I really like Whiskey Creek in both Bishop and Mammoth. They both have great food at an affordable price. The one in Mammoth is always crowded, but the one in Bishop is manageable. I also found http://www.frugalmammoth.com has some good tips on good food and happy hours in the Mammoth area.
24 Lake Mary Rd, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
Here are some more threads on eating in the eastern Sierra...
The Indian restaurant in Bishop has closed and the Chinese one that was in that little shopping center has moved across the street.
Still Life Cafe is well worth the stop in Independence. Amazing french food in the middle of the desert, French Moroccan sisters in the kitchen. It's been written up in many magazines and worth googling.
Schatts in Bishop is great, but I recommend stopping there on the way home, not the way up, so that you can take all the things you buy there, home.
Do not eat anything in Mojave. Gas only.
None of the convenience stores have anything special except beef jerky, and some of the local jerky is better than the abovementioned place in Olancha (it's not in Independence as the poster said, but Olancha).
The only place I stop (and I make this drive almost weekly in the winter, and have, for over a decade) is In n Out. There's one in Palmdale, one in Lancaster, also one in Canyon Country.
2021 W Avenue, I Lancaster, CA
Still Life Cafe
135 S Edwards, Independence, CA 93526
The Pines Cafe is one of the best places for breakfast in the L.A. area, simply the best place in Palmdale and is on the way just as you get to the top of the hill – exit at Pearblossom. This place has very good bacon, the best bacon breakfast burritos in the LA Area (trust me, I have had them all), one of the best Chicken Fried Steak and eggs around, Burgers, and tacos.
The Pines Cafe
4343 Pearblossom Hwy (small shack, maybe 5 to 7 min. drive from the fry, on the left side as you drive from the fry – blink and you might miss it)
The Pines Cafe will hold you over all the way to the Mountain. But in Bishop there is one place that you must stop at to get some stuff to take home. In fact, I stop there on the way north, to get jerky, and the return trip south, to get more jerky and…. So bring an ice chest to keep this stuff cold. Get some pork chops, bacon and a bag or two of bacon tips for your home made pea soup -- OMG! Even if you don’t make pea soup or navy bean you can fry-up this stuff and add it to your can soup. The jerky menu is excellent. Read about the different kinds of jerky on line below. This place is on the right side of the road as you head north from Bishop – across from a gas station.
2345 N. Sierra Hwy
Bishop, CA 93514
Once you get to the Mountain
Mountainside Grill (second level of Mammoth Mountain Inn, try the flat-iron steak with some mac & cheese)
1 Minaret Road
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Burgers Restaurant (Get the open face chili-size. The chili and the burger are both excellent and the presentation shows their love for burgers)
6118 Minaret Road
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
Ed and Kathy Hurley (760) 934-6622
Check out my reviews from last month:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/580901 :: Eating/Skiing in Mammoth (report)
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/580725 :: BURGERS, Mammoth Lakes (review + pics)
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/580735 :: NEVADOS, Mammoth Lakes (review)
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/580867 :: WHISKEY CREEK, Mammoth Lakes (review)
Mr. OCAnn knows how to run his plate -- a chili size and beer. I think the request to split might have cause it to appear as a burger but what i had was a true chili size. The bun was open face with the 1/2 pound burger on top, then lots of chili topped with two kinds of cheese and some purple onion. A large meal made for cold weather. Now between you and the OP here I am really thinking I need to go north real soon.