Food & Drink

The Best Getaways for Food and Wine Lovers

Seattle has no shortage of great dining options, but sometimes eating out is about the journey

By Shannon Borg, Danielle Centoni, Chelsea Lin, Allison Scheff, Jess Thomson and Jessica Yadegaran August 8, 2016


This article originally appeared in the August 2016 issue of Seattle magazine.

Eating your fill takes on a whole new meaning when you travel to these destinations. It’s all about the food you experience, from highbrow to low and everything in between.

You say you’re going to Portland for the forested hikes, the riverside views and the tax-free shopping. But let’s face it—you’re really just going to eat. The city is crammed with just about anything you’d want to sink your teeth into, plus a veritable sea of libations with which to wash it all down. Your best plan of action is to take a culinary tour of the city, one walkable neighborhood at a time.

1. Old Town: True Grit
(North to south, from NW Flanders to SW Pine; west to east from NW Sixth to Naito Parkway.)
Rich in old Portland history, though still rough around the edges, Old Town is emerging as one of the city’s most exciting food destinations, especially with the recent opening of Portland’s first food hall, Pine Street Market. There you’ll find outposts from many of the city’s most successful restaurateurs. Think over-the-top hot dogs from Olympia Provisions’ OP Wurst, spicy roasted chicken from John Gorham of Toro Bravo fame and mind-boggling ice cream creations at Salt & Straw’s Wiz Bang Bar (pork soft serve with marionberry magic shell?!). 

A soft serve sundae from Old Town’s Wiz Bang Bar; Carly Diaz

When you’re done noshing, walk or bike along the river at Tom McCall Waterfront Park (Kerr Bikes even rents four-person surreys) or meander through the tranquil Lan Su Chinese Garden. On weekends, the Saturday Market lures shoppers with its huge array of handmade goods. Got gaming on the brain? Head to the Ground Kontrol ’80s-themed arcade, and be sure to check out the Pac-Man-tiled bathroom while you’re there.

2. NW 23rd Avenue: Still Trendy After All These Years
(Along NW 23rd between Northwest Lovejoy and Burnside Street.)
Although it’s been more than a decade since it earned the moniker “Trendy-Third,” this stretch of the Alphabet District is still a top shopping and dining destination. Here you’ll find all the big players: the bizarro world of Salt & Straw ice cream (care for a scoop of fish sauce caramel?), the wait-worthy Bamboo Sushi, exquisitely inventive Spanish tapas at Ataula and upscale bistro plates at St. Jack. The area is also fast becoming the locale for second and third outposts of city favorites such as fresh-pasta-focused Grassa, Lovejoy Bakers and Boxer Ramen. If spirits are your thing, you’ve got three distilleries to choose from: Clear Creek, Bull Run and Aria Portland Dry Gin.

Dining al fresco outside St. Jack on NW 23rd Avenue; Jessica Hill

Walk off your calories by shopping your way through the street’s many luxe boutiques, or hike through adjacent Forest Park—the Macleay trailhead is a short walk from the north end of the street.

3. Central Eastside Industrial: Maker Central
(North to south from Burnside to SE Hawthorne, west to east from Water Avenue to SE Seventh Street.)
Loudly and proudly wearing its old industrial vibe, this area, just across the river from downtown, is ground zero for the Portland craft movement. From exquisite Alma hand-made chocolates to Oregon-harvested Jacobsen salt, makers reign within this mile-long stretch of vintage warehouse chic. Sip the Belgian ales at The Commons Brewery, or taste aged brews at Hair of the Dog Brewing Company. Enjoy a cuppa at Stumptown Coffee’s headquarters, or taste a tea flight at Smith Teamaker’s serene new space. Distillery Row’s eight producers are ready and waiting if you want to take a deep dive into their more than 20 locally made spirits. Just check out the map and tasting room guide ( Or head straight to House Spirits’ brand-new $6 million distillery and tasting room. To sustain yourself during all that imbibing, don’t miss acclaimed Russian hot spot Kachka. And ramen junkies have no fewer than four spots to choose from: bold favors at Boke Bowl, white-hot Japanese import Marukin Ramen, beloved izakaya Biwa and its noodle spinoff, Noraneko.

