Dining in Yellowstone National Park: 21 BEST Options!

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If you’re planning a trip to America’s first national park, you may be looking for the best dining in Yellowstone National Park. From quick-service spots to full-service fare with views of the explosive geysers, this family-friendly guide has it all!

Renowned for its bubbling hot springs, incredible geysers, and amazing wildlife, it’s no surprise that Yellowstone National Park is one of the most popular natural attractions in the United States.

But I’ll be the first to admit that planning an epic family vacation to such a massive national park can be overwhelming. From picking your accommodations to figuring out the best time to visit, crafting the perfect itinerary can be a whirlwind.

To simplify your life, I’ve detailed the best places for dining in Yellowstone National Park. Whether you need light bites and baked goods for the road or want a refined sit-down affair, there’s something on this rundown to suit you! I’ll even cover opening hours, top tips for getting the best views from your seat, and what spots are particularly kid-friendly.

We’ll also cover:

  • Which restaurants require reservations (sometimes months in advance)
  • Options that are open in the winter (most of them are not)
  • Best spots to stock up on groceries (and snacks for the car)
  • My top family dining recommendation for each area of the park

Now let’s get to meal planning for the ultimate escape to the wonderful Wyoming (+Montana and Idaho) wilderness!

family in front of the Morning Glory pool in the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National ParkPin

Dining in Yellowstone National Park: Interactive Map

Below you’ll find an interactive map that highlights each of the restaurant recommendations made in this article. You’ll be able to see the relative distance, as well as other park highlights like visitor centers, etc.

How to Use This Map:

Click on any of the trail recommendations marked with the bed icon in this color. A popup will open discussing the hike in greater detail.

Clicking the star next to the name of the map will save the map to your google account. To access it later on a computer or your smartphone, open google maps and select “Your Places”.

Best Places for Dining in Yellowstone National Park

Dining Recommendations: Old Faithful Area

1. Old Faithful Inn Dining Room

Hours: 6:30–10 am, 11:30 am–2:30 pm, and 4:30–10 pm

Open: Summer/Fall Season Only

Cuisine: American

Location: Old Faithful Area; Inside Old Faithful Inn (main level)

Reservations Required: YES (and months in advance); walking in is possible, but the wait times during peak summer season may be extended (or unavailable altogether); Inn guests will receive an email 60-days in advance allowing them to book; guests at other Yellowstone hotels/lodges can book here 30-days in advance of their reservation

Address: 3200 Old Faithful Inn Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

**TOP RECOMMENDATION for upscale, sit-down dining in Yellowstone National Park

Old Faithful Inn Dining Room is one of my personal favorite options for dining in Yellowstone National Park as the ambiance is incredible if you love a historic, log-cabin aesthetic (fun fact: this place was the model for Disney’s Wilderness Lodge).

Along with a very comprehensive breakfast buffet, you can grab everything from burgers to prime rib during dinner service (where a reservation is a MUST!). Because it’s open super early, the Old Faithful Dining Room is also a great option for filling up before hiking the Upper Geyser Basin. Oh, and did I mention that this eatery is right by the Old Faithful Geyser?

inside the dining room of Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone National ParkPin
Diners enjoying dinner at Old Faithful Inn Dining Room

In terms of the ambiance, expect a cozy log-cabin vibe with vaulted ceilings. As a quick word of warning though, this place gets incredibly crowded because of its location.

Pro Tips:

  1. Sitting down to a meal too slow for your packed Yellowstone agenda? Grab a quick bite, and perhaps a Huckleberry Margarita at the Bear Pit Lounge. It’s a bar (and a really cool-looking one at that) located right off the Old Faithful Inn’s lobby. But this bar also has a limited menu for lunch/dinner. The views aren’t as amazing (the lounge faces the front of the hotel rather than Old Faithful geyser in the rear) but it’s typically less packed, and definitely more affordable than the Old Faithful Inn Dining Room, making it perfect for budget travelers!
  2. Not up for a big meal during your Yellowstone adventure? Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy sunset and a game of cards sitting on the second story deck of the Inn, overlooking Old Faithful. Grab a drink at the Bear Pit Lounge, or there’s a smaller bar right inside the outdoor deck on the second floor. Your cocktail will be even more memorable as you enjoy Old Faithful’s au natural firewater-works show!

