Thanks in part to the sexy cowboys on Paramount Network’s Yellowstone, you likely associate Montana with some of the best beef in the nation. But did you know that Montana is also a top wheat and barley producer?
Whether you want to savor a juicy steak, bite into a juicy cheeseburger served on a Wheat Montana bun, or work your way through a flight of craft beers, these are the best restaurants to try in Billings, Montana.
Enjoy the most important meal of the day at Stella’s Kitchen and Bakery, where you can dig into a fluffy omelet, a big stack of buttermilk pancakes, or classic eggs Benedict. Or visit Stella’s for lunch and choose from a wide selection of salads, sandwiches, burgers, and wraps.
Each day, Stella’s Kitchen bakes several varieties of award-winning bread from scratch using Montana wheat milled on site. And while you’re sure to find the standard flavors, like honey wheat and raisin wheat — delicious — the cheddar herb and jalapeño cheddar give Stella’s sandwiches an edge you won’t find anywhere else in Billings. And don’t leave without trying one of Stella’s gigantic freshly baked cinnamon rolls, or order it to-go to enjoy later.
Pro Tip: If you’re visiting Billings with a food allergy, you’ll be glad to know that Stella’s also has a nice variety of gluten-free items including breads, muffins, and coffee cake.
Whether you prefer sweet or savory, The Sassy Biscuit has your taste buds covered. Try a waffle-pressed biscuit like The Cobbler, filled with warmed blueberries and sweet lemon butter, or The Cluck, which tops a pressed cinnamon biscuit with a fried boneless chicken cutlet and apple cider gravy.
If drop biscuits are more your style, try The Sassy Biscuit’s take on a Benedict. Their Bennie fills a biscuit with fried eggs and shaved ham before topping it all with caramelized pineapple hollandaise. Or order The Buffalo Jumper, a biscuit sandwich of spicy buffalo fried chicken, garlic aioli, and pickled carrot and cabbage slaw.
Serving filling breakfasts and a long list of classic and top-shelf burgers, Montana Jack’s is a popular spot with the locals. If you visit Montana Jack’s before noon, try a three-egg omelet like the bacon, turkey, and avocado, filled with roasted turkey, melted cheddar, and diced tomatoes; and then topped with a rich hollandaise sauce, bacon crumbles, and fresh avocado slices. Or start your day with some spice with the biscuits and chorizo jalapeño gravy platter that includes your choice of bacon, sausage, or two eggs cooked to order.
At lunch or dinner time, Montana Jack’s is well-known for its chicken-fried steak, a tenderized Angus beef cube steak coated with crispy, seasoned breading and served with mashed potatoes, gravy, and a buttermilk biscuit. For a small upcharge, you can replace the standard white or brown gravy with their chorizo jalapeño gravy, and if you love a little heat, I highly recommend this option.
Montana Jack’s is also a great option for burger lovers. There are 10 different choices on the menu, and all are made with fresh, never frozen, Angus beef. Stick with a classic like the all-American bacon cheeseburger or go big with the Montana Jack’s Burger that includes American cheese, sliced ham, a fried egg, and bacon. All of Montana Jack’s burgers are served on a fresh wheat Montana bun, with a gluten-free option available upon request.
Pro Tips: Whether ordering a cup of coffee or a full meal, you’ll quickly discover that there is no state sales tax in Montana. Similar to Nevada, you will also find slot machines in many restaurants (like Montana Jack’s) throughout the Treasure State.
Inside this unassuming A-frame building that resembles a ski cabin, you’ll find one of my favorite sandwiches in Billings — the berrylicious turkey sub. It fills a freshly baked French bun with thinly sliced turkey, cream cheese, sunflower seeds, and huckleberry jam. And I promise it will be love at first bite!
You can also select from several other hot and cold sub sandwiches, deli-style sandwiches, and wraps. And you can pair your selection with filling sides like creamy coleslaw or a warm cup of soup.
Pro Tip: Chalet Market is also a great place to stock up on delicious and unique gifts from Montana, including elk summer sausage, wild huckleberry jam, locally roasted coffee, and goat’s milk body butter.
