“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” ~Virginia Woolf
Good food prepares us, recharges us, and connects us with our family, friends and a community. Bishop is the “small town with a big backyard” and it also has a pretty impressive kitchen. Actually, we have lots of kitchens and they belong to the many excellent restaurants in and around town. Whether you’re a connoisseur or just plain hungry there’s a world of good food here with a variety and quality that’s a delicious complement to our beautiful backyard.
Residents are, not surprisingly, quite proud of the culinary prowess of our local restaurateurs and patronize the many fine establishments with great gusto. Guests of our lovely little town will find themselves spoiled for choice and frequent visitors can sample something delightful and different each time.
A good many of the restaurants unique to Bishop are owned and operated by local residents who attempt to source as much organic and locally produced ingredients as possible. Dishes are often made from scratch with house-made sauces and freshly baked breads. Local eggs are a feature in some of the smaller locales.
We all have our favorites. Foods we eat more of, places we go to more often. I certainly do, but to make a fanfare of our food I’ve put together a (not-exhaustive) list of restaurants and a little literary taste of what makes each unique. To be fair to the fare it’s compiled in alphabetical order and, to showcase our international flair, I’ve arranged the classifications in descending order. That puts American, the largest category, last. To round it off, like any good meal, I’ve included a soupcon of sweets and treats plus a short course on nightlife.
Lastly there’s a list of which eateries have outdoor seating for dining all’aperto AKA al fresco.
Look for this icon that indicates outdoor dining available.
The food of Thailand is about a delicate and intricate mix of flavors. It is as much about presentation as it is about preparation. It is neither simple nor subtle. It is often spicy and can contain as many as four or five disparate elements to create a balanced finish. The use of ingredients that have medicinal properties is also important in this style of cooking. It is said to be one of the most popular cuisines in the world.
524 N Main Street
In addition to Whiskey Creek’s quality American fare (see more about that below) this restaurant offers a specialty menu of traditional Thai food. Located in the heart of Bishop this is a destination eatery with great options suitable for the whole family.
This is probably the original fusion food. It has been centuries in the making. Ingredients and styles from early European settlers, primarily Spanish, influenced the indigenous Mesoamerican cooking. Europeans introduced cheese and meat from domesticated stock and the cuisine also had influences from Africa and Asia. Despite the introduction of wheat and rice the basic staple starch remains corn. Chile peppers give the cuisine its reputation for being spicy, but it is more complex than simply heat – it is also about the subtlety of the chile flavors. Other traditional ingredients in Mexican dishes include beans, tomatoes, avocado and fruits.
285 N Main St
All the great Tex-Mex style dishes you’d expect served to eat in or take out. Try their unique, creative enchilada specialties.
2206 N Sierra Highway
A family owned and run restaurant in a great location along US-395. The newly upgraded, safe parking lot and remodeled patio offers easy access and a al-fresco dining experience. The restaurant has capacity for 150 in a variety of rooms and still feels intimate and friendly. Taco Tuesdays are a favorite and, if you’re in a hurry, get the Pronto Lunch special any day of the week.
276 S Warren St
This Mexican Market and Kitchen is a hidden gem in Bishop’s downtown arts district. Located across from Tesla’s supercharger station, this eatery is a trendy take on old Mexican favorites. Super fresh ingredients with plant-based options caters to even the pickiest eaters. A shaded, quiet patio area is a great place to rest and eat.
Traditional Japanese food has a basis of rice and miso soup served with other dishes that commonly include vegetables and seafood. Each dish is served on its own small plate or bowl – a practice still done in the home. Noodles are an alternative to rice and can be served hot or cold. Seafood can be grilled or served raw as in sashimi or sushi. Vegetables are pickled, simmered or deep-fried. Tempura, the method of deep-frying seafood and vegetables, became commonplace during the Edo Period (between 1603 – 1868) from the influence of Western and Chinese culture and a greater availability of cooking oil. Japanese cuisine is hugely popular world-wide and good sushi is highly sought after.
635 N Main St
For more than 30 years the Tani family has served some of the finest sushi and Japanese food this side of the Pacific. The establishment is spacious and elegant with a large main dining area, a sushi bar and cocktail bar. Only sushi grade (high quality) fish from around the world, and the same markets that supply LA-based restaurants, is served here. Every dish is diligently prepared to the highest standards. It’s a local’s favorite and a visitor’s delight.
