A friendly atmosphere, huge portions, and reasonable prices have made the Owl’s Nest a local favorite in Sunriver. Climb the stairs into the pub you’ll be greeted by a sculpted bronze owl. Once inside, enjoy some Northwest microbrews or another part of the menu while taking in a Mariners’ game. There’s a beautiful view of the golf course and surrounding meadow, and on Fridays there’s a DJ and dancing. After eating and drinking you can just take the resort shuttle back to your room.
Bo Restobar—yes, “restobar” means restaurant/bar—serves up unique food and experiences. The elegant dark wood walls, black granite bar, red accents, bits of neon, and black-lit lounge full of Buddha heads make it like something between a temple in Bangkok and a Las Vegas casino. Try the duck spring roll, Asian-spiked burger with papaya slaw, or Koreadilla—a re-invented quesadilla stuffed with Korean-marinated pork and goat cheese. A wide variety of cocktails ranges from single-malt scotches to lemongrass and chill-infused vodka martinis.
The five local brewers (and the one Hawaiian) at 10 Barrel Brewing Company have a passion for great beer and have made their brewery a favorite local watering hole. Try the Black IPA. The S1nist0r Black Ale won the bronze metal at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival for best traditionally brewed beer. For dinner, order one of ten specialty 10 Barrel Pie pizzas, make your own, or get something else on the menu like breaded steak fingers or steamed Manila clams. The patio has a fire pit and in nice weather they’ll open the garage-style door by the bar.
The 5 Fusion & Sushi Bar is Bend’s newest sushi bar and its only Asian fusion restaurant. An overhead water feature stretches the whole length of the wide-open dining area. Locals dig the 4-6 p.m. happy hour, featuring $5 Happi Sushi Rolls, as well as the free live music each Sunday evening. There’s also a Late Owl menu available Friday and Saturday from 9:30 p.m. to close. Don’t like sushi?
Scapolo’s (Italian for “bachelor”) is located on the first floor of the mid-mountain Pine Marten Lodge. The menu features open-hearth gourmet pizzas, fresh garden salads, hot soups, wine, and a variety of microbrews on tap. On the deck they serve BBQ items including hamburgers and hotdogs. Weekends from 5-8 p.m.
Zydeco has become a local favorite by serving fantastic contemporary American food with a Southern flair. The restaurant moved downtown just last year. Great service and a family-friendly atmosphere keep customers returning. All items on the menu are made from scratch and organic ingredients are used whenever possible. The fully stocked bar has everything from their signature Blue Martini to a wide selection of wines. In the summer, enjoy the beauty of Bend by dining on the rooftop. Zydeco now serves lunch from 11-2. Try the key lime pie.
Named the Best Fine Dining Restaurant in Bend by Gusto Magazine (2007), Scanlon’s is located in the Athletic Club of Bend but is open to the public. The friendly atmosphere works for anything from a family dinner to a romantic night out. For business meetings and birthday parties, the Fireside Room can fit up to 32 people. There’s an outside patio and you can even get complementary childcare while eating.
The Blacksmith is three establishments in one: a steak house, a lounge, and on weekends a dance club. Executive Chef Gavin McMichael creates new classics for the seasonally changing menu, such as lobster corndogs, “Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf,” and Northwest cheesesteak. He even coined a term for his style, “new ranch cuisine,” which he characterizes as American provincial. Bold and diverse tastes evoke the feel of the West. And The Blacksmith was recently recognized by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the “top 66 new restaurants in the world.”
The Pine Tavern is both a favorite local landmark and restaurant. Diners love the warm hospitality and award-winning food of the cabin-like eatery, which was built in 1936 around a 250-year old ponderosa. Feast in the Riverside dining room or on the outdoor patio overlooking Mirror Pond. Or kick back in the full-service lounge with a microbrew or a Northwest wine. The Pine Tavern’s signature Northwest dinner menu is famous for its all-natural Oregon Country prime rib, flat-iron steak, sesame-ginger chicken bowls, and sourdough scones.
An out-of-the-way Taos tacqueria offers great tacos -- and ice cold beer.
Guadalajara Grill: Taos, NM
We spent two days trying to find this place. Admittedly, I’m somewhat navigationally challenged. But, you can't even find them on Google maps. If you can find them— and you're on your own there — order at the counter, fast food style. Their menu is a mile long with everything from menudo to chicken tacos.
Although good when fresh, the food doesn’t travel well so grab a beer and have a seat.