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"pack your lunch" vs restaurant food

tucson,az
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510 posts
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"pack your lunch" vs restaurant food

I've read several times to pack a lunch so as not to waste time and $ on below par food in the park....does that mean buy food in West Yellowstone and put in a cooler for future use or can these items be bought inside the park ? We will be centered in Canyon area for 2 days and Old Faithful for 1 day.

Also, what are the best restaurant options in those 2 areas ?

Michigan
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for Saint Joseph
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1. Re: "pack your lunch" vs restaurant food

At Old Faithful area you can buy some groceries at the Hamilton store to the north of Old Faithful Inn. In that building also is a soda fountain that you can get ice cream and sandwiches and a gift shop. Park your car right in front. Very convienient.

If you are flying into a larger town -- Bozeman, Jackson etc. I would just get groceries at one of the larger stores and be ready for your entire trip.

If you are coming from the Tetons then you could get groceries at the store in Colter bay.

Fruita, Colorado
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for Fruita, Grand Junction
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2. Re: "pack your lunch" vs restaurant food

Canyon Village has a small grocery store as does several other areas of the park. Check out the list of services at www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/stores.htm for more info. The prices will be higher than those of neighboring towns so stock up before entering the park if possible.

452 TA reviews have been written on the 14 restaurants in the park at tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g60999-Yellowsto… - that would be a good place to start.

N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park
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3. Re: "pack your lunch" vs restaurant food

Many people get a cooler and fill with supplies from the first big stop they come to. You can purchase stuff at one of the 2 small grocery stores in West Yellowstone, but it might be better to stock up in a bigger town. Are you flying?

You can buy food at the general stores in Yellowstone but there's not much of a selection. I did not plan well a year or 2 ago and wound up having to get a to go sandwich at the takeaway restaurant at Snow Lodge. I think it was $8 for a veggie sand.

At Old Faithful, for lunch I like the grill at the Lower General store which is on the far side of Old Faithful Inn away from the visitor center. I also like to take a sack lunch to the second floor deck at the Old Faithful Inn and eat watching the geysers.

It's been a while since I ate at the Snow Lodge restaurant, but it was OK.

Pam

tucson,az
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4. Re: "pack your lunch" vs restaurant food

thanks for all the suggestions ! We fly into Jackson and then drive to Big Sky for 3 days prior to heading back south and YNP, so maybe we'll stop at Bozeman or West Yellowstone for supplie; probably buy a cheap cooler in Jackson when we first rent the car so we can take groceries to our condo in Big Sky as well. OMG , I can barely wait - the temp is 109 today and low is going to be 79 tonight !!!!

N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park
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5. Re: "pack your lunch" vs restaurant food

Great, then get supplies in Jackson. You aren't going thru Bozeman on the way to Big Sky are you? That would be North of where you want to end up. You can stock up on things at West Yellowstone when you come back thru on your way to the park.

Even if it is *warm* by Yellowstone standards, it will probably feel cool to you! As much as it seem silly with 109 outside, pack some long sleeves and jackets!

Pam

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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6. Re: "pack your lunch" vs restaurant food

Just an FYI...we tried to find a head of lettuce at the grocery store in Old Faithful...all were gone! Makes for a dull sandwich, lol. Buy stuff outside of the park. Picnic lunches are great, you can stop when and where you want to! Plus you don't have to spend tons of money on mediocre food!

philadelphia
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7. Re: "pack your lunch" vs restaurant food

We flew into Jackson and drove directly to Albertson's grocery store to stock up. We got a large sized cooler for $20, their produce selection was very good, and all food prices were cheaper than smaller stores in/around the national parks. We loved having breakfast and lunch out of the cooler each day as this allowed for more time for wildlife spotting and saved a lot of money. It was great to run into an animal or buffalo herd and eat a meal watching them. Very relaxing. We only ate dinner at restaurants. The food inside Yellowstone was fine but nothing special. We ate at the restaurant in Mammoth, Old Faithful Inn, and Lake Hotel. The chicken with huckleberry sauce at Old Faithful Inn was my favorite. Lake Hotel was good too. I was not impressed with the Mammoth dining room. We did have a nice meal at Rosie's in Gardiner north of Mammoth. That was a nice drive, cute town, Roosevelt Arch, and better food. Enjoy!

tucson,az
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8. Re: "pack your lunch" vs restaurant food

excellent advice - we will hit Alberstson's before we leave Jackson and stock up. Just read that there will be a farmers market in Big Sky while we are there so we will also take advantage of that as well.

Brighton, Michigan
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9. Re: "pack your lunch" vs restaurant food

We check a cooler filled with clothes, then move clothes into cloth duffle bag when we get there and use cooler to pack food and drinks. buy food at grocery store outside park for the week -- cheaper, saves time and money, and found food inside the park to be way overpriced and not very good (& I am NOT picky) -- Lake Hotel was best dinner, but service was SLOW and horrendous :(. I will trip report soon.

Starke, Florida
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10. Re: "pack your lunch" vs restaurant food

Great idea about the cooler of clothes. Think I'll go that route when we visit YNP next month.