Tacos, pizza, and deli lunches can’t hold a candle to the popularity of the burger, which has become a staple in American cuisine. Though unique to the United States, each state brings its own twist to the humble hamburger.
Choosing the best hamburger joint in a state famous for its beef patties is difficult, but we managed to narrow it down to the top 11. So now you can skip the chain restaurants and head to these smaller, local eateries for some of the most happening burgers in Montana.
The Best Burgers in Montana
Beef patties to Montana are what buns are to burgers. It’s easy to satisfy your cravings for this traditional American pantheon when there are so many delectable options available. If you’ve never been to Montana, you’re missing out on some of the best burgers in the state.
There are three key components to any good burger: salty, sweet, and savory. These qualities stand out even more in a rustic Montana setting. Here’s a list of places that serve the finest burgers in ‘The Treasure State’.
1. Naps Grill
In the heart of the American West, in Hamilton, you’ll find Bitter Root Brewing. It sits alongside the Idaho-Montana border – a route often traveled by tourists and sports enthusiasts. With their empty stomachs and hunger pangs, these passersby are always looking for comfort food.
Naps is well-known for its generous portions and serving primo local Montana meat.
Their regular burger weighs 12 ounces, while their (in)famous Belly Buster is 17 ounces! Whopper patties come with a simple salad of lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.
With over 30 years of experience and a long list of awards under its belt, Naps Grill has built a solid reputation within the state and beyond. “Best Burger in Montana” was their most recent achievement after years of winning the “Best Burger” title. Their burgers have even made it to the “Top 50 Burgers in the Nation” list. Do we need to go on?
The burgers at this quaint little eatery are enormous and delicious. Burger connoisseurs, you’re in for a treat! The Burger Dive in Billings is a great place to get a custom-made burger when you’re in town. You can’t miss out on the award-winning “I’m Your Huckleberry” Burger, proudly displayed on the menu.
The huckleberry barbecue sauce (which is used in all their other items) is a key ingredient of this magnificent dish. You won’t be disappointed no matter what you choose from this restaurant’s menu, which features roughly 20 different options.
Burger Dive is one of Billings’ most famous restaurants, located on a busy street. As the winner of Montana’s finest burger and the host of Man vs. Food, it is undoubtedly a popular local establishment.
Two things make the retro lights sign particularly warm and inviting. For one, seeing the glistening relics of the American West is always a joy. Second, “Burgers and Beer” in neon gives away everything about the restaurant.
You can thank this rule of two for creating some of the best burgers in Montana. A throwback to the dive-bar burgers of the past, the food here is simple with no frills attached. Ordering is as easy as choosing a size (single, double, or “Griz”) and your preferred cheese.
There’s no better place in downtown Missoula than the Missoula Club to catch the Griz’s big game with a burger and tap beer. They’ve been in the business of providing their all-star burgers to visitors and locals since 1890.
This burger joint’s no-nonsense attitude has gained a cult following in the Northwest after the 1980s burger craze and some clever market research. The burgers here are straightforward and uncomplicated.
If you’re a fan of the sesame bun, the sizzling patties, and basic condiments, this is the place for you. It’s this absence of fluff that guarantees a consistently delicious meal and evokes nostalgia. It has three locations in the Northwest: Missoula, Kalispell, and north Kalispell.
At Polson’s favorite Richwine Burgerville, the line of cars waiting outside is always long but worth it. Their famous Royal Burger is made with 100% bull meat patties and a top-secret family recipe.
Don’t miss this Flathead Lake classic, which has been family-owned for over five decades.
This drive-thru burger place is located at Highway 93 East. If you’re planning a summer road trip, this is the ideal stopover. It’s open from March through September. The American Cancer Society receives a portion of the revenue from each Bernie Burger sold.
In the picturesque village of Bigfork, Burgertown is another local burger shop with a 50-year history. This summer special landmark serves fresh, hand-pressed patties cooked to order. Don’t forget to help yourself with their fries and soft-serve ice cream for the full experience.
