What To Eat in Oregon
Silky Dungeness crab, local oysters, hearty chowder, fish ‘n’ chips and even extraordinary tuna (cooked in the can) make a trip along Oregon’s coast a seafood lover’s dream. It’s also a land of good berries, reflected in pies and cobblers, and of hazelnuts, which you’ll find on salads, in pie crusts, and even in milk shakes! Coffee consciousness is elevated, the good lattes accompanied by scones and croissants and cakes and cookies to write home about.
At seafood joints all along the Oregon coast, "fish and chips" is not just one thing. Fry-kettle chefs offer salmon, tuna, oysters, calamari, and – best of all – snow-white, cream-fleshed halibut. With French fries or an onion-ring upgrade, it's one of the nation's great seafood meals.
Oregon chowder, featuring clams and nuggets of potato, ranges from rib-sticking to elegant and usually is subtly flavored with smoked bacon or salt pork. It is thick enough that when it is served with a pat of butter on top, the butter forms a pool that does not blend until it is stirred in.
Dressing is important in Crab Louis (or, if you wish, Louie). It is mayonnaise, cream, lemon juice, and red chili sauce, usually with green onions and spice. But of course, what matters more is the crab. Fresh Dungeness crab makes all the difference. No one knows for sure where the Louis formula was created, or by whom, but food historians generally agree that the genesis of the "King of Salads" was sometime early in the 20th century, in either San Francisco or Seattle. And while it is available in restaurants all around the country, it is at its best in the Pacific Northwest.
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Light pancakes with marionberry jam and fluffy biscuits with bacon gravy make the Breadboard one of the best breakfast spots in the West.
Fifty years ago, Luigi's opened as a taste of the East Coast out West. It has become an Oregon icon: home of the garbage grinder.
Jackson's Corner is a locavore cafeteria that nails sourdough brick-oven pizza, homemade pastas and hearth baked breads inside general store digs.
Big Ski's are a pair of pierogi trucks serving homey Polish dumplings, some classic, some creative. We like the truck that's parked at a brewery.
Bangers and Brews is an Anglo-Argentinian sausage spot in a small-town strip mall. Excellent sausages, local beers, and chimichurri keep locals coming back.
Bend, Oregon's Primal Cuts is an artisan butcher making thoughtful sandwiches from house-cured products. Get the “porkstrami.”
The Pilot Butte Burger is an 80s vision of the 50s with burgers the size of the buttes and carhop service.
The Mackay Cottage Restaurant is in a historic craftsman home that could be an Inn. There are no beds here, just excellent breakfasts.
A ritual for Mt. Hood ski trips, Joe’s Donuts fries clever donuts in a homespun bakery featuring such Oregonian flavors as marionberry and maple bacon.