Red Lodge, Montana might not be the biggest town with a year-round population of about 1,200, but it gets quite a few visitors because of its proximity and easy access to the famed Yellowstone National Park. It’s no surprise, then, that there should be so many great dining choices packed into such a small area. Whether you’re looking for a quality steak or a spicy enchilada, here are some of the best places to try in Red Lodge.
Sam’s Tap Room, in addition to serving up some great soups and sandwiches, acts as a showroom for the Red Lodge Ales brewery next door. Obviously they know that you’ll need some nourishment to go along with your beer, and they provide exactly what you want to go with it. However, the beer is the main event. They have both seasonal and year-round brews, and you’ll find something no matter your tastes. Many of their beers have taken home awards at various festivals, and you’ll know why as soon as you taste them. Beer connoisseurs and newbies alike will enjoy their Glacier Ale, an amber brown ale that is reminiscent of German altbier.
Sam’s Tap Room, 1445 Broadway Ave, Red Lodge, MT, USA, +1 406 446 0243
Las Palmitas should be your first stop in Red Lodge if you’re looking for spicy, authentic Mexican food. Family-owned and operated, Las Palmitas makes sure that every dish you get is cooked hot and fresh when you order it. This is a no-frills sort of a place, and what that means is that you’ll get big portions of delicious food at very good prices. If you’re really hungry, try the Macho burrito, which comes with chicken and pork. For a more normal-sized meal, the chiles rellenos will leave you satisfied all around.
Las Palmitas, 985 South Broadway Ave, Red Lodge, MT, USA, +1 406 539 1367
If you decide to visit Red Lodge in the summer months, don’t miss having a meal in the uniquely positioned Red Box Car. It is, as you might expect, based out of an actual red boxcar, so it’s a really fun dining experience for everyone. The big favorite on their menu are the burgers, which you can eat with a riverside view if the weather’s nice and you choose to sit outside. They also have soft serve ice cream, with a special flavor that changes by the day. Roadside diners are a true American tradition, and Red Box Car offers a great twist on that classic formula.
Red Box Car, 1300 Broadway Ave S, Red Lodge, MT, USA, +1 406 446 2152
Another excellent choice for a classy night, Carbon County Steakhouse has two menus that are well worth checking out, the dinner menu, of course, with its wide range of steaks and wild game dishes and its wine menu, which has been praised by Wine Spectator. Their appetizers are particularly good. You’ll definitely want to try a cheese dish or two, and their fresh mussels are a constant favorite. In the main courses, this is a great place to try some lean and flavorful bison meat, as you’ll have the choice of bison rib eye or short ribs.
As you might be able to guess from the name, Hope’s Artisan Foods offers just that — gourmet food, made with the highest quality ingredients by people who really love and care about food. As you enjoy your meal, you can feel comfortable knowing that they make sure to support local producers who use organic and sustainable growing practices. The owner is engaged at every step of the process, and she’s truly committed to making sure that you leave happy. With their choices, though, that’s pretty much guaranteed. Whether you come in for a breakfast pastry or a lunchtime soup, you’ll leave already planning your return.
Hope’s Artisan Foods, 113 Broadway Ave, Red Lodge, MT, USA, +1 406 446 0226