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2016 America's Classic: Matt’s Place Drive-In

JBF Editors

May 06, 2016

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Matt’s Place Drive-In

2339 Placer Street, Butte, MT

Owners: Robin and Brad Cockhill

This whitewashed cottage with sky-blue trim opened in 1930 as a drive-in. The staff still deliver some meals curbside to this day, and they remain cheerful curators of community, working the soda-fountain counter in a room lined with midcentury-style wood paneling. The food does the roadside genre proud. Most everyone comes for the crisp, flattop-griddled burgers. The masterpiece is the nut burger, crowned with crushed peanuts mixed into mayonnaise; the topping melds with sliced pickles, tomatoes, and onions righteously. Served with homemade onion rings and a strawberry milkshake made with house-churned ice cream, such a meal is a blissful evocation of Montana’s culinary culture.

The America's Classic award is given to restaurants with timeless appeal, each beloved in its region for quality food that reflects the character of its community. Establishments must have been in existence for at least ten years and be locally owned.

Learn more about the 2016 James Beard Awards.