Still a thoroughfare for traveling families, outdoorsmen and road-trippers, Wyoming has evolved a strong roadside, small-town breakfast industry. Most diners are Wyoming in a nutshell: Simple, approachable and comforting. Just picture it: A plethora of bygone-era restaurants, silhouetting a high plains landscape more American than apple pie. Here are the eight best places to grab breakfast in Wyoming.
The Rockwellian sympathies of most Americans inevitably involves a hunger for soul-warming comfort food. As a thoroughfare for business and pleasure passing to and from Colorado, Laramie is an ideal spot to start a Western road trip. It’s hard to beat biscuits & gravy, filled-to-the-brim omelets, simple black coffee and buttery hash browns to weigh the gut—it’s a warmth that satisfies and relaxes, sustaining those tackling the isolated stretches of wind-blown Wyoming highway.
This breakfast spot is on the forefront of pushing honest, sustainable, local Wyoming ingredients. And though the lunch is worth tasting, the breakfast and brunch menus are the draw. They reflect the hip but rustic decor, warm woods and everyday dining tables that belie undercurrents of well-executed, responsibly sourced fare. Prices may be higher than the usual rural Wyoming outpost, but servings are hearty and never a bore to the palate. When calories aren’t a concern, the chicken fried steak and biscuits & gravy are king-worthy, organic gut-bombs. Or try the sourdough pancakes, made with in-house starter.
Harkening to the nostalgic croissant and pastry shops of the Champs-Élysées, Persephone is a legitimate bakery. It’s professionally-scripted window dressings hint at the attention to detail and technique, all supporting a dedication to scrumptious sweet creations. All ingredients and processes strive to represent the gorgeous environs and natural bounty of the Jackson area. The yeasts are wild and local, and though Paris may be the archetype, it’s Wyoming through and through. Any pastry, tarte or cupcake is guaranteed to embarrass neighboring cups of coffee, and for savory cravings, the croque madame is stellar.
Nora’s has a decent lunch special, to be sure. But it’s the breakfast that’s so magnetizing. The brother-and-sister team has continued the traditions of their mother, particularly the eponymous trout and eggs. The heaps of quality carbs and protein are ideal cold-weather and springtime fuel, sure to keep the fire burning for a day of skiing, shopping, hiking or sleeping. And most guests, be they driving-up in Mercedes’ or riding-over on a bike, gravitate towards the huevos rancheros.
The staff here is friendly in spades, and this conviviality has contributed to the 90-year tenure of this diner. The breakfast continues to impress, living up to its name not in gaudy adornments or eggs topped with caviar, but in its treating customers as kings (both via service and the generous, soul-warming comfort food). Don’t let the train-car structure dissuade, it’s this charm of a rustic but satisfying vibe that manifests in a homey breakfast menu.
It’s almost gilding the lily: A Four Seasons Hotel and the incomparable ruggedness of a Teton ski resort. This grill has an unfair advantage—if need be, the locale alone, and the elation the mountain-air engenders, could almost disguise horrendous food (Almost.). But Westbank needn’t resort to this trickery: The supreme modern-mountain menu with delicious, precise dishes makes use of its enviable biosphere to full effect. The menu is approachable, yet refined, articulating the chef’s combining more recognizable (and delicious) relics of fine-dining menus with local mountain ingredients and modern obsessions with local, grass-fed and sustainable. Though likely to carry a hefty price tag, the experience writ large is indeed worth it.
The name says it all. The pride of the ownership bleeds into the service and food, and when visiting, guests indeed feel it’s “home.” The cabin-esque reddish brown exterior is quaint, more a house than a storefront, immediately inviting via the sign: “Home Cookin’ & 25-cent coffee.” The one-page laminated menu is all a self-respecting diner needs: Simple sections with straightforward American breakfast fare.
Einstein does bagels very well: toothsome exteriors, chewy insides, aromatic garnishes. There’re reasons so few perfect bagels: They’re labor intensive and require a set of tools and kitchen space that tends to dominate the operation. So, until local practitioners and the customer base craves bagels, leave it to the experts.