Written by | Derek Carlson

The 22 Best Restaurants in Bend, Oregon (From A Local)

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Looking for the best restaurants in Bend? Well, then we have you covered!

As a local and self-proclaimed foodie (even if we don’t get out as much as we used to now that our kids make dining a less than enjoyable experience. HA!) we have tried almost every notable restaurant in Bend and have the menu memorized at a few of our favorite spots.

We’ll let you know what spots to hit for their great food, which restaurant has the best patio scene, and what restaurant is our go-to for a quick bite when we know our kids won’t sit still.

Updates for 2024
Added Yoli to the list

Our Absolute Favorite Restaurants in Bend

These restaurants are at the top of the list of our favorite spots to hit up any day of the week. The restaurants in this section range from our favorite spot to grab a to-go meal to the fanciest date night in town.

1. Spork

Spork is the home of our favorite dish in Bend, hands down. And for that, they get top billing in our list of the best restaurants in Bend.

That dish that we have eaten dozens of times over the years is the Spicy Pork Noodles.

In a town where people frequently critique the food scene as not being on par with larger PNW cities like Seattle or Portland (this critique is not unwarranted), this is a dish that can stand up to any dish in those cities any day of the week. If you visit Spork and have to eat only one dish this is the one, hands down, that I would recommend.

We shouldn’t overlook the rest of the menu as well as all of their offerings are packed with flavor and served in a fun, inviting atmosphere. We love warm spring days on their back patio with a margarita and plates of food so good that even our kids will finish it.

2. Ariana

Ariana is our go-to date night restaurant…when we can actually find a reservation. This small, upscale restaurant on the west side of Bend is small and extremely popular. And for good reason!

We have eaten at Ariana a half dozen times now and we have yet to be disappointed by anything on their menu.

Don’t expect a cheap meal when visiting but know that you’ll be served up fresh Pacific Northwest ingredients that are prepared masterfully. On most visits, you’ll be greeted with a small serving of dashi broth and that sip alone should tell you that you’re about to be in for a treat with your upcoming meal.

When you go I would highly recommend going with the tasting menu along with the wine pairings. Going this route has never let us down!

3. The Lemon Tree

A few years ago if you asked me what my favorite brunch was in Bend we would have happily pointed you toward Foxtail and Chow. Unfortunately, Foxtail has since shut down and Chow has taken a bit of a step back in the quality of their food.

This shouldn’t be taken as a dig at Chow as we still enjoy their food but we feel it just isn’t up to the same level that it was a few years back.

Luckily, The Lemon Tree has stepped in to take over the brunch crown in Bend. This downtown brunch spot almost always has a line as soon as they open up but after one visit you’ll understand why.

Start off your meal with one of their warm cinnamon rolls (quite possibly the best cinnamon roll in Bend) and enjoy the ride from there.

Their benedicts are always on point with the crab taking top billing for me and the smoked salmon taking that spot for my wife.

Whatever you choose you can’t go wrong at The Lemon Tree and that puts it in our top category of the best restaurants in Bend.

4. Sparrow Bakery NWX

Sparrow Bakery has become a must-visit destination in Bend (just check out the lines at the NW Crossing bakery during the summer) and is notable for perhaps the most well-known food item in Bend; the Ocean Roll.

This cinnamon roll-shaped pastry is made from croissant dough and filled with cardamom and sugar to make a crispy, sweet, and all-around delicious pastry. Even though you can find ocean rolls in almost every coffee shop and grocery store in town, tourists and locals alike still flock to the bakery to get one straight from the source.

We love visiting the bakery for ocean rolls as well but that isn’t the real reason we make them a frequent stop when we’re craving a quick weekday breakfast.

Our real favorite dish at Sparrow is their bacon croissant breakfast sandwich. This take on an everyday breakfast sandwich features thick-cut bacon, a poached egg, avocado, and arugula, on a bakery fresh croissant. To say this breakfast sandwich is merely delicious is doing it a disservice as it is truly outstanding.

Sparrow also offers up a full assortment of freshly made pastries that are always changing so we highly recommend paying them a visit…even if it is just for an ocean roll.

5. Wild Rose

I have a confession to make. It took us way too long to try Wild Rose. I’m not even sure why we put it off for so long but now we’re kicking ourselves over missing years of eating their delicious Sukiyaki noodles and green curry and moo gratiem and everything else on their menu.

Wild Rose Thai Restaurant in Bend

Seriously, you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu here.

They are crazy popular though so make a reservation ahead of time, stop in for their awesome lunch menu, or place your to-go order A LOT earlier than you think you need to. Especially on busy summer weekends as wait times for even to-go orders can run multiple hours.

Best Casual Dining and Family Restaurants in Bend

If you’re looking for a casual meal in Bend or want to take the family out for a bite, these are our go-to spots. We’re almost always happy with the meals we get at these restaurants and their laid-back atmospheres make for a great casual dining experience.

