Foodie Road Trip Pacific Northwest

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  • The Pacific Northwest is bursting with edible treasures, from coastal seafood to ancient prairie orchards. You can also find a ton of top-rated (and Instagram-famous) foodie spots around every corner in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
Whether you have a few hours or a few days to explore, we’ve got you covered.
We’d hate for you to get a flat tire—and then get hangry—while driving around exploring the apple groves. That’s why we recommend that you have roadside assistance before you head out. You can get a roadside assistance membership with Jerry for only $6.99.
Pack some napkins and reusable cutlery, and let’s take off on this foodie road trip in the Pacific Northwest!
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Olympia, WA

Located an hour and a half from Seattle, Olympia is an essential stop for a foodie road trip in the Pacific Northwest. The city is set on incredibly rich land and its culture of creativity and innovation has generated tasty (and sustainable) dishes that highlight the region’s best ingredients in surprising ways.

Why go to Olympia

The last of a saturated sunset over Olympia gives white boats at a dock a blue tint.
Olympia, Washington
You’ll be surprised by the diversity of foods as well as the quality. It’s not all rough and tumble, dirt-covered produce here (although you’ll find that, too). Come here to experience true passion for local foods, innovative combinations, and farm-to-table and foraged goods.
Plus, it’s got some of the best mushrooms, oysters, and raw dairy in the country.

Where to eat in Olympia

  • King Solomon's Reef ($): Go to King Solomon’s Reef (a diner where Kurt Cobain ate) for a vintage diner experience.
  • New Moon ($$): For a coffee shop, we like worker-owned New Moon.
  • Sweet stops: Left Bank Pastry will transport you to a Parisian patisserie, and Sofie’s Scoops is the best ice cream place in town.

Central and Eastern Washington

From the Tri-Cities on the Columbia River to the irrigated desert near Wenatchee, foodies should head east to escape the crowds and discover world-class food and wine in picturesque settings.

Why go to Central and Eastern Washington

Mountains frame a view of the open sky over Lake Wenatchee, Washington. People lounge by the lake and soak in the daylight.
Lake Wenatchee, Washington
It’s a bit of a trek if you’re coming from Seattle, but this area is the agricultural heart of the state. The food is great and you’ll get to eat it amidst beautiful scenery, either along the stunning Columbia River or the stark desert of Central Washington.

What to eat

  • Wildflour ($$): Go to Lake Wenatchee if you want the best restaurants. Wildflower is a great option for seasonal handmade pasta dishes.
  • 59er Diner ($$): You could find plenty of classic diners just off the highway, like the 59er Diner in Leavenworth.
  • Thorp Fruit and Antique Mall: Be sure to stop by the Thorp Fruit and Antique Mall warehouse.
  • Walla Walla is the place to go for tasting rooms from the area’s wineries. Here's a guide to get started on wine from the area.
  • Colville Street Patisserie ($$): Colville Street Patisserie is a diamond in the rough for homemade pastries, gelato, and even beer!

The Fruit Loop, Oregon

Fertile soil and a long history of land conservation have created the perfect conditions for fruit trees in Hood River, Oregon. Try to avoid the high season (tourists) if you can.

Why go to the Fruit Loop

A few people walk along a stretch of pedestrian walkway next to the Hood River, Oregon.
Hood River, Oregon
This 35-mile scenic loop in Hood River just off the Columbia River is perfect for a slow, lazy drive. You’ll be rewarded with great orchards and the freshest fruits. Plus, there’s something to enjoy in nearly every season.

Where to eat at the Fruit Loop

  • Apple Valley Country Store ($$): Go to the Apple Valley Country Store for scones and huckleberry milkshakes.
  • Draper Girls Country Farm: Draper Girls Country Farm has the best cherries, apples, and cider (and goats!).
  • Solera Brewery For views of the mountain, Solera Brewery can’t be beaten—and their soups, salads, and sandwiches are good, too.

Portland, Oregon

The hype is real. Don’t let Portland’s reputation as a foodie destination turn you off. There is plenty to discover in the alleys, pop-ups, and even the famous restaurants located in the City of Roses.

Why go to Portland

Portland’s food scene is constantly changing. From doughnuts to fancy vegan food as well as a crackling food cart scene, you are guaranteed to be satisfied—no matter your diet. On top of great food, Portland offers plenty of ways to keep busy, from the International Rose Test Garden to the Portland Japanese Garden.

What to eat in Portland

A plate of miniature donuts sits next to a wooden board holding a variety of labeled iced drinks.
A tasting flight at Pip's Doughnuts, Portland
  • Doe Donuts ($): Vegan Doe Doughnuts is a fun addition to the famous Voodoo and Blue Star Donuts.
  • Pip's ($): Pip’s is another great choice for doughnuts and they’re very involved with the community (but get there early to avoid the long line).
  • BBQ spots: Alberta and Mississippi Streets have mouthwatering BBQ and other Southern-style eats, like Southern Kitchen PDX.
  • If you're tired of American food: Locals are obsessed with Kachka for Russian dumplings, Tusk for incredible Middle Eastern food, and Broder Nord for Scandinavian brunch. Don’t miss the food cart pods downtown and east of the River!

