Jackson Hole — Dining
We’ll start with the selection at the ski area, and work our way toward town. If you’re staying in Teton Village, be sure to spend at least one evening in town, if only to see the lighted elk-horn arches in the town square.
At the elegant end of the spectrum is Alpenrose at the Alpenhof Hotel (307-733-3462; $$$–$$$$), a quiet, genteel place. You might begin with seared St. Jacques scallops and move onto roasted baby pheasant or walleye with French cockles. Dietrich’s Bar & Bistro (307-733-3242; $$), also at the Alpenhof, brings the price down a notch and specializes in Alpine favorites such as fondues, bratwurst, sauerbraten and wienerschnitzel. They also serve entrees such as wild game loaf, fish and chips, and lamb cassoulet in a casual setting.
For another memorable meal, dine at Gamefish (307-732-6040; $$$; above) in the Snake River Lodge and Spa. Appropriately, the emphasis is on native game and fish, with traditional and creative renditions of each. A skilled wait staff, upholstered seats, good wine list and exquisite desserts—don’t miss the chocolate souffle—make it a comfortable place to while away a leisurely meal.
Cascade Grill House & Spirits (307-732-6932; $$$–$$$$; left), with a menu of “new Western” cuisine and an atmosphere to match, is in the Teton Mountain Lodge. If you go, leave your pacemaker at home. The restaurant plies you with a red-blooded menu big on grilled meats and heart-stopper desserts like Mile High Brownie Sundae and Molten Chocolate Volcano Cake. Unless you have a huge appetite, share the Cascade Platter, a trio of buffalo filet mignon, Colorado lamb, and seared elk.
The Best Western Inn at Jackson Hole has two noteworthy restaurants. Masa Sushi (307-733-2962; $–$$) is a tiny restaurant that serves stunning sushi; reservations are essential. Vertical (307-734-2375; $$–$$$$) has classic black-&-white photos of movie stars on its walls, an enormous glass wine storage rack climbing 20 feet of vertical behind the bar, and a very modern vibe with its chrome, aluminum and glass interior. Be chic, and nibble on a selection from the cheese menu while sipping on a glass of wine, or be sated and try the succulent seafood pasta with a pineapple jalapeño margarita. Its menu changes nightly, but always includes creatively prepared meat, game, chicken and fish entrees.
The elegant Four Seasons Resort has a restaurant and two lounges. The open kitchen and wood-burning fireplace set the tone for the Westbank Grill (307-734-5040; $$–$$$), which focuses on flavors and ingredients of the American West. The heated outdoor terrace with its own wood-burning fireplace provides an alternative dining experience. The Lobby Lounge and The Peak both serve light meals and refreshments that are quite affordable for lunchtime skiers.
For a truly unique dinner experience, make reservations well in advance for the Solitude Cabin Dinner Sleighrides (307-739-2603; $$$; right). The price is steep ($69.95 adults; $38.95 children younger than 10; $14.95 infants to 3 years), but it includes a sleigh ride to an on-mountain cabin, a four-course meal and tax; choose from roast prime rib or broiled salmon filet. Live musical entertainment adds to the fun. Drinks aren’t part of the fixed price, but you can bring your own (as long as you can handle the $5 cork fee). As a lunch buffet, the Cabin is open to the public during Christmas Week and over Presidents’ Weekend. It’s available at other times to book for private lunch parties.
The Couloir, part of the new Bridger Restaurant (located at the top of the Bridger Gondola at 9,095 feet) will be open for dinner from mid-January onwards. After dinner in the rustic-elegant Couloir you take a star-lit ride back to the valley in the Gondola.
The very funky Mangy Moose (307-733-4913; $–$$; above), is a three-fold find. Head downstairs to The Rocky Mountain Oyster for cheap eats for breakfast or lunch; to the restaurant for steaks, chicken, game, fish and an excellent salad bar; and to the Saloon for pizza and burgers and apres-ski.
You can grab a breakfast or lunch bagel in the Bridger Center locker area. For heartier quick morning eats, try the tramline burrito at The Village Cafe. Eat upstairs for fast service, or head down for a more leisurely meal and choices for the health conscious. You can get soups, salads, sandwiches, pizza by the slice and good veggie food (try the teriyaki tofu) here for lunch. You’ll find bagels, sandwiches and hot soup specials at Bridger Bagels & Espresso on the first level of Bridger Center. Jackson Hole Sports on the second level of Bridger Center is the place for coffee, espresso and Danish pastries.
Soft lighting, a roaring fire, and an open kitchen accent the intimate Wild Sage Restaurant (307-744-0935; $$$; left) at the Rusty Parrot Lodge. Many locals consider it Jackson’s finest restaurant. The setting is elegant yet unpretentious, the wine list is excellent, the service is professional, the pace is leisurely, and the cuisine is exceptional in both quality and presentation. The pan-seared Alaskan halibut and the seared elk tenderloin are can’t-miss choices.
Off Broadway Grille (307-733-9777; $$–$$$) features entrees such as lamb tenderloin with a Mediterranean black olive tapenade, Thai-steamed seafood with Asian flavors or sauteed sea scallops and leeks in a creamy tomato-saffron sauce. The Blue Lion (307-733-3912; $$–$$$), hidden away in a blue-clapboard house with several intimate dining rooms, is known for its roast rack of lamb, which we describe as cooked a la shake ‘n’ bake.
