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Best Of Columbia Falls to Essex... 2023

by Hungry Horse News
| April 26, 2023 7:00 AM

Eats & Treats

Best Appetizers

Winner

Gunsight Saloon

Second

Vaqueros

Third

Backslope Brewing

Runner ups

North Fork Pizza

Outlaw Diner

Best Bakery

Winner

Montana Coffee Traders

Second

Mountain Momma’s Cupcakery-Stephanie McIntosh

Third

Uptown Hearth

Runner up

Jean Flynn @ Prairie Girl Farms Pie

Best Barista

Winner

Amanda at MCT

Second

Karsyn Friske Beans

Third

Triana Odd Fellows

Runner ups

Yvonne Wolfe Ghostland

Cassidy at Cowgirl coffee

Josie @ CMC

Best Breakfast

Winner

MUDMAN Columbia Falls

Second

Montana Coffee Traders

Third

Nite-Owl

Runner ups

Columbia Bar

Outlaw Diner

Best Burger

Winner

Backslope Brewing

Second

MUDMAN Columbia Falls

Third

Gunsight Saloon

Runner ups

The Back Room

Blue Moon Nite Club

Best Catering

Winner

Laurie’s Deli

Second

Back Room

Third

Porteus BBQ

Runner ups

MUDMAN Columbia Falls

North Fork Pizza

Best Chef

Winner

Tien Windauer - Tien's Place

Second

Three Forks Grille Matt

Second (tie)

