America’s first national park, Yellowstone National Park is a national icon renowned for its explosive geysers, kaleidoscopic hot springs, and some of the most epic wildlife on the continent. At 3,500 square miles, larger than Rhode Island and Delaware put together, it’s as immense as its resident bison, grizzly bears, elk, and wolves. Yellowstone is a veritable Jurassic Park of Americana, drawing more than three million annual visitors to its corner of northwest Wyoming.
Gateway towns like West Yellowstone and tourist centers like Jackson Hole rise to the occasion of feeding the many travelers venturing into the park with stopover-worthy restaurants, bars, and bakeries. Wild game reigns supreme on restaurant menus in both high-end and low-key dining rooms, where diners can sample local products in dishes like buffalo sausage links, elk chili nachos, and Montana Moose Moss ice cream. Beyond game, chefs put their stamp on “mountain town” cuisine in all kinds of unexpected ways, from a Buffalo Bill-worthy plate of prime rib to a James Beard-approved scone skillet. Whether you’re dining inside the park or in nearby towns, here are some of the best places to eat in the Yellowstone area.
Note: A number of restaurants around Yellowstone National Park have resumed dine-in service, but their inclusion here should not be taken as an endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines. For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit your state’s coronavirus website. (Go here for Montana, and here for Wyoming.) Find a local vaccination site here.
An RV enthusiast and freelance travel writer, Matt Kirouac is the co-founder and co-host of Hello Ranger, a national parks community blog and podcast.Read More