The farm-to-table concept is in full bloom in Oregon. Pacific Northwest cuisine highlights regional seafood, locally raised meat, and organic produce. Farm stands are plentiful in the rural areas and are definitely worth a stop; almost all cities have at least a weekly farmers' market, and Portland has them daily most of the year.
All of Oregon’s cities and prominent towns have some genuinely stellar dining options. Portland has become one of the top foodie destinations in the country, and Bend, Eugene, Ashland, Hood River, the Willamette Valley, and several towns along the coast—most notably Astoria, Cannon Beach, and Newport—have a few superb restaurants specializing in locavore-driven cuisine. Portland has also become quite famous for its wealth of food carts.
Oregon’s wines are well regarded throughout the world, particularly those produced in the Willamette Valley and, increasingly, the Rogue Valley in southern Oregon and Columbia Gorge around Hood River. It’s also one of the top states in the country for craft breweries, microdistilleries, and artisan coffee roasters. Portland again leads the way when it comes to beer, booze, and beans, but Bend and Astoria also have several nationally acclaimed producers, and you’ll find notable brewpubs and coffeehouses throughout the state, even in small towns. The restaurants listed are among the best in each price category.
Meals and Mealtimes
Unless otherwise noted, the restaurants listed are open daily for lunch and dinner. Most people eat dinner between 6 and 9 pm, although in many rural areas—including some coastal towns—some restaurants close by 8 or 8:30, especially on weeknights.
Reservations and Dress
Regardless of the venue, it's a good idea to inquire whether reservations are needed on a weekend evening. We only mention them specifically when reservations are essential (there's no other way you'll ever get a table) or when they are not accepted. For popular restaurants, book as far ahead as you can (often a week is more than ample), and reconfirm as soon as you arrive. (Large parties should always call ahead to check the reservations policy.) We mention dress only when men are required to wear a jacket or a jacket and tie, although these policies are virtually unheard of in Oregon.
Wine, Beer, and Spirits
Oregon's largest concentration of wineries is in the Willamette Valley between the northern Cascades and the coast, but you’ll also find vibrant wine regions in the Rogue Valley and Columbia Gorge. The Oregon Wine Board maintains a helpful website, with facts, history, and information on local wineries.
Oregon has more than 150 microbreweries, with plenty of festivals and events celebrating its brews. The Oregon Brewers Guild also has links to breweries and information on events.
You must be 21 to buy alcohol in Oregon.
Oregon Brewers Guild. www.oregonbeer.org.
Oregon Wine Board. www.oregonwine.org.