Over-the-top dogs from OP Wurst in Old Town; David Reamer

4. Division Street: An Overnight Sensation
(Along Division Street from SE 20th through SE 29th, and from Division south to Clinton Street.)
This southeast Portland neighborhood was once home to gritty auto body shops, thrift stores and humble bungalows, but in a few short years, it’s been transformed into one of the city’s hottest dining destinations. Pok Pok and its neighboring Whisky Soda Lounge anchor the strip, but don’t miss the chef-driven Indian street food at Bollywood Theater, refined Mexican cuisine at Xico, and fantastic sandwiches and salads at Roman Candle. Or for variety, head to Tidbit Food Farm and Garden, featuring a pod of some of the best food carts in the city, and fully outfitted with amenities such as bathrooms, sheltered tables, a fire pit and—most important—pints of craft beer. Division’s dessert options abound, including the flaky pies at Lauretta Jean’s and stellar gelato at Pinolo Gelateria.

5. North Mississippi Avenue: Hipster Heaven
(Along Mississippi Avenue between Skidmore Avenue and Fremont Avenue.)
If you’re looking for the highest concentration of Portland clichés in one place, look no farther than Mississippi Avenue. It’s all here: food carts, craft breweries, live music venues, free-range chickens and super-specialized boutiques peddling everything from taxidermy to comic books to worldly salts and cocktail bitters. If Disneyland had a Portland Adventure attraction, it would probably look a lot like this. Just sit back and enjoy the ride, because it’s pretty delicious, especially the beers at family-friendly Ecliptic, the phenomenal Israeli sandwiches at Wolf & Bear’s cart, the scoops at Ruby Jewel and the gorgeous, seasonal, wood-fired pizzas at Lovely’s Fifty Fifty.

A variety of dishes from Marukin Ramen in the Central Eastside Industrial hood including deep fried tiger shrimp, Japenese-style fried chicken, gyoza and ramen; Jannie Huang

Once your belly’s full, take a 15-minute walk to the bluff at Overlook Park to watch the sun set over the river. Then, head back and catch a band playing at the intimate bar/live-music venue Mississippi Studios, featuring a steady stream of touring indie musicians. DANIELLE CENTONI

Pine Street Market: 126 SW Second Ave.;
Lan Su Chinese Garden: 239 NW Everett St.; 503.228.8131;
Ground Kontrol: 511 NW Couch St.; 503.796.9364;
Kerr Bikes: 1020 SW Naito Pkwy.; 503.808.9955;

Salt and Straw: 838 NW 23rd Ave.; 971.271.8168;
Bamboo Sushi: 836 NW 23rd Ave.; 971.229.1925;
Ataula: 1818 NW 23rd Place; 503.894.8904;
St. Jack: 1610 NW 23rd Ave.; 503.360.1281;
Grassa: 1506 NW 23rd Ave.; 971.386.2196;
Lovejoy Bakers: 33 NW 23rd Place; 503.467.4067;
Boxer Ramen: 2309 NW Kearney St.;
Aria Portland Dry Gin: 2304 NW Savier St.;
Clear Creek Distillery: 2389 NW Wilson St.;
Bull Run Distilling Company: 2259 NW Quimby St.; 503.224.3483;
Forest Park:

