Restaurant Guide–Montana

Restaurant Guide Main Index


  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources (see bottom of page for further explanation)

Anaconda

Gallicano’s Pizzeria–118 E. Park Ave. (Pizza) Closed Sat lunch & Sun.  Reviewers say the pizza here is the best food in Anaconda, and rates high compared to all other pizza. It is said to be authentic New York style pizza. (1-24-20)

Bigfork

Pocketstone Cafe–444 Electric Ave. (American) Open daily 6 am to 3 pm.  The best reviews are for breakfast–serves Northwest style fresh food (strawberry pancakes, several types of egg scrambles, etc.). Breakfast tacos are also available. (7-5-19)

Big Sky

Lotus Pad–47 Town Center Ave. (Thai) Dinner only (open daily).  Flavors are pretty close to traditional Thai but the spice level is not (order it spicy if you are used to medium spice levels at other restaurants). Reviewers like the curries, but the pad thai is not very popular. Some recommend getting the daily special, whatever it is. (1-24-20)

Billings

A Taste of Asia–111 S. 24th St. W. (Lao & Vietnamese) Open Mon-Sat 11 am to 8 pm.  Lao food seems to be what they do that is the most authentic, but Vietnamese (particularly pho) is what is most popular with customers. (Takeout only 6-28-20)

Harper & Madison–3115 10th Ave. N. (New American) Open Tue-Sat (breakfast & lunch only).  Popular place for breakfast–somewhat upscale, quiche is one of the recommended dishes. (Takeout only 6-28-20)

Imperial Thai–216 N. Broadway (Thai) Closed Sun.  Reviews seem to be uniformly positive, saying this is the best Asian food in Billings. Curries are recommended. Some dishes have kaffir lime. Owners also have Asia Garden in Sidney, MT. (Dining room is open 6-28-20)

J P Kitchen–805 24th St. W. (Chinese) Dinner only (closed Mon).  Probably more authentic style Chinese food than the other restaurants in town. Menu is limited, though. (Dining room is open 6-28-20)

Okinawa Sushi–1414 Main St. (Japanese) Open Daily.  Has udon and other dishes besides sushi. (Takeout only 6-28-20)

Black Eagle

Borries–1800 Smelter Ave. NE (Steakhouse) Dinner only (open daily).  This restaurant has been open literally for “generations,” and is a “local legend.” It is a steakhouse that also serves Italian food. This is an old style “supper club” restaurant, and serves old style steaks. It appears that they way it works is that you get a steak with minestrone soup, toasted ravioli, and spaghetti (you can also get chicken or fish instead of steak). (5-7-19)

Bozeman

Jam!–25 W. Main St. (American) Open daily 7 am to 3:30 pm.  Serves upscale breakfast, including fresh squeezed orange juice. (Dining room is open 6-28-20)

Pakeezah Authentic Indian–34 N. Bozeman Ave. (Indian) Closed Sun (and closed from 2:30 to 5 pm).  Some say this is the only authentic Indian restaurant in Montana. Some like it because the food is actually spicy (but I suppose you can have it less spicy if desired). (Dining room is open 6-28-20)

Sweet Chili Asian Bistro–101 E. Main St. (Thai) Closed Mon.  Reviewers say this is one of the best Thai places anywhere. Food is described as “fusion,” though, and I’m not sure how authentic it is. (Dining room is open 6-28-20)

Whistle Pig Korean–25 N. Willson Ave. (Korean) Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon).  Good reviews, and many say this is comparable to big city restaurants. Varied menu (not just Korean BBQ, etc.). (Dining room is open 6-28-20)

Butte

Annie’s Cafe–815 E. Front St. (American) Breakfast & lunch Tue-Sun; dinner Wed-Fri.  Popular place for breakfast & lunch. Serves typical breakfast dishes, but they do them very well (according to reviewers). From the photos I would say to order the omelet. (Takeout only 6-28-20)

Casagranda’s Steakhouse–801 S. Utah Ave. (Steakhouse) Dinner only (open daily).  Seems to be one of the best steakhouses in Montana (but has other items also, such as chicken, etc.). (Dining room is open 6-28-20)

