The 13 Best Restaurants in Whitefish, Montana

Jason Gass
Last Updated: February 27th, 2023

When traveling to Whitefish, Montana you likely want to have the best possible experience, and part of having a great experience is finding great places to enjoy a meal or a beverage.

If you are looking for the best place in the area to get a pizza, burger, or an amazing local brew, check out our list of the best restaurants in Whitefish.

Recommended Spirits, Breweries & Wine Tasting in Whitefish, Montana

Montana is quickly becoming the home of some of the best breweries, wineries, and distilleries in the United States. Whitefish has plenty of great places where you can enjoy a local brew, a tasty cocktail, or the perfect glass of wine.

1. Spotted Bear Spirits (4.7/5)  

Across the street from the train station, and overlooking Depot Park, you’ll find the Spotted Bear Spirits tasting room. Spotted Bear Spirits has a full line of distilled liquors that range from the traditional to more unique, flavored spirits. Each spirit is made locally in Whitefish, and many use locally sourced ingredients.

The tasting room offers flights of Spotted Bear Spirits for the purists in your group or cocktails made with Spotted Bear products along with unique ingredients, many of which are also locally sourced.

2. Bonsai Brewing Project (4.8/5)

Certainly one of the most interesting breweries in Montana. Bonsai Brewing Project makes some amazing beers, and the food here isn’t to be missed.

First, you should know that the Bonsai Brewing Project is located in one of the coolest spots in Whitefish. Their large lot with plenty of outside seating, shade trees and a large parking lot is perfect for summertime relaxation.

Then there’s the beer. Specializing in hoppy IPAs, Barrel-aged beers (sours particularly), and seasonal delights, Bonsai Brewing Project has plenty of options for even the pickiest of beer drinkers.

Their scratch kitchen rolls out comfort foods with seasonal flair, using locally sourced ingredients.

3. Unleashed: A Winery (4.6/5) 

With a name that pays homage to the founder’s love of dogs Unleashed: A Winery is a comfortable and relaxed place to enjoy a locally made wine. You’ll find this great winery tasting room in downtown Whitefish, just across the street from the performing arts center.

Wines at Unleashed are made on-site using California-grown grapes. While you’ll find the typical wine styles at Unleashed, you can also enjoy some one-of-a-kind wines that you’ll not find elsewhere.

Make sure you try the Grapefruit Blush and the Blackberry Merlot which are two of the local favorites.

4. Montana Tap House (4.3/5)

If you like beer, or if you just like sitting down to enjoy some great pizza and want plenty of beer options to go with it, then you’ll want to grab a stool at Montana Tap House. With 58 beers on tap, many of which are Montana-made, you and your whole crew can enjoy the perfect beer.

Montana Tap House is also a local favorite for pizza and pub foods. We like the Taphouse pockets, which are basically pizzas folded in half and sealed. Oh and don’t miss the American Poutine on the appetizer menu, it’s to die for!

5. White Raven Winery (4.9/5)

One of the highest-rated wineries in Montana is White Raven Winery. The draw to this winery is that it uses Montana-grown grapes.

Yes, that’s right, there is a grape variety that is able to withstand the frigid Montana winters. Four of White Raven Winery’s wines are made using this grape which is grown at the White Raven Vineyard.

The tasting room for White Raven Winery is located just 20 minutes from Whitefish in Columbia Falls. This spot is worth the short drive, as the wines are amazing, and the tasting room has a unique history and ambiance that you’ll want to experience.

Travel Tips for Eating in Whitefish, Montana

Like many places in Montana, you’ll likely encounter some unique food options on the menu of some Whitefish restaurants. Many restaurants use wild game, locally grown and harvested fruits and vegetables, many of which you’ll find only in Montana.

Here are some of our hints for eating and drinking in Whitefish, and how to have the best dining experience.

  • Wild foods are abundant in Montana, and in Whitefish you’re going to have to look hard to find a menu without locally grown, raised, or harvested foods. The Whitefish farmer’s market is a great place to scope out the local ingredients. Many of the restaurants in town will also shop at the farmer’s market to get the best, freshest ingredients for that day’s menu.
  • Elk and bison are as popular on Whitefish restaurant menus as are beef and chicken. Locals will tell you to order the bison burger because it’s juicier and the Rocky Mountain elk stew is better than any beef stew or chili.
  • Not every menu in Whitefish lists the ingredients that are locally sourced. If you’re excited about trying new foods and supporting locals is important to you, make sure you ask which items on the menu are from local farms, ranches, or fisheries.
  • Cattle ranching in Montana is big business, and some of the best beef comes from our beautiful state. When in Whitefish make sure you take time to have a meal at one of our local steakhouses, where you’ll have an amazing steak or burger. Pair that with a local craft beer or a glass of Montana-made wine.
  • We’ve talked a lot about meat, but if that’s not your thing, don’t worry. Many restaurants in Whitefish offer vegetarian and vegan options, many of which are quite delicious and are made from local ingredients. Also, if you have dietary restrictions, make sure to ask your server about gluten-free or dairy-free options.

