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Chow - anything in Montana?

Chowworthy picnic fare, grocer, OR restaurants/cafes?
Will be visiting Glacier NP east and west. Staying in Whitefish and will be in Kalispell. Let's hope!

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  1. In Whitefish, go PiggyBack BBQ - real BBQ, generally well done. If you go up to Whitefish Ski Resort, the Kandehar Lodge cafe is very good, but expensive. It is open only for dinner, and reservations are a good idea.

    1. What about in Kalispell and in East Glacier area. I am wondering if we should buy food when in Whitefish and take it with us.

      1 Reply
      1. re: itryalot

        Can't help with Kalispell. When we went through East Glacier this weekend, there wasn't a lot open - there is one cafe open on the main street we had dessert at last year, which was fine. I can't remember the name, but it is combined with a general store, and is the only restaurant open. The Izak Walton Inn is near East Glacier, but I haven't tried there.

        If you are in Whitefish, I also recommend the Buffalo Cafe on 3rd Street near Central - great for breakfast, and very reasonably priced ($7-$8 for breakfast) - I miss the Kansas City bacon already! Everything tastes fresh, and service was good.

      2. When are you going? Northern Montana, especially the area around Glacier and around Whitefish are VERY seasonal. Whitefish has a lot open in winter (ski season) and less in the shoulder seasons, The closer you are to Glacier NP, the more you'll find in summer only. As Abacus 2 noted, the Izaak Walton Inn -- off US 2, halfway between East & West Glacier and an Amtrak flagstop -- is an option. It's open year-round, it's worthwhile visiting (or overnignighting). I've head a good, hearty pre-cross-country skiing breakfast there. Also,the historic Belton Chalets is/are open year-round w/ daily food service in summer and weekend food in wineter. Bigfork is an artsy town with what I remember as good cafes and restaurants, but it's been a while since I've been there, so I can't give specifics.

        Izaak Walton Inn
        290 Izaak Walton Inn Rd, Essex, MT 59916

        1 Reply
        1. re: ClaireWalter

          Good question! Staying in Whitefish for a few days, Kalispell for a couple and Many Glacier for a couple. We are going in late July.

        2. There are some excellent restaurants (and few wonderful dives) throughout the Flathead Valley. There are few food outlets and no convenience stores within the boundaries of Glacier National Park, so we always take a cooler with drinks and some sandwiches. That gives us the opportunity to enjoy the park without having to worry about rushing through to get to a restaurant in East or West Glacier. The historic Lodges of Glacier all have restaurants, but they are on the pricey side and they are only open in summer. On the way to Glacier, try the Backroom at the Nite Owl on Highway 2 in Columbia Falls. Great BBQ and fry bread.

          In Kalispell, a tourist favorite is Moose's Saloon. It's family-friendly with a large selection of draft and bottle beers, pizza and sandwiches. Norm's News in the historic opera house has an old-fashioned soda fountain and antique back-bar. The menu is old-style hamburgers, hot dogs, chili and soups. Norm's also has a huge selection of magazines and newspapers and enough bulk candy to keep a kid on a sugar high for a month. Montana Coffee Traders is a favorite of those who like their caffine. Wheat Montana Deli and Bakery would be a good place to pick up some sandwiches for Glacier. The new Montana Club is also getting some great reviews.

          In Bigfork, the "must try" breakfast place is the Echo Lake Cafe on Highway 83 just outside of town. In town, the new Pocketstone Cafe is getting excellent reviews for breakfast and lunch. Long-time dinner favorites include Showthyme, Bigfork Inn and La Provence.