Tonja Erickson, Backslope

Runner ups

Gunsight Saloon - Dan Rossi

MUDMAN Columbia Falls - Michael Rozell

Best Coffee

Winner

Friske Beans Espresso

Second

Copper Mountain Coffee

Third

Montana Coffee Traders

Runner ups

Odd Fellows Coffee House

Cowgirl Coffee

Best Community Service - Restaurant/Bar

Winner

Backslope Brewing

Second

Gunsight Saloon

Third

Back Room

Runner ups

MUDMAN Columbia Falls

Vaqueros

Best Dessert

Winner

Sweet Retreat Creamery

Second

Huckleberry Patch

Third

Wild Child Food Truck

Runner ups

Cup O’ Soul serving Farm to Table Ice Cream

MUDMAN Columbia Falls

Best Family Restaurant

Winner

Back Room

Second

MUDMAN Columbia Falls

Third

Gunsight Saloon

Runner ups

Laurie’s Deli

North Fork Pizza

Best Fine Dining

Winner

Three Forks Grille

Second

Belton Chalet

Best Food Truck

Winner

The Soup Spot

Second

Wild Child Food Truck

Third

Porteus BBQ LLC

Runner ups

406 BBQ

Wandering Gringo

Best Mexican Food

Winner

Vaqueros

Second

Tacos at Columbia Bar

Third

La Casita

Runner up

Wandering Gringo Cafe

Best Outdoor Seating

Winner

Gunsight Saloon

Second

Great Bear Cafe

Third

Meadow Lake Bar and Grille

Runner ups

White Raven Winery and Vineyard

Backslope Brewing

Eddie’s Cafe, Apgar Loop Rd, West Glacier

Glacier Grille & Pizza

Best Pizza

Winner

North Fork Pizza

Second

Stageline Pizza Company of Columbia Falls

Third

Glacier Grill

Runner ups

Stonefly Lounge

Pizza Hut

Best Restaurant

Winner

Backslope Brewing

Second

Gunsight Saloon

Third

Nite Owl & Back Room Restaurants

Runner ups

MUDMAN Columbia Falls

TIEN’S PLACE EXPRESS Fresh Oriental & American Cuisine

Best Restaurant for a First Date

Winner

Gunsight Saloon

Second

Three Forks Grille

Third

Backslope Brewing

Runner ups

Back Room

Great Bear Cafe

Best Sandwich

Winner

Laurie’s Deli

Second

Great Bear Cafe

Third

Sunflower Cafe & BBQ

Runner ups

Gunsight Saloon - Chicken Naan Wrap

Outlaw Diner

Best Steak

Winner

Three Forks Grille

Second

The backroom

Third

Paul Bunyan Bar and Grill

Runner up

Gunsight Saloon

Best Take Out

Winner

Tien’s Place

Second

Mudman Burgers

Third

Laurie’s Deli

Runner ups

North fork pizza

The Back Room

Best Waitress/Waiter/Server

Winner

MUDMAN Columbia Falls - Debbie Matson

Second

Alex at Laurie’s Deli

Third

Cindy at the Back Room

Runner ups

Robin, Vaqueros

Amber at the Nite Owl & Back Room Restaurants

Health & Fitness

Best Alternative Health

Winner

Glacier Family Chiropractic & Wellness

Second

Brienne Stekly Massage Therapy

Third

Arrowleaf Massage & Bodywork

Runner ups

Michael Lavin, Pta

PTA Physical Therapy - Columbia Falls

Best Chiropractor

Winner

Glacier Family Chiropractic & Wellness

Second

Dr. Alex True Potential

Third

True North Dr. Todd Schleusner

Runner ups

Dr. Kent-True North Chiropractic Center

Whitefish Chiropractor Columbia Falls

Best Dentist

Winner

Smile Montana Dental Center

Second

Dr. Evon Heaser, Three Rivers Dental

Third

Dr. Buffington

Runner up

Dr. Seheult

Best Healthcare Worker

