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Tell me what the 5 best food places in Montana are?

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Just places to eat, no stand alone bars unless they have an outstanding food item.

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  1. hi -
    are you visiting and wondering? going to be in specific towns?
    my recs (mind you, there really aren't any great restaurants in Montucky). If you're in Missoula, try Scotty's Table. i can't recommend anything in Bozeman (maybe the Mint in Belgrade) because they're all not-great and over-priced (i live in Bzn and prefer to stay in and cook). Butte: Uptown Cafe. Livingston, 2nd St Bistro is okay, Bar & Grille is not worth it anymore (also closed for dinner, really struggling). Billings has a few good places - Enzo (they get in extremely fresh fish daily, and pastas are good. really like Enzo) and Walker's downtown has ambience, a good wine list, and decent food. places to skip in Bzn, should you be there/here (it seems everyone is): Looie's (bad circa-1990 ambience and cooking's all over the map), same thing could be said for John Bozeman Bistro (bison and thai noodles and feels like a food court menu). Plonk is a loud and mostly annoying bar scene with passable small plates. People in MT drive many many miles to go out to eat. I'm no exception, and several times a year I drive the 100 miles each way to Helena to have authentic Thai food. also happy to drive to Enzo in Billings.

    hope that helps. if you have more specific questions, will do my best.

    4 Replies
    1. re: holdthecow

      Thanks for your time, I've lived in Billings for over 20 years. Your bracketed comment about Montucky pretty much says it all. I just wanted to throw it out there to see what others thought. There's a few good places around but we sure as hell don't have any claim to a culinary mecca. Thanks again.

      1. re: holdthecow

        I have to throw in the Cattle Baron Supper Club at the Babb Bar in Babb, on the east side of Glacier Park.

        1. re: holdthecow

          What about Montana's Rib and Chop House in Livingston. Thanks.

          1. re: holdthecow

            Where is Thai in Helena?

          2. There is some dining around Big Sky, Mt.
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5359...

            1 Reply
            1. re: BN1

              Any reports on Rainbow Ranch post-fire?

            2. Augusta, MT, have a hamburger at Buckhorn Bar., Seriously good.

              2 Replies
              1. re: EllnMllr

                Second the Buckhorn. Especially on rodeo weekend.

                1. re: EllnMllr

                  x2 on this one. I live in Helena and had to travel to Augusta for work. My co-worker was amazed by my praise and told me most bars in Montana serve burgers this good. I have done my fair share of bar hopping on the west side of the divide, Buckhorn is absolutely IT.

                2. 1. Naps in Hamilton. Best burger in the world.
                  2. Eddies Steakhouse in Great Falls. Best steak in the world. Get it campfire style, and get green goddess dressing on your salad.
                  3. restaurant at Chico Hot Springs in Livingston
                  4. Lolo steakhouse in, well, Lolo.
                  5. Borries in Black Eagle Havre (Great Falls). The fried ravs dipped in spaghetti sauce are not to be missed.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: kidmedusa

                    Oh come on...Eddie's Supper Club? ...you've got to be kidding. And, Borries "spaghetti sauce" shouldn't be considered Italian! In Great Falls, try the Bar S for steaks and Dante's for most everything else.

                    1. re: jarhead43

                      The spaghetti sauce at Borries isn't supposed to be Italian- it's Croatian. And I stand by Eddies Supper Club!
                      Of course, if you just want a drink, you should go to the Sip N' Dip

                  2. What about Triple Creek Ranch or The Resort at Paws Up. Is the food there in the top 5 in MT or mediocre.

                    1. I posted on this a while back, had to return and add one more that's gaining some recognition. Steve's Cafe in Helena probably wouldn't be considered anywhere close to fine dining, but one thing that all Montanan's can agree on is a good breakfast. Steve, a jolly guy who actually spends most of his time at the restaurant, is slowly pursuing a homemade and as close to all natural menu with as many local ingredients as possible, which includes fresh farm raised eggs, beef and fruits.

