“Buffalo Bill” Cody passed through this area in the 1870s, then returned in the 1890s to start a town. The town of Cody, Wyoming was incorporated in 1901.
Cody, Wyoming is the eastern gateway town into Yellowstone National Park. Only 10,000 people call Cody home, but many more visitors pass through town each year on their way to Yellowstone. There are twice as many cows as people in the state of Wyoming, so beef is an important local industry.
The American Bison or Buffalo is the state mammal of Wyoming. Once nearing extinction, the Bison is protected in Yellowstone National Park but farmed and hunted outside the park. Find a Buffalo steak on the menu and you know you are in an authentic western steakhouse.
Location: 1367 Sheridan Avenue, Cody, Wyoming
Menu: If you’re going to eat a steak, this is the place to do it. When it comes to beef, Wyoming has always been a farm-to-table state, even before farm-to-table was a trendy thing. The menu at the Cody Steakhouse offers every bovine cut imaginable. A 6 oz. and 10 oz. Filet, a 10 oz. or 15 oz. New York Strip, a 10 oz. Baseball Cut Top Sirloin, an 18 oz. T-Bone and a 16 oz. Ribeye.
Buffalo (a member of the bovine family and distant cousin to the cow) is available as a 16 oz. hand-cut Buffalo ribeye on the menu. Buffalo is much leaner than beef, and worth a try if you’ve never tasted it. Like all leaner meat, it really is the seasoning that gives it the flavor.
As for size, the options are not small and large, but large and larger. If you dare to smother a good piece of beef with batter and gravy, there is also a smaller 8 oz. Chicken Fried Steak.
You would expect a good house salad and Caesar salad at a steakhouse, and the Cody Steakhouse does not disappoint. The most intriguing salad dressing choice is the Huckleberry Vinaigrette. Huckleberries are grown wild in the area and used in many local products, including dressings, jams and jellies, syrup, soaps, lotions, fudge, and any other concoction where it makes sense to add berries. Huckleberries have their own distinct flavor, but if you like blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries, you will enjoy the huckleberry flavor. If you like a mild vinaigrette dressing, you really should try the huckleberry dressing.
The Huckleberry Moscow Mule is another great way to salute this indigenous berry and live like a local. The Huckleberry Mule here was refreshing on a warm evening.
Plates are garnished with a signature carrot puree and a dollop of purple cabbage. This vegetable combination adds nice color to the meat and potato dinner, and perhaps a bit of fiber and nutrition to assist in the digestion of a large piece of meat. Some folks might consider them just a garnish, but I ate mine and they were both delicious. You can’t be a member of the clean plater’s club without eating your vegetables.
The Cody Steakhouse is a full-service restaurant, so they do have a wide selection of alternative options, including chicken, pasta and seafood. I was surprised to see Fried Green Tomatoes on the menu, as I think of them as a southern dish. But, the western version, or at least the Cody Steakhouse version, includes bleu cheese, lump crab meat and chives with a balsamic reduction. The blue cheese and lump crab make this appetizer a bit of an upgrade over a typical fried green tomato.
If a big steak dinner isn’t what you’ve looking for, there is a nice selection of burgers, sandwiches and even a grilled Caesar wrap. This certainly is a place you can find an “everyday meal,” if a huge feast isn’t what interests you.
If you have any room left, there is a New York Style cheesecake for dessert. A slightly lighter choice might be the Tiramisu Parfait. The Carmel Flan is gluten-free, and the Pineapple Apple Crisp with cinnamon and pecans is a nice twist on a traditional apple crisp.
A kid’s menu with popcorn shrimp, fish sticks, noodles, mac n cheese, corndog, pizza, and chicken fingers keeps the kids happy, while the adults take their time with large steaks.
Thoughts: Located on the main drag in town, with a big picture window, the Cody Steakhouse is a western classic. Cody, Wyoming provides an authentic western, cowboy experience. The casual, family-friendly environment is perfect for those on their way into Yellowstone National Park. An overnight or two in Cody and a good meal is the perfect respite for Eastern travelers heading west to enter the park.
There seemed to be a good number of locals eating here, which is always a sign of a good restaurant.
For the foreign traveler wanting to eat a traditional American meal, the Cody Steakhouse would be a good choice.
Stop in Cody. Get acclimated to the relaxed, friendly western pace. Catch your breath before exploring Yellowstone, The Grand Tetons, and whatever other western experiences might be on your agenda.
Price Range: Premium Steaks $22-43 Other Entrees $17-24. Sandwiches and Burgers $10-18. Desserts $7-8. Kids Menu $6.
Disclosure: The author was a guest of the Park County Travel Council during her visit to Cody.
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