In Central Oregon, there’s one thing we’re sure of, our food is just as good as our craft beer. Here on the High Desert, a night out can be as fancy, or family friendly as you like.
Our award winning chefs plate with precision, delivering big city taste in a small town setting. At 900 Wall, the intimate bar setting is perfect for relaxing with a glass of wine and some great company. Just a couple feet away, chefs prepare some of the finest food Central Oregon has to offer.
Just down the road at Drake, you can get a decadent, upscale lunch, or bring your friends and family back for dinner — when chefs create a modern take on classic dishes with locally sourced ingredients. (Or, check out Drake owner Ted Swigert’s Washington Dining & Cocktails in Bend’s ever-growing Northwest Crossing district.)
If you’re looking for something more casual, our breweries are the place to find appetizers that complement our local craft beer. And when the weather is warm and you’re ready for to dine Al Fresco, you’ll have plenty of options to enjoy incredible food and incredible views in Bend’s Old Mill District and the Village at Sunriver.
Central Oregon has become a special place among foodies who recognize the region’s delicious focus on sustainable, farm to table menus that utilize locally-produced meats, cheeses and produce.
The region is taking after Oregon as a whole where restaurants are thriving with unique dishes not just Northwest inspired, but Northwest grown.
This fall you can experience the state’s culinary creations in a fun new way thanks to Oregon Bounty, a Travel Oregon-created celebration of the fresh, local artisan food and drink that make Oregon a true culinary destination.
Following the success of the Oregon 7 Wonders Campaign, foodies can now experience those 7 Wonders through food and drink with an Oregon Bounty Passport. The passport features three restaurants in each region, chosen by some of the state’s finest chefs. Just grab a passport at one of the Oregon Welcome Centers across the state or at any of the restaurants chosen to be part of the campaign. Then, all you have to do is eat your way across the state picking up stickers from the restaurants along the way.
One of Bend’s most popular breweries, Crux also features one of the best menus in town – despite not even having what most would consider a “full kitchen.” Wraps, sandwiches (including paninis) soups and salads are the stars of the menu at Crux. No burgers, no fries – just simply delicious food. (Always ask about the soup of the day because there’s a chance it will be Chicken Curry and it’ll be the best thing you eat that day.)
But perhaps one of the most unique aspects to Crux’s dining scene isn’t what’s on the menu but what’s outside the actual restaurant. Parked on a gravel lot adjacent to the pub sit two popular food carts – El Sancho Tacos and Broken Top Barbecue. Locals will tell you the El Sancho street style tacos are among the best in Bend and there’s always a line outside Broken Top’s bright red truck. The food carts are as much a part of Crux as the brewery’s delicious Outcast IPA.
In small towns across the state there’s always that one place people will say “oh, you MUST go.” In Sisters, the Sisters Bakery is that place. For starters, it’s a real bakery with real people in the back making really delicious baked goods. They’re making 13 kinds of doughnuts, several breads (old fashioned cinnamon bread comes out of the oven first thing in the morning) along with cakes, pies and cookies that would make your own grandma’s mouth water. It’s the go-to folks for mountain bikers heading out on to the Peterson Ridge Trail System and for folks from Bend heading over the pass for weekend football games in Eugene or Corvallis.
Just minutes from Smith Rock State Park – one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon and the birthplace of American sport climbing – Terrebonne Depot has fed many a hungry family after a day of hiking, horesback riding or sightseeing at Smith Rock.
Fresh local ingredients are served inside a 100 year old train depot or outside on an expansive deck – where views of Smith Rock and the Cascade Mountains are unmatched.
Knowing their clientel might be on their way to Smith Rock, all of Terrebonne Depot’s menu items are available packaged to go. They offer picnic baskets filled with fresh sandwiches and salads and include a trail map highlighting scenic spots to stop and enjoy your meal. For the more adventurous, picnic baskets are also availabel as backpacks
You might not want to share any of the meals you’re having at these amazing restaurants, but the least you can do is share your experience via social media! Use the hashtag #centraloregonbounty and #traveloregon and you could win some cool prizes like a growler. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Central Oregon might be known for Craft Beer, but we’re also known for Craft Spirits.
“You can and people do make an entire vacation out of touring Central Oregon and all we have to offer in the culinary world,” said Alan Dietrich, CEO of Bendistillery.
Bendistillery opened in 1996 and has grown massively ever since. They’re best known for their Crater Lake Vodka but as soon as you visit their tasting room — it’s hard to miss their other claim to fame: an amazing view of the Cascades.
“When you stand on our back patio, you feel like you can really just reach up and touch the Three Sisters, the snow-capped peaks, the foothills and of course as it fades into our fields of Rye, it’s really spectacular,” said Dietrich.
Not only is the view breathtaking, it also offers a lesson of sorts as to why their spirits taste the way they do.
“Vodka is 60% water and without good water you can’t make a good product,” said Dietrich. “We get to actually point to the mountains and say, ‘That’s why the Crater Lake brand of spirits is so much better than anything in the world’, it’s because that water comes through the ground here and starts as snow.”
The snow-melt filters through lava rock naturally and so at Bendistillery that’s how they filter their spirits. Each year they sell tens of thousands* of cases of their spirits in 30 states and counting. Every bottle is handcrafted.
“It really offers us a chance to look at and feel every bottle, our quality control is impeccable, we can look at anything,” said Dietrich. “And because we’re a handmade product as well we want to make sure there aren’t any variations outside of what we would expect and during bottling is when we get to do a last check on that.”
The distillery is located on a 24-acre patch of land just north of Bend. In 2011, they began growing everything that goes into their Estate Line.
“That’s something we’re very proud of and it’s really probably the most rooted product in the land because we’re actually growing everything right here on site,” said Dietrich.