The Commons Brewery: 630 SE Belmont St.;
Hair of the Dog: 61 SE Yamhill St.;
Stumptown: 100 SE Salmon St.; 503.808.9080;
Smith Teamaker: 110 SE Washington St.;
Jacobsen Salt Co.: 602 SE Salmon St.; 503.473.3952;
Alma: 1323 SE Seventh Ave.; 971.279.4133;
Boke Bowl: 1028 SE Water Ave.; 503.719.5698;
Biwa: 215 SE Ninth Ave.; 503.239.8830;
Marukin Ramen: 609 SE Ankeny St., Suite A; 503.894.9021
Noraneko: 1430 SE Water Ave.; 503.238.6356;
Kachka: 720 SE Grand Ave.; 503.235.0059;
Distillery Row:
House Spirits Distillery: 65 SE Washington St.;

Pok Pok: 3226 SE Division St.; 503.232.1387;
Whiskey Soda Lounge: 3131 SE Division St.; 503.232.0102
Bollywood Theater: 3010 SE Division St.; 503.477.6699;
Xico: 3715 SE Division St.; 503.548.6343;
Tidbit Food Farm and Garden: 2880 SE Division St.; Facebook, “Tidbit Food Farm”
Roman Candle: 3377 SE Division St.; 971.302.6605;
Lauretta Jean’s: 3402 SE Division St.; 503.235.3119;
Pinolo Gelateria: 3707 SE Division St.; 503.719.8686;

Ecliptic Brewing: 825 N Cook St.; 503.265.8002;
Wolf & Bear’s: 3925 N Mississippi Ave.; 503.453.5044;
Ruby Jewel: 3713 N Mississippi Ave.; 503.954.1345;
Lovely’s Fifty Fifty: 4039 N Mississippi Ave.; 503.281.4060;
Overlook Park:
Mississippi Studios: 3939 N Mississippi Ave.; 503.288.3895;

The Hotel Lucia
Downtown, 400 SW Broadway; 503.225.1717;; $179–$279
Makes a perfect home base for food lovers, sitting as it does above Imperial, one of the city’s top restaurants and bars. Even better, it offers guests free Oregon craft beers in the lobby from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. every day.

The Society Hotel
Old Town, 203 NW Third Ave.; 503.445.0444;; $120–$180
A newly renovated Euro-style lodging house that holds a special appeal for millennials, offering rooms that range from private with a shared bath to hostel-style bunks ($56.25 per person).


Vancouver, British Columbia’s dining scene is vast and world-class, from farm-to-fork restaurants to worth-the-wait noodle shops. It’s easy to be overwhelmed. On your next weekend road trip north, narrow your focus to a few new and unique food experiences that celebrate Vancouver’s dedication to locavore eating.*

Salmon gravlax hash with poached eggs and a beet and Postmark IPA purée at Belgard Kitchen; The Settlement Building

In Vancouver’s emerging, industrial-chic neighborhood, head to The Settlement Building, a gastronomic collective that houses The Belgard Kitchen. Executive chef Reuben Major’s meaty, Italian-inspired cuisine is bold and rustic. The grilled Postmark sausage board (featuring sausages, cured meat, cheese and more) and fiery shrimp spaghetti nero ($17 each) are a perfect match for the dimly lit lounge, with its oak barrels and exposed beams. The 7,700-square-foot Settlement Building also houses Vancouver Urban Winery, the city’s first boutique winery, and Postmark Brewing, a craft brewery and growler bar. (The Belgard Kitchen offers tasting menus for both.) 

A burger and beer from Timber; Nelson Mouëllic

Creamy soft serve at Soft Peaks;

On Robson Street near Vancouver’s West End, the folks behind Forage (the 5-year-old locavore restaurant with a strict no-waste policy) have opened Timber, which serves Canadian comfort food for conscientious sports fans. Say hello to the stuffed beaver at Timber’s door, then pick your seat based on which hockey game you want to catch on TV. Flannel-clad servers can explain the classics—the poutine ($12) is made with deeply flavorful vegetarian mushroom gravy—but your best bet is to just dig in, smug in the knowledge that no food, materials or extra energy was wasted in the making of your meal. Dip the fried Québécois cheese curds ($7) in house-made ketchup that’s made by the “fermenter-in-residence,” take down the giant bison burger ($18; beef is limited for sustainability purposes), or try the spiced, flaky take on tourtière ($20), the classically French Canadian game or fish pie. Just don’t expect your condiments to come in plastic squeeze bottles.

