A cozy, rustic restaurant sitting deep in the high desert of Central Oregon, The Cowboy Dinner Tree is a timeless classic, and every adventure lover's haven.
The cowboy Dinner Tree Restaurant is among the most revered restaurants across Oregon and one of those well-preserved, must-visit spots in Oregon with a history so rich, it tickles the fancy of all adventurers in equal measure.
What is the Cowboy Dinner Tree?
As the name suggests, The Cowboy Dinner Tree is an iconic restaurant known to offer a full cowboy-like dining experience.
I would give this Place 10 stars if I could the food is amazing. The decor and location of this restaurant really makes you feel like your in the Wild West.
Naomi H. - Google Reviews
Even though it's small, the restaurant continues to attract thousands of people traveling through Central Oregon each year. When listing the top five places to enjoy mouth-watering roast chicken and a juicy steak, the Cowboy Dinner Tree is always at the top of the list.
The Cowboy Dinner Tree History
Years before the cozy shack we know as the Cowboy Dinner Tree Restaurant was established, cowboys from Silver Lake and adjacent areas would drive their cattle to graze in the local Sycan Marsh meadows.
But the journey there was long, and they would usually stop over at a large juniper tree, which was considered the half-way point.
Here, they would enjoy their bean and biscuits dinner served from an awaiting chuck wagon.
Years later, Jamie and Angel Roscoe, (the current owners), took over and converted it into the iconic Cowboy Dinner Tree Restaurant that we know and love today.
Loren Kerns / Flickr
Directions to The Cowboy Dinner Tree
The Cowboy Dinner Tree is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Also, due to its appearance, one may not even realize it's a place to eat. In that light, here's how you get to the Cowboy Dinner Tree.
How to Get There:
The Cowboy Dinner Tree Restaurant is a 90-minute drive southeast of Bend.
Drive south for 31 miles using the U.S. 97 route
Take a left turn on Oregon 31 South.
Drive for 47 more miles and make a right turn on East Bay Road.
From here, you'll drive for only 4.2 miles, and you'll find the restaurant on your right.
If you're in Silver Lake, the Dinner Tree is only a 5.1-mile drive using the E-Bay road, and for those in Fort Rock, it's only 45 minutes away.
From 1st June to 31st October, the restaurant is usually open Thursday through Sunday from 4 pm to 8:30 pm, and from November to May, it's open from Friday to Sunday every 4 pm to 8:30 pm.
The Dining Experience
If you'd like to enjoy that "Old West" dining experience, the Dinner Tree is just where you want to be.
Mathew Foster / Flickr
Everything is cooked fresh and from scratch. You even have the option to watch as the super-friendly staff makes your food.
The first part of the meal is a bottomless salad with only two fantastic homemade salad dressings. But you can always bring your dressings.
Next up is a bowl of bottomless ranch-style cowboy beans or soup depending on the day's cook. They're pretty generous with their servings.
Be careful not to fill yourself up before the entree, which is either a hunk of a perfectly cooked, juicy steak or a whole, mouthwatering roast chicken served with sweet baked potatoes.
Image by Mike Keefe / Facebook
After this, you'll probably be too full to eat anymore.
But if you want more, you'll get a small piece of cake for dessert!
Wash down your dinner with either water, iced tea, or pink lemonade. If alcohol or soda is a must for you after every meal, you're free to bring your own because they don't serve either.
As mentioned, they're extraordinarily generous with their servings, so you may want to bring a bag or a cooler because you'll have leftovers enough to last you two more meals. It's no big deal if you forget one because they also offer to-go bags.
Their menu is limited but worth it.
Here's what it looks like:
Salad with ranch or special honey mustard dressing
Cowboy beans or hearty soup served with sweet yeast rolls
The true cowboy cut – a sirloin steak or one whole roasted chicken served with baked potatoes
A delicious piece of cake with berry toppings for dessert
Water, coffee, iced tea, or pink lemonade to wash down your dinner
Adults: $45 per person
Kids aged 7-13 years: $11
The experience is, however, free for kids aged six and below.
Things to Know Before You Hit the Road
Before you make your way to the Cowboy Dinner Restaurant, note the following:
They accept cash only – no credit cards.
You can't drive to the Cowboy Dinner Restaurant randomly. You need to make a reservation. It might take you up to a month to get a spot. So, book at least a month earlier, and include details of your order.
No sharing or split dinners.
There's a 20% gratuity for groups of 20 or more.
Bring a cooler to keep leftovers in good shape if your drive after dinner is long.
Where to Stay?
If you'll be around Silver Lake for a while, the Cowboy Dinner Tree Cabins and Lodging are an excellent spot.
After such a heavy dinner, driving might be a problem. But fret not because they offer rustic-wood cabins where you can spend your night.
