While it gets national attention for its craft beer and outdoor adventure (and the fact that it is home to the very last Blockbuster store in the universe), Bend is also an excellent place to eat. No matter what you’re craving, from tacos and steak to Thai and Italian food, there’s a restaurant in Bend to satisfy.
But don’t take our word for it! See (and taste) for yourself with a visit to one of these incredible restaurants in Bend the next time a craving strikes.
Ariana (For Date Night)
Photo Courtesy of Ariana
Situated in an adorable craftsman bungalow on the west side of Bend, Ariana has been a popular fine dining destination for several years. Husband and wife team, Chef Andres and Ariana Fernandez, utilize the bounty of culinary products available in the Northwest in addition to ingredients from local farmers and purveyors right here in Central Oregon. Complete with an extensive wine list with a curated selection of Oregon and Washington wines, an array of signature cocktails, and of course, delightful food, Ariana is the perfect place to spend your date night or celebrate a special occasion.
Chow (For Breakfast)
Somehow Chow manages to encompass that warm feeling of waking up at someone’s home and being served a homemade breakfast with a hot cup of coffee. That may be because this breakfast joint is quite literally located in a house. Chow has become one of the most widely known breakfast and brunch spots in town, and one of the first restaurants to bring the “farm to fork” concept to Bend back in 2007. They partner with local purveyors to source the highest quality regional ingredients. Try the Buttermilk Biscuit ‘N’ Gravy, Huevos Rancheros, or one of their creative Benedicts!
Spork (For a Casual Lunch)
Once an Airstream food cart cruising the streets of Bend, Spork is now a casual, counter-serve eatery serving inventive, globally inspired fare. Here, you’ll find dishes from Latin America, Africa, Asia and beyond, all made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The menu is always changing at Spork to reflect the changing of seasons and ingredient availability. But what you’ll always find here is creativity, friendly service and a fun atmosphere. Don’t miss the Peanut Tomato Curry, the Thai Steak Salad or the Spicy Pork Noodles. One taste and you’ll soon find out why The New York Times called Spork “culinary magic”.
Barrio (For Latin Food)
Photo Courtesy of abd creative via Barrio
Paella is a staple in many Latin homes with traditions dating back to the 1800s in Valencia, Spain. Barrio opened their doors in 2012 and has been perfecting their paella recipe ever since, utilizing paella rice imported from Spain, housemade broth and sofrito (onion, tomato, garlic, smoked paprika, olive oil and Spanish saffron slow-cooked into a flavorful paste). Try paella — and other Latin staples — at this lively restaurant in the heart of downtown Bend. Don’t miss their happy hour Mondays through Saturdays from 3–5 p.m., when you can get $6 cocktails, $3 tacos, $7 nachos and many more deals.
Zydeco Kitchen & Cocktails (For Northwest Fare With a Southern Twist)
Experience Northwest cuisine with a Southern twist at Zydeco. Esteemed Chef Steve Helt utilizes quality ingredients that are hormone-free, pesticide-free and organic to craft delicious lunch and dinner menus (plus a gluten-free menu!). A few favorites on the menu include jambalaya, barbecue shrimp and the blackened redfish — and don’t skip the cocktails! Let’s just say there’s a reason “cocktails” is in the restaurant’s title.
Drake (For Comfort Food)
Situated in the historic corner of downtown, Drake offers a traditional dining experience with a twist. Enjoy everything from classic, nostalgic flavors to new and creative dishes — in the elegant brasserie-esque interior or while seated at the shaded outdoor tables. Drake’s elevated comfort food includes options like a spicy chicken sandwich, crispy topped mac and cheese, buttermilk fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and much more. And save some room for dessert; we have our eye on the salted caramel shake and the chef’s crème brûlée!
