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Jul 4, 2012 06:57 AM

Trip to Whitefish, Montana

I am traveling to Whitefish in a week. I've been reading some of the other threads regarding Montana eats but didn't see much for this fair city. Can you tell me a little about the restaurant scene? Any grocery stores/farmer's markets I should stop by?

Also, any thoughts about Kalispell and other spots I should try in the general area. I'll be there for a week so plenty of time to chow while I traverse the trails.

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  1. well, did you find out anything? because i'm going to kalispell/bigfork/missoula in a couple weeks and i haven't found anything either. any info would be great.

    4 Replies
    1. re: phboden

      There is a thriving food scene is Whitefish, MT. I didn't make it to Kalispell for a meal - just flew in there.

      First, there is a great Mexican restaurant called Pescado Blanco. I had the tacos verdurdas and my friend had bison enchiladas. Both of dishes were very fresh and delicious. They serve a citrus habanero sauce tableside, for those interested. It was quite delicious.

      Next find is Buffalo Care. A local favorite for breakfast especially. I had buckwheat pancakes and hashbrowns one day - both good. I also had a veggie burger and my friend had salmon. My burger was very good with handcut fries. The place was hopping. We had tried to go one time and left because of the wait. If you want to experience Whitefish, I would say this is truly the place to stop.

      Next I went to Craggy Creek Grill. It's a local pub and restaurant. Again I had a veggie burger, which was prepared with Cajun seasonings - quite delicious. My friend had a turkey California club sandwich. We also tried their onion rings which were very good but seemed to be of the frozen variety.

      I also tried out the Green Tea restaurant which is a local vegan/vegetarian spot. Great tea selection and good food. I stuck with salads so I really can't help with the other dishes. They looked great and wish I'd stopped in more often.

      Next we tried Wrap and Roll. It's a divey spot that prepares stuffed burritos and such. It was fresh and delicious.

      If we had stayed longer we were going to go to Loula's which looked very interesting with a cajun spin on their food. I'm already planning on going back next summer and hope to stay for two weeks. I hope to fill in the blanks then.

      Enjoy, the town is packed with things to do and places to eat.

      1. re: Lily Dale

        Hello -- I'm in whitefish and can report the following: Good dinner at Tupelo, Pescado Blanco, Craggy Bar & Grill, Boat House Lounge (outdoors on whitefish lake, part of a fancy resort). Excellent breakfast at both Buffalo Cafe & Loula's.You have lots of options in this town -- I should add that we're traveling with small children, so each of these places accommodated our kids nicely. Also good dinner at North Bay Grille in Kalispell - ask for the bar menu if you want to eat more casually. While there, check out the lobby of the Grand Hotel, which is quite charming. downtown kalispell is a really interesting place -- eclectic, not polished like whitefish. Lastly: good lunch at Pocketstone Cafe in Big Fork. Hope this helps!

        1. re: adh425

          Thanks! I'm headed back there next summer.

          1. re: Lily Dale

            Be sure to hit McGarry's just outside Whitefish near Iron Horse. Also, Stillwatwers. It's across the Lake a couple of miles past the country club.

    2. Hops in Kalispell was really good. microbrews aplenty. fresh ingredients and clever combinations. dungeness crab cakes. duck wings with huckleberry glaze. home made buns, great burgers, house made potato chips too. service was above excellent. i went there three tumes in two weeks

      1 Reply
      1. re: phboden

        Wish we had stopped by there. I loved the contrast between that restaurant, the guns/ammo shop, and the used bookstore right in a row. Another reason to go back to Montana!

      2. It`s all very subjective of are are my recs as we are in Kalispell/Whitfish several times a year. The North Bay Grill is definitely the place in Kalispell, all dinners have been good & several, oustanding. Service there is generally good. In Whitefish the Buffalo Cafe is great forr breakfasts but as someone already noted, lineups/wait time can be long esp on wkends. Haven`t tried Hops in Kalispell since they changed the name from Capers. Capers was a very good place at one time for ""finer" dining tho` still casual. Hops seems to have focused on more casual fare, perhaps a reflection of the economy. Can`t comment on dinners in Whitefish as we usually eat at the NBG. Had lunch at Loula`s once, it was very average. Swift Creek Cafe used to be fabulous for brkfast but has gone downhill over the years. Pockestone in Bigfork? Pretty average!

