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Yellowstone National Park, WY

Best Restaurants Near YellowstoneOur favorites include some of this destination's best local restaurants—from fine dining to simple fare.

By Inspector 24

You won't find haute cuisine at Yellowstone, but there are plenty of serviceable options for a quick snack or a sit-down dinner. The same concessioner, Xanterra Parks & Resorts, operates all restaurants and hotels in the park. General stores offer fast-food options at Old Faithful, Canyon, Mammoth, Grant, Lake, Tower Falls and Fishing Bridge. For a day on the trails, ask any of the lodges to pack a box lunch (place your order the night before). Most Yellowstone restaurants focus on traditional American dishes with an emphasis on beef, game and fish. Make dinner reservations early—tables fill up quickly in the summer.

Restaurants Near Yellowstone Lake

If you're looking for things for couples to do on vacation, make reservations for the dining room at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel , the park's most elegant choice for dinner. The sun setting over the water makes a stunning backdrop. Start with lobster ravioli, sweet corn bisque or a grilled pear salad. Entrées range from beef tenderloin and rack of lamb to pan-seared duck breast. A seasonal prix fixe menu is available. The restaurant also serves breakfast and lunch; dinner reservations are required. The cafeteria at the nearby Lake Lodge & Cabins serves traditional family fare such as fried chicken, pot roast, spaghetti and children's meals.

The casual dining room at Grant Village offers another lovely view of the lake. This restaurant offers a breakfast buffet and made-to-order omelets and griddle stacks. Soups, salads, burgers and hot and cold sandwiches fill out the lunch menu. Dinner entrées range from bison meatloaf and pork osso buco to linguine with clam sauce.

Places to Eat in the Canyon Village Area

Scenery is the star at the Canyon Lodge & Cabins , which overlooks the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone . Down-home specialties include chicken-fried steak, cornmeal-crusted chicken and pork chops with apple sauerkraut. This restaurant is one of the park's busiest spots for lunch; smart choices include the soup-and-salad bar and build-your-own burgers.

Restaurants in North Yellowstone

In addition to the beef, chicken and ribs on its dining room menu, the rustic Roosevelt Lodge offers a special tribute to Yellowstone's cowboy days—an Old West cookout. Guests travel by horseback or covered wagon to the campfire site for a hearty steak dinner, music and storytelling.

Yellowstone Restaurants Open in Winter

The Obsidian Dining Room at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge is one of the few park restaurants open during the winter. This western-style lodge features a contemporary wildlife motif. Appetizers range from seafood bruschetta to warm goat cheese salad to French onion soup. House specialties include bison rib eye, shrimp étouffée and chicken saltimbocca. The snow lodge's Geyser Grill serves breakfast sandwiches, burgers and deli items.

The former buildings of Fort Yellowstone house several eateries, including the fast-food Terrace Grill (summer only) and the dining room at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel & Cabins (year-round). Along with steaks, prime rib and pork chops, the restaurant offers several vegetarian options and lighter entrées such as pistachio Parmesan-crusted trout and Creole shrimp. The wild Alaska salmon firecracker rolls make a good starter.

Where to Eat Near Yellowstone's West Entrance

If you have time and transportation, there are several dining options just over the border in Montana. (Remember to keep your NPS receipt for park re-admission.) The western gateway to the national park, West Yellowstone is a 30-mile drive from Old Faithful.

As the name promises, bears are the motif at Running Bear Pancake House, and hot griddle cakes are the specialty. Buckwheat, sourdough and whole wheat pancakes flop over the edge of the plate; toppings include fruits, nuts and the traditional favorites—butter and warm maple syrup. Homemade cinnamon rolls, muffins and pies round out the pastry selections. Along with pancakes, this family-run restaurant also serves an array of hearty breakfast and lunch items, including fresh soups and a salad bar.

Serenity Bistro is one of the newer additions to West Yellowstone. The space is small, intimate and casual, and the sophisticated California cuisine is a welcome change from the town's standard fare of pizzas and burgers. The lunch menu is varied—chicken wrap sandwiches, crab cakes on ciabatta bread—and reasonably priced. Dinner entrées reflect the chef's creativity and demand for high-quality ingredients. During the summer, you're likely to find wild trout and salmon, sweet onion soup and fresh berries among the daily specials.

Montana comfort food—steaks, buffalo burgers, roasted chicken, pan-fried trout—is on the menu at Bullwinkle's Saloon & Eatery. The owner named this rustic restaurant after a trophy moose, bagged after years of fruitless hunting. To give you an idea of the meal portions, cheeseburgers and Reuben sandwiches are in the “lighter” section. Don't miss the haystack onion rings (you'll walk off the calories).

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Yellowstone National Park, WY

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