The culinary styles of Italy can claim roots as far back as the 4th century BCE (before the current era – almost 2,400 years ago) around the time of the fall of the Roman Empire. Italian cuisine began its evolution from this epoch and is now well known and well-loved around the world. Styles are roughly divided between three regions of Italy: north, central and south. Risotto, a creamy rice dish, hails from the northern region. Middle Italy is known for its tortellini – stuffed pasta, and the south is home to spaghetti and pizza! All are synonymous with Italian cooking as a whole.
970 N Main St
Their slogan is “We Toss’em, They’re Awesome.” They do and they are. In addition to great pizza, the menu is packed full of delicious sandwiches, soups, salads and more. The self-serve salad bar is the go to when you need a load of fresh veg!
International is often applied to establishments that don’t quite fit into a specific regional or national cuisine. The menu will offer a variety of dishes each expertly prepared in a different style. It is also the essence of fusion food, which takes styles from different regions or nationalities and fuses them into one skillfully crafted dish.
2000 Convict Lake Rd
Fine dining in one of the most spectacular settings ever. This is pure elegance at altitude. The resort offers three different dining experiences. The Lounge is a casual evening eatery offering a full dinner menu with an award-winning wine list and martini bar. Morrison’s is the elegant side of altitude serving delectable dishes which can be paired with the perfect cocktail, beer, and/or wine from an extensive selection. Weekends at the resort are when the Aspen Grill gives you what you need – best breakfast and lunch for an Eastern Sierra mountain adventure. Outdoor seating seasonal and weather dependent.
Food Trucks and PopUps
The Texas chuckwagon, historically a covered wagon that served as a field kitchen, was the precursor to the modern food truck. In the Southwest it served the cowhands on the trail herding cattle to market. In the northeast in Rhode Island an enterprising food vendor sold sandwiches, pies, and coffee to journalists outside a newspaper office from a small, converted wagon. By the 1880s lunch wagons were being manufactured in Massachusetts that had all the requirements for a rolling kitchen: sinks, refrigerators, cooking stoves, and glass windows. Today the food truck is as diverse as it is ubiquitous. From quick bites to high-end gourmet dishes, food serve communities across the country.
May St just off Main
This Latin American kitchen serves up Peruvian-Argentinian-Mexican-Cuban fusion food made‑to-order from Wednesday to Saturday at the corner of May and Main. Rolling out to events and private parties all over the Eastern Sierra. Burritos, bowls, stir-fry noodles with oodles of meat, veg, and toppings. Make many of these vegan with tofu substitution.
Here and there
Asian street food popping up around town. A short menu that’s big on taste and flavor. All made-to-order with fabulous flair. Like Uncle Shyam’s FB page to get notifications of what, when, and where.
165 Grandview Dr and trucking around
Authentic handmade New Zealand savory pies. You gotta try these! Get them hot and ready to eat or take home a bag full of frozen pies for rainy day.
The Netherlands has been known for its cheese and butter for close on a thousand years and what better to put it on than bread? This seafaring nation, which relied predominantly on fishing and farming, particularly dairy farming, became an economic powerhouse in the 14th and 15th centuries and the little low-land country dominated international trade well into the 18th century. During that time the early ‘rustic’ cuisine saw a marked increase in the use of exotic foods such as sugar, spices, fruits and nuts. While the modern Dutch cuisine shows influences from the Far East and its neighbors in Europe, traditional Dutch cooking is still characterized by baking.
763 N Main St
This is the place that first put Bishop on the map. Sometimes imitated, never duplicated, Erick Schat’s Bakkery commands respect among the travelers of US Highway 395 that runs through town. Locals love it too. Breads of all sorts and sizes and a variety of delicious cakes and cookies are baked fresh daily. The trademark loaf is the ‘Sheepherder Bread’ introduced here in 1938. Sandwiches are made to order in the deli and it’s impossible to leave with an empty stomach or empty hands. Eat some here and take some home.
What we call Chinese cuisine on this continent is in fact an Americanized version of very ancient traditions and cultures. Chinese food is as diverse as its regions and differences in cooking technique, ingredients, and the use of seasonings varies significantly. The art and practice of cooking was highly valued in Chinese society and an extensive study of the medicinal properties of food and nutrition dates back over 2,500 years. Chopsticks and spoons are the primary utensils used for eating as it is considered inappropriate for a knife to be used at the dining table. Rice is the major staple from the southern rice-farming region. Noodles, made from wheat flour, are a staple of the northern region. Products and byproducts of the soybean are widely used in most Chinese cooking. American-style Chinese cuisine is now fast becoming a new food fad in China.