A display in The Capilano Tea House & Botanical Soda Co.; EYOÄLHA BAKER PHOTOGRAPHY

Burn off calories with a walk or bike ride (rent a bike at a number of shops, including Spokes Bicycle Rentals [] or Bayshore Rentals []) around the Stanley Park Seawall. The flat, 6-mile route is paved and provides excellent views of the North Shore and Lions Gate Bridge. Want a longer walk or ride? The seawall is part of the 17-mile Seaside Greenway, which stretches from the Vancouver Convention Centre to Spanish Banks Beach. Jessica Yadegaran and Jess Thompson

* all prices in Canadian dollars


Belgard Kitchen: Railtown, The Settlement Building, 55 Dunlevy Ave.; 604.699.1989;   
The Capilano Tea House & Botanical Soda Co.: Gastown, 221 Abbott St.; 604.428.7632;
Soft Peaks: Gastown, 25 Alexander St.; 604.559.2071;  
Timber: Downtown, 1300 Robson St.; 604.661.2166; 

Skwachàys Lodge
Downtown Eastside, 29/31 West Pender St.; 604.687.3589;; $209–$229
The 18 rooms in this boutique hotel were designed by local aboriginal artists. Just a few minutes’ walk from Gastown, the property also has 24 shelter-rate apartments for community members at risk of homelessness, a street-level fair trade gallery and a rooftop sweat lodge.

Rosewood Hotel Georgia
Downtown, 801 W Georgia St.; 604.682.5566;; $419–$492
A historic Roaring ’20s throwback and former retreat for Hollywood royalty, including John Wayne, Errol Flynn and Elvis Presley.

nt Kobau.

A highway winds through bucolic pastures and over gentle hills as it takes drivers west from Interstate 5 toward the historic port town of Astoria, Oregon. Grand and elegant buildings stand proudly, the heaving Columbia River ever present in the cool, salty air. Astoria is a town where artists thrive and characters abound.

Anglers and chic LA transplants alike sip coffee at Street 14, Micha and Jennifer Cameron-Lattek’s corner coffee shop, where everyone seems to know everyone else’s name.

Stop at Street 14 for coffee; Michael Cameron-Lattek (Street 14)

The couple—who bought the coffee shop attached to the Commodore Hotel in 2012 on a lark while they were still living in Berlin—started serving dinner (Thursdays–Saturdays) in the fall, and you’ll want to make a point of eating there. Chef Andrew Catalano comes to Astoria by way of New York City’s Gramercy Tavern and Maialino, and Portland’s Ned Ludd, and the ever-changing dinner menu (items include superb fish stew, freshly picked lettuces and garden produce in salads, house-made spaghetti cacio e pepe; entrée prices average about $20) is executed with precision and soul.

In fact, Astoria is increasingly a worthwhile destination for locally sourced foods. Consider having lunch on the pier at Clemente’s, a bright and airy spot with open-beamed ceilings, a peek-a-boo view of the river and the most remarkable crab cakes ($14) around. (One waiter said he’d seen folks return to have them again for dinner the same night.) A few steps down the pier at Frite & Scoop, Lisa and Kevin Malcolm serve small-batch ice cream ($2–$5.50) with house-made ingredients (for example, fresh lime curd swirled into sweet cream custard, and a life-changing rocky road with house-made marshmallows and Callebaut chocolate), alongside twice-fried Belgian frites ($4–$8) with a choice of dipping sauce (we like the malt vinegar aioli).

Enjoy classic fish and chips with beer also at Buoy Beer

Meander down a block to Imogen Gallery, which sells works by local potters, painters and woodworkers; then stop into Maiden Astoria, a “makers’ gallery,” to pick up a cozy, screen-printed fleece sweatshirt and browse locally made jewelry and art in a chic, bright storefront.

