Looking for the best West Yellowstone restaurants?


Where to start when it comes to the filling fare of West Yellowstone? Let’s just start where your day does: coffee. Duck to the back of the Book Peddler to find a small espresso stand and maybe a pumpkin cinnamon roll (along with a side of local literature), or slip into to Morning Glory Coffee and Tea for a jolt of joe roasted right on site.

If you’re in town for lunch, swing by the local taco bus, Taqueria Las Palmitas, with seating both in the bus and (on nice days) outside. Long before food trucks became a Thing, this repurposed school bus started dishing out street pork tacos, chicken enchiladas and—vegetarians take note—meat-free Mexican food.

Since Arrowleaf Ice Cream isn’t open late (but it is open year round), stop by for a sunny afternoon calorie splurge. Using a “swirl freeze” machine, Arrowleaf folds roughly a billion flavor options (including huckleberries) into chocolate or vanilla ice cream, wrapped in a homemade waffle cone.

West Yellowstone’s small size belies its diverse dinner options—like a Spanish restaurant with a bona fide Spanish owner-chef, Café Madriz (open warm season only). The hole-in-the-wall serves tapas and a bunch of Spanish food we won’t try to spell, with nary bison burger in sight. If a meat-fest calls, though, head to Bar N Ranch Restaurant, where elk, bison, halibut and more get creative culinary treatments on a 200-acre working ranch six miles from town (open warm-season only).

When you’re hankering for a gourmet huckleberry burger (which now you are, right?), eat at Madison Crossing, open for warm season only. Vegetarians, note the portabella burger, non-vegetarians, note the short ribs, angus burger, and ribeye of the day.

Vegans, gluten-free folk and those seeking lighter fare, look to Serenity Bistro, which can accommodate special diets with advance notice. The atmosphere isn’t fancy, but the food is thoughtfully prepared, with a selective menu of upscale options like stuffed pork porterhouse and grilled trout. Like many West restaurants, Serenity’s only open in the warm season, but they open a little earlier and close a little later in the year than other options. Reservations are highly recommended.

Between meaty standards, ethnic fare and upscale options, West Yellowstone delivers a food scene much bigger than it’s population suggests—so make sure that taste-testing is just part of your travel itinerary.