Several options

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 10:21:20 07/07/14

In Reply to: dining posted by chris


There is only one private property restaurant option between the two national parks, and that is Flagg Ranch. I have not patronized their restaurant(s) in many years, so I am not equipped to make a recommendation. I do know that between the 1970s and 1990s, the quality and variety was a moving target.

There are a number of places within Grand Teton National Park where you could eat, but you will already be in that area. There is one option available between the South Entrance to Yellowstone National Park and the Old Faithful area; and that is Grant Village. It is located two miles south of the major road junction at the bottom of the Grand Loop Road (West Thumb Thermal Area). You make a right, and travel a mile or two to the developed area. Once there, you have a couple choices, depending on preference and time of day. The Delaware North general store has what can best be referred to as a "luncheonette". It offers classic burger and fries cuisine. The Xanterra dining room is a much classier operation, and consequently, more expensive. They offer a full breakfast menu, including a buffet, a lunch menu, and a dinner menu. For us hard core Yellowstone junkies, the Grant Village dining room is prized for its historic willingness to experiment with its menu. Periodically, we will see some bold new item appear. Unfortunately, those bold new items sometimes only persist for a year or two. If you are at Grant during the dinner hour, you have a third option, which is the Lake House, down where the marina used to be on Yellowstone Lake. It typically serves some sort of themed American fare. For years, it was a steakhouse, then a pasta and pizza palace. I don't know what they are doing at present.

Know that Grant Village is a major concentration of visitor services, actually the newest in Yellowstone. There are hundreds of rooms of lodging in a series of multi-story structures, a gas station, a large campground with around 500 or 600 campsites, a post office, and a camper services station that offers laundry and shower services. There is also a National Park Service visitor center, which is worth visiting if you have the time. It's a great place to pick up detailed information on the park, without suffering the crowd you typically find at Old Faithful.

As you continue on toward Old Faithful, be aware that the West Thumb Thermal Area contains a fairly unique collection of large, picturesque hot pools and other thermal features right on the shore of Yellowstone Lake. With the lake and the Absaroka Mountains behind it, the photography is stunning! In winter, it is not unusual to see otters using holes in the lake ice to haul out with captured cutthroat trout, and occasional duels with scavenging coyotes over the fish.


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