2. “Lower” or “Basin” General Store – AKA Hamilton’s Store

Hours: 9 am – 6 pm

Open: Summer/Fall Season Only

Cuisine: American/Grill

Location: Old Faithful Area, next to Old Faithful Inn

Reservations Required: No

Address: 1 Old Faithful Loop Road, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

**TOP RECOMMENDATION for relaxed, diner-style made-to-order food in the oldest store in Yellowstone National Park!

Hamilton’s Store was the first store in the Old Faithful region of Yellowstone, and it dates all the way back to 1897. Today, it is a fabulous gift shop/lunch counter combo. And if you and your kids have ever heard the grandparents talking about “lunch counters” and “soda fountains” then you have to go and enjoy a meal at what is now called the “Lower” General Store (side note: I think the marketing dept needs to re-visit this one…kind of lame).

Hamilton's Store, now called Lower General Store, or Basin General Store, Old Faithful Area, Yellowstone National ParkPin

The food is made-to-order, and comes out fast. I guarantee you’ll have the best burger in Yellowstone at this lunch counter.

Hamilton's Store, now called Lower General Store, or Basin General Store, Old Faithful Area, Yellowstone National ParkPin
Hamiltons general store lunch counter at old faithful

Don’t want a full meal? They have ice cream at the other end of the lunch counter…and it’s good! Grab a cone, and meander around the Upper Geyser Basin. It will be a Sunday (with a sundae) to remember.

Hamilton's Store, now called Lower General Store, or Basin General Store, Old Faithful Area, Yellowstone National ParkPin
front of Basin General Store which faces toward Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin

3. Old Faithful “Upper” General Store

Hours: 9 am – 6 pm

Open: Summer/Fall Season Only

Cuisine: Pizza, Sandwiches, Soup/Salads Ice Cream

Location: Inside Old Faithful Area, next to Snow Lodge & Geyser Grill

Reservations Required: No

Address: 2 Old Faithful Loop Road, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

**TOP RECOMMENDATION for groceries in the Old Faithful area

Though not quite as historic as the Lower Basin General Store, the Upper General Store was built in the 1920’s and it boasts the best gift shop in the Old Faithful area.

The restaurant is located in the rear, left side of the building. You won’t have a very scenic meal here, but there will be something that will please everyone’s palette.

This spot has more seating, but also gets more crowded in my experience as compared to the Lower Basin Store (which I prefer). So if you are looking for a sit-down meal, I’d say take the 10-minute walk past Old Faithful Inn down to the Lower Basin Store.

That said, if you’re looking to buy groceries and snacks for the car in the Old Faithful area, this is the place to stock up! From ramen (there’s a microwave there to warm it up, too) to chips, pre-packaged sandwiches and beverages, this general store’s got it all.

Old Faithful "Upper" General StorePin
Acroterion, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

4. Old Faithful Lodge Cafeteria & Bake Shop

Hours: 11:30 am – 8 pm

Open Summer/Fall Season Only

Cuisine: Baked goods and American fare

Location: Inside Old Faithful Lodge, main level

Reservations Required: No

Address: 725 Old Faithful Lodge Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

For bagels, bison meatloaf sandwiches, cinnamon rolls, muffins, and soft-serve ice cream, head to the Old Faithful Lodge Cafeteria & Bake Shop. Not only does it offer amazing views of Old Faithful Geyser from the lobby seating area, but service is super-quick (grab food school lunch style with your tray in the cafeteria line). If you want something hot, you can grab gyros or bowls of chili to eat-in or to-go.