Winner

Dr. Hailey Axberg at Glacier Family Chiropractic & Wellness

Second

Mike Lavin at PTA Physical Therapy

Third

Danielle Perry, PharmD at Sykes Pharmacy C Falls

Runner ups

Tyler Ladenburg

Laura Hall

Best Massage Therapist

Winner

Brienne Stekly

Second

Arrowleaf Massage & Bodywork

Third

Cedar Grove Massage

Runner ups

Lahnie Lamb @FIKA

Garrett at glacier massage

Best Mental Health Professional

Winner

Wake Troy

Second

Katie Lundbohm

Third

Kelly Ewalt

Runner ups

Colleen Johnson

Rhea Simonson Snowy Owl

Best Physical Therapist

Winner

Mike Lavin at PTA Physical Therapy

Second

Tyler Ladenburg, DPT at OrthoRehab Physical Therapy

Third

Jinise Trueblood - Healthy Beginnings

Runner ups

Nick Emerson

Dulcie berube

Best Physical Therapy Facility

Winner

PTA Physical Therapy - Columbia Falls

Second

OrthoRehab Physical Therapy

Third

Berube Physical Therapy - Columbia Falls

Runner up

Healthy Beginnings

Pediatric Therapy

Best Place to Work Out

Winner

Columbia Falls Yoga

Second

Iron Fitness

Third

Yoga Hive

Best Yoga Instructor

Winner

Brienne Stekly, Columbia Falls Yoga

Second

Shelle Kuntz, Yoga Hive

Third

Sarah Downen, Columbia Falls Yoga

Runner ups

Lisa Snedeker

Rachel Haskovec-Raley, Columbia Falls Yoga

Night Life

Best Bar for Singles

Winner

Blue Moon Nite Club

Second

Gunsight Saloon

Best Bartender

Winner

Mike Scallen, Columbia Bar

Second

Kristi at Stonefly Lounge

Third

Angie at Vaqueros

Runner ups

Drew at Gunsight Saloon

Clay at Meadow Lake

Best Beer Menu

Winner

Gunsight Saloon

Second

Backslope Brewing

Third

Super 1 Foods

Runner up

Stonefly Lounge

Best Casino

Winner

Kelly’s Pub &a Casino

Second

Vaqueros

Third

Ferks Casino

Best Cocktails

Winner

Gunsight Saloon

Second

Columbia Bar

Third

Stonefly Lounge

Runner ups

Meadow Lake Bar and Grille

Dew Drop Inn

Best Happy Hour

Winner

Columbia Bar

Second

Vaqueros

Third

Gunsight Saloon

Runner ups

Packers Roost

Kelly’s Pub & Casino

Best Place for Live Music

Winner

Gunsight Saloon

Second

Blue Moon

Third

Columbia Falls Farmers’ Market

Runner ups

Columbia Falls Community Market

Glacier Lanes

Best Wine Selection

Winner

O’Brien’s Liquor & Wine

Second

White Raven Winery and Vineyard

Third

Super 1 Foods

Professional Services

Best Attorney

Winner

Columbia Falls Estate Planning - Law Office of Denise Romer, Esq.

Second

Breck Law Office

Third

Chisholm & Chisholm, PC

Third (tie)

North Fork Law Offices, PLLC

Best Auto Service

Winner

Dad Bod Diesel & Mechanic Services

Second

Columbia Falls Auto Clinic

Third

Muffler Alley

Runner ups

Lauria Racing & Repair

OHS’ Body Shop

Best Barber

Winner

The Barber’s Chair

Second

K2 barber

Third

Rhonda’s Barber Shop

Best Builder

Winner

Montana Heritage Home Builders

Second

Ruis Construction

Third

Hader Squared Construction

Runner ups

CJ Construction

Spoon Lake

Builders-Pete Umbriaco

Best Customer Service- Professional Services

Winner

Columbia Falls Estate Planning - Law Office of Denise Romer, Esq.

