The 8 Best Bars in Whitefish, Montana

Will Beck
Last Updated: March 4th, 2023

Welcome to Glacier Country!

Here in these parts, the official drink is a state-wide favorite called “The Whiskey Ditch.” Combine 2 oz of whiskey with 2 oz water and you got yourself a classic.

A beer with a view is nothing short of reality in Whitefish. As the vast mountain ranges go on for miles, you’ll be warm and cozy at these top picks with an Irish Coffee in your hands.

From local favorites to family-friendly watering holes, there’s a bar for everyone here in Whitefish, Montana. So let’s take a look at some of the best bars in Whitefish.

Best Bars in Whitefish – Our top picks:

  1. Bonsai Brewing Project
  2. Spotted Bear Spirits
  3. Unleashed: A Winery
  4. Bulldog Saloon
  5. The Firebrand Bar
  6. The Great Northern Bar and Grill
  7. Casey’s
  8. Craggy’s Range Bar and Grill

1. Bonsai Brewing Project

bonsai brewing project
Image: bonsaibrew

We simply had to start the list with the Bonsai Brewing Project. Not only does it have the seal of approval from families, but they’re also dog friendly too. Your furry friends will definitely tell you this is among the best bars in Whitefish!

Keep in mind that Bonsai closes its doors for the winter months, to eagerly await sunny weather for their guests to enjoy the spacious beer garden and patio area. Locals and tourists flock to Bonsai Brewing on Thursdays to watch various DJs play music from their own vinyl collections, and if you’re feeling creatively retro, you can join their DJ list as well.

The atmosphere is homey, comfortable, and familiar in the coziest way. The owners have art from their family members decorating the walls. With these sentimental touches, Bonsai Brewing Project is like a home away from home.

Best for: Beer lovers looking for a barrel-aged sour, and wild ale. Also, families and Fido.

Must-Try: Any of the IPAs are soul-soothing. Definitely try the poke bowl, pork tacos, or the Fortune Burger.

2. Spotted Bear Spirits

spotted bear spirits
Image: spottedbearspirits

This chic distillery can soften the grizzliest days you can’t seem to bear, with a cherry on top.

Spotted Bear Spirits is a women-owned business that functions on only the best organic ingredients. They source their produce and veggies straight from the local farming community. Now that’s fresh!

Since they have a distillery on-site, they’re only allowed to stay open until 8 pm. Think of this spot as your pre-drink bar, with high-quality mixers and zero chance of a hangover. How? They have a two-drink limit per person. You won’t be obliterated, rack up a pricey bill (drinks are between $8-$15), or be hungover for your day on the slopes.

Best for: A classy pre-drink session in a welcoming environment with fresh ingredients.

Must-Try: Our favorites are the huckleberry mules, or the salt and pepper martinis.

3. Unleashed: A Winery

unleashed a winery
Image: unleashedwinery

For all the wine-connoisseurs looking for their match, Unleashed has you covered.

This winery is all dog-themed, in case you didn’t catch it with the name. You can purchase wines and souvenirs on site all with canine-punned humor. Our favorite wine name was the “Ruff Day Chardonnay,” amongst some other contenders like the “Camp Hound Blackberry Merlot,” and “Red Hydrant Malbec.” How flavorsome does the Blackberry Merlot sound?

There are some assorted bites to pair with your wines, like their cheese boards. You can never go wrong with yummy cheese and full-bodied wine.

Best for: Vino enthusiasts and dog lovers who want to wind down after an adventurous day.

Must-Try: The 2 for $10 Cheese Board and their Hydrant Malbec.

4. Bulldog Saloon

bulldog saloon
Image: fart-slobber

This budget-friendly pick has been around for over 100 years! It was built in 1903 and housed doctors’ offices for decades before it became a secret hosting space for boxing matches, and mason meetings. Since 1983, it’s been family-owned and plans to stay this way for generations to come.

Bulldog Saloon is your one-stop shop for a sports bar atmosphere, juicy burgers and fries, and an ice-cold brew.

Stepping into the saloon will have you going back in time to the days when John Wayne roamed the streets and soda fountains were bubbling.

Best for: Anyone and everyone who’s in the mood for an old-school good time.