inside Old Faithful Lodge lobbyPin
inside Old Faithful Lodge Lobby – looking toward cafeteria

There’s not much to note in terms of decor or ambiance…think 1970’s ski lodge-chic. But it’s a great place to grab portable food for hikes. Plus, there’s enough seating in the cafeteria area for around 200 people. So, it’s a great option for decompressing as a family before getting back on the road with full bellies.

front of the Old Faithful Lodge which faces Old Faithful geyserPin
Old Faithful Lodge | Yellowstone NP, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

5. Geyser Grill

Hours: 11 am – 7 pm

Open Year Round

Cuisine: American/Fast Food

Location: Old Faithful Area, at the Snow Lodge

Reservations Required: No

Address: 1000 Old Faithful Road, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

Another solid option for dining in Yellowstone is the quick-service Geyser Grill. This is a one-stop shop for burgers, hot dogs, chili fries, and chicken sandwiches (AKA: classic American fare!).

It’s a great pick for families whose priority is quickly grabbing grub and getting back on the road (or trails). But it’s also an awesome choice for ordering fast meals at dinnertime and then hitting the hay. Plus, it’s super casual in here. So, you won’t need to worry about kiddos being excitable or getting dressed up.

If you can, grab a table by the window for a view of the visitor center and comings/goings in this busy Old Faithful region. During the wintertime, you’ll even be able to spot snowmobiles jetting around the Old Faithful Snow Lodge for ski season!

Old Faithful Snow Lodge exteriorPin
Old Faithful Snow Lodge – Geyser Grill is in the front, left side of the buidling | Yellowstone National Park from Yellowstone NP, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

6. Obsidian Dining Room

Hours: 6:30 am – 10:30 am, 5 pm – 10 pm

Open Year Round

Cuisine: American/Grill

Location: Old Faithful Area, inside Snow Lodge

Reservations Required: Only in winter

Address: 2051 Snow Lodge Ave, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

The Obsidian Dining Room is a convenient option for a sit-down dinner. It’s tucked inside the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and is comfortable and cozy (with wilderness-themed decor and wooden beams to boot!).

The Obsidian Dining Room serves up good bison dishes (the short ribs are pretty great!) along with fresh fish and wild game dishes like elk. I also appreciate that it has longer hours than other eateries like the Geyser Grill. Oh, and it’s open year-round but you only need to reserve tables during the winter season!

Obsidian Dining Room inside Snow Lodge, Yellowstone NPPin
Obsidian Dining Room inside the Old Faithful Snow Lodge | Yellowstone National Park from Yellowstone NP, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

I wouldn’t say it’s super pricey, but it’s more expensive than your average grab and go deli. So, expect to pay around $20-$30 for a meal without appetizers or alcoholic drinks. But honestly, the portions are large and you can easily split them between two. If you need it, there’s also a small kid’s menu with classics like grilled cheese that should suit most little ones.

Old Faithful Snow Lodge at nightPin
view of the Snow Lodge in the evening; Obsidian Grill is inside

7. Old Faithful Inn Bear Paw Deli

Hours: 6:30 am – 9:00 pm

Open Summer/Fall Season Only

Cuisine: Light bites and snacks

Location: Inside Old Faithful Inn, main level

Reservations Required: No

Address: 3200 Old Faithful Inn Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

Quick service dining in Yellowstone National Park doesn’t get much better than the Bear Paw Deli. It’s my top choice if you need to grab a morning coffee before the first Old Faithful eruption of the day (this is kind of like Yellowstone’s version of Starbucks).

On the menu, you’ll find house-made deli sandwiches, salads, soups, and a few sweet treats. There’s nothing hugely filling, but there’s a great selection of gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options to choose from.

Plus, it’s possibly one of the most casual spots for dining in Yellowstone National Park. Seriously, you can easily waltz in with the family in dirty boots and an enormous coat and no one will look twice!

