Are you up for a delicious adventure in Missoula, Montana? Our city is famous for its vibrant culinary scene, and burger lovers will find no shortage of tempting options to sink their teeth into. In this comprehensive guide, we've hunted down the best burgers in Missoula, from classic beef to creative plant-based varieties. So whether you're a local or a visitor, grab a napkin and let's dive in!
Where to Find the Best Burger in Missoula: A Comprehensive Guide
When it comes to finding the best burger in Missoula, the options are plenty. We've scoured the city to compile a list of the top-notch burger joints that are sure to leave you craving for more. These restaurants offer everything from traditional to innovative takes on the classic burger. So, let's hop onto the list and see what makes each of them exceptional.
One of the standout burger joints in Missoula is The Notorious P.I.G. This restaurant is known for its unique take on the classic burger, with options like the "Pig Mac" and the "Bacon Jam Burger." The Notorious P.I.G. also offers a variety of toppings and sauces to customize your burger to your liking. Plus, their homemade brioche buns are the perfect complement to their juicy and flavorful burgers. If you're looking for a burger experience that's a little outside the box, The Notorious P.I.G. is definitely worth a visit.
Top 10 Restaurants in Missoula for Burger Lovers
First up on our list is the Top Hat Lounge, a popular joint with a rooftop bar and an extensive menu that features a variety of burgers, from classic beef to lamb, bison, and even a black bean burger for veggie lovers. Right across the street, you'll find the Notorious PIG, where meat lovers can indulge in delicious pork and beef patties topped with pulled pork, bacon or smoked cheddar.
If you're looking for a more upscale experience, try the Burger Dive, a cozy restaurant that prides itself on serving authentic American burgers made with the freshest ingredients, locally-sourced beef, and house-made buns. Or, head over to Plonk, a wine bar that boasts an elevated take on the burger with their gorgonzola aioli or onion jam-topped burger.
If you want to enjoy delicious burgers while listening to live music, the VFW Post 209 offers a cheap and cheerful burger along with fries and a can of Bud Lite. The beloved Double Front Cafe serves up cheeseburgers and a significant side of nostalgia in the form of '50s diner decor.
Other delicious burger joints include Five on Black, The Trough, The Bridge Pizza, and Finn and Porter. These eateries have something for everyone, from the hungry college student to the foodie looking for a unique burger experience.
For those who are health-conscious, Missoula also has some great options for healthier burger alternatives. The Good Food Store, a local health food store, offers a delicious veggie burger made with organic ingredients and served on a whole wheat bun. The Green Source, a vegetarian restaurant, serves up a tasty black bean burger that is both filling and nutritious. These options are perfect for those who want to indulge in a burger without sacrificing their health goals.
The History of Burgers in Missoula: How it All Started
As with any food, burgers have their own exciting history in Missoula. The first recorded mention of a burger on a menu was in 1904 at the Western Cafe. The burger soon became a staple in diners across the United States. Still, it wasn't until the 1950s and 1960s that it gained immense popularity when fast-food brands introduced drive-ins and burger bars.
Today, the Missoula food scene has adapted to offer a balance of classic and innovative burgers. Local chefs take pride in creating unique and delicious burgers using local ingredients and new techniques. From juicy, classic burgers to vegan-friendly, plant-based options, Missoula has it all.
One of the most popular burger joints in Missoula is the Notorious P.I.G. This restaurant is known for its delicious burgers made with locally sourced beef and pork. The menu features a variety of burgers, including the classic cheeseburger, the bacon burger, and the spicy jalapeno burger. Notorious P.I.G. also offers a vegetarian burger made with a black bean patty.
Another popular spot for burgers in Missoula is the Shack Cafe. This restaurant has been serving up burgers since 1949 and is a local favorite. The Shack Cafe is known for its classic, no-frills burgers made with fresh ingredients. The menu also features a variety of toppings, including bacon, avocado, and sauteed mushrooms.
