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“Wonderful Ribs!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Willow Creek Cafe and Saloon

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Willow Creek Cafe and Saloon
21 Main St, Three Forks, MT 59760
406-285-3698
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Ranked #4 of 11 Restaurants in Three Forks
Cuisines: American, Barbecue
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romance, Bar scene, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Helena, Montana, United States
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Wonderful Ribs!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2014

We decided to try the Willow Creek Café since we had heard good things about the food. So, we made reservations and had about an hour's drive from Helena. I had the honey mustard ribs since I read such good reviews about them. Well, the reviews were right - the 1/2 rack of ribs was huge and they were incredible!!! My husband had the chicken fried steak and it was also incredible! Our server was excellent and the prices were very reasonable. It was a great experience and we will definitely plan a return trip!!!

  • Visited March 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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56 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    36
    10
    7
    2
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Montana
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
117 helpful votes 117 helpful votes
“Be sure you reserve in advance”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2014

We have eaten at Willow Creek many times over the years. As other reviews state, the honey mustard ribs are simply incomparable and well worth a journey. In fact, a problem with dining there is that the ribs are so very good that it is hard to justify ordering anything else. Venturing from the ribs, there are usually several specials posted on a chalk board and they are reliably outstanding but beyond that the menu is always the same and tends towards the prosaic, pastas, etc. Those dishes hark back to the days when the restaurant principally served the local farming community. They are hearty dishes but they are not in the league with the ribs and the specials.

An outing to Willow Creek is always a delight. The building is old and has an interestingly checkered history. The staff is "down home" friendly an informal. It is always fun with guests from Europe or a major urban area. As you park in front of the old, plain building and walk in through the bar, they are clearly wondering what they are getting involved with but the answer is that they are stepping back in time to small town America as it once was.

Just be certain to reserve in advance. Willow Creek is very popular and well-known throughout southwestern Montana and can get crowded.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harrison, Montana
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Disappointed in steak and service”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2014

We ate at the Willow Creek Cafe tonight. Although the special was really good (Cajun andoille sausage and shrimp with pasta) the NY steak one of us ordered was terrible--tough, unevenly cooked, and full of gristle. Approximated 50% was not edible. When the waitress (who has worked there a long time )came to take our plates away she never commented on the amount of steak that was left on the plate--it had been cut up and the gristle was left in piles on the plate. Obviously she did not care if the person who ordered it enjoyed the meal or if there was a problem with it. This is beef country, Willow Creek is surrounded with ranches raising excellent Angus beef, but I guess this restaurant isn't concerned about the quality of the beef they serve. We would not have asked for the steak to be taken off the bill, would have paid for it without question, just was expecting some caring on the part of the waitress. We won't be eating there again, which is too bad, as it is a local restaurant for us.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Ribs that are unique and wonderful every time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2013

Since moving full time to Montana, many people suggested the trip to the little town of Willow Creek, right off Route 90 not too far from Bozeman. So, we went and were amazed at the food and the ambiance in this building. I highly recommend the experience. Don't bother to ask them how they do it, it is a well kept secret!

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Helena, Montana
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Friendly folks, great food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2013

Visited Willow Creek Cafe and Saloon after spending the afternoon at the Lewis & Clark Caverns. We arrived just as they were opening and because we had made reservations our table was all ready for us. The people are very friendly and the place is decorated in an eclectic mix of antiques and game mounts. Our group of ten ordered a variety of entrees but most had the ribs, which were very excellent. This place is off the beaten path, but if you like doing local better than the chain places, it doesn't get more local than this.

While our visit was with an intimate group of ten, this would be a great place to go have a romantic dinner as a couple.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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