Bend & Central Oregon Dining Guide

Restaurants in Bend & Central Oregon

Great Dining is one of life's most enjoyable rewards.  I have compiled below a list of my favorite Restaurants in Central Oregon, my personal review of them, and a link to the individual restaurants so that you can review their menu, contact information, and location.  -Bon Appetit-



This is my second favorite restaurant inBend. Located on the Northwest Side of Bend onGalveston Street, the only thing I can say is that I simply love this place. It is intimate dining at its best! With its Mediterranean inspired cuisine, I have loved EVERY single dish that I have had here.  Chef Ariana has really put her heart and soul into this place and it shows. Even their vegitarian dishes are so outstanding that you won't miss the meat. I have never had a single client that I have recommended to this place tell me they didn't like it. It usually ends up one of their favorites as well. I'm definately a dedicated fan.


Deschutes Brewery

When it comes to local Breweries there is always a favorite among locals and Deschutes Brewery would have to win the award for 'locals favorite'. Located in historic downtownBend, the brewery is always full of people.  While serving traditional brewery fare such as burgers and fries (their fries are some of the best anywhere) they also cater to those wishing for a more sophisticated meal.  They don't disappoint with their revolving menu of specials that include fish and steak.  My favorite beer is the Bachelor Bitter (ESB) while my wife's is the Black Butte Porter for its rich chocolate undertones.


The Blacksmith

This is my personal favorite restaurant in Bend, located in historic downtown Bend.  I love it for the sophisticated presentation involving comfort food, as well as its intimate atmosphere that boasts a rustic elegance.  Visit here when time is not an issue and you simply want an extraordinary dining experience.  Voted one of the best new restaurants in the world by Conde' Nast Traveler magazine you can't go wrong with anything on their menu.  Its quieter atmosphere is worth mentioning since so many of them are not.


Jakes Diner

It's always a good sign when you walk into a place that is full of people and everyone has smiles on their faces and obviously enjoying their dining experience.  Jakes Diner is a locals favorite where Big Portions are served with a smile!  Lyle and Judy Hicks, the owners, are always there to make sure you are well taken care of.  A little known secret about Jakes Diner is that if you have a group of up to 40 people looking for a private Banquet Room to hold a function, Jakes has one for you to use FREE.  The only stipulation is that your party order food while making use of the room and make a reservation.  They have a TV and DVD Player available too if you have a need for a multimedia presentation.


Pine Tavern

The Grand Dame of fine dining inBend.  Located in historic downtown, The Pine Tavern was Bends first full fledged restaurant and its location next to the river with a Pine Tree growing through the middle of the dining room makes for an enjoyable atmosphere.  Their scones with honeybutter are sinfully delicious and you could make a meal on them alone.  A broad selection of menu items will cater to most everyone in your group.


Bend Brewing Company

Bends second microbrewery (Deschutes Brewery being the 1st) has a broad range of beer to choose from, my personal favorite being the High Desert Hefeweizen.  Their menu is a nice selection of lighter fare and a pleasant atmosphere just down from The Pine Tavern.


Red Robin

I included this restaurant for one simple reason;Bendhas a problem with closing down its restaurants between 9 and 10 p.m. which limits selection when you want to catch a late night appetizer or cocktail.  Red Robin stays open later and has a great location along the Deschutes River in The Old Mill District.  Keep in mind if your going during regular dinner and lunch hours, you've got to love kids because this place is full of them.  There menu is standard fare with a few specialty items.



My favorite Chinese restaurant inBendon3rd street.  Known for their large portions and bursting flavors my favorite being their Schechaun Chicken which I order again and again.  It's spicy, flavorful and addictive.  Chans has a huge menu selection that should be able to accomodate practically everyones tastes and temperaments.



The Riverhouse is included here among my recommendations primarily for its scenic location along the Deschutes River and the fact that if you're visiting from out of town they have an adjoining hotel with a pet friendly policy.  Their specialty is Steaks.  Located on the North side of Bend, The Riverhouse is one of Bends long standing Hotel and Restaurant institutions.  They also have banquet and meeting facilities that can handle small to large groups.


McMenamins Old St. Francis

McMenamins is a Pacific Northwest Brewery who's claim to fame is taking historic landmarks and turning them into an fabulously eclectic destination for both dining and lodging.  In Bends case they purchased the Old St. Francis Catholic school located in historic Downtown Bend (after a new school was built) and turned it into a Restaurant, Lounge, Secret Cigar Lounge (email me and I'll tell you where it can be found) Cinema Facility where you can order pizza, other food items, and alcoholic beverages while lounge around on couches and watching 2nd run movies.  Another highlight is their authentic Turkish Bath complete with a open ceiling for stargazing and Lodging with hotel and individual Bungalows.  My only gripe with the restaurant is they tend to have very slow service, so I'm forewarning you now.  My favorite beer is their Hammerhead Pale Ale and my wife loves their macaroni and cheese!  Like Deschutes Brewery they have good fries as well, along with an assortment of ever changing Specials.  This is a Bohemian loversParadise.


