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    9 great places to eat in Glacier National Park (plus our favorites)

    by Linnea, Apr 2022

    While traveling through Glacier National Park, you will no doubt work up an appetite! And when hunger strikes, you don’t want to have to spend time researching dining options.

    I have spent my life living and working in Glacier, and I know the importance of a good meal after a long day of adventures. In this article, I will give you an overview of each dining option in the park so that you can be sure to stay well-fed on your trip.

    In Glacier National Park, there are 9 dining options available in 4 different locations. Restaurants range from snack shops to fine dining. The average price is about $15 per plate. No restaurants in the park accept reservations.

    There are many more restaurants located outside of the park boundary in surrounding towns. I mention my favorites at the end of this article.

    In this article, I’ll cover the location of each restaurant, their opening and closing dates, the approximate price, and some things visitors like and dislike about each.

    Dining Options Overview

    Dining OptionLocationPrice (per person)
    ‘Nell’sMany Glacier, Swiftcurrent Motor Inn$$
    Ptarmigan Dining RoomMany Glacier Hotel$$-$$$
    Swiss LoungeMany Glacier Hotel$$
    Heidi’s Snack Shop and EspressoMany Glacier Hotel$
    Two Dog Flats GrillRising Sun$$
    Eddie’s CaféApgar Village$$
    Jammer Joe’s Grill and PizzeriaLake McDonald Lodge$$
    Lucke’s LoungeLake McDonald Lodge$$-$$$
    Russell’s Fireside Dining RoomLake McDonald Lodge$$-$$$
    ($=inexpensive, $10 and under; $$=moderately expensive, $10-$25; $$$=expensive, $25-$45)

    My Favorites

    The Ptarmigan Dining room is my favorite because of the views!

    Nell’s is great because even though their pizza is approximately “grocery store frozen pizza quality”, it is the most delicious pizza in the world after a long hike.

    But keep reading for more options and important information!

    A few important items to note

    It is important to note that in 2021, takeout was the only option for people hoping to dine at any of these establishments. Hopefully, sit-down service will be offered in summer 2022 and beyond, but keep in mind that policies can change over the course of a summer depending on the current public health situation.

    It is also worth mentioning that every restaurant on this list (with the exception of Eddie’s), is owned and operated by Xanterra, the United States’ largest park concessions management company.

    If you read reviews of these restaurants, you will find praise about each that is very similar: affordable prices, great food quality, and helpful, efficient service. Of course, you will also find complaints that are the exact opposite of the praises just listed.

    I’d like to point out that the staff and management at these restaurants are seasonal employees doing their best with minimal training and very busy tourism conditions. Please be patient and treat them with kindness.

    Remember that part of the dining experience is the fact that you are in a National Park (which is quite the treat in itself)!

    Finally, if you need a plan for how to the best sights in the park and get to the dining locations at the right time, check out our Glacier Travel Guide, I created it just for you, using all the secrets I’ve learned from my many years of working in Glacier National Park!

    Many Glacier (East Side)

    Nell’s

    2022 Season: Open June 7, 2022-September 10, 2022

    • Pros: pizza after a long day on the trail, local beer on tap, vegetarian options, and quick service.
    • Cons: disorganized seating system, mediocre food, and occasional long waits.

    ‘Nell’s, located at the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, is named after George Bird Grinnell, who is sometimes referred to as one of the founding fathers of Glacier National Park. ‘Nell’s offers primarily casual American fare and pizza, so even the pickiest of eaters is bound to find something appetizing on the menu.

    ‘Nell’s is open from 6 am-9 pm for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can buy breakfast or lunch for around $10-15/person. You can also order a box lunch—the perfect food solution for hikers on the go. Dinner entrees are more expensive, at around $20/plate.

    They do not take reservations, but often you can get a table without much (or any) wait time.

    Ptarmigan Dining Room

    2022 Season: Open June 3, 2022-September 21, 2022

    • Pros: huckleberry cobbler, the views, and the ambiance of the grand dining room.
    • Cons: service, high prices, wait times that can get quite long during peak visitation.

