Foodie Road Trip Pacific Northwest
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- Olympia, WA
- Central and Eastern Washington
- The Fruit Loop, Oregon
- Portland, Oregon
- Oregon coast
- Whidbey Island and Skagit Valley, WA
- How to plan
- Roadside assistance
- Cheap insurance
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.
Jerry’s roadside assistance membership offers flat tire assistance, fuel delivery, towing, and lockout help—so you don’t have to worry about getting stuck in Sasquatch territory. Make sure you also check out Jerry for all of your car insurance needs.
Pack some napkins and reusable cutlery, and let’s take off on this foodie road trip in the Pacific Northwest!
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 to go: 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.
What to do: Go to King Solomon’s Reef (a diner where Kurt Cobain ate). For a coffee shop, we like worker-owned New Moon. Left Bank Pastry will transport you to a Parisian patisserie, and Sofie’s Scoops is the best ice cream place in town.
Scope locally made cheeses at The Mouse Trap. For mollusks and fish, try Olympia Seafood Co. or Taylor Shellfish Farms.
Key Takeaway Your taste buds called—they said please don’t skip Olympia.
MORE: Road trip essentials
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 to go: 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 do: Go to Lake Wenatchee if you want the best restaurants. You could find plenty of classic diners just off the highway, like the 59er Diner in Leavenworth. Enjoy authentic Mexican food in Yakima, and 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. Colville Street Patisserie is a diamond in the rough.
Lake Wenatchee, Washington
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 to go: 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.
What to do: Go to the Apple Valley Country Store for scones and huckleberry milkshakes. Draper Girls Country Farm has the best cherries, apples, and cider (and goats!). For views of the mountain, Solera Brewery can’t be beaten—and their soups, salads, and sandwiches are good, too.
Key Takeaway In summer or fall, Oregon’s Fruit Loop offers nature’s bounty with a view.
Hood River, 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 to go: 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 do: Vegan Doe Doughnuts is a fun addition to the famous Voodoo and Blue Star Donuts, 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). Alberta and Mississippi Streets have mouthwatering BBQ and other Southern-style eats, like Southern Kitchen PDX. Meat-lovers should try out Beast.
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!
Portland Japanese Garden, Portland, Oregon
The coast of Oregon
Ragged and windswept, the Oregon coast is perfect for foodies who want to sample world-class seafood in between hikes among the redwoods.
Why to go: 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 do: Try Restaurant Beck in Depoe Bay, Yolk in Manzanita, The Schooner in Netarts Bay, and Nevor Shellfish Farm in Tillamook. 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!
- 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.
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 to go: 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 do: 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, and stop by Hudson’s Hamburgers in Coeur d’Alene for an old-fashioned meal. If it’s wine country you’re after, head to Snake River Valley.
- 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.
Key Takeaway Get out of your comfort zone to achieve ultimate foodie success.
Sawtooth Mountains, 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 to go: 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.
What to do: The Skagit Valley Co-Op in Mt. Vernon is one of the best in the country, and 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.
Coupeville, Whidbey Island, Washington
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.
There’s only one thing worse than being hangry, and that’s being hangry and stranded on the side of the road.
Get a roadside assistance membership with Jerry for only $6.99. It covers flat tire assistance, fuel delivery, towing, and lockout help. Don’t let anything interrupt your ultimate foodie road trip!
Finding cheap auto insurance
If you’re looking for a new insurance company, Jerry can provide you with competitive quotes in under a minute. Swapping is just as effortless. Jerry takes care of all the paperwork and phone calls and even cancels your old policy on your behalf!
“Jerry blew my mind, honestly. From start to finish, using the app took me 10 minutes, and I ended up with $100 of savings a month. Best of all, customer service answered all my questions about rental car reimbursement and roadside assistance.” ––Savanna R.
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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