Brainerd Cafe

Brainerd, Minnesota's Oldest Diner

Established in 1908, we are Brainerd's oldest eating establishment. Whether you're craving a custom made breakfast, a quick lunch, a delicious home cooked dinner, or an old-fashioned malt, we have it for you. Our friendly staff will gladly customize your order.

We offer a great place to hold meetings and social gatherings. We are located across from the White Landmark Water Tower at the intersection of Washington Street and South 6th Street.

"Sawmill Inn, Brainerd’s oldest restaurant has been kicking since 1908. This is honest food by honest people, with a breakfast buffet* and legendary logger skillets inspired by the old lumber camp cooks.” — Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine, *Buffet, $9.49, Sundays Only

Brainerd Restaurant Eat breakfast at a local Brainerd cafe and restaurant.

Schedule a Meeting

Brainerd Kids Menu

We can accommodate from 5 to 50 people. Small business meetings, family gatherings or birthdays. Social, professional, church, card, groom dinners, weddings or any kind of group. The room is Free to use when you have a meal with your gathering. Contact us by e-mail of call us at 218-829-5444.

Our History

The history of the Sawmill Inn Restaurant is the history of Brainerd itself. The building was originally an office building for the Brainerd Sawmill. When the company moved north, the building became vacant. In 1908, it was moved to its present site at 6th and Washington Streets by an entrepreneur who saw the need for a lunch counter and dining room near the busy railroad Depot. It became the N.P. Lunch Room.

Best hamburger in Brainerd, MN

Then, under new ownership, in 1927, it became Van's Café. In 1981, it was purchased by Al Gmeinder. Having studied the history of Brainerd, it became the Sawmill Inn. Throughout all the years, the lunch counter, diner, restaurant was a great social meeting place. Today it is still a great place for meetings, and social gatherings.

You will be pleased with a custom made breakfast, a quick tasty lunch, a delicious home cooked dinner, or an Old Fashion Malt. Sundays are special with a great breakfast buffet served from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The décor reflects the early days of Brainerd when the Minnesota forests were the livelihood for many early settlers. There are photos on the walls showing the days when trees stood tall and lumberjacks were brave and strong. Diners will be impressed with the down home feeling of the friendly owners, Al and Barb, and the staff. They will kindly customize your order so it is just right.

Experience for yourself a part of Brainerd's history….. Visit this local historic dining establishment….. The Sawmill Inn …..Brainerd's Hometown Restaurant…. Across from the White Landmark Water Tower.

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