An hour’s drive east from Portland, in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge, Hood River is primarily seen as a destination for outdoor adventure sports with a side of stellar river and mountain views. From hiking or skiing on nearby Mount Hood to world-class windsurfing and kiteboarding on the mighty Columbia, the wealth of adventurous things to do often overshadows Hood River’s other strength: its culinary scene.
Thanks to the Hood River Valley — an agricultural powerhouse full of orchards, farms, and cool-climate wineries with views of the Cascades and Mount Hood — dining in Hood River is the epitome of farm-to-table. Fresh produce, locally-reared meat, and bounties of apples, pears, cherries, and other fruits inspire hyper-seasonal dishes and meals reflecting the unique terroir and flavors of the Gorge. Hood River’s fresh fruits are almost the lifeblood of the area, working their way into everything from food to ciders to beers to, yes, the wine. Thanks to pioneering microbreweries, Hood River was one of the first big beer towns in Oregon and remains so to this day, with more than 10 local breweries pouring plenty of beer for that post-hike refresher. All these local ingredients and a young, diverse population fuel a truly international dining scene, ranging from Scandinavian fare to Chilean street food.
Whether you’re craving juicy fish tacos or just a good gooey pizza after a hike, these restaurants, food carts, breweries, and distilleries have some of the best eats and drinks around Hood River. And while you’re in town, be sure to drive or bike around the valley’s Fruit Loop, a 35-mile scenic route connecting farmstands, wineries, lavender farms, and you-pick orchards and fields.
Note: Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.Read More