The failure rate for restaurants is notoriously high, sometimes for reasons completely unrelated to customer satisfaction. But this cold, hard fact doesn’t do a thing to ease my disappointment over the closure of some of my favorite Missoula eateries over the years. This post is a tribute to the fallen dining establishments I miss the most.

  • 1

    Higgins Alley

    The charming, relaxed atmosphere of this little Italian bistro was perfect for pretty much any occasion, from date night to beer-and-pizza night. In addition to providing Ciao Mambo with a bit of friendly competition, it provided diners with tasty specials and menu options at a reasonable price.

    Photo courtesy of projectnada/Flickr
  • 2

    La Parrilla

    In a town with dozens of burrito shops, the harsh reality is that not all of them can survive. It’s like a forest overpopulated with deer — somebody’s got to get eaten by a wolf. Still, whenever I get a hankering for a barbecue chicken burrito, I can’t help but wish the wolf had chosen a different victim.

    Photo courtesy of theCSSdiv/Flickr
  • 3


    Nothing says Sunday morning like a few thick slices of French toast, coffee and live music. This cute little Broadway café was one of the best — and most underrated — breakfast joints in town.

    Photo courtesy of ralph and jenny/Flickr
  • 4


    When I heard the news that Missoula’s beloved river-spanning restaurant was closing its doors forever, I’m pretty sure I cried. In fact, I think I’m still coping with the loss of the best darn wasted-at-three-in-the-morning-omelettes in town.

    Photo courtesy of margaretshear/Flickr
  • 5

    Pickle Barrel

    The sandwiches were pretty good, but the best thing about this little deli — formerly located at the corner of Higgins and South — was the giant barrel full of crisp dill pickles. Yum!

    Photo courtesy of YoAmes/Flickr