Missoula restaurants offer an impressive cuisine variety for the discerning palate. Farm to table, Thai, gourmet pizza, scrumptious vegan donuts, huckleberry ice cream and more 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 six 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 enveloped 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.
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 place 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 pineapple express (house infused jalapeno tequila, pineapple and fresh basil) or the Indian paintbrush (stoli raspberry, fresh raspberry puree and cranberry juice).
I personally love noshing on small plates while sipping a glass of wine or a cocktail. The grilled asparagus and broccolini or fried cauliflower with marcona almonds and huckleberries are two I’d recommend during your Missoula dining experience.
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 pad see ewe, pad thai or fried tofu. 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. 1889 Missoula
Address: 104 N Higgins Avenue, Missoula, Montana
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.
6. Top Hat
Address: 134 W Front St, Missoula, MT
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 to grab quick takeout food in Missoula, MT, below are some delicious options.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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!
Best Breakfast in Missoula, Montana
Whether you are craving savory or sweet for breakfast in Missoula, Montana, my lineup below will help you find indulgent breakfast sandwiches, burritos and donuts.
10. 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 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.
11. 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!
12. 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 had! Our bar is high as we gobble donuts up wherever we go. They are all vegan (egg and dairy free) to boot. Be forewarned they are so large and dense that only two fit in each box.
Since we weren’t sure if they run out of flavors and wanted to maximize selection, we went right when they opened at 7:30 AM.
TOP TIP: Donuts you must try include:
- Apple fritter, with a house chai glaze that imparts a unique flavoring, making it our favorite apple fritter ever!
- 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 butter cream drizzle)
- Blueberry Ol’ Fashioned
Next time I plan to try their breakfast burrito and sandwiches. The Buffalo 666 burrito with spicy roasted cauliflower, homemade sriracha aioli and Frank’s hot sauce tops my wish list.
13. 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.
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.
14. 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.
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.
15. 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) were 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).
16. 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.
I hope my 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 24 Fun Things to Do in Missoula, Montana post.