As we enter the final few months of 2016, it’s nice to reflect on all the good things that happened in Montana this year. It’s always exciting when new businesses come to town, especially when those businesses serve food. The west side of the state had a few grand openings this year, and these are some of the highlights.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers brought their 1950s style fast-casual food to Missoula in January. Their lean beef steak-burgers, hot dogs, shoestring fries and sweet custard have been well received by the locals.

Caspian opened in Bozeman this spring, bringing delicious Middle Eastern food to the downtown area. The exotic Persian/Iranian fusion menu includes traditional appetizers, entrees and an entire section devoted to kabobs.

Bozeman’s Delicious Bakery has proven to be exactly what its name indicates. In a wheat-producing state that’s known for its excellent bread and pastries, opening a bakery can be risky. Carl McCauley and Fran Zelenitz opened Delicious in June to fill what they felt was a need in the downtown area. Their cinnamon rolls and scones are… well, delicious.

Bank Bar in Wilsall was an old favorite that closed at the end of 2014 for a full year. When they reopened in late December, they added a new full-service restaurant called The Vault down the hall. The menu includes an assortment of pizza and pasta, but it’s best known for its beef. The grass-fed, hormone-free meat all comes from the owners’ ranch, Muddy Creek, which is just two miles away.

It’s been less than two months since Uptown Hearth opened their doors in Columbia Falls. The space serves as a “microbakery”, serving scrumptious pastries and coffee until 4 p.m. The building is also available for private parties and events.

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