When you think about Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon and Old Faithful are bound to come to mind. However, you’d be mistaken to think that these are the only attractions the area has to offer.
Yellowstone National Park is also a great destination for foodies. Let us show you the hidden gustatory finds that will have your taste buds tingling. We also include food and drink tours where you can get your aperitif.
For the best restaurants in Yellowstone, we have picked our top 10 choices with some tips as to what you will want to try on your visit.
The 10 Best Restaurants in Yellowstone
1. The Buffalo Bar • 335 US-20 West Yellowstone, MT 59758 • $-$$
If you missed out on the wildlife in the national park, the Buffalo Bar will make up for it. This place lives up to its name with its burly taxidermy decor and a menu that complements it.
There’s buffalo in the tacos, burgers, burritos, chili, meatballs, quesadilla, and meatloaf. If you’d rather skip the buffalo, you can gorge on their moist, marinated, and slow-roasted meats that are simply a slice of heaven in your mouth. The salmon, shrimp, and salads are tantalizing menu options as well.
The bar offers a selection of local brews, wines, and a wide array of whiskies that come from distillers within the vicinity. You can grab a drink and check out the pool table, dartboard area, and casino machines in the lounge.
Come here for a fun atmosphere, exceptionally good bar food, and cozy interiors.
Recommended: Spaghetti pie and buffalo balls
2. Firehole Bar-B-Que Co. • 120 Firehole Avenue, West Yellowstone, MT 59758 • $-$$
Looking for the best barbeque in West Yellowstone? Firehole Bar-B-Que Co. is the place to be. You can explore Yellowstone National Park and drop in for their famous smoked brisket platter and buffalo sausage.
Firehole is famous for serving the best barbeque and their fresh house-smoked meats that are available by the pound on a first come first serve basis.
This popular go-to American barbeque joint has limited seating so make sure to be there early to get the best seats and the best meats. You can hang around their picnic tables placed inside and outside their dining area.
From their pulled pork sandwiches, plump pork ribs, white cheddar mac and cheese to their in-house sauces, Firehole Bar-B-Que is the home of filling and delicious comfort food.
Recommended: Anything grilled
3. Madison Crossing Lounge • 121 Madison Avenue, West Yellowstone, MT 59758 • $-$$
A good cocktail list, great-tasting locally sourced food, and a well-stocked bar — that’s the best recipe for some and they’ll surely find it in Madison Crossing Lounge. This family-owned and operated business is located in the heart of town where the first school in West Yellowstone once stood.
With a menu that offers an extensive variety of amazing seasonal options, they have a nightly menu, an exquisite wine list from around the world, tap and bottled beer, eclectic cocktails, fine whiskey, and indulgent food that is bound to impress.
Start by ordering the charcuterie platter. Follow it up with their stuffed pork chop that’s juicy, well-cooked, and simply irresistible.
You can also indulge in their well-plated entrees, burgers, soups, and salads. Finish your meal with their mouth-watering blueberry white chocolate bread pudding that is rich, decadent, and prepared in-house.
Recommended: Bison Brisket Nachos
4. Ernie’s Bakery Sandwich Shop and Deli • 406 Highway 20 West Yellowstone, MT 59758 • $$
Three minutes away from Yellowstone National Park is Ernie’s Bakery Sandwich Shop and Deli. With a rustic and cabin-style ambiance, this modest food outlet has been around for over 30 years.
If you’re looking to take a break from barbecues, buffalo meat, and other comfort food, Ernie’s has a great selection of freshly baked pastries, sandwiches, burgers, salads, and breakfast items. They also have options for vegetarians.
Since they also serve conveniently packed boxed lunches, this is the perfect stop before a full day at the park.
Ernie’s opens at 7 AM and closes at 2 PM so you’ll want to come early to enjoy their delicious fare. They’re almost always fully packed. If you want to skip the long lines, order ahead by calling 406 646 9467 and you can come over to pick your food up.
Recommended: Ultimate breakfast sandwich
5. Las Palmitas • 21 N Canyon Street, West Yellowstone, MT 59758 • $
Las Palmitas is one of the must-visit food destinations on your trip to West Yellowstone.
Why? Talk to any local you bump into and ask about West Yellowstone restaurants. The first thing they’ll suggest is the “Mexican Taco Bus,” also known as Las Palmitas.
