Visiting Glacier National Park? Stick around to explore a nearby valley filled with organic farms and seriously fine food
Where it all began
Nearly 60 farms dot the Flathead Valley surrounding the town of Whitefish, MT, but Terrapin Farm (6505 Farm to Market Rd.; 406/862-6362) gets credit for launching the area’s organic craze. Stop by on Saturday (2-6) to stock up on beans, greens, herbs, and flowers. Schedule a tour, and pick up a Farm Hands map (whoisyourfarmer.org) for a list of other farms worth a stop.
Meet the locals
Pet the tame “yard” yaks that lope over to greet you like dogs at Spring Brook Ranch in nearby Kalispell (by appointment; 406/257-7021). Besides Tibetan yak meat, the 1,000-acre ranch produces and sells bison meat, but don’t expect to see any of those bounding around the front yard.
Where to eat in Whitefish
The nicest place to eat in town, with a full-time sommelier, is the snug-yet-swank Cafe Kandahar ($$$; closed Sep 25–Dec 3; 3824 Big Mountain Rd.; 406/862-6247). The menu—say, grilled buffalo tenderloin drizzled with a morel-chèvre demi-glace—is designed around whatever’s fresh in the valley that day.
The patio at Pescado Blanco ($$; 235 First St.; 406/862-3290) is the best place to camp out on sunny afternoons, but it’s the food that keeps the crowds coming back. Flathead Valley produce gets a south-of-the-border twist with bison enchiladas, elk chorizo, roasted beet salad, and tacos carnitas.
Where to stay
The cozy Garden Wall Inn (from $155, including breakfast) was using all locally grown produce in its three-course breakfasts long before locavore became a buzzword. We love the daily fireside afternoon wine and cheese, claw-foot tubs, and easy access to downtown Whitefish.