For the short but sweet visit from friends and family members, you might be wondering where to go for good eats and drinks. In between strolls through Shevlin Park, a drive up to Tumalo Falls, and heading back from Smith Rock, make these family-friendly stops while entertaining or hosting out-of-towners for some of the best food in Bend.
On Tap Food Cart Lot
For those arriving later in the day, head straight to On Tap Bend. If they’ve never been to Bend, visiting at least one of the local tap houses is a must. Relish in On Tap’s relaxed beer garden while sipping on cold ones and noshing on nachos and tacos from Barrio. Try the coveted dumplings and noodles from Himalayan Bites followed by indulgence in a bowl — vanilla ice cream drizzled with chocolate syrup and candy toppings from Shaka Shave Ice.
On Tap offers live music on most Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays. There’s plenty of space to let the kids run around and make new friends. And with over 30 varieties of craft beer, cider, wine, and kombucha on tap — plus six food trucks that can please any palate — this tap house is always a good idea. After a few pints and bites at On Tap, you and your guests will leave with happy hearts and tummies.
Visit On Tap
1424 NE Cushing Dr, Bend
The Commons Café & Taproom
Kickoff your morning with breakfast bites and coffee from The Commons. Sip on local Thump coffee — or, later, afternoon pints — while lounging in Adirondack chairs on the patio. Stay for Cypress Southern Kitchen’s pop-up, which starts serving at 11 am on weekends. Sunday brisket, anyone? Before leaving their courtyard, walk down the steps in front of The Commons to soak up the picturesque view of North Sister. Then, take a stroll through the beautiful and historic 100-year-old Drake Park.
Visit The Commons
875 NW Brooks St, Bend
To burn off some of that morning energy, walk the trail along the Deschutes River through Drake Park. If you’re cruising around with kids, The Lot is a great place to run around and make a few playground pit stops. As lunchtime approaches, walk the 5 blocks to one of Bend’s original food cart lots, The Lot. There, you’ll find a variety of cuisines and some of the best food in Bend.
Start with a shared basket of A’ la Carte’s parmesan garlic fries. The covered taproom rotates its 16 tap handles with local and regional beers, ciders, kombucha, CBD, hard seltzer, and wine. The Lot also offers free wifi, so it’s a great spot for work and play. When your tummy starts growling, you can’t go wrong with Fricken Faco’s fried chicken cart or a Super Gyro from Greek Street. Greek Street also serves fancy bottles of apple juice that are a hit with the little ones.
Visit The Lot
745 NW Columbia St, Bend
Boss Rambler Beer Club
It’s happy hour! And, your friends like beer, you say? Enter Boss Rambler, where there are as many taps as there are Adirondack chairs. Located just a block away from The Lot and near Downtown Bend, Boss Rambler’s patio is always a popular hub for gathering. And, with the recent addition of Unkle Kate’s Bait Shoppe just outside the patio, you can snack on fresh Maine lobster rolls. Boss Rambler was recently named #3 Best New Brewery by USA Today Readers Choice, and Best New Brewery in 2020 at the Oregon Beer Awards.
Visit Boss Rambler Beer Club
1009 NW Galveston Ave, Bend
Before you know it, dinner time arrives. What started out as a place for friends to rock out over jam sessions and sell beer in their downtime has evolved into one of Bend’s most popular food cart lots. The Podski is located across the street from The Box Factory, and hosts some of the best food carts in town for lunch and dinner. Start with Thailandia’s Panang curry with chicken (spicy level 3, if you’re feeling brave!) paired with Thai iced tea. For the table, split a variety of pierogies from Big Ski’s Pierogi, sushi rolls from ju:no, or carne asada quesadillas from Earl-n-Mabel. Of course, you can’t leave without tasting Toasty’s legendary vegan crunch wrap supreme — they’re famous around here!
Visit The Podski
536 NW Arizona Ave, Bend
Finish off the evening with dessert and a nightcap. Grove is Northwest Crossing’s newest (and largest) food and drink gathering spot and dining hall, and host to several new and expanded restaurants in Bend. Here, you won’t just find some of the best food in Bend, but some of the best cocktails, too.
Its resident bar, Waypoint, serves elevated cocktails in a casual setting. Sip on their Marimezcalita or special Tiki drinks on Tropic Tuesday. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a visit to Elly’s Ice Cream. Choose your scoop flavor, or go all out with their campfire sundae — complete with a torched, locally-made marshmallow.