For a stick-to-your-ribs dinner, head to Montana Rib and Chop House, known for its premium steaks, fresh seafood, and award-winning baby back ribs. The chicken-fried chicken is also a deliciously filling option for guests who don’t eat red meat or seafood. Most entrées are served with your choice of soup or salad and a side dish like garlic mashed potatoes or carrot soufflé. While others in my party have raved about the soup, I always select the house salad topped with Rib and Chop’s huckleberry vinaigrette. (And, no, you can’t buy a bottle to take home, because I ask every time I visit!)
Pro Tip: In a state with more cattle than people, you can expect some of the best beef in the country when you visit Montana. Just be mindful of what you order if you’re not an adventurous eater. It’s not unusual to find dishes like bull fries and Rocky Mountain oysters on the menu. These delicacies are neither a type of French fry nor oyster, but rather bull testicles.
The Montana Club is another great option for steaks, ribs, and pork chops. But it also offers pasta dishes, salads, sandwiches, and lighter bites, ensuring that everyone in your party can find the perfect dish to please their palates and match their appetites.
Steak lovers with a sense of adventure will like the 12-ounce bison ribeye or the huckleberry filet mignon that tops an Angus filet with a huckleberry red wine sauce. And if you’re a vegetarian dining in a red meat-forward town, The Montana Club’s huckleberry walnut salad is one of my favorite salads in Billings. Beginning with a bed of fresh salad greens, it includes shredded carrots, tart green apples, chopped walnuts, bleu cheese crumbles, avocado chunks, and Montana huckleberries.
No matter what you order at The Montana Club, be sure to peruse the cocktail menu, which offers many classics with a local twist. My favorites include the huckleberry mule and the huckletini, both made with huckleberry vodka and garnished with whole huckleberries.
Did you know that Montana consistently ranks in the top three states for number of breweries per capita? And I guess that makes sense based on its wheat, barley, and hops yield in a state with a lot of thirsty cowboys and vacationers. At Uberbrew, you can pair a generously sized flight of award-winning craft beers with several delicious Montana-inspired dishes.
My go-to dish with a beer is a platter of fish and chips, and Uberbrew serves their wild-caught cod filets with crispy fries and creamy coleslaw. Another tasty option is the elk sausage stuffed with cheddar and jalapeño and served on a split-top bun spread with housemade beer mustard. And for a taste of Montana, try the bison burger topped with huckleberry barbecue sauce, pepper jack cheese, arugula, and an onion ring.
Pro Tip: Find a brewery near you wherever you travel in Montana with this brewery directory.
Whether you’re craving a wood-fired pizza, plate of pasta, or generous entrée, Bistro Enzo is my favorite restaurant for Italian cuisine in Billings. Pizza lovers will enjoy the florentine pie with chicken, spinach, bechamel, bacon, onions, artichokes, and mozzarella. My family also loves all of the pasta dishes at Bistro Enzo, especially the Santa Fe which tosses linguine with grilled chicken and roasted peppers in a parmesan cream sauce; and the portobello fettuccine with tomato, grilled artichoke, and mozzarella cheese.
Pro Tip: With a focus on fresh ingredients, the menu at Bistro Enzo changes seasonally. See the current version here.
For an upscale dinner in Billings, head to Walker’s Grill, where the menu created by James Beard-nominated chef Nick Steen regularly changes to showcase locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. To try a wide variety of dishes, order several items from the small plates menu, like pork tacos, Alaskan snow crab cakes, fried Brussels sprouts, and roasted squash with honey-whipped ricotta. Or select an expertly prepared New York strip, elk pot roast, Hutterite chicken, or the best meatloaf you’ll ever eat (sorry, Mom).
Nothing wraps up a day of culinary adventures quite like a big scoop of ice cream, and Big Dipper is the most delicious option in Billings. This Montana-based ice cream shop has been scooping up handcrafted ice cream since 1995, gaining the attention of Good Morning America, Food & Wine Magazine, and USA Today.
Top one of the basic flavors, like vanilla or chocolate, with hot fudge, crushed Oreos, or rainbow sprinkles. Or fill a cone with a scoop of something more daring like cardamom or black licorice. And as you’d expect from an ice cream shop in Montana, Big Dipper has some of the most delicious huckleberry ice cream in the state.
Pro Tip: You’ll also find Big Dipper Ice Cream in Missoula and Helena.
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