Thanksgiving is here yet again, a time for friends and family to gather together and celebrate each other and all the things they have to be grateful for. And in Missoula, that is really a lot. We know we have a good thing going here in Western Montana, and that extends to more than the amazing community of locals and the stunning wilderness outside our backdoor. Because as much as Thanksgiving is about people, it is also about really, really tasty food, and we have a lot of that in Missoula as well. Friends, family, and food—if you can think of a more "Missoula" holiday than Thanksgiving, we are all ears. If you are wanting to incorporate some local flare and support small Missoula businesses this holiday season, here are some suggestions we have to eat local this Thanksgiving.
We know that Thanksgiving is all about the main event, but a little appetizer never hurt anyone. We recommend a charcuterie tray from Tagliare Delicatessen. Wow your guests with a spread of meats, cheeses, crackers, antipasta, and fruit. These trays are carefully custom crafted, so please allow 24-hours notice. In a rush? Make your own board from their amazing in-store selection. If you want to add some fresh bread to your spread, head on over to Le Petit Outre and grab a homemade loaf or two for your table.
Fill a glass and cheers to you and your loved ones! No matter your drink of choice, Missoula has you covered. Check out the wine and champagne from Missoula Wine Merchants—trust us when we say that you will be blown away by the selection. Looking for something that feels a little more festively fall? Pick up some local cider from Western Cider, Missoula's cidery, for a crisp and delicious accompaniment to your meal. It is always a good idea to stop by the Dram Shop and fill up a growler or two of local beers to please any member of your group. And once the meal is done, toast the end of another successful Thanksgiving with cocktails featuring craft spirits from Montgomery Distillery.
With so many local farms and ranches in the Missoula area, the options for fresh and local produce and meats are endless. To make your shopping easier, we recommend hitting up the Good Food Store to see what local produce they have to fill out your menu. Delicious veggies like carrots, squashes, pumpkins, potatoes, and greens are perfect for traditional Thanksgiving dishes, but don't be afraid to let inspiration take you off the main course and into uncharted (and undeniable delicious) territory. After all, everything tastes better when local!
As for the meat course, Good Food Store does have a great selection of local meats, but you should also make your way to Pattee Creek Market for Montana beef and turkey. No matter which route you go, you cannot go wrong. While Thanksgiving is traditionally all about the turkey, there are so many options to chose from including beef, lamb, chicken, and fish. Try mixing it up or offering a selection. You might surprise yourself with how festive it feels to be non-traditional.
If you are a planner and want a for-sure crowd pleaser, grab a baguette a few days in advance from Le Petit Outre, let it dry out, and use that to make your stuffing or dressing.
Missoula has no shortage of bakeries and shops for you to select your Thanksgiving desserts, but here are some of the old standbys and a few favorites of ours to consider when selecting your perfect Thanksgiving dessert.
Is it even Thanksgiving without pie? We do not want to find out. And in Missoula, nowhere makes up pies like Bernice's Bakery. Their handmade pies come in a variety of flavors and each is as delicious as the next. This is a hot ticket item, so don't wait it out! In addition to pies, Bernice's also has cakes, cookies, and cupcakes to choose from.
For the kids (big and small), cookies are the way to go, and nowhere in Missoula is more fitting than Mary's Mountain Cookies. It is in the name, after all!
Would you like some ice cream to go with that dessert? Of course you do. How silly of us to even ask. Stop by Sweet Peaks or Big Dipper and get a carton of locally made ice cream to serve alongside that deliciously warm pie or crumbly cookie. It will be the perfect pairing to end your amazing Thanksgiving meal.