Second

Whitefish Credit Union - Columbia Falls Branch

Third

Beargrass Gift and Drug

Runner ups

Park Side Credit Union

Hanson’s True Value

Best Employer

Winner

Whitefish Credit Union

Second

Park Side Credit Union

Third

Montana Heritage Home Builders

Runner ups

Sykes Pharmacy Columbia Falls

Glacier Bank

Western Building Center Columbia Falls

Best Financial Institution

Winner

Whitefish Credit Union - Columbia Falls Branch

Second

Parkside Federal Credit Union

Third

Glacier Bank

Runner up

Freedom Bank

Best Hair Stylist

Winner

Cami Spencer, FIKA

Second

Rita Becker, FIKA

Third

Novalee Hutchens

Runner ups

Tina Wassam

Lisa DeWaters

Best Housekeeper

Winner

Gina Crouch

Second

406 Cleaning Of

Columbia falls

Third

Tade Cleaning

Runner ups

Rachel Leavitt Perron-Queen Bee

Marcy Porter

Miriam Vogel

Best Insurance Agent

Winner

Lyle Mitchell - State Farm Insurance

Second

Farmers Insurance - Shaine Reece

Third

Jeremy Myers: Allstate Insurance

Best Lodging

Winner

West Glacier KOA Resort

Second

Meadow Lake Resort & Condos

Third

Glacier Outdoor Center

Runner up

Sky Eco - Glacier General Store and Cabins

Best Mechanic

Winner

Dad Bod Diesel

Second

Hanson’s Performance LLC

Third

Glen Weaver and Muffler Alley

Third

Lauria Racing & Repair, LLC

Best New Business

Winner

New York Bagels

Second

Wild Wanderer

Third

Columbia Falls Ace Hardware

Runner ups

Persimmon

Toastie

Best Pet Care

Winner

Glacier Animal Hospital

Second

Columbia Kennels

Third

Happy Dog Grooming and Boarding - Ellen King

Best Property Management

Winner

Trailhead Realty Group

Second

Square one property management

Best Real Estate Agent

Winner

Matthew Hohnberger - RE/MAX Mountain View

Second

Brittany Buckallew - RE/MAX Mountain View

Third

Amy Schwartzenberger -Engel and Volkers Western Frontier-Columbia Falls

Runner ups

Jesse Plevel- RE/MAX Mountain View

Patti Singer Engel & Volkers

Best Real Estate Office

Winner

ReMax Mountain View

Second

Engel and Volkers Western Frontier-Columbia Falls

Third

Trailhead Realty Group

Runner up

PureWest Real Estate-Meadow Lake

Best Salon

Winner

FIKA Salon

Second

Posh Nails

Third

Envogue Salon

Runner ups

Planet Hair Studio

Shear Perfection

Best Social Media to Follow

Winner

Glacier Family Chiropractic & Wellness

Second

Whitefish Credit Union

Third

Brittany Buckallew - RE/MAX Mountain View

Runner ups

Wild Wanderer

Park Side Credit Union

Shopping

Best Antiques

Winner

Station 8

Second

Wild Wanderer

Third

Hungry Horse Antiques

Runner up

Scout and Gather

Best Convenience Store

Winner

Mike’s Conoco

Second

Town Pump

Third

Smiths fuel center

Best Customer Service- Retail

Winner

Hanson’s Hardware

Second

Beargrass Gift and Drug

Third

Montana Coffee Traders

Runner ups

Columbia Falls Ace Hardware

Genesis Kitchen

Best Florist

Winner

Rose Petal Floral and Supplies

Second

Forage and Floral

Third

Two Kay’s Flower Farm

Runner up

Smith’s Food and Drug

Best Furniture

Winner

Gil’s Furniture and Mattress Store

Second

Monaco

Best Gift Shop

Winner

Huckleberry Patch

Second

Beargrass Pharmacy

Third

Rose Petal Floral and Supplies

Runner ups

Forage and Floral

Wild Wanderer

Best Gift Shop for Kids

Winner

Huckleberry Patch

Second

Bear Grass Gift and Drug

Third

Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply

Best Grocery Store/Farm Store

Winner

Super 1 Foods

Second

Smith’s Food and Drug

Third

Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply

Runner ups

Canyon Foods Supermarket

Hanson’s True Value

Best Thrift Store

Winner

Flathead Industries Thrift Store

Second

Klothes Kloset

Best Artisan/Maker

Winner

Megan Crawford

Second

Schwartz Boards Woodworks

Third

Judy at Montana Earth Pottery

Runner ups

Bill Sorenson at Wild Bills Custom Creations

Sea Salt & Ginger Studio

The Arts

Best Gallery

Winner

Persimmon Gallery

Second

Coyote

Best Local Artist

Winner

Megan Crawford

Second

Allen Jimmerson

Third

Glacier Round House Pottery

Runner ups

Callie Cooper

Barak Evans

Emma Snedeker

Haakon Ensign

Best Local Author

Winner

Megan Crawford, Montana Woman Magazine

Second

John Fraley

Third

Bill Sorenson

Best Local Musician/Band

Winner

Tommy Edwards

Second

MyTrueFreedom

Third

The Gray Goo

Runner up

The Flip Wilsons

Best Local Photographer

Winner

Megan Crawford

Second

Eric Fellegy, Going To The Sun Photography

Third

Leah Lamberson Photography

Runner ups

Tequila Helland,

Erin Braaten, Dancing Aspen

Holly Pierce, Cherry Creek Images

The Great Outdoors

Best Campground

Winner

West Glacier KOA Resort

Second

Lake McDonald

Third

Fish Creek Campground

Runner ups

Blankenship bridge

North American RV Park

Best Community Park (not Glacier)