Cruise down Canyon Street and you won’t miss this huge white taco bus with menu options on the windows. With delectable Mexican, Latin, vegetarian, and vegan fast food options, this food outlet’s street tacos are fresh, delicious, and simply addicting.
Don’t forget to sample their chicken enchiladas and pork and shrimp tacos.
The dining area inside the bus is limited and fills up quickly but you can also eat at one of the many picnic tables surrounding the bus. Judging by the constant throng of people crowding around their bus window, this has got to be one of the most popular places in Montana.
Recommended: Shredded Beef Quesadilla
6. Yellowstone Pizza Company • 210 E Park Street, Gardiner, MT 59030 • $$
Anyone in the mood for sampling what a local pizza tastes like could do worse than check out the Yellowstone Pizza Company. It stands just outside the landmark Roosevelt Arch, which means the Yellowstone restaurant is in close proximity to the national park’s North Entrance.
The Pizza Company offers some of the best pizza in the area in a casual and easy-going frills-free dining room which naturally still features picnic tables and photos of some of the park’s prime examples of wildlife.
The pizzas and other items on the MENU hit the mark largely due to the stone-fired oven. Opt for thin-crust pies with toppings such as elk, chicken alfredo, roasted yellow tomatoes, or maybe one of the house specialties—the Hayden Valley Bison pizza.
The creation features crumbled bison sausage, caramelized onions, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and fresh spinach. The restaurant’s usual hours of operation are midday to 10.30 pm every day.
7. Bullwinkle’s Saloon and Eatery •115 N Canyon Street, West Yellowstone, 59798 • $$
Bullwinkle’s offers one of those unique Montana experiences whereby you find yourself in a business that happens to be part liquor store, part casino, and what we are interested in most here—part family-friendly restaurant.
You can’t miss the West Yellowstone eatery that has been a cornerstone for so long it takes up virtually an entire block in the downtown region. Thankfully the largest proportion of the property comprises the multi-room restaurant, complete with a model train on a track near the ceiling.
The lunch and dinner menus cater to virtually anything a family vacation might entail food-wise. Expect fried chicken, onion rings, potato skins, salads, chicken subs, and flaky beef Wellington as part of the menu scenario—this is a gravy-splashed pastry pocket crammed full of beef, potatoes, and onions.
You can guarantee there’ll be a few huckleberries featuring somewhere in there as well. In fact, even the fried chicken salad gets a huckleberry dressing for a touch of sweetness—and don’t miss the fluffy huckleberry bread pudding. Check out the MENU for more ideas.
8. Beartooth Barbecue • 111 N Canyon Street, West Yellowstone, MT 59758 • $$-$$$
West Yellowstone’s Beartooth BBQ offers an informal, barbecue-style setting complete with a saloon-like facade and a dining room full of antlers. This place is exactly what you might expect and then some from a mountain town restaurant
Needless to say, diners can expect to be tackling hefty plates of ribs, chopped beef brisket, and flavorful sausages, as the MENU demonstrates. ‘Mad Dog’ is the house specialty by way of a smoked hot link smothered with chopped brisket on a hoagie. Mmm.
Diners can also look forward to turkey dinners served with pickles, onions, and thick-cut bread along with special barbecue sides like green chili creamed corn, baked cheese grits, and cowboy caviar. Other favorites include potato salad, baked beans, and pulled pork.
The service is reportedly fast and friendly, the meat freshly smoked and tender, and the servings generous. You just can’t say fairer than that—the Beartooth sounds well worth checking out.
9. Lake House at Grant • 1095 Grant Marina Road, Yellowstone National Park, MT • $$$
Lake House at Grant Village is another great restaurant in Yellowstone if you like lodge-style dining surrounded by some fairly impressive scenery.
Diners get to eat at a lake house located right in the middle of an old marina, which means picturesque views of the western part of Yellowstone Lake all around.
This restaurant offers primarily American-style cuisine served at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with reservations being required just for dinner. Burgers, fried chicken, and huckleberry lemonade all come highly recommended at this Yellowstone eatery.
Guests can take a stroll along the marina before or after dining, and sunset is an especially good time.
