Missoula restaurants offer an impressive cuisine variety for the discerning palate. Farm to table, Thai, gourmet pizza, scrumptious vegan donuts, huckleberry ice cream will tempt your tastebuds. Read on to discover the best places to eat in Missoula, Montana.
Since I have family who has lived in Missoula for 40+ years, I’ve been privy to the insider scoop on the best food in Missoula during my seven visits, discovering new indulgences each time!
In addition to the fantastic foodie scene, Missoula offers a number of fabulous things to do, including hiking, kayaking, mountain biking and more. If you are heading to Glacier National Park or Whitefish, Montana, you will probably fly into Missoula.
Top Missoula, Montana Restaurants
Best Downtown Missoula MT Restaurants
If you are seeking the best restaurants in Missoula, Montana, for dinner, I’ve got you covered.
1. Scotty’s Table
Address: 131 S. Higgins Ave, Missoula, MT
Located beneath the historic Wilma Theater, sit inside surrounded by floor to ceiling red drapes or outside on the patio and admire Caras Park at this delightful Missoula restaurant. Scotty’s Table serves meats and organic vegetables from local purveyors.
TOP TIP: Order the fried brussels sprouts with cauliflower. The flavorful apple cider reduction imparts the ideal zing.
The roasted beets and warm lentil salad are two other crowd pleasers. My family raves about their cioppino, mussels and scallops dishes. We celebrate all of our special occasions here whenever we visit as we feel they have some of the best food in Missoula.
TOP TIP: If you are visiting on a Saturday or Sunday, do yourself a favor and indulge in brunch.
Craving savory and sweet? Their deep fried buttermilk brined chicken breast enveloped by two thin waffles hits the spot. The maple mustard sauce and house pickles are the perfect accompaniment. If you love bacon (like my husband does), you’ll be delighted to know that comes on the sandwich too.
I also highly recommend the chocolate pecan cinnamon toast drizzled with chocolate.
2. Second Set Bistro
Address: 111 N Higgins Avenue, Missoula, Montana
Second Set Bistro will tempt you with its wide-ranging menu. I relished the textures and flavors of my apple and honeycomb salad accented with pecorino romano, hazelnuts and a tarragon vinaigrette.
We all devoured the brussels sprouts, charred sugar snap peas, and the fried street corn, with its divine aioli sauce.
FUN FACT: Situated in the historic Florence building in downtown Missoula, Montana, it’s worth noticing all the details as you enter this charming Missoula restaurant. The original Florence Hotel, built in 1888, sadly burned in 1913. After being reconstructed, it burnt again in 1936 and was rebuilt a third time in 1941.
Address: 322 N Higgins Avenue, Missoula, MT
Plonk’s fairy light laden rooftop is an enchanting downtown Missoula restaurant for grabbing a drink, lunch or dinner in the summer. Dining indoors is also an option in the colder months.
TOP TIP: Treat yourself to one of their craft cocktails. Choose from unique offerings like GFC (ginger vodka, basil, fresh lemon-lime, ginger simple) or the Raspberry Beret (citrus vodka, raspberry puree, orange cognac, fresh lemon lime and cranberry).
The zucchini and artichoke cakes are a divine starter. Their chickpea and lentil dal curry with carrots, cauliflower and golden raisin basmati rice is impeccably flavored. My family really enjoyed the beef tenderloin and pork chop too.
4. Zoo Thai
Address: 150 E Front Street, Missoula, MT
Since our favorite family-owned Thai restaurant in San Francisco recently closed after 25 years, I’m always seeking a Thai food fix when I travel.
Pad see ew (egg noodles, broccoli, egg and tofu) is my go-to dish and the bar by which I measure ALL Thai restaurants.
You can’t go wrong with Zoo Thai’s spicy edamame, pad see ew, chicken laab salad, ginger stir fry, or Gang Karee curry (yellow curry with carrots and potatoes). Do yourself a favor and indulge in a Thai iced tea (iced tea sweetened with condensed milk). I always request no straw to minimize waste and use the steel straws (from my favorite sustainable travel essentials) that I keep in my purse. Zoo Thai is definitely one of the most flavorful Missoula restaurants.
