Dining & Culinary Tours
Got the whole family with you? No problem. Try Baldy’s Barbeque, Old St. Francis Pub, Red Robin, Pastini Pasteria, Scanlon’s, Trailhead Grill at Pronghorn and Terrebonne Depot. For breakfast, there are some amazing options. You can’t go wrong with McKay Cottage or Alpenglow Café in Bend. In Sisters, try Three Creeks Brewery.
A good part of Central Oregon is rolling ranch country. So what better way to start a gourmet tour than with a satisfying steak dinner at Crossings at The Riverhouse or Brand 33 at Aspen Lakes. If it’s seafood you’re after, there’s Anthony’s Home Port in Bend’s Old Mill District with freshly caught fish flown in daily. “Surf’n’turf” at Brickhouse, downtown, in both Bend and Redmond. Traditional American classics are the specialty of Greg’s Grill in the Old Mill District and the venerable Pine Tavern in the heart of downtown Bend adjacent to Drake Park’s Mirror Pond. All of the meals at the Pine Tavern begin with the popular scones and honey-butter. In search of unique Cajun-inspired meals, try Zydeco in downtown Bend. For a chic urban setting and great Northwest fare, there’s 900 Wall in downtown Bend. A bit farther afield, there are some hidden gems such as The Boat House Restaurant at Suttle Lake. Golf clubs with exceptional dinner menus include Tetherow Grill and Broken Top Club.
Once there were just a couple food of carts located only in downtown Bend. Now there are food carts in every city in Central Oregon. The food cart culture that has become a culinary phenomenon in every major metro West Coast city has taken root here. The cart scene offers everything from chicken wings to Thai, authentic German food, fish and chips, comfort food, jumbo sandwiches and more.
Cascade Culinary Institute’s Jungers Culinary Center, an impressive new modern building on the Central Oregon Community College campus, rivals the facilities of top television foodie programs. Aspiring chefs learn every aspect of the culinary art in state-of-the-art kitchens including a demonstration theater. Wednesdays through Fridays, the institute’s students share their talents in three-course lunches and dinners at the institute’s restaurant, Elevation. The menus feature fresh, local, sustainable ingredients in items such as handcrafted charcuterie, pan-roasted Chinook salmon with heirloom tomato and fennel sauce. Reservations are recommended at elevationbend.com.
Find the culinary road less traveled with these one-of-a-kind restaurants. 5 Fusion & Sushi Bar is known for Japanese and Korean flavors at lunch, dinner and happy hour with small plates such as beef sliders with kimchi slaw, arugula and wasabi aioli. Housed in Terrebonne’s 100-plus-year-old old former train station, Terrebonne Depot serves a wide range of New American cuisine surrounded by unmatched views of Smith Rock State Park. At The Oxford Hotel, take the elevator to the subterranean level for 10 Below, serving urban-chic organic dining that doesn’t compromise taste. For nouveau Mexican-Peruvian dishes such as ceviche of ahi in citrus yellow chile and red onions with Peruvian corn and sweet yams, head to Hola! in Bend and Sunriver.
For a slice of pizza to go or stay, there’s plenty to choose from at the hipster quick-stop Pizza Mondo in downtown Bend. Also try Zeppa Bistro at Sunriver Resort. For savory gluten-free options, try 10 Barrel Brewing Company in Bend.
Stimulate your curiosity as well as your palate with out-of-the-ordinary culinary tours. At Oregon Spirit Distillers and Bendistillery in Bend, and at Maragas Winery in Culver, meet the distillers and winemakers to discover the artisan processes behind fabulous flavor profiles.
Don’t forget that the area’s breweries are a great option for families, offering a kid-friendly atmosphere with a local vibe. To see what’s put Central Oregon on the craft beer map, swing by Bend Brewing Company, Crux Fermentation Project, Deschutes Brewery, 10 Barrel Brewing Company, Cascade Lakes Brewing Co. Lodge and Old Mill Brew Werks in Bend. Redmond has Cascade Lake Brewing’s 7th Street Brew House. In Sisters, head to Three Creeks Brewing. Staying in Sunriver? You can keep it local and convenient at the Sunriver Brewing Company or the new Sunriver Resort Beer Garden overlooking the Meadows Golf Course, with the best summertime views in Sunriver. At Tetherow, in addition to The Grill, a new casual venue called The Row features comfort food and a place to share tales of great golf.