As you drive around the park you will begin to realize the huge size of the park, but don’t despair, besides the restaurants listed in my previous tips there are a number of other eating options throughout the park. So if the Obsidian is too crowed, and the better restaurants are filled with reservations, there are other choices. Some of these are cafeterias, and some are just a sit down counter. We have not eaten in some of these.
In the Old Faithful Area, besides the two restaurants I have already mentioned there are a number of other choices. There is a snack shop in the lobby of the Old Faithful Inn, for purchasing something quick to eat. The Geyser Grill ia located in the Snow Lodge. This grill is a quick service restaurant which serves breakfast sandwiches, burgers and deli selections. The Old Faithful Lodge Cafeteria is in a building built with a wonderful view of the Geyser Basin. The prices are quite reasonable and they have such things as sandwiches, salads, and pasta.
In the Grant Village Area there is The Grant Village Lake House, and The Grant Village Dining Room, which is another restaurant that requires reservations for night dinners.
In the Canyon Area, There is the Canyon Lodge Cafeteria, which is a place where you can get a quick, reasonably priced meal. In the Canyon Lodge Deli you can get freshly made sandwiches and chicken. This is especially nice if you wish to pack along a picnic for your drive around the park.
In the Lake Area besides the wonderful Lake Hotel, there is the Lake Hotel Deli, where we grabbed a sandwich once when we were up for the day. The sandwich was wonderful, and reasonably priced. You could also get soup and desserts there. The Lake Lodge Cafeteria is also located here, I have not seen it, but I am assuming that the prices and food quality would be similar to the other cafeterias in the park, so it should be a reasonable quick meal.
Besides the wonderful Mammoth Dining Room in the Mammoth Area, there is also the Mammoth Terrace Grill. Here you can get food items such as soups, salads, burgers, and ice cream.
In the Roosevelt Tower Area you will find The Roosevelt Lodge Dining room. I have never been in this dining room, but if I was in the area I would not hesitate to eat here, should I want a meal. Again it is the same concessionaire as the others.
Favorite Dish: You will also find lunch counters in a few of the gift shops. We often stop at the Fishing Bridge gift shop and purchase an ice-cream cone made from Wilcoxson’s ice cream. It is funny, because last time we did this, the cone was really small, and our two scoops of ice cream were huge, so they served it to us upside down in a small plastic bowl, the cone on top, and a little spoon on the side.
Canyon Lodge Dining Room’s casual atmosphere includes a lovely copper fireplace, which I have shown in my main photo. This restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with items on the menu ranging from various types of burgers to steaks and prime rib. The breakfast menu offers such traditional choices as eggs, pancakes, muffins, cereal, bacon, sausage, ham, biscuits, and home fries, or you may choose a buffet.
I have heard that this is a good, reasonable priced restaurant, but I have to be honest, and tell you that I have only eaten lunch here once, and I was less then impressed. I ordered a “Mediterranean Tuna Pita,” which was described as a pita pocket filled with a Mediterranean style tuna salad, as well as sliced tomato and romaine lettuce. Potato salad was served on the side. I am not sure what made this a Mediterranean style, as the tuna salad tasted like any other average tuna salad. I guess the Mediterranean style was that it was in a pita bread instead of a roll or sandwich bread. The problem was that the quality of the pita was rather poor. Think the cheapest pita bread you would purchase in an ordinary grocery store, and that is what I had. The potato salad was decent, although not outstanding. It wasn’t a terrible lunch, but if we every eat here again, I’ll choose something else. My second photo shows my lunch plate.
Lake Hotel Dinning Room is a restaurant where you can get a delicious meal while dining in the elegant Lake Hotel. This is the oldest hotel in the park, constructed in 1889, with additions added later. The hotel stands on the shore of the Yellowstone Lake and offers a grand view of the lake. The menu is varied, and the descriptions of the many dishes will make your choice a hard one. Dinner reservations are necessary for the same reasons as stated in my Old Faithful Inn Dinning tip, and therefore should always be made well in advance. The restaurant is open from late May through late September.
Favorite Dish: I love the tiramisu for dessert, if it is offered, this is the same tiramisu as in the Old Faithful Inn.
At the end of our second day in Yellowstone, we continued south and exited via the South Entrance for the 16 mile drive in Grand Teton NP to reach our pre-booked two-night stay at Jackson Lake Lodge. That evening was spent sitting at their outside Blue Heron Bar patio with a fantastic view of the Teton Range mountains just across the lake.
