Television food shows are extremely popular. Taste of Home says that before food programs became common on the small screen, cooking and food were featured on a radio program called the "Betty Crocker School of the Air," which ran from 1924 to 1945. Whichever female happened to be hanging around the studio at the time of the broadcast got to play the voice of Betty Crocker. "The French Chef" with Julia Child was big on TV in the '60s and classic episodes are available to stream at PBS.org.

There have been a plethora of cooking programs ever since. Then came the popularity of various "reality" food shows. Instead of actually cooking recipes on television, producers and hosts found it easier (and perhaps more entertaining for the masses) to simply drive around the country and basically review restaurants. Guy Fieri hosts his infamous "Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives" show and "Man vs. Food" debuted in 2008, with the hosts taking on various gluttonous food challenges. Foodies miss the higher-brow angle of the late Anthony Bourdain's program, where he traveled the globe to try unique international dishes while giving viewers an interesting insight to local culture.

Many small, mom-and-pop type eateries experience big spikes in food sales after being featured on one of these types of shows. We all love to see our local restaurants "make it big" on national TV. There have been a number of Montana restaurants and bars featured on these programs, including a few here in Billings. Check out the gallery!

H/T TV Food Maps! See their complete list of Montana restaurants and bars that have been featured on national TV HERE.