Expert Reviews: Our Picks for the Best Burgers in Missoula
We've consulted with some of the city's top chefs and food bloggers to bring you their picks for the best burgers in town. First up, Chef Kent Rollins, known for his cowboy cookbooks and cooking show, recommends the bison burger at Red Bird. Food blogger, David C. Hahn, calls the Burger Dive "absolutely outstanding" and suggests trying their famed Peanut Butter Jelly burger. Montana Local Foodie blogger, Marne Hayes' favorite burger spot is the Top Hat Lounge, where she recommends trying the lamb burger.
With so many rave reviews of these local spots, you can't go wrong with any of these choices.
But if you're looking for something a little different, there's a new burger joint in town that's been making waves. The Burger Barn, located on the outskirts of Missoula, offers a unique twist on the classic burger. Their signature burger, the Barnyard Burger, is topped with crispy fried onions, tangy BBQ sauce, and a fried egg. It may sound unconventional, but trust us, it's delicious. Plus, the rustic atmosphere of the barn-themed restaurant adds to the overall experience. Give it a try and let us know what you think!
A Local's Guide to Finding the Best Burger Joints in Missoula
If you're looking for new burger spots to try, look no further than the recommendations of locals. Head to the Grille at Grant Creek, where you'll find a hearty burger that will satisfy any hunger pangs. Or, grab a burger at The Notorious P.I.G, a popular spot for locals looking for a solid meal without breaking the bank.
If you want to bring your furry friend along, the dog-friendly patio at Finn & Porter is a great option. The restaurant also offers a mean Burger Porterhouse, a burger topped with a mouth-watering beef patty and a lamb chop.
Last but not least, if you're looking for a small, family-owned spot, the Spot Burger truck is a must-visit. The owners are passionate about creating a unique burger experience that will leave you wanting more.
For those looking for a unique twist on the classic burger, head to Five on Black. This Brazilian-inspired restaurant offers a burger made with picanha, a popular cut of beef in Brazil, topped with chimichurri sauce and served on a brioche bun.
If you're in the mood for a burger and a beer, check out Draught Works Brewery. Their burger is made with locally sourced beef and topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, and a house-made aioli. Pair it with one of their craft beers for the ultimate Missoula experience.
The Ultimate Guide to Building Your Own Burger in Missoula
If you're feeling creative and want to build your own burger, Missoula is the perfect place to do so. Many restaurants in the city offer build-your-own-burger options, allowing you to choose everything from the type of meat to the toppings and sauces. At Desperado's, you can create your own burger using a variety of buns, patties, and toppings, while the Burger Shack offers a unique experience of picking your ingredients using a pencil and paper.
For those who are looking for a healthier option, Five on Black allows you to create a custom bowl or plate using tons of veggies and a protein option, which can be substituted for a veggie burger.
If you're in the mood for something a little more adventurous, try the build-your-own-burger option at The Notorious P.I.G. This restaurant offers unique toppings such as pulled pork, bacon jam, and even mac and cheese to add to your burger. They also have a variety of sauces to choose from, including a spicy aioli and a tangy BBQ sauce. Don't forget to pair your burger with one of their craft beers or cocktails for the ultimate dining experience.
Vegan and Vegetarian Options: Where to Find the Best Meatless Burgers in Missoula
If you're vegetarian or vegan and still want to indulge in the savory goodness of a burger, you're in luck - Missoula has got you covered. The Good Food Store is a popular spot that offers meatless burger options made with quinoa, black beans, or falafel. Another solid option is the Impossible Burger at Five on Black, a plant-based burger made with Impossible meat. At the Catalyst Cafe, you can choose the vegan-centric Beet Burger that packs flavors along with a healthy dose of vitamins.
But that's not all - if you're looking for a more upscale dining experience, Plonk Wine Bar offers a delicious vegan burger made with a house-made patty, avocado, and pickled onions. And for those who prefer a spicy kick, the jalapeno burger at The Bridge Pizza is a must-try, with a vegan patty topped with jalapenos, avocado, and chipotle aioli.
But if you're in the mood for something a little different, why not try a vegan or vegetarian sandwich instead? The Hob Nob Cafe offers a tasty veggie burger sandwich made with a house-made patty, while the Silk Road Cafe has a delicious falafel wrap that's perfect for a quick lunch on the go.
