is a welcoming city that buzzes year-round with locals and tourists. Ranked among the USA’s best college towns, Bozeman’s cowboy heritage is still evident, alongside hip boutiques, independent stores and a wide range of restaurants. Here are 1o unmissable spots for a bite to eat.
Open for breakfast and lunch, this locally-owned restaurant serves homemade food in a quirky setting. The restaurant is colorful, both inside and outside, with a bright mural on the patio, and a well-lit interior that features off-beat art, toy drawers, books, and cat paraphernalia, as well as a tongue-and-cheek list of restaurant rules. The restaurant plays up its feline theme with menu items like ‘cat-serole’ of the day; and the popular ‘Cateye Burrito’, a breakfast burrito of bacon and seasoned beef, cheese, scrambled eggs, pinto beans, and chili verde wrapped in a tortilla. Cateye Café’s sausages, beef, bacon, eggs, and potatoes are all produced in Montana, and the menu features plenty of comfort food favorites such as biscuits and gravy.
Cateye Café, 23 N Tracy Ave, Bozeman, MT, USA, +1 406 587 8844
The Nova Cafe
Located in historic downtown Bozeman, the Nova Cafe is widely considered among locals to serve the best breakfast in Bozeman. Open for breakfast and lunch, this restaurant offers a creative twist on classic dishes, including lemon blackberry ricotta pancakes; and ‘the forager’, an omelet made with portobello mushroom, artichoke heart, roasted red pepper, spinach, and provolone cheese. Nova Cafe also offers a kids’ menu, espresso bar, and homemade gluten-free baked goods. In addition to the excellent food, Nova Cafe aims to give back to the Bozeman community by sourcing ingredients from local farmers and producers whenever possible, as well as displaying a rotating exhibit of local artwork in its hip diner-style interior.
The Nova Café, 12 E Main St, Bozeman, MT, USA, +1 406 587 3973
The Roost Fried Chicken
The Roost offers a modern twist on fried chicken and other classic southern dishes, based on family recipes. Aside from the signature fried chicken, menu highlights include buttermilk biscuits, boiled peanuts, sweet ice tea, fried okra, mac and cheese, as well as cheese grits. While this style of cooking could hardly be considered healthy, the Roost uses hormone-free chicken and also offers a gluten-free menu, which includes ‘spun’ rotisserie chicken and gluten-free buns. The restaurant’s airy interior features bright décor and a back deck where diners can eat outside during the summer months.
Roost Fried Chicken, 1520 W Main St, Bozeman, MT, United States, +1 406 404 1475
Starky’s Authentic Americana
Starky’s Authentic Americana is well-known among locals as offering one of the city’s best happy hours, with microbrew beers, half-priced appetizers and downtown Bozeman’s only heated and covered outdoor patio. The restaurant’s atmosphere is contemporary, yet welcoming, with a menu of classic delicatessen-style items like Philly cheese steaks for lunch, and a more American-inspired dinner menu of fresh fish and hand-cut steaks, along with fresh pasta, soups and pizza, all made daily from scratch. The owners are actively involved in the Bozeman community, showcasing the work of local artists in the restaurant and supporting community non-profit programs.
Starky’s Authentic Americana, 24 N Tracy Ave, Bozeman, MT, USA, +1 406 556 1111
Olive B’s Big Sky Bistro
Bistro, Restaurant, American, Asian, Mediterranean, $$$
Olive B’s Big Sky Bistro
Open for lunch and dinner, Olive B’s Big Sky Bistro serves New England-style cuisine with Asian and Mediterranean influences. The restaurant’s décor is upscale, yet welcoming, with metal accents, dark wood booths and an open kitchen. The menu focuses on fresh fish, along with classics, like pasta and burgers. Menu highlights include creative dishes like lobster mac ‘n cheese and Asian calamari. The restaurant also offers a first-rate wine list, and homemade desserts such as rum caramel banana bread pudding. In the summer, there’s a patio for outdoor dining and the restaurant also offers gorgeous views of Lone Mountain.
Olive B’s Big Sky Bistro, Center Ln, Big Sky, Mt, United States, +1 406 995 3355
Open until 3am, Paulie’s is one of the few restaurants in Bozeman where locals and visitors can grab a late-night snack. Paulie’s features classic diner-style décor, with black-and-white checked flooring, red booths, and chalkboard walls that customers can write on. The restaurant is particularly well-known for its hot dogs and sausages, which use meat from local producers and fresh baked bread. Paulie’s also serves a satisfying selection of sandwiches, salads, and wraps, along with Wilcoxson’s ice cream, a local favorite. You can choose items from the menu, or make your own sandwich or hot dog by choosing from the list of toppings and ingredients.
Paulie’s, 801 W Main St #10, Bozeman, MT, USA, +1 406 922 5046
The Emerson Grill serves home-style American cuisine and Italian fare in a romantic setting. Located in the Emerson Center for Arts and Culture, the restaurant offers a wine bar next door, Emerson Grill North, as well as outdoor patio seating shaded by trees in the summer months. The creative interior features maple flooring, warm lighting, and high ceilings, with the wine bar accented by clay walls and a reclaimed steel bar. The restaurant uses mainly locally sourced and organic ingredients, with menu highlights including bison skirt steak, and handmade fettuccine bolognese. Emerson Grill offers microbrewed regional and Italian beer, plus an excellent selection of wines.
Emerson Grill, 207 W Olive St, Bozeman, MT, USA, +1 406 586 5247
Montana Ale Works
Set in the former Northern Pacific Railroad warehouse, Montana Ale Works makes the most of its historic setting with upscale industrial inspired furnishings, exposed ceiling framing and original brick walls. This award-winning restaurant and bar serves Montana casual cuisine, with a menu featuring dishes like beef and buffalo burgers, bison potstickers, Montana meatloaf, fish tacos, as well as sandwiches and salads. Montana Ale Works also offers over 40 beers on tap, about 20 of which are brewed locally in Montana, as well as an outstanding selection of wine and liquor. It’s a lively community gathering place, with pool tables and sports games on TV, but the enormous 8000sqft building also offers plenty of quiet corners for a more intimate meal.
Montana Ale Works, 611 E Main St, Bozeman, MT, USA, +1 406 587 7700
Bozeman oldest restaurant, the Western Café keeps things simple with a classic American menu of home-cooked food served with a helping of nostalgia. Open for more than 50 years, this locally-owned café is decorated with wildlife art and cowboy collectibles, along with old photographs of downtown Bozeman. The low-key, friendly atmosphere is a reminder of Bozeman’s small-town roots, with locals chatting or reading the newspaper as they enjoy hearty plates of food. The café is well-known for its incredible homemade cinnamon rolls, chicken fried steak, eggs with corned-beef hash, as well as biscuits and gravy.
Western Café, 443 E Main St, Bozeman, MT, USA, +1 406 587 0436
John Bozeman’s Bistro
Set in a renovated early 20th-century building in downtown Bozeman, John Bozeman’s Bistro has been continuously voted as the best restaurant in the city. The restaurant’s upscale décor contains historic touches, including comfortable brown booths that date back to the 1940s. The ‘world cuisine menu’ offers classic American food with Thai, pan-Asian and Creole twists. The menu changes regularly, but always includes fresh seafood, nightly wild game or fowl specials, as well as a ‘superfoods’ gluten-free menu. John Bozeman’s Bistro is also known for its excellent wine selection, and desserts, which are prepared fresh everyday in the Bistro bakery.
John Bozeman’s Bistro, 125 W Main St, Bozeman, Mt, United States, +1 406 587 4100