Tetherow is a lot more than just a golf course. They are #1 for Restaurants with a view!
Having lived in Bend for over 10 years, it’s interesting to see how the dining and nightlife scene has evolved.  Or, more like exploded.

Ten years ago, there were a handful of restaurants offering up standard central Oregon dishes of meat and potatoes with little flair or variety to choose from, and the most appealing nightlife option was a crazy night at the bowling alley. 

Now, Bend is home to a diverse array of dining options inspired by cuisines from all around the globe, and a tasty selection of happening breweries, bars and live music venues. In this town, you can get anything from sushi to paneer masala to chicken mole to escargot.  And yes, you can still get meat and potatoes, in all sorts of tasty varieties. There’s definitely nothing wrong with meat and potatoes, as long as they are done well.  

One of my favorites is a good old-fashioned burger and fries, and fortunately Bend burger institution and local favorite Pilot Butte Drive-In is still around but keeping things fresh with a new Westside location. The new location serves all the goodies of the original, with fresh ingredients and locally baked buns.

If you’re looking for something a little more sophisticated, there are quite a few appealing fine dining restaurants to choose from, boasting fusion cuisine and international flair. Some of my favorite dining spots in downtown Bend are 900 Wall, Zydeco and Tart Bistro. These lovely places are among the best restaurants in town.

900 Wall has an awesome happy hour from 3 to 6 daily that features very reasonably priced wine, cocktails and food. The pork belly sliders are only five bucks and absolutely delicious. Zydeco serves up Cajun fusion cuisine in a stylish atmosphere, and the dessert is to die for.  I’ve made multiple trips there just for the key lime pie. I highly recommend having dinner on Zydeco's heated patio on a summer night.

Finally, Tart Bistro is French inspired with global elements.  It’s got a sexy atmosphere, an exotic menu (this is where you can get the escargot) and delectable cocktails.  Their lavender lemon drop is perfection.  All three places also serve lunch if you are looking for a little noontime sophistication and taste.

Bend also has some great casual lunch options.  In the last couple of years, a couple of satisfying locally owned sandwich places have come onto the scene. TuckMo Subs on the east side has tasty sub sandwiches with reasonable prices and a friendly atmosphere. Letzer's Deli is an authentic Jewish-style deli with huge sandwiches and a new downtown location. There was a feature about Letzer's new downtown deli in last week’s Source Weekly (search Letzer's Deli on www.tsweekly.com) that offered a great description of the goodness they’ve got to offer.

So, I’ve covered some tasty lunch and dinner options, but what about breakfast? Bend is home to some fabulous spots that may very well make breakfast your favorite meal of the day. Whether you are looking for greasy spoon dive bar kind of start to your day or a fresh breakfast made with organic and local ingredients, you’re covered. 

One of the consistent local favorites, and one of my own, is the Victorian Cafe`. They’ve got a fire pit outside, and there’s a reason why there’s generally people packed around it, waiting for a table.  This place is awesome.  The menu features traditional breakfast options in addition to some creative dishes, and they have a changing menu of creative specials.  They have a variety of eggs benedict to choose from, which is heaven for a girl who loves hollandaise.  The benedict I order depends on my mood, but one of my favorites is definitely the British benedict, which has roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, mushrooms and sautéed garlic.  All of that deliciousness is made even better by friendly, attentive service and tasty bloody marys and mimosas.

Speaking of cocktails, Bend has some great spots to drink and be merry.  In addition to the old, trusty dive bars that have been serving stiff cocktails for decades, there are some more posh spots, wine bars, live music venues and breweries. One of my favorite spots to have a cocktail downtown is Velvet, which is an awesome spot for a “Ladies Night”. Its lush part urban, part forest decor makes for a lovely backdrop for sipping mate cocktails. The Astro Lounge, also downtown, echoes Velvet’s slick urban aesthetic while boasting two dollar well drinks on Tuesday nights. There are also some interesting nighttime hangouts that aren’t so easily classified, such as the Horned Hand, which opened near downtown last July. Owner Wesley Ladd describes it as an art and entertainment space, and I suppose that description is accurate but doesn’t quite sum up all that the Hand has to offer.  It’s a bar serving local beer on tap and old German lager in a can, a vintage clothing boutique, an art gallery, a movie theater and a live music venue.  Intrigued? You should be. Check it out and throw some peanut shells on the floor.

A devout lover of dining and nightlife, I’m happy that Bend’s scene is ever-evolving.  I’m looking forward to seeing what new treats the next few years have in store.  In the meantime, I will enjoy the myriad of tasty options that this town has to offer. 

9/16/2013 10:05:08 pm

A perfect info source. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic

9/26/2013 09:33:59 pm

In the time of travel, the eat, drink and the enjoyment part plays a very major role. This is simply informative post for me that discusses about the restaurants.

3/14/2014 09:28:19 pm

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This diversity of the restaurants offers a variety of entertainment and delicious cuisine. Here, the prices correspond to the level and the quality of the dishes.

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