Whether you’re a foodie or just trying to feed your family on a budget, food is a HUGE part of planning a vacation. So if you’re visiting the Grand Canyon soon, this article will give you all the details you need to know, along with a super-simple map!
Unlike a lot of National Parks, the Grand Canyon has MANY restaurants, and they are highly rated! El Tovar and Fred Harvey are the most famous, but you can also get steak, pizza, breakfast, quick bites, and ice cream. It also has a grocery store. You’re never far away from good food at the Grand Canyon.
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At the end of this article, we give you our recommendations for where you should eat.
Dining in the Park
1. El Tovar
This is the most famous place to eat in Grand Canyon National Park.
El Tovar offers fine dining; it’s more upscale than Bright Angel Lodge, as are the hotel accommodations.
El Tovar Dining Room and Lounge offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Fine dining, reservations required for lunch and dinner. Breakfast is first come, first served.
2. Fred Harvey Food Truck
The Fred Harvey food truck is located in front of El Tovar, between El Tovar and the Hopi House. Don’t confuse this with Fred Harvey Restaurant, which is inside Bright Angel Lodge (below).
It serves lunch and snacks from 11:30 pm to 3:30 pm; hotdogs, burritos, and ice cream; items cost around $5.
3. Bright Angel Lodge
Bright Angel Lodge has quite a few options just inside this one place! For quick fare, try the Bright Angel Coffee Shop, which has coffee, breakfast, and pastry items.
The Bright Angel Fountain offers soda, boxed lunches, and ice cream, and the Bright Angel Saloon offers drinks as well as food.
There are also two restaurants in the Bright Angel Lodge: Arizona Steakhouse and Fred Harvey Burger.
4. Arizona Steakhouse
This is located inside the Bright Angel Lodge and offers a menu featuring steak, fish, BBQ. Reservations suggested.
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5. Fred Harvey Burger & Fred Harvey Tavern
This is also located in the Bright Angel Lodge and serves lunch and dinner. It’s a casual family-friendly restaurant serving burgers and salads. Reservations recommended.
6. Maswik Lodge
This is located within walking distance of the restaurants above and is still considered part of the Village. It also has a lot of parking nearby. There are a few options here:
- Maswik Food Court: Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Food court style with sandwiches, hot dogs, and some breakfast items.
- Pizza Pub: Open for lunch and dinner. Pizza and salads. Offers delivery. This is also a place where you can watch sports on TV.
- General store & deli: market, sandwiches, snacks.
7. Yavapai Lodge
This is a 5-minute drive from the Grand Canyon Village and shares a parking lot with Market Plaza (below). Most of the other restaurants are owned by Xanterra, but Yavapai Lodge and the restaurants within it are owned by Delaware North. It has a different website than the others.
There are also a few options here:
- Yavapai Dining Hall: Breakfast, lunch and dinner specializing in American and Southwest fare.
- Yavapai Tavern: Serves lunch, dinner and drinks. Burgers, wraps, and pizza. Offers outdoor seating and a fun atmosphere.
- Yavapai Coffee Shop: Open for breakfast and lunch. Serves coffee pastries, sandwiches and ice cream.
8. General Store
This is located ¼ mile from the Grand Canyon Village in the Market Plaza. It also has a post office, bank, kennel, and RV park.
This is a nice spot to pick up groceries or grab and go sandwiches for a picnic. It also serves produce, liquor, and general staples.
It’s more expensive than grocery stores in Tusayan, so we recommend stocking up in Tusayan before entering the park. But this is still a cheaper alternative than eating out every meal.
- Don’t leave booking your lodging accommodations to the last minute, they can fill up fast. We recommend using Booking.com for all your reservation needs (flights, lodging, rental cars, etc).
9. Bright Angel Bicycles and Cafe
This is located next to the Visitor Center. Don’t get this confused with Bright Angel Lodge, which is in the Village.
Bright Angel Bicycles and Cafe serves grab-and-go sandwiches, salads, and pastries made with local ingredients as well as coffee and a variety of drinks.
They also rent bikes here!
10. Hermits Rest
Hermits Rest is located at the end of Hermits Rest Road, about 7 miles from the Grand Canyon Village. During the busy season, you must take the free shuttle to get there.
The building contains a gift shop and snack bar, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also grab and go sandwiches, ice cream, drinks, and cookies.
11. Camper Services Grab and Go
This is located at the entrance of Mather Campground for quick eats! Mather Campground is located close to everything else, so this isn’t your only option if you’re camping.
But it’s nice to have an option right by your campground!
12. Desert View
Desert View is located at the East entrance of the park, 23 miles from the Grand Canyon Village. There are two options here:
- Trading Post Coffee and Ice cream: Open all day, serving snacks.
- Desert View Market and Deli: Groceries and grab and go sandwiches, drinks, and baked goods.
Tusayan is just 7 miles (a 12-minute drive) south of the South Rim.
There are quite a few restaurants here where you won’t be dealing with the crowds as you would at the Grand Canyon. There are some budget-friendly chain restaurants including Wendy’s, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut.
You can also visit some local favorites including Plaza Bonita (Mexican food) and The Coronado Room (American/International food) for a nicer meal, as well as a few steak houses.
Warning: We looked at the reviews online and honestly, they weren’t great. None of them seemed to stand out.
Tusayan also has the Grand Canyon Chocolate Factory, which offers gelato, fudge, and other goodies. We really enjoyed this place!
Here are our quick takeaways:
- For the budget-concious, buy groceries in Tusayan, eat picnics in the park.
- For quick food, try Fred Harvey Food Truck or Bright Angel Cafe.
- For fine-dining and a more memorable experience, you must try El Tovar.
- For a more chill experience, eat on the outside porch at Yavapai Tavern
In our opinion, packing your own breakfast and picnic lunch is best if possible. You’ll be busy and won’t want to stop what you are doing to track down a meal. Plus the counter service restaurants are not anything out of the ordinary and often have long lines. The food at the general store is pricey so pick up these supplies prior to entering the park.
We recommend eating a meal at El Tovar, as it is one of the popular things to do. El Tovar has hosted famous guests such as Teddy Roosevelt, Bill Clinton, and Paul McCartney.
The dining room is classy with linen tablecloths, charming flatware, and large windows offering views of the canyon. They serve intriguing dishes including the pancake trio (buckwheat, cornmeal, and buttermilk) served with prickly pear syrup, roasted duck, braised lamb shank, Navajo Tacos, sautéed trout, and a variety of sandwiches.
- Breakfast: 7:00 am to 10:30 am. First come, first served. People start lining up at 6:30. Entrees are about $15.
- Lunch: 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Reservations are required.
- Dinner: 4:30 pm to 9:00 pm. Reservations are required. This is the fanciest option; entrees range from around $30 and up.
NOTE: Reservations can be made 30 days in advance. If you are staying at the El Tovar hotel, you will get preference and can book more than 30 days in advance.
A Game Plan
If you’re visiting the Grand Canyon for the first time, it’s best to have a good game plan. That’s why we’ve designed one for you!
Our game plan is not just a travel book or guide — it’s like having a tour guide in your pocket. We tell you where to go, how to get around, and what to do each hour of the day. Each Grand Canyon guide also comes with an audio guide so you can listen to stories about the Grand Canyon as you’re driving from place to place. Check it out!
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