Pro Tip: Take your food/coffee to go, and enjoy it in the lobby by the HUGE stone fireplace, or take the stairs to the roof deck on the second level, and enjoy your java while Old Faithful puts on its (mostly) regularly-scheduled shows.

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Bear Paw Deli is right off the main lobby shown above on the first level of the Old Faithful Inn | Yellowstone National Park from Yellowstone NP, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Dining Recommendations: Mammoth Hot Springs

1. Terrace Grill

Hours: Varies

Open: Summer/Fall Season Only

Cuisine: American/Grill

Location: Mammoth Hot Springs, between Mammoth Hotel and the General Store

Reservations Required: No

Address: 305B Grand Loop Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

**TOP RECOMMENDATION for eateries in Mammoth Hot Spring area

At Terrace Grill, you’ll enjoy your morning breakfast sandwich and coffee (or evening ice cream) with a side of live elk sauntering past the windows. The counter service is fast, and the prices reasonable.

The location is super convenient if you’re staying at the Mammoth Hotel or cabins (my recommendation) for the night.

view from the Terrace Grill, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National ParkPin
view from the porch of the Terrace Grill to “downtown” Mammoth Hot Springs

2. Mammoth General Store

Hours: 9 am – Varies

Open: Year Round

Cuisine: Hot Dogs/Ice Cream/Sandwiches/Soup

Location: Mammoth Hot Springs, between Terrace Grill and the Sinclair gas station

Reservations Required: No

Address: 315A Grand Loop Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

**TOP RECOMMENDATION for groceries in Mammoth Hot Spring area

The Mammoth General Store has a little bit of everything. It’s a big gift shop, but also great for groceries. If you want to buy some canned soup, ramen, or pre-packaged breakfast sandwiches, they have a microwave for you to warm up your purchases on the spot.

In the rear, center area of the store, they also have an ice cream counter (yes, that’s TWO places for ice cream in Mammoth!) that also serves some hot food items like hot dogs and nachos.

view of Mammoth General Store from the Terrace Grill with several elk grazing on the grassPin
elk grazing between the Terrace Grill (where this photo was shot) looking across to the Mammoth General Store

3. Mammoth Hotel Dining Room

Hours: 6 am – 9 pm (winter); 5 pm – 9 pm (summer). They close between breakfast, lunch, and dinner shifts in winter, so check hours before you go.

Open: Year Round

Cuisine: American/Grill

Location: Mammoth Hot Springs, inside Mammoth Hotel

Reservations Required: Winter dinners

Address: 305A Grand Loop Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

If you’re on the lookout for upscale dining in Yellowstone National Park, Mammoth Hotel Dining Room is a good choice. In all honesty, if you’re only going to go “fancy” in Yellowstone for one night, save it for Old Faithful Inn, or Lake Yellowstone Hotel Dining Room. But if you’re ok “doing it up” a couple of nights, don’t miss this one, too.

You’ll find this place inside the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and it’s open for dinner only during the summer months. During wintertime, it serves breakfast and lunch on a first-served basis with dinner operating on a reservation-only basis.

The Art Deco-inspired space is very nice, but the dress code is still relatively casual. If you’re lucky, you’ll also see elk roaming around the hotel’s lawn which is a huge selling point. Plus, it should keep little ones occupied while you eat (hooray for reduced screen time!).

Food-wise, you should expect bison steaks, trout, elk sliders, but kids should be fine with wings and the wild game chili. There ARE veggie-friendly dishes available, but there aren’t many.

For eco-conscious visitors, this place has also been 4-Star Certified by the Green Restaurant Association. This means it engages in sustainable practices and uses local and organic ingredients!

