6 of the Best Restaurants Near Yellowstone National Park

March 7, 2024

If you visited Yellowstone National Park in 1964, a cup of coffee would set you back $.15, a side of bacon $.50, and a three-egg omelet, $.85. Feeling nostalgic? Buy this vintage Yellowstone Park Company main dining room menu on Ebay. Feeling hungry? Keep reading. While it’s relatively expensive to eat inside the park these days (instead of paying $4 for steak, you’ll pay $40), and your options are limited to concessionaire offerings, it’s never been easier to find memorable meals in Yellowstone’s gateway towns. Even Red Lodge, Yellowstone’s backdoor entrance via the remote Beartooth Highway, is on the radar of the prestigious James Beard Foundation. As more tourists flock to the world’s first national park, communities like Jackson, West Yellowstone and Gardiner are stepping up their culinary games to offer everything from Texas-style barbecue to Szechuan specialties (including octopus).

Of course, bison and elk are mainstays on most menus within a 50-mile radius of Yellowstone. While there’s no shame in cooking your meals – after all, that’s one of the benefits of camping – if you have the time and dime to dine out, consider the top-rated eateries below. It’s just a short list of the best restaurants near Yellowstone (there are too many to name), but it includes a food truck serving traditional fish and chips, a carnivore’s dream drive-thru featured by Food Network and a family-friendly dinner theater specializing in full bellies and belly laughs.

Here’s Where You Should Eat Near Yellowstone

Aerial View of the Town of Gardiner, Montana which borders Yellowstone National Park.

1. Grizzly Grille (Gardiner, North Entrance)

While it’s not open year-round, this food truck is a favorite among locals and tourists alike who wait in line, rain or shine, for generous portions of comfort food prepared with flavors from around the world. Picky eater? No problem. Order the build-your-own jasmine rice bowl and choose all your toppings. Craving some quality pub fare? You can’t go wrong with the fish and chips. And if your idea of a good time involves a Louisiana po’boy, you’re in luck.

Pro tip: Don’t get your lunch to go. Take advantage of the picnic tables and covered seating. Although it’s located about six miles west of Gardiner, Grizzly Grille boasts even better views than what you’ll find in town.

2. Wonderland Cafe (Gardiner, North Entrance)

Before it was officially named, Yellowstone was referred to as Wonderland. Not only does this contemporary stone restaurant right on Main Street pay homage to the park’s past, but it gets much of its inspiration from the locals. Whether you’re in for breakfast, lunch or dinner, you can enjoy sustainably-sourced ingredients like elk, bison, trout, huckleberry and even fresh microgreens grown in nearby Paradise Valley. Wonderland Cafe also has several Montana beers on tap, a rotating hard seltzer and a respectable wine list.

Pro tip: Much of the art displayed on the walls is for sale; consider supporting a local artist and picking up a painting or sketch as your park souvenir. Who knows? It could be worth millions someday.

A close up of a table filled with food at Prerogative Kitchen in Red Lodge, Montana.

3. Prerogative Kitchen (Red Lodge, Northeast Entrance)

Prerogative Kitchen may be new, but it’s already been recognized by the prestigious James Beard Foundation two years in a row. The chalkboard menu features rotating specials like 48-hour sous vide bison short rib, citrus and chili chicharones, kale caesar salad and a foot-long lobster roll served on a buttery brioche bun made by Red Lodge’s Cattail Bakery. Don’t expect plastic straws or paper napkins though; this is the most eco-friendly eatery in town. Even the decor comes from thrift shops.

Pro tip: In a hurry? Get it to go. While Restaurant Guru awarded Prerogative Kitchen “best interior” and “best service” in Red Lodge in 2023, it also offers takeaway.

A large dining hall with long tables and stage where a singer performs.

4. The Cody Cattle Company (Cody, East Entrance)

If you’re a fan of family-style, and you like a little entertainment with your entree, do yourself a favor and get reservations at The Cody Cattle Company. It bills itself as Wyoming’s best dinner show making it a destination in itself. The menu is limited – brisket or chicken and the usual suspects (mac & cheese, beans, etc.) as sides – but the food is unlimited, and there’s a full bar. There’s also no need for coloring pages or iPads for the kids; the show portion promises “foot-stompin, hand-clappin family fun.”

Pro tip: If you want to watch some professional cowboys and cowgirls, too, buy the Trifecta Ticket, which includes the dinner, show and Cody’s world-famous rodeo.

5. Firehole BBQ (West Yellowstone, West Entrance)

The early bird gets the brisket at this beloved family-owned barbecue joint which you may recognize from Food Network’sDiners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” While the barbecue smell lasts all day (the meat is slow-cooked on site in two commercial smokers), when the Guy Fieri-approved brisket runs out, it runs out. And this may be Wyoming, but here at Firehole, the barbecue is served Texas-style with complimentary accouterments including white bread, pickles, onions and sauce served on the side.

Pro tip: Buy some finger-licking good sauce by the bottle for your friends and family back home (and pay in cash if you want to avoid the 2.5% credit card convenience fee).

View of a fine dining restaurant with cool lighting.

6. The Kitchen (Jackson, South Entrance)

Just a four-minute walk from Jackson’s historic and lively town square, this popular dinner spot serving up fresh Asian-inspired fare – including a raw bar – is close enough to all the action to not have to park twice, but far enough away that it feels quiet and intimate. And like all of the Fine Dining Restaurant Group’s establishments, The Kitchen offers an elevated menu almost worthy of a Michelin star. That said, the vibes are more casual. I.e. The dress code is practically Wranglers and cowboy boots. Friendly servers rave about the bison tartare, and vegetarians sing the praises of General Joe’s Tofu.

Pro tip: Don’t miss happy hour (5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.) for some of the best half-off food and drink specials in all of Jackson Hole.

Stay at These Campgrounds Near Yellowstone

Yellowstone Park / West Gate KOA
Yellowstone Park / Mountainside KOA Journey
Livingston / Paradise Valley KOA Holiday
Red Lodge KOA Journey
Cody KOA Holiday
Dubois / White River KOA Holiday

KOA Author Katie JacksonKatie Jackson is a writer and media specialist based in Montana’s Big Sky Country. Living and working everywhere from New York to Nicaragua, Katie is no stranger to adventure. When she’s not traveling the world (or writing about it!) she’s busy chasing after a Leonberger named Zeus. Follow Katie’s travels on Instagram @katietalkstravel.

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