Favorite Dish: We just went for the appetizers again as we talked and enjoyed the ambiance of the setting, with Sue ordering a Rice Paper Vegetable and Herb wrap with mint-citrus soy dipping sauce ($6). I continued my seafood theme from the previous night, with Large Poached Prawns with cocktail sauce and grilled lemon ($7). Both meals were delicious as we shared them, while enjoying a glass ($8.50) of wine each in such a peaceful setting. We had a few other meals there too, but that is a story for my Grand Teton National Park page.
After checking into our room at the Yellowstone River Motel, I went back to the front desk and asked the owner if he had any suggestions for a good restaurant – Rosie’s Grill was one of the two he mentioned. It was only a block or two walk away and looked like quite a nice spot, even having an outdoor upper deck. We decided to stay at steeet level, close to the large windows that provided a good view across to the nearby Roosevelt Arch into Yellowstone NP. The guy who took us to our table and also our food orders seemed to be very knowledgeable and we had good discussions with him.
Favorite Dish: In the end, Sue decided on their Bruschetta, a grilled Tuscan style bread bun topped with fresh tomato, onion, garlic and basil ($7). I decided to remain outlandish with Stuffed Mushrooms, consisting of button mushroom caps stuffed with mozzarella, Italian sausage, house smoked Provalone and jumbo Maryland shrimp ($9). Both of these dishes were just appetizers but filled the bill quite nicely for us. We really enjoyed them as we took our time talking about our first day in Yellowstone, so much so that I forgot to take a photo of the food before it was almost gone!
There was a small group of Chinese guests sitting next to us, and we had some conversation with them helping to explain what some of the menu items were, as did our server when he returned to their table. With two glasses of wine each and a tip, our bill came to $34 and it was well worth it!
It was about four and a half hours after we left Billings that we reached the small community of Cooke City, after many stops to admire the fantastic scenery of the Beartooth Scenic Highway as we climbed up to the 11,000-ft level while nearing Yellowstone's Northeast Entrance. This small community consisted of a string of stores and restaurants stretched along both sides of the wooded valley in which it lay. It seemed to be quite packed with visitors but we did not want to stop for long, so were quite pleased to find a little cabin called The Loving Cup Cafe, empty except for a young chef and one other customer. Their menu looked interesting, so we placed our orders and before long were enjoying our lunchtime (1:30 PM) snack in the sunshine on their small outside terrace at streetside.
Favorite Dish: Sue went for a Veggie Hummus Bagel, consisting of "hummus, cucumbers, carrots, onions, sweet peppers, tomato and cheddar" in a bagel while I tried something with a bit of zip to it, a Porter Bagel with "ham, swiss cheese, onions, peppers and jalapenos on a toasted everything bagel", according to their menu.
Wow, they were really good and fresh too - we watched the guy make them! At US$5.50 each, we had nothing to complain about and left Cooke City with smiles on our faces.
We had two dinners and two breakfasts in the dining room at Lake Yellowstone Hotel and were very happy with all of these meals. In addition to the good food, the room is very light and airy and the staff were ultra friendly (though the service was a little slow at one of the breakfasts).
We found the menu more interesting than the one at the Old Faithful Inn though as both are operated by Xanterra some of the same dishes appear on both. Our dinner choices were;
1st evening – shared a great lobster ravioli starter, then I had pan-seared duck breast with a lemon-chive sauce, wild mushroom bread pudding and vegetables (very good apart from the rather stodgy bread pudding) and Chris had a pasta dish
2nd evening – both started with a cup of soup (sweet corn bisque for me, gazpacho for Chris) then I had a salmon special and Chris the free-range sauteed chicken breast with seared foie gras, madeira poached apple and lyonnaise potatoes, about which he enthused a lot!
And if you do dine here, make time for a cocktail in the lovely lounge first – I can highly recommend the ruby red cosmopolitan, but they also mix a great martini.
Reservations by the way are essential here. I called several weeks before our visit (in early September) but had to settle for dinner at 8.15 on one evening, rather than our preferred 7.30 slot.
Favorite Dish: My favourite would have to be the lobster ravioli while Chris would probably say the chicken breast.
Or maybe it was that cosmopolitan???
Yellowstone is always thinking of the family and those on a budget. As the world's first national park, it has always striven to be accessible for all. One of its great features are convenient and numerous picnic stops along its extensive road network. While there are indoor dining options for all price ranges, you can't beat eating at one of these little spots for price or scenery. We loved this one right on Yellowstone Lake.
