Little Bear Inn | T Joe’s Steakhouse and Saloon | Senator’s Steakhouse | Bunkhouse Bar and Grill

Regardless of which direction you head out of town, you haven’t missed an opportunity for a solid meal. Steak and potatoes abound (with plenty of other options if you’re not feeling the Cowboy Diet that day). Headed north, east, south or west? Check out these “last stop” restaurants on the fringes of Cheyenne’s outer limits before adventuring out into the wide, wide open.

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Little Bear Inn – 1700 I-25, Cheyenne

The location of Little Bear Inn, north of Cheyenne, has been a gathering place since 1875 as a rest stop on the way to Deadwood, SD. Drawing in folks of all types, outlaws tended to congregate there, as they could escape through a trapdoor in the floor through a tunnel to the horse barn. In 1958, Little Bear Inn was converted to the fine dining establishment that spent years as THE date night locale, specializing in hand-cut steaks and seafood. Lobster, halibut, gulf shrimp, and salmon are all on the menu, offering several surf and turf options. Their “Fancy Fried Lobster” is touted as world famous and the “Bear Balls” (Oreo crumb-covered scoops of ice cream) are sure to bring the table a laugh as you close out your evening.

“I didn't expect to find rustic, yet fine dining outside of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and I was pleasantly delighted with Little Bear Inn. Our server was very kind and efficient.  The restaurant boasts a dance floor and on Saturday night, a live musician, who played some great tunes at a reasonable decibel level. … Little Bear was a great experience, and I highly recommend it for a special occasion, even if it just means that you made it through a weekday!” – Cyndi J.

T-Joe’s Steakhouse and Saloon – 12700 I80 Service Rd, Cheyenne

In a rodeo town like Cheyenne, a hat tip to the animals that provide the entertainment is well deserved. In this case, this steakhouse to the east honors the world-famous buckin’ bronc, T-Joe. Well known at our own Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo, T-Joe had a reputation for a true rough ride, equating to high scores when the cowboy could hold on! The steakhouse features daily lunch and dinner specials with a wide variety of proteins, steak being their most popular item on the menu. A bountiful dessert selection (including several for those 21 years or older) ends a hearty meal the right way.

“Stopped in and had the prime rib dip special, not too shabby at all! Been here a couple of times and never been disappointed. Beer as cold as the ex-wife's heart!!! Friendly staff, locals are friendly as well. If you've never been here stop in, you won't be disappointed!” – Dennis P.

Senator’s Steakhouse – 51 I-25 Frontage Rd, Cheyenne

Heading south out of town, it’s hard to miss the signage for Terry Bison Ranch and Senator’s Steakhouse. Senator F.E. Warren (original owner of the ranch, the last territorial governor and first state governor, U.S. Senator, and current namesake for the Air Force base in Cheyenne) played a crucial role in the area’s history; a head nod to the roots of the ranch in the naming of the steakhouse is well deserved. The restaurant serves up cowboy fare and comfort food, but most notably, travelers and locals can consistently order free-range bison burgers and short-ribs every day of the week. A warm bowl of bison chili steaming up takes you back a hundred years, imagining the ranchers coming in from a long day’s work…

“The Bison Burger is delicious, and worthy of its award-winning status!!! We stopped for lunch on a recent trip. The restaurant is located right off the highway, so it is easy to spot and to get to. The restaurant is a large, attractive, rustic room and the staff is friendly and attentive. While waiting for lunch, the kids can walk around the room to find items on their scavenger hunt menu - a great way to keep them busy! We thoroughly enjoyed the food and atmosphere at the Senator's Steakhouse and Saloon on the Terry Bison Ranch!” – Susan B.

Bunkhouse Bar and Grill – 1064 Happy Jack Rd, Cheyenne

Chase the sunset to the west on Happy Jack Road for a honky-tonk dinner you’ll never forget. Swinging saloon doors, taxidermy-adorned walls, and a hitching rail to tie up your horse, the Bunkhouse is as “Western saloon” as you can get. Originally the bunkhouse of a ranch, the building now serves up steaks, burgers, and “swingin’ sirloins” (Rocky Mountain oysters) along with cooked-from-scratch soups and hand-prepped sides. As home-cooked as you can get without inviting your mother over (although do invite her; she’ll love being cooked for too!)  A family-friendly house band plays from 7-11 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. Locals from Cheyenne and Laramie meet here to dance their hearts out on the wooden dance floor. Boots and hats are recommended, but certainly not required.

“Best place out of town. Exceptional service. Great food. Good times. The Bunkhouse has it all. Oh, and the bar is nothing short of fantastic with a crowd that is always entertaining. Like live bands? This is your place, especially on the weekends. Fun environment and the decor is something everyone will love and remember. The owners are fantastic and the staff is amazing. They treat you like family as soon as you walk through the doors. We love this place.” – Lehcar T.

In this series, we’re highlighting some of the restaurants around the county that may be a bit off the beaten path, but are well-worth the stop. Check out the rest of the Off the Eatin' Path for more foodie delights!