Jackson Hole, Wyoming is a wonderland for those who fancy themselves the outdoorsy type. A true nature lover’s dream city in the picturesque Rocky Mountains and home to America’s treasured Yellowstone National Park. Skiing, hiking, biking, fishing, horseback riding, and so much more can be enjoyed in one of the most beautiful landscapes the U.S. has to offer.
But regardless of how beautiful a locale is, we need to ensure we know how to eat and – more importantly – drink to the very best of our ability. So we chatted with our dear friends, and bar world royalty, Jenna, and David Kaplan. This totally rad married couple left their busy city-slicker lives to continue running their business running operations and public relations for Proprietors LLC and thirsty favorites Death & Co., Honeycut, Nitecap, Bibo, Normandie Club, The Walker Inn and soon-to-be Death & Co. Denver from the mountain town.
Since we trust the Kaplans to give us the very best beverage picks of Jackson Hole, here is their “welcome to the neighborhood” list.
‘Hood Guide to Jackson Hole with the Kaplans
Start The Day
Start your day at Persephone for morning coffee and pastries. The place is Instagram-worthy adorable and ranks as one of the best coffee shops in the state (and it’s a big state, but we admit there aren’t too many people in it).
Alt start is a grab and go situation – a spicy breakfast burrito from D.O.G. as you rush to Teton Village to catch the first tram. The service is often as spicy as the burritos – be warned – but it’s SO worth it for this crushable car breakfast.
Lunching or Brunching
Dave: If you hit après a little too hard and you’re having a slow start – head to Cafe Genevieve for a bacon bloody and some Cajun Eggs Benedict (my personal favorite). The down home cooking favorite is right off the town square in one of the older log cabin buildings in town. For Jackson’s take on a diner we love The Virginian, affectionately known as “The Virge.” Stacks of pancakes are the way to go here but be you do have to walk across the parking lot to the bar if you want to get a drink.
Jenna: Another midday don’t-miss, if you can’t wait for après ski, is a waffle up at Corbet’s Cabin. Take the tram to the top of Rendezvous Peak, where you can warm up and enjoy a delicious made-to-order waffle before attempting your way back down the expert runs. The views are endless and worth the trip up even if you don’t plan to ski down.
Brunch hangover emergencies call for Cutty’s – a local watering hole run by Philly transplants that serves up authentic Philly cheesesteaks on fresh Amoroso bread, pizza (Jersey shore style), wings and happy hour specials. On mornings when I’m in a very special kind of pain, I opt for a Pacifico and chicken fingers with all the dipping sauces (because I’m adult and I don’t have to choose just one).
In the winter there is no such thing as happy hour, just the long-loved culture of Aprés. For those who seldom visit snow Après, or après ski, is the joyous ritual of drinking and eating post a hard day on the mountain. Teton Village, the tiny mountain “town” at the base of the ski area, has your typical handful of quirky to fancy spots to unwind and grab a drink as the mountain shuts down around 4pm.
Dave: The Mangy Moose is the oldest, a can’t miss, and arguably the best. I grew up in Teton Village as a kid and spent countless hours in the building. There’s pizza downstairs, a family restaurant upstairs on one side, and a phenomenal bar/music venue upstairs on the other side. You can literally ski right up, saunter in ski boots on, and get your fill of booze and brats while you recap the day’s snowy missions.
Jenna: If you want something a little more upscale, Handle Bar at the Four Seasons has cozy outdoor seating right at the base of the mountain. Drinks are good (I usually go for a Bloody Mary, although no one will ever beat Devon Tarby’s), and elk chili nachos are piled high and served on a massive metal baking sheet.
Jackson Hole sees about 5 million tourists annually (many pass through on the way to or from Yellowstone in the summer) so Jackson has more incredible food spots than one would expect for a town of about fifteen thousand (give or take). Our favorites – in no particular order:
- Snake River Grill – One of Jackson’s best longstanding fine dining spots. Located upstairs off the town square. SRG has a great vibe, excellent wine list, killer food, and servers that have been there for years (which is saying something in a mountain town)
- Wild Sage (just off the lobby of The Rusty Parrot Hotel) – Though the room isn’t quite as solid as Snake River Grill, the food is unreal, another spot-on wine list, and the experience never disappoints.
