Travel Tips for Drinking in Livingston
- The state of Montana has a 0% sales tax, which means you might be more inclined to order a couple extra glasses of your preferred beverage.
- Some bars in Montana include a mandatory service charge with the bill, but not all. In Montana and North America in general the tip has become something of a social norm or expected percentage of the bill, aside from its original intended purpose as an expression of gratitude.
- Tipping is of course at the customer’s discretion though, and the service charge is not considered a tip. A point of interest worth noting when deciding whether or not to tip is that employers aren’t bound by any laws to share the service charges with the employee who did the serving. At least not as extras—more as part of the employee’s wages. Many employers will have a tip pool that is equally shared, although the service charges are unlikely to be seen as add-ons to the server’s wages.
- Bars in Montana typically close up shop around 2 am—which gives you more time to experience each watering hole without feeling too rushed
The 10 Best Bars in Livingston
If you are looking to grab a drink and some pub food, there are plenty of options when checking out the best bars in Livingston.
- The Murray Bar
- Livingston Bar and Grille
- The Office Lounge and Liquor Store
- The Katabatic Brewing Co.
- Hiatt House Bar
- The Mint Bar
- The Owl Lounge
- Neptune’s Brewery
- The Stockman
- The BuckhornYellowstone Saloon
1. The Murray Bar • Main Street • $$
This quirky and historic bar is simply one of the town’s ‘must visit’ establishments when visiting Livingston and is likely to kick off any listing related to Livingston’s bars.
It is worth the visit just to view the walls and décor and consider some of the history behind the place and some of the people who have drank here over the years. Like the iconic hotel with the same name, the Murray Bar has seen a few interesting characters come and go over the years.
The Murray Bar has remained the mainstay of the downtown Livingston bar scene for more than a century. It’s not hard to see why if you drop in and encounter the authentic and vibrant atmosphere as well as live music. For many, the Murray Bar is akin to the epicenter for southwest Montana bar music.
The Murray Bar is a popular spot for a broad range of people aside from the locals and often includes the odd visiting celebrity alongside other travelers.
A large dose of Livingston heritage is evident in this bar yet the drink prices are reasonable and if you get hungry the bar is right next to some impressive food menus courtesy of the 2nd Street Bistro & Gil’s Goods in the same building.
2. Livingston Bar and Grille • Main Street • $$
More of the typical warmth & charm found in Livingston is evident at the Bar & Grille, where a range of drinks and food are served up in a casual setting with a touch of elegance.
Like all the best local establishments in the town, there are a few unique, homemade touches to this bar’s approach.
Their happy hour runs from 4 to 6 pm, and we always offer dinner specials. The fact that the restaurant is housed in a historic building and features a classic Brunswick back bar does it no harm whatsoever.
The reasonably-priced cuisine comes with an extensive wine menu, local craft beers, and a helping of signature cocktails.
An ideal choice for singles, couples, and families alike looking for a decent meal or alternatively for anyone who just fancies a glass of wine and an appetizer at the bar.
The establishment opens Thursday through Sunday, 4.30 pm-9 pm.
3. The Office Lounge and Liquor Store • South Main Street • $$-$$$
The Office Lounge is a reasonably-sized, nicely-decorated local establishment that retains a local and welcoming atmosphere. The style of the bar is almost saloon-like, with plenty of seating and staff.
Locals and visitors alike come here to grab a cold beer, a glass of wine, or a hand-made cocktail while watching sports, playing various bar games like pool and darts, or trying their luck in the casino section of the bar which has more than 10 slot machines.
The bar not only has a wide range of drink options including local craft beers on tap alongside other local and imported beer, a range of seltzers, and wine by the glass.
Seasonal beer and various other specialty beer options are always on offer here, and the bar offers a full menu when you get peckish, which is well worth checking out as Chef Cory’s background stems from a lifelong interest and commitment to the food service industry that is more than evident in his culinary creations.
This is an ideal place to watch football or some other sports event or to catch some of the regular live music that they put on.
There is a daily Happy Hour at the Office Lounge which serves between 10 am and 12.30 am, and the liquor store opens 10 am-10 pm in case you want to take home your own nightcap.
4. The Katabatic Brewing Co. • West Park Street • $$
Katabatic Brewing Co. is a craft brewery located in Livingston that makes all its own beer on site, from scratch, and served fresh to each customer.
The brewery aims to showcase the fine art of craft brewing through the use of fresh, clean water and locally-sourced ingredients–not to mention almost constant experimentation with ingredients and flavors.
You’ll find everything from barrel-aged Stouts, to world-class IPAs here–all brewed by the beer lovers behind the operation.
