A burger from Neptune's Brewery | Courtesy of Neptune's Brewery
Livingston, Montana was once a mere trading post before growing into a decent sized gateway town to Yellowstone National Park. Close though the park is, however, Livingston has plenty of other points worth visiting, including several museums and art galleries and, as it turns out, plenty of great food. If you need some advice on where to go when you’re hungry, look no further than this list of The Culture Trip’s ten favorite restaurants in Livingston.
Scottish Ale at Neptune’s Brewery Courtesy of Neptune's Brewery
Bar, Restaurant, American, Pub Grub, Steakhouse, $$$
The Stockman, in the quaint historical center of Livingston, is worth a visit just for its character ( that, and the hamburger). The restaurant seems in many ways to be stuck in time, with carefully wood panelled walls and cowboy prints on the walls. The hamburger speaks for itself, and what it’s saying is that it hopes you came hungry. Given where you are in the country, the buffalo burger is a great choice. You will be hard pushed to find buffalo any fresher. To the non-meat eaters, don’t worry, there are also a few lighter and vegetarian options.
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Beer lovers will go wild for the craft beers at Neptune’s Brewery. From the very hoppy (the Mr. Bitters Double IPA) to the smooth and rich (the Chocolate Porter), their beers really knock it out of the park. For when you get hungry, their menu is a scintillating combination of excellently prepared pub food and sushi.
After a day out in the wilderness, maybe you’d like to come back in for a night of fine dining. 2nd Street Bistro is the perfect place to go. Deeply concerned with the local community, they do their best to source locally whenever possible and sustainably always. They use their own urban farm in the summer, and all of their fresh, local ingredients get cooked into some truly delicious French cuisine. While you’re waiting for your meal, enjoy one of their finely crafted cocktails, full of unusual flavor combinations that you’ll remember for months afterwards.
If you’re looking for a hearty breakfast to set you up for a long day out or a delicious, nourishing lunch, head to Faye’s Cafe, located in an old school building. Visitors rave about all of the various options, the friendly service, and the care that goes into all of the food. If you have a hard time making decisions, their daily special is always a great option. If you don’t, then Faye’s world is your oyster. There is no bad choice on the menu, and as the owners want you to have the best experience possible, they’re always happy to offer you a recommendation.
Walking in to The Sport, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you were in an old-school English sort of pub, the deer on the walls might remind you that you’re still in Montana. They have a great drink menu, including a number of liquors that they infuse themselves for prime tastiness. Their pub food is also great, whether you’re looking for a burger, French onion soup, or a noodle bowl. They also have outdoor dining, which should definitely be your first option when the weather’s nice.
A much less formal endeavor from the good folks over at 2nd Street Bistro, Gil’s Goods has all the expertise and foodie-level love of good taste without a hint of formality. Their breakfast menu is short, but on it you’ll find your favorite classics done perfectly. For lunch and beyond, they have sandwiches and pizzas, and you’ll definitely need to look through the pizza menu a few times before deciding what you want. They’ve put together pies full of toppings that you may have never considered putting together, but after you have it, you’ll never want them apart.
Yellowstone Valley Grill, located at the charming Yellowstone Valley Lodge, is the perfect combination of luxurious dining in a setting where it’s perfectly fine to show up hungry and straight from a day out in the woods. They have it all, gorgeous views of the nearby Absaroka Mountains, an expert chef whose creative dishes will wow you, and a commitment to locally and sustainably sourced ingredients. As you look through their ever-changing menu, you won’t be sure which country you’re in or even which continent you’re on, but you will be sure that what you’re ordering will be absolutely delicious.
On the very informal side of things, another Livingston favorite is always Mark’s In & Out, a roadside drive-thru diner. The little white building is a blast from the past in itself, explained by the fact that they’ve been in business for over 50 years. They do the basics, burgers, fries, hotdogs, milkshakes, and ice cream , and they do them well. But you’re coming here for the atmosphere in addition to the food, what could be better than sitting outside surrounded by nature and fresh air and enjoying a couple of onion rings after a long day’s hike?
Rosa’s Pizza does, as you might expect, pizza. And if you’re in Livingston and you want a pizza made by the people who really know how to do it, Rosa’s should be the first place you turn to. Get a personal pizza or a big one to share, and you have the option to either build your own or go with one of their pre-designed classics. If you want to make a real, family-style meal out of it, they also have great, fresh salads. Another potential item of interest are the dessert pizzas, you can choose between apple and cherry.
Everyone likes a delicious light bite every now and then, and if fresh and healthy eating is what you’re looking for, go no further than Mustang Fresh Food & Catering. The café will give you sandwiches stuffed with veggies, gluten-free naan substitutions for any bread, nourishing daily soups, and gourmet salads with a wide variety of international influences. They have weekly specials in every category and are always trying to push their menu to grow and change. If you’re preparing for a special occasion, they’re also happy to do catering or pre-prepared dinners to go that you only have to heat up.