There’s nothing like bonding with family and friends over great food. If ever you find yourself in Missoula, Montana, there are a lot of excellent food joints you should check out.
Contrary to what some people might think, there’s more to Missoula than bison burgers and barbecue. From Japanese ramen bars to Brazilian barbecue joints, Missoula is home to a lot of different flavors.
Whatever cuisine you’re in the mood for, you can find a great restaurant to satisfy your craving in Missoula.
Recommended Food & Drink Tours in Missoula
- Big Sky Brewing
- Bayern Brewery
- Montgomery Distillery
- Ten Spoon Vineyard and Winery
- Image Nation Brewing Co
Travel Tips To Eating In Missoula
Also known as Zootown, Missoula, Montana is a great destination for adventurers seeking to explore the outdoors. After a long day of hiking and mountain biking, there’s nothing like relaxing with good food and even better company.
Here are a few facts you must know before eating here.
- Missoula experiences very hot summers and equally extreme winter seasons. The winter season tends to drag until May. Therefore, it’s best if you schedule your trip between July and September.
- Once you’re there, you should try snacking on their flathead cherries. You can also try Dixon melons or have some ice cream from the famous Big Dipper Ice Cream.
- Meat lovers will enjoy the wide array of options in Missoula. From elk to bison, beef to lamb – farmers produce a lot of healthy livestock. Elk and bison are a must-try for travelers.
- If you’re in the mood for fresh produce, the farmer’s market is a nice place to buy affordable options.
- There are a lot of local craft brewers for you to enjoy a pint or two of beer. Wine connoisseurs also have a lot of selections to choose from local wineries.
- Whenever you’re eating or drinking in a local haunt, it’s a must to leave a 20-25% tip to your server. It’s the norm not just in Missoula, but in the whole state of Montana.
- Everything is relatively more affordable in Missoula, and it’s recommended you bring a car with you to explore the city.
The Best Restaurants in Missoula
1. The Catalyst Cafe • 111 N Higgins Ave, Missoula, MT 59802 • $$ – $$$
Established in 1991 as Montana’s first coffee cart, the Catalyst Cafe is one of the most famous restaurants in the city for big breakfasts and lunches. Known for brewing the best coffee in the city and its delicious variety of fresh, unique local meals, it even has great options for vegans and vegetarians.
Although this place is usually packed during the weekends, waiting for a table is very much worth it. With food options for all types of diets, even the pickiest eaters can find something to satisfy their taste buds in this particular food haunt.
Recommended: Huevos Rancheros
2. The Camino •125 N Pattee St, Missoula, MT 59802• $ – $$
If you’re craving some authentic Mexican cuisine, The Camino offers a little taste of Mexico right in the heart of Montana. Every dish is prepared with honest Mexican traditions and cooking techniques.
With a gorgeous and authentic Mexican atmosphere, this restaurant uses only the freshest ingredients. It also has special meat options such as goat and lamb, and, hands down, has the best Cadillac margarita in town.
This particular restaurant doesn’t take reservations, and it usually fills up fast. With a lot of distilleries, breweries, and shops around the area, there are plenty of options for you to pass the time while you patiently wait for your table.
Recommended: Lamb Barbacoa Tacos
3. Bob Marshall’s Biga Pizza • 241 W Main St, Missoula, MT 59802 • $$ – $$$
Nothing hits the spot after a long day of outdoor adventure than a great slice of Italian pizza. Known for its innovative yet traditional handcrafted pizzas, this award-winning pizza joint uses locally sourced ingredients and cooks its pies exclusively in its brick oven.
Even if you’re not in the mood for a slice of pizza, Biga Pizza offers delectable sandwiches and salads, made only with artisan meats and cheeses, unforgettable homemade sauces, and creative toppings. They even have vegan and vegetarian options for those on a strict diet.
The restaurant gets pretty busy all day, but they recently started offering food delivery. It’s also closed on Sundays, so you might want to look for another place for your Sunday brunch.
Recommended: Meatball Verde Pizza
4. Five on Black • 325 N Higgins Ave, Missoula, MT 59802• $
If you’re on a tight budget, you can never go wrong with the Brazilian flavors of Five on Black. Known for its exotic offerings, this grab-and-go place uses only the freshest ingredients.
With a lot of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free food options, Five on Black’s dishes usually consists of rice, greens, or the mixture of the two, a grilled protein in the center (with vegan and vegetarian options), a side dish, spicy coconut or mango barbecue sauce, and fresh herbs for a little burst of flavor.
Recommended: You can build your own meal, but the Churrasco beef is a popular meat option
5. Michi Ramen Bar • 137 West Front Street Suite 2, Missoula, MT 59802 • $$ – $$$
If you ask a Missoula local for restaurant recommendations, this Japanese ramen bar is usually part of the list. Michi is known for its unique blend of contemporary Japanese dining and urban styling.
With its authentic appetizers, house-made cocktails, and alcoholic options from local breweries, Michi Ramen Bar incorporates Japanese flavors into Missoula’s industrial atmosphere. If you’re on the hunt for a truly special dining experience, Michi Ramen Bar is the place to be.
Recommended: Yellow Curry Chicken
6. Plonk Missoula • 322 N Higgins Ave, Missoula, MT 59802 • $$ – $$$
Atmospheric wine and cocktails in the middle of the Missoula Valley is the moody and romantic Plonk Missoula. Offering delectable food starting at lunch and finishing at late-night drinks, this American wine bar has a reputation for impeccable customer service, lovely music, and great food.
The menu selections are rich, satisfying, and the wine list is remarkable. What makes this wine and food restaurant rather special is the eclectic menu. The exciting choices make the Plonk Museum a favorite hangout for both locals and tourists alike. Comfortable and relaxed are the names of the game in this high-rated restaurant.
Recommended: Chef’s cheese board and ratatouille
7. Top Hat • 134 W Front St, Missoula, MT 59802 • $$ – $$$
Top Hat received the Traveler’s Choice Award for 2021— proof that this American pub in the heart of Missoula is a customer favorite. In fact, plenty of locals and tourists seek out Top Hat whenever they are in Missoula for the tasty menu presented so prettily. Both delicious and Instragrammable, this pub has the perfect combination for a great restaurant.
With live music, a large dance floor, and a vintage atmosphere, Top Hat attracts artists, music lovers, and the most discerning foodie. Operating since 1950, this place is experienced in the art of serving and entertaining.
Recommended: Fried pickles
You Can Explore a World of Flavor
What’s great about restaurants in Missoula, is that they have options for every budget and diet (most of them, at least). Most of these Missoula restaurants take pride in using only fresh and locally-made ingredients, enhancing customers’ dining experience.