6. Active Culture

If you have small kids in Bend and want to grab a quick bite to eat with friends then I can’t recommend any place more than Active Culture.

They really have it all. A healthy, vegetarian-focused menu. Delicious smoothies and acai bowls. Plenty of kid’s dishes that they will actually eat. Bonta gelato for an after-meal snack.

AND best of all – plenty of outdoor seating next to a fenced-in playground for the kids! What!!??

I’d recommend signing up for their mailing list as there are a few special days a year when everything on their menu is half-priced. IYKYK.

7. Jackson’s Corner

Jackson’s Corner has become an institution in Bend that has left its mark on the dining scene all around town. They have expanded, contracted, opened up burger joints, teamed up with creative pop-ups, and members of their team have moved on to run other successful restaurants around town (their original baker now makes the best pizza in Central Oregon).

The kitchen at Jackson's Corner in Bend

Their focus on using fresh, local ingredients and cooking simple but delicious dishes makes this a great spot for brunch or to grab a relaxed dinner after a long day.

They also serve up delicious bread and pastries, coffee, and have a market area just in case you need to grab some milk or a 6-pack on the way home from floating the river.

8. El Sancho

El Sancho can be a bit of a controversial restaurant as they don’t have the most authentic Mexican food or tacos in town yet they are voted year after year as the best Mexican restaurant or best place for a taco.

With that said, we love El Sancho, especially on warm days when we can sit out on the patio and dive into a Sancho bowl with barbacoa. It has become such a comfort food at this point that I have a hard time ordering anything else.

But don’t look past the cheese and chile tacos or the caramelized yams as they are both delicious.

9. Bo’s Falafel Bar

Bo’s falafel has developed a bit of a cult following in town for their tasty food, outspoken support for marginalized groups, and strong social media presence.

They used to run the restaurant out of a food truck and small house off of Galveston but have since closed and will be close to opening a new restaurant just up the road on Century Dr. (updated July 2023)

There is no word yet as to whether there will be changes to the menu but we’re certainly hoping that they keep the outstanding falafel bowls (both the falafel and the chicken are next level) and the morning bagels.

I still dream of the sea salt and rosemary bagel breakfast sandwich. SO freaking good!

10. Pho Viet

Central Oregon has a loooong winter and some nights you just need a hot bowl of pho to warm you up.

On those days Pho Viet is our go-to stop. Their bowls of pho are absolutely massive and delicious. We love the brisket pho along with an order of the sesame chicken for the kids.

The longtime owners of Pho Viet recently sold the restaurant although it looks like, so far, the new owners are carrying on the tradition of serving up delicious pho as well.

11. Yoli

Yoli is a relative newcomer to the Bend dining scene but very quickly has become one of our favorite restaurants in town! The chef at Yoli previously ran the 5 Fusion kitchen so that should speak for itself on their culinary pedigree.

The chef tasting menu at Yoli is absolutely the way to go when visiting for the first time as it allows you to taste your way though all of the incredible courses that they turn out of this small kitchen space. The Samgyeop-Sa, Kalbi, and fresh sea urchin (a special the night we last visited) were some of the highlights of our visits.

12. Kanji Ramen

Kanji Ramen is tucked away on the far SE side of town across the street from Walmart. If you don’t live on that side of town it can be a bit of a deterrent to make your way down there, especially around dinner time, but I can tell you that the drive is well worth it.

We have tried all the ramen spots in town and so far Kanji has been our favorite. Even when picked up to go the ingredients hold up well being reassembled at home.

We love spicy miso ramen for us and an order of regular miso ramen for the kids. Best of all, the kids don’t like their soft-boiled egg, so we always get an extra half!

Best Fine Dining in Bend

Despite Bend’s laid-back attitude, there is still no shortage of dining spots where you can get dressed up and drop a few bucks on a really nice meal. These are our favorite fine dining, at least Bend’s version of fine dining, spots to ditch the kids and go out for a date night.

13. Bos Taurus

I’m about to drop a bit of a controversial opinion here – I think steak restaurants are overrated. Personally, I’d much rather go somewhere that works up innovative dishes rather than salts and cooks a piece of steak on a grill and charges you $75 for it.

With that said, Bos Taurus does a lot more than just steak, although steak is at the heart of their menu, and does those everything really really well.

Some of our favorite individual dishes that we have had in all of Bend have come from Bos Taurus. We would go back and just order all the appetizers on the menu as they are really that good.

The steak is delicious as well so our go-to order for the two of us is usually a bunch of apps/salads/cocktails and we end up sharing a steak.

Their menu is constantly changing so rather than offer recommendations on our favorite dishes I would just say trust their chefs as whatever they are putting out on a particular day is most likely going to be delicious.

Side note: getting reservations at Bos Taurus can be tough but many times you can grab a seat at their bar if you show up a little earlier in the day.

14. 5 Fusion

For many years, 5 Fusion set the bar in Bend for innovative restaurants with their modern take on Japanese cuisine.