Tumalo Feed Company

If you want to get a good look at true blue Cowboys and Cowgirls then this is the place to come to dinner!  Homestyle cookin with steaks being the focus is the object here.  Located in the little community outside ofBendcalled Tumalo, off Hwy 20 W. you'll know that you've arrived to enjoy some Cowboy cuisine.  Its fun to note the small Western touches like the Old West Architecture and Saloon like interior.  When you hear the country music'll know you're here to soak up an authentic slice of Western life.


Cowboy Dinner Tree

While were're talkin Western cuisine I have to mention THE most genuine Gravy Train pitstop for those who love all things Cowboy!!!  The Cowboy Dinner Tree is almost located in the middle of nowhere nearest the town ofSilverLake.  The restaurant is a real mccoy Cowboy bunkhouse that was converted into a restaurant.  The waiting area is a Tee Pee just outside the way and a newly built Gift Shop is also close at hand.  If you find a place that serves a bigger Steak, I want to know about it.  If you order a get a WHOLE chicken.  No two plates or silverware match and this place is about as rustic as they come.  I have seen exotic itallian sports cars, Bentley's, Limo's and other exotic transportation parked outside this place.  Its reputation has taken on a bit of cult status and people have literally flown out fromNew York Cityand other Metropolitan areas to have dinner and then go right back home.  You're going here for the experience...and if you have big city friends, they'll remember this place for a long time to come!




Made famous inSeattle, this restaurant was a welcome addition toBendOregondining.  Located in the Old Mill District, you'll love the bright atmosphere, and location along theDeschutesRiver.  If you get there before 6:00 p.m. you can take advantage of their Twilight Dinner (ask for the menu) that gives you a 4-course meal for around $20.00.  Their fish is flown in fresh from theirSeattlefishing dock and consistency is their middle name.


Jackalope Grill

Jackalope Grill is located on the Southern end of Bend off 3rd street.  Its German inspired cuisine is simply delicious and I love the quiet atmosphere of this place.  While the exterior doesn't seem like much due to it being located in a strip mall, the interior features soft lighting and a tranquil atmosphere.  This one is definately a locals favorite and as I type this review it makes me want to make a reservation.


New York Sub Shop

One of the best sub sandwiches you will ever eat!  Their friendly staff goes out of their way to remember you name and my favorite sub is their New York Special.  Keep in mind that everyone has their definate choice of favorite sub sandwich at this place and you will too.  Located in two locations inBend(one in historic downtownBendand the other onWilsonon the Southeast side ofBend) you won't regret coming here if you love sub sandwiches.  Their Chicken Tortilla soup is another favorite item of mine!



To say that Zydeco is a locals favorite is an understatement.  You probably won't find a more consistent meal inBendand their cocktails are marvelously inspired creations.  With its less is more atmosphere (think upscale Industrial Loft) and great wait staff, this place will become one of your favorites too.  I'm trying to think of which items are my favorites, but the truth is, I have enjoyed every meal that I've been served here.  Zydeco is located on the Southern side of town off3rd Streetand is definately worth the trip!


Gregs Grill

Gregs Grill makes my list of favorites because of its elegant, big city atmosphere,  and its beautiful location along DeschutesRiver which is situated across from the Les Schwab Amphitheater.  In fact if you want to catch a headliner act and have dinner at the same time then make reservations on their Patio during the summer.  The best part is you'll only have to pay for dinner and save the cost of admission to the concert.  Here's the link to the Les Schwab lineup of entertainment for next year.


Los Jalapenos

No matter where you go in the world, people are always looking for that great hole-in-the-wall place that in this case serves good Mexican food.  Los Jalapenos is definately one of Bends best hidden gems.  Unfortuantely they are not as cheap as they used to be for the simple reason that its a locals favorite!  You've probably figured out by now that I like spicy food, so it should come as no suprise that their spicy 'El Gordo Burrito' is my favorite with the even hotter 'Jalepeno Burrito' a close second.  Los Jalapenos is located offGreenwood(East side) and fits to a tee the expression 'Hole-in-the-Wall.'



Here is my second choice for good hole in the wall food.  Part Hippy...part Bohemian; you'll scratch your head on this one as their menu is one of the more exotic fusion of foods around.  Take a little Mexican, a little Thai add a dash of Southern Cuisine and sprinkle it with some Italian goodness and you start to get the picture.  Believe it or not I really like their vegitarian tacos with their homeade exta hot salsa.  For a more exotic offering try their 'Wrap of Kahn.'  Located on the West side ofBendoffGalveston, you'll enjoy the unique experience.



Known for their exceptional ability to present a good steak, Scanlons is one of those dining oddities, in that it is located in Bends most exclusive Athletic Club namely, The Athletic Club of Bend.  I  particulary like their Prime Rib.  This one is on the West side on Athletic Club drive.


Portellow Wine Cafe

For those laid back evenings here inBend where you want to be with your significant other or visit with your best friends, Portellow Wine Cafe is a great place to do that.  For those of you who've been toEurope, you know that Europeans take their time when it comes to good food and wine.  Portellows has followed suit and does not rush you in any way.  Of course a nice selection of Wines from all over is the focus and their pairings of Fruits, Nuts, Olives, Bruchetta and Cheese is a welcome change for those evenings you don't want a full meal.  Because Portellow's is located in Northwest Crossing, it has an even more laid back ambience.


