Montana is known for its majestic mountains, the country’s first national park, and everything huckleberry. Under its big skies, herds of cattle graze and golden stalks of wheat rustle in the gentle breeze. Whether you crave fluffy organic pancakes, a delicious steak, or a scoop of huckleberry ice cream, these are the best restaurants to try in Bozeman, Montana (listed in no particular order).
1. Main Street Overeasy
If breakfast is your favorite meal of the day, then fuel up to explore Bozeman at Main Street Overeasy. From a variety of egg options to fluffy buttermilk pancakes, you’ll find all the usual breakfast options on the menu, plus a few surprises. Embrace your time in this rugged Rocky Mountain state by trying the bison sausage patty served in the basic breakfast, scrambled with eggs and other stir-ins, or rolled up in a big breakfast burrito.
Pro Tip: If you’re visiting Bozeman with a food allergy or dietary restriction, you’ll be glad to know that Main Street Overeasy serves a vegetarian omelet and Benedict as well as gluten-free pancakes.
Just a few steps down the street from Main Street Overeasy is another delicious breakfast, brunch, or lunch spot in Bozeman: Jam! While you can definitely find a few “basic” items on the menu (like the traditional breakfast with two eggs served your way, bacon, hash browns, and toast, or the grilled mahi mahi tacos), what I love best are the unique dishes you won’t find anywhere else.
If you’re craving breakfast, try the Benedict flight that lets you sample three of the eggs Benedict options, including basic, chicken and biscuit, Italian, and crab cake. If you’re visiting Jam! for lunch, I recommend the Counter Assault hot sandwich that I describe as the Wild West version of a Philly cheesesteak. With a heat level made to order, this dish fills a baguette with shaved rib eye, pepper Jack cheese, grilled onions and jalapeños, and mango habanero sauce.
Pro Tip: Jam! is an incredibly popular breakfast and lunch spot in Downtown Bozeman, so be sure to plan ahead and prepare for a wait when you visit.
3. Nova Cafe
Also located on Main Street is Nova Cafe, another delicious option for breakfast or lunch in Bozeman. Supporting local and regional farmers (and organic production practices) as much as possible, the dishes at Nova Cafe are crafted from ingredients like grass-fed beef, organic cheese, locally baked bread made with Montana-grown grains, and locally roasted coffee beans. Try the fried green tomato or salmon cake Benedicts for a fresh take on the classic, or the Nova Skosh scramble that folds eggs with smoked salmon, green onions, and cream cheese.
Pro Tip: Nova Cafe’s menu is full of vegetarian options along with a few selections for vegan visitors and diners following a gluten-free diet.
4. Pickle Barrel
Two generations of MSU Bobcats have stretched their dining-out budgets to the max with sandwiches from the Pickle Barrel. Whether you order one of their steak sandwiches or a cold sub piled high with deli meat, cheese, and veggies, the portions are large enough to fuel an all-nighter of studying or an action-packed afternoon exploring Big Sky Country.
Pro Tip: While both are college towns, here are seven key differences between Bozeman and Missoula.
For upscale and unique Italian cuisine, head to Blackbird. Start by nibbling on freshly baked bread dipped in olive oil, marinated olives, or a cast-iron skillet of meatballs in red sauce topped with fresh Parmesan.
While the pasta dishes and plated entrees are delicious, the brick-oven pizzas are outstanding. Enjoy a classic — like the margherita, with tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil, and garlic — or a classic with a twist — like the spicy pepperoni that adds jalapeño to the usual tomato, pepperoni, and cheese toppings. For a pizza you’re not likely to find elsewhere, order the rose harissa, which tops your pie with tomato, olives, kale, cheese, and an egg. It’s easy to pair your selection with the perfect wine thanks to Blackbird’s wine list.
Pro Tip: Looking for more advice and inspiration for your trip? Here’s how to spend a wonderful weekend in Bozeman.
