Montana has certainly upped it's seafood game in recent years. Now, it's not hard to find good fish, sushi, oysters, and other options from the sea. Where is the best place to get oysters?

The "best" place all depends on what you're looking for - a high end, freshly-flown-in dozen of Kumamoto oysters, or a plate of tasty fried oysters as an appetizer. Both ends of the spectrum are available and reliable.

How do you know when an oyster is bad? Well, always trust your nose. But to really understand how long oysters last after they've been harvested, the Pangea Shellfish Company did a very interesting experiment. It's an easy read and makes it very clear what you can eat and what you should not touch.

NOTE: We gathered this list of Montana restaurants from various review platforms (highest rated) AND some personal experience. There are certainly a few more restaurants across Montana that serve quality oysters, but they may not show up on simple searches for various reasons. None of the restaurants on this list paid to be on it or had any input whatsoever.

1889 in Missoula (104 North Higgins) - Elevated fare yet a menu full of classics. You'll find a proper cocktail hour and dinner service with reservations recommended. Chilled oysters on the half shell are on the Starters menu, along with choices like jumbo shrimp cocktail. Still highly rated but we did notice an increase in conflicting reviews.

Feast Raw Bar & Bistro in Bozeman (270 West Kagy, Suite C) - Feast is a Bozeman favorite for seafood since, as the name implies...that's what they specialize in. Raw oysters by the half-dozen are currently listed at $24, but expect market price. Our experience has been a couple of varieties being offered at a time, and those options change.

Buffalo Block Prime Steakhouse at the Rex in Billings (2401 Montana Avenue) - If you like your steakhouse with a heavy dose of funky Montana history, the Buffalo Block is excellent. Oysters on the half shell, Oysters Rockefeller, and a hefty chilled seafood platter are all available.

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

Brasserie Porte Rouge in Missoula (231 East Front Street) - Only open since March of 2022, this place has been very well reviewed. Reservations are recommended. Oysters (and many other shelled choices) are on the appetizer menu. "The oysters, from Washington, were wonderful and fresh." You'll see this kind of review wherever you look.

Brigade in Bozeman (233 East Main Street, Suite 201) - Brigade is somewhat famous for their Happy Hour offerings, every day from 3pm to 6pm. The HH specials include $3 oysters on the half shell, chef's choice. Oysters are served with housemade hot sauce and black pepper mignonette. (Non Happy Hour prices start at $5 each.)

Cajun Phatties in Billings (2564 King Avenue West, Suite F) - If you want the funky Louisiana Cajun staples, look no further. These guys know what they're doing and their patrons LOVE them. Oyster Po' boys have been very well reviewed in the past. Check the Cajun Phatties link above for their current menu. NOTE: They are TEMPORARILY closed (January 2023) to fix a busted pipe and water damage.

FINN in Missoula (inside the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, 100 Madison Street) - Their fresh oyster bar is the star of Happy Hour from 4pm to 6pm daily. The location of this Missoula restaurant is absolutely stellar - right at river's edge. Plus there is plenty of parking since it's inside the hotel. They often have live music and special events.

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If you know of a restaurant or establishment in Montana that offers a great oyster plate, please let us know. There are some really fantastic seafood-focused businesses across the state, but finding oysters specifically can be more challenging.

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Gallery Credit: mwolfe

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