Best Food in Central Oregon
We in Central Oregon like to say that the day’s adventure—whether shopping our boutiques, hitting the trails, or sampling our legendary craft brew scene—can’t really begin without a great breakfast or end until our next epic lunch or meal.
And in Central Oregon, it’s easy to find curious chefs cooking up all kinds of cuisine—from home-cooked diner fare to inventive fusion dishes to internationally inspired creations. (Truth is, the hardest thing about trying the best food in Central Oregon is fitting it all into your next trip.) You’ll even find those chefs plying their trade in brand-new food carts, brick-and-mortar establishments, and some of the best restaurants in Central Oregon—truly cooking up something for everyone.
So whether you’re grabbing pastries and breakfast burritos for the road, sharing plates at a food cart pod, or sitting down to dinner in a dimly lit restaurant, here’s our food guide to Central Oregon.
And, yes: Wherever you go, you’ll almost surely find vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options on the menu. Because our chefs want to make sure everyone goes home happy.
Top Places for Breakfast and Brunch
Everyone starts the day in their own way: Some of us sleep in and enjoy a relaxing morning, while others wake with the sun and hit the ground running. However you do it, we can all agree: A good breakfast is essential.
Fortunately, the wide range of breakfast and brunch in Bend and Central Oregon means you’re never far from another great meal. You’ll find classic diner dishes, fresh-baked pastries, and even internationally inspired dishes from the likes of Portugal. Here’s a guide to the best breakfast and brunch in Central Oregon.
Bend: Since 2007, Chow has prided itself on sourcing local and organic ingredients whenever possible—and has earned acclaim for its creative interpretations of classic brunch fare; the corned beef hash, for instance, is braised for 14 hours and is a local favorite. For something a bit quicker, stop by Rockin’ Dave’s Bistro & Backstage Lounge on your way to the trailhead for 16 flavors of New York-style boiled bagels (made from scratch daily); the Rockin’ Dave’s menu also includes breakfast sandwiches and burritos, as well as a full bar (with bloody Marys and house-pickled vegetables) if you’d rather ease into the day.
Sunriver: Whether you’re feeling lazy after a long night or need some on-the-go sustenance for a busy day ahead, stop by Hot Lava Bakery for pastries (doughnuts, turnovers, scones, and a hearty cinnamon roll are all highlights) or a filling breakfast sandwich in the heart of Sunriver. Elsewhere, Café Sintra boasts a menu inspired by Portuguese cuisine—including a trio of benedicts, scrambles, omelettes, and more.
Redmond: The name says it all: Mo’s Egg House serves a variety of classic diner dishes, all with eggs cooked to your preference at the southern edge of downtown Redmond; protein ranges from chicken fried steak to Cajun catfish—while the rest of the expansive menu includes omelettes, eggs Benedict dishes, and hearty scrambles.
Sisters: Start your day right with a filling breakfast from Cottonwood Café; the cozy restaurant is based in a converted house in the middle of Sisters and dishes a variety of thoughtfully crafted breakfast favorites—like a chicken fried steak that comes with caramelized onions, roasted cremini mushrooms, and blue cheese crumbles. Do you crave that house-made, homespun flavor of savory baked goods—but need it for the road? Stop into Sisters Bakery for fresh-baked breads (including the eatery’s signature sourdough), scones, croissants, muffins, doughnuts, and other pastries.
La Pine: When you’re craving down-home diner cuisine, head to Harvest Depot in La Pine. The stick-to-your-ribs menu accounts for all the comfort food classics: egg dishes, French toast, biscuits and gravy, and even a “redneck” eggs Benedict that comes smothered in country gravy.
Around Central Oregon: Looking for breakfast on the go? The Little Miss Griddle food trailer in Prineville betrays its small size with a hearty pancake menu that ranges from standard stacks of hotcakes to strawberry pancakes—topped with a decadent strawberry glaze, powdered sugar, and whipped topping. And if you need an on-the-go breakfast before hitting the water in Maupin, stop by Maupin Market for its famous breakfast burritos, stuffed with fresh ingredients.
Best Lunch, Dinner and Takeout Options
Looking for lunch on the way to your next epic adventure? Hungry for dinner after a full day on the water, trail, or slopes? You’ll find no shortage of high-quality food carts, bistros, delis, and eateries dishing tasty fare. (Best of all: They all offer takeout when you’re looking to pack a picnic or eat back at your campsite.)
Bend: As the culinary hub of Central Oregon, you’ll find a ton of great places to eat in Bend, Oregon. Fill up on Mexican street fare at El Sancho, known around town for mouthwatering tacos filled with nearly a dozen creative proteins (ranging from carne asada and chipotle chicken to Oaxacan cheese and seared cow tongue); chilaquiles, tamales, chicharrones, and other favorites round out the menu, but save room for the taqueria’s house-made Choco Taco. And if you’re feeling indecisive, taste your way through On Tap; the stylish food cart pod hosts six carts that serve tacos, barbecue, dumplings, sandwiches, pies, and more—with more than 30 taps of local beer, wine, kombucha, and cider to wash it all down. (Still thirsty? Check out our bar guide to Central Oregon for more places to grab a post-hike beer or nightcap.)
