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Aug 1, 2012 07:36 AM

Where to eat in Missoula, MT?

Hi all!

I'm heading to Missoula at the end of September (driving from Calgary). I'll be there for two days and staying near the university.

Are there any "must-try" restaurants in this area? Any local specialities I should sample? I'm open to all types of cuisine.


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  1. hi there -

    Just ate in Msla a few weeks ago at Silk Road. Mentioning this because you may end up w/ recs for there. I would take a pass for the following reasons:

    For starters, the decor is a bit sad. The "ethnic" and exotic mix they're going for feels like a street fair or something (not in a good way.) Not vintage Pier 1 but just kind of Tibetan-flag-sad.

    As soon as we sat down, I noticed a table of a family of 4 or 5 having some issues with getting their beverages sorted out and they'd been there for some time. The father had to leave the table to go get glasses or something himself, and was visibly annoyed.

    Our waiter was helpful enough.... At Silk Road they've been instructed to give a full lecture on what "small plates" are, because, of course, Montana diners have never experienced such a thing. ; ) It was really awkward - for us, anyway.

    He was clearly bent on persuading us to order as many small plates as he could. After ordering we handed him the huge plastic covered menus to take from us, and he put them back down on the too-small table and said, "I'm leaving these here." We said, "You can take them," smiling. He replied, unsmiling, "No, I'll leave them here."

    Food was okay, I wouldn't return. If eating in Msla, I would easily go to Scotty's Table, or Red Bird in that order (the latter I've never been to but would feel comfortable giving a shot.)

    Got yummy baked goods at Bernice's Bakery downtown, the savory croissant are quite nice. And the coffee was genuinely great.

    And don't miss Big Dipper ice cream off Higgins downtown if it's still ice cream season when you get there!

    1 Reply
    1. re: holdthecow

      Good suggestions. I will look up these places :)

    2. I went to The Shack, 222 W. Main St., for breakfast a year or so ago when visiting, and it was the best food I had in the city.

      1 Reply
      1. re: VitalForce

        Looks good and not too far from my hotel... thanks!

      2. Just had dinner and breakfast last week in Msla. Dinner at Scotty's Table, 3 of us, 2nd time in the past year and I can recommend it highly. Not only were all of us extremely happy with our very different selections, the staff is really professional and very knowledgeable. And not intrusive at all.

        Breakfast was at The Shack. It was okay...I wasn't wowed by my veggies and cheese over hash browns because the browns were not very exciting. Companion didn't seem all that wowed by his eggs. Have also been to Hob Nob, which I would probably choose over the two if deciding between the two. However, I would most likely get breakfast at Bernice's Bakery - all really well done.

        1. I just got back from my Missoula trip. What a nice place!

          Our restaurant choices were based on price point (my friend didn't want to spend too much on food) so we ate at the following places:

          Caffe Dolce: Great little cafe/restaurant. They had a big selection of good gelato and a decent dinner menu. I ordered a duck leg salad with figs and arugula... enjoyed it. They have a good dessert selection too, including some decent macarons.

          The Shack: stopped here for lunch on Sunday... was super busy. I had a steak salad with blue cheese. I love a big salad so it was satisfactory. My friends both ordered turkey sandwiches. I wish we had ordered dessert because they sounded great. Pretty good selection of food here. Decor was outdated and dusty.

          Break Coffee Shop: I had a decent Americano here. Definitely a place for students. It's very large and 90% of people were college aged with laptops or books. Amazing looking deep dish pies in the case!

          Big Dipper Ice Cream: Very retro! Delicious ice cream with some surprising flavours. I ordered kid sized scoops of pumpkin and Mexican chocolate (with a taste sample of black licorice). I was really impressed with the quality of the ice cream and variety of flavours... wish I could have tried more!

          Famous Dave's BBQ: pretty sure this is a chain restaurant but ok none the less. the chopped pork was a bit dry but I liked the variety of sides, including the baked beans and their cornbread muffin.

          Good Food Store: similar to a Whole Foods (which we don't have in my area of Canada so it's a treat for me to visit). They had a good cafe for quick meals. Enjoyed my trip here to stock up on misc goods I can't get at home.

          Didn't have time to visit Bernice's Bakery :(

          As for local specialties, it seems like the huckleberry is very popular but out of season.