Gardiner's Best Eats

Tiny Gardiner hides a few foodie treats behind unassuming doors … if you know where to look.

Yellowstone Perk serves up good coffee—and a cure for road-warrior wounds. The coffee shop/pharmacy triples as an ice creamery, with flavors crafted in small batches just up the road.

Pick up a rainy day read, a coffee, a healthy sack lunch or a Panini for dinner at Tumbleweed Bookstore and Café. This book nook in a repurposed house creates a cozy haven for mindful eaters with vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options amid its sandwiches, wraps, soups and smoothies.

For breakfast or lunch, try the super-casual Yellowstone Grill—locals recommend the Mediterranean omelet with the hash browns (emphasis on the hash browns). Even though it’s counter service, it’s not fast food—breakfast and lunch burritos, wraps, pancakes and more are fast, but not fast-food-fast.

For fancier fare, nab a reservation at the Raven Grill, where a modest exterior belies eclectic gourmet options (and on nice days, a patio with views of Electric Peak). The menu is small but tempting, with selections like bison fillet, elk burgers and fricassee of wild mushrooms doing regular duty alongside rotating seasonal specials. Finish with huckleberry crème brulée, unless you hate tastiness. (Bonus: the joint is open year-round.)

You might be bemused by the ocean decor of a landlocked restaurant on the banks of the Yellowstone River, but the food at The Lighthouse is what you’ll remember afterwards. This local’s favorite serves the usual higher-end steakhouse supper fare alongside Asian-influenced dishes. Note that it’s nine miles north of Gardiner on Highway 89, open 5/21–9/21 annually, except for Tuesdays.

You simply can’t miss KBar Pizza, with a massive sign that rivals the vastness of the local scenery. This laid-back cowboy bar has been flipping east-coast style pizza and slinging from a substantial beer selection for almost 60 years. Don’t miss the “Crazy Woman” pizza paired with a Moose Drool.

With all the adventures around Gardiner (both inside and outside the Park), you’ll need to refuel. Might as well do so with something memorable—bon appetit.