TOP TIP: Thai food can be VERY spicy, so unless you have a steel stomach, opt for mild or medium. When a dish is denoted as three or four chilies, heed this warning as the spice will set your mouth afire.
Also, steer clear of biting into the tiny red chilies that garnish the dish unless you want to feel as if your head, mouth, ears and stomach have been set ablaze. After making that rookie mistake once and guzzling a Thai iced tea to stamp out the fire in my mouth, I immediately scan for, and discard, any of those innocuous appearing chilies.
5. Mustard Seed
Address: 2901 Brooks Street, Missoula, Montana
A short drive from the downtown Missoula restaurants is Mustard Seed, known for its extensive and innovative pan-Asian menu.
The spicy mustard sauce that accompanies their Osaka bowl is mouthwatering. I wish I could transport a quart of their ginger dressing back to San Francisco with me! It’s the perfect addition for salads, tofu, rice and noodles. The sauce on their spicy green beans has the ideal amount of kick. Their fried noodles with tofu and veggies or chicken and pork are both delish.
Next time, I hope to try their huckleberry dessert!
6. 1889 Missoula
Address: 104 N Higgins Avenue, Missoula, MT
Hankering for a steak or bison? 1889 Missoula is your spot for a modern meets rustic experience. If you are a pescaterian, creative salmon and scallop dishes will tempt you. Don’t forget to complement your meal with truffle parmesan frites.
And, not to worry if you are a vegetarian like I am, opt for the roasted golden beets with hazelnuts and apple cider reduction to start. Move on to the roasted cauliflower and black lentils next. Be sure to save room for the seasonal fruit crumble at this downtown Missoula restaurant.
7. Top Hat
Address: 134 W Front St, Missoula, Montana
After discovering (and falling in love with) fried pickles in Oakhurst, California, I’m now officially addicted. So, you can imagine my delight when I spied them on the menu at Top Hat. The cajun dipping sauce accompanying them adds just the right amount of kick. The brussel tacos with spicy coconut srirarcha and curried coconut cashew dust are incredibly flavorful too.
TOP TIP: If you are visiting Missoula in the winter, opt for their heated, outdoor Geo Domes. While it costs $5 extra per person, the cozy and unique experience is worth it.
Best Fast Casual Places to Eat in Missoula, Montana
If you want the best restaurants in Missoula, MT, to grab quick takeout food, below are some delicious options.
8. Five on Black
Address: 325 N Higgins Ave, Missoula, Montana
Seeking fast casual? You can build your own Brazilian street food meal at Five on Black.
TOP TIP: I highly recommend brown rice with roasted tofu, complemented with their highly addictive coconut roasted sweet potato, and mango BBQ sauce. Do yourself a favor and get at least one pao de quiejo (Brazilian cheese bread). You’ll thank me later.
If you are a meat or seafood lover, opt for lemon roasted tilapia, churrasco chicken or beef.
9. Doc’s Sandwich Shop
Address: 214 N Higgins Avenue, Missoula, MT
After discovering Doc’s Sandwich Shop during my Rocky Mountain School of Photography training, it’s my first stop whenever I return to Missoula. Sandwiches are cleverly branded with doctor names you’ll recognize from TV shows and movies.
TOP TIP: If you fancy egg salad sandwiches, feast on the Dr. Ruth. Despite previously abhorring egg salad sandwich consistency, Dr. Ruth’s perfect combination of eggs, mayo, mustard and celery with tomato and lettuce converted me! I ask them to hold the bacon and cream cheese.
If you are a meat eater, you’ll love the Doc Brown (turkey, salami and provolone).
Need something to warm you up on a chilly day? The Hangover Stew with potatoes, corn, green chilies and melted jack cheese will hit the spot.
