A Friendly Guide to Restaurants in Oregon
The state is known for its breathtaking landscapes, lush forests, and beautiful coastline. However, the food scene is not to be overlooked, as Oregon offers a diverse range of cuisines and dining experiences for both locals and tourists alike. From fine dining to food carts, and everything in between, we’ve got you covered. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the gastronomic adventure that awaits you in Oregon!
1. Portland – The Foodie Haven
Portland, the largest city in Oregon, has a vibrant and diverse food scene that is sure to satisfy any food lover. Known for its farm-to-table dining, Portland offers a wide range of options to suit different budgets and tastes. Some must-try spots include:
a. Le Pigeon
For a unique fine dining experience, Le Pigeon is a must-visit. Chef Gabriel Rucker’s creative dishes have won numerous accolades, and the cozy, intimate atmosphere makes it a perfect place for a special occasion. Don’t miss the adventurous tasting menu and their signature burger, which is only available in limited quantities each night.
b. Pok Pok
If you’re craving some authentic Thai cuisine, look no further than Pok Pok. This popular spot has received national attention for its flavorful dishes, especially the famous Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings. The laid-back atmosphere and communal seating make it a great place to gather with friends and family.
c. Food Carts
Portland is known for its thriving food cart scene, with over 600 food carts scattered throughout the city. From Mexican to Ethiopian cuisine, there’s a food cart for every craving. Some fan favorites include Nong’s Khao Man Gai for delicious Thai chicken and rice, and Grilled Cheese Grill for a unique twist on a classic sandwich.
2. Willamette Valley – Wine Country Dining
When exploring Oregon’s wine country, you’ll not only discover world-class vineyards, but also exceptional dining experiences. Here are some standout options:
a. The Joel Palmer House
Located in Dayton, this charming restaurant is set in a historic Victorian home. The menu is focused on local, seasonal ingredients and features a variety of wild mushroom dishes, as well as a selection of Oregon’s finest wines. It’s an ideal spot for a romantic dinner or special occasion.
b. JORY at The Allison Inn & Spa
JORY, the restaurant at the luxurious Allison Inn & Spa, offers a true farm-to-table experience. With an emphasis on local ingredients and an extensive wine list showcasing the best of Oregon, this is a must-visit for food and wine enthusiasts.
3. Bend – A Taste of Central Oregon
Located in Central Oregon, Bend is known for its outdoor activities and stunning landscapes. The city also boasts a thriving culinary scene, with a focus on locally-sourced ingredients. Some must-try spots include:
a. Zydeco Kitchen & Cocktails
Zydeco Kitchen & Cocktails serves up a delicious blend of Northwest and Southern flavors, with an emphasis on fresh, organic ingredients. Their signature jambalaya and gumbo dishes are not to be missed, and the warm, inviting atmosphere makes it a perfect spot for a night out.
Spork is a casual eatery that offers a unique fusion of global flavors with a focus on sustainability. Their eclectic menu features dishes like the Spicy Fried Chicken and the Lomo Saltado, and their commitment to using locally-sourced ingredients shines through in every dish. The colorful, industrial-chic atmosphere makes it a fun place to gather with friends.
4. Ashland – A Delight for Shakespeare and Food Lovers
Known for its renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the charming town of Ashland also offers a vibrant food scene. From cozy cafes to fine dining, here are some must-visit spots:
a. Amuse Restaurant
Amuse Restaurant offers a fine dining experience that showcases the best of the local produce in a warm and elegant setting. Their seasonal menu features innovative dishes like the Duck Confit Salad and the Wild Mushroom Risotto, and their wine list includes selections from top Oregon wineries.
b. Morning Glory
If you’re looking for a breakfast spot, Morning Glory is a local favorite. Known for its cozy atmosphere and creative dishes, this cafe serves up a range of tasty options like the Lemon Ricotta Stuffed French Toast and the Veggie Garden Scramble. Be prepared for a wait, as this popular spot can get busy.
5. Cannon Beach – Coastal Culinary Delights
Located on the beautiful Oregon coast, Cannon Beach offers not only stunning ocean views but also some delicious dining options. Check out these favorites:
a. Ecola Seafoods Restaurant & Market
For fresh seafood, Ecola Seafoods Restaurant & Market is a must-visit. This casual, family-owned spot offers a wide selection of seafood dishes like fish & chips, clam chowder, and crab melts. The fish is caught daily and can also be purchased to cook at home.
b. Pelican Brewing Company
Located just steps from the beach, Pelican Brewing Company is a great spot for enjoying a meal with a view. Known for its craft beer, this brewpub also offers a tasty menu featuring options like fish tacos, pub-style burgers, and wood-fired pizzas. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a day exploring the coast.
6. Hood River – Farm-to-Table in the Gorge
Nestled in the picturesque Columbia River Gorge, Hood River boasts a thriving food scene that emphasizes farm-to-table dining. Here are some top picks:
a. Celilo Restaurant & Bar
Celilo Restaurant & Bar is dedicated to showcasing the best of the region’s produce, meats, and wines. With a focus on sustainability, their menu changes seasonally and features dishes like the Columbia River King Salmon and the Oregon Lamb Loin. The elegant atmosphere and attentive service make it a great choice for a special night out.
b. Solstice Wood Fire Pizza & Bar
For a more casual dining experience, head to Solstice Wood Fire Pizza & Bar. Their artisan pizzas are made with locally-sourced ingredients and cooked to perfection in a wood-fired oven. With options like the Pear & Gorgonzola Pizza and the BBQ Chicken Pizza, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
With this guide in hand, you’re now ready to embark on your culinary adventure through Oregon. From Portland’s bustling food scene to the cozy eateries in small towns, there’s a treasure trove of flavors to discover.