If a Montanan eats something other than steak, potatoes, and huckleberry ice cream, it's likely he ate it in Missoula. Missoula offers the most diverse menu in all of Montana, with sushi, pho, pad Thai, Irish pubs, a variety of Mexican and Italian fast food and high-class dishes, as well as several organic and vegetarian restaurants.
Chain restaurants tend to not last very long in Missoula; the city puts a huge emphasis on locally-grown food, and its residents always choose a Liquid Planet or a Break Espresso over the likes of a Starbucks. Taco Del Sol and MacKenzie River Pizza Company are the most popular chain restaurants, and they're both only Western chains. Pita Pit's late-night hours, downtown location, and low-fat options make it UM's favorite national franchise. Missoula offers seafood and steak options, too, at the classy Finn & Porter, with a view of the Clark Fork River. The Pearl Café, which claims "country fare with city flair," serves lobster, duck, and freshly-caught trout. As for dessert, the locally-owned Big Dipper Ice Cream beats out the chains Dairy Queen, Baskin Robbins, and Cold Stone (though it may only beat Cold Stone because of its closer proximity to the University and downtown area).