Dendritic cells (DCs), monocytes, macrophages, and neutrophils are myeloid-derived phagocytes critical to controlling bacterial infections, and these cells have complementary functions to ensure host survival. Recent data have shed light on the dynamics and function of myeloid cells at the early stage of infection. In particular, murine infection models with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium have been useful for understanding the host response required to develop immunity to systemic salmonellosis. This review summarizes the early cellular responses in the intestinal lymphoid tissues to Salmonella and discusses Peyer's patch-dependent and -independent penetration of bacteria through the intestinal epithelium. Once Salmonella accesses host tissue, phagocytes respond by recruitment, redistribution, and activation in intestinal tissues. Recruited monocytes are specialized in controlling bacterial replication by producing anti-microbial molecules but are poor antigen-presenting cells. In contrast, DCs undergo maturation by direct (bacteria-mediated) and indirect (cytokine-mediated) pathways in vivo to optimize their antigen presentation capacity, and directly matured DCs have unique mechanisms to ensure T-cell stimulation. Toll-like receptor signaling is critical to DC maturation and myeloid cell recruitment during Salmonella infection, and the role of myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88)-dependent and MyD88-independent pathways as well as proinflammatory cytokines and type 1 interferons in these processes are discussed.