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Culinary Delights in Montana

Whether At The Bar Or On The Patio, Montana Offers Plenty Of Dining And Drinking Options

You won’t go thirsty in Montana – the Treasure State has the nation’s highest per-capita concentration of breweries. It also is home to imaginative distilleries, chef-driven restaurants, and family-friendly down-home cooking.

Spread across the state’s plains, valleys, and mountains, there are breweries here to suit almost any taste. Much of the action is centered around Missoula, where Montana’s craft beer craze got going. Pony up to the bar at Big Sky Brewing and order one of the state’s earliest big beer hits – Moose Drool. Nearby, the two locations of Kettlehouse serve what is likely the state’s current most popular craft beer – Cold Smoke, a Scotch ale.

Helena has more breweries than McDonald’s – there are several to choose from. Lewis and Clark Brewing has the state’s best IPA while Blackfoot Brewing has one of Big Sky’s only cream ales.

Breweries are not just found in Montana’s big towns, of course. The brewery in Belt serves a delicious weissbier while Meadowlark Brewing in Sidney has a delectable Scotch ale and a fine lager.

Distilleries are less common that breweries but gaining in popularity. Glacier Distilling in Coram is popular for its whiskey while Flathead Vodka has won fans for its pure distilled liquor. In Missoula, Montgomery Distillery makes the well-regarded Quicksilver Vodka and Whyte Laydie Gin, and has recently released a rye whiskey. It’s bar downtown sells signature cocktails made from fresh ingredients, including mint, thyme, and rosemary. Old town Butte is home to Headframe Spirits, which makes a popular whiskey. In beautiful Ennis you can find Willies Distillery, which sells high end bourbon as well as coffee and huckleberry vodka. Headed to Bozeman? Check out Dry Hills Distillery or Bozeman Spirits Distillery.

Diners will not go home from Montana hungry as the state has a broad palette of restaurants to keep everyone happy.

Ready for a steak? Some of the best come from Silver Star Steak Company in downtown Helena – be sure to check out the locally-raised ribeye. Over in Butte you can order a succulent filet from Casagranda’s Steakhouse. In Red Lodge, check out the dark wood confines of the Carbon County Steakhouse, where diners rave about the steaks as well as the outdoor seating.

Missoula is a fine-dining hotspot. Downtown, the Pearl Café serves upscale French fare. Nearby, Red Bird is famous for its sharable plates and extensive wine list. Missoula also has plenty of more affordable places to eat, too – dig into filling Brazilian favorites at Five on Black or enjoy brunch done right at Hob Nob – and make sure to get a seat outside when the weather is good.

Despite its small size, Whitefish has a wealth of choices. Montana Coffee Traders is one of the top-ranked places in the state for a mocha latte while Sweet Peaks is the go-to spot for ice cream. Ciao Mambo serves family-friendly Italian favorites and Loula’s has the best breakfast in town. The trout is always fresh-caught at Stillwater Fish House and the table cloths area always fresh at upscale Latitude 48, where reservations are recommended. Jersey Boys is hands-down the spot for pizza and calzones.

Dillon has a small-town university setting and the students rave about The Taco Bus – which is exactly what it sounds like – while vegetarians head to Muffaletta’s. Those looking for gluten-free options in Gardiner should head to Lighthouse, while Iron Horse is the town’s home for BBQ ribs and the Yellowstone Grill will serve a breakfast big enough to fuel a long day in nearby Yellowstone. Diners dig the soup and sandwiches at Grateful Bread in Havre and keep coming back to Spud’s Grub Hub for new twists on comfort food favorites.

Spending a day in the Bitterroot? Hamilton has a number of spots worthy of a dinner – Taste of Paris offers French favorites and Higherground Brewing has the perfect pizza to go with the perfect ale, or you can elbow in with the locals at the Coffee Cup Café.

Big Sky draws skiers from around the world, and they get a long list of well-regarded restaurants to choose from when the lifts stop turning. For steaks, head to Horn & Cantle, while Everett’s 8800 dishes new takes on American standards. Italian aficionados love Michaelangelos and international fare is what you’ll find at Peaks. On a budget? Pack a picnic basket to remember at the Hungry Moose Market or enjoy a porter at Beehive Basin Brewery. The Wrap Shack has a long list of wraps to enjoy in house or on the slopes.

West Yellowstone is chock-full of eateries. Fuel up for your day at the Running Bear Pancake House or wind it down at Wild West Pizzeria. Spanish dishes get the spotlight at Café Madriz while Ernie’s Bakery and Deli will set you up with the perfect box lunch to take into the park.

beer and spirits

Great Northern Brewing Company

Established in 1994, the Great Northern Brewing Company is located in northern Montana in downtown Whitefish. Encompassing 5,000 square feet, Great Northern Brewing Co. produces 8,000 annual barrels, and is best known for its Black Star lager.

Found in the tallest structure in Whitefish, the Great Northern Brewery also features the onsite Black Star Draught House. Open year round, the Draught House offers northwestern beers and wines, great views, and the Mezzanine room for private parties.