Rainbow Lodge
Rainbow Lodge/Yelp

27 Restaurants for Wild Game Across America

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 Rainbow Lodge
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Fare Game

Going off most restaurant menus, you might conclude that there's only a handful of edible animal species in the whole of nature – namely, beef, chicken, and pork. In fact, there's a whole world of alternative meats out there beyond those factory-farmed standards, and you may not have to search as far as you'd think to find them. While ecological concerns have made truly wild game meat difficult, if not outright illegal, to find, these are the restaurants that still go out of their way to source and serve up less conventional game meats.

Related: The Best Under-the-Radar Steakhouse in All 50 States

Biker Jim's Gourmet Hot Dogs
Biker Jim's Gourmet Hot Dogs/Tripadvisor

Biker Jim's Gourmet Hot Dogs | Denver

Biker Jim's has evolved from a street cart into a famous local chain, slinging up specialty hot dogs from a food truck plus two brick-and-mortar locations, one in the suburbs and one just a stone's throw from downtown Denver's Coors Field. As well as the all-beef and vegan standards, their sausages are made from exotic meats like ostrich, elk, wild boar, rattlesnake, and pheasant, and topped to order with regionally themed ingredients like New Jersey-style chili (The Coney) or cilantro, curry jam, and harissa-roasted cacti (The Desert) for an extra $1.50.

Related: Where to Find the Most Extreme Hot Dogs Across the Country

Brave New Restaurant | Little Rock, Arkansas
Brave New Restaurant/Tripadvisor

Brave New Restaurant | Little Rock, Arkansas

Brave New Restaurant is an upscale lakeside bistro renowned for some of Little Rock’s best views and service, not to mention a menu that goes well beyond standard steakhouse fare. As well as veal tenderloin and "duck with duck," combining pan-seared duck breast with smoked duck sausage, their main exotic selection is the mixed grill with stuffed quail and a rotating wild game sausage.

The Pump House | Fairbanks, Alaska
The Pump House/Tripadvisor

The Pump House | Fairbanks, Alaska

An authentic north country dining experience beside the Chena River, The Pump House makes good use of Alaska's unparalleled natural seafood and big game populations in both its buffet and set menu. For game, they have lamb chops, red deer tenderloin, and elk meatloaf, as well as smaller plates like elk sliders and reindeer and gorgonzola meatballs.

Saddle Peak Lodge | Calabasas, California
Saddle Peak Lodge/Yelp

Saddle Peak Lodge | Calabasas, California

A destination in itself in the Malibu Canyon north of Los Angeles, this wooded restaurant and event space boasts a range of mouthwatering animal proteins from around the world, from Chilean sea bass and Faroe Island salmon to New Zealand elk and Amaroo Farms emu strip. The offbeat, meaty selections extend even to the brunch menu, which features a roasted leg of lamb sandwich and wild game sausage trio.

The Fort | Morrison, Colorado
The Fort/Yelp

The Fort | Morrison, Colorado

This historic restaurant and replica of an old fur trading outpost stays true to its early West theme with a culinary focus on ingredients that were actually available in 1830s Colorado, including, of course, some of the large game species human settlement has since driven away. The menu's main attraction is Rocky Mountain bison sourced from local ranches, which can be ordered in the form of sirloin medallions, barbecue ribs, filet mignon, or part of a mixed game plate also featuring elk and grilled teriyaki quail.

Related: Oldest Restaurant in Every State

Bama Bucks | Sardis City, Alabama
Bama Bucks/istockphoto

Bama Bucks | Sardis City, Alabama

As well as a restaurant, Bama Bucks is an exotic animal park, making it one of the nation's best places both to learn about and dine on rarer wild animals. Staff members provide the educational opportunities and Chef John Salmon the fine dining, including farm-fresh entrees like grilled venison, bison lasagna, elk steak, boar sausage, and roasted pheasant breast. 

The Cellar | Newnan, Georgia
The Cellar/Tripadvisor

The Cellar | Newnan, Georgia

The Cellar is an upscale restaurant with a menu focused on gulf seafood and grass-fed local beef along with a few more exotic selections. They have a duo of wild game sausages as a starter and a smorgasbord of unusual burger patties made from lamb, antelope, wild boar, and — wait for it — kangaroo.

GW Hunters | Post Falls, Idaho
GW Hunters/Yelp

GW Hunters | Post Falls, Idaho

Near Coeur d'Alene and Idaho's many untamed national forests, GW Hunters is a family-owned steakhouse with steaks that aren’t limited to beef. Following appetizer selections of frog legs, breaded elk fingers, and alligator patties, the restaurant offer prime cuts of buffalo, ostrich, elk, and kangaroo, plus the "roadkill burger," with buffalo, elk, yak, and alligator all ground into a single patty.

