Hamilton Store

Dining in Yellowstone National Park: Your Options

Restaurants

Old Faithful Inn Dining Room

This is one of the nicest restaurants in the park and one of the most atmospheric. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You are not required to dress formally, but it is always nice to dress respectfully (appropriate clothing, no hats). Breakfast is served from 6:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is served from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Reservations are highly recommended. The restaurant is open from May 7 to October 17 with varying hours:

  • May 7 to June 9: Breakfast is from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. (the buffet lasts until 10:30 a.m.). Lunch is from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • June 10 to September 6: Breakfast is from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. (the buffet lasts until 10:30 a.m.). Lunch lasts from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • September 7 to October 17: Breakfast lasts from 6:30 am to 10 a.m. (with the buffet open until 10:30 a.m.). Lunch lasts from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner lasts from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Old Faithful Snow Lodge Dining Room

Also known as the Obsidian Dining Room, this restaurant serves breakfast and dinner. This has turned into the foodies’ restaurant of choice, as there’s a lot of variation within the daily specials and a greater emphasis on finer dining. It’s also a little off the beaten path, so you usually don’t need to wait long for a table even at peak times. Breakfast is served from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Lake Yellowstone Hotel Dining Room

The Lake dining room is the most elegant restaurant in the park, reflecting the more upscale architecture of the Lake Yellowstone area. It serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast is served from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is served from 5:00 p.m. to 10 p.m. Hours are subject to change. Reservations are recommended.

Grant Village Restaurant

If you want to eat at a restaurant that is not as refined as Lake or as popular as Old Faithful, then the Grant Village restaurant is a perfect choice. The restaurant sits near Lake Yellowstone, offering visitors a nice view during their meal. The interior is a little unusual, resembling a building you would find in summer camp, but the food makes up for the cheesy design. The restaurant is open May 28-Oct. 3. Breakfast is served from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Hours are subject to change. Reservations are recommended and theoretically required for dinner, but we’ve dropped by when the restaurant was ostensibly full and been seated with no issues.

Canyon Lodge Dining Room

This restaurant offers buffets for both breakfast and lunch in lieu of regular service. Dinner is normal. It is open June 4-Sept. 26. Breakfast is served from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Mammoth Hotel Dining Room

This restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In 2010 the Dining Room opens May 14 and closes Oct. 11. Breakfast is served from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Reservations are recommended.

Roosevelt Lodge Dining Room

This is one of the best restaurants to have lunch at in the park. The food is delicious, especially the barbeque ribs with baked beans. Best of all is the porch in front of the restaurant, where you can grab a drink and sit in a rocking chair. Sadly, the parking lot takes up most of the view. It is open June 11-Sept. 6. Breakfast is served from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner is served from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Reservations are not accepted, so expect a wait, albeit a pleasant one.


Cafeterias

Old Faithful Lodge Cafeteria

For people on a tighter budget or seeking a quicker alternative to formal sit-down dining. It is open May 14-Sept. 25. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dinner is served from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Lake Lodge Cafeteria

This is a nice place to grab lunch if you are traveling around the park and need a place to stop quickly for food. It is open June 10-Oct. 3. Breakfast is served from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

  • Hours from June 10 to Sept. 6: Breakfast is served from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Continental breakfast only is served from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is served from 4:30 p.m. to 1o p.m.
  • Hours from Sept. 7 to Oct. 2: Continental breakfast only is served from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Canyon Lodge Cafeteria

A pleasant place to relax and enjoy a light meal. It is open June 4-Sept. 6. Breakfast is served from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Lunch and dinner are served from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Grant Village Lakehouse Restaurant

This restaurant serves buffet-style breakfast and dinner with a pretty view of the lake. It is open from June 18 to Sept 25, with many hour changes.

  • Hours from June 18 to June 30: Breakfast is served from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Hours from July 1 to Sept. 6: Breakfast is served from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Hours from Sept. 7 to Sept. 25: Breakfast is served from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Fast Food

Canyon Village Deli

Good place to grab a quick bite or supplies for a hike or picnic. The deli is open from June 4 to September 19.

  • Hours (June 4 to August 11): 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Hours (August 12 to August 25): 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Hours (August 26 to Sept. 19): 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Mammoth Terrace Grill

A place to grab a quick bite to eat. The grill offers a nice view of the Terraces and the elk that usually hang out in the Mammoth area. with varying hours. It is open from April 30 to Oct. 17.

  • Hours from April 30 to May 14: Continental breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Lunch/Dinner/Ice Cream from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Hours from May 20 to June 9: Continental breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Lunch/Dinner/Ice Cream from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Hours from June 10 to June 23: Breakfast from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Continental breakfast from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., Lunch/Dinner/Ice Cream from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Hours from June 24 to Sept. 8: Breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Continental breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Lunch/Dinner/Ice Cream from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Hours from Sept. 9 to Sept. 15: Breakfast from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Continental breakfast from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., Lunch/Dinner/Ice Cream from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Hours from Sept. 16 to Oct. 11: Continental breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Lunch/Dinner/Ice Cream from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Hours from Oct. 12 to Oct. 17: Lunch/Dinner/Ice Cream from 11 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Lake Hotel Deli

Located in the historic Lake Hotel, offering visitors soups, sandwiches, beverages, and deserts. Open from 10:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Bear Paw Deli

This deli offers sandwiches and ice cream in a space just off the main Old Faithful lobby. Open from May 7 to Oct. 16.

  • Hours (May 7 to May 19): Lunch/Dinner/Ice Cream is from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Hours (May 20 to Sept. 6): Lunch/Dinner/Ice Cream is from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Hours (Sept 7 to Oct. 16): Lunch/Dinner/Ice Cream is from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Geyser Grill

Great for a quick lunch, especially if you’re staying in the Old Faithful Snow Lodge. It is open from April 16 to November 7.

  • Hours (April 16 to May 14): Lunch/Dinner is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Hours (May 15 to June 9): Continental Breakfast is from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Lunch/Dinner is from 11 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Hours (June 10 to August 25): Breakfast is served from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Continental Breakfast is from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., Lunch/Dinner is from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Hours (August 26 to Oct. 16): Lunch/Dinner from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Hours (Oct. 17 to Nov. 7): Lunch/Dinner from 11:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.

General Stores

The following general stores in Yellowstone National Park offer fast food as well as junk food/beverages: Canyon Village, Fishing Bridge, Grant Village, Lake, Old Faithful (Upper and Lower), and Tower.

Lake, Canyon, and the Old Faithful (the former Hamilton store) general store restaurants are diner style, offering grilled food and ice cream. Seek out and try a cone of huckleberry ice cream during your trip.


Picnicking

If you do not want to eat at any of the restaurants or want to take full advantage of the outdoors, then you will like the picnic areas scattered throughout Yellowstone National Park. There are 50 picnic areas scattered throughout the park, most of which are only a cluster of picnic tables off to the side of the road. For more information concerning size and wheelchair access, check out http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/picnic.htm for more information. Of all the picnic areas in the park, my personal favorite is the Lava Creek area. It’s small, shaded by a variety of trees, is close to the road, and is usually not crowded. It’s a fun place to have lunch.

–Sean Reichard

 

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