Dining Hot Spots in Bend

Come for the cerulean blue at the new Bar Rio.
Come for the cerulean blue at the new Bar Rio.
Photo by Ben Titus/ABD Creative
written by Kerry Newberry

After schussing down the nearby ski slopes, it’s time for a soul-stirring dinner. For this wintry scenario, Bend can’t be beat. Here’s the town’s latest hot spots for the ultimate après-ski feast.

For a luxe night out, head to Dear Irene (926 NW Brooks St.; www.dearirenebend.com), beautifully bedecked in gold and jewel tones with a row of luminous chandeliers. Opened by chef Jonny Becklund and his wife, Irene, you’ll find sublime starters like arancini stuffed with Oregon Dungeness crab, an umami-packed grilled cheese with black truffle honey and prawn saganaki.

Short ribs at Dear Irene, a fantastic new venue on Brooks Street.
Short ribs at Dear Irene, a fantastic new venue on Brooks Street.
Photo by Dear Irene

At Bar Rio (915 NW Wall St.; www.barriobend.com), there’s a new concept from longtime restaurateurs Steven and Amy Draheim. In the redesigned bar space, you’ll find interiors in cerulean blue, contemporary pendants and Alhambra-inspired tiles. On the menu, there’s no shortage of festive tapas and cocktails from a zingy shrimp and mango ceviche to spicy chicken shawarma tacos. Pro tip: Bring a crowd of friends so you can order as many plates as possible. And don’t miss savory grab-and-go bites from the adjacent Bodega.

Book your reservation early for Rancher Butcher Chef (2838 NW Crossing Dr.; www.rbcbend.com), a sensation since opening in 2022. A modern twist on a butcher shop and restaurant, there’s an exuberant spirit that resonates from the restaurant to the bar—everyone here seems to be celebrating. Expect exceptional meat dishes (sourced from partner Will von Schlegell’s ranches in Klamath Falls). But also standout veg-forward plates from the endive salad studded with pickled beets to the exceptional quinoa under a fur coat.

Quinoa under a fur coat at Rancher Butcher Chef on NW Crossing Drive.
Quinoa under a fur coat at Rancher Butcher Chef on NW Crossing Drive.
Photo by Peter Ki



When you’re in the mood for Italy, book a table at Nostrana. Especially for the Regional Dinner Series. These five-course dinners with wine pairings take place around a few intimate tables tucked upstairs in the adjacent wine bar. Recent feasts featured wine and food from Abruzzo, a delicious escape to Veneto with Pra Wines and an evening with Piemontese specialities (think pasta con funghi al forno) paired with Ruggeri Corsini wines. Upcoming winter dinners will whisk guests away to Trentino and Tuscany.

1401 SE MORRISON ST., #101


At this legacy wine country restaurant in Dayton, you can feast on what makes the Willamette Valley a world-renowned culinary destination, especially when you opt for the five-course Mushroom Madness Menu. Expect earthy flavors in comfort dishes like the Czarnecki family’s three-mushroom tart or the hearty beef stroganoff with wild mushrooms. Pinot enthusiasts will appreciate the cellar stocked with classic Oregon wines dating back to 1994.



Experience the prettiest wine bar on the coast along with a spectacular wine and cheese selection at this women-run spot in Seaside. Owner Destiny Dudley, a former winemaker in the Willamette Valley and certified cheesemonger, brings her friends to the coastal town for monthly winemaker dinners. No matter how wintry it is outside, the dreamy space pops with sunset pink and brings cheer and conviviality to any evening.

719 1ST AVE.

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