Winner

River’s Edge Park

Second

Marantette Park

Third

Riverside

Best Golf Hole

Winners

Glacier View Golf Club

Mini Mountain Mini Golf

Runner up

Golfing to the Sun Mini Golf

Best Hiking Trail in Glacier Park

Winner

Highline Trail

Second

Grinnell Glacier

Third

Quartz Lake Loop

Best Hiking Trail outside of Glacier Park

Winner

Columbia Mountain

Second

Jewel Basin

Third

Cedar Flats

Best Lake

Winner

Hungry Horse Reservoir

Second

Lake McDonald

Third

Lake Five Resort

Runner up

Strawberry Lake Trailhead

Best Mountain Peak

Winner

Heavens Peak

Second

Teakettle

Best Outdoor Gear

Winner

Lary’s Fly and Supply

Second

Glacier Raft Company

Third

Sky Eco - Glacier General Store and Cabins

Runner up

Glacier Outfitters

Best Outdoor Guide

Winner

Hilary Hutcheson

Second

Glacier Raft Company

Third

Wild River Adventures

Runner up

Glacier Adventure Guides

Best Place for Dogs

Winner

River’s Edge Park

Second

All Day Dog Adventures LLC

Columbia Mountain Kennels

Best Summer Activity

Winner

Rafting

Second

Camping

Third

Fishing

Runner ups

Hiking

Boating

Best Swimming Hole

Winner

Lake 5

Second

Bailey Lake

Best Water Sports Shop/Rental

Winner

Glacier Raft Company

Second

Sky Eco - Glacier General Store and Cabins

Third

Wild River Adventures

Runner ups

Glacier Outfitters

Glacier Water Rentals

Best Winter Activity

Winner

Cross Country Skiing

Second

Ice fishing

Third

Snowmobiling

Uniquely Columbia Falls Area

Best Athlete

Winner

Tyler Gilfry

Second

Justin Windauer

Third

Maddie Moultray

Runner ups

Colten McPhee

Tyler Jones

Best Columbia Falls Event

Winner

Columbia Falls Farmers’ Market

Second

Columbia Falls Community Market

Heritage Days Celebration

Runner ups

Christmas parade

Sunday Market

Best Hiking Trail in Glacier Park

Winner

Avalanche Lake

Second

Highline Trail

Third

Iceberg Lake

Runner ups

Sperry Glacier

Grinnell Glacier

Best Hiking Trail outside of Glacier Park

Winner

Columbia Mountain

Second

Jewel Basin

Third

Cedar Flats Trails

Runner up

Coram bike trail

Best Local (More than 5 years)

Winner

Laurie’s Deli

Second

Backslope Brewing

Third

Montana Heritage Home Builders

Runner ups

The Nite Owl

North Fork Pizza

Best Local Newbie (Less than 5 years)

Winner

Sweet Retreat Creamery

Second

Beargrass Pharmacy

Third

Cronin Quality Coatings

Runner ups

Cup O Soul/Farm to Table Ice Cream

Wild Wanderer

Best stop on Sun Road

Winner

Lake McDonald

Second

Big Bend

Third

Virginia Falls

Runner up

Sunrift Gorge

Best Thing to do on a Rainy Day

Winner

Coffee and breakfast at Montana Coffee Traders

Second

Bowling at Glacier Lanes

Third

Take the dog for a tour of Murdoch’s

Runner ups

Go to Packers Roost for a beverage

Columbia Falls Library

Best Tourist Attraction (Business)

Winner

Polebridge Merc

Second

Huckleberry Patch

Third

Glacier Raft Company

Runner ups

House of Mystery

Brash Rodeo

Favorite Coach

Winner

Michael Hader

Second

Cary Finberg

Third

Jessie Schaeffer

Runner ups

Jim Peacock

Kelly Houle

Favorite Community Project

Winner

Cabin Fever Days

Second

Columbia Falls Estate Planning Annual Coat & Blanket Drive

Third

Land 2 Hand

Runner ups

Columbia Falls Community Garden

Clean the Falls

Favorite Nonprofit

Winner

Boys and Girls Club

Second

Land to Hand Montana - Columbia Falls

Third

Columbia Falls Chamber-Commerce

Klothes Kloset

Runner ups

Glacier National Park Conservancy

Wildcat Athletic Endowment Association

Favorite Teacher

Winner

Heidi Freeman

Second

Cassie Ladenberg

Third

Ciera Finberg

Runner ups

Mr. Miller

Leslie DiMaio

Favorite Volunteer

Winner

Steve Melby

Second

Nicolas Ream

Third

Ben Schaeffer

Runner ups

Sam Kavanagh

Kayla Hartley

photo

An arial view of the Hungry Horse Reservoir, best lake.