Their huckleberry lemonade is delicious as well and comes in a paper cup rather than plastic.
TOP TIP: To minimize my environmental footprint, I always ask for my drinks without a lid or straw.
10. Biga Pizza
Address: 241 W Main Street, Missoula, Montana
Biga Pizza serves locally sourced, handcrafted, brick oven pizzas, with a creative menu that morphs seasonally.
FUN FACT: Biga is an unsalted starter taken from the prior day’s dough; a practice that originated in rural Italy.
Two of my family’s favorites are Vesuvio (Italian salami, tomato sauce, cherry peppers, olives, mozzarella) and Caramelized Goat (caramelized onion, goat cheese, fresh thyme, mozzarella).
TOP TIP: If you are visiting in the fall/winter, you MUST get the Flathead cherry pizza (house made sausage, cherry chutney, smoked gouda on a sourdough crust). We tried this on our last visit and now understand why the cherry chutney at this Missoula restaurant has a cult-like following .
As a vegetarian, my favorite is the sweet potato, bacon and maple chipotle (without the bacon of course). Toasted hazelnuts also add a nice crunch. The maple chipotle drizzle is the perfect combo of sweet + spicy. I need to figure out how to recreate this so I can put it on EVERYTHING!
Order a half and half pizza for $1 extra so you can try more pizza flavors!
11. Bridge Pizza
Address: 600 S Higgins Avenue, Missoula, MT
Are you a pizza lover? You’ll relish Bridge Pizza’s hand tossed, brick-oven pizzas. Their mixed cheese topping( mozzarella, Romano, parmesan and provolone) prompted nostalgia for the pizza shop I worked at during high school summers.
This family owned pizza shop, established in 1995, sources ingredients locally and has two Missoula locations. They even have a drive-through, which is the first time I’ve ever seen that at a pizza shop!
TOP TIP: Order your pizza extra crispy. If chicken is your jam, you’ll adore the Diavalo with calabrian chilis. Since I detest olives, I had them hold those.
If you are a meat lover, the Buckhouse with pepperoni, housemade sausage, bell pepper and olives will entice you.
Best Breakfast in Missoula, Montana
Whether you are craving savory or sweet for breakfast in Missoula, Montana, my lineup below will help you find the best breakfast food in Missoula, including indulgent sandwiches, burritos and donuts.
12. The Catalyst Café
Address: 111 N. Higgins Avenue, Missoula, Montana
If you adore huevos rancheros like I do, then you MUST have breakfast at Catalyst Café. Your stomach will be rewarded with their homemade ranchero sauce and cumin black beans. I recommend a London Fog tea (Earl Grey tea + vanilla + steamed milk). They are also famous for their buckwheat waffles, which I can confirm are delish. Vegan and gluten free options are also available.
TOP TIP: Order their green chile pepperjack potato casserole as a side. I am excited to recreate this at home as it’s now one of my new favorite dishes.
13. Burns St Bistro
Address: 1500 Burns St, Missoula, Montana
Seeking a different take on hash browns? Look no further than Burns St Bistro veggie browns with zucchini, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, potato and four cheeses and an over-easy egg. This is now one of my favorite Missoula restaurants for breakfast!
TOP TIP: Since the veggie browns are sizable, opt for a half order unless you are starving.
If you love biscuits and gravy, Burns St Bistro makes theirs from scratch each day. Their biscuit sandwich and breakfast burrito (if offered) are both sizable. I love that they offer pepperjack cheese!
14. Golden Yolk Griddle
Address: 200 W Pine Street, Missoula, MT
After developing a huge fan base as a food truck at the Missoula Farmers’ Market, Golden Yolk Griddle now has a brick and mortar store for you to enjoy their scrumptious sandwiches. Their Farmer’s Market Sandwich with eggs, cheese, sausage, bacon or chorizo on Le Petit Outre Birdman bread is to die for!
TOP TIP: If you aren’t a meat eater, substitute avocado, spinach or tomato. They also have a roasted poblano salsa and tomatillo avocado salsa that I plan to add next time. Is my spicy addiction apparent yet?
