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Elk Burger with provolone at the Slippery Otter Pub (Photo by Andrew Evans, National Geographic Traveler)

Top 10 Must-Have Montana Meals

Don’t tell me what a place is like—just show me the food.

Good food reveals a lot about any destination and nowhere is that more true than good ol’ Montana.

Driving from the top of the state down to its southernmost corner, I discovered Montana’s wintertime cuisine has as much heart as the sky is big. After eating so well on my journey across the Treasure State, I compiled my own list of culinary treasures below. (Given that my sample size was limited to a mere 10 days, you are most welcome to leave other nominations in the comments.)

. . . and if it seems to you that all these things involve meat and sugar, well . . . it’s Montana, people.

My Top Ten Must-Have Montana Meals (in no particular order):

  1. Huckleberry Macaroons, Polebridge Mercantile, Polebridge, Montana (Worth that extra drive north!)
  2. Bison Meatballs, Haskill Station, Whitefish, Montana (Labelled an appetizer but a solid meal)
  3. Breakfast frittatta, Hidden Moose Lodge, Whitefish, Montana (Best breakfast in the state, hands down)
  4. Steak and Potato Pasty, Joe’s Pasty Shop, Butte, Montana (Miner’s delight–get it with gravy!)
  5. Lifty Dog, Yeti Hot Dogs, Big Sky, Montana (Two words: cheese and bacon)
  6. Elk Burger, Slippery Otter Pub, West Yellowstone, Montana (I love this place & their menu)
  7. Bison Potstickers, Montana Ale Works, Bozeman, Montana (Also try the parmesan pepper fries!)
  8. Rancher’s Pizza, Mackenzie River Pizza Co, Butte, Montana (Western-style pizza extraordinaire)
  9. Buckwheat pancakes, Running Bear Pancake House, West Yellowstone, Montana (Read here)
  10. Sleigh Ride Dinner, Lone Mountain Ranch, Montana (The best way to eat steak in winter)