Bend has long been known as a place for outdoor adventure and lots of sunshine, but its status as a food and drink city is also emerging. In recent years, chefs, restaurateurs, and critics have taken notice of Bend’s exciting growth in the restaurant world. The meat-and-potatoes moniker is fading with the introduction of restaurants serving A5 wagyu steaks, Korean ssam, and unforgettable northern Thai delights. Below, find a list of killer spots to hit between hikes, ski trips, or days on the river. This map of Bend's finest breweries may be a better fit for those seeking a brew in one of the country’s best beer towns, and for more options nearby, this Sunriver map may help.Read More
20 Exceptional Restaurants in Bend, Oregon
Find the most enticing restaurants in this Central Oregon vacation destination
The Sparrow Bakery Northwest
While the Sparrow bakery has opened a location in Portland, the Northwest Crossing location is now the only one in Bend. Visitors get messy fingers when arugula oil drips from the breakfast sandwich stacked on a flaky Sparrow croissant. Other savory sandwiches on Sparrow breads include the croque monsieur on brioche and lox-topped bagels, but the stars here are the pastries. Don’t miss the famous ocean roll, a flaky laminated pastry layered with cardamom vanilla sugar that is best eaten fresh at the bakery.
In an unassuming strip mall behind a gas station, this elegant Italian restaurant will transport you to chef Juri Sbandati’s home in Tuscany. Photos of bicycles and the Florence city crest add to the feeling of an Italian getaway, where the tagliatelle and pappardelle are hand-made and topped with traditional Bolognese or Chiantigiana, a Chianti-based sauce with Italian sausage and fennel. Steak, pork, and pan-seared fish make up the secondi, along with giant polpette meatballs made from the Sbandati family recipe.
Situated in a quaint cottage on busy Galveston Avenue, Ariana has been the cornerstone of fine dining in Bend for 18-plus years. Husband-wife duo Andrès and Ariana Fernandez have continually created refined food with an understated complexity. Servers bring creative dishes with the utmost professionalism: For example, squab here arrives dramatically presented under a smokey glass dome, paired with a balanced, surprisingly delicate fois gras jus with chanterelles and butter potatoes. Reservations open at midnight 30 days out, or walk-in diners can eat at the bar.
Chow’s customers and their dogs mill around out front near the giant fork that holds this Northwest Newport Avenue restaurant’s metal scrap sign. Indoors, the earthy cottage pop-culture-inspired paintings hang in stark juxtaposition. Chef and owner David Touvel grows ingredients for the menu in the restaurant’s garden, which transform into things like salmon kale salads and seasonal fruit compotes over French toast. House-made bread accompanies dishes like poached eggs and thick-cut bacon, piled on steamed spinach and a cornmeal-crusted tomato. Cheesy bacon cheddar grits are a must-order side. For lunch, pick from honey-truffle-fried chicken sandwiches, smash burgers, Chow mac and cheese, or salads that are even better when just picked.
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Bosa Food & Drink
This lively osteria on Galveston is upscale but casual, modeled after the feel of Ava Gene’s in Portland. The menu features European wine-friendly food with pasta dishes originating in northern Italy. Like all Bosa’s pasta, the tagliatelle is made fresh daily and served with ground pork and beef ragu, complemented by a spectrum of herbs. It pairs exceptionally well with a glass of Chianti and amazingly light focaccia with whipped butter, parsley, and chives.
Kanpai has made some of the best sushi in Bend for 18 years, and the new head sushi chef, Luke Baker, has taken it up a notch. While the menu items are excellent, letting Baker take the reigns will get you such delights as hamachi with tempura-fried jalapeños in a Thai chile vinaigrette. Or order the suggestively named Orgasm, a roll of tempura unagi, crab, and cucumber topped with a creamy sauce, fresh scallop, and avocado, plus a drizzle of sweet soy reduction. Don’t miss the slightly seared filet mignon nigiri with melted rich uni butter and house-made wasabi. Choose an eight-course omakase and get an extraordinary house-made ice cream and cheesecake dessert with crispy eel, freeze-dried honey, and various sauces. The ganache sauce with peanut butter chocolate ice cream adds the perfect touch for chocolate lovers. Reservations are recommended.
