Stop in for a good meal in a lovely atmosphere at the Belton Chalet’s Grill Dining Room (406/888-5000, dinner nightly, $20–30). Here you can dine on buffalo meatloaf doused with chipotle gravy. Lighter meals (that same tasty meatloaf, made into a sandwich, about $10) and a variety of microbrews are available from the adjoining Belton Taproom.
A good bet in an unlikely spot (at Glacier Campground) is the West Glacier Cafe (12070 Hwy. 2 W., 406/387-4134, dinner Wed.–Sun.), run by a culinary-school teacher and one of her students. All meals are made from scratch using fresh food; try a grilled pizza.
The food at the Izaak Walton Inn  (406/888-5700, all meals daily, dinner $11–25) is immensely satisfying after a day of cross-country skiing, and it has just enough of a comfort-food factor to keep you eating more. Expect such homey entrées as chicken and dumplings; grilled pork medallions with huckleberry barbecue sauce provide a satisfying nod to gourmet sensibilities here. The dining room looks right out onto the tracks, and railroad workers mix with Essex neighbors, railroad buffs, and cross-country skiers in the dining room. It’s a great place to stop for a meal, and it’ll make most diners want to sign up for a hotel room.