The Science of a Perfectly Cooked Burger: Tips from Top Chefs in Missoula
Cooking the perfect burger is an art form, and Missoula's top chefs have mastered it. When it comes to cooking the perfect patty, the fresher, the better. Buying quality ground beef with the right fat ratio is essential to ensure that your burger is juicy and flavorful.
After seasoning your patty generously with salt and pepper, it's time to cook it. The traditional method involves grilling or pan-frying, but some chefs prefer to cook their burgers sous vide-style or smoke them for a distinct flavor. Whatever method you choose, remember to let the burger rest for a few minutes before serving to avoid losing its juices.
Exploring Ethnic Flavors: International-Inspired Burgers in Missoula
Missoula's food scene has never shied away from experimenting with international flavors, and burgers are no exception. The Bridge Pizza, for instance, as available an Italian-inspired Salumi burger that features New York-made Salumeria Biellese gochujang. Try the Umami Burger at The Catalyst Cafe, which has an Asian-inspired mushroom + brown rice patty and is served up with vegan mayo, kale slaw, and nori. Teppanyaki Koyama offers a burger disguised as a sushi roll - the Wagyu Burger features shiitake, avocado, and more for some Asian-infused experience.
Budget-Friendly Options: Where to Find Cheap and Delicious Burgers in Missoula
If you're on a tight budget, you don't have to miss out on the tasty burgers in Missoula. Check out the Mustang Grill, which offers a delicious $5 cheeseburger on Thursdays. Alternatively, The Oxford Saloon serves up a classic, no-fuss burger for under $10. At Missoula's Burger King, you can enjoy a classic Whopper for less than $5, all day every day.
The Debate over Montana Beef vs Plant-Based Burgers - Which is better?
The debate over meat vs. plant-based burgers has grown increasingly heated over the years, and Missoula is no exception. Some staunch veggie supporters argue that plant-based burgers are more environmentally friendly and healthier than traditional beef burgers, while meat lovers argue it is the classic flavor of beef that is unbeatable.
Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. Some of Missoula's top burger joints offer both meat-based and vegetarian options so that you can try both and decide for yourself.
From Classic to Creative: Innovative Takes on the Classic Burger in Missoula
Missoula's chefs aren't afraid to put a twist on the classic burger, and the results are nothing short of delicious. Take the Umami Burger at Catalyst Cafe, bursting with flavors from an umami-rich mushroom and brown rice patty, crunchy kale slaw, and vegan mayo. Or, try the Peanut Butter Jelly burger at Burger Dive, a unique take on the classic cheeseburger that features a delicious combo of bacon, habanero jelly, and peanut butter.
The Trough, for instance, offers a Bacon Jam Burger - with the signature bacon jam-making for a potent but sweet/salty flavor that will make you want seconds. Meanwhile, The Shack, once voted Missoula's best burger, offers classic burgers but with an option to add their homemade green chili to it.
Spotlight on Local Ingredients: Farm-to-Table Burgers in Missoula
One of the perks of living in Missoula is the abundance of high-quality local ingredients that chefs use in their food. At 5 on Black, Burgers are made with EvoGrow Steaks beef that is grass-fed and antibiotic-free. Doubletree by Hilton Missoula Edgewater harvests their vegetable and herbs from their onsite garden to add to their burgers, from the Apple Ricotta-Stuffed Biscuit Burger to their Montana Bison Burger.
The Good Food Store offers their Meatless Burger for the health conscious, whipping one up with Chickpeas, lentils, brown rice, and sweet potatoes, all with a host of health benefits. Meanwhile, Plonk curates an elevated burger experience going back to local aging them, and adding truffle aioli or baby portabellas to make their juicy Classic Wagyu Beef Burger stand out.
In Missoula, great burger joints are everywhere, and regardless of your preference, there's something for everyone. From classic, meaty burgers to vegan-friendly options, Missoula's choices are endless. So, why wait? Head out, explore, and enjoy the best burgers that Missoula has to offer!