930 N Main St
This is a spacious, elegant restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere and a full bar. The menu has all the standard dishes we’ve come to expect from a good Chinese restaurant. There are sweet and sour dishes, hot and spicy, chow mein noodles, and regional inspirations such as Mongolian and Szechwan dishes. It’s good Chinese with good service in a lovely setting.
The development of coffee culture, when friends and family would gather to socialize over coffee, dates back to the 14th century in Turkey. Coffeehouses were soon a feature of Eastern Mediterranean and Western European life and became social hubs to discuss art and politics. The explosion of coffee culture in the USA is dominated by the espresso style of coffee, which originated in Italy. As with most major urban centers around the world, coffee culture in Bishop is robust.
232 N Main St
This local boutique roaster is a source of pride for the Bishop community and is a revered coffee brand in the Eastern Sierra. The coffee is sourced directly from farms in Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador and roasted locally in Bishop. The coffeehouse serves these favorites – pour-over, espresso, and a smooth and powerful cold brew coffee. The kitchen rustles up some great quiche, breakfast burritos, sandwiches and light meals.
307 S Main St
Roasted in small batches the European style roasting produces medium-dark coffees, the sugars and chocolate notes pulled forward, as acidity is lowered for a flavorful cup. Coffee Church is open to the public on Sundays from 8am – 12pm featuring coffee pour-overs, Scandinavian and Latin handcrafted coffee drinks, Italian Sodas, and sweet and savory pastries. Hario products available for purchase. In praise of coffee!
399 N Main St
Specialty coffees are the hallmark of this coffeehouse. Smoothies, frappés, lattés and healthy grab-and-go sandwiches, wraps and freshly baked goodies will keep you on the go.
124 S Main St
Located in Spellbinder Books this locally owned and operated café serves Black Sheep coffee and Five Mountains Organic Teas. A full espresso bar is complemented by excellent food made from the freshest and, whenever possible, organic ingredients. This is “the avocado toast place.” The breakfast egg and cheese panini is a best-seller and the turkey and Provolone panini is a lunchtime favorite. Their specialty is the Liège waffle, which is deliciously decadent. The café has easy online ordering for quick pick up, or eat indoors or outside on the covered patio. Browse the bookstore and “Eat. Read. Relax.”
American cuisine is as diverse as the country is vast. The American icon, the world over, is the ubiquitous burger and fries and there’s no shortage of great burgers in Bishop. Several eateries are known for their excellent burgers as well as other American classics like steaks, BBQ, seafood, and salads. Then there’s the new American, California cuisine, which promotes fresh and healthy with a fusion of flavors that draws on other culinary traditions.
871 N Main St
Serves the classic rotisserie chicken with that all-American side, coleslaw. Burgers come with options for cheese, sauces and toppings as do steaks and sandwiches. Salad choices are a great mix of classic and new age.
649 N Main St
Food and fun all rolled into one. The fare is typically American featuring a Prime Rib special, a bunch of burgers and sandwiches, one of which is an American favorite – the Reuben. And then there are dogs – hotdogs. “It don’t get more American than that!”
1200 US Highway 395
In a setting that’s almost second to none, the 19th Hole Bar & Grille is a wonderful spot for a good ol’ American breakfast or leisurely lunch. Stunning views, good food, lively bar, and perhaps a round of golf for good measure. It’s open to the public.
2100 South Lake Rd
Head out of town and up into the mountains for a hearty meal in a rugged rustic setting. The restaurant and bar are open Friday and Saturday, mid-May through mid-October, serving steaks, burgers, pizzas, chili and more. Enjoy food, drinks, and tall tales of mountain life.
321 Cardinal Rd
The mountains are calling and breakfast is served – full, hot and hearty. Burgers are a hunger-busting option after a day in the mountains. In summer this is the place to be on Friday and Saturday evenings for wood-fired pizza made and served outdoors.
4750 US Highway 6, Chalfant
Flo’s fabulous fifties-style diner is a brand-new blast from the past. How? You ask. It was once a dusty cowboy bar and now it’s a rockin’ retro diner. Located in Chalfant Valley on the Grand Army of the Republic Highway, once the longest US Highway in the country, Flo’s brings food from around the US to this lonely, lovely outback town. Dishes like Nashville’s Hot Chicken, the New Orleans’ Shrimp Po Boy, and the Marylin Monroe vie for the usual favorites like pizza, BLT, and chili dogs. Music is a big deal here too. Don’t just feed yourself, feed the jukebox, or come out for the special events when talented, local musicians play live.
772 N Main St
A smoky, sweet, tangy, and spicy taste of Texas. Not all rolled into one of course. Choose your flavor, choose your meat and choose your sidekick. Everything is homemade and served with southern hospitality.
