Best Restaurants in Bend Oregon: Places to Eat in Central Oregon

Where to Eat When you Visit Bend, Oregon

It may be hard to believe, but Bend, Oregon - a fairly quiet city of about 80,000 in Central Oregon has some pretty amazing restaurants. In fact, some statistics state that there are more places to eat in this town per capita than any place else on the west coast of the United States.

There are a lot of high quality restaurants crowding the downtown streets and Old Mill District of Bend, Oregon. Perhaps it is because of the rapid growth the region has seen in the past 10 years (from approximately 35,000 to 80,000 in that short time). Or, maybe its the transplants from California, Washington, Arizona, and other areas of the country. Bend is featured on many top 10 and top 100 lists as a great place to retire, a great small town to live, a great place in which to live for clean air/recreation/etc. Just last week, it was featured in a cowboy magazine!

The area appeals to a multitude of interests. Golfing, hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, trail running, skiing. The list doesn't end. The Chamber of Commerce estimates that the number of sunny days each year is 300 of 365. Not bad!

The Old Mill District in Bend, Oregon
The Old Mill District in Bend, Oregon | Source
Mirror Pond - Bend, Oregon
Mirror Pond - Bend, Oregon | Source

Top 6 Restaurants in Bend, Oregon

Now, if I were to try to review all of the best restaurants, it would be a full-time job for a year, and I would likely gain about 30 pounds. So, I'm going to highlight the best 6 restaurants at which we've eaten recently (and which we frequent often, as a result).

This is not to say the others in town are not equally good - or better - but just that we have limited funds and belt loop spaces..... So, refer to the websites provided (where applicable - not all restaurants have their own websites), and search the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism websites for more information about additional restaurants and information!

  • Zydeco Kitchen Restaurant. I was very surprised by this place, located along the old highway (US 97), next to car sales lots. It has an amazing wine list and to die for martinis. But, more importantly, its food is very good. We started with Acadian Flatbread, that you can customize with toppings of your own choice (we chose olives, onions and chicken). My husband had Sea Bass, and I had a delicious NY Strip Steak with Blue Cheese.
  • 38 Degrees Restaurant. This place is a little off the beaten path, out in the Northwest Crossing neighborhood. The restaurant has a Greek flair, which is quite refreshing and different. For lunch, you can enjoy a peach flavored ice tea with a Greek salad, or warm spinach salad for a light fare. From Thursday through Saturday, the establishment offers a generous fixed-price meal for... $38 per person! It includes an appetizer, main course and dessert, all with wine pairings that are delicious and out of this world! The staff is friendly and helpful. Because you don't usually have this experience, we keep going back!
  • Merenda Restaurant. Located right downtown on Wall Street, Merenda is a class act, all the way. Famous for its "wine flights," you can spend an entire afternoon tasting wines and matching them with some delicious foods. Wonderful shopping is right around the corner and down the street. You can find general fare, from salads to chicken and steaks. Specials vary on a daily basis. The chefs are proud of their creations, and you'll enjoy tasting them too!

Bikers along the Deschutes River
Bikers along the Deschutes River
  • Marz Restaurant Marz is also located downtown Bend, but is a very small "hole-in-the-wall" place, so look it up and make reservations ahead of time, so you don't miss it. Eclectic décor is the first sign that this is not your ordinary place to eat. They serve great cocktails, but there are only about 20 tables in the entire restaurant - so get there early or call ahead. Specials change daily. Asian Short Ribs is one of the best offerings on the menu.
  • Baltazar Located on Century Drive, on the way out to Mt. Bachelor, This restaurant is a unique blend of Mexican cuisine and seafood. In my opinion, you cannot find a better margarita in town - including martini margaritas! This is serious business! My best meal at Baltazar was a three enchilada meal with crab, lobster and prawns. Three words: To Die For!!! If you are not a seafood fan, they serve traditional mexican food, as well.
  • The Blacksmith Restaurant A little at the backside of downtown, this restaurant, primarily a steak house, is a classic. Among unique entrees, they offer a lobster corn dog, cider brined pork chops, and chicken and dumplings- with gnocchi dumplings. You will not be disappointed!

Location of Bend, Oregon
Location of Bend, Oregon

Learn more about Bend, Oregon

If you're interested in Bend, Oregon, check out the links to the right, or click on my profile at the top of this hub.

Information about the city is included, and some of the restaurants' websites are also included. You can find books and resources through Amazon.com below, as well.

Bend is a lovely place, with lots of sunshine, and particularly nice from May through October. Like many small towns, the people are friendly and you'll feel welcomed and happy to be here. Come and visit soon!

© 2008 Stephanie Hicks

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Comments 14 comments

Stacie Naczelnik profile image

Stacie Naczelnik 8 years ago from Seattle

Cool. The next time I'm driving through, I'll know where to eat!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

And email me too - I'll join you!


Kathryn Vercillo profile image

Kathryn Vercillo 8 years ago from San Francisco

I've only had the chance to go to Bend once (there are just so many places in the country to see!) but I really loved it when I was there. I ended up having a picnic in the park but it sounds like I might've missed out on some great restaurants by doing so!


monitor profile image

monitor 8 years ago from The world.

What great country. Great report. Thanks. Mon.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Kathryn - picnics in the park are wonderful too! Monitor - yes, its a great place. :)


oralana west 7 years ago

One of the best things about traveling is trying just about ever local diner and dives out as possible. This seems like a wonderful place.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Lots of great eats here in town. My husband and I tried another wonderful spot last night in Bend. I think I'll need to write a new hub with more best restaurants reviews.


RKHenry profile image

RKHenry 7 years ago from Your neighborhood museum

I love Bend, OR. One of the neatest towns I've ever been in and I've traveled a lot. I think Bend is way better than Aspen any day.


Chloe 6 years ago

As a local of Bend, I have to say that Zydeco is the best restaurant in town. The flatbread is always the highlight - I absolutely love it! I wish that they would deliver it because it's better than pizza. And for dessert, the almond wet cake is amazing. Currently, though, Zydeco has moved to a new location and is now downtown!


Hub Llama profile image

Hub Llama 6 years ago from Denver, CO

Hey, thanks for this. Been to Portland a few times, but not to Bend. Apparently, the travel guides haven't been either because info seems hard to come by. This will be a nice tip sheet to have.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Hub Llama, Bend is a great place. Based on your comment, I'm thinking perhaps a few more hubs about the city and the region may be in order... :)


zzron profile image

zzron 5 years ago from Houston, TX.

Great hub, I love Bend Oregon, you forgot to mention Jake's Truck Stop. They have the best patty melt sandwiches, and everything else is pretty wonderful to.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Zzron - you are right! We also love Pilot Butte drive-in. Huge, juicy burgers and hand-dipped milkshakes. Maybe I'll have to do a best restaurants in Bend, Oregon, part 2!


marc scholnick 4 years ago

Thanks for all the great Bend oregon restaurant information. Bend is really more diversified for entertainment that most out of towners are aware. Another great source for a great activity is the Bend Ale Trail. is

http://culturaloregon.com/bend-oregon-breweries-th... Keep up the good work!

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