Restaurants at and near the Grand Canyon are smart enough not to try and outshine their surroundings. After all, no mille-feuille, no matter how magnificent, can cast a shadow on the spectacle known as the Eighth Wonder of the World, so rather than compete, chefs and restaurateurs here have learned to complement by developing a symbiosis between their food and service and the scenery.
Grand Canyon Village
The El Tovar Dining Room , just 50 feet from the South Rim is the grand dame of dining at the Grand Canyon and has offered the area's most sophisticated dining for nearly a century. Built by hospitality industry baron Fred Harvey in 1905, the restaurant quickly gained a reputation for meals as magnificent as the view outside the windows. At one point, the Harvey Company even maintained its own herd of cattle for the express purpose of providing diners with fresh dairy products. Today, the El Tovar Dining Room maintains a worldwide reputation for fine dining and treats its guests to an incredible selection of Arizona-inspired and European-styled fare. From their renowned cornmeal and blueberry waffles for breakfast, to Western game, Angus beef and Arizona trout at dinner, each meal is painstakingly prepared by a talented culinary team.
Likewise, the Arizona Steakhouse at Bright Angel Lodge promises diners the finest beef, poultry and seafood, mesquite-grilled to perfection. Savoring prime Western beef here in cowboy country is an experience you won't soon forget.
Speaking of experiences that will forever be emblazoned in your memory, a meal at the Phantom Ranch Canteen will, undoubtedly, be the highlight of your Grand Canyon visit. It is not that the menu is so unusual, or that the service, while efficient and friendly, is extraordinary. The real treat is that only a select few ever get to eat here. Why? Because you need to find your way to the Grand Canyon floor in order to have a meal at this intriguing eatery. The restaurant is only accessible by hiking, rafting or by using a mule train. This is truly a meal you will be telling your grandkids about. Keep in mind that, due to logistics, your meals must be ordered and your lodging reservations confirmed long in advance of your arrival at the adjoining Phantom Ranch .
The focus at the Grand Canyon is on sightseeing, so many area restaurants concentrate on fueling up hikers for their forays into the Canyon and the Kaibab Forest, or refreshing them on their return. The Maswik Cafeteria/Lounge/Sports Bar is the perfect place to 'carbohydrate-load' before you head out on a day's adventure, or to pick up trail treats to take along. The Bright Angel Restaurant offers a relaxing respite whether you want to dip into an ice cream sundae, have a leisurely lunch or sip a late afternoon cocktail.
With these natural wonders surrounding you, why not pack a picnic and hit the trails? The General Store & Deli will supply you with everything from snacks, sandwiches, salads and beverages to camping and fishing gear, just as they've been doing since they first opened their Grand Canyon general store in a tent, in 1905.
Just 60 miles south of the Canyon, in historic Williams, even more adventures-in-eating await you. Rod's Steakhouse is truly an Arizona institution, serving top-notch steaks for more than a half century. Pancho McGillicuddy's is another favorite local hang out both for its Sonora-style Mexican cuisine and its spectrum of specialty drinks that nearly rival the Grand Canyon itself in their colorful hues. It is located in the building that lays claim to being the city's longest-running commercial operation. When it is time to ease those aching muscles after all that hiking, there's no better places to sit back and sip a specialty coffee or cold beverage than the Grand Canyon Coffee & Cafe .
For a family favorite , there is the Pizza Factory where you can chow down on thin or thick crust pizza, wings, and a salad bar. For a taste of the old west and a thick steak, Miss Kitty's Steakhouse & Saloon serves up barbeque and a full bar in a saloon straight out of 'Gunsmoke'. If you're in the mood for the drinking without the dining, stop by World Famous Sultana , with the state's oldest liquor license.
From a quick croissant at dawn before you hit the hiking trails, to lunchtime picnics at one of the Canyon's scenic points, or a romantic repast with faultlessly formal service, the Grand Canyon area offers the ideal victuals for every visitor. So rest assured that, as you nurture your soul with the area's stunning natural beauty, the restaurants, cafes and cocktail lounges stand ready to nourish your body and satisfy your spirit.