Bend’s food and drink has improved rapidly over the years. With many ethnic food options, a thriving food cart scene at The Lot, craft beer, and several bakeries, sometimes the options can be overwhelming when you just want to eat some good food. In an effort to highlight the best that Bend has to offer, we’ve curated a list of the best places to eat and standout joints here.
Sparrow Bakery is one of Bend’s hot spots for breakfast and baked goods. Sparrow showcases items ranging from artisan breads to elaborate pastries and pies, but the shining star is their signature Ocean Roll. A flaky, delectable sweet roll with a cardamom sugar filling, you cannot go wrong ordering one of these. You haven’t been to Bend if you haven’t had an Ocean Roll! Sparrow also features a roster of local coffee roasters on espresso and serves up a mean cappuccino which complements any one of their pastries quite well. Their menu consists of soups, sandwiches, and other daily specials. The Scott Street location is the original Sparrow location and has been open since 2006. You can now find Sparrow at their second location in Northwest Crossing, which is a great option since Scott Street’s itty-bitty space can sometimes be overflowing with ravenous customers on the weekends. The outdoor seating area has propane heaters and sits on a lovely brick patio. Be sure to hop next-door to the Workhouse to be wowed by the local crafters and makers who have set up shop in this workshop/gallery space.
Parrilla has the grungy, no-frills feel of a local dive-bar but with astounding value and fresh, flavorful food. Parrilla Grill has been open since 2000 and has become a go-to for college students and people hitting the slopes at Mt. Bachelor. Expect a line, come hungry (and thirsty! $1 PBR’s all day every day). The wraps and bowls that are served up here can be customized to your particular palate and dietary needs, with protein options from tofu to beef to salmon. Gluten free? Ask for your burrito to come in a bowl instead! Each wrap comes standard with recommended salsas and sauces, although if you have a particular aversion they can leave it off with no problem. Parrilla is known for Uncle Wedgie’s Margarita, and although it comes in a plastic cup, don’t let it fool you, the booze is strong with this one. Seven different rotating taps feature many of the local breweries of Bend, as well as two rotating kombucha taps. An imaginative kids’ menu keeps everyone in the family happy.
Wild Rose Thai
Wild Rose is a family owned and operated northern Thai restaurant. The ambience alone is worth the trip. The decor inside is a bit bohemian with dried flowers hanging from the ceilings and tables filling the entire space. While you might have to put your name on a waiting list to get in, the food is totally worth the wait and comes out with mindblowing speed. The menu is crafted from decades of family recipes with the addition of the Chef’s own signature spins on traditional northern Thai cuisine. No Pad Thai here! Be sure to take a seat at the bar and check out their imaginative cocktail list.
If local, sustainably sourced food is your game, then Jackson’s Corner has you covered. They believe in consciously sourcing the ingredients for their menu items. The original location on the westside of Bend boasts a wood-fired oven where they pump out delicious pizzas on their house-made dough. Just around the corner from the restaurant you can stop in to the production bread-baking facility and take a gander at the beautiful loaves that Jackson’s bakes fresh every day. Their menu changes seasonally with the available ingredients, but you can always find a range of wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches, salads, and pasta dishes using fresh, house-made pasta. Jackson’s commitment to locally sourced ingredients is reflected in the pride with which each dish is plated and served. Check out their website for a list of Oregon farmers that supply Jackson’s Corner with everything from greens to beef.
The winner of several “Best Of” categories from the local Source Weekly newspaper as well as being written up in the New York Times, Spork is not to be missed. From humble beginnings in an Airstream trailer converted into a food kitchen, Spork’s brick and mortar location on the westside is busy, and for good reason. Spork’s menu is designed by chef and owner Jeff Hunt and is globally inspired from many traditions across the world. With Mexican pozole to Peruvian lomo saltado, Thai green curry and Korean barbecue, the menu options abound. Spork also boasts daily specials, a slew of house cocktails, and of course draft beer. Spork offers takeout options and catering services.
Have a favorite Bend restaurant that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments below! We are always updating our lists of the best places to eat.