Must-Try: The burgers are the staple here at Bulldog Saloon, but we recommend you try their BFB, or Big Fat Burger. There’s no way you’re walking out of this watering hole hungry.

5. The Firebrand Bar

the firebrand bar
Image: firebrandhotel

Wood burning fireplaces, leather sofas and chairs, high wooden ceilings, and craft beers. All these flourishings await at Firebrand Hotel’s Bar.

They offer over 12 Montana-crafted beers on tap for you to try. If you prefer cocktails, they’ll arrive handcrafted and tastefully dusted with flavor. Plus, unlike most luxury hotel lodges, Firebrand is priced fairly from their kitchen to their top-shelf mixers.

If you’re in the mood for a wild night, you can even crash in one of the gorgeous rooms at the hotel overlooking the mountain views and lake. By booking a room at Firebrand, you’ll gain access to their rooftop area to sip your bubbly in the sun.

An added bonus- they have a coffee bar too!

Best for: Couples or families wanting a more woodsy, and lodge-like vibe.

Must-Try: The Orchard Margarita enhanced with spiced apple syrup. Yum!

6. The Great Northern Bar and Grill

the great northern bar and grill
Image: greatnorthernbar

“Good old-fashioned, homemade cooking, made to order, made to stop you from being hungry, not made fancy, just made good.”

The Great Northern doesn’t claim to have deluxe cocktails and steaks at your leisure, but this is still an all-around fun place to pass some time. If you bring your children, they’re welcome until 9 pm when things start getting rowdy.

Live music fills the stage every Thursday to Saturday evening, and 7 days a week in the summer months.

Stop by for pool tables, shuffleboard, ping pong, over 29 beers on tap, and a patio you’re going to love making memories on.

Best for: A group of friends who want to play a few rounds of pool and kick back some pints.

Must-Try: The wings and beer combo is a fan-favorite in these parts, and the live music cannot be missed.

7. Casey’s

Image: caseyswhitefish

Fun fact, an episode of the Bachelor was filmed here. Whether that drives you to pop into Casey’s more or less, it’s up to you. You would be missing out on the epic sky bar though.

Casey’s has it all: a dance floor, confetti cannons, laser shows, DJs, comedians, and more.

The building has been standing ever since its opening days in 1905 as a pool hall and saloon. In the 1967s, the owners renamed it “Casey’s” and it’s stuck ever since.

Known for their bloody marys, and signature cocktail, “The Glacier,” Casey’s drink selections will have you feeling fresh all summer long.

Best for: A sky bar experience overlooking Main Avenue, or a stellar party.

Must-Try: The whiskey burger and an old-fashioned cocktail.

8. Craggy’s Range Bar and Grill

craggy’s range bar and grill
Image: thecraggyrange

Gastropub eats + $5 Happy hours!

Craggy’s doesn’t disappoint whatsoever when it comes to their kitchen-made dinners and cheap prices. Their “Take Five Happy Hour” offers $5 martinis, cocktails, fry baskets, house wines, and craft beers. They even boast to have the best bloody mary in town, and that’s a large statement.

Locals recommend the bison burger, some saying it’s the best they’ve ever had. Montana-raised folks know their meat, so if you’re in the area, give it a taste.

The staff is incredibly friendly, and the owner is very hands-on to ensure every guest’s dining experience feels comfortable, happy, and full of service.

Best for: A classic Montana feel, great service, and selection of over 16 bourbons to warm you up.

Must-Try: Of course, you gotta try the bison burger and a bloody mary. You’ll be addicted. For non-meat eaters who still enjoy fish, the tuna-melt is to die for.

Best Bars in Whitefish – Final Thoughts

There was a lot to consider when looking to find the best bars in Whitefish, while the town itself is small the influx of tourism combined with a focus on entertainment and atmosphere has ensured that there are plenty of unique locations to check out in the area.

While there is no real answer for what makes up the best bars in Whitefish, there are certainly many options when visiting. For tourists looking for vibrant nightlife, the small town has a lot on offer and tap!

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About The Author

Will Beck

Will is a true digital nomad, taking his work on the road at every opportunity. His first love is coffee, with travel a close 2nd. He loves nothing more than hitting the road in his self-build campervan and visiting off-the-beaten-path places, away from popular tourist destinations.

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