Bubs Burgers | Carmel, Indiana
Bubs Burgers/Tripadvisor

Bubs Burgers | Carmel, Indiana

The "Big Ugly" burgers made from fresh ground chuck are the signature of this old school Indiana burger chain, but even more noteworthy — at least for the purposes of this list — are their comparatively lean elk burgers. As with the beef variety, they come in sizes ranging from an eighth pound to a full pound, which customers can get their picture on the wall for finishing in a single sitting.

Related: Best Hole-in-the-Wall Burger Joint in Every State 

1776 | Crystal Lake, Illinois
1776/Yelp

1776 | Crystal Lake, Illinois

This fine dining establishment is worth visiting not only for the unusual meat offerings you'd be hard-pressed to find elsewhere in small town Illinois, but also its extensive wine selection and scratch-made farm-to-table bona fides. Wild boar meatballs comprise the most interesting appetizer, while the entrée menu includes lamb shank, bison strip steak, and a meatloaf made from both veal and a daily rotating wild game selection. 

Game | Louisville, Kentucky
Game/Tripadvisor

Game | Louisville, Kentucky

A "carnivore's paradise" in Louisville's historic Irish Hill district, Game matches its rustic, hunting den-style décor with a menu of locally sourced exotic meats, including wild boar, bison, kangaroo, and alpaca. The easiest way to try them all is in the form of three-ounce meatball samplers, but they also come as burgers and sliders, dressed up with the likes of foie gras, goat cheese, smoked truffle mayo, and more.

White Wolf Inn | Stratton, Maine
White Wolf Inn/Tripadvisor

White Wolf Inn | Stratton, Maine

Tucked away in Maine's inland lake country,  this lodge  boasts game meats and local ingredients along with the kind of intimacy you simply can't find in busier destinations. When you're not getting acquainted with the chef/owner tableside, be sure to try specialties like the hickory-smoked quail, venison or buffalo steak with wild mushrooms, and elk steak topped with blueberry sage sauce.

Related: The Most Beautiful Restaurant in Every State 

Tip Tap Room | Boston
Tip Tap Room/Tripadvisor

Tip Tap Room | Boston

As well as 36 beers on tap, this Beacon Hill eatery offers creative fusion dishes with more than their fair share of unusual meats. A meal could start with boar meatballs or venison pate before proceeding onto the same meats in gnocchi and Bolognese preparations, respectively, or an antelope burger dressed with jalapeno and cranberry jus.

Timbers Inn | Rockford, Michigan
Timbers Inn/Yelp

Timbers Inn | Rockford, Michigan

The Timbers Inn has an impressive selection of wild game and seafood to go along with its hunting lodge-like atmosphere. As well as wild-caught Canadian walleye and Great Lakes whitefish, the menu features free-range elk burgers, buffalo chili, and a shepherd's pie loaded with ground venison and elk.

Woody's | Tupelo, Mississippi
Woody's/Yelp

Woody's | Tupelo, Mississippi

This premier Mississippi steakhouse complements its fresh seafood and charcoal-grilled steaks with a few out-of-the-box protein sections. Alligator tail and southern fried quail are menu staples, whereas the wild game sausage starter and "get a little wild" main plate feature whatever exotic meats they have on hand that day — namely bison.

Ole's Big Game Steakhouse & Lounge | Paxton, Nebraska
Ole's Big Game Steakhouse & Lounge/Yelp

Ole's Big Game Steakhouse & Lounge | Paxton, Nebraska

Like much of the western prairies, Paxton used to be a hunter's paradise, and the globetrotting pictures around Ole's  of its founders' big game kills serve as testament to that storied past. These days, however, the exotic meats on offer are confined to buffalo, in burger or steak form, plus the infamous Rocky Mountain oysters.

Buck's T-4 | Big Sky, Montana
Buck's T-4/Tripadvisor

Buck's T-4 | Big Sky, Montana

Whether you're a local or visiting for the summer or winter holidays, Buck's T-4 is a high-end standby for some of Big Sky country's best — not to mention meatiest — cuisine. Full cuts of bison, elk, pheasant, and red deer are available as well as classic dishes like meatloaf and pasta Bolognese served with a rotating game selection in lieu of the usual beef.

Related: Where to Find Good, Cheap Pasta in Every State 

Hungry Buffalo | Loudon, New Hampshire
Hungry Buffalo/Yelp

Hungry Buffalo | Loudon, New Hampshire

Don't let the unpretentious pub-style atmosphere fool you — the Hungry Buffalo has some truly unique offerings alongside the standard fried fare. In the realm of wild game, their menu features elk, boar, and buffalo throughout, whether they're in the form of slow-roasted brisket, Rueben sandwiches, or burgers and sliders. For double the exotic meat in one dish, try the baked quail dinner with boar sausage stuffing.

