The first thing that comes to mind for most when they think about visiting Bend is the outdoor adventures they’ll be served up. But Bend’s restaurant scene is remarkable, and not to be missed. Maybe you’ve got a few breweries on your plate, but there are plenty of places to eat in Bend, and many come with the added bonus of mountain and river views.
Downtown Bend is the center of all this great city has to offer, and that goes for its restaurants as well. Within walking distance along Bend’s two main drags — Wall and Bond streets — there are dozens of spots to find any food you might be craving, from pizza to prix fixe and everything in between.
For a truly authentic Bend experience, it’s best to focus your downtown efforts on breweries like Deschutes Brewing or Bend Brewing Co. Both offer excellent American pub fare, tons of craft beer that only flow through their Bend pub taps, and an unmatched Central Oregon atmosphere.
Or swing over to 900 Wall, a cavernous restaurant with the perfect happy hour — think spicy deviled eggs and tempura-fried green beans. This hotspot also has some of the best local main courses in town, including a Carlton Farms pork chop that will change your life.
If it’s fine dining you seek, consider one of Bend’s best restaurants — Zydeco Kitchen + Cocktails, which takes the tastes of the South and gives them a unique Northwest twist. Zydeco offers farm-to-table and seasonal dishes, as well as an exceptional wine list and cocktail menu — this is the spot for a Bend-based celebration. Tim Garling’s Jackalope Grill has been a mainstay in the fine-dining world for more than a decade. This downtown spot features a gorgeous atrium and truly wows with its eclectic Northwest menu, including a famous jaeger schnitzel. Steak lovers, unite! Bos Taurus starts your meal by having you pick out your knife for the perfect cut for your meat entree, and continues to enchant from there. The name of the game is steak, including Wagyu flown in from Japan and Australia, but don’t miss out on the smoked cocktails or the tasty sides.
Fine dining isn’t relegated to downtown. Ariana is one of Bend’s best restaurants and sits in a little bungalow on NW Galveston Avenue. For adventurous eaters, go for the tasting menu and get ready for a mind-expanding experience. Finally, Trattoria Sbandati is so authentically Italian that it has been known to shut down so the owners can go to Italy in search of more delicious foods to serve. Everything here is made from scratch, and this homemade pasta will truly change your life.
One unique way to enjoy Bend’s great food for breakfast, lunch and dinner is by swinging by one of the city’s many food cart pods. River’s Place, for example, everyone in the family will find something that delights — a hot sandwich at one cart, a plate of pasta at another, and beers and other locally crafted beverages at the bar. Turns out, some of the best restaurants in Bend don’t even have four walls — they have four wheels instead! Whether you’re watching the people drift down the Deschutes on floats and paddleboards while dining in the Old Mill District or ending your Mt. Bachelor powder day with an apres-ski brew and burger, you’ll find Bend’s special feel imprinted on all our restaurants. Check out The Food Guide of Central Oregon to find our picks for everything from Mexican to sushi, and our Bar Guide to Central Oregon for hot spots for drinks.
Top Cultural Places to Eat in Bend, Oregon
Bend’s restaurant scene continues to evolve, and while this may have long been a meat-and-potatoes mill town, you can find some exciting international cuisine here, too. An oldie but a goodie, and a locals’ favorite, is Spork, which began its life as a food cart run out of an Airstream and now is a hopping brick-and-mortar restaurant on NW Newport Avenue. This spot is known for its spicy curry, epic fried chicken and innovative cocktails.
The best Thai restaurant in Bend doesn’t even have pad thai on the menu, and we’re all the richer for it. Wild Rose, a downtown Bend spot, focuses on northern Thai fare — curries and noodle-rich soup that can make you sweat, and also ask for seconds. Or swing by the new Sen, right on the river. This Thai hot pot and noodle shop serves flavorful dishes in a popular new location. A few blocks away, Barrio offers Latin-inspired eats like paella, patatas bravas, and gambas al ajillo. Nothing on this menu is anything less than excellent, and the place is so popular it now has a food truck across town as well.
In the Box Factory, the newest and hippest restaurant enclave in Bend, you’ll find Miyagi Ramen. Start with a base broth, then add ingredients like a soft egg or chicken katsu. Get ready to slurp! Heading to the Old Mill, check out one of the newest — and most fun — bars in Bend, the Rapa Nui Tiki Lounge. Tiki drinks, bao buns and an occasionally smoke-breathing statue in the corner make this spot a must-see. Finally, Bend happens to have a James Beard-nominated chef all its own, and his sushi masterpieces demand to be eaten. Joe Kim has been at the helm of 5 Fusion and Sushi Bar for years, and he continues to innovate and use the freshest fish to craft the finest sushi.
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.