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mangy moose
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Jackson Hole has a great variety of good restaurants, but the prices here are higher than in Lexington, Pittsburgh or Cincinnati. Most of them are in town, but some are at Teton Village or at the lodges or ranches. Since we're assuming you'll be flying in and staying without a vehicle either at the Hostel or one of the town motels, we've limited our choices to the best restaurants within walking distance of those locations. We've carefully chosen restaurants with price ranges affordable to skiiers on tight budgets, with one special occasion place you can use for a last night celebration. But there's no question you have to budget and plan ahead. Food will be a higher portion of a ski trip here than it would be for a similar trip elsewhere. mangy moose
Mangy Moose Spur Merry Piglet Snake River Grille Kitchen Gun Barrel Coulior
mangy moose The grand dame of Jackson Hole restaurants is The Mangy Moose. It's been here since 1967. Originally a bar, it grew into a pub and then a full scale restaurant, although many locals still consider it a bar and come here mainly to drink. The Mangy Moose is in Teton Village, right next to The Hostel. It's an eccentric place, with the namesake stuffed moose (see top photo) plus an airplane and other artifacts (see second photo above). The Mangy Moose is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so you can grab a bite before boarding the lift, stop for lunch between runs, or spend the evening after a long day. It's a loud, lively atmosphere where you meet a fascinating array of characters, ranging from Harrison Ford to Mitt Romney to Taylor Swift. The breakfast menu is limited : Omelettes, Pancakes, French Toast, Huevos Rancheros and Breakfast Burritos. The lunch menu features Soup, Salads, Pizza, Tacos, Steak Asada, Sandwiches and Burgers. For Dinner there's a Soup of the Day and five Salads. Entrees include Buffalo Meatloaf, Rainbow Trout, Baby Back Ribs, Ranch Chicken and four kinds of Steaks. Chef Seth Nelson has been there since 2009 and emphasizes locally sourced ingredients. Service is inconsistent and conversation difficult over the noise, but you can't visit Jackson Hole and not experience The Moose.

If you find eating in a raucus pub offputting, The Spur is your place in Teton Village. Housed in Teton Lodge (photo at right), The Spur is a very good restaurant. Kevin Humphreys has been named Best Jackson Hole Chef seven straight years. The Spur is not open for Breakfast. Lunch is basic : Soup, three Salads, Nachos, six Sandwiches, Cheese Boards, Appetizers like Roast Beets, and a few Entrees like Swiss Chard Cakes (pancakes made from diced swiss chard plus squash, kale, pumpkin seeds and chile pesto) and Kobe Steak. If a morning of skiing left you famished, the Kobe Steak Salad will fill you up. Dinner is where Chef Humphreys shows his artistry. It includes Buffalo Ribeye, Kurobuta Pork Short Ribs, Herb Roasted Chicken, Salmon, those same Swiss Chard Cakes, and several Steaks. The wine list consists of outstanding California and Oregon flavors. Several fine Wyoming and Colorado craft beers and a solid list of mixed drinks round out the bar offerings. The Dessert menu is brief --- it rotates but has only four at one time --- but memorable.


The Spur
merry piglets Long before Mexican food became popular, The Merry Piglet opened in Jackson in 1969. Ahead of the curve, it evolved its own brand of Mexican cuisine. Today, it's one of the nation's most creative Mexican restaurants. They lean toward Tex Mex with a local source emphasis. They soak and mash their own beans, use only fresh local fish, make their own Salsa, and use only free range, organic chicken, beef and pork free of hormones and antibiotics. They grill over mesquite fire and mash their own avocados to make their own guacamole. Appetizers include Salsa Trio (three of their homemade Salsas), Flautas and Grilled Jalapenos. They separate out Tex Mex items. There's a Spinach Chicken Enchilada (with green chili sauce, black olives, Oaxaca cheese and queso fresco), Shrimp Enchilada, Cheese Chili Relleno, Green Chili Beef Tamale, Chimichanga Plate, etc. Salads include Blackened Chicken, Mexican Chicken Caesar, Fajita and Santa Fe Chicken. House Classics feature Huevos Rancheros, Fish Tostado and a Cheese Steak Burrito. There are separate pages for Tacos, Quesadillas and Fajitas. The food here is neither greasy nor buried in cheese. There's a light, fresh taste to it. Locals say these are the best Margaritas in town.

