THIS YEAR, PORTLAND DINING MONTH celebrates ten tasty years of uniting the city’s best restaurants with intrepid eaters who love a good meal and a deal. From March 1 through 31, diners can devour special $33 three-course menus at more than 100 participating restaurants, from tried-and-true favorites like Aviary and Little Bird Bistro to buzzed-about newbies like Delores and Bullard. Whether your culinary companion’s a staunch meat eater, one of those admirable souls still sticking to their kale-related New Year’s resolutions, or somewhere in between, there’s a menu to match. Pore over the entire list at www.travelportland.com. To sweeten the pot de crème, your prix fixe dining spree comes with a side of philanthropy—for every reservation made through the OpenTable link on Travel Portland’s website, a donation will be made to the Oregon Food Bank.
When you reach Florence, a lovely little former mill town at the mouth of the Siuslaw River, head down to charming historic Old Town for a cappuccino and homemade apple cake on the riverfront patio at River Roasters. If seeking heartier fare, grab solid pub grub at Homegrown Public House, which has plenty of plant-based and gluten-free options, so you can choose between the Willamette Valley smoked gouda and local mushrooms-heaped Forager’s Burger, or the hemp seed burger with homemade kimchee, a.k.a. the Hippie
EAT + DRINK
At Coos Bay’s Fisherman’s Seafood Market, a cute old-fashioned floating fish market on the docks, buy wild-caught seafood, sample the homemade clam chowder or dig into a basket of hand-cut fish and chips or Coos Bay butter clams. If you prefer your clams on top of a pizza, try the On the Bay Vongole pie at Front Street Provisioners, a fun new waterfront pizzeria and wine shop slinging Neapolitan-style pies. Plot your coastal road trip course over pints of Lighthouse Session Ale at 7 Devils Brewing Co., which only distributes its small-batch beers within a 100-mile radius.
In Bandon, Oregon’s proud cranberry capital, stock up on blocks of cranberry walnut cheddar and slurp oversized ice cream scoops at Face Rock Creamery, get piping hot cod and chips at cheery Bandon Fish Market, and crack crab at Old Town’s cozy, kitschy Tony’s Crab Shack; if you want to reel in your own catch of the day, rent rings and reels at adjoining Port O’Call tackle shop, and Tony’s will cook and clean your future fish story. And if you just can’t get enough fish and chips, keep heading south to Port Orford for the namesake dish and wedges of razzleberry pie at The Crazy Norwegian’s Fish & Chips.
Down in Brookings, relax and review all the pictures you took at the Highway 101 turnouts en route before digging into ginger chili apricot-glazed sticky wings, slow-braised short rib stew and Bavarian reubens on pretzel bread at Oxenfrē Public House. Go big or go home with eclectic Zola’s Pizzeria’s formidable wood-fired Extreme Mac ‘n Cheese pizza, before scoops and splits at family-friendly Slugs ‘n Stones ‘n Ice Cream Cones, or sip a Block and Tackle Stout nightcap at Chetco Brewing Company, which welcomes both your pup and your shuffleboard skills.
In Gold Beach, book one of the river-facing fireplace rooms or suites at Tu Tu’ Tun Lodge and spend stormy spring days by the hearth with a good book and a growler of local Arch Rock Brewing Company’s Gold Beach Lager, and nights dreaming of the gourmet lodge breakfast to come. Spread out over 5 pristine coastal acres in Port Orford, WildSpring eco-resort has everything necessary to completely unwind, including a walking labyrinth, in-cabin massage and open-air hot tub overlooking the ocean. And in Bandon, even non-golfers will appreciate the rugged beauty of the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort’s breathtaking perch on the edge of the Pacific—book a massage, steam in the sauna or walk the 10 miles of duneland trails.
*A winner has been selected for this category* Congratulations to Ashley J. in Bend!