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel Dining Room exteriorPin
Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel Dining Room (it’s not actually attached to the hotel). The Terrace Grill is on the other side of the same building | Yellowstone NP, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Dining Recommendations: Grant Village

1. Grant Village Dining Room

Hours: 6:30 am – 10 am. 5 pm – 9 pm

Open: Summer/Fall Season Only

Cuisine: American

Location: Grant Village

Reservations Required:

Address: 550 Sculpin Ln, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

For family-friendly dining in Yellowstone National Park (that isn’t too casual!), check out Grant Village Dining Room. It offers a varied menu packed with wild game and it’s right next to the Seven Stool Saloon if you need a nightcap!

Grant Village restaurantPin
Grant Village Lodge Dining Room | Acroterion, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The dining room’s interior is lodge-like with its high beams and enormous vaulted ceilings. But despite feeling slightly upscale, it has really reasonable prices. Expect to find amazing bison burgers, falafel wraps, steaks, and delicious desserts (including a stellar brûlée cheesecake!).

You can grab breakfast, lunch, and dinner here, but be aware that reservations are mandatory for dinner. Plus, you can’t beat the incredible full-wall view of the lake from most of the dining area. During the summer months, I highly recommend trying to grab a seat outdoors if you can.

inside Grant Village RestaurantPin
interior of Grant Village Dining Room | Yellowstone National Park from Yellowstone NP, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

2. Grant Village Lake House Restaurant

Hours: 5 pm – 10 pm

Open: Summer/Fall Season Only

Cuisine: Tacos

Location: Grant Village (at the marina)

Reservations Required: No

Address: 1095 Grant Marina Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

**TOP RECOMMENDATION in the Grant Village area (because it’s hard to beat a view + a taco)

The views…and tacos! Two pretty great reasons for dining at the Lake House Restaurant. It’s a great place to decompress after a day on the go in Yellowstone. Make sure to ask for window seating! Note that this option is only open for dinner, and the menu is truly JUST tacos (and a good assortment of adult beverages…great combo if you ask me ;).

exterior of the Lake House Restaurant, Grant Village, Yellowstone National ParkPin
Grant Village Lake House restaurant | Yellowstone National Park from Yellowstone NP, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

3. Grant Village General Store

Hours: 5 pm – 10 pm

Open: Summer/Fall Season Only

Cuisine:

Location: Grant Village

Reservations Required: No

Address: 2 Grant Village Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

The McDonalds of Yellowstone with quick, counter-service, and fast-food fare, Grant Village General Store is a great option for a quick meal before hiking (or boating…you’re near the lake here!) on your Yellowstone adventure du jour.

The General Store is also a great option for purchasing groceries and car snacks if you’d rather eat on the run! Plus, you can pick up all those huckleberry gifts for friends and neighbors at the gift shop in one big shopping swoop.

Truthfully, this area of the park is NOT my favorite for food OR shopping, but remember, the park is HUGE, so if this is a convenient stopping point for you, don’t hesitate to stock up on whatever it is you may need!

Grant Village General StorePin
Yellowstone National Park from Yellowstone NP, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Dining Recommendations: Lake Yellowstone

1. Lake Yellowstone Hotel Dining Room

Hours: 6:30 –10 am, 11:30 am–2:30 pm, and 5–10 pm

Open: Summer/Fall Season Only

Cuisine: Fine dining/American

Location: Inside Lake Yellowstone Hotel, main level

Reservations Required: Strongly Recommended

Address: 235 Yellowstone Lake Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

**TOP RECOMMENDATION in this area of the park for sit-down, upscale dining.

Pro Tip: request seating by the windows when making your reservation, or speak to the host early on the day of your meal and make the request.

If you’re traveling with slightly older children, the Lake Yellowstone Hotel Dining Room is a gorgeous place for an evening meal. It’s perched right on the shores of Lake Yellowstone and offers panoramic views over the waterfront from almost every seat.

interior of Lake Yellowstone Hotel Dining RoomPin
interior of the Lake Yellowstone Hotel Dining Room

The interior is elegant and understated (but definitely upscale), with tall white beams, pristine tablecloths, and perfectly folded napkins. You can 100% dine in this restaurant in casual clothing, but it’s still an excellent spot for special occasion dining in Yellowstone National Park.

our family getting ready to play a game in the lobby of the Lake Yellowstone HotelPin
Lobby of Lake Yellowstone Hotel – this was after we ate dinner in the Dining Room which is off to the rear and right in this shot (so you can use how we are dressed as a reference…it’s casual!). Live music is often playing here in the evenings, and there are games available for families to play as you sip a cocktail and enjoy the sunset!

