For the second year in a row, the Beacon asked readers to send us your favorite meal in the valley. Once again, it wasn’t a competition but rather an opportunity to celebrate the region’s wide-ranging culinary offerings and showcase the community’s equally diverse tastes. If you come across a new favorite restaurant, all the better.
There were no requirements for type of eatery or price, nor did it matter if the dish was breakfast, lunch or dinner.
One reader submitted an enthusiastic vote for “cannabis.” Although the endorsement touted its healing properties, it didn’t fit the technical definition of a dish served at a restaurant, but deserves a mention nonetheless.
Another claimed that the best food is found in her house, made in her kitchen: “from Italian to Chinese and everything in between.” We can’t prove or dispute the veracity of this claim, but we appreciate her confidence, and would like to try one of her meals someday.
A reader told of her personal journey from the seafood-rich coasts of Oregon to Montana, where her search for good seafood led her to Jagz Restaurant. Another couldn’t decide between the shrimp vermicelli at Pho Ly or Saigon Garden, so she advocated for both.
A few restaurants received multiple nominations, including repeat dishes, led by several votes for carnitas tacos at Red’s Taco House in Kalispell. Two Columbia Falls eateries — North Fork Pizza and Backslope Brewing — received more than one mention, including two readers describing their favorite dishes as “the whole menu” and “everything,” respectively.
If anything, the list is a reminder of how much good food is packed into our corner of the state. In the words of one reader, who ticked off a long list of favorites from Babb to Woods Bay to Whitefish, “We are sooooo lucky, gastronomically speaking, in this area!”
Blue Samurai Sushi Bar & Grill | Salmon Lover Roll | Sandi C. — “sooooo good!”
Blue Samurai Sushi Bar & Grill | Surf and Turf Roll | Alisha A.
Blue Samurai Sushi Bar & Grill | Super Crunch Roll | Cliff T. — “I love the combination of smoked salmon on top with tempura shrimp on the inside”
Blue Samurai Sushi Bar & Grill | Surf and Turf Roll | Cheryl D.
Red’s Taco House | Carnitas Tacos | Vickie C.
Red’s Taco House | Carnitas Tacos or Burrito | Chance R. — “(Red’s) is amazing for breakfast or lunch”
Red’s Taco House | Carnitas Tacos | Kelsie B. — “savory pork, crisp veggies, and warm corn tortillas … ugh, to die for, I’m salivating just thinking about them!”
Montana Club | Blackberry Filet Mignon | Jessica J. — “yum!!!!!”
Montana Club | BLT | Amy B.
S&M Taco Truck | The Hammer | Stacia M. — “anything on their menu is phenomenal”
S&M Taco Truck | El Diablo | Jenna A. — “a perfect combo of spice and flavor”
Casa Mexico | Chile Rellenos | Jim G.
Jagz Restaurant | Steamer Clams | Tami L. — “by far surpasses any steamers we have ever had on the Oregon coastline”
Sweet Peaks Ice Cream | Salty Caramel in Homemade Waffle Cone | Megan G.
Sweet Peaks Ice Cream | Huckleberry Ice Cream | Kathy D.
406 Bar and Grill | Mama’s Stroganoff | Vickie C.
Alley Connection | Kung Pao Chicken | Sheryl H.
Sykes Diner | Blueberry Pancakes | Kathy D.
Wilderness Provisions and Eatery | Yak Meatloaf | Patricia N. — “impressed with their unique menu … everything was delicious!”
Chinatown Restaurant | Spicy Sesame Tofu | Paciencia R. — “my absolute favorite … wonderful flavor”
Eagle’s Nest Café at FVCC | Chicken Pesto Sandwich | Maureen H.
DeSoto Grill | Stuffed Baked Potato | Jessica J. — “incredible … and HUGE!!!”
Tupelo Grille | Low Country Shrimp and Grits | Denise S. — “one of the best meals I’ve ever had!”