5 Fusion and Sushi Bar (For Asian Fusion)
Photo Courtesy of 5 Fusion and Sushi Bar
5 Fusion is a sleek, upscale eatery serving a variety of creative Asian fusion plates crafted by three-time James Beard semifinalist, Chef Joe Kim. The modern interior at 5 Fusion is just as inspired as the craft cocktails and inventive menu focused on sushi. Choose from authentic dishes, all artfully presented and expertly crafted. During their weekday happy hour from 4–6 p.m., enjoy discounted appetizers like edamame and assorted tempura and a number of sushi rolls — plus $3 Sapporo and $6 cocktails!
Bos Taurus (For Steak)
From the team that brought us 10 Barrel Brewing Co., Bos Taurus is a welcomed addition to Bend’s dining scene. This boutique, chef-driven American steakhouse is situated in the heart of downtown in a modern-industrial building. The open-air kitchen is where Chef George does his magic, creating meat-centric dishes using the highest quality beef from around the globe. He uses a custom cast-iron slab designed for the perfect sear. “Bos Taurus” is Latin for “bovine cattle” so the restaurant has plenty of beef to choose from, but there are also plenty of options for seafood lovers and vegetarians.
Wild Rose (For Thai)
You won’t find Pad Thai at Wild Rose, a family-run Northern Thai restaurant in downtown Bend. That’s because they serve authentic Northern Thai fare, including a staple you’ll find throughout the region, “khao niew”— which is sticky Jasmine rice meant to be eaten with your hands. In fact, you are encouraged to eat with your hands (or a utensil!) at Wild Rose, and you won’t find any chopsticks in sight. Their extensive menu is not divided into courses, but rather into separate categories that comprise a complete traditional meal, and dishes are designed for sharing! Don’t miss the turmeric clams or the creamy egg noodle curry soup called Khao Soi.
Fix & Repeat (For Healthy Food + Juice)
Photo Courtesy of Jed Bellefeuille via Fix & Repeat
When you just want a healthy, nourishing meal to counter your overindulgence or heavier meals, look no further than Fix & Repeat. This modern restaurant in The Box Factory serves delicious plant-based superfoods to power the active locals and visitors in Bend. Their menu is filled with a variety of smoothie bowls, toasts, macro bowls, juices, smoothies and other drinks, all designed to fuel your body. And better yet, Fix & Repeat means more than just fixing your body and repeating your sport again. They strive to fix the planet and our community by giving back to local organizations and minimizing the use of disposable products.
Bend Brewing Co. (For a Good Beer + a Meal)
Bend Brewing Co., most commonly known as BBC, is the second-oldest brewery in Bend, dating back to 1995. This long-standing community staple is located downtown right off the Deschutes River at Mirror Pond. Over the years, BBC has remained a major player in the booming craft beer world of Bend. The comfortable interior, airy patio, friendly service and of course — exceptional beers — make Bend Brewing Co. an excellent craft brewery. But many don’t realize they also offer a full food menu, which includes plenty of bar snacks like pretzels and nachos, soups, salads, sandwiches, and hearty entrees — plus, dessert, wine and cocktails in case you’re not a beer drinker!
Worthy Taps and Tacos (For Tacos)
Photo Courtesy of Worthy Taps and Tacos
This isn’t your typical taqueria. Worthy Taps & Tacos serves artful tacos providing an explosion of taste and color. Choose from their selection of nine tacos, from The Frida Kahlo (sweet potato, Oaxacan cheese, roasted poblano, tomatillo-avocado relish and fresh oregano on a corn tortilla) to the Taco Local Especial, a daily special taco made with ingredients from Central Oregon producers. The menu is from Kyle Nicholson, a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef who is dedicated to working with local farms to source as many ingredients as possible. Pair your creative taco with one of their handcrafted beers brewed with local or regional hops at their other location across town.
Salute (For Italian)
Salute is a brand new addition to the Bend restaurant scene — and we’re so glad they’re here. This contemporary Italian restaurant is serving modern Italian food, classic cocktails and exceptional wine in the downtown space that used to house Citizen. Here, you’ll find dishes like spaghetti bolognese, homemade pastas, lemon and amaretto grilled prawns, housemade tiramisu and classic cannoli, all served in an intimate and comfortable environment.
What Bend restaurants are we missing out on? Let us know in the comments below!