Brew hounds know to stop into Fort George Brewery for a Quick Wit, made with coriander and orange peel, enjoyed under the shade of an umbrella on the expansive outdoor patio. But locals may point you to the newer Buoy Beer Company, which is equally worth a pilgrimage, especially as its waterfront location offers an awesome view of the Astoria-Megler Bridge. When a craving for fish and chips (starting at $9) strikes—and it will—get in the queue (and bring cash) for a delicious version of this classic from The Bowpicker. It’s a bit of a cliquéd tourist trap, but the restaurant, in a converted gillnet boat, has been flash-frying fresh fish for decades, and it’s pretty hard to resist. ALLISON SCHEFF

Street 14: 1410 Commercial St.; 503.325.5511;
Clemente’s: 175 14th St., No. 180; 503.325.1067, Facebook, “Clemente’s Café”
Frite & Scoop: 175 14th St.; 503.468.0416;
Imogen Gallery: 240 11th St.; 503.468.0620;
Maiden Astoria: 255 14th St.;
Fort George Brewery: 1483 Duane St.; 503.325.7468;
Buoy Beer Company: 1 Eighth St.; 503.325.4540;
The Bowpicker: 1634 Duane St.; 503.791.2942;

The Cannery Pier Hotel & Spa
10 Basin St.; 503.325.4996;;, $309–$399
Built on a pier where a fish cannery once stood above the Columbia River, this hotel offers 46 rooms, each with updated, contemporary décor, a gas fireplace and a small balcony overlooking the river. An afternoon wine-and-cheese happy hour in the lobby, with its soaring two-story windows (or on the riverside patio, weather permitting), sets a festive tone. Best of all? The hotel offers complimentary chauffeured rides to downtown in a classic car. Just ask!

With a brewery, new dining options and culinary events, Eugene, Oregon, has graduated to become a food-focused destination.
In the past decade, anchored by Ninkasi Brewing, the restaurant Marché and the growth of the quirky Oregon Truffle Festival each winter, Eugene—home of the University of Oregon—has blossomed into a food town worthy of a full weekend visit. Begin your weekend by arriving on a Friday evening and pulling into Izakaya Meiji Company for a whiskey or sochu tasting and a late-night bowl of ginger-laced tonkotsu ramen before crashing at Inn at the 5th.

On Saturday morning, after a café au lait at the coffee shop inside Provisions Market Hall (a refined Oregon-centric grocery store and kitchenware shop), take a walk along the city’s extensive Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path, then spend the morning cruising the giant food- and craft-stuffed Eugene Saturday Market downtown, where you can taste ever-changing brews (think sours, cherry perry and juniper cider) from WildCraft Cider Works, whose fruit all comes from wild orchards nearby. For lunch, try the high-piled Reuben at Falling Sky Pour House & Delicatessen, which may be the first spot to successfully combine a beer brewery with a real Jewish deli.

A piled-high Reuben from Falling Sky

Saturday Market shoppers

Enjoy more beer and help celebrate Ninkasi’s 10th birthday by stopping at its tasting room to try the brews that don’t make it into bottles, such as its grapefruit sour, as well as occasional free classes and brewery tours (ask for Matt). Peruse the impeccably made shoes, belts and bags at Eugene-based Will Leather Goods (or toys at The Elephant’s Trunk Toy Company) before sitting down to the $35 four-course dinner at Grit, in the Whiteaker neighborhood’s historic Shamrock House. The next morning, after Oregon lox on rye at Marché ($12), peruse the nearby South Willamette Valley wine country for treats to take home—the sweet after-dinner Chardonnay from Iris Vineyards is not to be missed. JESS THOMSON

