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The 8 Best Bars and Restaurants in Yosemite National Park

Restaurants + Bars National Parks
by Suzie Dundas Jan 27, 2023

California’s Yosemite National Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the US national park system. It’s famous for its natural wonders like Half Dome, El Capitan, sequoia groves, and the lesser-visited trails around the Hetch Hetchy reservoir, and day hiking to the top of Yosemite Falls is a bucket-list item for most hikers on the US West Coast.

But there’s one thing that makes a long, challenging day hike even better: finishing it up with a great meal and a cold drink.

Fortunately, Yosemite National Park is quite large (nearly 750,000 acres) and has five entrances with plenty of lodging options, which means it also has plenty of places to eat and drink within the park boundaries. At the various Yosemite restaurants and bars, visitors can choose from everything from decadent pizza to fine dining to creative cocktails. Here’s where to eat and drink on your next trip to Yosemite National Park.

Where to find the best Yosemite restaurants and bars

Most of the tourist infrastructure is in the Yosemite Valley, but there are still places to eat and drink near the other park entrances. The most rustic (and limited) options are around Tioga Pass Road, since it’s mostly backpackers in that area. There are no food or drink facilities by Hetch Hetchy (the only part of the park that requires you to leave, then re-enter, to visit).

The best Yosemite restaurants

Degnan’s Deli

Degnans Deli - one of the best yosemite restaurants in the valley

Photo: Suzie Dundas

Degnan’s Kitchen is in the Yosemite Valley, very near the main Yosemite gift shop and just a short walk from the famous Yosemite Post Office and Ansel Adams gallery. The large dining area has indoor and outdoor tables and multiple dining stations for pizza, sandwiches, coffee, and more. It gets crowded, but service is usually relatively quick and there are plenty of options for gluten-free and vegetarian diners. It’s open every day for breakfast, lunch, and early dinner, as it closes at 6 PM. Sandwiches start around $12, and there’s a lofted area upstairs with a small bar that’s open on busy days.

The Ahwahnee’s Grand Dining Room

yosemite restaurants - waiter at ahwahnee dining room

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The dining room at the Ahwahnee is likely the most luxurious Yosemite restaurant — or one of the most luxurious of any national park, really. is a truly special experience. Its luxurious atmosphere is enhanced by its stunning views of Half Dome and Glacier Point, while the high-end menu creates an unforgettable culinary experience. The dining space has high ceilings and deeply rich wooden beams, and the building dates to 1927.

The dining room is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and reservations are recommended. Breakfast and lunch are casual, but there’s a dress code for dinner (just avoid shorts, flip-flops, baseball caps, and the like). The Ahwahnee is in the valley, but it’s about a mile walk from the visitors center area to the hotel, so it’s easiest to get there via the free Yosemite shuttle (or you can park on site, if you’re driving).

Wawona Hotel Dining Room

wawona hotel - home to a yosemite restaurant year-round

Photo: Paul R. Jones/Shutterstock

Near the southern entrance of the park and the famous sequoia grove is the Wawona Hotel Dining Room, in a historical victorian lodge built in 1879. The Dining Room is a full-service restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu features American cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients, and it sometimes hosts outdoor BBQs on the large lawn on summer weekends. It’s reasonably priced, with most entrees under $25, and the space has a rustic and historic ambiance.

Be sure to take time to wander around and check out the old photographs and artifacts on display. Reservations are recommended, and it’s open more or less year-round, save for a quick closure in February.

The Tuolumne Meadows Grill

Backpackers and campers in the high country area of Yosemite near Tioga Pass Road also have a dining option, albeit one of the more low-key Yosemite restaurants. It’s a tented restaurant near the ranger station, and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, cafeteria-style. The menu features a variety of hot and cold dishes, including soups, sandwiches, salads, and entrees. The restaurant has a casual and relaxed atmosphere, with outdoor seating available in the warmer months.

The Grill is only open when Tioga Pass Road is open, and has a limited menu at the start and end of the season. The restaurant also has a camp store with snacks, cooking supplies, drinks, and a bunch of other grab-and-go items, in case you need to pick up something to take with you for lunch on the trail.

Camp Curry restaurants

pizza on the deck in yosemite

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Camp Curry is on the far end of the Yosemite Valley, near the canvas camping tents and the Pines campgrounds. There are two primary restaurants here.