          Showthyme Restaurant
          548 Electric Ave, Bigfork, MT 59911

          Bigfork Inn
          604 Electric Ave, Bigfork, MT 59911

          La Provence Restaurant
          408 Bridge St, Bigfork, MT 59911

          Nite Owl Restaurant
          Highway 2 E, Columbia Falls, MT 59912

          Moose's Saloon
          173 N Main St, Kalispell, MT 59901

          Echo Lake Cafe
          1195 Swan Hwy, Bigfork, MT 59911

          Montana Club
          221 Main St, Shelby, MT 59474

          Coffee Trader
          845 E Main St, Montrose, CO 81401

          Wheat Montana Deli
          1760 S Meridian Rd, Meridian, ID 83642

          1. I am originally from Brooklyn, but have lived in Whitefish for 15 years.
            What are you interested in?
            Sushi ( It IS very good) Wasbi http://www.wasabimt.com/
            Chinese food- avoid like the plague
            Tupelo Grill ( Cajun-good authentic, nice people) http://www.tupelogrille.com/
            Naked Noodle (my son works there-good for your basic noodling needs..
            )I work at North Valley Hospital and we (believe it or not) have excellent food in a beautiful setting, some of the best burgers in town.http://www.nvhosp.org/
            Other spots for Burgers are the Great Norther..yummy fried mushrooms too, on a nice deck
            Good Luck,

            Naked Noodle
            27 S Willson Ave, Bozeman, MT 59715

            4 Replies
            1. re: staceya

              Thanks Staceya - Any brooklyn pizza? LOL

              1. re: itryalot

                I haven't had pizza for a while, but I hear good things about 2nd street
                pizza, even think one of the owners is from back home, and my friend from
                Long Island likes it, (she is also a cook..so must be good!) Don't forget a
                light jacket, it gets cold here at night no matter what the time of year!

                1. re: staceya

                  I've been living in Billings for 20 years, prior to that I lived on L.I. and Philly and other places. I worked for nothing at a pizza joint on L.I. for a couple of months to learn how to throw dough, when ever I've made pizza for Montanans they've bitched that the crust is too thin so I only make pizza for my family now.

                  1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                    That is just a tragic story. I have been in Helena only a few months and I would kill for some NY pie.

            2. You should check out the Whitefish Farmers Market on Tuesday 5-7 pm, lots of local vendors.
              Sweet Peaks ice cream is new and uniquely tasty. www.sweetpeaksicecream.com/
              The lemon dill was delicious!

              1 Reply
              1. re: staceya

                Interesting...Farmer's Market in the evening!

              2. Last minute thoughts? Leaving late this week.

                1 Reply
                1. re: itryalot

                  When do you get here? Did we mention Tupelos on Central Ave? Very good. My friend really likes the bread pudding.

                2. BTW - We want casual, diner, roadhouse places. Nothing fancy where dressing up is a necessity unless one night in Kalispell or Whitefish.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: itryalot

                    Believe me, you won't need to dress up.

                    1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                      HIlarious! I was doing quite a bit of searching on the internet the last few days and I am happy to not dress up or bring dress clothes on this trip.;

                  2. I seem to recall from the episode of No Reservations that there's some good restaurants in Livingston. I really want to go!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: lifeasbinge

                      so...how was your trip? Where did you end up eating?

                      1. re: staceya

                        Just got back; will post a trip report as soon as I get a few minutes.

                        1. re: itryalot

                          Am interested in hearing..did you hit one of our 3 days of summer?
                          While the rest of the country is in a heat wave we have been having a cold summer, which came on the heels of the never-ending winter and non existent spring.

                    2. sorry seeing this so late.
                      I seriousy had the best Pasta Bolognese
                      in the states at Mambo in Whitefish.
                      best friend and her family live there for 23 years,
                      on her recommendation we followed suit.
                      very very good...

                      1. we stopped by after church sunday morning and bought the best cinnamon rolls I've ever tasted... and I am a very good baker myself. this place is a must... if you are anywhere near kalispell. huge fresh sticky buns and lots of other pastries to choose from. they have a seating area and make sandwiches but they close at 4 pm and we arrived after they closed the previous night. their breads, croissants looked wonderful.