A feast for the eyes and stomach: Where to eat at the Grand Canyon

written by Cliona Elliott September 7, 2021
Food from Bright Angel Cafe at the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon might be a feast for the eyes, but there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to visit once you’re done gobbling up the views. 

When you imagine the Grand Canyon, you’re probably not thinking about where to should eat. Your biggest concern is likely where you can see the most spectacular views or which hiking trails to tackle. A Grand Canyon tour can work up quite an appetite, so we’ve put together a list of some of the top places to refuel (and spoil you with even more amazing views).

Note: some of these cafes and restaurants may be temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so it might be worth contacting them in advance.

1. Bright Angel Bicycles and Cafe

Someone holding a sandwich and a coffee from Bright Angel Cafe
  • Location: Grand Canyon Visitor Center 10 South Entrance Rd, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ 
  • Price range: $
  • Best for: coffee, sandwiches, bagels, pastries, salads 

If you fancy a quick bite while exploring the South Rim, Bright Angels has you covered. This no-frills café near Mather Point is the perfect pit stop to grab a coffee (made with locally roasted beans) and a tasty breakfast or lunch. Think breakfast burritos, sandwiches, bagels, salads and pastries. You can grab and go or sit down at a picnic bench for alfresco dining with uh-mazing views. As you might’ve guessed by the name, they also rent bicycles cycling is a fun way to cover more ground if you’re pushed for time.

2. Phantom Ranch

  • Location: North Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
  • Price range: $$ – $$$
  • Best for: American, home-cooked favourites

Located at the bottom of the North Rim, The Phantom Ranch Canteen is a restaurant you’ll remember for more than just the food. After a long and sweaty hike down, take refuge in this cosy diner. They serve a set breakfast and dinner menu full of American classics such as fluffy buttermilk pancakes and maple-smoked bacon, Arizona steaks, homemade cornbread, meaty stews and cheesy baked potatoes. If you’re passing through on the Bright Angel Trail, you can also pick up the ‘hiker’s sack lunch’ full of goodies including a bagel, energy bar and fresh fruit.

3. The Sky View Restaurant 

  • Location: Eagle Point Rd, Peach Springs, AZ
  • Price range: $$ – $$$
  • Best for: American, the views  

You can imagine this place is all about the views. Located on the edge of the West Rim, you’ll be treated to dramatic panoramic vistas of Eagle Point and the famous Skywalk where you can watch people walking across the u-shaped glass bridge above the canyon floor. They serve casual American classics including fried chicken wings, cheeseburgers, hot dogs and beer-battered fries. If you’re not very hungry, you can always kick back with an ice-cold beer or soft drink to take it all in.

4. Desert View Trading Post & Ice Cream

Staff in Desert View Trading Post & Ice Cream, Grand Canyon
  • Location: W Hwy 64, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
  • Price range: $
  • Best for: coffee, ice cream, snacks, light breakfast and lunch 

You can’t walk to the Desert View Watchtower without stopping for a generous scoop of ice cream here. If ice cream doesn’t tickle your fancy, there are plenty of other sweet treats and savoury snacks on the menu. You can also browse the gift shop for souvenirs to take home. They sell art and crafts made by local artists and craftspeople from the Grand Canyon’s traditionally associated tribes. Kick back in a shaded spot to enjoy the different vantage points of the South Rim and the Colorado River. 

5. Canyon Village Market Place and Deli

  • Location: Grand Canyon Village, AZ
  • Price range: $
  • Best for: sandwiches, pizza, burgers, groceries

Feeling peckish? Need to pick up a few essentials? Canyon Village Marketplace and Deli has it all. It’s a bit of an Alladin’s Cave where you can find everything from freshly roasted chickens, grab n’ go salads and cooking essentials, to craft beers, souvenirs and camping supplies. Conveniently located in the market plaza next to the post office, don’t forget to send a few postcards home to your loved ones.

6. El Tovar Dining Room

  • Location: Grand Canyon Village, AZ
  • Price range: $$$ – $$$$
  • Best for: American, Southwestern, international 

El Tovar Dining Room is the place to treat yourself. Enjoy gourmet dishes in an art deco atmosphere built with native stone and Oregan pine. The menu combines traditional Southwestern classics with a sprinkling of international influence. For brekkie, treat your taste buds to Sonoran-style eggs with chorizo, polenta pancakes with prickly pear and pistachio butter or chocolate and peanut butter chip Belgian waffles. For dinner, enjoy a black Angus prime rib hash, Navajo tacos or oven-roasted pheasant. When you’re done eating, head down to the lounge for a cocktail or enjoy a famous Canyon sunset on the veranda.