The first and most budget-friendly option is the Meadow Grill, which is on one end of the absolutely massive dining room. You’ll find a place to sit, even on crowded weekends. It’s a cafeteria-style restaurant, serving up burritos and burgers, plus more unique options like rice bowls and creative salads. It’s grab and go, and burgers start around $7 (or $12, with fries and a drink). It’s open during the camping season (roughly March to November), though hours vary.

The second option at Camp Curry is the Curry Village Pizza Deck, which is both one of the best Yosemite restaurants and an excellent outdoor bar. It’s just outside the Meadow Grill and has a big outdoor deck with plenty of room to hang out. It’s “order at the window” style, so the lines can get a bit long, but the pizza is good and the beer is cold. It’s open January through November, usually until about 9 PM.

The best Yosemite bars

The Ahwahnee Bar

outdoor area at the ahwahnee bar

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The Ahwahnee Bar is a full-service bar in the Ahwahnee Hotel. It’s known for its cozy and historic ambiance, with wood paneling and a stone fireplace. The bar serves a variety of cocktails, beer, and wine, and has a selection of snacks such as nuts and olives, plus light bites for a casual meal if you want to skip one of the more formal Yosemite restaurants. There’s a small outdoor seating area where you can enjoy your drink with a view of the surrounding landscape, with a slight chance of being able to see wildlife like bears. The bar is open daily from late morning to late evening, and is a popular spot for both hotel guests and visitors to the park. Cocktails start around $15.

The Mountain Room Lounge

Also in the Valley is the Mountain Room Lodge, part of the mid-range Yosemite Valley Lodge. The bar has a casual and relaxed atmosphere, with a fireplace and a large window with views of the surrounding landscape. The bar serves a selection of cocktails, beer, and wine, but is probably best-known for s’mores by the fire. Technically it’s both a Yosemite restaurant and bar, but the menu is on the lighter side — think appetizers, not full meals. However, the nearby Mountain Room Restaurant is open until 9 PM and welcomes both reservations and walk-ins.

The Village Store

man pouring whiskey at a campsite

Photo: Pavel_Klimenko/Shutterstock

If you’re going camping in Yosemite or staying at Camp Curry, you don’t actually need to sit at a bar. The primary gift shop in the Yosemite Valley (the one on Village Drive, not the Camp Curry one) has a huge selection of wine and spirits you can take back to your campsite. You’ll find bags of ice available at all the various gift shops in the park, plus a large selection of souvenir insulating mugs and tumblers in case you’re looking for an inexpensive keepsake from your visit.

Where to stay in Yosemite National Park

Yosemite has plenty of hotels in the park, plus lots of great options around the park’s five entrances. Especially good finds include the AutoCamp in Mariposa or Rush Creek Lodge. There are also lots of Airbnbs in the surrounding towns. Just be sure to book as far in advance as possible; Yosemite is certainly one of the more popular national parks in the US.

We hope you love the spaces and stays we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

The Ahwahnee Hotel

Ahwahnee in Yosemite lobby

Photo: Suzie Dundas

The Ahwahnee is one of the most famous buildings in the entire national park system. It’s in the Yosemite Valley and has a dedicated shuttle stop, so it’s very easy to stay here and explore the park without a car. It’s home to two Yosemite restaurants, plus a candy shop, gift shop, and massive social and lounge areas that date back to 1927. Rooms are as expensive as you’d expect. Book early as it fills up quickly in the summer.

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Tenaya Lodge


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Tenaya at Yosemite (@tenayaatyosemite) • Instagram photos and videos

South of the park’s Wawona entrance is Tenaya Lodge. It has luxe rooms, private cabins, and high-end features like a spa and on-site bar and restaurant. It’s about three miles south of the park entrance, which has less traffic than the entrances on the western side of the park. Rooms start in the high $200s.

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Camp Curry

camp curry tents, near two yosemite restaurants and a summer pool

Photo: Suzie Dundas

One of the coolest places to stay in Yosemite is Camp Curry. The raised canvas tents are open year-round and come with basic amenities like cots, ceiling lights, and an area for hanging jackets and boots. Some even have heat, and they’re all within walking distance to the Camp Curry restaurants and pavilion, which hosts ranger programs throughout the summer. Cabins start at around $100 a night.

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