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Reader Participation Day: Where Do You Find The Best Meals In, Or Near, The National Park System?


When you visit Glacier National Park, don't miss a stop at the Park Cafe in St. Mary for a slice of pie!

Good food and national parks aren't always discussed in the same conversation, but there are some great meals to be had in the parks.

Places such as the Metate Room at Mesa Verde National Park or the Mammoth Springs Hotel in Yellowstone National Park can compete with many fine big-city restaurants.

But there are other lodge dining rooms that, well, still have a ways to go in terms of elevating their menus.

With that understood, which restaurants and meals in, or nearby, the national parks would you recommend to your friends?

For instance, I frequently recommend the Jailhouse Cafe in Moab, Utah, for breakfast before heading off into Arches or Canyonlands national parks, the Park Cafe in St. Mary, Montana, outside Glacier National Park lives by its motto -- Pie for Strength --, and when in Bar Harbor, Maine, during visits to Acadia National Park I've had some great meals at Cafe This Way.

So, what say you? What restaurants/dining rooms in, or nearby, national parks would you speak highly of? 


The Whoa Nellie Deli at the Mobil station in Lee Vining, CA, near the intersection of Hwy 395 and the Tioga Road (Hwy 120). Awesome food, views, and atmosphere! Also Savoury's Restaurant in downtown Mariposa, CA on Hwy 140. Delish!

Is the lemonade really that good, or simply appears that way after that long hike down to the ranch? (I quenched my thirst with it, too!)

Those last suggestions were for those traveling to Yosemite National Park. If you're traveling to Mesa Verde National Park or are visiting the Four Corners region, try Stonefish Sushi, The Farm Bistro, and Once Upon a Sandwich--all in the historic district of Main Street in Cortez, CO (the continuation of Hwy 160). Outstanding food at all three places. For a town of about 8,000 people, we are incredibly blessed with good eats!

Laurel, I, too, was amazed at the offerings at the Whoa Nellie Deli. And really, when you see that name, you have to stop anyway!

The best meal I have ever eaten at a National Park was the shrimp scampi at Flamingo.  Unfortunately it is gone now.

Huevos rancheros at the Bright Angel Lodge for breakfast (Grand Canyon), Ribs and homebrew sampler at Smoky Mountain Brewery (Duh), Trenton Bridge lobster pound (Acadia), and the very best...drumroll please....Mountain House freeze dried Chicken Teriyaki and a peach on Angels Landing (Zion)

Everything is better after being humbled (by the Canyon).  Did I say that, lol?

Erna's Elderberry House in Oakhurst was located there because the owner had an affinity for Yosemite. It's AAA Five Diamond rated and considered one of the best restaurants in California. In Yosemite, there's the Ahwahnee Hotel dining room, as well as the Mountain Room at Yosemite Lodge.

If your definition is expansive, then there are a host of places in San Francisco. There's Greens at Fort Mason in San Francisco, which is part of Golden Gate NRA. That is an extremely well known vegetarian restaurant and considered a pioneer in fine dining for vegetarians.

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