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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? 


We were very pleased with the accomodations and dining at Wawona Hotel in Yosemite. It also had the advantage of being far away from the crowds in the Valley.

As I was clicking submit on my previous post, I remembered a wonderful halibut dinner at Glacier Bay Lodge in Glacier Bay NP.

Two Cats in Bar Harbor, Maine, is my go-to breakfast spot before a day of hiking in Acadia National Park; Galyn's is my favorite dinner spot there. Skyland Lodge in Shenandoah NP and Peaks of Otter Lodge and Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway offer great food in addition to decent accommodations and spectacular scenery.

The Whistle Stop in East Glacier Montana, The Signal Mountain Lodge, Trapper Grill in Grand Teton.

The Calimari served on the outside Lounge Deck at El Tovar (South Rim GC) is the best I've had, anywhere.  Nice surprise for a major seafood consumer!  Of course the Condors flying by occasionally looking for their own meal is kind of cool.

I enjoy stopping for fried apple pies at the Apple Barn in Sevierville, Tennessee or at Carver's Orchard in Cosby, Tennessee before heading into the mountains. For breakfast, I recommend some of pancake houses in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. For lunch or supper, I recommend Calhoun's which has locations in both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. If you want to take the BBQ with you and picnic in the park instead, stop at Buddy's in Pigeon Forge instead.

Calimari at the canyon! Who would have figured....? No Rocky Mountain oysters?

I wouldn't have figured either, Kurt.  Seafood in Arizona is hit or miss, generally, but the way they cook the larger squid variety is is very good.  The other outstanding seafood coincidentally, was Halibut in the Back of the House (private) at Phantom Ranch but having been hauled in on mules it is assumed that it would be outstanding:).  Best lemonade in the Universe served there, also.

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