At the Western Cafe (443 E. Main St., 406/587-0436, 5 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 5 a.m.–1 p.m. Sat., $5–10), you can experience old-time Bozeman; cinnamon rolls come out of the oven at 8 a.m., tabs must be paid before the first of the month, the grill cook is quick, and there’s a jackalope head mounted above the milk dispenser. In short, it’s an old-fashioned Western diner.
For those who would rather drink coffee than eat, the Leaf and Bean (35 W. Main St., 406/587-1580, 6 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 6 a.m.–11 p.m. Sat., 7 a.m.–10 p.m. Sun.) is a good place to hunker down with the morning paper, a pastry, and an espresso drink.
Cateye Café (23 N. Tracey St., 406/587-8844, 7 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Wed.–Mon. and 5–9:30 p.m. Thurs.–Sat., breakfast and lunch about $7, dinner $15–20) is a good-natured and hip spot with a strong streak of retro. All diners, kids and adults alike, are provided with toys to play with while waiting (sometimes for quite a while) for meals to come. At dinner, the homemade meatloaf is tasty.
Another stylish and rightly popular breakfast or lunch spot is Nova Cafe (312 E. Main St., 406/587-3973, $7–12); the menu items are good takes on standards such as breakfast burritos or Belgian waffles, and the specials (lemon blackberry ricotta pancakes) are often inspired. Gluten-free baked goods are available.
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition