With its vast natural forests, spectacular mountainous landscape, and numerous rivers, Montana is the ultimate travel destination if you love the outdoors.
Being the fourth largest state, there is a lot of land to cover for adventure lovers. You could go rock climbing in the mountains, surfing through the rivers, snowboarding, and skiing during winter, fishing, horseback riding; the list is endless.
To enjoy these activities, you’ll need to refuel, so don’t forget to visit some of the finest eateries Montana has to offer. There are plenty of restaurants, cafés, and wineries to explore, so read on to discover the most amazing restaurants in Montana.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the best Montana food you will find at the top restaurants in Big Sky Country.
The 15 Best Restaurants in Montana
Restaurants in Montana are known for their mouthwatering food, coming straight from its expansive wilderness. You can expect an exceptional dining experience with Montana ingredients being the focus, including bison, huckleberries, chokecherries, and some of the best cuts of beef you will find in all of the USA.
1. Roadhouse Diner – Great Falls $$-$$$
Roadhouse is one of the most outstanding Montana restaurants famous for its award-winning burgers. Their burgers were voted best in Montana in 2017 by Business Insider, best in Central Montana in 2020 by Central Network, Best in Great Falls in 2018 by Great Falls Tribune, and they’ve won other awards for their fries and general diner services.
This dynamic restaurant features bi-weekly burger creations, and also allows you to order customized burgers with additions and ingredients of your choice. They cook their meat from medium to medium well.
Therefore, if you’re sensitive to pinkness in your burger, you’re allowed to order no pink. They also serve locally ground coffee, hand-cut French fries, and self-made special sauces. If you’re vegan, their vegetable-only Black Bean Burger will certainly entice you.
2. Montana Ale Works – Bozeman $$
This neat, all-in-one spot prides itself in serving food made from locally grown organic produce and locally bred animals. This restaurant features your favorite steaks served with their house-made steak sauce.
You can also order their grill works quesadilla, Montana meatloaf, grilled fish tacos, local pork schnitzel, chicken enchiladas Rojo. Their signature beef burgers are also a treat, and they’re made from Angus and Wagyu beef.
The bar section sells locally crafted whiskey, locally and regionally brewed beer, and signature cocktails. There’s plenty of space both within the restaurant area, lounge area, and bar. A seasonally open patio section is also available with plenty of space to enjoy the sun as you take your favorite meal and cocktail.
Walk-in clients are welcome, and they limit reservations to a set number. You can also order takeout and pay in advance.
3. Five on Black – Missoula $
Five on Black is a Brazilian street food restaurant in Missoula, Bozeman, Billings, and Great Falls. It offers takeout and distance dining services.
Call in and order any of your favorite Brazilian Churrasco chicken or beef, lemon roasted tilapia, beets, sweet potato and Jicama, feijoada Brazilian stew, and roasted tofu.
Their toppings include tomato vinaigrette, spicy chimichurri sauce, cilantro, and farofa toasted cassava flour. Served with Brazilian black beans, steamed collard, and coconut roasted sweet potato on the side.
You can also place orders online for pick-up or delivery. Their menu is absolutely gluten-free, and everything is vegan except their meat and Brazilian cheese buns.
4. The Burger Dive – Billings $$
The most outstanding item on their menu is their award-winning burgers. The Burger Dive is one of the best Montana restaurants located in Downtown Billings.
Their “I’m your Huckleberry” burger and “Date with Jim Beam and Coke” burger were named champions in World Food Championship in 2016. They make their burgers with never-frozen Angus beef and freshly cut onion rings.
Besides the two sets of burgers, there are more flavors to try out, like mushroom burgers, spicy tuna burgers, garlic burgers, cheeseburgers, and more. They also serve the best hotdogs, fresh fries, sweet potato fries, Cajun fries, salads, and an entire list of food toppings.
For drinks, there are both hot and cold beverages and coke products. Try out their vast list of milkshakes and ice cream too.
5. Plonk Missoula – Missoula $$$-$$$$
This is where class, food, cocktails, and wine come together to create an evening of an eclectic dining experience. Their menu features charcuterie boards, sardines and rye, lamb meatballs, Alaskan halibut, chicken piccata, and plenty of other side dishes and entrees.
Their wine collection is diverse and features Italian, French, and Spanish sparkling wines, rosés, reds, and whites. They also offer an extensive list of signature and Plonk classic cocktails.
Reservations are encouraged if dining as a group of six or more.
6. Firehole Bar-B-Que Co – West Yellowstone $$
This restaurant specializes in everything barbeque. If you’re a meat lover, you definitely want to try their mouth-watering smoked pork, turkey, brisket, and buffalo sausages. They serve these with white bread, pickled onion, and barbeque sauce.
They also sell their sauces, so if you like them, you can carry some home. Some side dishes include beans, coleslaw, and, macaroni and cheese. Takeout services are available.
7. Biga Pizza – Missoula $$
As the name suggests, Biga Pizza specializes in pizzas. It is popular for its award-winning pizzas made only from brick ovens.
They make their pizza dough the traditional Italian way by fermenting it a day prior, as opposed to using commercial yeast. This gives it a richer and deeper flavor, which contributes to the overall uniqueness of its pizza.
Other meals include sandwiches, calzones, antipasti, salads, and additional vegetables, meat, and cheese toppings. Their desserts include but are not limited to, tiramisu parfait, chocolate mascarpone mousse, and lemon-raspberry parfait.
8. Loula’s – Whitefish $$
This family-owned café in Downtown Whitefish is known for its delicious pies. They have the best huckleberry pies and just about any other flavor of homemade pies you can think of. You can order their pies for events such as birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings.