Ranchers Club of New Mexico | Albuquerque, New Mexico
Ranchers Club of New Mexico/Yelp

Ranchers Club of New Mexico | Albuquerque, New Mexico

A classic white tablecloth-style steakhouse with frequent live piano, the Ranchers Club  employs a gridiron with aromatic wood embers like mesquite and hickory to impart some extra distinct flavors to its portions of wild game. These include a grilled venison and field greens salad, Moroccan duck breast, and a chile-rubbed red deer shank, with braised bison short ribs thrown in as a side for good measure.

Ranchers Club of New Mexico | Albuquerque, New Mexico
Ranchers Club of New Mexico/Yelp

Gamekeeper | Boone, North Carolina

A farm-to-table pioneer for the Blue Ridge mountains, Gamekeeper is a high-end yet welcoming purveyor of organic and sustainable ingredients, but that doesn't mean the dishes are vegan. Entrees featuring wild game range from braised venison shank, bison tenderloin, grilled elk leg, and, rarer still, an emu fan fillet.

Saskatoon Lodge | Greenville, South Carolina
Saskatoon Lodge/Tripadvisor

Saskatoon Lodge | Greenville, South Carolina

Saskatoon Lodge serves up Greenville's only chef-prepared wild game in a cabin setting that makes guests feel like they've just finished hitting the slopes. In addition to "tame game" — cuts of ribeye and pork tenderloin — they have specialties like elk loin, Texas free-range antelope, New Zealand rack of lamb, and a chef's mixed grill that includes that day's entire wild game selection, doused in a wild mushroom cream sauce.

Powder House Restaurant
Powder House Restaurant/Yelp

Powder House | Keystone, South Dakota

This Black Hills-area resort contains an onsite steakhouse famed for its prime rib and wild game. In addition to a rotating weekly feature, diners can choose from barbecue-style buffalo short ribs, elk medallions, stuffed quail, or all of the above combined in the signature game sampler.

Caney Fork | Nashville, Tennessee
Caney Fork/Tripadvisor

Caney Fork | Nashville, Tennessee

This Nashville bar and grill serves up southern favorites alongside wild game dishes worthy of the Old West. In the latter category, they offer a venison sausage hoagie, Cajun gator or wild elk sliders, a bison burger, and a platter featuring frog legs, elk patties, and a mixed game sausage.

Freemason Abbey | Norfolk, Virginia
Freemason Abbey/Tripadvisor

Freemason Abbey | Norfolk, Virginia

Friday is wild game night at Freemason Abbey, an elegant but family friendly restaurant housed in a renovated 146-year-old church. In addition to permanent items like caprese stuffed quail and lump crab soup, Friday diners can partake of exotic weekly specials — posted in advance on the website — such as venison sausage, bison ribeye, boar chops, or, on occasion, the "beast burger" made from a bend of elk, bison, boar, and wagyu beef.

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Gun Barrel | Jackson, Wyoming
Gun Barrel/Yelp

Gun Barrel | Jackson, Wyoming

Wyoming is probably the state you're most likely to see bison in the fields or on the menu, as  this steakhouse in the national park-adjacent tourist town of Jackson goes to show. Housed in a former wildlife and taxidermy museum, the menu features the American buffalo throughout, whether thinly sliced for a carpaccio appetizer or slow roasted as prime rib, plus selections of elk medallion and venison bratwurst.

Woodman Lodge | Snoqualmie, Washington
Woodman Lodge/Yelp

Woodman Lodge | Snoqualmie, Washington

At the foot of Washington's Cascade Mountains,  this historic saloon  evokes the pioneer days with its restored décor and wood-fired stove. But while early settlers may have recognized menu items like buffalo chili, Woodman also offers distinctly modern preparations like elk tartare, lamb shank osso bucco, and bacon-wrapped elk medallions to reflect how times — and tastes — have changed.

Rainbow Lodge | Houston
Rainbow Lodge/Tripadvisor

Rainbow Lodge | Houston

The Rainbow Lodge is a high-end dining destination with an onsite wine cellar and gardens to supplement the menu of original wild game and seafood dishes. There are starters of wild game meatballs, smoked duck gumbo, and fried Texas quail bites to whet the appetite; then entrée-sized cuts of braised venison, antelope loin, elk chop, wild boar pasta, and buffalo tenderloin to satisfy any remaining carnivorous cravings.

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