Local food just tastes better. Whether you are a local or visiting town, these 9 restaurants are serving up some of Montana’s best eats.
548 E Babcock St, Bozeman, MT
The menu at this modern, farm-to-table diner highlights the peak flavors of each season. Husband-and-wife team Charley Graham and Lauren Reich combine their talents as chef and farmer. Much of the produce served is from their own Star Pudding Farm, and the rest is sourced from other organic growers in the region. Little Star’s dynamic menu features seasonal salads, homemade breads, and classic comfort foods like 13 Mile Farm lamb kebabs, potato and porcini pierogi, Flathead Lake trout tacos, and often, house-made pastas like this season’s oyster mushroom ravioli.
Photo: Little Star Diner
624 N Wallace Ave, Bozeman MT (Pizza Tent)
Maxwell Buskey, founder of The Ugly Onion, believes that all veggies are created equal. The Ugly Onion purchases ‘seconds vegetables’ from local farms that have visual blemishes or minor defects and can’t be sold because of their appearance. They turn them into deliciously crafted, wood-fired pizza. The menu features both classic pies and house specialties such as ‘The Ugly Rancher’ and ‘Vermonter’. You can find the open-concept kitchen in Bozeman’s Brewery District Monday through Thursday, open for lunch and dinner.
Photo: The Ugly Onion
101 S Wallace Ave, Bozeman, MT
This upscale bakery does not mess around when it comes to French classics. Meaning “come here” in French, Vienne offers beautifully crafted pastries, croissants, artisan breads, and light lunch fair made in-house daily. The quality of food produced speaks to Executive Pastry Chef Anna Mendoza’s passion for baking. She grew up grinding wheat and baking bread on a Montana ranch before traveling to France to train as a pastry chef. Vienne’s menu features in-season foods like rhubarb turnovers and breakfast sandwiches filled with arugula, basil, and pea shoots.
422 Plum Ave, Bozeman, MT
Having grown up in Taiwan and Japan, Mountains Walking founder, Gustav Dose, is interested in ancient traditions of brewing. His beers are carefully crafted with high-quality ingredients and the seasons in mind. Their eclectic line-up includes hazy IPAs, Japanese rice beer, milkshake IPAs, and fruited sours. Mountains Walking also serves up wood-fired pizzas, tatchos (tater tot nachos) with bison chili, and fried broccolini wings among other bites. And, after a hot summer day spent in the mountains, there is little better than cooling off with one of their refreshing fruited beer slushies.
Photo: Mountains Walking
302 N 7th Ave #3308, Bozeman, MT
The Fork and Spoon is Montana’s only pay-what-you-can restaurant. Don’t let the affordability fool you, the kitchen at Fork and Spoon consistently serves up the kind of scratch-made, wholesome meals that you would expect at your grandma’s house. The menu, which changes on a weekly basis, uses locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. In addition to the brick-and-mortar, they also offer take-and-bake options, catering services, and the Mighty Spork food truck.
Photo: The Mighty Spork
312 E Main St, Downtown Bozeman
A bright and bustling café located in the heart of historic downtown, Nova has been serving up some of the best breakfast in Bozeman since 2005. Menu staples include huevos rancheros, homemade biscuits and gravy, mushroom ‘bacon’ breakfast tacos, and both sweet and savory Belgian waffles. Owner Elena De Diego believes in working with local farmers and ranchers and the menu is crafted from scratch using seasonal and local ingredients. The secret has been out on Nova Café so be sure to get there early or be prepared to wait.
Photo: Nova Cafe
13624 S Cottonwood Rd, Bozeman, MT
Bodhi farms is a boutique eco resort and permaculture farm nestled just far enough from the hustle and bustle of downtown. Using organically grown food from their own farm, the seasonal menu offers a variety of seasonal small plates, soups, fresh salads, and entrees. Enjoy plates like Flathead Lake trout dip with farm-pickled vegetables, and the ranch steak with hutterite butter, grilled onions, and chimichurri at the outdoor field kitchen by the creek. The farm also hosts a cowboy brunch, available year-round, on Sundays from 10 AM-1 PM.
Photo: Bodhi Farms
908 W Main, Bozeman, MT
The Co-op has been a Bozeman staple since 1979. This local, independent grocery store is the best option for local, fast-casual food in town. They offer house-made soups, sandwiches, an extensive salad bar, sushi, a hot-food bar, and grab-and-go meals. There are plenty of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options to serve everyone. Offering two locations, the Co-op is one of the best spots around to grab a quick bite.
Photo: Keene Sperry
140 E Main St, Bozeman, MT
The kale salad and short rib meatballs are good places to start, but there’s always something new and delicious to try at Blackbird, like the rye pasta with braised lamb or the sweet pea pesto on crostini. Blackbird serves high-quality Italian fare using locally procured meat and produce. The menu changes often but always includes perfectly wood-fired pizza, handmade pasta, and roasted vegetables. Desserts like plum cake and chocolate budino with olive oil and sea salt are not to be missed either.
Tracee Hume is a Registered Dietitian and Bozeman-based Communications Coordinator for Abundant Montana. She loves making a mess in her kitchen, but doesn’t love cleaning it up. Send her your favorite recipes at [email protected]!