Eat like a cowboy at the Roosevelt Lodge or at the Roosevelt Old West Dinner Cookout
Roosevelt Lodge Dining Room
2020 NOTE: Because of COVID-19 precautionary measure, Roosevelt Lodge did not open during summer 2020. Please visit www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com for updates on summer 2021.
Come for the delicious smoked in-house barbecue and stay for the old West appeal at the Roosevelt Lodge dining room located west of the Northeast Entrance of the park, 1.3 miles from Calcite Springs and 2.3 miles from Tower Fall in Yellowstone National Park.
As soon as you enter, you are going to get, “what many think of as the most authentic of western experiences,” says Lu Harlow, food and beverage director for Yellowstone National Park Lodges under Xanterra, Yellowstone’s official concessionaire.
The Roosevelt Lodge got its name because the area was President Theodore Roosevelt’s favorite spot to camp in Yellowstone. It’s not actually a lodge but a rustic log cabin dining room surrounded by small cabins in which visitors can spend the night.
“It’s a small intimate dining room of 80 seats,” Harlow says. “It’s very casual. Servers are wearing jeans and checkered shirts,” Harlow explains.
The Roosevelt Lodge is one of the park’s most popular dining locations. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But Roosevelt is known for its ribs, Harlow says.
“There are no ifs, ands or buts about it,” she says. “They’re smoked in-house and cooked all day long.”
Menu Highlights At Roosevelt Lodge
If ribs do not suit you, try a range of various cuisines. Diners can order linguini with house-made bison and elk Bolognese, locally made bison tamales served in ranchero sauce, cheddar cheese and salsa fresca. Or sample an 8-ounce locally sourced bison burger. For non-meat eaters, the restaurant serves salads and sweet potatoes. Harlow recommends the “Roosevelt Baked Beans” and the house-fried chicken.
Arrive early since the restaurant does not accept reservations. It’s only a first-come, first-served basis. While you wait for your table, sit on the rocking chairs on the front porch of the restaurant and bring a drink out from the bar. The lodge is busy the minute they open until the minute they close, Harlow explains.
For more information, visit www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/restaurant/roosevelt-lodge-dining-room/
Experience An Old West Cookout
If eating barbecue in a wooden log cabin is not quite rustic enough, families can load into a covered wagon or travel on horseback into Pleasant Valley and enjoy a cookout at Yancey’s Hole. During the “Roosevelt Old West Dinner Cookout,” admire wildlife at dusk while sipping on a cup of coffee over the campfire with cowboy wranglers.
Take a 30-45-minute wagon ride to get to the cookout side or ride horseback for 1-2 hours depending if you want a longer experience.
Listen for the dinner bell to line up for beefsteak cooked to order with plenty of sides: baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad, cornbread and fruit crisp. Don’t forget to save room for cobbler at the end of the meal, while you tap your feet along to the cowboys crooning old western songs.
Either inside or outdoors, Roosevelt Lodge offers a unique old West dining experience for all.
“We tend to find that people who come to Roosevelt come year after year,” says Harlow.
Available early June to late August. For more information, visit www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/restaurant/roosevelt-old-west-dinner-cookout/