Enjoy: Food

8 of the Valley’s Best Outdoor Dining Spots

// By Samantha Simma

“In the winter months, cozy fireplace settings are prime seating, but in summer, many crave outdoor air,” says Allison Arthur, the owner and co-founder of Dishing, a magazine dedicated to all things food and eating in Jackson Hole. With an outdoor dining season that’s as brief as the valley’s views are vast, Arthur’s recommendation is to “soak in every last drop of the extra-long daylight on one of many outdoor decks during the short but sweet season.” Here are some favorites to check out.

Snake River Brewing
Photo by Ryan Dorgan

“This is a public space that benefits the entire community and provides social entertainment to all ages,” says Sam McGee, owner of Frederick Landscaping and longtime mug club member at Snake River Brewing, about the brewpub’s newly improved extensive lawn. (And McGee swears he’s not just saying this because his company led the charge on the lawn’s improvements.) In addition to an actual lawn, there are gardens by A New Leaf Garden Design, an oversize fire pit, cornhole boards, a dining patio, picnic tables, and Adirondack chairs. Settle into one of the latter with one of the many beers on tap, or go for a table on the outdoor dining patio to enjoy Snake River’s menu of elevated pub fare. Open Tuesday–Saturday at 11 a.m.; 265 S. Millward St., Jackson; 307/739-2337, snakeriverbrewing.com

Persephone Bakery
Photo by Bradly J. Boner

It’s the unusual summer morning when there’s no line out the front door and down the sidewalk at Persephone Bakery. In a white log cabin just off Jackson’s Town Square, the James Beard Foundation-recognized bakery and café makes what might be the best croissant this side of the Atlantic and breakfast and lunch entrees that are as yummy as they are interesting. While the inside of Persephone’s cabin is cozy—and highly Instagrammable—the outdoor seats are the better ones. An attached wraparound deck has fire pits and heaters, and bistro tables sit in an adjacent garden—all beneath the shade of towering cottonwood trees. Not that she ever has the time to do this herself as Persephone’s co-owner (and also the co-owner of sister concepts Picnic and Coelette), but Ali Cohane says about the outdoor seating, “It’s a great spot to find a nook and settle in for coffee, treats, some work, or a good book.” Open daily 7 a.m.–6 p.m.; 145 E. Broadway Ave., Jackson; 307/200-6708, persephonebakery.com

Pearl Street Bagels

Pearl Street Bagels in Wilson has the same hustle, but less bustle than the bagelry’s location in downtown Jackson. Avoid bustle entirely by following the yeasty, malty smells of Pearl Street’s East Coast-style bagels as they waft out the rear door. In this backyard, the sounds of slicing bagels and steaming milk are replaced by the babble of Fish Creek, near which sit several no-fuss picnic tables. Pearl Street Bagel owner Heather Story-Gould thinks this spot is the best in the valley for kid- and pet-friendly outdoor dining. Also, “It is not uncommon for a moose to wander
by to share the moment with you,” Story-Gould says. Open daily 7 a.m.–3 p.m.; 1230 Ida Dr., Wilson; 307/739-1261,jacksonholebagels.com

The Bird

On the deck at The Bird, wings, burgers, and beers complement the sweeping views of South Park. “Come here for the burgers, but stay for the views, and of course, the booze,” says Arthur. If you’ve got the right attitude. The Bird is a no BS kind of place. What does this mean? Printed on every menu is, “We are not a short order kitchen, food may take some time, so please relax and enjoy yourself.” And, printed above the burger section—there are nearly 20 different types of burgers available—the menu explains, “our burgers are made with fresh ground brisket; order it like you would a steak” and then describes the options: “rare (red throughout), medium rare (red center, pink throughout), medium (pink everywhere), medium well (pink center), and well done (wrong decision).” We’ve got to agree with The Bird’s assessment of well done. Open Monday–Saturday at 4 p.m. and 10:30 a.m.–2 p.m. on Sunday.; 4125 US-89, Jackson; 307/732-2473, thebirdinjh.com

The Deck at Piste
Photo by Ryan Dorgan

“Nothing is quite as rewarding after a hike up to the top of the [Bridger] Gondola as a basket of fries and a sloshie,” says Arthur about what you can order at The Deck at Piste. (If you don’t want to hike the three miles and 3,000 vertical feet up from the base area to eat here, you can ride up in the gondola, too, which takes about nine minutes). Perched at 9,095 feet, the deck here offers views of Jackson Hole—practically in its entirety—the Gros Ventre Mountains, and, on clear days, even the glaciated Wind River Range, home to the tallest peak in Wyoming (Gannett), in the distance to the east. Time it right and you can enjoy one of the best sunset views of the valley from here, with alpenglow illuminating Sheep Mountain (aka Sleeping Indian) and Jackson Peak on the opposite side of the valley. For those who would rather ride than hike, the gondola ride up to The Deck is $15 after 5 p.m. (Before this, you’ve got to buy a sightseeing lift ticket, $35; the ride down is always free.) But mind the time—the last gondola down is at 9 p.m. Open daily 4:30–9 p.m.; 3395 West Cody Lane, Teton Village; 307/739-2675, jacksonhole.com

Blue Heron Lounge at Jackson Lake Lodge
Photo by Latham Jenkins

While deciding whether to sip on a huckleberry mojito or a local brew, expect to be distracted by the views at the Blue Heron Lounge at Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park. Here, Jackson Lake spreads toward a horizon that abruptly ends where the northern Tetons start. But don’t expect the usual Teton views; the Grand Teton is the most famous peak in the range, but from the Blue Heron’s deck, Mount Moran and its Skillet Glacier are the stars of the show. (Yes, people ski the Skillet from the peak’s 12,610-foot summit; it is steep, but not as steep as it looks.) Closer views—willow- and grass-rich marshlands between the bar and the near shore of Jackson Lake—might include a moose or grizzly bear. Open daily at 11 a.m.; 101 Jackson Lake Lodge Rd., Moran; 307/543-2811, gtlc.com

The Bistro

The outside seating area at The Bistro in The Cloudveil hotel offers amazing people watching—it is right on the Town Square. The French-inspired menu and creative cocktails are extra credit. Book a patio table for an earlyish dinner and you can catch the nightly Town Square Shootout while dipping a crusty piece of made-that-day baguette into the melted butter The Bistro serves with its escargot. Or book for breakfast, lunch, or a later dinner to avoid the crowds and noise that come with the Shootout. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at
7 a.m.; 112 Center St. Jackson; 307/739-1100, thebistrojacksonhole.com

Dornan’s Pizza & Pasta Company
Photo by Price Chambers

The rooftop deck at Dornan’s Pizza & Pasta Company has, arguably, the best view in the valley. (We think it also has the best spinach artichoke dip in the valley.) Sit here and, over a pizza or pasta—maybe the buffalo bolognese?—scout out your next adventure in the Tetons, marvel at what you just climbed or hiked, or simply enjoy the views. Dornan’s is in Moose, near the main entrance to Grand Teton National Park, and from it the mountains feel close enough to touch. Wondering about the names of the different peaks? Take a look at your napkin—it’s stamped with a profile of the range and the names of the major peaks. Open daily for lunch and dinner at 11:30 a.m.; 12170 Dornans Rd., Moose; 307/733-2415, dornans.com JH

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