                      When they first opened their new location, there were already some well established cafes in town. The Early Bird on Custer is a legend with the locals, Shelly's just recently acquired a new space on Prospect and Shelly's old building on Euclid is now the Red Roof Cafe. Despite the slight influx in competition, Steve's was voted best breakfast in Helena the first year they opened and I have literally been addicted to staples like the eggs benedict and the huckleberry short stack for close to three months.

                      If you're in the capital, and you're in the need of a good country breakfast, make Steve's the first place you stop.

                      1. The number one steak place in Montana is: Sir Scott's Oasis Steak House in Manhattan. Call and make a reservation or eat in the bar. You won't be disappointed. Another place often mentioned for steak is Gusick's Restaurant in Billings. These are great local places. For ribs I like Willow Creek Cafe & Saloon in Willow Creek and. The Breaks in Great Falls. Bar 3 BBQ (try the grits with cheese) is a BBQ place that will blow you away. Bozeman also has some great mexican: more organic and authentic would be La Tinga, and more American Traditional would be Santa Fe Reds (great Margaritas). The closest thing we have to In-Out Burger would be Mark's In & Out, very very good. It's like stepping into the 50s and the prices are reasonable for a touristy town. The Buffalo Cafe in Whitefish gets my vote for best breakfast in Whitefish. Helena's No Sweat Cafe rocks, and they also have one great Tai place there as well, Toi's Tai so good! I'm sad that Naps left Missoula they were one of my favorite burgers there. Missoula has many great burger joints: The Mo Club (no fries), Old Post Pub, 5 Guys, Fuddruckers (last 2 are chains but good nonetheless). Montana's best pizza: Mooses Saloon in Kalispell (ask to blow the horn while your there) and Zimmerino's in Missoula. Zimmerino's is now only carryout but THANK GOD Missoula finally got a good pizza place. These are just some suggestions from a guy who likes to eat. I'm not rating ambiance or anything other than the best bang for your buck. I'm sure you'll enjoy these places. When in doubt, look for the place with the most cars parked in front (make sure it is not a casino) or ask someone who looks like they like to eat (not skinny person).

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                        No Sweat Cafe
                        427 N Last Chance Gulch, Helena, MT 59601

                        Old Post
                        103 W Spruce St, Missoula, MT 59802

                        Willow Creek Restaurant
                        75 Prospector Rd, Aspen, CO 81611

                        Gusick's Restaurant
                        760 S 20th St W, Billings, MT 59102

                        Santa Fe Red's
                        1235 N 7th Ave, Bozeman, MT 59715

                        1. i have lived in montana my whole life and grew up with our family vacations planned around good places to eat and drink, and consider myself a true foodie!!! personally i LOVE the Rib and Chop House in livingston i have never been disappointed in the food or ambiance!! andf the frozen house margaritas are amazing!!! 3D in great falls is always delish the 70s atmosphere cracks me up but the mongolian bbq is definately worth it!! Mambo Italiano in whitefish used to be quite delicious and fun, but it admittidely has been a few years since i have been there. On Broadway in helena is excellent i went with a seafood lover a pasta freak and a vegan and everyone left quite satisfied the eggploant parm was amazing!!! i live in bozeman and agree there is not much there, i know the head chef of plonk cateredd with him for 5 years hes quite good, but the portions are small. go on SIN (service industry night) night on mondays and the prices are a little better. i also have to give a shout out to Teds montana grill not my absolute fave but the crab cakes are excellent!!

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                          Mambo Italiano
                          234 2nd St E, Whitefish, MT 59937

                          On Broadway
                          106 E Broadway St, Helena, MT 59601

                          1. The Grand Union Hotel in Ft Benton is a Historical Registry restored hotel and one of Montana's oldest, located in Montana's oldest town. The Restaurant has a culinary chef and the is fantastic. Check into one of the themes offered every couple of months in a dinner & lodging package. These often fill up quickly, and people drive from all around the state to attend. Well worth the drive to make this a destination - especially in the summer when all of the historical sites are open.

                            A real must for history buffs, with the nearby Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls (30+ miles) a great way to round out a long weekend.

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                            Grand Union Hotel
                            1 Grand Union Sq, Fort Benton, MT 59442