Freeway Tavern–2001 S. Montana St. (American) Open Daily.  This is a dive bar that is famous for one thing–the pork chop sandwich (the pork chop is battered in what looks like tempura and is called the “Wop Chop”). (Takeout only 6-28-20)

Pekin Noodle Parlor–117 S. Main St. (Chinese) Dinner only (closed Mon & Tue).  Old style Chinese food (get sweet and sour, ginger shrimp, tofu with veggies, house special fried rice). It’s best if you can order several items and eat them family style. Orders come with a choice of rice or noodles (reviewers say get the noodles). Each table is in an individual room. Go for the experience more than the food (rest. is 100 yrs. old–all with the same family). (Delivery only according to Google Maps 6-28-20)

Columbia Falls

Laurie’s Deli–330 9th St. W. (Sandwiches) Closed Sun.  Recommended place for soups and sandwiches. Uses house made bread, and cuts the meat for your order. (2-6-19)

Tien’s Place Oriental–329 9th St. W. (Chinese).  I don’t really think this is a “recommended” Chinese restaurant–just one of the best choices in the area. Food is Americanized, but the Szechuan style dishes are probably the closest to real Chinese food. (2-6-19)

Conrad

Home Cafe–408 S. Main St. (American) Open daily (breakfast & lunch only).  People say breakfast is excellent. Omelettes are recommended (Denver, sausage, etc.). (5-7-19)

Deer Lodge

Sesame Wok–1007 Village Ln. (Thai) Open Daily.  This is a double restaurant–Chinese Garden (Chinese) and Sesame Wok (Thai). Thai is what most people like–Singapore noodles, pad thai, curry, etc. (6-25-19)

Yak Yak’s–200 Main St. (American) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Sun).  Good reviews for both breakfast & lunch (omelet is popular for breakfast). (6-25-19)

Dillon

China Garden–130 N. Montana St. (Chinese) Closed Sun.  Most of the menu consists of Americanized dishes, but look for the more authentic ones (such as clay pot dishes). (5-24-19)

Fiesta Mexicana–510 N. Montana St. (Mexican) Open daily 9 am to 10 pm.  Dining room is in a converted bus (this probably saves on heating bills in the winter). Authentic style food–tacos, burritos, etc. (I didn’t see a single picture of anything smothered in cheese). (5-24-19)

Sparky’s Garage–420 E. Poindexter St. (American) Open Daily.  This seems to be a favorite with locals. Serves burgers, sandwiches, etc. Has special items such as fried green tomatoes. Everything is made on site (including the salad dressing). (5-24-19)

East Glacier Park

Two Medicine Grill–314 US 2 (American) Open Daily.  Good quality (not always found in tourist towns where they have very little repeat business). Recommended items include breakfast (blueberry pancakes, omelets, etc.), bison burgers, and pie. (6-25-19)

Evergreen

Pho Ly–2141 US Hwy 2 East (Vietnamese) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun).  Pho is described as top notch–serves other Vietnamese dishes as well. (Dining room is open 6-28-20)

Gallatin Gateway

Cafe at the Inn–65840 Gallatin Rd. (American).  Good food in a beautiful setting. Mostly known for its breakfast. Some items have green chile. Update 2019: Now only available to guests at the lodge. (6-25-19)

Gardiner

Grizzly Grille–1016 Scott St. (New American) Closed Sun.  This is a food truck (you have to eat outdoors on a picnic table but it has a great view). Eclectic menu including ramen (reviewers say it is not Japanese style but it is good with a less fatty broth). (6-25-19)

Yellowstone Grill–404 Scott St. (American) Breakfast Tue-Sun; lunch Tue-Sat (I think in winter it is closed Tue).  Breakfast is popular–best items are the more upscale ones (eggs Benedict, Mediterranean omelette, blueberry pancakes, etc.). (6-25-19)

Glendive

Li’s Chinese–1615 W. Towne St. (Chinese) Open daily except Sat lunch.  Dishes listed are Americanized, but owners are from San Francisco and reviewers say the food is good. Many people have cautioned, though, that they sometimes close early and do not follow the posted hours. (1-24-20)