Junction US-395 and CA-158 at June Lake
Milkshakes! Word has it … this is the place for milkshakes. Grab a breakfast burrito, baked goodies, and snacks too. Fuel up, fill up, and head for the mountains.
2345 N Sierra Hwy
Beef jerky is about as American as it gets and this is about as good as it gets. Made from the best cuts of meat, flavored with quality ingredients and cooked fresh weekly. Then there are the smoked meats; hams, bacon, chops, steaks, turkey and sausages. It’s so good folks couldn’t wait to eat it, so they opened a deli. Now you can have it here and take some home.
18 Lake Mary Rd in Mammoth Lakes
Beers and burgers – and a whole lot more. Chicken and griddle cakes, flatbread pizzas, salads, Vietnamese lamb and pork meatballs to name just a few. Did we mention beer? Crafted with local ingredients, it’s on tap, bottled, canned, and shipped. You don’t even need to be here to get it. But it’s better at altitude so come get the full Sierra experience.
100 N Main St in Tonopah, NV.
“Where history meets luxury.” This elegant hotel has been serving travelers since 1907. Beautifully remodeled in 2011, this property offers two distinctly different, yet timeless, dining options, and full bar. The Pittman Café, open daily for breakfast and dinner, has a cozy, relaxing atmosphere serving American favorites. The Jack Dempsey Room is open for special events and major holidays and can be reserved for private functions. It is elegance and opulence incarnate. Did you note? It’s in Nevada. That means … gaming too!
186 S Main St
This fine microbrewery serves 10 of its own exquisitely crafted beers on tap. This establishment has a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere and, in addition to the craft brews, an excellent menu of lunch and dinner fare is made from scratch from quality ingredients, many of which are locally grown and sourced.
South Lake Rd
High in the Bishop Creek canyon region this venue is open seasonally during the summer months. The café offers a selection of pastries, muffins, and heat & serve options. There’s always fresh coffee, a selection of teas and hot cocoa available too. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner services for groups of 15 are arranged in advance, see more about group info here, and create something special for your family and friends.
1 Upper Rock Creek Rd
Open during the summer months The Grill at Rock Creek Lakes Resort smokes their own meats, brews and bottles their own BBQ sauce, bakes their own deserts and serves up a mean mountain breakfast.
85 Rock Creek Rd
Here’s one place you’ll have to visit at least twice – a winter trip and a summer trip. During the winter months you can ski up to the lodge or get a chauffeured ride on a snowmobile to enjoy a four-course ‘prix fix’ menu served family style. It’s quite magical. Breakfast and lunch are served in summer and a hunger-busting burger hits the spot after a day in the mountains.
8180 Crowley Lake Dr
On the way up to Mammoth Lakes from Bishop is the rustic, mountain restaurant at Tom’s Place. It’s definitely the place for steaks and the prime rib is a specialty. Stop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner and take a seat inside or outside depending on the season and the weather. Plenty of options here.
1341 Rocking W Dr
Creativity and consistency. That’s the Subway way. Did you know Subway® Restaurants are independently owned and operated?
2742 N Sierra Hwy
The new Wanaaha Casino has something for everyone. Need a late afternoon or evening snack? Try the Paiute Deli. Fresh pizza whole or by the slice, sandwiches, subs, hot dogs, nachos and more will hit the spot. Maybe hit the jackpot while you’re there. The Lounge is the ultimate sports bar experience in the Eastern Sierra. TuKaNovie, meaning ‘eating house’ in the native language, is a full service restaurant where you can sit, relax, and eat a leisurely meal paired with a good wine. Enjoy great natural light indoors and outdoors in comfortable settings.
524 N Main Street
Dating back to 1924 this authentic country inn and restaurant has recently been remodeled. It’s a wonderful fine dining experience serving fine steaks and other fine American fare. Try lunch on the deck looking out toward the Sierra Nevada or sip a cocktail in the saloon. There are great choices for the whole family.
Mt Whitney Trailhead
This is a summertime must-do! When it’s hot in the valley, it’s cool up here at the trailhead to Mt Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous US. Take a drive up the winding, mountain road to where adventure begins. Take a short hike, or prepare for your trek to the top of the mountain, explore the waterfall, or simply sit by the lake and contemplate the meaning of life. But definitely eat! Known for their 16-inch pancake breakfast and hunger busting burger and fries – perhaps you will need to hike after all. Closed in winter.
