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Sawmill Inn Cafe

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601 Washington St, Brainerd, MN 56401-3421
218-829-5444
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Visitor rating
  • 2
    Excellent
  • 7
    Very good
  • 9
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    3.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    3 of 5 stars
A stop in Brainerd History

Sawmill Inn (formerly Van's Cafe) has been a mainstay in Brainerd for over 70 years! Little has changed in all those years including the food and the service. Home cooking is a specialty for this eating place on a familiar intersection. There are several private eating/meeting rooms that are... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed August 20, 2015
MVL82837
,
Buenos Aires, Argentina
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20 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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  • English first
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English first
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
32 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2015

Sawmill Inn (formerly Van's Cafe) has been a mainstay in Brainerd for over 70 years! Little has changed in all those years including the food and the service. Home cooking is a specialty for this eating place on a familiar intersection. There are several private eating/meeting rooms that are used for group presentations or meetings. If you have lived in... More 

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Brainerd, Minnesota
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2015

Daily specials will draw you to this historic cafe. Made from scratch menu fare is fun try, also. Ice-cream fountain treats are a must try.

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Ramsey, Minnesota
Level Contributor
127 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2015

Friday night fish fry. There fish is not frozen they bread it right there. The fish was great. The Salmon chowder was great lots of salmon in it. The old fashioned interior is very relaxing

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Brainerd, Minnesota
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2015

Just moved into town a decided to go out to eat wrong place to pick food was over priced the food tasted terrible like it was frozen abd thawed out no taste the glass of milk tasted like it was powder milk and on top of it the staff acted like they didn't want to be there. Place looked dirty... More 

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Level Contributor
54 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2015

We came here while on break from a volleyball tournament. We all got skillets which were decent, I liked that they weren't really greasy and didn't overdo the cheese. They didn't have a good variety of veggies to call itself a veggie skillet so I was disappointed. Also, I ordered poached hard eggs and got very runny yolks. On top... More 

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Rochester, Minnesota
Level Contributor
126 reviews
81 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

We had a great breakfast at the Sawmill Inn. They have an extensive menu for breakfast items and all are delicious. They even have freshly made carmel rolls which I wish I had known about before ordering since they looked so scrumptious! My only complaint was with the coffee - definitely needs a bit of coffee in it! Way too... More 

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Eagan, MN
Level Contributor
61 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

The Sawmill has been in Brainerd "Forever", and is a basic down-home eatery without tv screens or loud music. Found the food, as usual, to be common cafe fare, but sometimes that's all one wants. Fair pricing and friendly - although a bit slow - service.

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Level Contributor
71 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2014

We have passed this place a number of times and decided to try it. The place has a long history. 106 years of it. The decor was very nice and the dining area was very clean, as were the restrooms. The diner menu was very good and the food was cooked to perfection. There is a nice little salad bar... More 

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Hamburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
32 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

This is a run of the mill restaurant, nothing special. Prices are a little high, and the staff is not very nice. I would find another place to go to eat when we go to Brainerd again.

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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
68 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

Very friendly employees and attentive service. The booths/chairs/tables may be a bit older, but I go for the food. The portions are rather small at times, but it seems every restaurant these days plays the portion size vs. price game.

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 601 Washington St, Brainerd, MN 56401-3421
  • Location: United States  >  Minnesota (MN)  >  Brainerd
  • Phone Number: 218-829-5444

Price and Cuisine

  • Cuisine: American

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Sawmill Inn Cafe staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?