The Oregon Coast

Ragged and windswept, the Oregon coast is perfect for foodies who want to sample world-class seafood in between hikes among the redwoods.

Why go to the Oregon Coast

A man walks down old railway tracks and toward the forest of Tillamook, Oregon.
Tillamook, Oregon
You’ll enjoy seafood right off the sea, gorgeous vistas, and plenty of natural foods. The hippie crowd mixing with the small-town dive scene in this area has created an interesting selection of foods and flavors.

What to eat on the Oregon Coast

  • Beck ($$): Try Restaurant Beck in Depoe Bay for ocean dining views and dishes with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients.
  • Yolk ($$): In the mood for brunch? Hit up Yolk in Manzanita for all-day breakfast.
  • Seafood spots: A trip to the coast would be incomplete without seafood. Hit up The Schooner in Netarts Bay for the experience and Nevor Shellfish Farm in Tillamook.
  • The Nest Cafe ($): We also love The Nest Cafe in Port Orford, where the majority of items on your plate will be from the farm up the hill or the dock down the street). Make sure to save some time for hikes!

Pro tips

  • Car camping is a great way to save money while road tripping along the coast.
  • Coastal roads are generally safe, but roadside assistance is a smart (and cheap) way to set your mind at ease.
  • Rain doesn’t stop most places from opening, but it’s always worth calling ahead to confirm hours.

Idaho

There’s a lot more to Idaho than potatoes. From its northern forests on the Canadian border to the surprisingly complex palate of Boise, Idaho is ready to enchant your tastebuds.

Why go to Idaho

The Sawtooth Mountains form a valley shape behind a body of water in Idaho.
Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho
Rough around the edges in all the best ways, Idaho has a lot to offer: game meat, incredible fish (like rainbow trout), huckleberries, and even Basque food in Boise. Plus, it’s under the radar for most PNW foodies who head straight to Seattle or Portland.

What to eat in Idaho

  • Boise Fry Company ($): The Sawtooth Mountains offer lots of fishing and camping, and you’ll get to see where local chefs obtain their ingredients. Sample fries at Boise Fry Company.
  • Hudson's ($): Stop by Hudson’s Hamburgers in Coeur d’Alene for an old-fashioned meal.
  • For regional wines: If it’s wine country you’re after, head to Snake River Valley. Here's a guide to get started.

Pro tips

  • Wildfires are prevalent, so check weather conditions ahead of time.
  • You’ll find something to eat in every season, but summer is the best time to head to Idaho.

Honorable mention: Whidbey Island and the Skagit Valley, WA

Just 40 minutes north of Seattle is the Skagit Valley. There’s a thrilling mixture of historic techniques and new inventions happening in the food scene here. We think it’s worth the trip.

Why go to Whidbey Island and the Skagit Valley

Bright houses sit on the water near Coupeville, Whidbey Island. A bridge on the right leads into the town.
Coupeville, Whidbey Island, Washington
Enjoy incredible farm-fresh food while exploring rolling farmland and views of the Cascades. Pay close attention to the influence of Coastal Salish indigenous peoples as well as Dutch settlers.

Where to eat

  • Skagit Valley Co-op: The Skagit Valley Co-Op in Mt. Vernon is one of the best in the country.
  • Calico Cupboard: The Calico Cupboard is a famous brunch spot in La Conner right on the Skagit River where you can eat massive cinnamon rolls outside.
  • Take the ferry to Whidbey Island and stop by Whidbey Pies in Greenbank and Three Sisters Market in Coupeville. We recommend a sunset picnic at Deception Pass.

How do I plan a foodie road trip?

The best foodie road trips take planning. Here are some things to keep in mind:
  • Start by choosing what type of food you want to try (i.e. affordable and under-the-radar or Michelin Star-quality). Perhaps you are on a mission to find the best apple pie in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Now, commit to a length. Is this a half-day trip, a weekender adventure, or a week-long pilgrimage? This area of the country offers tons of outdoor recreation, and it’s well worth setting aside time to hike in addition to your foodie stops, if possible.
  • Make sure you have a roadside assistance membership. Before you hit the road, sign up for a roadside assistance membership with Jerry. Features include lockout services, towing, and even Uber credits—so you don’t miss your reservation!
  • Check the Yelp reviews. Sometimes restaurants change hands or hire new chefs and it doesn’t go to plan.
  • Don’t forget to make reservations and double-check operating hours. The "Closed" sign is a foodie’s worst nightmare. Enough said.
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FAQs

Where is the best vegetarian food in the Pacific Northwest?

Although the PNW places a major emphasis on seafood, vegetarians can find great food in every major city in the Pacific Northwest. Try locally foraged mushroom dishes or anything with asparagus and barley.

How should I handle parking on a foodie road trip?

Some cities are notoriously difficult (or expensive) when it comes to parking. One option is to stay outside the city, park your car, and use public transit to get around. Another option is to find a hotel that offers parking.
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