Off the Beaten Path Restaurants Around Helena Montana

By Chelsea Paschall

A short drive from Helena in any direction will land you at a hidden gem restaurant. Anticipate Montana classics that are good as they come, in welcoming atmospheres that will make you want to return for more.

Schooners Restaurant and Bar near the Yacht Basin Marina is a destination restaurant. Savor great food accompanied by stunning views of Canyon Ferry Lake. The dry rubbed ribeye is a local favorite. A great stop after a day of (ice) fishing, skating, birding and boating.

Enjoy a meal with a view at Schooner’s Restaurant and Bar.

The Hardware Cafe serves up hardy Montana-style meals. This family friendly restaurant is a go-to location for breakfast and lunch. The menu is driven by passionate chefs who cook from scratch using fresh, local ingredients.  The meat is smoked onsite making for choice pastrami, this is the place for brisket and eggs! Vegan and vegetarian options are also available.

Big Bull Bar and Grill is a must stop with hearty portions and friendly, attentive staff who make you feel like a local. Find out why they have been awarded the best burger in the Helena region for five years running, served with delicious home-cut fries and chips. With a running theme of ‘no bulls**t,’ you know you’re getting the real deal. Feeling bold, try their Rocky Mountain oysters and bison burgers. Cash only.

Choose from ten specialty burgers at Big Bull Bar & Grill.

Born from a love of craft beer and fishing, recently opened Lazy I Beerworks in Wolf Creek, pairs an impressive collection of handcrafted Montana brews with a satisfying menu. The casual community-centric environment makes it worth the drive to savor classics served up with a hearty welcome. Anticipate concerts during the summer.

Family run Yat Son Restaurant has a longstanding history in the Helena region, serving up excellent Chinese food that is prepared from old family recipes. Choose from favorites like the homemade eggrolls and wontons, served up in an authentic atmosphere. A great reason to venture to charming downtown East Helena. Cash or check only.

Marysville House Historic Restaurant – Few places uphold the mining town pub atmosphere like Marysville House, in a ghost town no less! Formerly a railroad station, the building was trucked up to its present location in 1975. The great steaks, burgers and seafood make it well worth the drive. It’s also conveniently located close to the Great Divide Ski Area and Stemple Pass, a part of the Continental Divide Trail with excellent cross-country skiing and hiking to work up an appetite.

On the west side of MacDonald Pass, you’ll find the Avon Family Cafe. Noted for its friendly staff and homemade comfort food and deserts, offering gluten free options, including cinnamon rolls, baklava and bread. The charming atmosphere that will make you feel like you are visiting a relative who fills the house with yummy baking smells and greets you with a smile.

This is only a smattering of where grub-inspired trips can you lead you. For more options, visit our Taste Page.