Named for the Karate Kid master, this Industrial Way restaurant is as stylish as it is exceptional. Local artist Richard Yozamp provided the expansive art piece that gives the small restaurant a hip feel, and a garage-door window wall rises to open up the space on nice days. Miyagi offers a choice of three ramen, including a smoked shiitake-cashew-based soup; pea shoots, spicy tofu, pickled shiitake, and more create a mesh of umami, salty, sour, and sweet. Meat eaters can add a soft egg and chashu pork belly for protein and richness. Those that aren’t up for soup can choose from yakitori skewers, rice bowls, and fat, stuffed steam buns.
Lady Bird Cultural Society
While Bend casual is accepted, Lady Bird is a place diners can don their best attire at this nod to chic French elegance, with a wall of whooping cranes and gilded parrot lamps. Chef John Guernee left Drake to open his dream restaurant located in the Old Mill; there, he adopted a wood-fired oven perfect for springy, thick-crust pizza with ingredients like fior di latte mozzarella; opt for the Fluffhead mushroom pizza, which plays wild mushrooms against rosemary cream and truffle oil. Hand-rolled cavatelli has a satisfying chew, covered in a smooth “alla norma” red sauce with roasted eggplant cubes and calabrese sausage, cooled and balanced with whipped ricotta.
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The Lemon Tree
Lemon Tree is a bright little breakfast and lunch spot at the edge of downtown Bend, where you’ll find a bustling group of diners eating inside and outdoors. Chefs and owners Jaclyn Perez and Betsy McDonald met working on mega-yachts cruising around the world, where they honed the subtleties of the global cuisine you’ll find here. Breakfast includes subtly spiced dishes like Tunisian shakshuka and Indonesian fried rice dish nasi goreng. The cafe’s coronation salad may be the best salad in Bend. Choose a foamy latte with a pastry baked fresh daily or one of the restaurant’s refreshing cocktails.
5 Fusion & Sushi Bar
Greeted by a “river” flowing through its glass bank overhead, 5 Fusion has long had one of the most creative menus in Bend, led by executive chef Sascha Lyon who came from some of the best restaurants in Los Angeles and New York (we’re talking Daniel and Balthazar). Be ready to swoon when savoring the miso cod lettuce cups, spicy miso Japanese eggplant, or seared Atlantic sea scallops. The bluefin tuna tataki with Puna Gardens hearts of palm, watermelon radish, heirloom tomatoes, endive, and cilantro vinaigrette is fresh on the palate. Pair it with one of the best cocktails or mocktails in Bend.
While Bos Taurus is elegant dining at its best, diners dress in everything from Uggs to cocktail attire when they visit the modern industrial-designed restaurant. Here, visitors order fresh or dry-aged steaks from the best ranches in the country — think: Cedar River Farms rib-eyes and Allen Brothers porterhouses — with notes on location, cut, and breed. The piece de resistance is the Wagyu Japanese Miyazaki A5 New York strip loin or Kyoto A5 tenderloin, gorgeously marbled and truly melt-in-your-mouth tender. Bos Taurus is just as serious about how its steaks are cut, coming to the table with a box of knives so diners can choose a light one made with Samurai blades or heavy burlwood with blue steel. Meals should start with chef and owner George Morris’s beautiful cured hamachi with spicy ponzu gel and an order of crispy duck confit; finish with the lusciously creamy decadence of butterscotch pudding budino with foie gras.
Inside this historic, two-story brick building in the center of downtown, 900 Wall is a favorite with longtime locals. Executive chef Cliff Eslinger uses locally sourced, responsibly grown ingredients to prepare things like duck cassoulet and Vaquero Valley Ranch & Apricot Farms meatballs, as well as house charcuterie like chicken liver pate and mortadella. The daily happy hour from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. offers wild shrimp or oysters on the half shell, as well as fried green beans. Those in the know won’t miss the fluffy beignets with dipping sauce for dessert.
Aptly named, the gluten-free cakes and pastries are blissful at this Newport Avenue restaurant open for breakfast and lunch. Starting July 20th, a “high-end” speakeasy will be open Thursday through Saturday evenings serving cocktails, Dom Perignon, fancy tapas, and desserts. Owner Kamal Bekkari is from Morocco and owns the restaurant with wife, Miki, serving both nutty-sweet almond friands and Moroccan shakshuka with baked eggs and harissa-forward red peppers and tomatoes. Other standouts are the light-as-air waffles, sweet-and-savory bacon and egg tartlet, and the delicate jambon au beurre. Eat in or grab some pastries and homemade granola to go.
