Eat Out, Literally

Whether an intimate patio or a deck with Teton views, Jackson Hole has plenty of al fresco dining options.

Eat Out, Literally

Whether an intimate patio or a deck with Teton views, Jackson Hole has plenty of al fresco dining options.

By Maggie Theodora

The Handle Bar at Four Seasons Resort and Residences offers al fresco dining in the heart of Teton Village.


Two words: weekend brunch. And two more: outdoor patios. For as diverse and numerous as Jackson Hole’s dining options are, we’re woefully lacking in brunch spots, especially ones where you can sit outside under the sun on a bluebird day (but enjoy shade from nearby aspen trees). This summer Glorietta Trattoria steps up to offer brunch with both traditional entrees (shrimp and grits and fried green tomato Benedict) and dishes that channel its Italian roots (Uovo in Purgatorio). The menu is the same if you opt to grab a table inside the restaurant around the large wood-burning grill. But unless it’s raining, picking outside over in shouldn’t be a difficult choice. We love Glorietta’s warm and woody interior finishes, but they just can’t compete with dining outside on a beautiful Jackson Hole summer day. Paired with the food menu is a cocktail program developed by the pros behind New York City’s (and now Denver’s) popular Death & Co. It includes classics done with a modern riff like the Albright Spritz (gin, dry vermouth, peach, Serrano, lemon juice, seltzer, and sage) and brunch staples like Prosecco mimosas and Bloody Marys. 242 N. Glenwood St., 307/733-3888,

Architectural Digest named cozy Persephone Bakery & Café “The Most Beautiful Coffee Shop in Wyoming.” We’ve visited some fun cafés around the state—we’re looking at you, Java Moon in Sheridan—but we have to agree with AD. At Persephone, tables are marble, one wall is adorned with dozens and dozens of antique wooden spoons, and, in a glass-fronted case, tarts, croissants, cookies, s’mores, and cinnamon brioche are displayed like pieces of art—but casually; the vibe is more French Boho than Michelin. You could hang out here forever, refilling your coffee and making your way through each pastry (there’s also a menu of hot items served until three p.m.). But there are only about thirty seats, so it can get kind of crowded.

But, in spring, summer, and fall—stylish gas heaters prolong the outdoor season—Persephone opens its patio and garden, which more than doubles the amount of available seating. While it’s likely the line here will stretch out the front door no matter the season (Persephone does make the best croissant this side of the Atlantic, and the best chocolate chip cookies between New York and San Francisco), when the deck and patio are open, there’s plenty of room to relax and hang out. For its downtown location, it’s surprisingly peaceful, with planters overflowing with herbs and an adjacent large lawn. 145 E. Broadway, 307/200-6708,


Dornan’s is both the best way to end an adventure in Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) and one of the best reasons to head up to the park in the first place. It doesn’t matter where you choose to eat here: Whether you get a sandwich made in the deli, a scoop of ice cream from the ice cream/espresso cart, brisket at the Chuckwagon Grill, a drink in the Spur Bar, or a pie at the Pizza & Pasta Company, you’ll be able to take in some of the valley’s best views of the Tetons.

Located just outside the Moose entrance to GTNP, Dornan’s started as a roadside restaurant and bar in the 1940s. Today it’s a little village, with cabins, gear rentals, a small grocery store, and a gift shop in addition to all the eating options. And there’s nothing between all of this and the Tetons, other than the Snake River, which is close enough you can hear it from the parking lot. (Dornan’s also claims the valley’s best wine shop: Watching the sun set on the bank of the Snake River while sipping a good bottle is a pretty nice way to end a day.) Dornan’s takes advantage of its singular location with an expansive shaded front deck and a rooftop deck. The latter is above the Spur Bar/Pizza & Pasta Company. Bartenders below have binoculars you can borrow; grab a pair and watch climbers summit the Grand Teton. Seriously. 12170 Dornan Rd., Moose, 307/733-2415,

Pearl Street Bagels in Wilson

Maggie and Les Gibson founded Pearl Street Bagels in 1990, opening it on Pearl Avenue in downtown Jackson. In 1996 the couple opened a second shop, in Wilson at the base of Teton Pass. Pearl Street Bagels is now a valley institution. The Jackson location often has a line stretching out the door for its made-fresh-all-day bagels, house-made cream cheeses, smoothies, muffins, and coffee drinks. The Wilson location’s claim to fame? Picnic tables on the banks of Fish Creek are right out its back door. Once, sitting at one of these tables eating a salt bagel with honey-walnut cream cheese and wishing we had ordered a mocha latte instead of a plain espresso, a mom moose walked right down the creek. It wasn’t more than fifteen feet away. Eight seconds later, a yearling calf followed.

While you shouldn’t be shy about walking through the small kitchen in the back of the Wilson shop to get to Fish Creek and the picnic tables, don’t ask staff here to toast your bagel. “We bake them fresh all day long,” you’ll be told. While the difference between a fresh bagel and a toasted bagel can be debated ad infinitum, don’t bother. Instead, just enjoy it; because it was boiled for several minutes before being baked at 400 degrees, it’s the perfect combo of crunchy exterior and chewy interior. 5674 Wyoming Hwy. 22, Wilson, 307/739-1261,

The Handle Bar

Skiing past The Handle Bar in the Four Seasons Resort and Residences at the base of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) in Teton Village, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s the perfect après-ski spot. Or rather that it’s only a perfect après-ski spot. But as perfect as it is in winter, when you can watch skiers pass by, The Handle Bar truly shines in summer, when its giant terrace offers in-your-face views of the Tetons, rising several thousand feet directly above, and also the entertainment of watching families playing in the JHMR bike park. If there’s something cuter than a six-year-old girl in a full-face helmet, shin and arm guards, and a glitter tutu learning how to catch air on her bike, we have yet to see it.

The Handle Bar rewards bikers with Friday Night Bikes: Every Friday night, if you show your JHMR bike park pass you get half-price burgers and a deal on draft beers. You don’t need to be a biker to appreciate the restaurant’s Barbeque, Bluegrass, and Bourbon nights. Every other Friday (starting June 15), chef Michael Lishchynsky pairs his house-smoked ribs, roasted chicken, and pulled pork with a different featured band and whiskey. (The entire regular menu is available, too, including our favorite, the bison burger, which you can get topped with a sunny-side-up egg.) 7680 Granite Loop Rd., Teton Village, 307/732-5000,

Dornan’s rooftop deck may have the best views of any restaurant in the valley. Photo by Price Chambers
Persephone’s outdoor deck and garden more than double the seating at this downtown bakery and cafe. Photo by Ryan Dorgan
Classic meets modern at Glorietta Trattoria with summer cocktails by New York City’s Death & Co.
Pearl Street Bagels’ Wilson location offers outdoor seating for grab-and-go bagel and coffee lovers.

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