All your doubts regarding roadside burger stands will be washed away once you order the Flathead Monster. It only opens during the summer, so make sure you plan your trip accordingly.
Are we telling you to plan your Montana vacation around a burger? Maybe!
There is a wide selection of local beers on tap at Uberbrew which attracts beer enthusiasts from all over the state. Anyone who has dined there will tell you that their burgers are equally amazing.
A stalwart of the Billings craft beer industry, UberBrew is a short walk from Last Chance Pub & Cider Mill in downtown Billings. When looking for a spot to dine in Billings, Montana, this is the sole brewery, taproom, and gastropub in one.
From the menu to their brewing space, it’s obvious that these folks love experimenting with beer and food. Craft beer and gourmet burgers? What’s not to like?!
8. The Raven
The Raven, a beachfront restaurant in Montana with views of Flathead Lake, is a great place to unwind and have a meal. It is home to one of the best burgers in Montana, named after the state itself.
The Montana Beer Burger is topped with melted cheddar and onion rings caramelized in Blackfoot IPA. The Bacon Blue Cheeseburger, topped with candied bacon, is another popular item on their menu.
This burger bar is well-known in the area for its Wildfire burger, which is both inventive and delicious. Caramelized onions, pepper jack cheese, beef, jalapenos, and a spicy sriracha aioli top this Montana favorite.
In keeping with their “keep it simple” philosophy, they serve you one of the best burgers in Montana. They have the classic huge juicy patty and several meat options.
Beef can be replaced with bison meat, plant-based protein, or even two patties. It’s also the ideal size for taking a hearty bite – the closest thing to perfection in a burger.
10. Buffalo Cafe
As a community situated on Flathead Lake, Whitefish has the rare opportunity to be nestled within the sprawling nature that stretches from Glacier National Park. Food-related activities are elevated because of the area’s breathtaking natural beauty. Among the best in the business, Buffalo Cafe’s burgers are a standout.
Their approach combines comfort meals, premium Montana beef, and locavorism. The Hot Date mixes bacon, grilled dates, and a fiery samba aioli, while the patty melt is a work of sourdough art.
Ten Montana handmade beers are on tap to accompany their hand-pressed hamburgers. Ask about the special burger of the week when you arrive. They also serve veggie burgers for their plant-loving customers.
The Windbag Saloon has won “Best Burger in Town” several times. This is no simple task, given that it is the capital, which is home to two renowned colleges and a multitude of refined palates.
Renovated just a few years ago, it now has a sleeker interior with dark-wood high boys and a glistening shuffleboard table. However, the vintage charm stays: the brilliant-red marquee and brothel-running mascot echo the twentieth century’s cowboy-centric era.
The Classic and the Bullock (bleu and bacon), both served on locally baked buns, are noteworthy. If you’re not up for a burger, they offer the greatest salad in the neighborhood as well.
12. Roadhouse Diner
The Roadhouse Diner in Great Falls is no stranger to winning awards for its mouthwatering creations. Picking up big wins like the Top 25 Best Diners in the United States from Travel+Leisure Magazine and landing a ‘best burger award’ from various sources every year since 2017.
The Roadhouse Diner makes some of the best burgers you will find. Whether you choose to build your own from scratch or indulge in one of their unique creations like the PB& J Burger or the Hillbilly Sweet and Spicy you are guaranteed an outstanding dining experience.
Those looking for a real hot challenge can attempt the “Widowmaker”, this single patty burger comes with habanero, serrano, and jalapeno peppers and a signature windowmaker sauce to bring the heat. The real kicker though, hand-rubbed ghost pepper bacon!
Restaurants Under Consideration
Montana burgers are now on par with some of the best in the country. Finding the best burger in Montana can be the perfect opportunity for a road trip, so why not go on the hunt with a friend? The places on this list are a good place to begin your quest. Along with hamburgers, there are several other delicious items to discover. Garlic chili-cheese fries, anyone?
Now that you know where to find some of Montana’s best burgers, it’s time to head to Big Sky Country!