It’s not hard to find a meal in Red Lodge —the town boasts of having more restaurants per capita than any other place in Montana.
One particularly pleasant spot is Bridge Creek Backcountry Wine Bar (116 S. Broadway, 406/446-9900, 8 a.m.–10 p.m. daily, dinner $12–35), a lovely little place with sidewalk seating, a coffee bar, and a small gourmet marker as well as a regular sit-down restaurant section. At lunch, a variety of wraps and sandwiches are offered ($6–9); dinners range from soba noodles with veggies to duck pot pie. Wine pairings are suggested on the menu.
The Red Lodge Pizza Company (115 S. Broadway, 406/446-3933, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Sun.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Fri.–Sat. summer, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.daily winter, $3–4 per slice) serves passably good pizza, and it’s available by the slice, making for a quick inexpensive lunch. It’s also a good place to bring kids.
For a casual lunch or dinner, Bogart’s (11 S. Broadway, 406/446-1784, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. daily) is a longtime Red Lodge favorite serving pizza and large portions of fairly standard Mexican food in a comfortable cabin-like setting.
A bright spot for the bleary-eyed, Coffee Factory Roasters (6 S. Broadway, 406/446-3200) roasts beans and serves espresso and desserts.
Find the other kind of brewing at Sam’s Taproom (417 N. Broadway, 406/446-4607, 2–8 p.m. daily), adjacent to the Red Lodge Ales Brewing Company.
Another good place to get a beer is Natali’s (117 N. Broadway, 406/446-3333), though if you really want to kick up your heels, that’s best done across the street at the Snow Creek Saloon (124 S. Broadway, 406/446-2542).
Red Lodge’s fanciest dining is offered by The Dining Room (406/446-0001, 7–11 a.m. and 5–9 p.m. daily, dinner $18–28) at the Pollard Hotel. Steaks are from natural Angus beef from Montana; chops, fresh seafood, pasta, and game dishes also appear on the menu, and the wine list is extensive.
Cafe Regis (16th and Word, 406/446-1941, 6 a.m.–2 p.m. Tues.–Sun., $6–8), located in a nicely renovated old grocery store two blocks west of the main drag, has a less touristy feeling than most Red Lodge restaurants. The back doors open onto a patio that bumps up against town’s community gardens. It’s safe to say that the Regis has the best barbecued tofu in town (it really is good).
Head seven miles east of town to the Bear Creek Saloon (Hwy. 308, 406/446-3481, 5–10 p.m. Thurs.–Sun., May–Sept. and Dec.–Mar., $8–27), known as much for its pig races as its food (though the charbroiled steaks are tasty). Every 15 minutes, another group of porkers toes the line. Thanks to special state legislation, it is legal to bet on the pigs.