Red Lodge Cafe

Review by: Michael Stern

What to expect at Red Lodge Cafe

The Red Lodge café is a good reflection of the character of Red Lodge, Montana: eager to please with all modern facilities, yet ingenuous and charming like a mid-20th century tourist stop. The town (once, the home of mountain man Jeremiah Johnson) has been discovered by skiers and tourists heading down through Montana on the scenic route to Yellowstone Park, but it has not been overrun. The town is the real west, and this colorful café serves food to match.

What to eat at Red Lodge Cafe

For breakfast, you’ll want to eat jumbo omelets or blueberry buckwheat pancakes, and sip coffee long enough to eavesdrop on the conversations of locals and passers-through. The lunch menu features such stalwart items as country-fried steak and potatoes and buffalo burgers, as well as some fine deluxe hamburgers. For dessert, everybody has pie: apple or berry pie or, best of all, banana cream pie, which is a tender pillow of pale yellow custard that eats better with a spoon than a fork.

The restaurant itself has a western theme, but there is something for everyone from morning to night: keno, weekend karaoke, and the strangest-shaped pool table we’ve ever seen. Lighting fixtures above the dining room are made of wagon wheels, the ceiling is stamped tin, and the walls are bedecked with painted wooden totem poles and spectacular murals of scenery along the 11,000-foot Beartooth Highway that leads from here to Yellowstone. The two-lane highway is closed by snow in the winter, but once it’s open, it is a spectacular trip. Charles Kuralt once called it “America’s most beautiful road.”

What To Eat



Red Lodge Cafe Recipes


What do you think of Red Lodge Cafe?

2 Responses to “Red Lodge Cafe”

Christine Donlin

January 29th, 2011

Was there about eight years ago and had a great breakfast!


Nancy Eakin

December 17th, 2008

My advice is to “Stick with the pie!” We were not impressed with our meal otherwise.

The ribs had to be cut apart, and what little meat there was was tough. The salad was basically a pile of iceberg, although the dressings were good and served on the side. The mashed potatoes tasted like instant. The rolls were unremarkable.

Our meal included dessert, which was lemon pudding. I imagine it’s the same as the lemon meringue pie filling, and it was excellent: creamy and smooth, not too thick, and not too sweet. The coconut cream and the lemon meringue were recommended to us as just-from-the-oven. We got two slices to go: one blueberry and one blackberry. Both were delicious.

The service was considerate, and the prices low, but the desserts were definitely the high point!


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