Sitting at the northern edge of Central Oregon, not far from where the forested slopes of Mount Hood descend into the high desert, the community of Warm Springs is awash in regional wonder. The Museum of Warm Springs tells the story of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, nearby Lake Simtustus Resort offers a relaxing getaway on the shores of its namesake reservoir, and the Lower Deschutes River—which runs through the heart of Warm Springs—is an angler’s paradise.
With so much to see and experience, we imagine you’ll work up an appetite along the way. Fortunately, Warm Springs hosts a handful of high-quality restaurants owned and operated by passionate locals. Those include:
Getting hungry? Here’s a roundup of Warm Springs restaurants worth a stop on your next trip to the area.
Eagle Crossing Diner
The family-owned Eagle Crossing Diner sits at the eastern edge of Warm Springs, offering a comfortable café experience near where Shitike Creek flows into the Deschutes River. The long-running restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, featuring an extensive food menu that mixes down-home and Native American influences.
Traditional fare at the Warm Springs diner includes bacon, eggs, and toast for breakfast, as well as hearty sandwiches, burgers, steaks, and more for dinner. And while it’s all satisfying, one of Eagle Crossing Restaurant’s undeniable highlights is its Indian taco, where a piece of fry bread is topped with chili, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, and black olives—and served with sides of salsa and sour cream. Other tribal influences include elk burgers and steaks, as well as huckleberry pies and milkshakes—all featuring ingredients that have long been delicacies for tribes throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Kalama’s Fry Bread
As you approach Warm Springs from the north, chances are good you’ll see brightly colored signs advertising fry bread or Indian tacos along Highway 26. Those signs are pointing you toward the family-run Kalama’s Fry Bread stand, an essential stop on any road trip through Central Oregon.
The fry bread is typically fried to order, ensuring a fresh bite and filling treat that resembles an old-school elephant ear—but typically thicker and chewier. If you’re looking for a quick snack, top yours with honey, butter, powdered sugar, or homemade jam (they’re all excellent, but we’re partial to the tangy huckleberry jam); for a more substantial meal, turn your fry bread into the base for an Indian taco, burger, hot dog, or chili dog. (Naturally, the chili is made in-house.)
Keep in mind that the stand, based at the corner of Wasco St. and Paiute Ave., may be closed Saturdays through Mondays.
Restaurants at Indian Head Casino
You can’t drive through Warm Springs without noticing Indian Head Casino—one of the top casinos in Central Oregon and easily the largest, most visible building in town. So if you’re trying to strike it rich at the tabletop games or slot machines, make time for at least one of the two Indian Head Casino restaurants—both offering disparate menus for a variety of palates.
Stop into the casino’s Tule Grill for fresh, on-the-go fare. Open for lunch, dinner, and late-night meals daily, the Warm Springs eatery specializes in filling sandwiches, snacks (like nachos and cheese fries), and all manner of grilled fare—like chicken sandwiches, fish and chips, burgers, and corn dogs. And enjoy a classic casino experience when you celebrate your winnings at Cottonwood Restaurant (open on Fridays and Saturdays), which offers an expansive dinner buffet that includes prime rib, fresh shrimp, salmon, crab legs, and more.
Painted Pony Espresso
When you need a caffeine jolt to kickstart the day’s adventures, Painted Pony Espresso has you covered with a variety of espresso-type drinks in a cozy shop next door to the Indian Head Casino.
The menu includes iced coffee drinks (such as coffee, chai, and lattes) and a lineup of classic hot beverages—from americano and cappuccino to mocha and hot cocoa. Other options include lotus infusions—essentially, a plant-based energy drink that’s mixed with various flavors of soda water. Seasonal drinks and occasional specials ensure there’s always something new to try.
Part of what makes the Warm Springs dining scene so special is an emphasis on small, locally owned restaurants that benefit the community—an ethos typified by the Twisted Teepee food truck.
The nonprofit food cart, dedicated to helping young members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs gain experience in the food service environment, is open for breakfast and lunch—and dishes an ever-changing menu of comfort fare inspired by global cuisines.
That means you might enjoy a slow-cooked pulled pork sandwich, Hawaiian-inspired loco moco, creative burger, or piping-hot soup on your next visit. Other highlights include tribal-inspired fry bread (which you can top with honey, butter, cinnamon and sugar, or even housemade huckleberry butter) and Indian burgers (where the buns are replaced with fry bread).
If you’re getting excited to visit, we’ve put together a guide of what to do when you get the urge to explore Warm Springs, Oregon.
More inspiring stories, adventures, and tips & tricks for planning and experiencing the best Central Oregon has to offer.
Casinos in Central Oregon
There’s a certain thrill that comes with getting the exact card you need at the blackjack table—or sitting down to a video poker machine, watching the rows line up just so, and seeing the machine light up in victory. No matter how often it happens at your favorite casino, each win offers an exciting adrenaline rush.
The heart and soul of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Warm Springs is the site of Indian Head Casino.