Great Falls

Maple Garden–5401 9th Ave. S. (Korean).  I don’t know if it has the best Asian food in Great Falls, but it has the greatest consensus of diners that the food is good. Also has Chinese food, but it specializes in Korean. (5-7-19)

Pho Vi Tai–3212 10th Ave. S. (Vietnamese). Opened in 2019, so they may still be working out some bugs. Most say the food is good, and some comment that they now have some truly authentic Asian food in Great Falls. Both pho and vermicelli dishes are recommended. (5-7-19)

Suki Cafe–1229 10th Ave. S. (Thai).  Food is Thai and sushi, but the Thai food gets better reviews. People say it has “good Thai flavors” (so I would probably get curry or a stir fried dish). (5-7-19)

Note: Also see Black Eagle and Ulm for steakhouse recommendations.

Hamilton

A Thaiger–no address listed but it is close to Backroad Cider (Thai) Lunch Tue-Fri (serves until 1 pm), dinner Tue-Sat. This is a food truck (which is apparently how small towns are now able to get ethnic and more exotic food than before). Good reviews–some say this is the best food in town. (6-25-19)

Spice of Life–163 S. 2nd St. (New American) Lunch Tue-Fri; dinner Wed-Thu. Some good dishes include French onion soup, Cajun pasta, wild salmon, chicken alfredo, halibut and steak. Reviewers say it is worth stopping here. (6-25-19)

Taste of Paris–109 N. 4th St. (French) Closed Sun evening & Mon. Bistro style French food. French onion soup, pear salad, crepes, and desserts are some of the popular items. (6-25-19)

Helena

Mediterranean Grill–42 S. Park Ave. (Middle Eastern) Open daily 11 am to 9:30 pm.  Good reviews for the food, but they frequently run out of items (probably a result of being located far from large metro areas). Has some unusual items such as Turkish desserts. (Takeout only 6-28-20)

Ristorante Bella Roma–22 N. Last Chance Gulch St. (Italian) Open daily except Sun lunch.  Its old location was offbeat–the chef only gave two choices for the entree, and it changed daily. There is now a larger but still limited menu-diners say everything is excellent, cooked from scratch, and authentic. Some recommend the four course meals (expensive but a memorable experience). (Dining room is open 6-28-20)

Suki Cafe–15 W. 6th Ave. (Thai) Closed Sun.  This seems to be the only Asian restaurant in town with good reviews that is open for lunch. It has Thai and Japanese food (mainly sushi). Like its sister restaurant in Great Falls, the Thai food looks like a better bet. If you order the Japanese food, the salmon gets good reviews. (Takeout only 6-28-20)

Toi’s Thai–423 N. Last Chance Gulch St. (Thai) Lunch Thu & Fri, dinner Wed-Sat.  Green curry is recommended (but not many dishes have the same level of popularity). Overall the restaurant has quite a few supporters. Don’t order the food spicy unless you really want it that way. (Takeout only 6-28-20)

Hungry Horse

Carolyn’s Cafe–8930 Hwy. 2 East (American) Open 7am to 2 pm daily.  Located in a gas station, it’s especially popular for breakfast (huckleberry pancakes are a local favorite). At lunch huckleberry pie is popular. Everything is made in house. (7-5-19)

Kalispell

Brannigan’s Pub–101 E. Center St. (Irish) Open Daily.  Irish pub with food that gets good reviews. (I think the dining room is open 6-28-20)

Knead Cafe–21 5th St. E. (American) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Sun & Mon).  Has the usual breakfast favorites, but with a British twist (scones, corned beef hash, Welsh eggs, etc. (Dining room is open 6-28-20)

Pho Ly (see Evergreen, MT)

Thai Palace–319 Main St. (Thai) Open 11 am to 10 pm (closed Sun).  Owners are from Thailand and return periodically (so food is authentic). Reviewers say price is an issue, though, and it’s better to go at lunch. (Dining room is open 6-28-20)

Lewistown

China Garden Kitchen–316 W. Main St. (Chinese) Closed Mon.  American style Chinese food, but reviewers say it is very good, fresh, and flavorful. (Takeout only 6-38-20)

Livingston

Big Sky Thai–102 Rogers Ln. (Thai) Closed Mon. It is worth taking note anytime there is a five-star Thai restaurant in Montana, and this has the reviews indicating it is one. Curries are recommended. (4-1-19)

