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Last updated on December 1, 2022 by Wandering our World

Polson, a city in Lake County, Montana, is home to one of the biggest natural freshwater lakes in the west of the nation. This picturesque lakeside town serves as a commercial hub for one of Montana’s most productive farming regions and so the community is not only big on locally produced goods, but is also huge on flavors as well.

The views and culinary experiences you get here make it a great place to visit. And with all the local produce surrounding the town, not only is the dining scene diverse – from delicious BBQ to popular Mexican dishes, classic diner fare to Korean – but the restaurants in Polson also strive to take advantage of the farms around them ensuring food is fresh and ingredients are local.

Unsure where to start? We’ll be your guide as we show you the restaurants in Polson, MT where locals always return to. Let’s dive in!

Farm land, and rivers flow through Polson, Montana, United States
iStock.com/David Butler

The Best Restaurants In Polson, MT: Food Worth Waiting For!

1. MacKenzie River Pizza

Iconic local eatery with great views and a comprehensive menu, perfect for a family-friendly night out.

You could say that coming to Polson and going to MacKenzie River Pizza is almost a rite of passage. It’s ranked highly when you ask locals where their favorite hangout spot is, so we’d say it’s a safe bet to head on to.

Affectionately known as ‘Mack Riv’ to loyal patrons, this local hotspot has a ton of different dining options to choose from. So, whether you’re in the mood for salads, soup, pizzas, or burgers, there’s an endless variety of food that looks so scrumptious, you’d want to order the entire menu. They also offer ‘take & bake’ pizzas, so if you want to take one with you to bake for a midnight snack later, no one will judge you!

The wood and stone interior adds to the allure and charm of the place and the real wood tree trunks that extend from the floor to the ceiling actually make you feel like you’re sitting in the middle of a forest, making for some great picture opportunities to send to friends and family. The place also has outdoor seating, so if you want to enjoy the view and soak up some sun, this is the place to be.

They are open Sunday to Thursday from 11 am to 10 pm and on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 am to 11 pm. Making it a great place to go enjoy no matter what time of day.

Whenever you do end up going to Mack’s, the food will always be flavorful and fresh, served in heaping portions and the atmosphere will truly make you feel revitalized and at one with nature.

Address: 207 Ridgewater Dr. Polson, MT.

wood fired pizza on table
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/JulyProkopiv

2. Fiesta En Jalisco

Authentic and traditional Mexican cuisine, popular with locals and tourists alike!

If you’ve been craving some authentic, classic, and fresh Mexican cuisine during your stay in Polson, then a visit to Fiesta En Jalisco must be on the cards.

Fiesta is a family-owned and operated eatery that has many branches scattered around Montana and Idaho, but no matter how much the business has grown, each outlet is still owned and run by a member of the family, making it feel homey and warm. Just what you want on a vacation!

The restaurant’s interior proudly highlights its native roots and you can see how happy everyone from the admin to the staff is to be able to celebrate and share their culture with their customers. There are also Sombrero hats available if you want to take some fun pictures and truly inhibit the spirit of the place. Great for pictures and some fond memories.

Also, if you’re unsure of what to order, then we highly recommend trying out their Tacos Al Carbon, which is a fan favorite and will be a hit for sure. Their margaritas are also delicious so getting some of those for the table would be a splendid idea too.

Apart from these, there are other traditional Mexican entrees that you can try like Flautas and Borregos. There’s a first time for everything and with Fiesta’s it’s bound to end up tasting awesome, so why not try something new? Plus, there’s a separate menu for kids, so if you have little ones and are worried about spice and seasoning levels, choosing something from the kid’s menu would be a godsend.

Fiesta En Jalisco is open 7 days a week. From Monday to Thursday, it’s open from 11 am to 9 pm, on Fridays and Saturdays it’s open from 11 am to 10 pm and on Sundays, it’s open from 11 am to 9:30 pm. Its flexible timings, atmosphere, and food truly make it easily one of the best restaurants in Polson!

Address: 110 Main Street, Polson, MT.

3. Betty’s Diner

Retro-themed, all-American Diner with some breakfast and lunch favorites. Outdoor and indoor seating options available.

The diner used to be an American cultural institution, a truly iconic, community-friendly hangout, with a continuous stream of locals coming in and going out. So if you truly wanted to get a feel and pulse of a city or town, the local diner would be the place to go to, and it’s heartwarming to see how Betty’s Diner keeps that tradition alive in Polson. If you want to feel like you truly belong in Polson, even if it’s just for one night, make sure to stop by Betty’s.

