10 Best Places To Eat in Central Oregon
I chose these 10 places as the best places to eat in Central Oregon because of several factors - most importantly the food and the service, also the overall ambiance and cleanliness of the restaurant and the prevailing atmosphere, and also in part due to the fact that most of these restaurants are pretty pet-friendly.
I have personally dined at all these restaurants and found them to be more than accommodating on days when it is way too hot to leave dogs in the car. Some restaurants are more 'pet tolerant' than pet friendly but overall, I give them all 2 thumbs up for indulging folks and their pets - keeping in mind that pets should be well-behaved.
Best Places for Breakfast
There are 2 restaurants that come to mind for me when I think of best breakfast in Central Oregon. My first pick is McKay's Cottage located in Bend. McKay's was once the home of one of Oregon's senators and the house/now restaurant was moved to its present location. It is a restaurant that combines excellent service and fantastic food with a home-like atmosphere - whether you are sitting inside at the cottage with its lovely fireplace and wood floors or you are lounging outside (with your malamutes) at a table on the spacious lawn under the trees in the glorious Central Oregon sun.
While breakfast is my favorite meal here, they also do a wonderful lunch and are open from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. every day of the week. For breakfast, the oatmeal pancakes are to die for as are most of their dishes - like stuffed French toast - but you haven't lived until you've tried some of their homemade scones!
McKay's also does private evening events such as rehearsal dinners, business dinners, etc. and the atmosphere for these events is wonderful as well whether held inside or out.
This restaurant is definitely pet-friendly and keeps water bowls at the ready for canine customers who dine with their human counterparts! You will not leave McKay's hungry! Take something home from the bakery as well for a snack later. Their burgers are among my husband's favorite burgers around town!
The Alpenglow Cafe has moved to a new building but the quality of the food has always been stellar. Alpenglow does not have as much spacious seating for outdoor dining as McKay's Cottage, but we have managed to eat outside with our 2 malamutes in tow a couple of times. The cafe is very accommodating as far as making sure their restaurant is kid friendly as well as being as pet friendly as possible with the space available.
They have a very extensive breakfast menu from Huevos Rancheros to omelettes to smoked salmon benedict and also serve up great pancakes, waffles and frittatas. For the smaller appetite, continental breakfast choices are available.
Lunch at Alpenglow has many offerings as well such as
soups, salads of all kinds, sandwiches galore and burgers. Alpenglow serves from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. daily.
couldn't be fresher at Alpenglow as they fresh squeeze their orange juice, use only meats and fish that have been smoked within Deschutes County, use zero frozen fruits and vegetables, and bake their own breads
daily. Add to that organic coffee and you've got a great place for breakfast.
Best Places for Lunch
VILLAGE BAKER (EAST AND WEST SIDES)
Some of the best places in Central Oregon are open for lunch and dinner but the Village Baker is only open through early afternoon. Stop in for a cup of coffee and their delicious fresh granola in the mornings along with some of their fantastic baked goods - or stop by for lunch and have a turkey sandwich with cherry salsa on their homemade wheat levain bread.
The Village Baker now has 2 locations (the original bakery which is located on the west side of town where they bake their breads round the clock and the newer location on the east side called The East Village where they do most of their soup cooking, etc.)
For years, the Village Baker has supplied many Bend restaurants with their wonderful breads and rolls - their cibatta rolls are some of the best you'll ever taste!
You can buy breads, cookies, rolls, and all kinds of tasty baked treats at either location. Both locations serve their signature chicken soup with rosemary and several other hearty soups - and of course you can order any number of fresh made sandwiches. Try a half sandwich and a cup of their homemade soup and you'll be delighted!
Both locations have a few tables outside for seating weather permitting and well-behaved dogs are welcome to lay in wait for crumbs!
PILOT BUTTE DRIVE-IN
Reminiscent of the old days when drive-ins were 'the thing', Pilot Butte Drive-in is a great place to go for a burger! You certainly won't walk away hungry and in fact, you may be waddling away if you decide on their 18 ounce burger!
