As Bozeman grows and changes at an astounding rate, it’s nice to see some of our favorite Bozeman businesses stick around.
This one is getting a fresh burst of popularity thanks to the younger generations having found out about it. It’s also where everyone wants to bring visitors to give them the “Montana” experience. What we love about this classic is that it hasn’t changed…it’s in the same location, same awesome food and the same feeling of nostalgia for old Bozeman.
Bozeman is in the process of turning North 7th Avenue into “Midtown” but the Cat’s Paw is there to stay no matter what they call it! From the big signage outside to right when you walk in, you know you’re someplace cool. Not in the “new Bozeman” cool way, but the old school way.
Photo courtesy of Cat's Paw
VARGO'S JAZZ CITY AND BOOKS
Oh, how we love Vargo's! It’s a funky vibe from the minute you walk in and you could spend hours wandering around the aisles. From the unique selection of records, featured Montana authored books, staff picks marked throughout the store to jazz floating in the background, there really is no other store in Bozman like Vargo's.
The good old Molly Brown, Scoop and Haufbrau make up the triangle of bars known by most who’ve gone to MSU here as the Barmuda Triangle. How convenient to go from one bar to the next by just crossing the parking lot? You can play poker in the Molly, shoot some pool at the Scoop and then listen to live music at the Hauf. Make sure to get a burger while at the Haufbrau if you haven’t before.
This has been locally owned and family operated in Bozeman for over 45 years. We have loved this specialty store for all those years! They are the best place to go pick out a charcuterie board and a bottle of wine before a party or to grab dinner on your way home from work. Joe’s has always been the go-to place on the south side of Bozeman.
Photo courtesy of Joe's Parkway
THE PICKLE BARREL
No Bozeman classic list would be complete without Pickle Barrel! It has changed owners over the years, but luckily the vibe and sandwiches have not changed a bit. You can still go in on any given day and squeeze in the small shop, order your sandwich, grab a pickle and enjoy the deliciousness. If it’s summer, don't forget to grab some ice cream next door.
This whole section of College Street is full of classics so we’ll just keep on it! Colombo’s has been serving up pizza and pasta to Bozeman for over 26 years. Just walking by you can smell the pizza. What’s great about Columbo’s is the casual atmosphere hasn’t changed much. There’s still a mix of bench seats tucked in the back, and then a bigger room attached with games for the kids. There’s still the awesome food and of course the salad bar!
Photo courtesy of Colombo's
While downtown Bozeman has changed, Cactus Records has remained the same quirky store. Even the smell when you walk in is the same! Cactus is the place to find unique gifts and classic vinyl. (A solid place to look for holiday white elephant gifts!) They also are the spot to get tickets for any local shows in town.
Photo courtesy of Cactus Records
TOWN AND COUNTRY
Known by locals as T&C this is our all-time favorite grocery store in town and while they’ve expanded over the years, the original store on 19th Ave has kept all its charm. It’s the type of place where you say hi to the employers when you walk in. We’ve heard rumors they are moving to the west side of town and while we will greatly miss the store on 19th it won’t stop us from shopping there!
With the rise of online shopping and big-box bookstores, we are sure happy Country Bookshelf has withheld the test of time. This charming bookstore has every book you can imagine and you can get lost browsing their selection.
The place to go on the south side of town for gas and that gallon of milk on your way home. Anyone who grew up in Bozeman probably remembers biking to Kagy Corner for ice cream with friends!
Photo courtesy of Kagy Korner
It’s great to see all the local grocery stores on this list are still around. It goes to show you, Bozeman is loyal to their neighbors. This Bozeman classic started in 1947 by Ernie Heeb and is everyone’s favorite on the east side of town. They just recently opened a brand new store a few blocks up from their original location. Same great people and we love their new policy of no tobacco!
This may not be quite as “classic” as some of the others having been established in 1986. However, with all the breweries that have opened in Bozeman over the years, we have to give a nod to the first. Bozeman Brewing sits quietly on the northeast side of town serving up great beer. They don’t try to be fancy like all the others, there is just a popcorn maker and the occasional food truck. We’re happy Bozeman Brewing has stuck around and is on it’s way to becoming a solid Bozeman classic.