The 13 Best Restaurants in Whitefish, Montana

Now that you know what to expect when dining in Whitefish, Montana, here are the 13 best restaurants in town.

1. Swift Creek Cafe・307 2nd St E・$$

swift creek cafe
Image: swiftcreekcafe

Open for breakfast and lunch, this quaint, family-owned restaurant is one of the best places to get a cup of coffee and a hearty breakfast before heading out for a day of hiking or skiing.

The menu features breakfast and lunch classics like French toast, omelets, and sandwiches. However, if you want something a little different, try their hobo dishes which are filled with meat, potatoes, vegetables, and eggs.

Swift Creek Café also has seasonal dishes that are worth checking out. One of our favorites is fish tacos.

2. Latitude 48 Bistro・147 Central Ave・$$

One of the coolest spots in town, with some of the tastiest food, is Latitude 48 Bistro. This great restaurant features a variety of unique dinner options that you’ll not find elsewhere in Whitefish.

The dinner menu is quite diverse and has everything from flatbreads to elk tenderloin. Many ingredients on the menu are locally sourced.

Downstairs from the Bistro, you’ll find the Red Room Lounge. When you’re finished with your dinner, head downstairs for some of the best nightlife in Whitefish.

The cocktail and martini menu (which you can also get in the bistro) are amazing and with so many options, you’ll want to come back every night just to try them all.

3. Jalisco Cantina・510 Wisconsin Ave・$$

jalisco cantina
Image: thejaliscocantina

Not your typical Mexican restaurant, the scratch kitchen at Jalisco Cantina makes some of the best, authentic Mexican dishes anywhere in Montana.

Jalisco Cantina’s foods are based on the cuisine of the central coast of Mexico where dishes are full of fresh vegetables and seafood.

The meals here are big, and flavorful. Our favorite dishes include the camarones tacos and the chile relleno plate. Jalisco Cantina also has a wonderful drink menu that features classic margaritas, beer and wine.

4. Buffalo Cafe & Nightly Grill・514 3rd St W・$$

buffalo cafe
Image: buffalocafewhitefish

If you’re just looking for tasty, American foods that the whole family will enjoy, then the Buffalo Café and Nightly Grill is the place for you.

Open all day, the Buffalo Café serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The meals are hearty, healthy, and delicious.

The menus here are extensive, with options that will satisfy every hunger. Try the burgers made from locally grown beef, and buns made by a Whitefish bakery.

We love the beer menu which features Montana brewed craft beers. Oh, and you don’t want to pass up the milkshakes!

5. Last Chair Kitchen & Bar・1705 E Lakeshore Dr.・$$

last chair kitchen and bar
Image: lastchairkitchenandbar

For us, the standout at Last Chair Kitchen and Bar is the bar. We could sit here for hours looking at the immaculately stacked wine bottles, fun tap handles, and neatly ordered glasses. However, it’s not the view we come here for, it’s the food.

Last Chair has one of the most diverse menus in Whitefish. Dishes range from a giant rib-eye steak to pad Thai. What stands out about the dishes at Last Chair Kitchen and Bar is their use of locally sourced ingredients.

If you don’t want something “normal” try the yak burrito or the bison ragu. They are delicious!

6. Abruzzo Italian Kitchen・115 Central Ave・$$

abruzzo italian kitchen
Image: abruzzoitaliankitchen

Italian is always a favorite food, no matter where you’re staying. Abruzzo Italian Kitchen in Whitefish is the perfect spot to enjoy perfectly made, traditional Italian favorites.

Everything from Abruzzo’s scratch kitchen is made with care, and many of the favorites, down to the pasta, are made in-house. One of the house favorites is the kale pesto & sausage, thanks to a light sauce, fresh pasta, and a robust sausage.

The Abruzzo menu also has great pizzas, steak, and a delightful wine list that will please even the most particular of wine drinkers.