Sweets and Treats
In ancient civilizations the gods were given offerings of sweets, most likely fruits and honey. Consumption of sweets and confectionery became more widespread after sugarcane was cultivated, first in India, and then traded around the world – primarily in the Indian Subcontinent, Middle East, and China. The word ‘candy’ derives from the Indian word ‘khanda’ which was the name given to the sugar crystals produced from sugarcane. The western tradition of dessert dates back to the Middle Ages when Europeans began to manufacture sugar, but it was an expensive commodity and usually only the wealthy could afford to indulge. The word ‘dessert’ is derived from the French word desservir, meaning “to clear the table”. Sweets and treats were only served after all other dishes had been cleared. Today sugar and other natural and artificial sweeteners are used to create innumerable delectable treats and eating something sweet is not limited to a time or place.
Highway 395 and Schober
Get a taste of the old-fashioned ice cream fountain, homemade pies and fine candies. Hot and cold sandwiches are available too. While you’re there check out the replica Old West main street museum. Open seasonally, April 1 – October 31.
500 N Main St, Lone Pine
It’s all about the soft serve ice cream. There’s more … burgers, grilled cheese, onion rings and fries. Open summer months only.
251 N Main St
Yogurt and wine go together like, “ramma lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong.” Organic fro-yo, Greek yogurt, pie, wine … that’s the way it should be. This is a wonderfully sophisticated spot right in downtown Bishop. It’s great for pre-movie wine and cheese, (Bishop Twin theater next door) or after dinner pie and dessert. Or just relax here and work your way through some of the best things in life. Great for groups.
275-D S Main Street
This is the ‘local’ bakery that produces fresh bread, bagels and croissants daily plus a wide assortment of cookies, pies, muffins, scones, cinnamon rolls … and all manner of delicious treats. The bakery includes a café where their artisan breads and bagels are also made into delicious breakfast items and lunch sandwiches. Good coffee and tea available too.
Open during the summer months this lovely little café perched above the docks at Lake Sabrina serves a full breakfast and lunch. It’s worth the drive up to the lake for the spectacular views, the delicious food, but most of all – for the homemade pies and ice cream.
The best nightlife is out in our big backyard. The night sky in Bishop is one of the most spectacular sights you will ever see. Read all about stargazing on our Night Sky page if you’re looking for a stellar nightlife experience. If you’re after the twinkle of city lights, music, and good cheer read on.
175 N Main St
Order a drink, fire up the jukebox, pull out the pool cues or grab the darts and play on. There are plenty of TVs to catch your favorite game too. Good drinks, good games, and good times.
649 N Main St
Where there’s an alley there’s bowling. There’s league play, regular play and then there’s cosmic bowling on Saturday nights.
251 N Main St
This is a wind-down kind of night out after a good meal, movie, or stroll around town window shopping. Soft and sophisticated.
18 Lake Mary Rd in Mammoth Lakes
Mountain towns turn in early, but there’s often a good party turning it up here.
186 S Main St
Live music performed by many of Bishop’s talented resident musicians and well-known and up-an-coming artists from further afield perform regularly at the brewery. Quality brews and bands!
112 N Main St
You want late? This is the lively locals bar that’s been serving up fun in bishop for over 50 years. Choose your tunes on the jukebox, or catch a DJ in action, or join in for some Karaoke. It’s usually rockin’ at Rusty’s.
All’aperto AKA Al fresco
Did you know that in Italy al fresco is not what we think it is? In Italian fresco can mean fresh, but the adjective usually means cold, cool, or chilly. The noun fresco is ‘a cold place.’ Disturbingly, the phrase al fresco is used figuratively to mean ‘in prison.’ Italians are alarmed when we say, “We had a fabulous dinner al fresco.” Who knew? Apparently – Italians.
We’re a small town with a big backyard and we have a fresh outlook on the world.
Here’s a list of establishments where you can dine all’aperto.
Click on the restaurant name to jump to its description in the relevant cuisine above.
Passing Through Bishop
In addition to the dozens of unique independent establishments listed above, Bishop also has a great selection of known name franchise restaurants that feature convenient drive-thru service. We’re proud to showcase these Bishop Chamber of Commerce members in our World of Good Food guide.
These eateries, which are listed in their respective cuisines above, are located outside of the greater Bishop area in the towns up and down US-395, along CA‑168 and on US-6. We’re proud to showcase these Bishop Chamber of Commerce members in our World of Good Food guide.
Bishop Visitor Center
As always we recommend you stop in at the Bishop Visitor Center at 690 N Main Street for maps and info on what to do, where to eat, and where to stay in Bishop and surrounds. We’ve got a world of good information to share with you.