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Jan 14, 2008 09:29 AM

Restaurants at and around the Ahwahnee Hotel

My SO and I will be spending Presidents' Day Weekend at the Ahwahnee Hotel. I searched the boards, but didn't find anything relevant to my request.

Are there any restaurants that we shouldn't miss in the area?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Not sure what in the area means. Do you mean on the way to/from Yosemite, or in Yosemite, near the AH?

    1 Reply
    1. re: souvenir

      In or Yosemite, or near the AH. I am totally unfamiliar with the area, so unfortunately, I don't know what is nearby. I would consider a 30-minute drive "nearby".

    2. There is nothing within 30 minutes outside the park.

      So, the Awanhee has two restaurants, one is really a bar The Awanhee is the most beaurtiful room in the world. The food is very expensive. Coats are expected at dinner.

      The Sunday brunch is really good with a less restrictive dress code. Lots of seafood, omelettes,blintzes etc. One of the servers sings along with the piano bar and that is worth it all by itself.... I believe this is the only time the other bar restaurant is open for food service but could be wrong.

      In Yosemite Village, there is a deli and a buffet for dinner and lunch. It's okay.

      At Curry Village is a breakfast lunch cafeteria, a pizza place, and an ice cream place. not sure how many of those will be open.

      1. Yosemite is gorgeous in the winter, you'll love it! It's a National Park though, so there aren't any businesses nearby except the ones affiliated with the park service and hotels etc. You won't want to leave the park once you get there, especially if it's snowing, etc.

        The main restaurant at the Ahwannee is pretty good, gorgeous lodge style dining room with soaring ceilings, etc. It has windows out to the trees, snow, etc. Make reservations for dinner, you won't need them for breakfast. I think they also do some culinary events in the winter, so you might want to check that out on their website.

        The Wawona and Yosemite Lodge also have dining options, and there's quick service food at Curry Village. Not sure if everything is open at this time of year, but you should have enough choices to get you through the weekend. Since your shopping options will be limited, I would recommend packing some snacks and drinks for the room - we were really glad we did that the last time we went.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Alice Q

          Thank you bennyboy1 and Alice Q, that is exactly the info I was looking for. On that note, do either of you have thoughts on whether it is better to stay in the lodge or in one of the cabins that they have?

          1. re: lamlex

            The Awanhee is very expensive with very small rooms. Yosemite lodge not so expensive. NO TV in either.

            The tent cabins are just a tent, a bed, bedding and nothing else. walk to showers, bathroms etc. Ask if they have electrical and bring a heater and some sleeping bags to keep warm.

            1. re: bennyboy1

              I think that the Awhahnee hotel has both rooms and cabins on their property. The little cabins are nice for privacy, but they are more rustic than the rooms. The rooms are nice hotel rooms, but very small.

              I have eaten a few times at the bar in the Ahwahnee and had very good food. I am not sure of their hours, but the service has always been great and the homemade soups very nice. If you would like just apps or a light dinner/lunch and a glass of wine with a view of Half Dome, that is the spot!

              1. re: glazebrookgirl

                Yes, our reservation is for one of the cottages... so I guess rustic but private is the way that we are going.

                Sounds like bringing some snacks for the day and eating in the hotel for breakfast and dinner is the way to go.

                Thanks for all the input!

                1. re: lamlex

                  You will have fun! When I said rustic, I meant as compared to staying in the hotel proper. The cottages are very cute and well furnished, and actually bigger than the standard rooms.

                  1. re: lamlex

                    Sorry never been to the cottages...Don't forget there are stores in Yosemite too, so you don't need to stock up before you leave.

                    And if you get tired of the expensive hotel food try the cafeteria in Curry Village. It is decent with many choices of food...And a lot more casual....

          2. I went to a wedding at AH a couple years ago and I thought the food in the hotel was good. I don't recall too many other options in the area.
            The standard rooms in the lodge were smallish, dated but cute, nothing special and the cottage room shown on the web site looks much nicer.
            The benefit to staying in the lodge itself are the common areas. They are very nice and a great place to relax with a book or just chat.