These cabins are stove-heated and feature electricity and hot showers. However, there are only two cabins available on-site, so if you plan on staying the night, you may want to book in advance.
The cabins sleep two to four people and are strict on not allowing pets.
$190 per night for two people. The price of dinner is inclusive
$57 per extra person
Free Boondock RV Parking
Image by Julianne Crane / rvtravel.com
For those with a home on wheels, the Dinner Tree offers RV parking across the road. It's big enough to fit half a dozen RVs, and while it lacks in RV amenities, it's dry, safe, and on top of it, free!
Alternative Places to Stay
The Cowboy Dinner Tree Restaurant is an excellent place to eat but requires booking in advance even to eat. The cabins are even harder to get, which is why we listed some excellent places to stay the night when you visit Silver Lake.
Silver Lake RV & Mobile Home Park
If you don't want to leave Silver Lake but also don't want to park your trailer on the Cowboy Dinner Tree Restaurant's boondocks parking, Silver Lake RV Park is your best bet. They offer showers, a Laundromat, and full-hookup RV parking, and rentals.
Silverlake RV & Mobile Home Park
65364 OR-31, Silver Lake, OR 97638
Wonderful little park. Simple yet very well kept, very peaceful and the friendliest hosts. Large shade trees and green lawns. Will recommend to all for a great stop over or a week of relaxation.
Elaine's RV Park
Image by elainesrvpark.com
This is yet another excellent option if you have an RV. They offer full-hookups and are open to having your pets around. The rate is $15 per night. Check out their website for more information.
Elaines RV Park
53290 1st and, Center St, Silver Lake, OR 97638
Stayed here for the day/night and took the car down to the Cowboy Dinner Tree. Everyone told us to go down there and they were right!
The Lodge at Summer Lake
Image by Tripadvisor.com
Like most facilities in the Christmas Valley area, The Lodge has been around for quite some time. It's also a great place to visit if you want to enjoy some rich country vibes.
The Lodge at Summer Lake
53460 OR-31, Summer Lake, OR 97640
Great place. Very good food and service, a fantastic place to stop.
Lakeside Restaurant Motel & RV Park
Previously known as the Lakeside Terrace, this is one of the best restaurant, Motel & RV Park combos you can stay at when you visit Silver Lake. It's at the heart of Christmas Valley, meaning you can easily access service stations, grocery stores, and all amenities you need during your visit in the country.
It's only 30 minutes away from Silver Lake, which makes your drive here after you eat to your fill at the Cowboy Dinner Tree Restaurant easy. Click here to learn more.
Lakeside Restaurant Motel & RV Park
87275 County Hwy 9-28, Christmas Valley, OR 97641
We've stayed in the RV Park twice now and are very happy with it. Beautiful grass in the RV Park, friendly service and awesome food in the restaurant. We will be back. Thanks Lakeside crew!
Desert Inn Christmas Valley
Image by cvdesertinnmotel.com
The Desert Inn has been around since 1964. They offer single units, standard double units, and double queen bedrooms to travelers. Near the center of town and provides a comfortable lodging experience. You can visit their website to learn more.
Christmas Valley Desert Inn Motel
87217 Christmas Valley Hwy, Christmas Valley, OR 97641
CLEAN room!! Great customer service!! A/C 🙂 Just over all nice place.
The Cowboy Dinner Tree Gift Shop
If you would like to take souvenirs for friends and family at home, the Cowboy Dinner Tree has a gift shop. They offer unique art pieces and a diverse array of western gifts and memorabilia. You can even get a gift certificate from wherever you may be.
Cowboy Dinner Tree Reviews
Here’s what some Cowboy Dinner Tree visitors had to say:
Excellent food. It took us 5 more days to finish both steaks! Call for reservations. Cash only. Bring containers. We stayed at the Lodge at Summer Lake.
Everyone should experience the Cowboy Dinner Tree at least once! Amazing place with equally amazing food and staff. Highly recommended!
One of the best restaurants in the world. $45, cash only. Must reserve at least a week in advance selecting either the steak 🥩 (28-32 ounces) or a whole chicken. This includes salad, rolls, and bean soup served family style before. A baked potato with the meat. Afterwards, the desert changes.
Enjoy a Stress-Free Visit to the Cowboy Dinner Tree
Despite the emergence of countless modern eating spots in Oregon, there's nothing like munching away a piece of well-marinated steak or roasted chicken with great company in the middle of nowhere.
This is precisely the experience you'll enjoy when you visit the Cowboy Dinner Tree Restaurant. It might be remote, but it'll be worth the trouble.
While visiting, ensure you have an excellent place to rest for the night, and enjoy the next few days of your visit to Silver Lake by booking your stay with any of the above great locations.