Driving for Dinner: Rawhides Bistro & Saloon in Stenen

Located in the heart of east central Saskatchewan, Rawhides Bistro & Saloon is a not-so-hidden gem that attracts visitors from across the province and beyond. A destination in itself, Rawhides boasts a restaurant, patio, bunkhouse, campground, event centre and more, making it a perfect place to visit for a day trip, an overnight stay or the weekend.

Photo courtesy of Rawhides

Opened in 2012 in Stenen, Rawhides is housed in an old four-room schoolhouse that closed in the late-1980s. The restaurant’s various seating areas are former classrooms, all branching off of the main hallway. When you walk through the door at Rawhides, it feels like you’ve entered a different world. From the decor to the event space to the food, the theme at Rawhides is western through and through.

Photo courtesy of Rawhides

“We started out with the western-themed restaurant, and so that means beef – ribs, steak and our hamburger – it’s a big old grilled hamburger,” said Doug Will, who co-owns Rawhides with his son. “We’ve evolved a bit to include things like seafood and pasta, but the western theme is what we mainly do.”

Photo courtesy of Rawhides

Favourites include the Smokehouse BBQ Ribs and tenderloin steak, along with spinach dip, Caesar salad and the pizza menu (try the All Dressed!). There is an extensive drink menu and breakfast menu, with classics like waffles, French toast and omelettes. 

Photo courtesy of Rawhides

As a destination, Rawhides often plays host to private events like weddings, reunions and anniversaries. Public events like live music and an annual summertime car show, which happens every year on the third Sunday in July, are also popular. For those who want to make an overnight stay or weekend out of dinner, Rawhides’ onsite bunkhouse is open year round, and in warmer months, there is a campground, with both serviced and standard tenting sites.

Photo courtesy of Rawhides

“When we bought the property – the former school – it came with the school grounds,” Will said. “The grounds are several acres and there are beautiful larch trees out there too. So, people camp here, and it really works out in the summertime.”

Rawhides recently expanded to include a few new offerings for guests to enjoy during their stay, including a spa, barbershop and hair salon, all of which opened at the beginning of April.

When asked what makes Rawhides unique, Will noted that it’s all about offering the whole package: “People come here for the ambiance because we provide a little something more. It’s the whole experience.”

Nearby attractions

While you’re in the Stenen area, check out some of the neighbouring communities for golfing, swimming, museums and more!

Crystal Lake

Just a 10-minute drive from Stenen is Crystal Lake, which is a great place to visit during the late-spring and summer. Check out the Crystal Lake Golf Club, which features a nine-hole course and has an onsite restaurant. At Crystal Lake, you’ll also want to spend some time at Johnny’s Beach, which is perfect for boating, swimming or enjoying a beach day.


Photo courtesy of Whistle Stop Classic Rock Cafe 

The town of Norquay is a 15-minute drive from Stenen, and home to the Norquay Municipal Campground (open seasonally). While you’re in Norquay, check out the Whistle Stop Classic Rock Cafe for breakfast, lunch or dinner. With a classic rock theme complete with vintage-inspired diner booths, Whistle Stop is perfect for grabbing a bite to eat.


Photo courtesy of Sturgis Station House Museum 

In nearby Sturgis – just 10 minutes from Stenen – visit the Sturgis Station House Museum, where you’ll find artifacts and displays that focus on telling the story of Sturgis and the surrounding area. Depending on when you visit, you may be able to enjoy fresh bread from the outdoor clay oven!

A little further north is the Sturgis & District Regional Park – Lady Lake, which is home to a campground, beach and plenty of outdoor activities like hiking, canoeing and swimming. 


Rawhides Bistro & Saloon is located at 103 1st Avenue North in Stenen, SK. For more information and hours, visit its website. Rawhides and one of its recipes is featured in Naomi Hansen’s book, Only in Saskatchewan: Recipes & Stories from the Province’s Best-loved Eateries. Visit www.naomihansen.ca for more information.

Author: Naomi Hansen

Naomi Hansen is a writer and editor based in Saskatoon, SK. She is the author of the book Only in Saskatchewan: Recipes & Stories from the Province’s Best-loved Eateries, which was published by TouchWood Editions in April 2022. Find her on Instagram @onlyinsaskatchewan, Twitter @naomihansen_ or at www.naomihansen.ca