Welcome back YellowstoneLoon!! I’m glad that you didn’t cxl the trip! You have filled in the blanks for all those questions that you had a few months ago. On behalf of future readers, thanks!
We just returned from a week in Yellowstone/Grand Teton. Lots of options for eating:
In YNP park: Cafeterias at Lake and Canyon are reasonable, food is
Roosevelt Lodge has old fashioned "western style"
cooking–ribs and "Rosie beans" are great–reasonable
Yellowstone General Stores (formerly Ham Stores) have
grills and Wilcoxins ice cream (can’t be beatr!).
Old Faithful Inn and Lake Hotel have more formal dining
rooms–but the atmosphere is better than the food–also
slightly more pricey.
West Yellowstone: Pete’s Pasta and Pizza–self explanatory menu, good
food, reasonable prices.
Running Bear Pancake House–family owned, good food
reasonable prices–worth the normal wait.
Bullwinkle’s–a Green Bay Packers themed bar–mixed
menu, varied prices–most food good
Arrowleaf Ice Cream–not as good as Wilcoxins, but
better than most
Gardiner: Helens– burgers, both traditional and buffalo–drive-in
type restaurant, but reasonable and good
Outlaws Pizza–food and price good, but the service is
awful (hopefully it will improve as the summer progresses)
Park Street Grill–more upscale, but excellent food,
Cooke City/Silvergate: Log Cabin Cafe—excellent breakfast, all else
good–try the trout–good prices
Grizzly Pad–also excellent breakfasts, plus
burger/fry/shake specials-family owned ans
Beartooth Cafe–lunch/dinner–varied menu–try
black bean nachos and garlic burgers–good
Buns and Beds Deli–deli type sandwiches and
Cody–Irma Hotel for prime rib
The Noon Break for breakfast/lunch (check Roadfood book for this
Don’t miss the Buffalo Bill Museum–the best Western History and
Art Museum in the country!
Actually, most of the "out of park" restaurants are family owned–except for Outlaws and the Irma. Owners are usually around, which, in my opinion, keeps things on the up and up.
If you’re headed to the Tetons, I have a pretty good list for there, too. Just let me know!
I used to be a dishwasher at The amiltion Stores lunch counter at Canyon Village (1981). The food was all excellent, but expensive. Glad to see it is still tasty.
Ernies Deli in West Yellowstone has nice sandwiches. They are about 5$ each but they are very large. The Gusher is a sandwich shoppe in West Yellowstone that is very good. There potato salad is homemade and very good. When I was a local I ate there frequently because they delivered to the house!. My other half loves there steak sandwich. The bakery, when it is open is awesome. There peanut butter brownies are very good and very large. Also, Arrowleaf Ice Cream shop is like the orginal cold stone and there hucklebrry cheesecake ice cream is to die for!
I found a reasonably priced room (High Country) and reasonable restaurant prices at Cooke City, Montana at the Northeast entrance to the park. I also stayed a couple of days at Island park Idaho, 26 miles South of West Yellowstone, and my room and eating were also reasonable. Sure, both places were 30 minutes more driving time than West Yellowstone , but had you rather spend your time fighting a tourist crowd for a spot in line at breakfast, or doing a scenic drive to the park? Besides, Island park has the headwaters of the Snake river where you can feed huge trout, Mesa Falls, and Harriman State Park, and Cooke City has the Beartooth Highway, all of which are great short side trips outside Yellowstone (if you actually have any time left for such stuff!)
Last summer, we ate at the old lodge overlooking Old Faithful. The food was ok and the price was not as bad as it could have been. We stayed the night before in Gardiner MT and ate at a little sit down restaurant with a mining theme. It wasn’t bad, and the price was fair. The places we ate in West Yellowstone varied. One was ok at best. The other ok to very good. I can’t remember the names. I was not a member of RF at the time, but if I had been, RF showcases a place I’d have tried there.
It has been a while (about 16 years?) but one of the best pancake breakfasts I’ve ever had was in Wyoming. Just outside Jackson Hole, we took a river raft trip down the Snake River that included a buckwheat pancake breakfast part way through the trip. Too much fun and lots of good, tasty food.
I had a nice lunch at the counter in the Hamilton Store near Old Faithful. Grilled Cheese, a nice Tomato Soup, and a good vanilla shake. Don’t remember the price, but I wasn’t making much transporting cars, so I know I would have passed if it was overpriced. If you do get down to Jackson Hole, I recommend Billy’s Giant Hamburgers and a milk shake at Jackson Drug. Those were my two favorite spots.
Here is a Billy’s Burger…
By the way, if you have the time go to the Western Art Museum in Cody. It might be called the Whitney but then again maybe not. It has great Western art , neat stuff about Buffalo Bill, and many Indian artifacts. It’s one of the most memorable museums I’ve been to.
We stayed at the "New Lodge" in Yellowstone and the dining room was very good and not too expensive. The famous Old Lodge is a wonderful building but the food and service are awful and relatively expensive, but it does have the views, although we could see Old Faithfull and a half dozen other geysers erupting from the window of our room in the New Lodge. We entered thru Cody, stayed there overnight, and had nothing to talk about foodwise. (Since then we have learned from these forums that there are some good places to eat in Cody- too late for us.) Jackson Hole is said to have good places- we drove on thru; the whole town looked like a tourist trap to us.
I like to stay in Livingston which is a great old railway town around 50 miles North of the North Entrance to Yellowstone and there are plenty of restaurants there. On the budget side there is the Pop Stand in Paradise Valley which is the valley you will drive in between Livingston and the North Entrance (great burgers, etc and the local Wilcoxson ice cream), there’s Mark’s Drive-in (similar), there is the Sport, plus there are the usual chains. Gardner which is at the North Entrance has some decent places also although not as wide a variety as Livingston. Cody is good but kinda far, West Yellowstone is okay although convenient.
I drove through Yellowstone one night in late November. We were warned at the entrance on the north side of the park in Montana to be very careful as the road was snow covered in many places but they let us travel on through. We were rewarded on a bright cold moonlit night to see a wolf in the middle of the road, a bobcat or lynx, I was not sure which and I saw a great horned owl nail a rabbit right beside my car. We rolled into Jackson Hole about 11:00PM and found a neat pancake place very near our motel which was very reasonable and the warm pancakes with maple syrup with bacon sure tasted good.
Paul E. Smith
We found reasonable prices in Cody, Wyoming…East of the Park, Jackson Wyoming..South of the Park, and Rexburg Idaho West of the Park. All are an hour or so from the various gates of Yellowstone. Our visits over the years have been one-day trips while on roadtrips to somewhere else. Things get even better in the off-season. We spent a November day there a few years back that was outstanding, with only a few other visitors at any of the attractions….and little snow to hamper driving.
Yep. Do your own cooking in camp.
I’ve been told food is very expensive in Yellowstone and neighboring towns. Any suggestions for good food at reasonable price.
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