One of the real hassles of having to use bear storage containers at all times for all food and scented items is you can't picnic on the fly. If you are a camper, especially one on a long trip, you always have food in your car, drinks in your cooler. You can stop anywhere and eat, saving money and enjoying the scenery at the same time. Well, at Yosemite, all of your goodies are in storage lockers, be they back at your camp, or in the parking lot of a hike, a lookout, or even Curry Village. We were at Glacier Point after a long day hike on which we had a fair amount of snacks but once at the viewpoint, we were depleted. We wanted to wait for the best light but realized we were too hungry to do so. The shop at the top had already closed so we had to leave and head back to camp where all our food was. Normally, we could have just gone to the car and grabbed something.
One time, just prior to a backpacking trip, we had found some empty bear lockers at the far end of the Tuolomne Campground where we were going to leave all our stuff while out on the hike. Prior to going, we figured we would cook up a meal and proceeded to do just that on top of the locker. While eating, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a bear was approaching so I quickly jumped up, crammed all the food we were eating into the storage locker and started to throw rocks at the bear. It was an adolescent and retreated quickly but it was still a bit of a fright. Needless to say, we finished up quickly and got on the trail.
We ate here a few times, mostly on occasions when people were visiting and I must admit, I love this place. The setting is very nice--it's part of the old Wawona Hotel, which is beautiful and their Sunday brunches are very good...so is the lunch (the sandwiches aren't expensive, either)
The best part is every Saturday in the summer, they have a lawn barbeque, it's a good time
Favorite Dish: Everything is good, but I enjoyed the barbeques on the weekends
I took a friend for a tour of the park on a busy July day, and after seeing the standing line at the Yosemite Village Grill, I decided we better walk to the Awahnee to save time. The Bar and Patio area have long lunch hours, and so in a pinch one could fill in dinner here too, if the high price or unavailability of reservations at the Hotel Restaurant prevent that fantastic opportunity. The bar has a pleasant patio with a view of the back lawn and swimming pool. The price isn't so bad, but the choices are mainly cold and limited.
Favorite Dish: I've had the Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken, Cold Roast Beef Sandwich with Organic Potatoe Chips, and the Chili. The wine list and bar is extensive enough. Reservations aren't required and space is almost aways available immediately. Service is generally quick and excellent. Sure, prices will be higher than at the Village Grill, but two people can enjoy good service and the ambience of nature for about $50-, including glasses of wine.
The old Wawona Hotel accomodations are a quaint experience, but the restaurant is the better deal. For about $30- two people can have a decent lunch with glasses of wine. The high decorated wood beam ceilings, pine cone chandeliers, and tall casement windows that open towards the lawn and golf course are inspiring enough. The service is quick and friendly. The wine list is similar to the Awahnee Patio Bar, but the lunch menu is much more extensive. Hamburgers and grilled chicken sandwiches with French fries are typical at the lower end, but salmon and beef steaks fill out the upper end of the price scale. The list of organic green salads is impressive enough to match most Bay Area upper end restaurants. I didn't dine for breakfast or dinner, but the advertisements for each were encouraging. Sunday brunch was to be a buffet while the dinner was to be followed by live music and dancing.
Favorite Dish: I don't dine heavily at lunch, so I took the chicken sandwich. It had bacon, cheddar cheeze, lettuce, and dill pickle as garnish, along with a sizeable portion of French fries. The California Chardonnay was as good as one expects from a restaurant wine list.
The Iron Door Saloon is the oldest continously operated drinking establishment in California, and is on the National Registry of Historic places, or whatever that list is called. It got its name from the iron doors at the front and back of the building, which were hauled up to Groveland via horse and cart in the 1800's. The idea being that if fire broke out, they could just shut the doors and keep the building from burning down. Um. Yeah.
Anyway, this is still a very lively bar, night club and restaurant. You can eat in the saloon, or to the building next door, to which it's connected, in a quieter atmosphere. However, if you eat in the bar on an evening when a band is going to play, they'll wave your admission charge for the band.
Favorite Dish: I had the fettuccini alfredo with chicken and veggies. Very good! Of course it was too much food and without a refrigerator and/or microwave in the hotel room, taking left-overs was out. It would be perfect to share with a dining partner though!
Yosemite Village Grill, which is between the Sport Shop and Village Store, has a sprawling deck with picnic tables and umbrellas. Stand in line, make your order for one of the sandwiches or fish & chips, and then wait with the numbered receipt. That's the service. It's fairly quick on most days, but see my tip for the Awahnee Hotel Bar food if your visit is on a crowded summer weekend. Prices are average, considering this a government concession. Don't expect anything but the usual American fast food grub. I usually order the grilled chicken sandwich as I don't like deep fried food. For those who want wine or beer, bottles can be bought in the Village Store, otherwise the grill has a self-serve soda system.