Dining at Falling Sky

Ninkasi Brewing: 272 Van Buren St.; 541.344.2739; Free lager class on August 25 at 3 and 5 p.m., reservations required at
WildCraft Cider Works: 390 Lincoln St.; 541.735.3506;
Iris Vineyards: 82110 Territorial Highway; 541.242.6588;
Marché: 296 E Fifth Ave.; 541.342.3612;
Izakaya Meiji Company: 345 Van Buren St.; 541.505.8804;
Provisions Market Hall: 296 E Fifth Ave.; 541.743.0660;
Falling Sky Pour House & Delicatessen: 790 Blair Blvd.; 541.653.9167;
Grit: 1080 W Third St.; 541.343.0501;
Will Leather Goods: 296 E Fifth Ave., Suite P1; 541.246.8650;
Elephant’s Trunk Toy Company: 296 E Fifth Ave., No. 230; 541.342.8548; Facebook, “The-elephants-trunk”
Oregon Truffle Festival: January 2017;
Eugene Saturday Market: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.;

Inn at the 5th
205 E Sixth Ave.; 541.743.4099;
It’s location, location, location. Although the parking-lot views aren’t exactly quaint, great service, well-appointed rooms ($209–$280), relaxing spa services and that location make this Eugene’s best choice.

Whidbey Island
Whidbey Island is one of those rare places—“gastronomagical,” I call them—where all manner of culinary delights seem to thrive. Organic produce. Beer. Wine. Seafood. Even award-winning cheese. Farmers and talented chefs have turned this 55-mile, sea-sprayed stretch of land into a foodie playground.

Tending sheep at Glendale Shepherd farm; Marco Ricca

My recent island tour started at Cadée Distillery, one block from the Clinton ferry terminal. In a tiny tasting room lined with handsome bottles, 20th-generation distiller and native Scotsman Colin Campbell led us through tastings of his small-batch spirits, including a citrusy gin and aged whiskeys (tastings $3–$5). Be sure to try the Cascadia rye whiskey, double barrel finished in French oak casks previously used for aging 20-year-old port.

With the salty ocean breezes still in our hair, my husband and I headed south to Glendale Shepherd, a family-owned dairy farm specializing in sheep’s milk cheeses and pasture-raised lamb. There we enjoyed free tastings of the exceptional artisanal cheeses (consider taking home the Tallulah, a smooth and nutty washed-rind, soft-ripened cheese) and unparalleled beauty of the woodsy farmstead. Tour and tastings are $20–$25, Monday–Saturday. From there, we headed north on State Route 525 to Oak Harbor for dinner at Frasers Gourmet Hideaway, a hidden gem that locals gush about. Behind the illuminated onyx chef’s counter, Scott Fraser crafts impressive French classics with a Salish Sea twist. His curry cream broth is a fragrant and delightful way to enjoy the island’s famous Penn Cove mussels ($12).

Whiskey choices from Cadée Distillery

Whidbey Island’s culinary glory was cemented for me on our second night, at Orchard Kitchen, a teaching kitchen and dining room in Langley. Chef and Whidbey native Vincent Nattress and his wife, Tyla, host convivial, prix fixe four-course dinners ($55–$65, Fridays and Saturdays) inside a rustic farmhouse using produce from their 5-acre organic farm. They also offer classes in cooking ($85) and wine tasting ($100) on Saturdays and Sundays, lunch included.

The Nattresses returned to the island in 2011 after years of running some pretty fantastic restaurants in Napa Valley (Roux, The Restaurant at Meadowood—another gastronomagical place, indeed). JESSICA YADEGARAN

Cadée Distillery: 8912 State Route 525, Clinton; 360.969.5565;
Orchard Kitchen: 5574 Bayview Road, Langley; 360.321.1517;
Frasers Gourmet Hideaway: dinner Tuesdays–Saturdays. 1191 SE Fidalgo St., Suite 101, Oak Harbor; 360.279. 1231;
Glendale Shepherd: 7616 Glendale Heights Road, Clinton; 360.579.1677;

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