Around the world, America is known as the home of the hamburger, and in Bozeman, Montana, burgers are big business.
We’ve put ourselves through the mouthwatering task of sampling the most delicious burgers to help you choose the very best burger in Bozeman. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.
Recommended Food & Drink Tours in Bozeman
- Tour de Foam · 2-3 hours · Best tour for beer lovers
- Bogert Farmer’s Market · 2-3 hours · Great tour for foodies
- Gear Belly · 2 hours · Fun pub bike tour
- Bozeman Spirits Distillery · 1 hour · Excellent distillery tour
Travel Tips for Eating in Bozeman
- As with the rest of the United States, tipping the staff in Bozeman restaurants is not required, but is generally expected. Anything less than 15% for adequate service may get you some funny looks. For good service, 20% or more is common.
- Your tip percentage should be calculated on the amount of your bill before tax is added, not after.
- The legal drinking age in Montana is 21. No one under this age will be served alcohol with or without food, and if you look anywhere close to this age, expect to have to show a government ID.
- Montana is cattle country, and the state is famous for beef, bison, and Rocky Mountain oysters. If you see that last item on a Bozeman menu, don’t order it expecting local seafood. Instead, it’s a dish made of bull testicles. If you’re squeamish, it’s probably better to stick to a burger.
- Traditionally, vegetarians have been largely out of luck when it comes to finding something to eat in Bozeman. However, that has changed in recent years, and now most restaurants and burger places offer at least some vegetarian options.
- Montana’s Western heritage means that people tend toward rugged friendliness and shy away from pretension. As a result, restaurants tend to be casual, even at the more expensive end of the market. You probably won’t have to dress for dinner here, though there are some places in Bozeman where you won’t be considered fully dressed without a cowboy hat and a pair of boots.
The Top Restaurants to Find the Best Burger Bozeman
1. Burger Bob’s – Main St – $$
Bob’s is a big name in Bozeman burgers – try saying that three times fast (especially with a mouthful of delicious hamburger meat). This restaurant, located right on Main Street, has been in business since 1982 and is still run by the same family that founded it all those decades ago.
Bob’s takes a light-hearted approach to selling food, with a sign proclaiming “Sorry, we’re open” and a menu that features “dishwater coffee” and a “questionable atmosphere”. However, the enduring popularity of this restaurant suggests this may be false modesty.
Bob’s is an unpretentious diner-style restaurant that serves a range of draft beers to wash down their food. But the burgers are the real stars here. The Original Bob is a full third of a pound of fresh ground chuck, while the Big Time Bob contains half a pound of meat.
If that’s not enough, the Cardiac Arrest takes that same half-pound patty and piles it high with cheese, mushrooms, and bacon.
Bob’s also serves a pork chop sandwich, a veggie burger, hot dogs, and salad. But this is the kind of place you come for salad. As the name implies, Burger Bobs is all about the meat.
2. Backcountry Burger Bar – Main St $$
Part of the enduring popularity of the humble burger is its versatility. A burger can be anything from a depressing lukewarm sandwich wolfed down in a fast-food parking lot to a gourmet experience aimed squarely at connoisseurs. Bozeman’s Backcountry Burger Bar isn’t fancy, but they do focus on quality at every stage of the burger-making process.
Honoring Montana’s Western culture and cattle-raising heritage, Backcountry Burger Bar makes its burgers from grass-fed Montana herds.
For an extra charge, you can replace any of their beef burgers with a bison burger for a true taste of the West.
Their burger menu isn’t extensive, with only five items available. But when those items include a kimchi burger and the Calamity Jane with bacon, jalapeno jelly, and scallion cream cheese, you know a broad range of tastes will be catered for.
You can also have any of their burgers with a plant-based patty, making this one of the more vegetarian-friendly Bozeman burger joints.
At Backcountry, it’s not just burgers on the menu. They have a variety of sandwiches and salads, and you can design your own mac & cheese by picking from several toppings.
Their beer selection is also impressive, and they even offer draft wine. If you want a burger place that offers quality ingredients and creative recipes without breaking the bank, this is a good option.
3. University Burger – West College – $$
Located close to Montana State University, University Burger plays up to its student crowd by proclaiming itself a punk rock burger shop.
The chalkboard menu and soda fountain may seem straight out of a classic diner, but this quirky shop sets itself apart with the variety and quality of the burgers it offers.
If you want to take your taste buds on a culinary tour around the world of burgers, this is the place to do it. The First Ballot features andouille salsa and pickled onion, while the King Vinnie uses a patty made of beef combined with ground bacon.
The Ball and Chain feature the unusual addition of peanut butter, while the PHUCKwad combines tomato ginger jam with bacon, jalapeno, and intriguingly named knuckle sauce.
You can sub any patty for a vegetarian version or, if you’re the opposite of vegetarian, for the mixed beef and bacon patty. They also offer milkshakes and a limited kids menu.
