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!
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!
- 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!
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