Ask locals to recommend their favorite restaurant, and it’s a good chance they’ll mention Rendezvous Bistro (307-739-1100; $–$$). The well-prepared homestyle menu defies the moderate prices. Salads and sandwiches satisfy lighter appetites, while entrees, such as a mouth-watering free-range half chicken, confit of duck, rustic lamb stew and curry vegetables with wonton strips, satisfy those who’ve worked up an appetite. Begin with oyster shooters at the bar, and don’t forget to ask about the daily plates. The atmosphere can be boisterous—its name is certainly fitting.
Another that earns accolades from locals is Koshu (307-733-5283; $$), part of the Jackson Hole Wine Company. An Asian-inspired menu showcases such items as kumamoto oysters, ahi tartare, pad thai and Peking duck breast.The small but sophisticated Nikai (307-734-6490; $–$$; right), two blocks north of Town Square, is where the younger, smarter crowd goes for sushi and Asian cuisine.
Stone Table run by Julie Zell Suclla and her Peruvian husband, Gustavo Suclla Schiaffino, this Latin-fusion tapas restaurant takes its food seriously. The cocktails and extensive wine list are reasons enough to go, but once you’re there, you’d be crazy not to order, say, the potatoes. Delivered as three Gaudí-esque towers, they’re served with crab and ají chili peppers and topped with avocado and garlic-lime aioli. Even the vegetarian offerings are well thought out. The yucas fritas—fried yuca root served with an aioli dipping sauce—are absolutely addictive. Information: 850 W. Broadway, 307-732-0500, tapas from $3.50. Recommended by Alisan Peters, Jackson, Wyo. in Budget Travel.
If you can’t decide what you’re up for, head to the fancy diner setting of the Cadillac Grille and Billy’s Burgers (307-733-3279; $$–$$$) right on the town square. The dining room menu is heavy on meat and game but also has eclectic entrees like goat cheese ravioli. Billy’s Burgers serves, well, burgers—best in town, say the locals. And if you just want a drink, it’s 2-for-1 every night, 5–7 p.m.
Tired of Western kitsch? Try the Cyprus Restaurant (307-733-8220; $$–$$$$) a block off the main street with Mediterranean dishes like lamb and cous cous and a signature dish the locals call lobster mac & cheese. Belly dancers entertain guests every Friday night.
For casual inexpensive dining, the Jackson Hole classic is Bubba’s (307-733-2288; $–$$), featuring heaping plates of “bubbacued” ribs, chicken, beef and pork. Try the Mexican huevos for breakfast or sink your teeth into one of Bubba’s oversized omelettes. No sense in giving you the phone number, because Bubba’s doesn’t take reservations (it’s on the main drag at 515 W. Broadway). Be prepared to wait, and while you do, send a member of your party to the liquor store—Bubba’s is BYOB and they encourage you to bring your own bottles.
Another casual place is Mountain High Pizza Pie (307-733-3646; $) and they deliver when you can’t quite get it together to go out. Nani’s Genuine Pasta House (307-733-3888; $$; left), two blocks north of Broadway, and Anthony’s (307-733-3717; $$), near the Wort Hotel, get raves from locals for authentic Italian regional cooking. For Mexican, head to The Merry Piglets (307-733-2966; $–$$) near the town square; for Thai, it’s Thai Me Up (307-733-0005; $–$$) a block from the town square.
The hearty-breakfast king is Bubba’s. For tamer breakfast fare try The Bunnery (307-733-5474; $) with excellent omelets, whole-grain waffles and bakery items, and Jedediah’s Original House of Sourdough (307-733-5671; $) for superb sourjack pancakes.
Between town and the ski area
Set high on a butte with a wall of windows framing the Tetons, the Granary at Spring Creek (307-733-8833; $$$–$$$$) lets you drink in the views along with your elk tenderloin or hazelnut-encrusted trout. Desert tones provide a neutral background for the top-notch food and views. You may want to take a sleigh ride before dinner (reservations required). Come early on Fridays for the jazz happy hour. Note: This isn’t a good choice for vegetarians.
Another top choice is The Grille at Teton Pines (307-733-1005, $$–$$$; right) at the Teton Pines Resort, with a beautiful dining room and extensive wine list. Stiegler’s (307-733-1071; $$) has specialties from chef-owner Peter Stiegler’s home in Austria.
The Mexican restaurant with the best reputation is Vista Grande (307-733-6964; $–$$). The fajitas are a must-have. For casual dining, try the Calico Italian Restaurant & Bar (307-733-2460; $$), halfway between Jackson and Teton Village at a bus stop on Village Road and very popular with the locals.
If you’re headed to Grand Targhee, rustic Nora’s Fish Creek Inn in Wilson (307-733-8288; $$ for dinner) is a local favorite for any meal, especially breakfast.
For more ideas, pick up a copy of the Jackson Hole Dining Guide or browse through the rack of business-card-sized menus at your hotel (an excellent idea other resorts might well use).
Dining Legend: $$$$–Entrees $30+; $$$–$20–30; $$–$10–20; $–less than $10