Crust & Crumb Bakery–1106 W. Park St. (American) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Sun).  Open for breakfast & lunch, but most people seem to go for lunch. Chicken soup and turkey bacon wrap are examples of the items served. The pie is very popular. (4-1-19)

Faye’s Cafe–415 E. Lewis St. (American) Breakfast & lunch only (open Sun-Wed only).  Upscale restaurant that is popular for breakfast. (4-1-19)

The Wok–102 N. 2nd St. (Chinese).  Reviewers say the owners do their best to offer authentic Chinese food within the limits of being in rural Montana. Good ratings for the food. (4-1-19)

Yellowstone Valley Lodge–3840 US 89 S (American) Open Daily.  This is a steak restaurant located in a lodge that reviewers say is very worthwhile. Not only are the steaks a good taste of Montana food, but they are apparently less expensive than at other restaurants. Other main dishes are served, and the same care goes into the side dishes as the entrees. Note: this is located south of the town of Livingston. Closed in winter. (4-1-19)

Lolo

Bamboo Chopstix II–11400 Hwy 93 S (Chinese) Lunch Tue-Fri; dinner Tue-Sun.  This was apparently the new location for the former Hong Kong Chef in Missoula where I ate and really enjoyed the food. Now it has a new name and different hours, but good reviews (and is said to have some authentic dishes). (7-5-19)

Lolo Creek Steakhouse–6600 Lolo Creek Rd. (Steaks) Dinner only (open daily).  This restaurant is more expensive than my normal guidelines, but seems to be worth it for a good example of Montana’s “national food” (steaks). (7-5-19)

Missoula

Edelweiss Bistro (at Bayern Brewing)–1507 Montana St. (German) Closed Sun.  The emphasis is definitely on the beer, but they also serve schnitzels and German cucumber salad (also potato salad). The customers seem to be very satisfied. It also seems that they have the best beer in Missoula. (Takeout only 6-28-20)

Five on Black–325 N. Higgins Ave. (Fast Food) Open Daily.  This restaurant fits the “fast food” category only in that it is pre-prepared and you are served quickly. The food is fresh and good quality, and is Brazilian inspired (has some items with Brazilian flavors). Reviewers say this all works and it is very good. (Dining room is open 6-28-20)

Masala–206 W. Main St. (Indian) Closed Sun & closed Sat lunch.  Info says it is both Indian and Nepali. Definitely seems to serve some different and unique dishes not normally found in Indian restaurants. Quality is said to be excellent most of the time (with occasional misses). Has good vegetarian options. I don’t think it has a buffet. (Takeout only 6-28-20)

Vietnam Noodle–2100 Stephens Ave. (Vietnamese) Closed Sun (and closed 2:30 to 5 pm).  Reviewers say there is a large menu selection, and this is legit Vietnamese food. Pho has mixed reviews (reviewers say Vietnam Grill at 420 N. Higgins is better for pho). (Takeout only 6-28-20)

Shelby

The Griddle–311 Main St. (American) Open daily 7 am to 9 pm.  Everything for breakfast is said to be good, but eggs, bacon, muffins, and omelettes are the most popular. Burgers are popular at lunch. (5-7-19)

Saint Mary

Johnson’s Cafe–21 Red Eagle Rd. (American) Open daily 8 am to 9 pm.  Fried chicken, bison steak, veggie burger, omelette, and huckleberry ice cream pie are recommended. (No info about whether the dining room is open or whether it is takeout only 6-28-20)

Sidney

Asian Garden–115 E. Main St. (Thai) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm.  Serves Chinese food (Americanized), but the thing to get here is the Thai (green curry, yellow curry, chicken coconut soup, etc). (1-24-20)

Stevensville

Marie’s Italian–4040 US 93 N. (Italian).  For some reason there are several Italian restaurants in town, but this restaurant north of town is the one that gets the most rave reviews, serving upscale food that you will likely remember for some time (I don’t know the prices here–they are likely to be fairly high but lower than comparable restaurants in major cities). (7-5-19)