    The Ptarmigan Dining Room is located in the historic Many Glacier Hotel, which opened for business in 1915. With panoramic mountain views from nearly every seat inside, you might be too distracted to focus on your meal.

    This is the finest dining experience you will find in the park, but guests are still welcome to wear casual attire (you are dining in a hiker’s paradise after all).

    The Ptarmigan Dining Room is open from 6 am-9 pm for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can buy breakfast or lunch for around $10-15/person. Dinner entrees are more expensive, at around $25/plate.

    The Ptarmigan Dining Room boasts numerous farm-to-table menu items that allow you to taste authentic regional cuisine including fruits, vegetables, meats, and other products.

    It is not possible to make reservations here, but you can line up outside the dining room before it opens for dinner at 5 pm to make sure that you get a table by the windows.

    Swiss Lounge

    2022 Season: Open June 3, 2022-September 21, 2022

    • Pros: Huckleberry margaritas and mojitos, cheaper than Ptarmigan Dining Room, casual atmosphere
    • Cons: often busy, slow service, crowded

    The Swiss Lounge is a more casual and slightly less expensive dining option located in the Many Glacier Hotel. The laid-back atmosphere in the Swiss Lounge makes it a good place for families, and the bar is appealing for solo travelers or hikers looking for a beer or cocktail after a long day.

    At the Swiss Lounge you will find traditional American food, but not many vegetarian or vegan-friendly options.

    Prices in the Swiss Lounge are more wallet-friendly, with lunch and dinner options for $10-15 per person.

    It is not possible to make reservations here, but sometimes you can get a table without much (or any) wait time.

    Heidi’s Snack Shop and Espresso Stand

    2022 Season: Open June 3, 2022-September 21, 2022

    • Pros: large beer and wine selection, delicious coffee, great trail snacks
    • Cons: expensive, espresso machine often broken, small selection of foods

    As the name suggests, Heidi’s is not a restaurant. Heidi’s is located in the basement of the Many Glacier Hotel and offers coffee, some hot food items, and grab-and-go meals and snacks.

    Heidi’s is open from 7 am-7 pm and is a perfect place to stop and grab some caffeine, a cold drink, or a quick snack. Here, you can find food for breakfast or lunch for around $10 (or less) per person.

    Rising Sun (East Side)

    Two Dog Flats Grill

    2022 Season: Open June 10, 2022-September 7, 2022

    • Pros: vegan and vegetarian options, trout dinner, great views
    • Cons: slow service, mediocre food

    The Two Dog Flats Grill is located in Rising Sun, which is 6 miles down the Going to the Sun Road from the St. Mary entrance. The restaurant boasts beautiful views of the mountains across St. Mary Lake.

    Two Dog Flats Grill offers American comfort food and is a casual restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are burgers, soups, and salads on the menu as well as wine and beer options. You can expect to pay around $15-20 per meal.

    No reservations are accepted.

    The Two Dog Flats Grill boasts numerous farm-to-table menu items that allow you to taste authentic regional cuisine including fruits, vegetables, meats, and other products.

    Apgar Village (West Side)

    Eddie’s Café

    2022 season: Open May-October (approximately)

    • Pros: family-owned and operated, salmon salad, outdoor seating, huckleberry ice cream
    • Cons: mediocre food quality, somewhat expensive

    Eddie’s Café is a wonderful dining option that has been open in Apgar Village (just inside the West entrance of the park) for over 60 years.

    Unlike all the other restaurants on this list, Eddie’s is family-owned and operated.

    The restaurant is open from 7:30 am to 8:30 pm with a bar open from 8-9 pm all season. Eddie’s is also home to an ice cream shop and small grocery store, so you are sure to find everything you need at this establishment.

    You can find breakfast or lunch for $10-15 per person and dinner for $15-20 per entrée.

    The website doesn’t specify whether reservations are accepted.

    • While the restaurants don’t take reservations, lodging accommodations do! Lodging in (and near) national parks fill up early and fast! Use booking.com for all your (outside the park) lodging. We use them and have found great deals!

