The number one reaction when I tell anyone I had never been to Bend until a couple weeks ago was, “You what?!” Growing up in the Seattle area, I’m definitely in the minority having never ventured down to this adorable mountain town, and I can’t believe I waited so long!
The weekend Rachel and I spent there was full of so much fun and good food. These little towns really pack a punch with their restaurants and all there is to do.
So…without further ado:
WHERE TO EAT/DRINK:
Dogwood: We met the Visit Bend team here our first night in town for a quick snack of popcorn and a cocktail before our dinner. This place had a fun atmosphere, great snacks for a little pre-dinner meetup, and very tasty cocktails.
The Drake: This was a great intro to the fare in Bend! The menu was classic Pacific Northwest with a modern twist. We all ordered something different, and I think we’d all order it again.
Worthy Brewing: This brewery was such a pleasant surprise. When you walk into the space, it’s not immediately apparent what makes this place different. It’s clear there is attention to detail, and the smell coming from the pizza oven makes you want to sit down and order a whole one to yourself immediately. But what makes this place special are the things you wouldn’t know unless someone told you. Lucky for you, someone told us, and we get to pass it along.
-Worthy Brewing is 100% solar powered. That whole concept still blows my mind and it’s so impressive that they’ve done that with this place.
-The owner calls it “a place for epiphanies”.
-You will find cuckoo birds on every table. The wood is from the Salem insane asylum, where “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” was filmed, and you’ll find other references to the movie hidden around the space.
These are just a few of the details that stuck out to me – not to mention the giant NASA-grade telescope they have above what they call their “Hopservatory”.
The Lemon Tree: This might have been the best breakfast I’ve ever had; or at least the best breakfast I’ve had in a long time. I’m a basic eggs, toast, and bacon kind of gal, and this menu made me brand out – it was a small branch, but it was still a branch. I ordered the Avo Hash Smash, which was just what it sounds like, with poached eggs on top…yum. And they brought us a spicy fried rice dish with a fried egg on top to share. I probably wouldn’t have ordered it myself off the menu, but I would 100% order it the next time I’m there.
Boxwood Kitchen in the Old Mill District: This meal included some of my favorite items of the trip. You have to go here and you have to order the Brussels sprouts and the dinner rolls. The ponzu sauce on the Brussels added such a great sweetness, and the rolls were like the best Hawaiian rolls you’ve ever had, complete with lava salt.
WHAT TO DO:
Mt. Bachelor: possibly stating the obvious, but Bend is located less than 30 minutes from this amazing mountain where you can ski, snowboard, or tube to your heart’s content. Unfortunately I got rained out the day I was supposed to go skiing, but I’ve heard that it’s a great place to spend the day and get some turns in.
Shopping: the shops in this town are reason enough to come back. I recently moved into a new apartment and I’m considering going back down just to shop for stuff for my new place.
Shops of note:
Ju Bee Lee
Wanderlust Tours: This was such a cool thing to do! We met the tour guides in town and then took a van up to Mt. Bachelor once it got dark. When we got up there, we put on snow shoes and trudged through the unmarked trail to a bonfire in the woods. It just so happened that it was the night of that crazy moon we had in January – super blood wolf moon…or something like that, and it cleared up just enough for us to see it on our hike! (I use the word “hike” loosely – it was a walk). Did I mention there were cocktails waiting for us at the bonfire? I’d do this again in a heartbeat.
WHERE TO STAY:
Oxford Hotel: This hotel was right downtown across from Thump Coffee, and just around the corner from so much food, drink, and shopping in downtown Bend. You are greeted by a roaring fire in the lobby, they are pet friendly, and 10Below is a great option for eating and drinking right in the comfort of the hotel.
I was so taken with Bend, and I truly can’t wait to go back. Thanks to Visit Bend for partnering on this trip!
You can read about the weekend from Rachel’s perspective on her blog! And if you find me on Instagram, you can check out my “Bend” highlight, which includes some video from our weekend + a few extra things we did!