Glacier National Park is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Restaurants and foodie experiences aren’t the priority. But a hiker’s gotta eat, right? Here are some of the restaurants and cafes I recommend near Glacier National Park’s western entrance.
And by saying these restaurants are “near,” some are just outside of the park, and some are a few towns away. Things are spread out in Big Sky Country.
Restaurants that are great for breakfast
You’ll find a lot of coffee drive-thru kiosks in the area near the park, and while none are a major stand-out, I can recommend a few that won’t disappoint. Cowgirl Coffee (several locations included 902 Wisconsin Ave., Whitefish) has a variety of coffee drinks, as well as some baked goods and smoothie bowls for breakfast.
There aren’t a whole lot of coffee shops as you get closer to Glacier National Park’s western entrance, but there is Hungry Horse Espresso (8848 U.S. Highway 2 E, Hungry Horse). It’s quick and convenient, and their coffee hits the spot.
(Just ignore its sad, starving horse logo).
You may read a lot about Polebridge Mercantile & Bakery (265 Polebridge Loop, Polebridge). It’s located in a tiny town on the edge of Glacier National Park that’s about as remote as it gets in Montana.
Its loyal fans rave about it. I can see the draw if you’ve been backcountry camping for a week and stumble across freshly made baked goods. Expect a teeth-rattling drive for miles along a dirt road before finding it.
Fans say: Get the huckleberry bear claw.
Top recommended breakfast restaurant near Glacier: Glacier Highland (12555 U.S. Highway 2 E, West Glacier) gets 4 out of 5 stars for its food and heaps of recommendations due to it being so close to Glacier National Park. If you like your huckleberries, you can get them added to your pancakes or yogurt.
Glacier Highland is also the top-rated restaurant for lunch near the park.
Restaurants for lunch
One of the more memorable places to dine in the area is Norm’s Soda Fountain (34 Main St., Kalisepell). It’s a -soda-fountain-meets-candy-store kind of place. It’s a kid’s dream and an iconic community staple.
Neither Wich Haus or Norm’s are particularly close to Glacier National Park, so they’re more for a visit on a non-park day. Here’s are suggestions for fun things to do near Glacier National Park.
When planning a full day at the park, it’s best to bring a picnic. But, if you don’t bring a picnic lunch with you for your, there are some options inside the park.
Eddie’s Café and Mercantile (1 Fish Creek Road, Glacier National Park, West Glacier) has its fans, especially for lunch. It’s also a delicious spot for a snack…like ice cream. McDonald Lodge, a great stop on the Going-To-The-Sun Road, has a stunning view of McDonald Lake. So it’s a popular stop. Prices are at a premium, but you can’t beat the view.
Restaurants for dinner
For pizza to go, my family’s go-to was Stageline Pizza in Columbia Falls. Barbecue chicken pizza was a favorite. We ordered the pizza as we left Glacier National Park and made our way back to our rental home, so it was easy to pick up and continue on our way.
Go for the beer, stay for the food at Backslope Brewing Co. (1107 Ninth St. W., Columbia Falls). Or do I have that backward? This small brewery has a big following and you can almost always expect a wait in the summer. The food is made from scratch and ranges from the typical burgers and sandwiches, to rice bowls, gnocchi and ramen.
The most recommended restaurant on Tripadvisor is Belton Grill Dining Room & Tap Room (12575 Highway 2 E Belton Chalet, West Glacier) – It’s prime location by the highway surely has to draw in people as they leave the park (though reservations are recommended).
If you’re seeking something between fine dining and hiker casual, this may be your place. Entrees include fusilli with elk meatballs or bison meatloaf.
Cool bar near Glacier National Park
Josephine’s Speakeasy (10245 U.S. Highway 2 E, Coram) is first and foremost a cocktail bar using local ingredients or its craft cocktails. There are some small plates available to order that pack a huge flavor punch. You’ll want to sit outside if the weather is nice.
Josephine, by the way, was a bootlegger who ran a moonshine operation during Prohibition. Her nickname was Bootleg Lady of Glacier Park.