7. Yavapai Tavern

Yavapai Tavern Restaurant at the Grand Canyon
  • Location: 11 Yavapai Lodge Rd, Grand Canyon Village, Arizona
  • Price range: $$ – $$$
  • Best for: Southwestern, burgers, pizzas, wings 

You can’t beat a good ol’ burger and a beer. Oh, wait. Yavapai Tavern is known for its artistic take on burgers (think bourbon bacon and malted elk) as well as other Southwestern specialities. Sink your teeth into house-smoked wings, homemade BBQ sauce, shredded beef nachos and artisan pizzas. Yum. They also serve an impressive selection of local craft beers, wines and cocktails to quench your thirst. We recommend enjoying a cold drink on the outdoor patio while listening to some live music around the fire pit.

8. Cameron Trading Post and Restaurant 

  • Location: 466 US-89, Cameron, Arizona 
  • Price range: $$ – $$$
  • Best for: American, Mexican, local cuisine 

You’ve probably eaten a taco, but have you had a Navajo taco? Cameron Trading Post is famous for it. It’s a deep-fried breakfast taco slathered with spicy ground beef and topped with cheddar, crunchy lettuce and green chillies. It’s perfectly crunchy on the outside and deliciously gooey on the inside. Other dishes to try include green chilli stew, prickly pear BBQ chicken and Yah-Ahtay chilli. Cameron Trading Post is a bit of a local icon. It was built in 1916 by two brothers after the first swayback bridge was constructed over the Little Colorado River in 1911 to provide the first access over the gorge. It was mostly used by Navajo and Hopi locals to exchange their produce for dry goods. The restaurant is filled with Native American art and decor and is as hospitable for guests today as it was for traders all those years ago. 

9. Deli in the Pines 

  • Location: 6225 AZ-67, North Rim Grand Canyon Lodge
  • Price range: $
  • Best for: American fast food, sandwiches 

This unassuming joint in the North Rim might not be a deli (and it might not be in the pines), but it’s a good place to pick up something quick and easy when you’re on the go. Grab a breakfast pastry, sandwich, salad or pizza-by-the-slice or enjoy one of the daily specials such as the breakfast burrito or pulled pork sandwich. They also sell soft-serve ice cream if you’re after something sweet. The food is simple, convenient and affordable.

10. Grand Cookout 

  • Location: Grand Canyon Lodge, North Rim, AZ 
  • Price range: $$
  • Best for: barbeque, American, evening entertainment 

It might be a little cheesy, but this chuck wagon-style dining experience certainly packs a punch. Fill your boots (or should we say ‘stomach’) with an all-you-can-eat buffet of BBQ beef briskets, mac n’ cheese, homestyle cornbread, roasted chicken, buttery potatoes and creamy coleslaw. The food is good, but the main attraction is the dinner theatre show which will have you tapping your feet to country and western music, laughing at brilliantly bad jokes and listening to historic tales of the Grand Canyon. There’s even a few magic tricks thrown in there which always go down a treat with the kids.

11. Arizona Steakhouse 

  • Location: Grand Canyon Village South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
  • Price range: $$ – $$$
  • Best for: American, Southwestern 

Fancy some hearty food in a chic restaurant setting? Enjoy American classics like aged-cut steak and baby back ribs or indulge in Southwestern, Mexican or Navajo-style fare. Arizona Steakhouse might be a little more casual than El Tovar Dining Room, but it still offers an intimate dining experience with amazing views. Located on the edge of the South Rim, the views are something to shout about.

12. The Grand Hotel

  • Location: 149 AZ-64, Grand Canyon Village, AZ
  • Price range: $$ – $$$
  • Best for: American, Southwestern 

The Grand Hotel is the only three-diamond hotel in the national park. Enjoy wholesome dishes like chorizo and eggs, buttermilk pancakes and Texas smoked bacon for breakfast. For dinner, sink your teeth into chicken tortillas, Arizona steaks, garlic mussels and succulent chicken fillets. If you’d prefer something a bit lighter, you can always sit at the bar with a drink and some appetizers. The Grand Hotel is also the place to go if you fancy a bit of a knees-up when the sun goes down. There’s a lively bar and nightly entertainment including country and western singers.

Hungry for adventure? Check out our Grand Canyon tours.

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