Both the taproom and the actual production facility remain in constant motion and a glance at the beer menu gives some idea of the results you can expect. Many of the delightful beer options lean towards the higher end of the ABV–6.8 to 10 compared to some of the other microbrews which are more likely in the 4-6.5 range.
Another couple of selling points of the taproom is that it is located right on Main Street across from the Depot Museum, and the fact that it is located right next door to the renowned local Mexican Restaurant Fiesta en Jalisco.
The eatery supplies bar snacks and food to increasingly-hungry bar customers who have sampled some of the liquid wares on offer.
This intriguing brewpub in downtown Livingston opens Monday-Thursday 2 pm-8 pm, and Friday-Sunday 12 pm-8 pm.
5. Hiatt House Bar • West Callender Street • $-$$
Entertaining, serving food and drinks, with occasional live music and just the right amount of grittiness.
Locally owned and operated in the historic Park Hotel, the Hiatt serves up a decent range of local and imported beers with enticing names such as Irish Death, Salmon Fly Honey Rye, Goemans Gold, and Copper John–to name but a few of the various beers on offer guaranteed to keep connoisseurs happy.
This is an old-school-type dive bar where you can try your luck on the poker machines, grab a bite to eat, and see some of the best local bands.
Reportedly very reasonably priced too, there is a distinctly non-presumptive vibe in this place despite the fact that it is housed in a very stylish historic old building.
Hours are 12 pm-2 am daily except for Sundays when closing time is 10 pm.
6. The Mint Bar • North Main Street • $$-$$$
The Mint Bar in Livingston has a heritage dating back to the 1920s, which is evident from the building it is housed in–the former home of the Hefferlin Brothers mercantile.
Like many things in Livingston, there is a claim to fame, and as it turns out the Mint Bar was the actual bar featured in a scene from “A River Runs through It”.
The bar features an extensive and impressive array of mainly locally-produced beers, ales, and stouts. This comes alongside ciders, bottled beers, seltzers, and imported wine.
If you get peckish while trying to decide what to drink from the great drinks menu, the bar has an excellent kitchen that opens from 4 pm-9 pm.
The menu features pub fayre like steak, seafood, fried chicken, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and a few other treats. The bar opens Tue—Sat, 4 pm-12 am.
7. The Owl Lounge • North 2nd Street • $$
You can’t miss the brick building on the corner of North Street where there is a happy hour every day from 4 to 6, except for Sundays.
The inside of the Owl Lounge reveals a lovingly-restored interior with a touch of vintage to it. The establishment serves a range of both locally-produced and imported beer and wine and can get pretty busy.
On top of that they have an extensive and delicious range of specialty cocktails and martinis–check out the Snowy Owl with its combination of whipped strawberry vodka, cranberry juice, and cream.
According to reviews, the martinis are exquisite, topped off by the warm and welcoming atmosphere. The Owl Lounge is well-known locally for its great service, and the bartender is often complimented on having something of a passion for service.
The Owl Lounge opens daily from 4 pm-2 am except for Sundays when they are closed.
8. Neptune’s Brewery • N L Street • $$
Neptune’s Brewery is a quaint, sea-themed oasis in Livingston, with the motto ‘Drink like a God’.
The tap room serves a variety of brewed-on-site craft beers. Connoisseurs will be right at home in this establishment once they start casting a glance across the menu.
Whether it’s the 6.2% Dirty Bird IPA, the River Nymph Golden Ale, or the Knotty Lotte Latte Stout with its roasted barley and cold brew coffee elements—beer lovers will find something to enjoy in this pleasant tap house.
As far as food goes, the tap house also has an eatery that will cater to any ravenous hunger pangs after a taste of some of those ales.
The food includes favorites and classics like coastal cuisine, burgers, fish & chips, seafood entrees, and what the eatery calls Surf Style Sushi–non-traditional sushi with a coastal vibe.
9. The Stockman • North Main Street • $$
The Stockman is housed in a 100-year-old steakhouse and serves lunch, dinner, and drinks with live music to boot. Nothing too fancy here, just local charm and good beer and food.
The menu includes bar fayre like appetizers, sandwiches, salads, and burgers–bison cheeseburgers are a specialty.
Opening hours are 10 am-9 pm Mon-Thurs, 10 am-10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and closed on Sundays.
10. The BuckhornYellowstone Saloon • 5237 US-89 • $$
The Buckhorn is a bit further out of town close to Highway 89 and is one of Livingston’s more recent additions to the bar scene.
This is a rather interesting establishment that also features a liquor shop, a casino, and an event hall. The décor includes tons of Yellowstone memorabilia like a tour bus from 1937, and the venue also deals in raft rentals.
The Buckhorn opens 7 days a week serving cold beer–including 7 local Montana favorites on tap–as well as cocktails, wine, and bar food like wings and pizza.