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The Bounty of Oregon Foods

Updated on September 18, 2016

Oregon has a wealth of some pretty fabulous regional foods. The Mediterranean-like climate with moderate year-round temperatures and the health conscious population of many Oregon communities combine for yummy results.

Here are some of my favorite Oregon foods along with restaurant suggestions and a bit on James Beard, the most famous cook to come out of Oregon.

Berries, Berries, Berries!

When I first moved to Oregon, I could barely believe how large the berries were--and the variety was incredible.

Dungeness Crab

In my opinion, this Northwest crab is the best. You will find it in Northern California, too. It is sweet and fun to eat. I love it. You can buy it fresh from a commercial steamer or you can catch your own off some of the docks or from a boat in the bays. Learn about the best spots, times and techniques, rent some crab pots and pull in the crabs. It takes thick gloves and strong arms.

Steam them right away for your dinner. Spread newspapers out on the table and have at it either plain or with melted butter.


While they are also grown elsewhere, Oregon Hazelnuts, or Filberts as they are also called, are thought to be the best.

Specialized Dairy Products

The mild winters and cool summers of Oregon are ideal for dairy cows and goats. Here are a few of the well-known Oregon dairy products.

Cooking All That Good Stuff

Thyme and the River Too: Brunches, Lunches, Picnic
Thyme and the River Too: Brunches, Lunches, Picnic

I have this book and it is a very good one. It is based on the cooking at the Steamboat Inn on the Umpqua River, a great place to stay and to eat. Meals are served at communal tables and the Inn is located up on a ridge overlooking the river. It is a popular resting spot for those who love to fish.

Wildwood: Cooking from the Source in the Pacific Northwest
Wildwood: Cooking from the Source in the Pacific Northwest

The Wildwood Restaurant operated in Portland, Oregon for 20 years and, according to those who know, influenced and marked a change in the Portland food scene. I ate here and it was a fantastic meal. Unfortunately it has closed, but you can still get their cookbook which presents its recipes using local, farm-raised ingredients.


Oregonian: James Beard

Born in Portland, Oregon, James Beard always maintained tight ties with his beloved Oregon, despite his move to New York. He was greatly influenced by the bounty of Oregon's orchards, gardens and waters.

Books: James Beard

James Beard's Delights And Prejudices
James Beard's Delights And Prejudices

I loved this book. Beard writes about his first experiences as a child with the regional foods of the Pacific Northwest.

James Beard's American Cookery
James Beard's American Cookery

The classic James Beard.


And, Finally: Chocolate!

How can I ignore chocolate? Everyone loves chocolate. Here you will find some of the best Oregon chocolate-makers.

I hope you can enjoy some of these Oregon foods soon. There is so much more that I could have included, but these are my favorties.

Do you have an Oregon favorite? Add your suggestions or comments here!

Your Opinion & Recommendations

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    • LiquidGranite1 profile image


      7 years ago

      Great idea for a traditional family dinner.

    • adoptiondesigns profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens! Wildwood restaurant is great for a romantic dinner without the kids. Love Oregon foods.

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 

      10 years ago from Idaho

      The is great, and will go well with my lens, giving you a lensroll and a bravo!!! Visit the Oregon Coast

    • Travel Shepherd profile image

      Michael Shepherd 

      10 years ago from Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland

      Aaah, you did make me homesick for Oregon. It is still possible to find flavorful food there, but you have to hunt for it. That is somewhere other than the supermarkets.

      You might enjoy my lens on James Beard:


    • profile image


      11 years ago

      I grew up visiting Oregon every year to visit family, and I absolutely love it. Thank for this lense, I really enjoyed it.


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