With a classic, retro-inspired interior and some really eclectic décor options which are perfect to snap pictures of or against, Betty’s is sure to warm the hearts of even the toughest critics. The homey atmosphere will put you at ease instantly, while the mouth-watering smell of freshly prepared food will tantalize your tastebuds. There’s even some outdoor seating available for when the weather’s too nice to sit inside.

Their breakfast and lunch menu is a great blend of classic diner items and some quirky additions that are only available at Betty’s like their huckleberry pancakes which make the local berries the star of the dish. So, if you want to get a true taste of what Montana has to offer, then make sure to order those and get a chance to test the native produce.

Betty’s is open Monday to Saturday 7 am to 8 pm, making it a popular breakfast spot. On Sunday’s they’re only open from 7 am to 3 pm, so make sure you check the times before you head out.

Address:  49779 US Highway 93, Polson, MT.

Diner-style Breakfast
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Diana Van Der Sluys

4. Cherries BBQ Pit

Perfect for BBQ lovers, has gluten-free options available, as well as indoor and outdoor dining plans.

When someone says BBQ, you usually automatically think of Texas or the Carolinas but with the addition of Cherries BBQ Pit, Montana truly has a chance to get on the national BBQ radar because this eatery definitely is one of the best restaurants in Polson, if not Montana.

Not only does Cherries slow smoke their meat, but they also smoke it over fruit wood, not pellets, gas, or charcoal as some of other BBQ places do. Which makes for a deep, intense, and rich flavor that delivers on almost every level. So, if you’re in the mood for some of the best ribs and sandwiches in town, Cherries will probably entice you into making more than one visit while you’re in Polson!

If you have some food sensitivities, then the outlet also has some gluten-free options as well. The staff is super accommodating to such concerns too, so make sure to have a conversation with them before placing an order.

With indoor, outdoor, and drive-thru options, you’ll always be thinking of making a pitstop at the restaurant. The outdoor seating is a great option if you want to enjoy the weather, while the indoor seating is perfect in the cooler months because it does get chilly in Montana. The simple interior is adorned in black and red, making the place feel cozy and warm.

However, we do warn you that the delicious aroma of brisket and meat that wafts from the kitchen will make you hungrier than ever while you wait for your order!

Cherries is open only from Monday to Friday, 11 am to 7 pm, and is closed during the weekend so make sure to plan your visit accordingly.

Address: 105 2nd St E, Polson, MT.

Selection of bbq items
Photo for illustrative purposes only (iStock.com/YuraWhite).

5. Oak’s Korean Kitchen

An exquisite addition to Polson’s dining scene with traditional Korean foods, a healthy option for those looking for a fresh meal.

Eating out doesn’t always have to include fried food or heavy mealtime options and Oak’s Korean Kitchen proves that flavorful food can be super healthy for you as well.

This authentic, hand-made Korean eatery is one of the most popular restaurants in Polson to stop by. Its food and location make it a local favorite as well as a hot tourist destination, so make sure you add this to your list of where to go and what to eat.

Even though the restaurant doesn’t have indoor seating, they do have plenty of outdoor seating and many parking spots to enjoy car dine-in services. It kind of makes sense as well because the lake view from this place is breathtaking and so, the combination of having their exquisite food with such relaxing views, makes for a truly special night out.

The menu includes some of the top Korean delicacies like Bulgogi, Yakimandu, and Bibimbap. And if you’re new to Korean food, then the owner would love to help you customize an order to your preferences. She and her daughter are usually around to take orders and love to help their customers navigate through their first Korean cuisine experience.

The restaurant is open Monday – Friday 11 am – 7 pm so there’s plenty of time to fit what is one of the best restaurants in Polson into your itinerary.

Address: 50486 US Highway 93, Polson, MT

asian dishes
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/thesomegirl

6. The Shoe – Lakeview Dining & Spirits

A trendy and chic dining option for those looking for a more sophisticated and elegant evening out. Outdoor spaces available with live music over the weekend.

Looking to enjoy the lake view in all its glory? Well then, The Shoe will be the perfect spot to go to in Polson. Not only is there outdoor seating but even the indoor lounge has huge bay windows that will keep your eyes glued to the absolutely mesmerizing view. The restaurant does a sublime job of making the lake the hero of the show, so if a perfect view is what you are after, this is the place.

With a modern and minimalistic interior, the aesthetic of the place truly adds to the classy and chic feel that this restaurant has going on. The staff is efficient and friendly and the atmosphere is great, making it a good place to relax and unwind while on vacation.

The Shoe is also a local favorite for many community-building events like Saturday night Supper Club and the open Mic competitions that take place every now and then.

Apart from this, lawn concerts and live music also take place over the weekends, so no matter when you go, there will always be plenty of stuff happening, so no wonder this local gem is one of the best restaurants in Polson for views, food and fun!

