America’s 10 Best Restaurants in Parks

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When planning a day trip or a longer vacation to a park, you’re not necessarily taking into consideration the types of restaurants you’ll find there. Whether it’s a cherished city oasis (hello, Central Park!) or a national park (yo, Yosemite!), the dining establishments probably aren’t a motivating factor for your decision. But what if they were?

America’s 10 Best Restaurants in Parks (Slideshow)

What makes a park’s restaurant significant enough to leave a lasting impression? It could be the beauty of your surroundings, or the variety of menu items available. Maybe the dining establishment is known far and wide for a particular dish. While you’re sitting pretty in a chair waiting to be fed, you’ll also want to look out the window and take in the charm of nature.

We honed in on a few well-known spots that travelers should consider when planning a park adventure. We also looked at a bunch that were a part of the road less traveled, if you will. Using Google Maps, TripAdvisor, and Yelp, we narrowed down our top choices based mostly on their locations and views, but also on their menu offerings and patron reviews.

Here’s what we discovered.

#10 Restaurant 1915 and Blue Roof Tapas Bar

Photo Modified: Flickr / David Fulmer / CC BY 4.0

Restaurant 1915 and Blue Roof Tapas Bar is located in Bear Mountain State Park in the Hudson Valley of New York State. The restaurant boasts a 100-year-old walk-in fireplace as a focal point, along with panoramic views of the park with the Hudson River in the distance. When you’re there, you must order the Hibernator, a barbecue meatloaf stuffed with three-cheese mac and cheese, served with roasted garlic smashed potatoes and sautéed spinach.

#9 Carlsbad Caverns Underground Lunchroom

Photo Modified: Flickr / David Fulmer / CC BY 4.0


Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico is home to ancient sea ledges and deep canyons tucked below the desert terrain. There are more than 119 known caves here, all formed when sulfuric acid dissolved the surrounding limestone. The Carlsbad Caverns Underground Lunchroom is located 750 feet underground, right inside the caves. Enjoy local, Mexican-inspired fare like pork adovada and tortilla-crusted tilapia.