Mission Bistro–225 Main St. (American) Dinner Wed-Sat; brunch Sun.  Reviewers say it has very high quality food. Menu changes all the time. Salads are not to be missed. (7-5-19)

Three Forks

Iron Horse Cafe–24 N. Main St. (American) Open Daily.  Casual restaurant that serves steaks, but seems to specialize in sandwiches and other popular items such as Sunday night all you can eat catfish. (Dining room is open 6-28-20)

Peking–10 N. Main St. (Chinese) Open daily except Sat lunch.  The food is described as authentic (in the flavors, etc.) and can legitimately be called the best food in town. (Takeout only 6-28-20)

Pompey’s Grill–5 N. Main St. (Steaks) Dinner only (closed Mon & Tue).  Expensive, but I think the food here qualifies as a “local specialty.” Steak, prime rib, bison, etc., but also has some less expensive items. (Dining room is open 6-28-20)

Ulm

Beef N Bone–19 Ulm N. Frontage Road (Steakhouse) Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon).  Voted by readers of the Great Falls Tribune as the best steakhouse in the area (Ulm is about 10 miles SW of Great Falls). The premise of the restaurant is that the best meat is that which is close to the bone (and this is what they serve). Some of the steaks are quite large (enough for at least two people). The steaks here are less expensive than similar cuts at other restaurants, though. (5-7-19)

West Yellowstone

Euro Cafe–237 Firehole Ave. (International) Breakfast & lunch only (open daily).  This would probably be a better breakfast than at other places because you get more variety (such as crepes, scones, etc). However, some reviewers say not to expect European quality–just a good choice for a tourist town in Montana. Place is small (only has 8 to 10 tables). (Takeout only 6-28-20)

Red Lotus–19 Madison Ave. (Chinese) Only open May-Oct.  In addition to the Americanized menu they have a Chinese menu (with authentic food such as ma po tofu and Chinese green beans). Photos of the food honestly look like something from San Francisco (and get excellent reviews). (Takeout only 6-28-20)

Whitefish

Cafe Kandahar–3824 Big Mountain Rd. (Modern American) Dinner only (open daily).  World class food that I imagine is very expensive, but it’s on this list because the restaurant is very highly recommended. Food is fusion style, and everything is local and organic. You can come in jeans. Some reviewers describe it as small with limited seating. (Located at the ski area north of town). (Takeout only 6-28-20)

Loula’s Cafe–300 2nd St. E. (American) Breakfast & lunch only (open daily).  Probably the most popular breakfast place in town. Food looks fresh and organic (although reviewers don’t say it is organic). Chicken pot pie is one of the recommended dishes. (Dining room is open 6-28-20)

Orient Express–6155 US 93 S. (Chinese) Closed Mon.  Best Asian in the valley–goes beyond standard (Americanized) Chinese dishes. Satay beef noodle soup is popular. (Dining room is open 6-28-20)

Willow Creek

Willow Creek Cafe–21 Main St. (American) Dinner daily; lunch Sat & Sun.  Best known for its ribs, but people rave about the steaks also. Serves good vegetarian meals as well. (7-5-19)

 

Notes About This List:

This is a “master list” of restaurants that I have seen on the Internet or other sources and would like to try, or that I think would be of interest to others.  I do not mean for this to be an exhaustive list of every good place to eat, but it should represent a good sample of the most interesting or unique restaurants, along with a few that best represent an area’s regional cuisine.  My own recommendations are in Bold.

I am not looking to include:

  • Fine dining (unless they are unique because of regional specialties)
  • Low end restaurants that are popular with locals but may not be of much interest to travelers or people in general (everyone will have to use their judgment on this one)

Extra consideration for the following:

  • The food is organic, fresh, healthy, or farm to table
  • The restaurant serves a relatively hard to find type of ethnic food and reviews are good

In addition to the regular guidelines I try to include:

  • The best Asian restaurants in the area even if they are not totally authentic
  • Particularly good Mexican restaurants (this usually means the food is from a particular state in Mexico or it is one of the best examples of a U.S. regional style)

Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

 

Sources:

Google Maps

Great Falls Tribune (Great Falls Steakhouses)

Trip Advisor

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (Montana)

Zomato (Missoula)

 

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