    Lake McDonald Lodge Area (West Side)

    Jammer Joe’s Grill and Pizzeria

    2022 Season: Open May 13, 2022-September 21, 2022

    • Pros: pizza buffet, reasonable prices, good food
    • Cons: slow service, long waits

    Jammer Joe’s Grill and Pizzeria is located just across the street from Lake McDonald Lodge and its name pays tribute to the drivers of the iconic red ‘jammer’ busses that take people on tours of the park.

    Jammer Joe’s is open for lunch and dinner and offers soups, salads, sandwiches, pizza, and pasta for reasonable prices. You can expect to get a meal for around $15 per person.

    No reservations are accepted.

    Lucke’s Lounge

    2022 Season: Open May 13, 2022-September 21, 2022

    • Pros: unique menu options, great cocktails, nice view of the lake, locally-inspired appetizers
    • Cons: poor service, occasional long waits

    Lucke’s Lounge is located in Lake McDonald Lodge. It is a more casual dining option than the other restaurant in the Lodge and often has seating when the main dining room is packed.

    It is a perfect place to stop for lunch or some late-afternoon refreshments from the bar.

    I do not believe Lucke’s Lounge is open for breakfast (hours are not specified online), but lunch, appetizers, and dinner are offered in this small dining room/bar. You can expect to pay between $10-$20 per person for your meal.

    No reservations are accepted.

    Russell’s Fireside Dining Room

    2022 Season: Open May 13, 2022-September 21, 2022

    • Pros: iconic lodge setting, wild game charcuterie board, huckleberry pie, good service
    • Cons: overpriced, busy, lackluster breakfast buffet

    Russell’s Fireside Dining Room is a rustic, unique dining space that takes visitors back to the days when Lake McDonald Lodge was a hunting lodge. While it is a nicer dining experience than your other options in the area, guests are welcome to wear casual attire.

    Russell’s is open from 6:30-9:30 and offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast consists of full and continental buffet options. Lunch and dinner selections are classic American and local fare.

    No reservations are accepted.

    Russell’s Fireside Dining Room boasts numerous farm-to-table menu items that allow you to taste authentic regional cuisine including fruits, vegetables, meats, and other products.

    Lunch will cost around $10-15 per person, while dinner entrees are more expensive at around $25 per plate.

    Related Questions

    Are there places to eat outside of the park?

    Yes! There are plenty more dining options outside the park for you to check out. If you are on the east side of the park, search for restaurants in St. Mary, East Glacier, Babb, or Browning.

    If you are on the west side of the park, you could find restaurants in West Glacier, Coram, Hungry Horse, Kalispell, Columbia Falls, or Whitefish.

    Some favorites of mine are The Cattle Baron Supper Club (Babb), Two Sister’s (between Babb and St. Mary), Johnson’s (St. Mary), Serrano’s (East Glacier), Josephine’s (Coram), Backslope Brewery (Columbia Falls), and Bonsai Brewery (Whitefish).

    Can you buy groceries in Glacier National Park?

    No. There are no grocery stores inside Glacier National Park, but there are groceries available in surrounding towns. Browning has Glacier Family Foods, St. Mary has a small (but very expensive) grocery store, and you can find Costco and other large grocery stores in Kalispell, Columbia Falls, and Whitefish.

    Is there anywhere to get gas in Glacier National Park?

    No there is not! Make sure you fill up your tank outside the park. There are gas stations in all surrounding towns. 

    Anything Else I Should Know?

    Yes! If you haven’t heard by now, we offer a must-have Travel Guide to Glacier National Park, as well as other locations. Planning a trip to a national park can be overwhelming and time consuming! Let us take the planning out of your hands.

    Our travel guides will provide you with a daily (yet flexible) itinerary to help you see the park. We will get you to all the most important places, at the right time to avoid the crowds, and we tell you exactly how to do it. You can’t go wrong. Check them out here!

    Watch before visiting Glacier National Park | 2020 updates
    Watch our trip planner video for many of the ins and outs of Glacier National Park

    ABOUT US

    We’re Matt and Cheryl, and we’re in the Rockies. :) We are both teachers. Cheryl teaches special ed, and Matt teaches American history. We love the American West and the national parks. We want to help you have a great vacation on your next trip to the Rockies.

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