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Where To Eat

Despite the heat, you will eventually get hungry, so here are some tips for eating at the Grand Canyon.

Restaurants

Both of the fancy hotels in the Grand Canyon have fancy/semi-fancy dining areas, with table clothes and glasses and lots of forks. You'll need reservations for dinner and patience and money for the other meals. Expect the same service, prices and selections you'd expect in any other real restaurant. We didn't eat in these places, but did see some families inside. El Tovar has a mild dress code in the evenings, so inquire.

Cafeterias

Give me a restaurant where I can throw food on the floor any day and I am a happy guy. There are two cafeterias in the Grand Canyon, and both will appeal to families with kids. Prices are reasonable, service is through a line a la carte and the atmosphere is mega-casual. Other than location (one is near the General Store shopping area and the other in the Maswik Lodge), the two cafeterias were pretty much the same.

Grand Canyon food

Each place has several “stations” where you can order burgers and other grilled meat and chicken, a pasta station, a Tex-Mex food taco place, hot plates like meatloaf and a cold sandwich area. Drinks, salads and desserts are available down the line. Prices are reasonable, the food is what it looks like it is and while this may not be the most imaginative, healthy and unique meal of your life, it ain't bad.

For smaller kids, the choices may be a bit too much. For older kids, everyone splitting off to order what they want and then having to regroup at the cashier might require some family organization. The usual parenting challenges of having desserts on display as your kids slide their trays past the salad bar apply.

The cafeterias are open for three meals a day, but open and close for each meal; check the times early in the day so you don't expect lunch at 15:45.

Make Your Own

Grand Canyon food

There is a very large supermarket at the Grand Canyon General Store shopping area the size of a smallish Safeway. They have a fully-stocked fruit and produce section, canned goods, frozen foods, ice cream, beer and liquor, BBQ supplies, enough soda to refloat the Titanic and ready made sandwiches. There is also a small hot sandwich and taco counter with a few tables inside. There are picnic tables right outside the store for a quick feast or you can picnic at the Rim, which we enjoyed at sunset times. Again, prices are not small town cheap but downtown reasonable and we ate well without spending too much by passing meals back and forth between the supermarket and the cafeterias.

Grand Canyon food

The store also sells film, diapers, sanitary pads, health and beauty stuff, sun block and of course, souvenirs aplenty.

Co-located with the store are a surprisingly large US Post Office in case you saved your bulk mailing or certified mail needs for the Grand Canyon, an ATM and yes, another souvenir shop. There is a good amount of parking and the store area is on the in-park (free) shuttle bus route.

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