Favorite Dish: The sun popped out for just long enough for some Tillamook Sharp Cheddar and Wasa Bread. Though Yellowstone is bear country and proper food storage is necessary, the bears in this park are not as aggressive as in Yosemite where you have to lock all food up at all times. It was nice always having our cooler with us so we could just pull over whenever we saw a nice spot and were in the mood for something to eat.
I would not raccomend to go there if you are on the other side of the park, but if you are in the area, it can be a nice stop. The food is not different from the other restaurants of the park, i.e. a lot of burgers!!!
The atmosphere was very nice. If you chose to, they have a section for just adults, so you don't have to listen to small children as you eat. We had children :)
A lot of times when you are in open dining rooms like this one the noise level is so bad! This was not as bad because of the high ceilings.
The menu included buffalo and a few other different meats. I like buffalo and their cooking of the buffalo pot roast was average. Others in our group really liked their meals. Everyone seemed to like their meal. There were 5 adults, one teen and 2 toddlers, the bill was well over $100.
Since we were spending two nights in West Yellowstone, Montana we took some time after viewing the northern part of Yellowstone to tour the tonw. We stopped in the Timberline Cafe for an evening meal. I had an Idaho Baked Spud with chili which was very good. My husband got the Angus Burger and french fries. We shared our meals with each other and my husband made the comment "We were eating like Irishmen - two potatoes with our meal".
I liked the decor in this place - it had a western, open beam style.
I would definitely recommend eating here while you're in West Yellowstone.
Favorite Dish: I love baked potatoes - and the chili that topped these spuds was very good indeed.
We stopped at an antique shop when we got to West Yellowstone. The gal in there recommended the 1/2 broasted chicken at Bullwinkles. So we did that. It was quite a large restaurant, quite Western and pleasant - we were seated at the back.
We agreed on the broasted chicken and decided to split it. It was advertised as a "lighter" meal and we also ordered a salad to split, asking for an extra plate. When our meal came there was an inordinate amount of french fries on each plate with the chicken - there were so many fries I couldn't even eat all of mine. We thought the chicken was tasty but rather dry. When we got our bill we were charged $3.49 for the split plate. We did not see that on the menu, or were we told that by our server, but when we mentioned it to the manager, we did see it in tiny print at the bottom. We could very well have not mentioned it - purchased one meal and one salad and split it ourself. I can hardly see the reason to pay extra to split something, get more food and still not be able to eat it when that was what we were trying to avoid in the first place. The chicken itself was only $10.99 so it was no big deal about the added charge.
I personally thought all the entres were rather high priced but perhaps the prices reflected the tourist area we were in at the time.
Favorite Dish: We only had the broasted chicken. The garlic bread that came with it was good.
We stopped for dinner at Old Faithful Lodge (not the Inn or Snowlodge). There were lots of options, sandwiches, soups, prime rib, b-que ribs. I had Buffalo meatloaf. My husband enjoyed the ribs. It isn't anything fancy, though prices would make you think it was, but it was good and you can't beat the view out the window of Old Faithful Geyser.
We found this very good restaurant in West Yellowstone. Actually, it was one of the only ones open in the winter. All the locals were there, so we thought it would probably be good. It is located in the middle of town (West Yellowstone) across from the supermarket. At first glance, the food seemed a little pricey, but the portions were huge. We went the following night and shared there signature salad, and we both had plenty to eat. All the food looked great. They didn't have a children's menu, but if you ask, they will make a half order and charge you much less.
One of the 3 Cafeterias in Yellowstone, what stands out in my mind about this cafeteria is the "so ugly it's good" Mission 66 building it's located in. For those that don't know, Mission 66 was the name of a major re-building project the National Park Service undertook in the early 60's. Most of the architecture was hideous 60's mod. At the time it was supposed to look futuristic. Today it looks like something else. The Park Service is facing a dilemma with their Mission 66 building. Most of them are woefully inadaquate to handle today's crowds. Many were built poorly and are falling apart. But, they are over 40 years old now, and are getting to be historic in their own right.
But back to the Canyon Cafeteria. As I said in another post, I think the Yellowstone cafeterias are a good bargain for where they are, and have a good selection of hot entrees. The Canyon Cafeteria had a Pasta Station, as well as a Grill Station. There were also chicken and fish entrees. Most hot entrees were in the $8 range.
North Rim Drive, Wyoming, United States
Good for: Solo
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