Pilot Butte Drive-in is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner - 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. 7 days per week. The drive-in really is a drive-in so you can comfortably sit in your car and order up on the speaker box or you can go on inside and order and eat your meals.
run the gamut from eggs to pancakes to specialty omelettes while lunch is an indulgence for the burger-minded. Try one of their gourmet burgers like the Blue Cheeseburger or the Ortega Cheeseburger. You won't be disappointed as their burgers are revered in Central Oregon as top of the line! If you are not of the burger persuasion, salads, soups and dogs are also available.
Remember those root beer floats? They also have those along with a great variety of milk shakes.
Best Places for Dinner
Actually all these restaurants are open for both lunch and dinner and I highly recommend their food, their service, and for the most part have found them to be very pet-friendly, again with the caveat that pets should be well mannered.
ANTHONY'S AT BEND
Anthony's at Bend is part of the Anthony's Homeport chain that is so popular in Washington state. When they opened a restaurant in Bend, we were ecstatic. If you want great seafood, Anthony's is the place to go. They are open 7 days a week and the restaurant is located on the Deschutes River in the Old Mill District of Bend. Not only is the food fantastic but the views are spectacular!
You can dine at Anthony's on Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and have brunch. Lunch Monday through Saturday is from 11:30 to 4:00 p.m. Dinners are served 4:00-9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and Friday and Saturday from 4:00-10:30 p.m.
Anthony's has a delicious menu revolving mainly around seafood but they also offer beef dishes as well as salads, their famous clam chowder (served in a bread bowl if you'd like), and great seafood choices such as seafood pastas, salmon burgers, or alder-plank salmon to name but a few.
If you pop into Anthony's between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m., they have a delicious happy hour menu with salmon sliders and beef sliders for under $5 among other delectable offerings - and they also offer Sunset dinners Monday through Friday 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. for $18.95. Sunset dinners are 4-course dinners you don't want to miss for that price!
Anthony's has a large outdoor seating area and many a sunny afternoon, we have requested and been granted table seating with 2 malamutes where we enjoyed the food, a good glass of wine and the folks strolling by beside the Deschutes River or floating by in rafts!
Baltazar's is one of those restaurants you stumble upon that become a favorite overnight and that you long to go back to again and again. The 'problem' with Baltazar's though is that you have to space yourself because the food is so absolutely delicious you can hardly keep from overeating - and the portions are huge!
Baltzar's is a Mexican seafood restaurant and they definitely know what they are doing in terms of combining seafood with typical Mexican dishes. I am still trying to recreate their chipotle cream sauce that they serve with their spinach enchiladas and their swordfish fajitas.
The restaurant is open 7 days per week for lunch and dinner. The lunch portions are somewhat smaller than their dinner portions but they are still more than adequate. They serve tri-colored chips and salsa which doesn't help when it comes time for the entrée! Lunch is served at Baltzar's Monday through Friday 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Dinner seating starts at 4:30 and they are open until 8:30 Sundays through Thursdays; Saturday and Sunday dinner hours are 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Baltazar's has a nice outdoor seating area but since we mostly visit this restaurant in the winter, we've never yet sat outside with our dogs or asked to be seated there. It is a wonderful dining experience and you won't believe the platters!
Cafe Alfresco is located in Redmond, Oregon which is about 15 miles north of Bend. This adorable little restaurant is a converted house that actually used to be the famous Mustard Seed Cafe for years. It then changed owners and survived okay but now that it has become Cafe Alfresco, it has flourished and we hope it is there for a good long time to come!
The menu at Cafe Alfresco is mainly Italian and they are open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. Lunch hours are 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and dinner hours 5:00 p.m. to close.
The Cafe Alfresco menu serves up tasty dishes like Chicken Alfredo or Chicken Parmesan that are absolutely delicious accompanied with Tuscan bread and wonderful green salads - but they also serve up sandwiches like their Chicken Parmesan Sandwich which my husband is personally hooked on and has to keep going back for more!
They have an array of fantastic desserts, a full bar and also a beautiful little patio for outdoor seating weather permitting. We have been privileged to be allowed to sit outside with our malamutes in summer and dine - what a wonderful way to eat out.
During the summer months, Cafe Alfresco also has had live performances such as plays and music on the patio which is a unique addition to dining out and much enjoyed by all.