Swift Creek Café | Duck Confit Benedict | John P. — “melts in your mouth … my favorite place for breakfast”
Wrap and Roll | Fish Tacos | Sundey L.
Amazing Crepes | Sausage, Cheddar, Egg and Veggie Crepe | Jo Lynn B.
Wasabi Sushi Bar | Seafood Yakisoba Noodles | Callie C. — “one of the most flavorful dishes I’ve ever tasted”
Rebel Roots Kitchen | Hawaiian “Rice” Bowl | Nancy S. — “great low carb dish as the ‘rice’ is cauliflower”
Zucca Marketplace Bistro | Adriatic Platter | Courtney S.
Piggyback BBQ | Pulled Pork | Courtney S.
Backslope Brewing | Palette BLT or Bulgogi Beef | Jenny L.
Backslope Brewing | Thai Peanut Rice Bowl | Kelly S. — “anything at Backslope, really!”
The Backroom | Broasted Chicken | Greg S. — “best meal in the Flathead bar none”
North Fork Pizza | Hot Huckleberry Wings and North Fork Specialty Pizza | Stacie B.
Great Northern Gourmet | Beef Pot Roast | Christina S. — “a perfect hardy meal for a cold Montana evening!”
Great Northern Gourmet | Old Man Reuben | Steve D.
Great Northern Gourmet | French Onion Soup | Therese E.
SakeTome Sushi | Grow Wings Roll | Liz M. — “best sushi rolls in the valley”
Old Bridge Pub and Sub | Italian Sub w/ Polenta Fries | Megan M.
Laughing Horse Lodge | Mediterranean Fisherman’s Stew | Megan M.
Bigfork Inn | Cajun Shrimp Pasta | Megan M.
Echo Lake Café | Pancakes and Bacon | Vickie C.
Showthyme ACT II | Truffle Mac and Cheese | Cristina F.
Burgertown | Peanut Butter Banana Milkshake | Kathy D. and Jessica J.
Bonfire | Bacon Bathed Wild Mushrooms | Woods Bay | Britt M. — “delicious, savory and one of my new favorites … to die for!”
Bonfire | Dim Sum Sundays | Woods Bay | Megan M.
Babb Bar Cattle Baron Supper Club | Ribeye | Babb | Courtney S.
Point of Rocks Restaurant | Prime Rib w/ Grilled Shrimp | Olney | Angie J.
Glacier Perks | Brownies | Lakeside | Mary L. — “deep dark thick rich gooey brownies with a hint of espresso, just enough to bring out their chocolate goodness”
Two Medicine Grill | Triple Berry Pie | East Glacier Park | Courtney S.
Josephine’s Bar & Kitchen | 3 Cheese Mushroom Belt w/ Bacon | Coram | Nicolas L. — “truffle caper aioli brings it to a gourmet level!”
Eggs Benedict | Mrs. Wonderful | Polson | Bryan C. — “favorite go-to breakfast of all time … farm fresh eggs … amazing!”
Two Sisters Café | Blackberry Peach Pie | Babb | Courtney S.
Tamarack Brewing Company | Fish Tacos | Lakeside | Laura P. — “these larger-than-life fish tacos are the perfect Montana sized version of a California delicacy”
*Mentions without specific dishes/dishes couldn’t be verified on menu:
Mudman Burgers, Midori Sushi Restaurant, Toast Whitefish, Buffalo Café, Laughing Horse Lodge, Montana Club, Blue Samurai Sushi Bar & Grill, The Brass Tap, Red’s Taco House, Taco Del Sol, Food for the Soul, Latitude 48, 406 Bar & Grill, Great Northern Gourmet, Front Porch Grill House, Backslope Brewing, Sumi’s Kitchen, Mackenzie River Pizza, The Raven, North Fork Pizza, Rebel Roots, Uptown Hearth, Glacier’s Edge Café, Belton Chalet, Bigfork Inn