17 Best Restaurants in The Southern Sierra, California

Elderberry House

$$$$ Fodor's choice

This culinary oasis—stunning for its understated elegance, gorgeous setting, and impeccable service—is one of the best restaurants in the region. Earthtone walls and wood beams accent the high ceilings, and arched windows reflect the glow of candles.

48688 Victoria La., Oakhurst, CA, 93644, USA
Known For
  • Elite waitstaff
  • Romantic setting, gorgeous garden terrace
  • Seasonal prix-fixe menus (three-course $95, six-course $155, wine pairings add $70/$95)
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: No lunch Mon.–Sat., Reservations essential

Restaurant at Convict Lake

$$$$ Fodor's choice

The lake is one of the most spectacular spots in the Eastern Sierra, and the food at this hotel restaurant lives up to the view. From pan-seared local trout and beef Wellington to rack of lamb and Long Island duck, the menu is refined, and there's an award-winning wine list to match. The woodsy room has a vaulted knotty-pine ceiling and a copper-chimney fireplace. Although the main restaurant only serves dinner, you can grab breakfast or lunch at the hotel's casual Aspen Grill and sit at a table outdoors under the white-barked aspens. 

Convict Lake Rd., Mammoth Lakes, CA, 93546, USA
Known For
  • Woodsy decor
  • Homemade cheesecake
  • Extensive wine list with reasonably priced European and California bottlings
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: No lunch, Reservations essential

South Gate Brewing Company

$$ Fodor's choice

Locals pack this family-friendly, industrial-chic restaurant to socialize and savor small-lot beers, crafted on-site, along with tasty meals. The creative pub fare runs a wide gamut, from thin-crust brick-oven pizzas to fish tacos, fish-and-chips, and vegan black-bean burgers.

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The Warming Hut

$$ Fodor's choice

Warm up by a crackling fire in the stone fireplace while fueling up on healthy, made-from-scratch breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes at this ski-lodge-style eatery. The flexible menu allows for lots of choice, including a DIY breakfast with more than 20 mix-and-match items, five types of hash, keto selections, grab-and-go sandwiches, salads, burgers, and soups. Come for bingo on the third Tuesday of every month.


$$$ Fodor's choice

Smack in the heart of the Village, this bustling restaurant greets you with the sound of martini shakers and the smell of Italian classics prepared by Food Network/James Beard finalist/Michelin-starred brothers Michael and Bryan Voltaggio. Grab a table near the swanky bar, or nestle into one of the globe domes on the patio. Here, servers deliver piping hot plates of lamb ravioli, crispy octopus with creamy gnocchi, or Voltaggi-O’s—a nod to the childhood classic SpaghettiOs (only the brothers’ version is made with homemade annelini pasta and a giant meatball). For shared plates start with the caprese, prosciutto di parma, or the white sauce pizza topped with mozzarella and fontina. In the open kitchen, you can catch a glimpse of the brick oven (imported from Italy) that cranks out consistent perfection.

Black Velvet Coffee


Start your day the way scores of locals do—with a stop at the slick Black Velvet espresso bar for Belgian waffles, baked treats, and coffee drinks made from small batches of beans roasted on-site. Then return in the afternoon to hang out in the upstairs wine bar (open 3 to 6) where tastings are offered Thursday–Sunday ($25). It's also a great place to come for a steamy cup of organic tea or to grab a craft beer and log onto the free Wi-Fi.

Burgers Restaurant


Come hungry to this bustling restaurant, which is known, appropriately enough, for its burgers as well as its mountainous portions. Grab a table on the diner-esque ground floor, or head upstairs to the modern dining room with a full bar. At lunch try the sourdough patty melt, at dinner the pork ribs; salads are great all day. The seasoned French fries are delicious.

Ducey's on the Lake/Ducey's Bar & Grill


With elaborate chandeliers sculpted from deer antlers, the lodge-style restaurant at Ducey's attracts boaters, locals, and tourists with its lake views and standard lamb, beef, seafood, and pasta dishes. It's also open for breakfast: try the lobster-crab cake eggs Benedict, huevos rancheros, or the Rice Krispies–crusted French toast.