Start your day off with Loula’s breakfast cuisine; offering everything from eggs Benedict, smothered hash browns, lemon stuffed French toast, burritos, multigrain porridge, and many more.
You can also opt for their turkey sandwiches, chicken Caesar wrap, and chicken tenders if you’re looking for something heavier.
9. Lucca’s – Helena $$$
Experience a welcoming environment at Lucca’s, an Italian restaurant located in Power Block Shopping Mall in Helena, Montana. They serve the most flavorful Italian pasta with the accompaniment of your choice.
Try their Italian sausage and mushroom lasagna, shrimp fra Diavolo, gnocchi, and more. Some popular appetizers to expect include stuffed cremini, calamari fritti, baked fontina cheese, steamed pesto mussels, and Lucca’s cheese and sausage dip.
Their wine menu is also one for the books, featuring Chardonnay, Albariño, Chianti, Pinot noir, and more. This award-winning restaurant fills up fast and reservations are highly recommended, preferably a week earlier.
They’re open for dining only on Wednesday through Sunday from 5.00 pm, and they offer takeout as well.
10. Roost Fried Chicken – Bozeman $-$$
What is a trip to Montana without sampling their fried chicken? Roost Fried Chicken is where the flavor is at. They specialize in everything chicken.
Whether you like your wings mildly hot, super hot, or without chili, they got you. Enjoy their chicken sandwiches with fries on the side and or a gluten-free bun.
They make chicken salads with fresh greens, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Their sides include fried okra, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, cheesy grits, creamy coleslaw, and, of course, French fries.
Get your food packed for you and proceed to your tour destination comfortably.
11. Wild West Pizzeria & Saloon – West Yellowstone $$
Enjoy live music as you sample some of the best pizzas in West Yellowstone, Montana. Founded in 1999, World West Pizzeria boasts excellent reviews from clients, who have consistently voted their pizzas as the best in town.
It is a relaxed and family-friendly dining place, where you can sit and enjoy your dinner after a tiring visit to the Yellowstone National Park. You can also book your band for a performance by contacting the hotel owner in advance.
12. Caffe Dolce – Missoula $$$
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This chic Italian restaurant is the place to pass by for the best coffee, pastries, Italian pizzas, and more. They offer a range of sweet and savory pastries from their bakery, including croissants, chocolate oat cookies, pain aux raisin, pretzels, bagels, ciabatta, olive polenta, and a lot more.
Stop by for lunch which is served from 11.00 am to 2.00 pm. This features pesto focaccia, mortadella and grilled cheese sandwiches, lamb sausage, olive pepperoni, mushroom, classic cheese, Rick and Morty (containing mortadella, pickled peppers, ricotta, white sauce, and basil pesto) pizzas.
Salads include summer squash salad, Dixon melon lamb prosciutto salad, and peanut chicken salad. They also serve a limited selection of wines, ciders, mimosas, and beers.
13. Montana Brewing Company – Billings $$
This is one of the best Montana restaurants and the best lunch restaurant in Billings. Located downtown, they offer locally crafted beers from many distillers in Montana.
Bring your family and friends to this cozy restaurant for chicken strips, fish and chips, house-made lasagna with garlic toast, pork belly sliders, and Greek gyros served with sides of your choice.
14. Nova Café – Bozeman $$- $$$
If you want to start off your day with a healthy, wholesome meal, visit this restaurant in downtown Bozeman. It’s a breakfast and lunch restaurant with a wide range of meal options to pick from.
Some of their breakfast favorites are Nova Skosh scramble (two scrambled eggs or tofu, wild Alaskan hot smoked salmon, cream cheese, and green onions), Classic Eggs Benedict (smoked ham, poached eggs and hollandaise on English muffin, home fries, or greens) and Tom Avo (Roasted tomato, poached eggs avocado, and hollandaise on English muffin), pancakes, waffles, French toasts and more.
Enjoy these with their locally ground coffee. They also allow for changes in their meal plans to cater to your dietary needs.
15. SakeTome Sushi – Missoula $$
This is an Asian food restaurant in Downtown Missoula. They serve the best sushi and some of the best seafood cuisines in Missoula.
Their fish menu is extensive, featuring chutoro (medium-fat tuna), Ebi (steamed prawn), sake (king salmon), and more. Their list of beers, ciders, cocktails, and wine is also diverse. You can order most items gluten-free or vegan. Place prior calls to make reservations.
Travel Tips for Eating in Montana
- Meat is very popular in Montana. Most restaurants are going to have lots of meat on their menus, so don’t be surprised. It’s not limited to just beef steaks, beef burgers, and fried chicken steaks. There’s also elk meat, bison meat, buffalo burgers and steaks, and venison. However, this does not mean that vegans are at any disadvantage. There are still plenty of vegan options too.
- You can buy beers and wines from grocery stores and restaurants. Montana has many locally brewed beers and spirits and is the perfect place to sample these drinks. However, for hard liquor such as gin, whiskies, vodka, and bourbon, you can only find them in state-owned liquor stores. They are the only ones who can sell this type of alcohol. These stores are only open from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm Monday through Saturday and closed on Sundays.
- There are many wild food and fruits In Montana. You’ll find things like huckleberries, trout, and morel mushrooms in a lot of menus.
- In American culture, people highly encourage tipping; Montana is no different. However, in Montana restaurants, employers do not charge tipping credit, as it is in many other states. What this means is that, if you decide to tip a waiter for an outstanding service, it only adds to their income. This is partly why tipping is so important to people in Montana. A good rate to tip would be between 10-20%, depending on what you can afford.
- Most evening dining restaurants are open from 5.00 pm through to 11.00 pm. They also have an extra 15-20% charge for group table reservations of six or more people.