Best Places to Eat in West Yellowstone, Montana

Rebecca Hanlon
Last Updated: March 4th, 2023

While you’re visiting one of America’s natural wonders, Yellowstone National Park, you’ll likely find yourself in West Yellowstone at some point.

After a long day of exploring the natural beauty of the region, you’ll be on the hunt for places to eat in West Yellowstone. From casual dining to fine dining, the options are plentiful, but where to start?

Check the list below for the top-recommended restaurants in West Yellowstone.

Travel Tips for Eating Out in West Yellowstone

Before you head into the restaurants to grab a bite, you may want to keep a few things in mind.

Tipping in Montana

  • Montana, like most states, welcomes tips for the service industry personnel. Most folks rely on these tips to help make a decent living wage – so a recommended 15 to 20% is the norm in West Yellowstone, as well as throughout the state. This tipping goes for all sorts of service industry workers, from restaurant servers to fly fishing guides.

Peak Restaurant Hours & Meal Times

  • Peak dining hours in West Yellowstone are similar to those in other parts of Montana, particularly near tourist destinations such as Yellowstone National Park. Most breakfast hours (if available) run between 8 am and 10 am, with lunch hours running between 11 am and 2 pm, and dinner served from 4 to close. Closing time may be anywhere from 9 pm to 1 am, depending on the style of the dining establishment.
  • Unless they serve breakfast all day, most menus will shift to lunch at around 10 am. Lunch menus shift in portion, cost, and options to the dinner menu typically around 4 pm.
  • In some cases, restaurants are closed for periods between menu shifts, allowing staff to clean, sanitize, and shift the menu preparations between 2 and 5. This varies greatly by restaurant.

Best Restaurants West Yellowstone Montana Has to Offer

Whether you’re looking for a quick, casual bite or an elegant sit-down meal, you’ll find plenty of amazing places to eat in West Yellowstone.

1. The Buffalo Bar • 335 US-20, West Yellowstone, MT • $$$

the buffalo bar
Image: thebuffalobar

One of the most popular places to eat West Yellowstone is the Buffalo Bar, serving up American fare of many types, along with a 12 rotating beer tap.

They specialize in bison (buffalo) as their name suggests, with amazing bison tacos, burgers, salads, and even sausages.

The restaurant has a homey tavern vibe with rustic Western décor, perfect for dining on Western fares such as buffalo (meat)balls, chicken wings, BBQ chicken salad, burgers, pulled pork, fire dogs, country fried buffalo steak, buffalo meatloaf, and spaghetti pie.

The restaurant offers gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan choices as well, along with their wine, cocktails, local craft brews, and hearty breakfast menu serving from 9 to 11:30 am each day.

You’ll find some entertainment options while you’re at the Buffalo, too, with billiards/pool tables, poker tables, poker machines, and a comfortable outdoor seating patio area.

Huckleberry lemonade is a top recommendation for visitors.

2. Canyon Street Grill • 22 North Canyon Street, West Yellowstone, MT • $

canyon street grill
Image: canyonstgrill

One of the best restaurants West Yellowstone has to offer for budget-friendly fare is the Canyon Street Grill.

It’s a 50s-style diner taking you back to classic American casual cuisine like burgers and milkshakes, along with salads, homemade soups and chili, sandwiches, classic sides, and more. They also serve beer and wine for the adults in the crowd.

The restaurant is open spring through fall, serving lunch and dinner, with a breakfast menu offered in the summertime only.

Some favorites on the menu include the Route 66 fries (beer-battered and topped with chili and cheese), mozzarella sticks, chicken strip baskets, all-beef hotdogs, and the huckleberry milkshake.

3. Wild West Pizzeria & Saloon • 14 Madison Ave., West Yellowstone, MT • $ – $$

For a classic or Western-style pizza, pop into the Wild West Pizzeria & Saloon. The pizzeria uses their own homemade dough from the family recipe passed down from the owner’s mother, along with freshly shredded Wisconsin mozzarella cheese.

The crust is made from Montana wheat (unless you order the gluten-free option, of course!), and the full-service bar offers local Montana craft brews.

Choose from the pre-selected pizza toppings or build your own pizza, or order up some calzones, hot sandwiches, pasta, apps, beer, wine, sodas, hot tea, hot ciders, and more.

While you’re there, enjoy the live music in the Saloon portion of the establishment. Live bands from the area and a wider spread come for evenings from late June to late September.

The restaurant is open year-round from 11 am to 10 pm, with delivery hours between 5 and 10 pm. Pop in, order out or stay for the evening with pool, live music, and drinks.

4. Running Bear Pancake House • 538 Madison Ave, West Yellowstone, MT • $ – $$

running bear pancake house
Image: runningbearph

One of the best places to eat West Yellowstone for breakfast (or any time, really) is Running Bear Pancake House. The pancake house is a sort of cozy café, dessert shop, breakfast joint, and diner in one. The family-friendly atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ages for a good meal and happy mealtime.

The shop is actually named for a specific incident, too – while the building was being built, a bear got into the construction site and took off running when workers showed up in the morning.

