For a town of 8,000 people, we feel pretty lucky to have this kind of variety to choose from. We highly recommend getting out for happy hour, as bargains abound. The list below (which is presented roughly by distance from the townhouse) is by no means complete.
Whiskey Creek - at the corner of Minaret and Lake Mary Rd, this is the closest restaurant to the townhome, and it offers a great happy hour and a full line up of locally-brewed beers produced by Mammoth Brewing Co. For us, this is a "happy hour only" stop. The food is good when it is half price. 760-934-2555
Clocktower Cellar - in the basement of the Alpenhof Lodge, next to Burgers and Petras, and across the street from the Village, this is the "hole in the wall" bar in Mammoth. The selection of ale is fantastic, prices are great, they have a foosball table, and the meals are standard pub fare. It's not a place for kids as it gets later, so we go early! 760-934-2725
Nevado's - combines a high-end restaurant with excellent food, and a small bar that has great prices and is thus a favorite of locals - an odd pairing! The food is undoubtedly the best in the Village. 760-934-4466
Burgers - Burgers is a local institution, and the burgers, fries and shakes are fantastic, but our last couple of visits have resulted in over-cooked meat. 760-934-6622
Angels BBQ - while this is a BBQ joint, we go here for the fish tacos and the dessert. The BBQ is average, but won't disappoint. The Chicken Tostada salad is good, and the previously mentioned Fish Tacos are great with a side of jalapeños! 760-934-7427
John's Pizza Works - their happy hour offers some great deals - wings, pizza, and the infamous "taco wedgie". If we are too early/too late for the Whiskey Creek happy hour, this is where we go. Outside of happy hour, we don't go. 760-934-4065
Base Camp Café - another good choice for a simple meal, with a good California Club sandwich and good soups on our visits; the happy hour burger special is OK. 760-934-3900
Stella Luna - funky little coffee and breakfast burrito shop next to the NAPA parts store on Main Street. If you need a "grab and go" burrito and a cup of coffee, this is the best place. 760-924-3559
Schatt's Bakery - located on Main Street between Slocums and Base Camp Café, this is the place to go for any type of baked good. The Chili-Cheese Bread is fantastic and a must if you are making a pot of soup for dinner! 760-934-6055
Lakefront Restaurant at the Tamarack Lodge - up the hill on Lake Mary Road, the Lakefront Restaurant is consistently the best meal in Mammoth Lakes. The food is of fine-dining caliber, but the service is friendly, and the ambiance fits a lodge setting. If you have a special occasion, this is the best choice. 760-934-2442 * Note: The head chef left The Lakefront in early 2012, so there have been changes since our last visit.
Chart House - in the high end of restaurants, a group that we feel includes Lakefront at the Tamarack, Nevado's, Chart House, Skadi, and Petra's. Chart House happy hour offers extremely good value, and as of the time of this writing, they had the best prices on Mammoth Brewing Company ales by the bottle, combined with some of the best happy hour food in town. 760-934-4526
Rafters - when they run the ½ price meal deals in the summer, this is the only place for breakfast or lunch in town. The menu offers tasty takes on traditional breakfast and lunch fare. The happy hour offers interesting, non-traditional fare, all good. 760-934-9431
Giovanni's - when you're planning a trip to Vons for shopping, it's never a bad idea to stop in for a pizza at Giovanni's first. If you shop on a full stomach, you will save money. They even offer a gluten-free crust. 760-934-7563
Z-Pizza - offers fresh ingredients and an eclectic selection of pizza, including gluten-free crust, so on taste it competes or even exceeds Giovanni's. However, it has a sterile, chain restaurant feel, and the staff on our visits have been more like zombies than hosts, so we always end up in Giovanni's. 760-934-5800
Mammoth Brewing Company - is not actually a restaurant, but it is a tasting room where you can sample all of their brews, and buy t-shirts and gift packs. If you are a beer lover, this is a must-visit. Kids can sample the root beer, which is also some of the best in the world! There are two brown glass Mammoth Brewing Growlers (1 gallon jugs) in the kitchen cabinet that can be refilled, but please rinse them out multiple times with clean water immediately after use, and please drink responsibly! Mammoth Brewing Co. is located at 94 Berner Street, and directions can be found here.
If you are heading south through Bishop:
Thai Thai - easy to miss as it located at the Bishop Airport - great, authentic Thai food.
Mahogany Smoked Meats - On the left as you drive in to Bishop, just past the casino. Great for deli meats, amazing deli sandwiches & the world's best beef and turkey jerky!