Black Butte Ranch Restaurant

I'm saving the best for last here.  This is my all time favorite restaurant in all ofCentral Oregon.  It is not because they have the best food (its excellent but not the best) it is because of the total experience of this place.  It perfectly embodies the Pacific Northwest in its design and menu and it has the most beautiful setting of any restaurant inCentral Oregon.  This is the one you want to choose when there is something special to celebrate.  Their Oyster appetizer is a must for you Oyster lovers and the selection of Beef, Fowl as well as, Fish from both river and ocean are always perfectly balanced.  To top the evening off you are served their signature fudge and as you gaze out across the lake, meadow, and magnificentThreeSistersMountains from a vantage point unlike any'll understand my love for this place.  Located outside of Sisters, Black Butte Ranch is one ofCentral Oregon's first and best entries into the destination resort world.


Kokanee Cafe

This is the other restaurant I have not had the chance to visit but am including here because of the number of clients who have recommended it to me.  I'll update this as soon as I have the chance to go.  Located outside of Sisters in Metolius River Resort, the rustic and intimate setting, along with the flavorful selection of local cuisine has started a buzz of good word of mouth on this place and I wanted to let you in on it too. 


La Rosa

This is my favorite Mexican restaurant inBend.  Located in two locations in Bend, the friendly atmosphere, bright, modern interior and excellent food, make for a wonderful dining experience.  Their margarita menu has some outstanding new takes on the traditional margarita.  No meal is complete without their Guacamole Fresco, which is made tableside with fresh ingredients. 


Bendistillery Tasting Room

This is a place to go when you feel like having a mini cocktail in the middle of the day.  Located just outside of Tumalo, heading towards Sisters, the Bendis family have created a local phenomina with their foray into the making of fine spirits.  Claiming to have won the most awards in the nation for a small batch distillery, you'll have to give their creative cocktails a try.  They have quite the collection of fun and zany creations on their menu while you soak in a gorgeous Cascade Mountain View.


The Blue Olive

Definately among my most favorite, The Blue Olive is located in Brasada Ranch, another destination resort which is located in the community of Powell Butte.  This restaurant has Grand views of the Cascade Mountains and the city ofBend.  One of the things I most enjoy about The Blue Olive is that unlike many restaurants in theBendarea, the place is not packed to the rafters with people which creates a more relaxing dining environment.  Elegant without being stuffy, the menu is a small assortment of excellently prepared dishes and their trio of Creme Brulee desert is wonderful!


Owls Nest

Wherever you live, there are places that you like to go to that make you feel like you've gotten away from the fast pace of life.  When drinks and appetizers are the order of the day, The Owl's Nest Pub in Sunriver at the Sunriver Lodge is that perfect place that makes you feel like you're on vacation without really leaving town.  The Owl's Nest features live entertainment on certain evenings, has a dance floor, a BIG fireplace and elegant Lodge decor that will take your mind off the little details of life. 


West Side Bakery

Fellow locals would have me strung up if I didn't mention the beloved West Side Bakery.  It is THE breakfast institution ofBendand has held that honor for a number of years.  Known for their big breakfasts and scrumptious baked goods, you can't go wrong having breakfast or lunch here.  The wildly imaginative decor of this place is a trip down memory lane and adds to the fun of the experience of dining here.  There is always a wait.


 The following are some more of my favorite restaurants that do not have websites but are definately worth knowing about.  You are welcome to email me for further directions.


Charlie's Pizza

2738 SW Hwy 97, Madras, OR97741

This is the Pizza and Mexican food (yes I know that is an odd combination) restaurant that I grew up with inMadras.  Admittedly much of my love for this place is based on nostalgia.  I remember when Charlie, the owner, who is with us no longer, would come out of the kitchen with Dum Dum Lollipops in hand and give them out to all the kids in the restaurant.  'Playing with the Queen of hearts' would be playing on the jukebox in the background and Charlie's Pizza was a gathering place for a bunch of hard working, small town friends to get together.  My recommendations include their Mexican Pizza which is one of the best you'll ever eat.  Their Salsa is out of this world and they have some great Enchiladas too.  Yes, they still supply Dum Dums too.


Dandy’s Drive In

1334 NE 3rd St,Bend,OR 97701


The old fashioned, drive-in, hamburger joint where you are served by girls on roller skates!  Dandy's burgers are the next best burgers inBend, but....they have THE BEST Onion Rings, Shakes and Fries!  I LOVE this place.


Pilot Butte Drive-in   

 917 NE Greenwood Ave. Bend, OR 97701

(541) 382-2972

I challenge anyone to find a better Hamburger than is served here.  Definately a locals favorite for their HUGE portions, friendly atmosphere and yummy, calorie rich food.  Seating is limited but you can also use the drive-in parking to eat in your car.  Did I mention they have the best burgers in the world?

The Taco Stand

Palmers Café

Cibelli’s New York Pizza

Silver Leaf Café