Their breakfast burritos, tacos and wraps are also mouth-watering.
15. Liquid Planet
Address: 121 W Broadway St, Missoula, MT
Need a tea or coffee fix? Liquid Planet serves a delightful Tipu’s Tiger Chai (with the perfect amount of spice).
TOP TIP: If they have huckleberry scones in their pasty case when you visit, definitely grab one. Also, be sure to check their cooler and see if they have any Flathead Lake huckleberry soda.
Since this was the ONLY place I found huckleberry soda in Missoula, I bought the three they had!
16. Veera Donuts
Address: 617 S Higgins Avenue, Missoula, MT
My husband is a donut connoisseur and Veera Donuts are the most delectable donuts we’ve ever tried! Our bar is high as we gobble donuts wherever we travel. They are all vegan (egg and dairy free). Be forewarned they are large and dense, so only two fit in each box.
Given their popularity, they run out of some flavors as early as 9AM. To maximize selection, stop in when they open at 7:30AM.
TOP TIP: Top row donuts are rotating specialties. If you see one that strikes your fancy, grab it while you can. Donuts you MUST try include:
- Apple fritter, with a house chai glaze that imparts a unique flavoring, making it our favorite apple fritter EVER! It’s humongous and can easily be shared by four people.
- The Mother Load (chocolate ganache glaze, vegan cookie butter, chocolate chip cookie dough chunks) – I continue to dream about this donut
- Into the Void (Chocolate ganache, peanut butter cream drizzle) – a rotating specialty flavor
- London Fog (Earl grey glaze, Swiss buttercream, and lavender) – a rotating specialty flavor
- Blueberry pancake (maple donut filled with blueberry compote, topped with house whip, biscoff crumble and fresh blueberries) – a rotating specialty flavor
Their breakfast burritos and sandwiches will entice vegans and meat lovers alike. Their Buffalo 666 burrito with spicy roasted cauliflower, spinach, hashbrowns, vegan Italian “sausage”, house ranch, sriracha and Frank’s hot sauce is hands down one of the BEST breakfast burritos I have EVER had.
17. Clyde Coffee
Address: 741 S Higgins Avenue, Missoula, MT
Relax inside Clyde Coffee’s bright and cozy interior with a latte or hot chocolate or sip a Lavender London Fog (Earl Grey tea with lavender, honey and frothy milk) on their stylish outdoor covered patio.
Choose from savory lemon pepper avocado toast, a breakfast burrito, or egg sandwich. Alternatively, indulge your sweet tooth with a scone or doughnut puff.
18. Le Petit Outre
Address: 129 S 4th Street W., Missoula, Montana
Locals love this Missoula bakery located in a hip, converted garage space. Sip your coffee in Le Petit Outre’s inviting space while noshing on one of their apple turnovers, lemon danish, chocolate or strawberry twists with cream cheese or a palmier.
Their rosemary focaccia pairs perfectly with pasta. And, their Birdman rolls with honey and grains are ideal for making sandwiches for your road trips to Glacier National Park, Whitefish, or Helena, Montana.
Be sure to peruse their marketplace with lots of sustainable goods, including keep cups, bowl covers, and wooden herb strippers.
19. Great Harvest Bread Co
Address: 1407 S Higgins Avenue, Missoula, MT
Have you sensed a theme with me loving baked goods? Missoula, Montana, has an ample supply of places to eat with delectable sweet and savory selections.
You will be hard pressed to select from Great Harvest’s myriad offerings. Don’t fret, you can’t go wrong with any of their delish pastries.
It’s rare I find anything pumpkin flavored outside of the fall, so you can imagine my delight when I discovered Great Harvest’s pumpkin chocolate chip muffin. Their brownie with Heath bar crumbled on top is a unique combo that I haven’t seen before and immediately gobbled up. Their cinnamon monkey bread will titillate your taste buds! My family and I noshed on this over a few days.
