Countryside Restaurant of Motley

If you love breakfast as much as I do, you may already know about Countryside Restaurant of Motley. If not, let me tell you about it. Big, fluffy, plate-sized pancakes, hashbrowns servings fit for a hungry trucker, hot coffee that keeps on coming, and that’s just the tip of the morning meal figurative iceberg. Breakfast isn’t all they serve up. Known for their bacon burgers, hot meatloaf sandwiches and and turtle cheesecake – they have something for everyone.  I’d come back for their pickle fries alone. I really love the place. It is family-style, with diner/supper club atmosphere. If you are headed up north, this solid sit-down is worth a stop. Have you ever been here before?


The Spot Cafe 

If you spend much time traveling through central Minnesota, you may have passed by the next #mnbucketlist stop.

With two convenient locations, off Highway 10 in Motley and Staples, the Spot Cafe is the quinessential roadside eatery. As soon as you walk in, you’ll feel right at home, as a small town diner ought to make you feel.

As for the food, you can expect nonegotiable diner favorites like country fried steak, biscuits and gravy, patty melts, burgers, sandwiches, and best-loved breakfast staples like cinnamon rolls, omelettes, and french toast – with colossal portions.

My recommendations? Get the sour cream and onion fries (pictured) and for the daring, step up to the infamous Brunch Burger that comes complete with a quarter pound of beef, topped with an egg, hashbrowns and smothered in Hollandaise sauce (also pictured). What is your go-to rest stop restaurant?

Olde Tyme Trading Post I talked about the dual roadside highlight, focusing on the silo. Here is the other half of the ice cream shop / antique store, the Olde Tyme Trading Post. Same location and hours as the Silo and Judy is at that one too.  From the antique marquees, coin operated kiddie rides like the model T, a rocket ship and the carousel horse, to the American life paraphernalia that fill ever crevice, it is nothing short of an homage to the northern nostalgic yesteryear. If you are a lover of collectibles, old books and magazines, clothing, antiquities, dishes and used furniture, you have to put this place on your list. With a weekend flea market, tourist info and sticking true to the trading post style; buying and selling, it’s hard to pass up. So, stop over, grab an ice cream cone and give it a walk through.

Silo Ice Cream Parlor MNbucketList-er is a one stop, two parts kind of place. A roadside ice cream shop combined with an antique store. The Silo Ice Cream Parlor, open May through October, serves up 16 flavors of old fashioned Kemps with a featured flavor listed on the yellow freestanding sign outside every day. Built in 1938, just off Hwy 10 in Motley, the silo is a local landmark. It’s hard to miss, with all the crazy decorations outside. From the timeworn wood carvings, neon marquees all lit up or even the life size deer and Kemp’s cow, ushering you inside. Sitting in the most central map dot in the state, it’s a perfect place to stop whether you’re headed east to Brainerd / Gull Lake, west to Wadena / Detroit Lakes, South to the  Twin Cities or north, like me, to Nevis / Akeley / Park Rapids. Oh, and behind the counter, that’s Judy. Much like the treats she divvies, she’s the sweetest.