Food & Drink in Montana

The thing about food and drink in Montana is that it is pretty much unexpected. Ordinarily a nice steak might come to mind, but the Montana culinary scene has so much more to offer.

From back-country cooking to modern microbreweries, here are a few of my favourite Montana culinary experiences:


City Cafes

My first dining experience in Montana took place in a small cafe in Missoula, called Catalyst. We sat by the window, ordered our food and chatted as Led Zeppelin quietly played in the background. Given that I was wearing a Zeppelin shirt at the time, I was smitten before the food even arrived.

I only ordered a (giant) Caesar salad, but was really impressed by the other dishes that appeared on the table, like the Tomato Lime Tortilla Soup, topped with tortilla chips, jack cheese & cilantro. And, bread. So much bread.


Back-Country Yurt Cooking

After lunch in Missoula, we continued on to the Swan Mountains where we would be spending the night with Yurtski. I was fully expecting a basic camping meal like grilled hot dogs or baked beans, but I was totally unprepared for the four course meal that graced our taste buds.

Here we were in a yurt in the middle of nowhere in the back-country mountains; no running water, no electricity–but we were presented with a full dinner that put most restaurants to shame, all whipped up on a simple camping stove.

We started with fried pork and peanuts topped with cilantro in a red cabbage wrap, which blew me away. I thought that alone was the entire meal and was fully satisfied.

When our guide casually said that the Pad Thai was on its way, I honestly thought he was making a joke that he had ordered Thai delivery.

It wasn’t until I turned around to see him boiling noodles ten minutes later that I realized he was serious. Have I ever mentioned that Pad Thai is my favourite?

We continued to eat little pork fried appetizers between the dishes, so by the time dessert came I could hardly even look at the steaming berries that topped the richest chocolate cake I have ever tasted.


Ski Town Starters

Whitefish brought on a whole new set of starters and appetizers, with a table full of choices at Tupelo Grille.

There was Candied bacon wrapped shrimp toasted coconut, kaffir lime coconut cream, sweet bourbon street chili sauce served on crisp bibb lettuce.

There were Fried green tomatoes dredged in buttermilk and cornmeal flour topped with sweet roasted red pepper cream and goat cheese.

And, there was Shrimp & crawfish cakes laced with roasted red pepper cream and garnished with a spicy Thai cucumber salad.



Small Town Breakfast

A quick breakfast at Base Camp Cafe (not even listed online anywhere)  in Columbia Falls proved to be the best morning meal of the entire trip.

I ordered a large tea and an enormous plate of Belgian style waffles covered in mixed wild berries and cream. DE. LISH.


Montana Microbreweries

I am a beer girl and I make a point of tasting different flavours from all over the world. I was fairly excited to taste some beer before I even arrived in Montana, knowing that there were so many local microbreweries to choose from.

I had the chance to order a number of pints from different restaurants, but really enjoyed our visit to Desert Mountain Brewing, which had literally just opened its doors a week earlier.

We sampled a stout, IPA and Amber. My favourite was the Amber.


Classics With a Twist

Dinner at the Double Arrow Resort offered a selection of classic meals with their own spin on the arrangement.

I ordered a Tuscan Chicken, which was a breast of chicen with a roasted yellow tomato sauce, artichoke hearts, Kalamata Olives, served with white bean Cassoulet.

Don’t tell anyone, but we also spoiled ourselves with an entire dessert platter split between three people. Shhh.


And a few more to make your mouth water…


Best Dessert in the World

To end this off, I present you with my new favourite dessert; the bread pudding in a hot butter rum sauce.

We decided to share this cake among the table, but I went into some sort of strange dessert shock after my first bite. I wanted the entire thing to myself and declared it better than steak. I will go back to Whitefish, even if just for that cake alone!

This trip was made possible by Western Montana’s Glacier Country
All thoughts and opinions are my own. 


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One Response to “Food & Drink in Montana”

  1. Tracy Z
    March 20, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    WOW everything looks really good in this post…. I just got really hungry myself!
    Tracy Z recently posted..The Best of France

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