7. LouLa’s Cafe ・300 2nd St E・$$

When you’re looking for great spots to eat in Whitefish, and you find a website that says, “Breakfast – Lunch – and Pie!” you know you’ve found LouLa’s Café.

Open from 8 AM to 2 PM, this is the spot for breakfast, brunch, and lunch in Whitefish.

With a menu full of breakfast and lunch favorites like biscuits and gravy, French toast (regular and lemon stuffed), Reuben sandwich, and salads you are sure to find something to start your day off right.

But, before you leave, don’t forget to grab a piece of pie. With over 20 different pie options, all homemade, in-house you cannot leave LouLa’s Café without indulging in at least one slice of pie.

8. Tupelo Grille・17 Central Ave・$$$$

tupelo grille
Image: tupelogrille

Tupelo Grille is the spot in Whitefish that you go to for a special occasion. This beautiful space is known as one of the best restaurants in Montana.

But that doesn’t mean you’ll find stuffy people and inaccessible foods. Tupelo Grille is relaxed, inviting and above all the food is wonderful.

The menu at Tupelo is modestly sized. There’s a little of everything and something for every taste. Many of the ingredients are locally sourced and you’ll even find Montana flair on traditional favorites.

One of our favorites is the elk meatloaf, which is served with mashed potatoes and a huckleberry glaze.

9. Amazing Crepes・123 Central Ave・$$

amazing crepes
Image: amazingcrepes

Crepes seem like an oddity in Whitefish, but Amazing Crepes is a local favorite. The crepe is a light pastry, much like a very thin pancake. Slightly sweet, crepes are filled with a variety of tasty fillings.

At Amazing Crepes, you’ll enjoy traditional French-style crepes filled with all sorts of delicious fillings.

Many of the ingredients used at Amazing Crepes are locally sourced, like the filling for the Sausage Cheddar and Egg crepe which is filled with eggs, onions, and sausage, all from local farmers.

10. Whitefish Lake Restaurant・1200 Highway 93 North・$$$$

whitefish lake restaurant
Image: whitefishlakerestaurant

Whitefish Lake Golf Course plays host to this elegant restaurant. Here you’ll find traditional fine dining options like Alaskan King Crab, New York au Povire and prime rib. The most popular items on the menu at Whitefish Lake Restaurant are the steaks, which are sourced from local ranchers and cooked to perfection.

If you’re looking for a more casual option the Club menu at Whitefish Lake Restaurant has plenty of options for a more relaxed meal. You can still enjoy the steak, but also try the fish and chips or the baby back ribs.

11. Ciao Mambo・234 2nd St E・$$

If you’re looking for a spot in Whitefish to enjoy good food and a fun atmosphere, then you need to try Ciao Mambo. This great spot is great fun and great food.

With a menu full of classic Italian fare, and classic Italian fare with a twist, you’ll quickly see why locals love this spot. Try the Italian nachos and the tiramisu. For something more traditional, try the fettuccine alla rustica with its perfectly creamy sauce.

Ciao Mambo has one of the most extensive wine lists in Whitefish, and their knowledgeable staff can help you select the perfect wine to complement your meal.

12. Indah Sushi・250 2nd St E・$$

indah sushi
Image: indahsushi

If you love sushi and can’t pass up a great place for fresh fish and delicious Asian cuisine, then this is the spot for you.

Indah Sushi started as a food truck, and thanks to a high-quality menu, the food truck turned into a brick and mortar restaurant (don’t worry they still have the food truck)

Indah Sushi is committed to providing Whitefish with locally sourced, fresh, sushi options that are both traditional and Montana-focused.

Try the coconut curry soup to start then try one of their signature sushi rolls, Nigri or Maki.

13. Cafe Kandahar・3824 Big Mountain Rd・$$$$

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Image: cafekandahar

We round out our list with one of the most innovative, and well-known restaurants in Whitefish.

Café Kandahar has been serving guests in Whitefish since 1983. For the refined palate visiting Whitefish, Café Kandahar is a must. Their menu is small, but every plate is prepared to perfection.

The menu at Café Kandahar rotates seasonally and features locally sourced ingredients with a strong focus on dishes that burst with flavor and surprise with unique pairings that you’ll not find anywhere else in Whitefish.

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About The Author

Jason Gass

Jason Gass is a Colorado based freelance writer and blogger whose goal is to share a good cup of coffee and great stories around a campfire with close friends. When he’s not working, he spends most of his time traveling, searching for the best breweries, and road-tripping in his teardrop trailer with his wife, daughter, and two dogs.

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