If you’re wondering why I’ve said this is best for older children, it’s because I feel like the menu is just slightly too fussy for young kids. It’s an expensive seasonal menu packed with creative dishes that lean toward fine dining. Think dishes like bison burgers, elk ravioli, and poached pear salads. So, petite palates may not necessarily appreciate the fancier flavors here.

Lake Yellowstone HotelPin
Front of the Lake Yellowstone Hotel which faces Yellowstone Lake

Like Old Faithful Inn, this restaurant is one that gets booked out fairly quickly (though not as fast as Old Faithful Inn). Hotel guests will get an email 60 days ahead of their trip to book. Guests staying at other park lodges/hotels can book here 30 days in advance. Book this one ASAP if you’d like to fit it into your trip.

2. Lake Lodge Cafeteria (Wylie Canteen)

Hours: 6:30 – 10:30 am, 11:30 am – 3 pm, 4:30 – 9:30 pm

Open: Summer/Fall Season Only

Cuisine: American/Light Bites

Location: Inside Yellowstone Lake Lodge, on your right as you enter the lobby

Reservations Required: No

Address: 459 Lake Village Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

**TOP RECOMMENDATION in this area of the park for casual, budget-friendlier fare and less crowds

As a mom, good food at bargain prices is what I live for. And that’s largely what you’ll find at the Lake Lodge Cafeteria. It’s also right by Yellowstone Lake, which means you might be lucky enough to catch elk or bison strolling by your window!

Lake Lodge lobby, Yellowstone National ParkPin
Lake Lodge lobby – Wylie’s Canteen is just out of frame to the right

It’s not the most exciting dining room in the world, but it offers a rotating daily menu of specials that keeps things interesting at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. From deli sandwiches to hot entrees and fresh salads, there’s something here to please every palate.

bar inside Lake Lodge, Yellowstone National ParkPin
Lake Lodge lobby bar – grab a huckleberry martini – you won’t regret it!

Oh, and I also think it has amazing opening hours for families looking to explore the nearby trails. It’s open early and closes reasonably late for those last-minute quick dinners!

exterior of the Yellowstone Lake LodgePin
Yellowstone Lake Lodge | Greg Willis from Denver, CO, usa, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pro Tips:

  1. Ask for your food to go, and eat in the lobby by the fire, or outside on the front porch while you play a game of cards and watch the bison wander past.
  2. Don’t miss the opportunity to grab a drink in the lobby bar. I highly recommend the Huckleberry Martini.

3. Fishing Bridge General Store

Hours: 6:30 – 10:30 am, 11:30 am – 3 pm, 4:30 – 9:30 pm

Open: Summer/Fall Season Only

Cuisine: American/Light Bites

Location: Fishing Bridge, across Entrance Rd from the visitor center

Reservations Required: No

Address: 1 E Entrance Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

**TOP RECOMMENDATION in this area of the park for groceries and good diner food

This is an awesome general store, and convenient for those staying at the nearby RV/campground as well as those staying in the Lake Yellowstone area.

The store was built in 1931. It boasts a big lunch counter, 1950’s diner style with the U-shaped counters where waiters/waitresses can zig-zag between rows of patrons to take orders. You won’t get a great view dining here, but you will get generally quick service, and good quality sandwiches and meals.

I love this place for picking up groceries and snacks we can eat out on the trails. Grab and warm up soups, sandwiches, noodles and more at the microwave available to customers. They’ve got a large selection of hot/cold to-go items. Plus, it tends to be less crowded than general stores in the Old Faithful area and Mammoth.