I think most people think of 5 Fusion as purely a sushi restaurant (and don’t get me wrong, their sushi is delicious) but their menu offers so much more and you’d be missing out by not trying their full range of delicious food

Their Korean short ribs are outstanding and cold fish dishes really show off what you can do with raw fish outside of a traditional sushi roll.

15. Bosa

Bosa is a relatively new Italian restaurant in a town that, up until a couple of years ago, was really lacking in depth in this space.

They very quickly proved that they knew what they were doing and became one of the hotter restaurants in town. We have eaten there multiple times, some with the kids and some without, and it is a great space if you want a really nice meal with the whole family.

Their menu is upscale but still inviting for folks (and kids) with varying levels of…how do I put this politely…curiosity in trying new things.

The indoor space at Bosa is on the smaller side and very open so it does get loud. We actually find this as a plus as our kids won’t be quite so bothersome to the other diners when they can just be drowned out.

Our go-to dishes are usually the dungeness crab appetizer, steak and pommes frites, and any one of their pasta as they are all delicious.

16. Trattoria Sbandati

While Bosa is the new kid in town when it comes to Italian restaurants, Trattoria Sbandati has been setting the bar here in Bend for years now. One of the most authentic Italian restaurants in Central Oregon, if not all of Oregon, the food here is a sight to behold.

The food at Trattoria Sbandati is truly Italian at its heart and making your way through the menu is an experience best shared with friends and family as it will allow you to try a wide range of their amazing offerings.

17. Kanpai

Kanpai is a small sushi restaurant on Bend’s west side that serves up one of our favorite dining experiences: the Omakase. Omakase roughly translates to “I’ll leave it up to you.” When you order it you’re leaving it up to the chef to serve up dishes of their choice.

I’m not sure we’ve ever been disappointed ordering the Omakase as it frequently takes us a bit outside our normal ordering tendencies and exposes us to new and delicious dishes. They also have a beverage pairing option with the Omakase or you can bring in your own bottle of wine for a small $15 corkage fee.

Best Views with Your Meal

Bend has no shortage of mountain and river views and these restaurants take full advantage of their locations to serve up meals and drinks with beautiful views.

18. Pine Tavern

The Pine Tavern is Bend’s oldest restaurant and an institution for generations of locals and visitors alike. Some also know the restaurant as being the place with trees growing through the restaurant in the middle of their dining room!

The real treat is sitting out on their patio with a view looking out over the Deschutes River.

The menu at Pine Tavern is traditional American with a focus on ingredients that show off the bounty of produce, meat, and seafood that Oregon provides.

Pine Tavern also has one of the best happy hours in town so we’d recommend grabbing an early seat, enjoying a cocktail and some appetizers, and taking in the unique ambiance of this historic restaurant.

19. Bend Brewing Company

Just down the street from Pine Tavern is another local brewery that takes full advantage of its location right along the Deschutes River.

Bend has no shortage of breweries with large grassy areas for hanging out with friends (think Crux & Good Life) but this downtown location is our favorite.

The large ponderosa pines that dot the space offer up plenty of shade during hot summer days and there is no shortage of picnic tables to choose from.

The food at Bend Brewing Company is pretty standard brewpub fare but it is all done well. We really enjoy the kimchi hotdog and soft pretzels. The beer brewed here is also excellent and they offer up a lot of different styles beyond the hazy IPAs that have taken over the taps at every single brewery in town.

Best Cheap Eats in Bend

If you’re looking for a spot to grab a quick bite to eat without breaking the bank then these spots don’t miss the mark.

20. Pizza Mondo

Pizza Mondo is one of our favorite pizza restaurants in town and serves up a great lunch and happy hour special.

For $8 you get a huge slice, a side salad, and a soda that will definitely leave you feeling full. For an extra $2 you can even upgrade the soda to a beer. Try finding a beer in town for less than $7 and here you get a pizza and salad for only a few dollars more!

Best of all the pizza here is delicious, even for pre-made slices!

21. Bangers and Brews

Bangers and Brews focuses on gourmet sausages and excellent craft beer with an Argentinian flair. For those that haven’t eaten there the Argentinian twist may not make a ton of sense but trust us when we say it works!

The basics of how it works is you pick a base sausage from offerings like Alaskan reindeer, chicken basil, wild boar, or even snake (!!), add toppings from their extensive list, and then top it off with a sauce of your choice.

The combinations are nearly endless and prices are quite affordable for the quality of food that you’re getting.

22. Hablo Tacos

Last but not least is this very popular east side taco shop. It used to share a patio with the east side Bangers and Brews which made choosing between the two very difficult but Bangers has since shut down and was replaced by a new Asian fusion concept.

Back to the tacos though, we love the Al Pastor tacos, chips and salsa, and fried Oregon rockfish tacos. The margaritas are also one of the best deals in town and best when shared as a pitcher with friends.

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