            1. How many nights are you there? I'd suggest making a reservation for one dinner at the Ahwahnee main dining room, and one night at the Mountain Room at the Yosemite Lodge. The view of Yosemite Falls from the Mountain Room is really beautiful! I'd also do the Sunday brunch at the Ahwahnee (not on the same day you are having dinner at the Ahwahnee if possible). You definitely need to make reservations ahead of time because dining options are limited. For lunch, there is a deli (Degnan's?) that has pretty good sandwiches. The only food and atmosphere I remember really disliking was the cafeteria for breakfast at the Yosemite Lodge.

              I also think the food at the Tenaya Lodge is pretty good; it is just outside of one of the entrances to Yosemite, but still it is something like a 40-50 minute drive to/from the Ahwahnee (if my memory is correct). If you are there 3 nights, you might want to try it as well. I haven't been to dinner at the Wawona Hotel, but that is another possibility.

              I think the cottages at the Ahwahnee are nicer than the rooms in the main building, but I would raise the issue that it's winter and if you stay at a cottage, you have to bundle up to go to and from your room more than you would if you stay in the main building. All lodging is overpriced, in my opinion, at Yosemite. The Ahwahnee is the most costly, and I have definitely stayed in nicer places for a lot less, but not at Yosemite. At Yosemite, the options are limited and it is only worth the money because of your ability to experience the unique setting.

              If you haven't seen this info, you might find it helpful:

              I hope this doesn't come off as negative. It's more of an attempt to have you keep expectations in check and then hopefully you will really enjoy it.

              7 Replies
              1. re: souvenir

                With all due respect, we have been forced to "dine" at the Tenaya Lodge on a couple of occasions and would strongly recommend against making that trek for the mediocre (at best) fare available there, especially in winter conditions. In great weather, should you want options outside the park, continue on down Hwy 41 to Oakhurst, or veer east toward Bass Lake, or even go a few miles further to La Cabana in North Fork. Not the scenery or ambiance, but much better food.

                1. re: PolarBear

                  During our one stay at Tenaya Lodge dinner was taken at Dulcies at Bass Lake, the lodge was good for all you can eat buffet breakfast.

                  1. re: ChinoWayne

                    To help with any searches, CW, that would be Ducey's at the Pines. Food is decent and in friendly weather can't beat sitting out on the upper deck overlooking the lake. If you're ever up that way in the summer, don't miss the Friday night Jazz on the Lake series. There's a group called Souled Out that's a cover/tribute band of Tower of Power, muy caliente. Here's last years calendar:


                2. re: souvenir

                  We are going for 3 nights, so I will definitely take your advice on making the reservations and staggering the days that we will be at the Ahwahnee. Glad to hear that the cottages are nicer... and I'm not too concerned about having to bundle up to get to the lodge. That's part of the fun of staying in a wintery place (I hope!).

                  I definitely didn't take your post to be negative. My boyfriend planned the trip for my birthday, so I am staying away from comparing the AH to other hotels for the same price. I am glad to hear that the food is decent there. I was hoping that it wouldn't be as dismal as the food in the lodges in Glacier Nat'l Park.

                  1. re: lamlex

                    I defer to others about the food at Tenaya. When I stop to think about it, it has been several years since the last visit there. The other places I mentioned we visited last October. I hope you have a great time!

                    1. re: lamlex

                      There's also room service, if you're feeling extravagant. A few winters ago, I saw a waiter husting through the lightly falling snow from the main lodge to one of the cottages, carrying a tray and a champagne bottle. It seemed so romantic. (Unfortunately, we were staying at a nearby condo.) One more thing, at this time of year, dark falls early. Don't make the stupid mistake I did and ask for a table by the window for a seven o'clock dinner. Not much point in that!