The menu is simple but expansive with a great wine list and many cocktails and mocktails to complement your meal.

Their steaks and sharable platters are some of the best in town, so those would be something to keep in mind while making a selection. Their pizzas and burgers have some great reviews too, so if you’re going with kids and teenagers, then those would definitely satisfy the pickiest of eaters.

The restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. It’s open from Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 to 9 pm and on Sundays from 11 to 8 pm.

Address: 820 Shoreline Dr, Polson, MT

Chef adding drizzle to fine dining plate
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Kuzmin

7. Blodgett Creamery Coffee Saloon

A perfect, old-fashioned coffee saloon to spend the morning indulging in caffeine and desserts

Sometimes during sightseeing, you want to just make a small stop at a place to nibble on something, when it isn’t exactly lunchtime, and so for those awkward in-between pockets of time, the Blodgett Creamery Coffee Saloon is the absolute perfect destination to wind up at.

Moreover, if you’re a coffee aficionado, then this place will provide you with some of Montana’s finest fresh brewed coffee, made by trained and expert baristas, so you can expect some of the most delicious caffeine blends in the state. Locally owned and operated, this creamery also boasts some great desserts that you can pair your coffee with. Keep an eye out for their daily specials and pick some mouth-watering sweet treats fresh from the oven.

The interior is a whimsical, old-fashioned saloon that feels authentic and adds to the charm of the place. With a lot of wood and natural elements, the spot has some fantastic design choices that will make you marvel at its ingenuity. The highchairs and tables featured also add to the simplistic yet magical feel of the place.

Visit Blodgett’s from Monday to Monday to Friday 7:30 to 2 pm and on Saturdays from Saturday 8 to 2 pm. The restaurant is not open in the evenings and at night, so make sure you add it to your list of places to go to in the morning, as to not miss out on experiencing it.

Address: 325 Main St, Polson, MT.

coffee pressed
Photo for illustrative purposes only: Unsplash+

8. Mrs. Wonderful’s Café

Great for those looking for some fresh and organic food options, with daily specials and decadent bakery items to choose from too!

If you’re big on organic, locally farmed foods and baked goods then Mrs. Wonderful’s Café serves some of the best breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Polson.

This restaurant also hosts an in-house bakery where you can stock up on some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, enjoy a raspberry or huckleberry scone, or indulge in some delicious cinnamon rolls. Home to Polson’s famous organic rustic Italian Boule and sourdough buns too, Mrs. Wonderful’s Café is surely going to be a hit with the entire family.

Launched in 2009, Mary Frances Caselli started Mrs. Wonderful’s on a mission to provide the finest quality products, adding healthy delicious flavors to every culinary endeavor the restaurant undertook. And they’ve since taken that statement to heart, becoming a popular alternative to local fast-food options.

Enjoy anything from their traditional menu or order one of the daily specials. Everything the restaurant makes is big on flavor, plus they have a delightful selection of wine to add to your meal. So, sit back and revel in a perfectly healthy home cooked meal at Mrs. Wonderful.

The restaurant’s interior also plays on the organic and fresh theme with gingham tablecloths and a pot-belly stove that was built back in 1883! Everything about the place is authentic and genuine, making it a perfect spot to visit.

Mrs. Wonderful’s delightful café is closed at the very start of the week, on Mondays and Tuesdays, and opens on Wednesday from 10 am to 2 pm for its lunch service and from 4 pm to 8 pm for its dinner service. On Thursdays, the restaurant opens from 10 am to 2 pm for its lunch service and from 4 pm to 6 pm for its supper service. On Fridays, it’s again open from 10 am to 2 pm and from 4 to 8 pm.

Whereas over the weekend the eatery is only open for breakfast and lunch options from 10 am to 2 pm. It’s always better to check their opening and closing timings before making a proper plan, because of their specific hours. Better to be safe than sorry!

Address: 103B 3rd Avenue East, Polson, MT

Selection of breakfast items
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Los_Angela

The Best Restaurants In Polson, MT: Our Final Thoughts

So, that’s all folks. Our roundup of some of the best restaurants in Polson, Montana.

This place truly has some of the most diverse food options that we’ve seen in small towns, so rest assured that if you’re headed down there, you’ll be in for some hearty and special treats that are almost impossible to find anywhere else in the country.

Make sure to share your culinary experiences with friends and family as well, so that they too can make their way to Polson to enjoy all that the city by the lake has to offer and help support these local lakeside businesses.


  • Wandering our World

    Hi and welcome to Wandering our World! This article was written by one of the Wandering our World team - a team of travel enthusiasts who live around the globe.