photo

A hiker at Avalanche Lake, best hike in Glacier.

photo

The Barstool Race in Martin City.

photo

Super One on Highway 2 won best grocery market/farm store.

photo

The Blue Moon on Highway 2, best bar for singles.

photo

Tyler Gilfry won best athlete.

photo

Cami Spencer, best hairstylist and FIKA Salon, best Salon.

photo

Megan Crawford, best artist.

photo

Skye Duncan, general manager of the Hucklberry Patch, best gift store.

photo

From left, Ryan Presta, Donel Washburn, Don Bulleck, Laurie Jones, Leanne Roberts, Mac Cusick, Kinzie Ogden and Craig Walker of Gil's Furniture.

photo

Lee and Wendy Plummer, Soup Spot, best food truck.

photo

Jayden Walker with a scoop of huckleberry cheescake, Sweet Retreat, best dessert.

photo

Smile Montana staff, from left, Dr. Ben Crockett, Erica Friske, Makayla Bridwell, Avalon Viau, Dr. Jesse Elledge.

photo

Heather Peters and McKenna Rensel at Friske Bean, who won best coffee.

photo

Brianna Erickson and Michael Lavin of PTA Physical Therapy Columbia Falls.

photo

Chris Nagel, Dad Bod Desiel.

photo

Kelly's Pub won best casino, from left, Lori Bradley, Jolene Begay, Karina Fonzalez.

photo

Barbara Jenkins, best barber.

photo

The boys and girls club.

photo

Brienne Stekly, Columbia Falls Yoga, best yoga instructor. (JP Edge photo)

photo

Montana Heritage Homebuilders was named best homebuilder.

photo

Justin Harmon of Flathead Industries, best thrift store.

photo

Les Kleinman, owner of Brooklyn Bagels, best new business.

photo

Laurie Panasuk, Laurie's Deli, best sandwich, catering, and longtime local.

photo

Deana Payne, branch manager at Whitefish Credit Union Columbia Falls, best employer and financial institution.

photo

Best insurance agent, Lyle Mitchell with State Farm.

photo

Matthew Hohnberg, best real estate agent with ReMax Mountain View.

photo

Denise Romer, Columbia Falls Estate Planning, best attorney.

photo

Dr. Hailey Axberg and Ryan Hyde of Glacier Family Chiropractic and Wellness.

photo

Jana Price, co-owner of the Night Owl and Backroom restaurant, best family restaurant.

photo

Martin Jimenez holds some street tacos from Vaqueros.

photo

O'Brien Byrd at Obrien's Liquer and Wine, best wine selection.

photo

Drew Jacobs with a brew at Gunsight Saloon, best beer selection.

photo

Debbie Matson with MudMan won best waitress.

photo

Shekinah King holds a cupcake, at Montana Coffee Traders in Columbia Falls was named best bakery.

photo

Kenny Smith with a specialty burger at Backslope Brewing, best burger.

photo

Casey Jensen shows off a Three Forks Grille signature steak.

photo

Mike Scallen, Columbia Bar, best bartender.

photo

North Fork Pizza staff from left, first row, Madge Walker, Jack Helgoe, Nicole Crittenden, Zach Farbstein; second row, Luke Harmon, Chris Hines.

photo

Tien Windauer, Best Chef.

photo

Amanda Terrell of Montana Coffee Traders in Columbia Falls was named best barista.

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Callie Hulslander-Cooper, left, and Traci Staves of Persimmon Gallery in Columbia Falls.

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Kendall Schneider and Alyssa Rufenach of Rose Petal, best florist.

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Ruder Elementary second-grade teacher Heidi Freeman was named best teacher.

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Michael Hader was named best coach.

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Gary Hanson and Joe the German Shepherd, a regular sight at Hansen's Hardware.

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Andrea Fields of Station 8. It won best antique shop.

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