This might well be the coolest burger place in town and is certainly one of the more creative. If you’re in the mood to experiment, there’s no better place in Bozeman to do it than here.
4. Copper Whiskey – Main St – $$$
Visit Bozeman’s Main Street, and you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to burger bars. Copper markets itself as a Whiskey Bar and Grill, and the sleek black minimalist exterior sets it apart from some of the other cheap and cheerful locations on this famous street.
Inside, you’ll find the same high-end aesthetic, combined with an extensive menu developed by executive chef John Wallace.
There’s far more than just burgers on offer here, with options like trout sliders, burnt ends, roasted chicken, and the mouthwatering Chef’s Butcher Block tempting the taste buds of visitors to try it all.
What you won’t find at Copper is an extensive menu of burgers. In fact, there’s just one burger on the menu, the Copper burger. But what a burger!
The Copper features a beef and bacon patty served with white cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and red onion.
You can also add more exotic ingredients like a fried egg, jalapeno beer cheese, and chow-chow. If you’re only going to have one burger on your menu, you ought to make it a good one, and Copper definitely delivers with their namesake burger. Check out Burger and Beer Wednesday nights for a special on this delicious offering.
5. Bacchus Pub – Main St – $$
An Irish pub named after a Roman god, this bar is nonetheless an icon of Bozeman. Established in 1929, Bacchus has been a feature of the city since its earliest days.
Bacchus occupies space in the historic Baxter Hotel on Main Street and boasts a rotating selection of 24 draft beers along with wine, spirits, and cocktails.
The selection of burgers on offer at Bacchus isn’t huge, but they do what they do well. The Pub Burger is an unfussy creation made from local beef, bacon, and cheddar cheese, and garnished with the usual burger fixings. Alternatively, the bison burger is served with provolone and bacon jam.
You can also swap a vegetarian black bean and corn patty for either of the beef options. Along with the burgers, they also serve sandwiches like a Reuben and a turkey club, and you’ll also find classic Irish pub food like shepherd’s pie and fish and chips here.
6. Bozeman Taproom – Rouse Ave – $$
This popular Bozeman bar is all about the beer. They offer an incredible selection of both local and international beers that you can enjoy on the rooftop terrace when the weather cooperates, and this is also a great venue to take in some live music. The ambiance is firmly sports bar, with the bar staying open until one in the morning every day.
It will take you a while just to get past the beer menu, but once you do, you’ll find some tempting burgers that come served with a choice of fries, tater tots, slaw, or salad.
The Taproom burger is their signature item, but you can also choose from the Fun Guy with mushrooms, the North Shore with bacon and sliced pineapple, or the Blue Bayou with blue cheese on a brioche bun.
They also have a good selection of sandwiches, tacos, and other classic pub fares.
7. Best Burger – Huffine Lane – $
There’s nothing fancy about this traditional burger joint. This tiny diner looks as though it hasn’t changed a thing since the 1950s, and the small size of the restaurant means they rely mostly on drive-through trade.
However, Best Burger comes by its name honestly. Regular winners of food awards in Bozeman, this traditional diner with its pressboard menu has outlasted many challengers for the title of Bozeman’s best burger.
Don’t expect fancy frills here. You can have a quarter-pound beef burger, or make it a double. There’s also a veggie burger, and you can add bacon, cheese, grilled onion, or fried jalapenos to your burger. That’s about it.
But what sets Best Burger apart and keeps customers coming back year after year is the fresh hand-pressed patties and the quality of the ingredients.
When you serve burgers this unpretentious, you need to make sure you’re using the best ingredients possible, and that’s what Best Burger does.
Plus, their burgers are some of the cheapest in town, with a regular hamburger costing only $4.50.
8. Low-Key Sandwiches – Oak St- $$
Less a burger restaurant and more a mobile food truck – well, technically, a bus – Low-Key Sandwiches prides itself on using local ingredients to craft globally inspired burgers that have customers’ mouths watering. This converted school bus serves a limited but creative menu of burgers that has something to please everyone.
Whether you’re in the mood for a West Coast BBQ, the Wildcard with bacon and green chili, the Asian-inspired Bahn Burger with Daikon-carrot slaw, or the double-pattied Maniac with pulled pork and bacon, you’ll find something to like here. All burgers are cooked medium-well; don’t even ask for well done.
You can also build your own burger, making the options almost endless. Combine your burger with house-cut fries and a drink, and you’ll have everything you need for a delicious meal from this inventive eatery.
The Best Burger in Bozeman- Final Thoughts
It is no surprise that in cattle country you are going to be spoiled for choice when it comes to tracking down the best burger in Bozeman.
It can be hard to pick where to eat, but it is certainly worth checking out as many locations as possible on your visit to decide for yourself!