10. Canyon Lodge Eatery • Mammoth, WY 82190 • $$$
Canyon Lodge Eatery is located within the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park closer to Wyoming. This Yellowstone features a casual dining environment and opens for breakfast and dinner—which makes it something of an ideal spot to stop off at either before or after some outdoor exploration within the park.
The MENU in general features a variety of soups, entrée salads, and creatively prepared grilled fish and meats. Breakfast comes with generous helpings of biscuits along with a few other options which cater to anyone with specific tastes like gluten-free and vegan.
The fare is mainly Montana-tinged delights such as spicy and hot red trout with a quinoa corn and black bean side dish—perhaps followed by a generous helping of huckleberry ice cream.
The restaurant looks classy but there is no required dress code here in the national park where you are just as likely to have completed a hike as you are heading out for dinner!
Recommended Food & Wine Tours in Yellowstone
- Jackson Hole Winery • 5 hours • 5 stars
- Bozeman Spirits Distillery • 2.5 hours • 4.5 stars
- Madison River Brewing • 1-2 hours • 4.5 stars
- Dry Hills Distillery • 1-2 hours • 4.5 stars
- Katabatic Brewing Company • 1-2 hours • 4.5 stars
Travel Tips for Eating in Yellowstone
While the lure of the outdoors, wildlife, and stunning geological formations are what most people come here for, tourists are pleasantly surprised by the food options available.
Here are some interesting facts to help turn your outdoor adventure into an adventure for your tastebuds:
- If you’re planning to visit the park, make sure to have a filling breakfast to fuel your excursion. You can also pack a picnic to enjoy the great outdoors while enjoying a good meal. There are restaurants and other dining options in the area where you can get baked goods, sandwiches, and snacks.
- Bringing food will also come in handy if you get stuck in traffic. Like other visitors admiring the wildlife, you’ll want to pull over and watch.
- Half of the food served in Yellowstone is locally and sustainably produced.
- Local folks like to experiment with different menu items based on the season and their availability. If you’re looking forward to sampling a particular delicacy, look into when such ingredients are plentiful and in season.
- Huckleberries are a local favorite so you must try them when you visit. They grow in abundance in Montana and are served and enjoyed with everything. Huckleberries are in season from the middle of August to mid-September.
- Try the huckleberry pancakes and huckleberry margaritas at the infamous Old Faithful Inn. You’ll also find huckleberry ice cream cones at Mammoth Hot Springs.
- You may get the idea of doing some huckleberry picking yourself. Unfortunately, the activity isn’t open to tourists since huckleberry patches are coveted by local residents.
- Bring your dreams of campfire cooking to life at Yellowstone National Park. Pack marshmallows, hotdogs, and burgers. An easy trick to a fireside meal is to wrap onions, potatoes, and carrots in foil and leave them to cook on the coals.
- Indeed, there’s nothing like open-flame cooking to make ordinary meals seem exciting again.
- If you’re open to trying new meats, reserve a meal for farm-raised bison meat, a leaner alternative to beef. Bison burgers, bison meatloaf, elk sliders, lamb sliders, and bison bratwurst are available in most of the local restaurants.
- Montana is blessed with several distilleries that make incredibly smooth liqueurs, wines, and beers.
Keep an eye out for locally brewed beers as well since Montana has a wide array of up-and-coming breweries that you can’t afford to miss.
- If you’re eyeing certain restaurants for your visit, make sure to check if they’ll be open on the dates when you’ll be here. Some restaurants are only open during certain months and seasons while some only open during specific mealtimes like lunch and dinner.
- When you’re inside Yellowstone National Park, you’ll find the most dining options in Old Faithful. It has 2 general stores and 5 restaurants that stay open from April to early November.
Prices start at $8 with quick service, full service, and fast-casual dining styles. If you need picnic supplies, you can buy some at one of the park’s general stores.
Yellowstone: A Destination Outdoorsmen and Foodies
From the great outdoors to the great food waiting indoors, Yellowstone doesn’t disappoint. Now that you know that Yellowstone isn’t just a destination for outdoor adventures, we hope you’ll plan an itinerary that includes some of these great dining places.
If you’re a foodie like us, you’re sure to have a memorable and tasty trip that’s highlighted by huckleberries, bison meat, great barbecue, and more.