The community of Bozeman holds many dining options to choose from, and there’s something special about using time in the Wild West to get a taste of mountain flavor. Few do this so well as The Western Cafe. From tasting your way down the menu to taking a moment to appreciate the history of the building, there’s a whole lot to savor here. Let’s get to know one of our neighborhood favorites: The Western Cafe.
What exactly makes up western flavor? It starts with homey comfort food made from top-quality ingredients, cooked up fresh to order. Come expecting a wait during the breakfast rush, but know that any delay is well worth it. They call themselves the Last Best Cafe for a reason. This is a classic diner, the cozy watering hole that locals love to come to, morning after morning, to sip coffee and shoot the breeze.
You can’t go far in Bozeman without hearing about the Bobcat Special – cinnamon roll slices served French toast style. Add in your choice of meat, hash browns and two eggs and make it a Bobcat Breakfast. If you fall hard for those cinnamon rolls, you can also pick them up on their own to enjoy while you sip your coffee. Of course, you’ll find all the breakfast staples too, with hearty burgers and sandwiches for lunch. No matter the time of day, each dish is worth savoring.
Western Cafe makes a point of recognizing and embracing its historic roots. The building is one of the last remaining of Bozeman’s earliest residential buildings, and you can still see evidence of its origins in the details. Built in the mid-1870s, the structure is more or less the same today as when it was first constructed. It was a residence for about 60 years, and it’s spent the past 80 or so as a restaurant, laying down a long tradition of good food and better service.
Western Cafe was honored by the Gallatin Watershed Council as the 2020 Super Business Steward. In order to be recognized, they showed their commitment to sustainability and protecting waterways by planting, maintaining, and hand-watering a garden on their property; composting all their coffee grounds locally; choosing plant- and pet-friendly ice melt; installing toilets with lower water usage; incorporating compostable to-go containers and utensils; and more that we’ll get to in a moment. By prioritizing the earth, they are paving the way to the future, literally.
As a part of their commitment to protecting watersheds, Western Cafe took a hard look at their sidewalk when it came time for a redesign. Instead of going for the obvious choice of concrete, they took soil hydration and drainage into account with one smart sidewalk. Permeability was key in this equation, since serving as a stormwater management solution while matching concrete for durability and strength was a top priority. They settled on permeable pavers, which convey the historic charm of the building while offering so many modern benefits.
While you stay in downtown Bozeman at one of VRBozeman’s properties, embrace the Western Cafe as your neighborhood watering hole. Just three blocks from both our Loft 503 and the Vintage House, you can easily walk to coffee and breakfast, taking in historic downtown along the way.