The Thunderbird Restaurant is an icon of Kane County. It is located at the Mount Carmel Junction east of Zion National Park and north of Kanab. This restaurant was first built alongside a dirt road in 1931 by Fern Morrison and her husband Jack. It started out as a small fuel station, and Fern would serve slices of pie to the truckers who stopped in for gas. The Thunderbird Restaurant is still serving those amazing slices of pie today.
One of the best known parts of the Thunderbird is the sign outside advertising “Ho-made Pies.” We learned that when Jack made the first home made sign for the restaurant, he didn’t have enough room to spell out the words, so he shortened it to the folksier sounding “HoMade.” The rest is history. The restaurant is now as famous for the sign as for the pies.
We stopped in at Thunderbird Restaurant for lunch and really enjoyed our food. There is definitely a small town diner feel to the interior, and we liked the friendly service best. Everyone from the hostess to the waitress and bussers was really nice to us. We even had a waiter that didn’t have our table stop by and talk to our boys about their sports attire.
The food was great. We tried the burgers and pasta, and Mom even had a wrap. All of the food was really delicious and made to order. The prices were about what you’d expect in a resort town, at about $12 per plate. There were lots of choices on the adults menu and the kids menu, which we really appreciated.
Finally, we ordered some famous “Ho-made pie.” We ordered one of all 5 of the slices on the menu. There was a wonderful hot apple pie, a keenly tart strawberry rhubarb pie, a tangy Thunderberry pie with 5 types of berries, a creamy coconut cream pie, and a decadent chocolate pie. We finished them all! We especially loved the apple, chocolate, and strawberry rhubarb. We’ll make sure we stop at the Thunderbird next time we are at Mount Carmel junction to get some more Ho-made pies!
Location: 4530 State St, Mt Carmel, UT. The Thunderbird Restaurant is part of a small resort. There is a 9 hole golf course, lodging, an RV park, a gift shop, and an adventure company all in one spot. For more information about what there is to offer at Thunderbird Resort, check out their website.
If you are in the area, make sure to check out our list of things to do near Zion. There are lots of fun adventures around this part of Utah.