Dining Recommendations: Tower/Roosevelt

1. Old West Cookout

Hours: The experience runs nightly during the summertime and you should get to the stables by 4:45 pm.

Open: Summer/Fall Season Only

Cuisine: American BBQ

Location: Tower/Roosevelt outdoor dining following a stagecoach or horseback ride; leaves from corral in front of Roosevelt Lodge

Reservations Required: Absolutely; and months in advance

Address: 100 Roosevelt Lodge Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

**TOP RECOMMENDATION for family dining experience in the entire park! This is a DO NOT MISS!

The Old West Dinner Cookout is one of the most unique dining experiences at Yellowstone National Park. It involves taking a horseback or wagon ride (your choice) out on the prairie and chowing down on an old-school American dinner. While you’re trotting along, you’ll also head through the sagebrush flats until you hit the cookout site (so, it’s great for wildlife watching!).

on the wagon ride at dusk headed back to Roosevelt Corral after the Old West Dinner Cookout in Yellowstone National ParkPin

In terms of food, expect their signature Roosevelt baked beans, sirloin steak (cooked to order!), cornbread, and potato salad among other trimmings! There’s even live music sung by an authentic Western cowboy (plus a campfire) to keep you entertained while you sip your “cowboy coffee” (trust me, don’t miss it).

enjoying the entertainment and campfire at the old west cookoutPin
enjoying the campfire and entertainment at the cookout

The entire experience runs for about 3 hours and it’s on the expensive side at $65-$116 per person (which is subject to change). But if I’m being honest, it’s a Yellowstone experience that the entire family will LOVE. Plus, kids under 3 can share food from an adult’s plate which cuts costs down considerably.

view of horses and wagons at dusk headed back to Roosevelt Corral after the Old West Dinner Cookout in Yellowstone National ParkPin

If you do visit, just remember to arrive 10 minutes prior to your check-in time and wear closed-toes shoes if traveling by horseback. Anyone wearing sandals or sliders won’t be able to ride to the experience (no exceptions!).

scenery from the cookout site at the Old West Dinner Cookout in Yellowstone NP, Tower/RooseveltPin
view from the cookout…it’s a magical place, truly

Pro Tip: It gets dusty on the trail, and buggy at the cookout site. Don’t leave on this adventure without face masks or bandanas for the trail ride (mostly for those riding the wagons), and bug spray to get you through the meal.

Even in the warmest part of the summer, it will get cool as the sun fades, so for the temperature AND the mosquitos, do your family a favor, and make everyone wear (or bring) pants and jackets!

2. Roosevelt Lodge Dining Room

Hours: 7–10 am, 11:30  am–9:30  pm

Open: Summer/Fall Season Only

Cuisine: American/Old-West

Location: Inside Roosevelt Lodge main lobby

Reservations Required: No

Address: 100 Roosevelt Lodge Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

Roosevelt Lodge Dining Room is one of my top picks for dining in Yellowstone National Park for families. That’s largely because of the family-style sharing platters, but kids also love the old-school, cowboy-like feel of the place.

family on the porch at Roosevelt Lodge in Yellowstone National ParkPin

It’s worth mentioning that the restaurant is only open between June and early September. So, this isn’t a full-service option for breakfast or dinner that’s going to work for the winter months. But if you’re looking for Old-West grub like ribs, burgers, steak, and fried chicken? Well, this place has got you covered.

Just as a heads-up, this is also a fabulous place to grab affordable boxed lunches with simple sandwiches to keep kiddos ticking over. You can even slide over to the general store to grab picnic supplies (and ice cream!) for the road!

Roosevelt Lodge dining roomPin
the dining room | Yellowstone NP, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

3. Tower General Store

Hours: Varies

Open: Summer/Fall Season Only

Cuisine: ice cream/groceries/hot dogs

Location: Tower Fall

Reservations Required: No

Address: 1 Dunraven Pass Road, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

Tower General Store is kind of like your local 7-11. You go here because it’s convenient, and you’re REALLY thirsty. Their best food feature is undoubtedly the ice cream. Grab one, then take the short trail to Tower Fall and enjoy the view of the falls with your treat.

