Hemmingway ate his steaks here, and over 75 years later Trail Creek Cabin still remains a piece of classic Americana that can’t be overlooked.  Between the atmosphere and the food, making the trip out to this heirloom cabin is by far one of the most special ways to spend a night out in Sun Valley, and it just might become a highlight of your entire trip, like it did for me.

It’s not until the maître d walks you past the stone entryway that you can fully appreciate exactly how special this restaurant is, but, as soon as the restaurant is in full view, you’ll understand why this is such a desired wedding location. 

At the tail end of Sun Valley, shortly before the town gives way to the Sawtooth Forest, Trail Creek Cabin is situated along side its rushing namesake in a cluster of evergreen trees.  Blending elegantly with its natural surroundings, the dark wood log cabin seems to have almost grown into the landscape.

In summer, the back patio is a must.  The rush of Trail Creek’s rapids underscored the experience as the we were seated at our table, cool cocktails on the way. Settling in, it felt less like we were at a restaurant, and more like we were a Grandfather’s summer home, where the point isn’t to get away from the world, but to be energized by it. 

Travel Tip : Trail Creek has won the Open Table “Most Booked” award.  If you would like to sit outside, consider booking a table in advance.

Being a small town, it would make sense that Sun Valley and Ketchum’s head chefs would know each other, but we had no idea how close the town was tied.  The following evening, eating at Pioneer Saloon, the family seated next to us explained that several of Sun Valley’s top chefs were trained together decades ago before any of them worked in the town.  With such a similar background, it’s even more surprising how Trail Creek Cabin’s cuisine sets itself apart from many of the other local restaurants.

Like the setting, Trail Creek’s menu stays true to its hearty heritage while balances its past with modern flavors and preparations.  Our top choices, which we highly recommend are the cauliflower custard, Piedmont beef top sirloin, macaroni and cheese, and ____.  The flavor of the cauliflower custard was unbelievably decadent.  Being the first item to arrive, it prepared us for the melt-in-your-mouth steak to come.   

As we finished our meal, the summer sun still hanging to the horizon, a deer made is way out of the forest to graze in a small clearing across the creek, reminding us how natural and unassuming the evening felt.  There are a lot of great steaks in the world and plenty of creek side restaurants, but there’s a reason this cabin has been cooking for over 75 years, there’s a reason it’s proudly displayed by a resort that hosts many of the world’s most influential people, there’s a reason Ernest Hemmingway, fan of the wild woods, the frontier, the fall, at his steaks here.

Sponsored by Sun Valley Tourism.