Get Out of the Kitchen Next Week: My Favorite Missoula Restaurants


Rain is pouring down in droves here, just outside of Seattle, and the wind is kicking up. I know that in Missoula it is currently cold and snowy, with more cold and snow on the way.

Thanksgiving is a week from tomorrow and it’s got me thinking: Besides a comfortable place to stay and the array of home-cooked meals I’ll be providing for my guests, it’s not a bad idea to get everybody out and about for a meal or otherwise. Before the holidays I usually have a mental list of places to go but suggestions from my guests are more than appreciated. When they mention places in our area that they have read or heard about, and talk about what they would like to do, it keeps their visits fresh and interesting and gets me away from the kitchen for a bit.

Since we end up in Missoula frequently, I’ll let you know a few places that we have enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you’re acting as host, it might help you come next week when your house is bursting and you’re a little tired of cooking. If you are the guest, you could use these suggestions for a meal out or two. You may also want to refer to the archives of Visit Missoula to check out some of the other activities and places I’ve enjoyed during my visits.


Paul’s Pancake Parlor on Brooks suits us on lazy weekend mornings. It is well-priced and the food is good. I love its history, that it is locally-owned, the GRIZ mural on the wall, and the rolled pancakes. It is situated right next door to The Book Exchange so we often spend a few minutes browsing their selection of new, used, and hard-to-find books either before or after our meal. A distinct plus is that The Liquid Planet has a shop inside the Book Exchange, so latte in hand, we can pick up a few new titles to read later on.


For lunch, the Tamarack Brewing Company on Front Street offers an array of starters, sandwiches, burgers, and entrees, as well as their hand-crafted beers. I would definitely recommend ordering the beer sampler to go along with your meal. It is located nearby some fun Missoula shops and art galleries. Two of my favorites are the Monte Dolack Art Gallery and the Dana Gallery. Another favorite lunch place situated nearby is Mackenzie River Pizza. If you have kids in tow, both restaurants are within close proximity to A Carousel For Missoula and its collection of beautiful ponies.

If you’re still hungry, you might want to try Ciao Mambo for dinner. We first discovered its sister restaurant in Whitefish and then were pleased to find one in Missoula as well. What else can I say? We love Italian food and this moderately priced restaurant does such a great job! I‘m pretty sure we eat a meal here every time we’re in town.

For a great steak, you can’t beat Finn and Porter at the DoubleTree. It’s a bit fancier, a bit more of a splurge, but has an excellent menu that offers what you would expect for the price. I’ve never been disappointed here! (FYI: they have great breakfasts, too, with a view of the river.)

Hope these suggestions are helpful! It is worth noting that all of the restaurants mentioned above are open for both lunch and dinner, so take your pick!

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving with much to be thankful for!


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Margaret is a writer, photographer, and mom who lives in the rainy, but green, Pacific Northwest. She has been a frequent visitor to Missoula and the surrounding landscape for many years and knows that a part of her lives there as well. Please stop in to find out about her visits and why she looks forward to coming back each time. Hopefully, it will make you want to visit as well. You can find out what else she’s been up to and thinking about, and take a look at more of her photos on her website, This Friendly Village.