We moved down to LA a couple years ago. We used to hit Tahoe a couple times a year and had all our favorite stops along the way for lunch / refreshments. But Mammoth is a brand new experience for us. Would love any and all recommended stops along the way for lunch or incredible desserts. Thanks!
Holy Smoke bbq in Bishop is excellent and its across the street from Erick Schatt’s Bakery. The bakery is a bit of a tourist trap but the baked goods are quite good.
Agree! Their shepherd bread is a must buy whenever we’re in the general vicinity.
I think you’d be better off grabbing some great bahn mi in the SGV or kim baps in Ktown and eating in the car. The breads at Schatts Bakery are fine.
Are you sure you want to head to mammoth . There is 60 feet of snow smd more coming this week .
Decades of driving to Mammoth from LA at least a dozen times a year and can give this advice: Drive directly to Mammoth. There really is nowhere to stop for lunch that’s worth delaying the drive.
Schatt’s in Bishop is fantastic for sandwiches and their bakery but by then you’re 45 minutes from Mammoth. There used to be an amazing French bistro called Still Life Cafe, in Independence, but the owners are never there so the food isn’t worth the stop. There’s the famous trip-tip grill Copper Top BarBQ in Big Pine, which is an hour from Mammoth, just before Bishop. But it keeps odd hours.
Watch weather, choose your drive day carefully, it’s really a mess in Mammoth this season.
Yeah, we’ll have to monitor as we get closer… we’re not headed there until the 27th, so we’ll see what the next round of show brings.
Having done this drive many many times in the last 30 years, I have to say that packing your own lunch may indeed be the best choice. Depending on what time we leave LA, we usually end up stopping at In-N-Out in Lancaster or McDonald’s in Mojave. Once you leave Mojave, it’s about an hour and 45 minutes before you get to Lone Pine, the next option for anything decent to eat - still mostly fast food and ok local cafes. (No matter how hungry you are, DO NOT stop at the Subway in Pearsonville.) Same situation in the next little town, Independence. Next town after that is Big Pine, home of Copper Top Barbecue, which is very good but not always open. Then you get to Bishop, but at that point you’re only 45 minutes away from Mammoth Lakes (unless there’s a snowstorm and you need to put chains on, but that’s a whole other non-food story). Schatt’s Bakery as others have said is good but not as good as the number of people there would lead you to believe. I like the breads and donuts but not the cookies or other desserts.
What she said.
Agreed with @cookiemonster and @yogachik that there isn’t that much that is really outstanding or worth a detour along the way. There are plenty of places that have nostalgic value, especially if you’ve been doing that drive for a long time. That being said…here are are a few places to consider:
- Mahogany Smoked Meats in Bishop. Excellent bacon if you like smoky bacon. Good jerky. Good sausages. Good breakfast burritos.
- Eastern Sierra Ice Cream Company in Independence. Not open year-round though.
- Frosty Chalet in Lone Pine (this one is mostly nostalgia, but the shakes are good).
- Copper Top is ok, I think it’s a little overrated but still not a bad stop.
- Good Earth Yogurt in Bishop.
Thanks all, starting to feel like a straight shot is the right way to do it!
What about food choices at Mammoth? Is there anything we should make a reservation for for dinner ahead of time?
I hope you have a kitchen at your accommodations…
My portable hotpot kit is a popular travel accessory for Mammoth. May need to dustoff my ancient ski gear this season, so much snow .
+1 Mahogany and Schatt’s although I tend to hit them on the way back
I think Skadi is considered one of the finest restaurants in Mammoth. We had a couple of good meals there decades ago when they were in their old location. We went back last summer to their new location and it was…fine, for Mammoth. Nothing to write home about. As I recall, the restaurant at Tamarack Lodge is good, also one of the better fine dining options up there. Going out to eat in Mammoth is really all about just being there, I think, and that’s actually enough for me. But definitely yes to packing a lunch for the road!
Don’t listen to these city slickers. There’s tons to eat and do on the 395. Besides the skiing, Mammoth itself is a pretty charmless Western ski town. Definitely take your time and have a look around if you haven’t had the pleasure of getting acquainted with the Owens Valley.
I’ve only been for breakfast but Alabama Hills cafe in Lone Pine probably do a solid lunch. As outlined by others here, much to be said for Copper Top BBQ in Big Pine. If you’ve never been to Eric Schat’s its worth a stop. The baked goods aren’t fancy but they’ll do. It’s kind of the Bass Pro of sandwich/bakeries. But Mahogany Meats is definitely the best place to stop in Bishop.
If you have a growler or two consider filling them up at Indian Wells Brewery, it comes at a nice stopping point and has tons of sodas and kid-friendly stuff. Also consider packing a lunch and having a picnic at the Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery. It’s not precisely what it sounds like and a very cool stop for kids and adults alike while only being a couple minutes from the 395.
1 glowing new rec…
Don’t stop and explore anything and rush to the hotpot in your condo would have been far more helpful. Mea culpa.
If you like beer check out Distant Brewing. One of the old Monkish brewers was there back during the pandemic (2021-2022) and people were raving about their beers, especially the hazy IPA. They remodeled the whole brewery and its supposed to be very nice with pretty good food. I haven’t been but several buddies on some beer threads vouch for the place.
To be fair, both options sound pretty good! I like exploring new places even if they aren’t amazing… Plenty of places like that on the way to Tahoe, that are average / ok to good, but for some reason became stops along the way out of tradition. That said, there is nothing I love more than apres-ski portable hot pot SO, appreciate both perspectives, lol!
Petra’s for our family is best in town
And the OP’s question was about where to eat, not what to do . . . I 100% agree that there are some worthwhile sightseeing stops along the way.