Favorite Dish: Pesto Chicken Sandwich and Chocolate Shake...
The Yosemite Lodge Food Court is at the Yosemite Lodge at the falls. The food here isn't very good, and is overpriced; you'll have to spend about $10 per person. There is regular food court fare like pizzas, salads, sandwiches, etc. Their salads aren't very fresh, either. Not the best place for food in Yosemite Valley; better idea to head across to Curry Village, or as some other people do (we didn't) go to Degnan's Deli.
If you are tired of standing in line with the food tray at the cafeteria, then by all means dine at the Mountain Room Restaurant. The food is uneven in both quality and portions. I had an Alaskan salmon burger, which sort of like a salmon spread turned into burger patty and fried, rather than a fillet. My wife had crab cakes, the two of which were about the size and shape of a silver dollar. But, my dad's chicken greek salad was a pretty good deal in terms of portions. We all stayed clear of the more expensive dinner items and skipped the desserts. A bottle of cheap wine will be triple the price of any other California restaurant. We choose to eat snacks in our room.
What really makes this place worthwhile, besides the decent waiter service, is the laminated beam ceiling room and wall of glass with Yosemite Falls in clear view. There's also an outstanding collection of framed photographic prints to appreciate. Service is good, but there are no reservations, and waiting involves signing up, getting a taser like noise device, and maybe a 45 minute wait.
I was quite surprised to find this resort a few miles from the Wawona entrance to Yosemite. The Tenaya Lodge is very big and modern and has several restaurants inside. We chose Jackalope's which had a nice menu. The Lodge is big as stated and with few dining option locally, all the patrons of the resort go to these 3 or 4 restaurants. We did not have to wait long for dinner. Seated pretty fast. The waiter was attentive but food took a little longer than usual to come out. We had the veggie burger with avocado, roasted red pepper hummus and chipolte mayo with a side of sweet potato fries. Also, the 7 seasoned Ahi. Both were very good and I would definitely repeat.
The Mountain Room Restaurant offers a selection similar to that of the Ahwahnee Dining Room, but at a cheaper price. This restaurant isn't as grand as the Ahwahnee Dining Room but does offer floor to ceiling windows of the nearby Yosemite Falls!
The Loft, situated above Degnan's Deli, serves mostly pizza and beer, much like the Pizza Patio at Curry Village. The pizza here is better in my opinion, however, The Loft is only open to the general public during the summer months. From mid-October to about mid-May The Loft becomes an employee only hangout.
Okay, so not everyone can afford the dining room at the Ahwahnee. But there is a great pub/bar there too that has nice views towards the amazing granite cliffs. The service is friendly, it's open all afternoon and evening, and you can enjoy it on a moderate budget. All orders come with bread (even if you're just getting an appetizer they'll bring it for free if you ask.) A hearty bowl of chili is $8. A beer is about $6. Not a bargain, but combined with the loaction, I think it's unbeatable. At about 6pm on the Friday we were there (March) there was a live piano player. After drinks, we plopped down in a sofa (no, you don't have to be a guest) and enjoyed one of the many fireplaces. Highly recommended!
On our first night in Yosemite we ate at in the bar at the Tamaya Lodge. Although there's also a restaurant, the bar was fine for us. It was a bit crowded and we had to wait about 20-30 minutes for a table, but the service was good and the food was EXCELLENT!!!
Favorite Dish: We all had burgers with various toppings. I forget what was on my mine, but I do remember that it was the best burger I've EVER tasted and it was very filling. I would definitly recommend this place!
Well, this was a terrible choice of restaurant, I would never recommend this place. Our first complaint was that the service was so slow - 45 minute wait to be seated, followed by a further 15 minutes waiting for someone to come and take our order and another 30 minutes for the food to arrive. By which point we were ravenous!!! The food wasn't particularly good either, and when my dad complained about his dinner (a rather stodgy, luke-warm mess that they were trying to pass off as a lasagne!) the manager not only failed to apologise or take any steps to resolve the matter, but he refused even to acknowledge that there was a problem. Not exactly my idea of good customer service. All in all, it was a very disappointing evening.
I hate to write such negative reviews, and even if I've been displeased with something I'll try and add a bit of positive spin to my tips, but try as I might I can think of nothing good to say about this place. I'm sorry.
Jackalope's, named for the mythical animal that is a cross between a jack rabbit and an antelope, is one of the restaurants in the Tenaya Lodge, outside the park.
The atmosphere is casual, and we had some very good homemade soup and a sandwich for dinner.
I have often visited the Awahnee Hotel Dining room. The food is always excellent and is on par in...more
Just to clarify, at least several reviews have included erroneous information about who "runs" the...more
Yosemite Lodge is probably where most package tourists staying in the valley will stay. Rooms are...more