The Snake River Grill is not only one of the best restaurants in Jackson Hole; it's one of the best in Wyoming and one of the top 100 in the entire country. Entrees are in the $25-35 range, but most skiiers splurge and eat here their last night. Among the famous entrees are the Cast Iron Seared Elk Tenderloin, Idaho Trout and Pheasant Ravioli, but the Alaskan Snow Crab, Monkfish Piccata, Pork Shank, Pan Roasted Chicken, Lamb and Ribs are also outstanding. There are some interesting "starters" you might try that cost in the teens but are almost full meals : Asian Duck Pizza, Steak Tartare Pizza, Potato Pancakes, etc. The Roast Parsnip Soup is one of the best Soups in the country, and it comes with Smoked Pheasant, Sage and Black Truffles for $12, surely one of the great appetizers of all time. There's a Caesar Salad and Belgian Endive Salad which are meals in themselves. One of Chef Jeff Drew's favorite items is raw meat. He likes devising new appetizers or entrees using raw steak, fish or other meats. These include Steak Tartare, Elk Carpaccio and Hamachi Sushimi, all involving razor thin slices of meat mingled with Avocado, Quince, Lime, Lemon or some other fruit which offsets and enhances the flavor of the meat. Snake River offers an excellent Wine list, with glasses or bottles from California, Washington, Oregon, Italy, Germany, France, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, Chile and Argentina. They also serve the best Cocktails in Jackson Hole. The Elk Steak is their priciest entree and we've seen lots of people split one. They're big, and half is still a hearty portion. The ambience here is Classic Wyoming, sort of like an Upscale Log Cabin. Fine Art decorates the walls. A fireplace adds cheer and the polished log architecture creates a very warm feel. You may find yourself a table or so away from various celebrities, You do, however, need reservations, and you should call as soon as you arrive in Jackson or even from back home before you depart for your trip. 307-733-0557. 84 East Broadway, just off the Square.

snake river grille
Kitchen restaurant The Kitchen sounds like an old fashioned eatery, but it's a sleek, cutting edge facility with an equally cutting edge menu. There are a few $30 entrees, but most of them are in the 20s or high teens, about as good as it gets in pricey Jackson. Executive Chef Roger Freedman graduated from the California Culinary Institute and worked at the Snake River Grill before opening The Kitchen. His menu is short. Appetizers include Shrimp, Oysters, Scallops, Endive and Romaine Salads. Entrees are Lamb, Pork Chops, Bass, Halibut, Sirloin and a Seafood Stew. But we think their best creation is a Venison Soup : thinly sliced venison, jalapeno, cilantro, mint, lime and pasta in a bowl for only $17. French, Korean and Vietnamese influences flavor this menu. There's a six nation wine list and several excellent mixed drinks.
You'll have to walk eight blocks to this one. Bundle up, find Broadway as it comes past the Square, and follow it for one mile as it heads West. But it's worth it. The Gun Barrel claims to serve "Old West cuisine in a new 21st Century way." Their prices are reasonable, the decor is Classic Wyoming, and the food is outstanding. Appetizers include Venison Sausage, Buffalo Wrap and Bison Carpaccio at $8 each. There are two Soups and six Salads at $6 and $9. Basic Entrees run from $18-$23, and include Chicken, Ribs, Pork Chops, Salmon, Lasagna or Rocky Mountain Rainbow Trout. The Steak page ranges from $20 - $32 and includes seven options : New York Strip, Tenderloin, Medallions, Ribeye, Prime Rib, Flat Iron and Sirloin. This is an outstanding steak house, ranking among Wyoming's very best. But the real reason locals come to The Gun Barrel is for the wonderful game menu. You can get Elk, Buffalo, Venison and a Mixed Game Platter. There's a page of Desserts, but the one you need to order is the Deep Dish Apple Pie. They're famous for it, it's won awards, and it truly is one of Wyoming's great desserts. There are no Wines, but there's an excellent list of Cognacs and Ports. They also offer good mixed drinks and liquours. Make reservations at least early in the day to avoid an hour wait : 307-733-3287. 862 West Broadway. Gun Barrel
coulior restaurant

The priciest restaurant in Jackson Hole is The Coulior. It's above the normal budget of a skiier, but we include it because you'll see it as you ski and want to know about it. The Coulior sits at 9000 feet atop Gondola Summit. The only way to reach it is to take the Gondola up from Teton Village. It's open for Lunch and Dinner. You must have reservations and they include passage on the Gondola, which closes to skiiers at 4:30 pm. The Coulior is a great restaurant, and the views are breathtaking. When the resort applied to the Park Service for a permit, a dozen environmental groups opposed it. The court battle went on for two years, but the resort finally got the permit. The menu is pre fixe, that is, you pay $55 for Lunch and $95 for Dinner. You get a Soup, a Salad, an Entree and a Dessert. Entrees include Chicken, Pheasant, Pot Roast, Tuna and Trout. Dinner Entrees include Rabbit, Potato Ravioli, Buffalo, Pheasant, Trout and Wagyu Beef. There's a great wine list but that's extra. 307-739-2675 11:30-2:30 and 5-7. Call a day ahead for Lunch and 4-5 days ahead for Dinner.

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