Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Breakfast In and Around San Juan County, Utah.


Traveling around San Juan County, UT, is having adventures throughout a living museum.  Red rocks, arches, hoodoos, sand dunes, ancient carvings and paintings, mountains, forest, desert, wildlife, and sage brush as far as the eyes can see.  That is just the landscape, in general, then there are the small towns harboring museums, shops, welcome centers and restaurants.

Locals, whether born and raised, or moved from other states, have respect for this area blessed by nature; and learn its ins and outs like the backs of their own hands.  Tourists come here all year round, many well informed, many others winging it.  The welcome centers provide various documents of information, and the employees are looked upon as extensions of internet search engines.  I should know that well, as I was one of those workers for over six years.

So, an adventure is in the works, early morning rise, and where to and what to do.  Before starting any great adventure, a good, hearty breakfast is called for, and many restaurants in and around the county provide just that.  Imagine, you are seated, order placed, and the 2024 edition of the San Juan Record’s 101 Ways to Experience San Juan County is opened up.  The oohs and aahs, the “I want to see that!” and “I need to do that!” uttered repeatedly.  Then breakfast arrives…

You might now be asking, “Where are these breakfast places?”, and I am going to tell you of our own dining adventures.  Please note, if your personal favorite is not listed, sorry, but there was, more than likely, a very good reason why they were bypassed.

San Juan County, UT




High Desert Café

516 North Main St. (Hwy 191)

(435) 210-4441

Open Wed thru Mon, 8am to 2pm; Closed Tues.


Offerings are Bagel Sandwiches, Egg Platters and Sweets such as pancakes and French toast.  Smoothies are available, and freshly roasted coffee.


A big seller, and my personal favorite, is the Breakfast Panini consisting of 2 eggs, choice of meat (bacon is thick and crisp), cheddar cheese on grilled sourdough.







Ja-Roen Thai & Sushi

380 South Main St. (Hwy 191)

(435) 587-4000

Open Mon thru Sun, 7am to 10pm


Do not let the name fool you, even though they have excellent Thai and Japanese menus for lunch and dinner, this local restaurant offers American style breakfasts plus two Thai meals.  The chefs went through a lot of training to learn how to prepare all the dishes quickly and correctly.



Western Omelet


Personal favorite is the Eggs Benedict consisting of two poached eggs, grilled ham and luscious Hollandaise sauce.  The potato side is cut into fan-like shapes that are crisp on the outside, but fluffy inside.  The coffee is strong, so you will be very wide awake for adventuring.






The Over Bite

133 East Center St. (Hwy 491)

(435) 777-2749

Open Mon thru Sat, 7am to 8pm; Sun 9am to 8pm


Offerings are Breakfast Toasts, Bagel Sandwiches and Bagels and Spreads; there is a huge variety under each heading, so basically something for anyone’s tastes.


Personal favorite is the Bacon, Egg and Cheese on an everything bagel plus a Blended Coffee flavored with caramel syrup.  Just the correct amount of both to get the body moving, and aching for a good hike, climb, or both!









Cedar Shack Café

2625 US-191 (within the property of Bluff Dwellings Resort and Spa)

(435) 672-2319

Open Mon thru Sun, 7am to 9pm


Offerings are Omelets, Breakfast Burrito, Egg Platter, Avocado Toast, French Toast and Muffins.

As the name denotes, this is a simple building where ordering is done at the counter, and orders are picked up as they are ready.  This is the perfect place for either a sit-down breakfast, or a grab n’ go before heading out for a hike, climb, or boating down the San Juan River.


The Omelets come packed with meat (bacon is thick, crisp and plentiful) and cheese; the wheat toast has tiny seeds and chopped nuts for added texture and flavor.  Only issue we found was the hash browns were barely cooked, cold, liberally seasoned with black pepper and definitely not our style.  The omelets and wheat toast made up for that.  The coffee is delicious, so do not be surprised finding yourself purchasing another to-go.

Cow Canyon Coffee

163 Mission Rd. (Hwy 191 and 162, next to Cow Canyon Trading Post)

(435) 749-1036

Open Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri, 7am-1pm; Sat and Sun 8am-2pm. Closed Tues.


Besides a multitude of hot and iced coffees, hot teas, cocoa, cider, iced tea and lemonade are offered.  Baked goods of scones and muffins are baked up fresh, daily on premises. An egg dish and tofu scramble are also on the menu.  While this is a relatively new business in Bluff, owner Hannah is very happy, and appreciative, about the steady business given by local followers.


Personal favorite is the Strawberry Rhubarb Scone, crisp and sweet outside, fluffy inside packed with pieces of strawberry.  Yes, hubby and I did haggle over the crumbs.

Twin Rocks Café

913 East Navajo Twins Dr. (off Hwy 191)

(435) 672-2341

Open Fri to Tues, 8am to 3pm; Closed Wed and Thurs.


The breakfast menu here is extensive, with so many choices, it might take a few minutes to make a definite decision.  Omelets, burritos, sweet offerings of Peaches de Chelly or Navajo Blue Corn Pancakes, and a variety of egg platters.  Still cannot decide, then go for The Goat (eggs, meat, potatoes, frybread, butter and honey) or The Bluebird Special (eggs, meat, blue corn pancakes, butter and warm syrup).


No, we could not decide, so we ordered The Goat and The Bluebird Special.  While we each got the eggs cooked in the style we liked, and our favorite choice of meat, we shared samplings of the frybread, potatoes and blue corn pancakes together.  So good, so very good, and the coffee was fresh, hot and kept on coming!   Chef Frances does an excellent job, teaches her staff well, and is appreciated by both diners and staff.

The Bluebird Special


The Goat

Outside San Juan County, but Close Enough


Dove Creek, Colorado (only 20 minutes, along Hwy. 491 East, from Monticello)


Dove Creek Dinner Bell

546 US-491

(970) 677-2211

Open Tues to Fri, 7am to 7pm, Sat and Sun, 7am to 2pm, Closed Mon.


Dining at the Dinner Bell is similar to dining with family, even though not related, and basically strangers.  Everyone there greets everyone coming in, whether they know you or not.  It is not simply a place frequented by town locals, but by ranchers, farmers, truckers and folks from all walks of life.  It is definitely not fancy, but it is homey and welcoming, and that matters the most. 


Stick to the ribs breakfast platters are offered: Biscuits and Gravy, Country Fried Steak, Omelets, Egg Platters, Pancake Stacks, French Toast and a Smothered Burrito with, what else, a choice of red or green chili.


Hubby’s favorite is a Full Plate of Crap, yes, I said Crap.  You name the breakfast item and it is probably in the pile.  If you really need to know, just ask, and owner Charlotte will happily tell you. 






There you have it, our personal breakfast adventures.  Whether you reside in the area, just outside of it, or traveling a distance, definitely make the effort to have a breakfast experience in and around San Juan County, UT.

Mary Cokenour











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