6. Bridger Brewing
If you prefer to enjoy your pizza with a cold pint of beer, this local brewery is the Bozeman restaurant for you!
To kick things off, sink your teeth into delicious, freshly baked bread topped with everything from Parmesan and parsley to red pepper pesto to fig jam by ordering an appetizer of Bridger pane. Then fill up on tossed salads made to order and piping-hot pizza. And because you’re in Montana, the pepperoni at Bridger Brewing is made with bison!
Try it plain and simple with marinara sauce and cheese, or go supreme and add onions, mushrooms, and olives. In addition to pizza-parlor classics like Italian sausage, look for specialty toppings like fig jam, chicken sausage, smoked mozzarella, spinach, and goat cheese on the Farm to Fig, or yam puree, smoked mozzarella, bacon, pecans, goat cheese, and chipotle-maple drizzle on The Pilgrim.
Pro Tip: If you swing by Bridger Brewing before 4 p.m., you can order a Jurassic-size slice of pizza at a special price (instead of committing to an entire pie).
7. Ted’s Montana Grill
My family tries to eat local foods as often as possible when we travel. But with “Montana” in the upscale chain’s name, Ted Turner’s ranch in Southwest Montana, and no more locations near us in the Kansas City metro, we disregard this unwritten rule of the road and always stop at Ted’s Montana Grill when we’re in Bozeman. Dig into the protein-packed, vitamin-rich alternative to beef by ordering the bison brisket, bison short ribs, or one of the many delicious burgers on the menu. And if you aren’t into bison, no worries! Ted’s also offers a selection of poultry, seafood, and beef dishes.
Pro Tip: Whether you choose beef, bison, or another protein for your entree, be sure to try one of Ted’s huckleberry margaritas.
8. Roost Fried Chicken
In a beef-ranching state that shares a border with Canada, Southern-inspired restaurants are rare. And that’s part of what makes Roost Fried Chicken one of the best restaurants in Bozeman. Heck, the pressure-fried chicken that’s juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside enticed Guy Fieri to point his red Camaro in that direction and put the pedal to the metal!
Make it a meal by ordering the perfect amount of fried chicken for your party — two pieces, a basket, a bucket, or a family meal — and selecting sides, which include options such as the mashed potatoes you’d expect and Southern classics like collard greens and cheesy grits. And you can bet it’s served with biscuits! Chicken-and-waffle lovers may prefer the crispy fried chicken placed on a hot waffle and topped with honey pecan butter. And folks on the move will appreciate the genius of Roost’s chicken on a stick.
Pro Tip: Do you plan to spend the day on the river with a rod and reel? Roost will pack you a boxed lunch or supper.
9. Copper Whiskey Bar And Grill
Whether you prefer beef or bison, chicken or a chop, if you enjoy a smooth whiskey or specialty cocktail to round out your culinary experience, you’ll love Copper Whiskey Bar and Grill. Pair your aperitif with beer-battered fried pickles, pretzel bites, or my personal favorite, truffle fries. Steak lovers can choose between steak frites, a tenderloin filet, or grilled rib eye, and bison fans will enjoy the bison meatloaf topped with applewood smoked bacon and a demi-glace sauce.
Pro Tip: You can also find a Copper Whiskey Bar and Grill in Big Sky, Montana.
10. Sweet Peaks
With cream produced in Montana dairies and other locally sourced ingredients, the best ice cream flavors at Sweet Peaks are inspired by the Rocky Mountains. Nothing screams “I’m in Montana!” like huckleberries, so you can’t go wrong with a scoop of ice cream mixed with these small purple berries. Other flavors inspired by Big Sky Country include the Mountain Mint, made with mint extract from the Passmore Farm in Creston, and Bear Scat, with mini chocolate chips and dried blueberries in dark chocolate ice cream.
Pro Tip: Looking for more delicious ice cream shops in the U.S.? These are the best from coast to coast.