Craving St. George: Bear Paw Cafe provides comfort food

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With the high-intensity atmosphere of college, and the fast-paced ideology of the American society, finding time to sit back and relax is essential.

Nestled sweetly in between St. George Boulevard and Tabernacle Street, Bear Paw Café sits welcoming each customer who wanders through its glass front door. The sides of the building advertise the presence of world-famous food, enticing the drivers nearby from its home at 75 N. Main St.

For locals who may have driven past the beige building many times, Bear Paw Cafe seems to blend into the multitude of shops and restaurants resting quietly beside it. After trying the food and stopping by for coffee once or twice — or one hundred times — it is hard to forget.

Marked by larger than life food and specialty drinks, Bear Paw Cafe lures people from surrounding cities and states. 

“Every time I’m in St. George, it’s become a tradition to stop by [Bear Paw Cafe] and get a coffee and a bear paw,” Las Vegas resident Amanda Louis said.

Louis stumbled upon Bear Paw Cafe while driving through St. George on her way to Brian Head.

“[My friends and I] were looking for a quick snack,” Louis said. “We knew we were going to eat a big meal later on the mountain, but we were starving.”

Louis said since her initial run in with Bear Paw Cafe, she’s been back enough times to have almost tried everything on the menu.

“Everything I’ve had I’ve loved,” Louis said. “But hands down, my favorite is the belgian waffle.”

Nevada isn’t the furthest some have traveled to get their hands on enticing goods and experience home-grown customer service. New Jersey native Carissa Ivran said she moved to St. George in 2005, and has continued to visit Bear Paw Cafe ever since her first order.

“It’s nice to go to a restaurant and set your smart phone down and just enjoy the ambiance,” Ivran said. “I love watching people pass by in their own worlds without any expectations, just delicious food.”

Living in the dorms, it’s nice to have somewhere inexpensive to get home-cooked meals; it’s like a home away from home. That is, if home was only open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The local “ma-and-pa” charm does not end at the door. Lining the walls leading to the restrooms, customers are greeted by paintings of cowboys playing golf. Customers stop along the hall to gawk and giggle at the portraits waiting for them.

One Yelp reviewer wrote: “As the neighbors change, Bear Paw [Cafe] remains the same. [It is] a dependable source for a classic[,] lovingly prepared meal.”

Moving to St. George in 1998, the Pizzuto family has overseen the now locally-famous diner, which originated in Anchorage, Alaska. Bear Paw Cafe took over the Mama Edy’s homebase upon its closure, remnants of the past restaurant still carved into the present cafe.

“I love [Bear Paw Cafe]; it’s like you can feel the history,” Phoenix resident Alissa Spears said. “Chain restaurants are uniform and cold, but [Bear Paw Cafe] offers a more personal touch.”

Stop in before 3 p.m. to get a deliciously sweet breakfast or delectable coffee and pastry; remember, eating breakfast is acceptable at any time of day if one believes hard enough.