Dining at The Steam Donkey Restaurant


The Steam Donkey Restaurant and Bar is the on-site restaurant at Pinecrest Lake Resort and the menu is sure to temp your taste buds. Featuring items such as Rack of Lamb, Rib Eye Steaks, Sautéed Shrimp, Teriyaki Chicken, juicy burgers and sumptuous salads.

It is always best to call ahead for a reservation as seating in the small and busy restaurant is limited. 209-965-3117

March 2022 hours:

Dinner 5:00pm-8:00pm Friday-Sunday

Lunch: 11:00am-3:00pm Saturday and Sunday

Bar: 3:00pm-8:00pm Friday

11:00am-8:00pm Saturday and Sunday

“This place is FABULOUS! It is a small little place, with such a small kitchen but the food is AMAZING! We went there for dinner all 3 nights we were in town, and this year we are going back. A MUST TRY!!!!”

— Chantel, Turlock CA

The Steam Donkey Pays Tribute to our History

The Steam Donkey Restaurant gives tribute to the loggers before us. In the early days of the Pickering Lumber and Soap Creek Lumber companies, the hard-working “steam donkey” used to haul logs in the High sierras to waiting railroad cars. Logging was the industry in Tuolumne County and Pinecrest was the heart of this activity being in the middle of the world’s largest forest of Sugar Pine and Ponderosa Pine.

The terrain of the Stanislaus National Forest brought added challenge, the donkey engines brought some relief. “Logging is done entirely by means of donkey engines and chutes. The steepness of the slopes and the rough character of the topography encountered throughout the company’s operations, and which likewise prevailed through the proposed sale areas, which made it essential to use large donkey engines to insure profitable logging.” (United States Forest Service description of logging, 1920)

When the Soap Creek Lumber Company was dismantled the original lumber became part of the rustic new Steam Donkey Restaurant and Bar. Step up to the bar and you’ll see the pecky cedar that came from the old dynamite shack. Loggers tools, saws and souvenirs are located throughout the restaurant.