Jackson Hole is a rustic resort torn in the middle of the cowboy country of Wyoming. Despite its Western style, it is home to numerous flavor-filled restaurants in both the town of Jackson and the resort of Teton Village. Here are three ways to dine, depending on how much you want to empty your wallet out after a day on the mountain.
In Your Ski Boots
Village Café (Teton)
The base of Jackson Hole is not trendy. So leave it to a local favorite to coin a cocktail “The Trendy Bitch.” Then fill the glass with a generous portion of whiskey. The VC (Village Café for those from out of town) mixes a heaping dose of Crown with OJ and Red Bull. Drink up. It’s delicious and makes the VC a popular après spot. But it’s also home to one of the best cheap meals you can find anywhere. The sandwiches and wraps are built from super fresh ingredients, and the pizza is solid—and features creative flavors on the daily special menu. Plus, the Tramline Burritos are exactly what you need before heading to Corbet’s.
Jackson option: Billy’s Burgers, a classic burger counter right on Town Square serving monster half-pounders.
Back in Jeans
Teton Thai (Teton)
You wouldn’t think to look for Thai in a tiny resort town in the middle of nowhere Wyoming. It’s okay to be skeptical, but Teton Thai is authentic, delicious and still pretty much a secret. It’s located outside the main buildings of the Teton Village base, meaning you have to seek out the authentic Thai flavors. Yes, authentic. Owner Suchada Johnson is a Thai native, so the curries are absolutely serious. This restaurant used to be a cramped eatery in Jackson, but now it’s housed in a proper-sized space. And while the tourists haven’t yet caught on, the local following this joint has often results in waits on weekends.
Jackson option: Q Roadhouse is actually in Wilson, halfway between the mountain village and the town of Jackson, but this chic barbeque spot is worth the drive from either town—and has an excellent wine list to boot.
Once a Ski Trip Dining Experience
Snake River Grill (Jackson)
Even the fine-dining establishments of Jackson are still Western casual affairs, so jeans and bolo ties are perfectly acceptable attire. So are ski jackets. But the ski town’s eldest fine dining establishment is exquisite, mixing modern flavors with western game meats in a rustic, cabin-like atmosphere. But don’t expect stodgy game-house cuisine. Chef Jeff Drew is inventive, and has worked at a variety of niche restaurants, including the famed Coyote Café in Santa Fe, and he was recently nominated (2010) as a “Best Chef in the Northwest” by the illustrious James Beard House. Classic can’t miss dishes include elk osso bucco and goose leg confit.
Teton option: Couloir Restaurant offers five-star dining at the top of the Gondola on the mountain, giving diners a chance to enjoy gourmet contemporary American fare at about 9,000 feet.