Sunriver: The regional chain Hola! can be found all over Central Oregon—including Sunriver, where diners can enjoy fresh Mexican-Peruvian cuisine that includes burritos, Peruvian-style tamales, and filling enchiladas. And since 1980, Marcello’s Cucina Italiana has dished a popular mix of modern and old-school Italian dishes—from hand-tossed pizzas to penne arrabiata and linguini con carne; Marcello’s aims to use local ingredients whenever possible and makes each of its dishes to order.
Redmond: Sharing a courtyard with Kobold Brewing and The Vault Taphouse, the Westside Taco Co. food cart has earned acclaim for its creative tacos; the highlight on a menu full of them is a brisket taco, prepared in a house-made blueberry chipotle sauce for a smoky, yet sweet flavor. Nearby, international cuisine takes center stage at Diego’s Spirited Kitchen—where you might see burgers alongside Cajun pasta, Mexican dishes, fusion items (like Tex-Mex spring rolls), and more.
Sisters: Whether you’re grabbing meat to grill back at the campsite or want a filling sandwich, stop by Sisters Meat and Smokehouse for the best of both worlds; fresh meats (think kielbasa, brats, bacon, and more) are prepared on-site, and the eatery’s sandwiches come piled high with meats smoked in-house. If fresh Mexican fare sounds appetizing—and when doesn’t it?—stop by Coco Loco Taco Bar, a food truck dishing tacos, burritos, and bowls in the heart of town; you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but grilled or blackened mahi mahi tacos are the truck’s specialty.
La Pine: Looking for fresh, family-style Mexican fare? La Pine’s Cinco de Mayo Mexican Restaurant specializes in all your favorites—authentic chile relleno, stuffed chimichangas, satisfying enchiladas, and—of course—flavorful (and fruity!) margaritas.
Terrebonne: Terrebonne Depot
Prineville: If you’re looking to get your barbecue fix, Dillon’s Grill prides itself on preparing authentic dishes, crafting burgers with fresh ingredients, and pouring 13 craft beer taps from Central Oregon breweries.
Discover Fine Dining in Central Oregon
Central Oregon isn’t all dusty boots, well-loved puffy jackets, and ski goggles—we can class it up with the best of them. Fortunately, several fine-dining restaurants throughout Central Oregon offer the opportunity to do just that. Here’s where to grab a savory steak dinner, dine on the region’s best seafood, and enjoy the locally sourced fare we’re known for.
Bend: Since 2005, the Jackalope Grill has worked to offer some of Bend’s most thoughtful fine-dining options through locally sourced ingredients—like bread from nearby Sparrow Bakery, meat from a regional farm, and even salmon harvested by members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Elsewhere around Bend, Trattoria Sbandati dishes some of the most authentic Italian cuisine in Bend—complete with cured meats, house-made and hand-cut pasta, and traditional sauces. Still hungry? Check out other restaurants in Bend for more ideas
Sunriver: You’ll find plenty of outstanding restaurants in Sunriver. Based in Sunriver Resort, Carson’s American Kitchen artfully blends traditional fine dining with a modern influence for a night out that showcases the best of the Pacific Northwest. Carson’s menu changes seasonally—but what remains the same, time and again, are its scratch-made dishes and locally sourced ingredients. The Fisherman’s Stew, for instance, is made with salmon, mussels, clams, Bay scallops, and prawns—while the coho spotlights one of the Pacific Northwest’s most celebrated salmon. Also in Sunriver, South Bend Bistro incorporates local ingredients into its entrees, which range from roasted duck and filet mignon to king salmon and creative pasta dishes. (Even the kids menu leans upscale, with filet mignon and grilled salmon available for the little ones.)
Redmond: Redmond’s sleek Brickhouse isn’t just about fine dining: It’s about fine dining done the right way, with a keen eye on keeping it local. Brickhouse serves Northwest-raised steaks, creative pasta dishes, and fresh, wild-caught seafood—all hormone-free and prepared with organic ingredients whenever possible. For other fine-dining around town, check our guide to restaurants in Redmond.
Sisters: The Lodge Restaurant & Aspen Lounge at Black Butte Ranch distills the best of Central Oregon into a classic fine-dining experience: Ingredients for the restaurant’s Pacific Northwest-inspired fare (think pan-seared king salmon and mushroom adobo) are sourced locally, for instance, while wide-open views of nearby Cascade peaks abound from the dining room. Closer to town, Chops Bistro boasts an electric menu that sports a wide range of culinary influences—from New Orleans classics (as seen in the bistro’s gumbo) to Pacific Northwest cuisine (like the local halibut).
Prineville: Prineville is a meat-and-potatoes kind of town, and nobody does them better than Barney Prine’s Steakhouse & Saloon. For more than a decade, the Wild West-themed restaurant has served tender steaks, slow-roasted prime rib (every Friday and Saturday night), pasta, and a variety of Pacific Northwest seafood dishes.
Explore Nature’s Beauty
From the sagebrush-covered plains of the high desert to the towering pines and majestic mountain peaks, discover the diverse landscape Central Oregon has to offer.