fairfield and Four Corners, the Coffee Road goes past the Little Missouri Grill. It’s a longstanding tradition on Highway 85. Long before current popularity, farmers and ranchers ordered pie with their coffee.  They still can!  Several kinds of pie on hand every day.

Behind the counter, the barista brews up a cup of coffee.

On a cold winter’s day, Door 204 warms up people on Main Street in Watford City.

2.Door 204

Go on into town at Watford City to get to Door 204.  Like other stops on the Coffee Road, Door 204 is known for its great coffee and local art.  Soon to come, a partnership with a local bakery will add to their menu.



Eddie Wold's metal art is at Meg-A-Lattee

The Meg-A-Latte is the place to see award-winning metal art by Eddie Wold.

At the top of the Coffee Road is Meg-A-Latte. There are three locations in Williston, but the main shop is where you will find the unique offerings of art.  The popular pairing with coffee here is their scones. Eddie Wold displays his metal art and that alone is worth stopping at Meg-A-Latte.


On our radar

The Wild Cow in Watford City.

The ice cream and coffee shop Wild Cow in Watford City is on our radar. What’s it like there? What’s the best thing to go with coffee at the Wild Cow?

The Wild Cow is part of a group of locally owned and managed eateries in Watford City, Williston, and Sidney. It’s a coffee and ice cream shop.  Because the owners have established themselves as outstanding restauranteurs in the region, we expect good things from the Wild Cow but haven’t tried it yet.  Are there others to explore?

Many of these places have special events going on this winter.  Here’s the calendar of events to find out when there are events.  All the events of the North Dakota Badlands are here.

Your turn: Where else do we need to go to sample their coffee and other good winter-breaking snacks?