TOP TIP: If you share my pullaway bread addiction, come early as they do sell out. We luckily snagged the last one at 11AM.
They also have a chipotle breakfast sandwich and lunch sandwiches that you can grab for the road.
20. Morning Birds Bakery
Address: 1300 S Reserve St A, Missoula, MT
Located only three miles (9 minutes) from downtown, Morning Birds Bakery is worth the short drive for their cardamom knots, cinnamon twists, and bearclaws. Their blissful raspberry lime danish reminded me of a miniature key lime pie.
If you are in town on a Saturday from mid-May to mid-October, you can catch them at the Clark Fork River Market.
Best Places to Eat in Missoula Montana: Sweet Treats
By now, you’ve realized I have a SERIOUS sweet tooth. Missoula, Montana, has a plethora of places to eat that offer unique flavors and treats that you won’t find anywhere else.
21. Big Dipper Ice Cream
Address: 631 S Higgins Ave, Missoula, Montana
Big Dipper Ice Cream spawned my huckleberry addiction. After trying my first ever huckleberry ice cream cone here in 2016, I covet and seek out the huckleberry flavor wherever I go. I delighted when I found elusive huckleberry ice cream in Jackson Hole, Death Valley and Whitefish, Montana. Big Dipper has a location in Helena, Montana too!
If you are staying in an AirBnB or VRBO with a freezer, you can buy a pint or quart to have a secret stash to enjoy late at night.
TOP TIP: Be forewarned, lines at Big Dipper can be long, but they move fast and the ice cream is worth the wait!
My other favorite flavors include mint Oreo, vanilla Reese’s, and salted caramel.
22. Sweet Peaks Ice Cream
Address: 223 W Front Street, Missoula, MT
TOP TIP: In addition to their huckleberry flavor, be sure to indulge in one of their seasonal flavors.
Flathead Cherry Chocolate (sweet cream ice cream laden with flathead cherries and chocolate chips) and Griz Tracks (cookie dough interspersed in caramel ice cream) are two of my favorite summer flavors.
Winter favorites include White Chocolate Candy Cane (peppermint ice cream with dark chocolate peppermint candy cane bark) and Gingerbread House (gingerbread ice cream with gingerbread pieces and cream cheese frosting).
23. Mary’s Mountain Cookies
Address: 101 S Higgins Avenue, Missoula, Montana
Mary’s Mountain Cookies are some of the largest, most decadent, chewy cookies I’ve ever devoured.
Given their size (and sweetness), I recommend getting a few of these soft cookies and splitting amongst a group of people.
TOP TIP: You can’t go wrong with lemon with lemon curd, Twix, half-baked double Fudge cookie with cookie dough frosting, salted caramel (a half cookie filled with butter cream), and huckleberry lemonade.
They even have edible cookie dough, which I’m always excited to eat as my husband constantly warns me I’m going to get salmonella from cookie dough.
24. Dairy Queen
As a kid, I would ride my bike to the local Dairy Queen and get a mini Oreo Blizzard. The four Missoula Dairy Queens are the ONLY place to offer a Nut Whip. It’s not on the menu, so you have to know to ask for it.
So what is this delightful treat? An almond blizzard with an ice cream “turret” in the middle. Choose from chocolate, vanilla or twist for your ice cream. Then, add banana, strawberry, fudge, caramel or whatever other mix-ins strike your fancy.
25. Wilcoxson’s Ice Cream
Wilcoxson’s has been crafting ice creams in Livingston, Montana, since 1912! If you are picking up groceries at any of the local Missoula stores and have access to a freezer, pick up some of their black cherry ice cream or huckleberry ice cream sandwiches.
I hope my best Missoula restaurants guide has helped you find some tasty places to eat in Missoula, Montana, during your visit. I’d love to hear which places you are most excited to try. If you want to identify the best Missoula activities and attractions, be sure to check out my 31 Fun Things to Do in Missoula, Montana post.