What's the first image that comes to mind when you think of a physical location for a restaurant? For me, it's a standalone building or a place in a commercial structure that serves food. Pretty standard. But what if I told you that some of the best restaurants in Montana you might not have heard of are either located inside or connected to another, completely different business?

Gas stations are known for two things, gas and cheap snacks/drinks. Occasionally, you'll see a cookie-cutter food option like the big truck stops with national franchises (remember Hot Stuff Pizza?) The thing is, Montana has quite a few locally-owned options that get overlooked just because they're associated with a gas station.

Here in Bozeman, we have a few really good restaurants located inside or connected to gas stations. There's Cosmic Pizza connected to the Loaf 'N Jug on 19th and Main, highly regarded in Montana for its incredible pizza. Then there is Albertano's Mexican Food right off the 7th Avenue Overpass. They have great burritos and other Mexican treats.

Townsquare Media Bozeman

Right outside of Bozeman there is Bair's Broadway Diner in Belgrade and the Yellowstone Travel Plaza in Livingston. Both of these spots are packed during the morning and on the weekend, which makes me think there are more than travelers and truckers visiting these spots.

Then if you want to travel further, there is The Trough in Missoula. This place is in a Conoco gas station but it's one of my parent's favorite restaurants to go to when they visit my sister. It's simply wild to think about.

The Olde Dairy/The Trough via Facebook

I think a lot of folks might discredit a restaurant for being connected or inside of a gas station and that's just wrong. These places are some of the tastiest, most affordable dining options around and not like the trendier, much more expensive establishments that get all the buzz on social media.

So the next time you see a restaurant connected to a gas station and you're feeling a little hungry, why not give it a try? Chances are you'll come away satisfied, full, and happy with the money you saved compared to an expensive and packed downtown brunch.

Want Ribs? 20 BBQ Restaurants in Montana To Help Your Hunger

Every Montana Restaurant That Has Been Featured on Food Network

Ten Possible Michelin Star Restaurants in Montana