Zydeco Kitchen & Cocktails
Inside Zydeco’s elegant and bustling space lies one of Bend’s most consistent and popular restaurants. For 19 years, Zydeco has served Northwestern food with a Louisiana flair. Along with enticing options like jambalaya and blackened redfish, visitors will find dishes like vegetable risotto and a delicate beet salad with goat cheese and pistachios. The upscale bar is a great place to try one of its creative cocktails, best accompanied by barbecue shrimp and grits — get extra bread, as that sauce is worth wiping the plate clean. For dessert, the Zydeco carrot cake is the best in town. Zydeco also offers a full gluten-free menu.
Wild Rose Northern Thai Eats
This family-run Northern Thai downtown gem exudes a quirky, energetic atmosphere well-paired with vibrant, spicy food. Servers bring Grandfather’s tom kha soup, laden with creamy coconut and lemongrass, accompanied by a Sterno and ladle to serve the table. Delightful turmeric clams come with sticky rice meant to be eaten with your hands. Or, visitors can choose a nutty, flavorful brown rice to go with kabocha squash curry. The wait here can be long for dinner, so reservations are recommended — and so is a peek at the rotating specials board. Customers can order takeout, make a reservation for indoor dinner seating, or walk in for lunch.
This sleek, black-and-grey modern Korean restaurant has the vibe of a restaurant in a much larger city, likely due to chef Joe Kim’s time at Michelin-starred big-city restaurants like the French Laundry and Alinea. Kim has been a three-time James Beard semifinalist for his creative and meticulously executed dishes. He’s turned his talent to his favorite dishes from childhood, and diners can sample them in the nightly dinner tasting menu. Banchan includes multiple styles of house kimchi, made with everything from fermented fennel to apple; from there, diners opt for ssam choices like crispy duck and dak-twigim, or fried chicken thighs, with accompaniments like red leaf lettuce, toasted seaweed, or sesame leaf. The bibimbap is an expert balance of flavors, served in a hot granite dolsot bowl that continues to crisp the rice through the meal.
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The Jackalope Grill
The Jackalope Grill’s new owners, Laura Bliss and chef Kelly Day of Sunriver’s South Bend Bistro, have settled in and are making the restaurant their own. Day split their time between the restaurants, tackling Jackalope mainstays like escargots and truffle radiatori while also adding some lovely touches to the new menu. The pan-roasted elk has been elevated with a Bordelaise blackberry and pomegranate sauce, while Day’s sea scallop starter is nestled on sweet parsnip puree, but is prepared with such a delicate hand that it’s not rich or overpowering. The roasted bone marrow could convert anyone who has shied away from the delicacy, canoe-cut bones topped with sweet bacon-caramelized onion jam and garlic confit that plays against the savory marrow. The intimate, dark indoor dining and the outdoor garden courtyard provide an elegant yet casual atmosphere ideal for date night or a special occasion.
Chi offers traditional and elegantly plated modern variations on traditional Chinese food. Chef Di Long adds delicate complexities to common Chinese dishes like walnut shrimp lightly brushed with cornstarch and steamed broccoli smothered in honey-sweet cream sauce with a hint of lemon. Long previously owned La Magie pastry shop, and her talent carries over to the dessert menu; don’t miss the pastry case on the way out if dessert wasn’t part of dinner. In the summer months, outdoor dining is available on a fenced patio. Once a month, Chi is also the only place to get house-made dim sum in Bend; keep an eye on Instagram for details.
Rockin' Dave's Bistro & Backstage Lounge
Located on Greenwood around midtown Bend, Rockin’ Dave Flier smiles in front of a green record album on the restaurant’s sign. His playful passion for music is obvious in his service, as well, asking customers the name of their favorite band or artist to identify their order placed at the counter. Flier makes the best bagels in town, which diners order as a breakfast sandwich or to take home. Smoked pork belly breakfast burritos can come wrapped in spinach tortillas, and Flier smokes Northwest beef for his pastrami and corned beef; the restaurant’s bread is also baked in-house, including the rye used in Rockin’ Dave’s knockout Reuben.
In a Mountain View development on Cushing Drive, Chao Lay celebrates the cuisine of its namesake, the Indonesian migrant fishing community living on the Thai island of Koh Lipe. Chef Prang Rothenberger grew up on Koh Lipe, and meals at Chao Lay incorporate the eclectic nature of the nomadic community’s culinary identity — meals may start with satay or crispy fried pork belly, before transitioning to khao man gai or whole fried trout garnished with fried garlic. The nom jin, a curry noodle soup with chicken and cucumbers, is a particular standout, brightened with the addition of pickled vegetables.