There are groceries here and pre-packaged snacks, etc. but it’s usually quite crowded at this location, both in the parking lot and in the store. But it’s there if you need it!

exterior of Tower General Store by Tower Fall, Yellowstone NPPin
Outside of Tower General Store – the short walk to Tower Fall is seen toward the right side of this picture | Yellowstone National Park, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Dining Recommendations: Canyon Village

1. Canyon Fountain and Grill

Hours: 11 am – 5 pm

Open: Summer/Fall Season Only

Cuisine: American diner-style

Location: Canyon Village; between the Canyon Visitor Center and the post office

Reservations Required: No

Address: 2 Canyon Village Loop Road, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

It’s…you guessed it! Another lunch counter! Yellowstone loves its lunch counters. Once again, you can expect good-old fashioned diner food. You won’t get a view, except of the souvenirs at the shop which Canyon Soda Fountain shares space with, but you’ll fuel up the kids and get them ready for the rest of your Yellowstone day.

front of the Canyon Village Fountain and GrillPin
Front of the Fountain & Grill and General Store | User:Magicpiano, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Canyon Village area gets very crowded in the midst of the summer season, so if you plan to spend time in this area, do yourself a favor and eat at slightly off-kilter times. Otherwise, expect a wait (and perhaps grumpy kids while you wait). The other option is to skip the lunch counter and grab some groceries at the attached general store.

Canyon Lodge/Village area, Yellowstone National ParkPin
Canyon Village area sign; Canyon Fountain and Grill is in this shopping/service area

2. Canyon Lodge Eatery

Hours: Varies, but generally open breakfast – dinner hours

Open: Summer/Fall Season Only

Cuisine: American fare + pizza, ice cream, Asian rice/noodle bowls

Location: Canyon Village (Food Court)

Reservations Required: No

Address: 83B Lupine Ct, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

**TOP RECOMMENDATION for Canyon area because of the variety (and it’s usually less crowded than the soda fountain next door)

To round off this deep-dive on dining in Yellowstone National Park, we have the Canyon Lodge Ice Eatery. Think of it as a big mall or university-style food court. With different “vendors” like the ice creamery, Fresh Woks, and the Slow Food Fast area, they’ve got lots of options.

interior of Canyon Lodge Eatery areaPin
Interior of the Eatery | Acroterion, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This ice creamery is ridiculously popular during the summer period and serves locally-made ice cream from Big Dipper in house-made waffle cones.

They serve perhaps Wyoming’s creamiest ice cream (the salted caramel and berry flavors are particularly good!). Come at off-hours, if possible to avoid long queues during the height of summer. But this is a great place to take the kiddos mid-afternoon if you need to get them through the day on a slight sugar high.

outside the Canyon Village Eatery, Yellowstone National Park Pin
Outside the Canyon Lodge Eatery

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Here's the ultimate guide to dining in Yellowstone National Park. These are the 21 best restaurants and dining experiences inside the park you and your family need to try! #familytravel #yellowstonePin
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About Heather Thibodeau

Heather Thibodeau is the founder and mom behind nationalparksmom.com.

She and her husband Dave (AKA Tib) are on a mission to travel to as many US national parks with their three kids in tow as they possibly can, doing their best to keep the little ones out in nature and off of screens in an increasingly digital world.

Heather has earned degrees in biology & chemistry from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies), and holds master's and doctorate degrees in physical therapy from Duke University (Go Blue Devils).

Heather is also the creative force behind The Heathered Nest where she shares her love of all things DIY and home decor.

Her work has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, House Beautiful, Good Housekeeping, This Old House, Today.com, The Washington Post, Boston Globe, and more.

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