The restaurant serves Montana roasted Espresso 81 via its in-house espresso maker, delicious pancakes with their homemade blueberry syrup, breakfast burritos, hot cocoa, classic egg/meat/carbs combos, hot cereals, fruit breads, pastries, and omelets for their breakfast menu.

For lunch, try sandwiches, burgers, fish and chips, fish and chips, tacos, and quesadillas – among others. And don’t forget to try some of their homemade baked goods.

Breakfast is served from 6 am to 1 pm, with lunch overlapping from 11 am to 1 pm.

5. Pete’s Rocky Mountain Pizza • 112 North Canyon Street, West Yellowstone, MT • $$

petes rocky mountain pizza
Image: petesrockymountainpizza

Pete’s Rocky Mountain Pizza is one of the best restaurants West Yellowstone has to offer when it comes to casual, easy dining.

This locally owned Pete’s has been serving their popular pizza menu for over 25 years, plus a variety of other tasty, casual dining choices such as sandwiches, pasta, and calzones.

Pete’s is open from late December to late October, serving lunch and dinner only, from 4:30 to 10 pm.

The casual, comfortable atmosphere is the perfect space for unwinding after a long day of exploring Yellowstone National Park or just for a cozy kickback midday for lunch. Or, if you’re really feeling chill, you can order delivery to wherever you’re located in town.

Choose from custom-built pizzas to restaurant standards, sandwiches, calzones, spaghetti, ravioli, seafood salad, lasagna, steaks, manicotti, burgers, gyros, and classic apps and sides like cheesy bread, mozzarella sticks, spinach and artichoke dip, fries, wings, and jalapeno poppers.

Don’t forget to try out the Italian sodas, flavored lemonades, or local draft beers and wine selection.

6. Madison Crossing Lounge • 121 Madison Avenue, West Yellowstone, MT • $$ – $$$

madison crossing lounge
Image: madisoncrossinglounge

If you’re looking for local Montana fare – like elk meatloaf – and a great atmosphere, check out Madison Crossing Lounge.

It’s an American cuisine pub and grill serving beer, wine, cocktails, pub grub, and local favorites all with a fine-dining edge at affordable prices.

The cozy bar and lounge is perfect for beer lovers looking to sample the local craft brews on draft, domestic and imported beer, well-known and locally crafted cocktails, and fine imported whiskeys.

As to food, you’ll find bison brisket nachos, trout cakes, charcuterie, and salads on the apps menu, with steaks, rainbow trout, bison and elk meatloaf, pasta, burgers, soups, and salads galore – and a decadent dessert menu for those who want to indulge.

Popular choices are the blueberry bread pudding served a la mode, the huckleberry sundae, and the raspberry donut cheesecake.

7. Bar N Ranch Restaurant • 890 Buttermilk Creek, West Yellowstone • $$$

bar n ranch restaurant
Image: bar-n-ranch

The Bar N Ranch Restaurant is a quick 10-minute drive from town in West Yellowstone – and they’re worth the slight jaunt out of city limits to find some of the best upscale country dining around.

The Western-themed restaurant is all about grilling up the best meats and veggies for your choosing and offering a country cookout vibe with elegance. As you drive up, you see the gorgeous log-cabin-style restaurant and know you’re in for a treat!

Drop-in for breakfast before hitting up Yellowstone NP, or grab lunch or dinner. Embers, the official name of the restaurant, offers a dinner menu with trout fritters, roasted vegetable mains, goat cheese and honey platters, salads, prime rib, tea rubbed trout, chicken dishes, sandwiches, and a kids’ menu for the little ones.

The ranch is an actual guest ranch, too, so if you’re looking for more than a bite, check out the lodging options. The restaurant is seasonal, open along with the ranch from May to October and December to March.

8. Campfire Lodge • 155 Campfire Ln, West Yellowstone, MT • Range $$

campfire lodge
Image: campfirelodgewestyellowstone

The Campfire Lodge is ranked as one of the best places to find breakfast in West Yellowstone. The lodge and restaurant are 10 minutes out of town as well, but well worth the drive for their scrumptious menu selection.

The diner is on the Madison River, offering great views since 1922 when the lodge opened. Inside the diner/café, the vibe is cozy, wood cabin with vintage kitsch, while the outdoor dining patio feels almost like a mini-park café patio.

They serve breakfast and lunch 7 days a week, between 7 am and 2 pm. Breakfast choices are a true mountain breakfast, with selections such as eggs, hashbrowns, and toast combos, steak and eggs, omelets, pancakes, and French toast.

While the lunch menu offers up chicken, fish, burgers, hotdogs, grilled sandwiches, and root beer floats, milkshakes and malts, pie, and home-baked cinnamon rolls.

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About The Author

Rebecca Hanlon

Rebecca has been a travel blogger and editor for over 5 years, working with some of the biggest brands in industry. She’s taught English as a foreign language in 5 different countries, and her most fulfilling role was as a tour guide around some of Europe’s finest vineyards. She the one behind the social channels here at Discovering Montana, whilst also finding the time to perform an assistant editor role.

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