1. Frontier Bar and Supper Club, Dunkirk
This restaurant is a bit hard to find—it’s located about 10 miles east of Shelby, and it’s a small, simple white building that advertises steaks and seafood on its sign. But the locals know that The Frontier is where you go to get a hot, hearty meal.
2. The Western Cafe, Bozeman
The Western is a local favorite, but for those just passing through, its humble decor might make it seem less enticing than some of Bozeman’s newer establishments. But one bite of their big breakfast specialties or a slice of homemade pie will be all it takes to convince you that The Western is something special.
3. The Owl Cafe, Laurel
This little diner on Main Street serves breakfast all day, but if you come hungry for lunch or dinner, you won’t be disappointed. The Owl Cafe turns 100 years old this year, so clearly they’re doing a lot of things right!
4. Boardwalk Restaurant, Miles City
“Sure, it doesn’t look like much and is open for dinner only, but the wait staff and the food are worth the trip,” said a happy customer on Trip Advisor. That about sums up Boardwalk and its tasty no-frills food you can get for affordable prices.
5. Heather’s Country Kitchen, Plains
Don’t let the humble exterior fool you...the staff is serving up some authentic country cooking inside with smiles on their faces. And thanks to a little help from the Food Network’s “Restaurant Impossible” team, the inside of this place is charming and pristine.
6. Rod’s Drive In, Havre
Don’t be put off by the name of their infamous “ugly burger,” because it tastes so much better than it looks. Wash it down with a huckleberry shake and you’ll be sold on this spot.
7. Missoula Club, Missoula
If not for the big neon sign, you might walk right by the Missoula Club. Follow that sign and treat yourself to a meal. You’ll be glad you did.
8. King’s Hat Drive In, Billings
Do not drive past King’s Hat if you’re hungry...this old school burger joint is worth the wait you might endure at lunch time (the locals are aware of how great it is).
9. Windbag Saloon and Grill, Helena
With a name like that, who can resist paying this place a visit? The building is old, but the large menu has plenty of fresh new options along with classic American staples.
10. The Mint Cafe & Bar, Belgrade
The Mint’s history goes way back...it’s one of the oldest established restaurant and bars in Montana. After being sold to a new owner and closed for renovations for months, it’s back, and it’s better than ever. Luckily it still has the same old school charm that makes it so great.
11. The Cafe at the Inn on the Gallatin, Gallatin Gateway
Simple on the outside, downright charming on the inside...The Cafe at the Inn on the Gallatin fuels travelers on their way to Yellowstone or whitewater rafting. Simply put, their breakfasts are unreal and their freshly baked pie is outstanding.
12. Hangar Restaurant, Bar and Casino, Glasgow
If not for the plane sticking out of this building, you might drive right by it without a second look. But if curiosity gets the best of you, stop in for some soup made in house, steak, seafood or pizza.
What other great spots fly under the radar? Let me know in the comments.