When eating out, the restaurant’s atmosphere is half of the dining experience, and eateries that offer outstanding outdoor seating get extra marks.
Because the good-weather season is so short in the northwest, we like to enjoy eating “out” – literally – as much as possible, and to do it in style. Case in point: here are 10 Wyoming restaurants with amazing outdoor patios you will love to dine and lounge on.
1. Wind River Brewing Company, 402 W Pine Street, Pinedale, Wyoming, 82941
The Wind River Brewing Company is more than a brewery offering award-winning beers. It's also a restaurant serving lunch and dinner 7 days a week. The delicious menu is made up of typical pub fare: burgers, brisket, chicken, steaks, salads, and wings, and you can enjoy it all on the second-floor patio that looks out on the Wind River Mountains.
2. Gannet Grill, 126 Main St, Lander, Wyoming, 82520
With a menu featuring locally raised grass-fed beef, the Gannet Grill is particularly proud of its outdoor dining area. Open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., the relaxing and inviting patio is usually overflowing by mid evening, so be sure to arrive early enough to steak out a spot.
3. Dornan's Original Moose Chuckwagon, 12170 Dornan Road, Moose, Wyoming, 83012
The chuckwagon at Dornan's is entirely alfresco - even the food line is only protected by a wall-less open-air pavilion. June through Labor Day, diners can eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the picnic tables on the grassy eating area alongside the chuckwagon with the breathtaking view of the Tetons as a backdrop. There is covered seating, as well, under a picnic shelter or inside an authentic teepee for those who want to be shaded from the sun or when a summer rainstorm passes through.
On the breakfast menu: sourdough pancakes, eggs, bacon, ham, or sausage, French toast, granola, and biscuits and gravy.
Lunch and dinner offers choices of chicken, trout, ribs, dutch oven buffet, burgers, steaks, hot dogs, and homemade chili.
4. Stones Throw Restaurant, 143 Airport Road, Thermopolis, Wyoming, 82443
This delightful dining establishment located at the golf course in Thermopolis is a favorite of locals and travelers alike. Open Tuesday through Saturday afternoons and evenings, you're likely to need a reservation on the weekends, especially if you want to have dinner in the comfortable outdoor eating area. Self-described as a "one-of-a-kind steakhouse," the menu at Stones Throw includes steaks, burgers, and chicken as well as unique dishes like shrimp scampi ravioli and Jägerschnitzel.
5. Sweetwater Restaurant, 85 South King Street, Jackson, Wyoming, 83001
You'd never know this unassuming log cabin restaurant tucked away on a side street in Jackson Hole has a delightful outdoor patio, and it's discreetly surrounded by lush green trees and bushes to make you feel like you're somewhere in the country instead of the middle of town.
Sweetwater opens for breakfast at 7 a.m. and stays open through lunch, closing down for the afternoon at 1:30 p.m., but they open back up for the dinner crowd at 5:30 p.m. The menu offers a variety of unique dishes such as chilaquiles, shrimp and grits, their own take on eggs Benedict, plus soups, salads, seafood, poultry, beef, and vegetarian specialties.
6. Peaks Restaurant, 1 Signal Mountain Lodge Road, Moran, Wyoming, 83013
Located at the Signal Mountain Lodge, Peaks is open for dinner daily from 5:30 to 10 p.m. serving western bistro cuisine such as trout and white bass, pork chops, beef, bison, chicken, salads, and more.
The outdoor seating area at Peaks in itself is basic but comfortable. It's the stunning view of the Tetons that land this eatery on our list of restaurants with the best patio seating.
7. Calico Restaurant, 2650 Moose-Wilson Road (Teton Village Road, HWY 390), Wilson, Wyoming, 83014
The Calico, located on the highway between Jackson, Wilson, and Teton Village, serves up some of the most tasty Italian-American cuisine you'll ever experience. Open for dinner every night of the week at 5 p.m., seating spills out of the bar and dining room onto the wrap-around porch where you can enjoy the beautiful manicured yard surrounding the restaurant as well as the stunning Wyoming outdoors beyond.
8. Lift, 645 South Cache Street, Jackson, Wyoming, 83001
The base of Snow King in Jackson Hole is the perfect place for a bar and grill. Open at 11:30 a.m. for lunch Tuesday through Sunday and every night from 4 to 10 p.m. for dinner, the truffle fries, soups, sandwiches, burgers, nachos, chicken wings, steaks, pastas and more are enough to bring customers in and keep them coming back. Skiers and summer visitors alike can take their meals inside as well as two outside locations. On the ground-level deck...
...or on the rooftop patio looking out on the Snow King ski hill.
9. Beartree Tavern and Cafe, 2768 WY-130, Centennial, Wyoming, 82055
Nestled at the foothills of the Medicine Bow National Forest sits the delightful Beartree Tavern and Cafe. It's a good old-fashioned pizza joint, specializing in pies and beers. Plus, it has some pretty terrific outdoor seating options. There's the park-sized back yard that includes a patio with a fire pit and band shell for frequent summer concerts...
...then there's the rooftop deck that gives you a 360-degree view of the surrounding sights including Hogback Hill, Table Top Mountain, and Medicine Bow Peak.
10. Mangy Moose, 3295 Village Drive, Teton Village, Wyoming, 83025
If you want to get up close and personal with the Grand Tetons while you eat, you can't do much better than the deck at the Mangy Moose. Right in Teton Village at the foot of the Teton Mountains and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, it's a treat any time of year to sit outside, sip on a soda, beer, or mixed drink, and munch on delectable burgers, nachos, garlic truffle fries, or just about any kind of bar food you crave. The "Moose" is also open for breakfast and dinner, but reservations are recommended for evening meals.