Epic Cafe


Hungry travelers and locals feast on fresh, healthy, cooked-to-order comfort food at this casual café at Lakeview Lodge, near the Tioga Road and Highway 395 junction. The menu changes daily, but you can count on items like waffles and frittatas for breakfast; paninis, sandwiches, salads, rice bowls, and soups for lunch; and three special dinner entrées, perhaps locally caught fish, chicken potpie, or braised short ribs.

Gateway Restaurant and Lodge


The view's the draw at this roadhouse that overlooks the Kaweah River as it plunges out of the high country. The Gateway serves everything from osso buco and steaks to shrimp in Thai chili sauce; dinner reservations are essential on summer weekends.

Mammoth Brewing Company


Brewing since 1995, this Village operation lures hungry patrons with 14 craft beers on tap, elevated grub from the on-site restaurant, tasting flights, a contemporary vibe at two spacious bar areas, and a beer garden. The dining menu changes constantly, but reflects a locals' twist on pub food with pork belly tacos, black-currant-and-goat-cheese flatbread, or house-made sweet-potato tots. The burgers, topped with smoked gouda and kale, keep those lines long during ski season, but it’s worth the wait. You can pass the time in the game room on the bottom floor, or watch a match on the top level framed with big-screen TVs.

Mono Cone


Get soft-serve ice cream, burgers, and fries at this hopping shack in the middle of Lee Vining, but be prepared to wait in line. There's some indoor seating, but unless the clouds are leaking, take your food to nearby (and quiet) Hess Park, whose views of Mono Lake make it one of the best picnic spots in eastern California. The park has a playground and tennis court, too.

51508 U.S. 395, Lee Vining, CA, 93541, USA
Known For
  • Tasty milkshakes
  • Soft-serve ice-cream cones
  • 14 types of burgers, hot dogs, tacos
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed in winter

Petra's Bistro & Wine Bar


The ambience at Petra's—quiet, dark, and warm (there's a great fireplace)—complements its seductive meat and seafood entrées and smart selection of more than 250 wines from California and around the world. The menu impresses with duck confit, butternut squash gnocchi, and coq au vin. The downstairs Clocktower Cellar bar provides a lively, if sometimes rowdy, alternative with its pub grub, whiskies, and craft beers and ales.

6080 Minaret Rd., Mammoth Lakes, CA, 93546, USA
Known For
  • Romantic atmosphere
  • Top-notch service
  • Lively downstairs bar
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: No lunch. Closed Mon. and May–June 15, Reservations essential

Sierra Subs and Salads


This well-run sandwich joint satisfies carnivores and vegetarians alike with crispy-fresh ingredients prepared with panache. Depending on your preference, the centerpiece of the Bull's Eye sandwich, for instance, will be roast beef or a portobello mushroom; whichever you choose, the accompanying flavors—of ciabatta bread, horseradish-and-garlic mayonnaise, roasted red peppers, Havarti cheese, and spinach—will delight your palate.

The Mogul


Come here for straightforward steaks—top sirloin, New York, filet mignon, prime rib, and T-bone. The only catch is that the waiters cook them, and the results vary depending on their skill level; but generally things go well, and kids love the experience. Expect typical steakhouse sides like soup, salad, and rice pilaf. Vegetarians might want to look elsewhere. 

1528 Tavern Rd., Mammoth Lakes, CA, 93546, USA
Known For
  • Traditional alpine atmosphere
  • Servers custom-grill your order
  • Prime rib until it sell out
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues. No lunch

Tioga Gas Mart & Whoa Nelli Deli


This might be the only gas station in the United States serving craft beers and lobster taquitos, but its appeal goes beyond novelty. Order at the counter, and grab a seat inside, or sit at one of the picnic tables on the lawn outside and take in the distant view of Mono Lake.



A passionate baseball fan, chef Matt Toomey designed this casual space near the Village Gondola to resemble a dugout, and decorated it with baseball memorabilia. Swing by pre–outdoor adventure for coconut mascarpone pancakes or soft bagels topped with smoked trout and chipotle cream cheese. Later in the day, fill up on buffalo meat loaf, seafood jambalaya, or a New Zealand elk rack chop. You can also get a taste of Toomey’s at home: its signature seasoning is sold online.