Delicious dining opportunities…
The Yamhill Valley is full of gastronomic pleasures, but nowhere are they more abundant than in downtown McMinnville. You can’t walk a block without passing a fabulous restaurant or cafe. Here are some of our favorite “walkable” options:
For Dinner. . .
Nick’s Italian Café , two doors down from 3rd Street Flats Odd Fellows Lodge, put McMinnville on the map about the same time that David Lett was planting the first vineyards in the area. Now run by Nick’s daughter Carmen and her husband Eric, Nick’s continues to wow people with their amazing menu. Also try Nick’s Back Room, where you can order select items off the menu and enjoy a full bar, and a relaxed but fun scene. (To go to the Back Room, walk down the alley between Red Fox and McMenamins, past all the recycle bins and open the big wooden door). Lunch & dinner.
The highly acclaimed Thistle, has received rave reviews, and is the only restaurant outside of Portland to ever be named ‘Restaurant of the Year’ by the Oregonian. Accolades abound for their daily menu utilizing food sourced from within 30 miles. The intimate restaurant seats just twenty people, but is well worth the wait if you can’t get in right away. Dinner only.
Please don’t come to town without having dinner at Bistro Maison, named Portland’s “2009 Best of City Search” in four categories. The accolades don’t do it justice. Chef Jean-Jacques and his wife, Deborah, do everything right, from serving amazing meals (white truffle oil fondue anyone? How about Coq au Vin, made in a rich Pinot Noir sauce?) to having OUTSTANDING service. In the summer months not much can top a dinner enjoyed on their back patio. Lunch & dinner.
La Rambla, serving Northwest inspired Spanish cuisine, is right next door to our Historic McMinnville Bank location. Try some of their tapas for lunch, or swing by late night to sample a drink at their amazing copper bar. Lunch & dinner.
Gem Creole Saloon serves up meals right out of the bayou in a vibrant atmosphere that makes you feel like you are in the deep south rather than Oregon’s wine country. With a menu featuring gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish and lots of oyster dishes, Gem offers guests a departure from northwest inspired cuisine. Lunch & dinner.
If you’re looking to enjoy local ingredients transformed into beautiful Latin American dishes, don’t miss out on Pura Vida Cocina + Arte. With a rotating daily menu limited only by chef Ricardo Antunez imagination, meals at Pura Vida are as beautiful as they are delicious. Smoked salmon taquitos and Aguacate Frito (fried avocado) are not to be missed. Lunch & dinner.
The 411 Eatery and Lounge offers guests northwest inspired dishes from around the world. Some of our favorites include the cambozola and apple grilled cheese sandwich and the pork belly sliders with spicy slaw. Lunch and dinner.
For casual faire…
3rd Street Pizza Company prepares fresh hand crafted pizzas with a variety of delicious toppings, as well as great calzones and sandwiches. Enjoy a huge craft beer selection and a slice of pizza while you catch a movie at the Moonlight Theater (located inside 3rd Street Pizza). Lunch & dinner.
For a delicious and affordable dinner for the whole family, Thai Country is the go-to place for locals. Dishes like gang panang, tom ka soup and pad thai are always crowd pleasers. Lunch & dinner.
Occupying a former brewery in the heart of downtown McMinnville, Los Molcajetes provides terrific Mexican food in a fun and family friendly atmosphere. Don’t miss ‘The Molcajete’ meal, served in a giant pestle with a variety of meats and cactus in a delicious sauce. Other local favorites are the Tinga and the ceviche. Lunch & dinner.
McMenamins offers pub food and their own microbrews with a fun vibe, and a happy hour from 3:00 to 6:00. It features three bars, including the Roof Top Bar, which has amazing views of the valley. They also make a broad array of mixed drinks, many with fresh fruit. With their eclectic style and amazing murals, McMenamins is popular with locals and tourists alike. Breakfast, lunch & dinner.
If you love good old fashioned American fare, made with the highest quality local ingredients, make sure you visit Golden Valley Brewery. Not only do they brew a variety of outstanding beers (Red Thistle and Muddy Valley Stout are favorites) they also raise their own organic beef, fed on Golden Valley grain. Golden Valley gives a whole new meaning to farm fresh. But be prepared to wait a few minutes to have the experience, especially on the weekends. Lunch & dinner.
The new kid on the block, Grain Station Brew Works occupies an old barn in McMinnville’s Historic Granary District, just a few blocks northeast of our Odd Fellows Lodge location. With pub faire, live music and hand crafted beers, the Grain Station makes for a fun evening out. Lunch & dinner.
Breakfast & lunch. . .
Crescent Café serves breakfast and lunch only and it’s easy to find—just look for the long line on the weekends. Owner’s Michael and Danny moved to McMinnville from San Francisco where they owned the much loved Ella’s Restaurant. They quickly established a cult following in McMinnville. The food is outstanding and the service attentive—all in all, a fabulous place to start a day of wine tasting.
A fabulous addition to the culinary scene, Community Plate–An Old School Cookery, serves simple but wonderful breakfast and lunch faire, all made from 100% local ingredients. Don’t miss the Bacon, Lettuce & Beet sandwich if you are in town in the winter–it’s amazing!
Chef Jesse Kincheloes of Valley Commissary never fails to impress with an amazing and varied daily menu made exclusively from locally sourced ingredients. Nestled into the Historic Granary District, you can’t go wrong anything on this menu. Treat yourself to the crab gnocchi or go super healthy with the delicious kale and beet salad. Lunch only.
The talented team from Nick’s Italian Cafe moonlights next door at Peirano & Daughters, serving up terrific sandwiches, soup, deli selections and wine. Don’t miss their house made pastrami sandwich or a cup of Nick’s famous minestrone soup. Lunch only.
Red Fox Bakery makes fresh bread, delectable pastries, and serves the best coffee in town. They are terrific for a light breakfast, but also make fabulous sandwiches for lunch, all of which come with their signature coconut macaroon.
If you love real southern style BBQ, take the time to find the local favorite RibSlayer. Tucked away off a parking lot off Second Street between Ford & Evans, you can just follow your nose to an unbelievable meal. Don’t miss the MoFo sandwich. It’s awesome! Lunch only.
Groceries. . .
If you feel like cooking, Harvest Fresh, on the corner opposite from 3rd Street Flats Historic McMinnville Bank location, has a large selection of fresh local meat and produce. Their deli is also a great place to pick up food for a picnic at one of the wineries. Don’t miss the large wine selection at the back of the store.
Banner photo courtesy of Coral Van Zuwalt.