- Kitchen – A great little spot that gives a bit of relief to the game/mountain hearty menus around town. Kitchen is a more modern, seafood-heavy spot with a light Asian influence. Everything here is solid as can be. Seems like a bit of an oddball on the menu, but the burger is absolutely bonkers – it’s their take on an In-N-Out burger, complete with buttery bun and special sauce. Also it’s one of the only spots in town you can find orange wine – if there’s a bottle of Donkey & Goat Stone Crusher left, it’s because we haven’t gotten to it yet.
- Teton Tiger – A bit of everything from Thai, Chinese and Korean – The Tiger fills a desperately needed niche in Jackson. It’s perfect for take out but the vibe inside is also great. Like most spots it’s locally-owned and run. The GM here Kara took 2nd in the Kings & Queens of Corbets competition – it’s a pretty fair estimate that just about any local you meet is flat out gnarly.
- White Buffalo Club – lacking a bit in ambiance (it’s on the lower level within the hotel) WBC makes up for it in some of the more daring and fun modern cuisine in town, while of course still satisfying Jackson’s endless love of all things steak.
- Glorietta – Located next to, and sharing ownership with, the recently redone now hip/hipster motel The Anvil, Glorietta is one of the best restaurants in town. They nail everything here from a great interior (by former Ace Hotel folks Studio Tack), thoughtful wine list, [Gerbino-approved] Italian food with pasta made in-house and many items coming off a fancy wood-burning grill, and some of the best cocktails in town. OK, full disclosure on the drinks – Proprietors LLC trained and helps oversee the bar team here but they carry the torch on high.
- Bin 22 – Incredible liquor store/wine shop/restaurant combo with really impressive tapas and charcuterie selection. The best thing about this spot is if you’re dining in, you can pick out a bottle of wine in the shop to enjoy directly at your table with no upcharge or corkage fee.
- King Sushi – You would be surprised by how stellar the sushi, and the rest of the menu, is here. Fish is flown in fresh daily and the sushi, sashimi and rolls are always great with a selection that changes often. They also have the best saké list in town but it’s hard not to not order Funaguchi. What can we say? We love saké in a can.
- Handfire Pizza – Jackson has a lot of pizza. A lot. Handfire recently opened in the old single-screen theater (one of the oldest buildings in town), kept the marquee, and blew the rest of the pizza game in town away. Even their gluten-free is tasty, if you’re into that sort of thing. They also have salads, but let’s try to stick to the script here.
Crafty Cocktail Strolling
Dave: The Rose / The Pink Garter Theater – The Rose and the Pink Garter is an amazing cocktail bar live concert venue one-two-punch. The Rose was the first cocktail bar here in the valley and, more full disclosure, Proprietors LLC helped open it and Alex Day and I are still partners. The bartenders are incredibly talented, and the menu is always super inventive and on point. On weekends with some incredible live acts and DJs that come through, it tends to get pretty raucous. We’ve seen some awesome shows here in the past two years, including the late Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Pretty Lights, and Diplo will be here in a couple of weeks, and the entertainment is even better with one of The Rose’s cocktails in hand.
Jenna’s Fun fact: The Rose menu features custom illustrations created by the talented Tim Tomkinson, who is also responsible for all the beautiful artwork on the Death & Co menu and Death & Co book.
Jenna’s Expert tip: the only late night munchies available in Jackson are at a pizza place called Pinky G’s, located conveniently below The Rose. If you can make it down before 1am, you can order a hot, delicious NY-style pizza to take home with you. If you don’t get there in time/have no self-respect, there’s always Dominos.
Jenna: Other than The Rose, if you’re looking for nighttime drinks in a fun atmosphere, there’s The Million Dollar Cowboy. It’s a massive bar and it’s totally wild – Western cowboy flare motif, knobbed pine everything, taxidermy, saddle barstools (like a saddle you put on a horse, yeah), live music, swing dancing, and a handful of pool tables. Order a whiskey-soda or a shot and a beer. Anything more than that and you’re asking for trouble.
For daytime cocktail strolling in the summer – we’ve got these delicious sugar bomb blended cocktails called Sloshies. Served up from a slushee machine (just like at 7-11), you usually have a choice of two flavors and they’re a must-purchase on the way to a swim at String Lake or a float down the Snake River. Most places you can get them here (there are no less than six) use fresh fruit juice, which is an upgrade from dumping an airplane bottle of Bacardi into your blue icee (man, I miss Long Island sometimes). My favorite is a coffee-based option from Creekside – it’s a lighter, icier version of a Mudslide.
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