        1. Never been to Montana before and heading to a cabin outside Bigfork. Any destination dining option? Can we get to any other communities with ease and where should we target visiting? Looking to do some fly fishing, any guide services worth searching out?

          7 Replies
          1. re: ThanksVille

            There is a good fly fishing shop right in Big Fork and they have guides, etc. for Flathead Lake and surrounding rivers. Glacier Park is amazing. Whitefish is also fun, lots of good galleries, restaurants.

            1. re: phboden

              I am headed there this August, flying into Kalispell, staying at Many Glacier and the Village at Apgar- mostly inside the park most of the time, will probably catch a meal in Kalispell when we land and before we leave. We're from Louisiana, so don't need gimmicky seafood or fancy. Just looking for some real barebones Montana grub.

              Is there anything inside that park that's worth it? I've been reading alot about what to do and it seems it's limitless? What is the best hikes/destinations in the park? My parents are big photographers and big foodies. Any help is greatly appreciated.

              1. re: Hog Maws

                I expect you`ve read the other posts including mine maybe. My wife & I are in Kalispell fairly often & have been for the past 20 years.
                The Bay Grille in Kalispell would be our top rec.....not fine dining but very good & consistent. Hops on Main St seems to get good reviews....we ate there a number of times when it was called Capers. Same ownership, different name so it`s likely good as well.
                In Bigfork, a short drive & a beautiful village on the Flathead Lake, has numerous restaurants: people rave about Thyme which we haven`t tried yet as it`s only open for dinner. The Swan River Inn has a good brunch on Sundays tho` its a little hit`n`miss. Great location tho` looking onto the Bay.
                Can`t help you out on the park activities/destinations.

                1. re: rancher rick

                  Yes, I saw that. I've found much more info on Trip Advisor, though it may be outdated. Seems like only a few steakhouses on the East side of the park, we're planning on hitting the farmers market when we get in town, hopefully for some huckleberry preserves.

                  1. re: Hog Maws

                    Just got back from recommended earlier, North Bay Grille still a good bet for a great lunch/dinner. I noticed that this time prices have gone up.
                    We went to the Whitefish farmer`s market on Tuesday.a pretty good market for a small town.....lots of excellent looking produce & generally, a good vibe!

                  2. re: rancher rick

                    Show Thyme is the Bigfork restaurant. It really is a lovely fine dining establishment with some nice, refined dishes.

                    More down-home (but high quality) cooking: Pocketstone Cafe. Awesome breakfast!

                    When in Rome pizza/Italian.

                    Sweet Peaks ice cream. They make all their flavors. Try the Salty Caramel or Huckleberry. Or go more adventurous.

                    In Whitefish, Jersey Boys Pizza is good.

                  3. re: Hog Maws

                    No. Not much in the park at all. It's all run by a big concessionaire outfit. Not bad but not noteworthy. I would suggest trying to catch a dinner right outside West Glacier at the Belton historic lodge right on the hi way outside the park entrance. Also a great place in downtown Columbia Falls ( about 20 miles away) called the Three Forks Grill.

                    As for Kalispell, I would look up the Rising Sun Bistro which moved there from Whitefish. In Whitefish, I love Tupelo Grill. In Bigfork, the other reviewer means Showthyme which is fairly famous in our part of the world.

                    When you are in the park, go to the Visitor's Center at the top of Going to the Sun Highway. Park and take the Hidden Lake Trail...just hiking up to the overlook is fabulous and the trail down to the lake and waterfall is great. Lots of mountain goats, bighorn sheep, maybe some bears (saw my first grizzley bear on this hike).