Home » A Taste of the High Desert Food Trail
Together with Travel Oregon, Visit Central Oregon, and Oregon Food Trails, the HDFFA created the High Desert Food Trail, a self-guided tour of Central Oregon’s farms, restaurants, cafés, breweries, distilleries, and culinary experiences that support the efforts of our local farmers.
Central Oregon is often a destination for skiing, kayaking, hiking, and all-around outdoor adventures. However, Oregon’s High Desert is also known for its culinary experiences. This includes hyperlocal sourcing and collaborations among farms, eateries, and breweries.
The High Desert Food and Farm Alliance (HDFFA) works to connect community with local farmers to bring fresh, nutrient-dense foods from their farms to our plates.
High Desert Food Trail features 45 businesses that highlight some of Central Oregon’s extraordinary agritourism destinations. Here, we’ve featured just a taste of what the High Desert Food Trail has to offer.
You’ll find more than 20 restaurants and eateries along the High Desert Food Trail. Whether you’re starting out your morning with a quick breakfast on the way to Smith Rock State Park or unwinding after a day on the Deschutes River, you’ll find plenty of locally-sourced options throughout Central Oregon.
Central Oregon’s pioneer coffee roasters, Sister Coffee, started roasting beans in the 80s. Since then, they’ve expanded with two cafés in Central Oregon and one in Portland. Sisters Coffee’s flagship café, located in the heart of downtown Sisters, serves specialty coffee drinks, housemade baked goods, made-to-order breakfast and brunch items, and local beer, wine, and cider.
For an elevated drip coffee, try a slow pour-over with the roast of the day. In lieu of an iced coffee, try a smooth Nitro cold brew (no cream or sugar required!). Sisters Coffee’s Hood Ave two-story café offers plenty of space to sit and slowly sip your coffee du jour. Or, take your coffee on the go before exploring the quaint town of Sisters.
Old Bend’s bustling corner café is a favorite breakfast hub for locals and visitors alike. Located in the heart of Bend’s Whiskey Flats neighborhood, Jackson’s Corner is a popular eatery serving brunch and dinner using many locally-sourced ingredients, including in-house baked bread, handmade pasta, and naturally leavened pizza doughs.
Jackson’s Corner sources produce from Central Oregon farms like Rainshadow Organics, Boundless Farmstead, and Casad Family Farms. Many of their meats are sourced from North 44 Farm in Bend and Well Rooted Farms in Redmond.
Additionally, you’ll find Oregon-centric ingredients from places like Jacobsen Salt, Tillamook Creamery, and Groundwork Organics. With community in mind, Jackson’s Corner intentionally chooses local and organic farmers committed to responsible and humane farming practices for a nourishing and purposeful menu.
For a lighter take on breakfast, try the breakfast sammy made with Well Rooted Farms pork sausage, Tillamook sharp white cheddar, a folded egg, lemon aioli, and arugula served on a sweet bun. For a meat-free option, order the Sammy vegetarian style.
The SCP Hotel in Redmond has become a hub for cocktail lounging, rooftop imbibing, and plant-forward dining. Terra Kitchen, located on the main floor of the SCP Hotel, creates seasonal plant-based dishes using Central Oregon produce and grains.
Start the evening with a basket of grilled whole-grain sourdough from Unity Breads, owned and operated by one of Terra’s chefs. The potatoes bravas, a permanent menu fixture, are a must for the table and feature Fields Farms potatoes and SCP garden herbs.
Each season dictates the farm vegetable paella’s add-ins, which are often sourced from Terrebonne’s Sunrgrounded Farms and always served over Bomba rice.
While all dishes are vegetarian, many are also vegan and most dishes can be prepared gluten-free. And, desserts are available in both sweet and savory varieties. After dinner, take the elevator up to The Rooftop for a nightcap and catch a Cascade Mountain Range sunset.
Wine, Beer & Spirits
It’s no doubt that craft beer reigns supreme in Central Oregon. But, with the rise of High Desert distilleries, vineyards, and wineries, there’s a craft beverage option for just about every taste. And, you don’t have to imbibe to drink locally. Sip on local kombucha, non-alcoholic craft beer, or a mocktail at one of these High Desert Food Trail stops.
Faith Hope & Charity Vineyards
Contrary to popular belief, there is a handful of hearty grape varietals that not only grow but thrive in Central Oregon. Situated along 312 acres in Terrebonne, Faith Hope & Charity Vineyards grows grapes that can withstand up to -32º temperatures.
Red varietals, like Marquette and Leon Millot, were planted in 2010. They had their first harvest, including white varietals like Frontenac Gris and La Crosse, in 2015.
Located just 14 miles from Smith Rock, the vineyard offers wine tasting in its barn-style tasting room and private tours of the 15-acre vineyard. Grab a seat around their duck pond or situate yourself to take in the views of surrounding Central Oregon canyons and sip some of their award-winning wines.
Pair a glass of wine or tasting flight with pizzas made fresh in their outdoor pizza oven and enjoy live music every Thursday through Saturday during the summer. For a unique tasting, ask about their silver-lining-born Blessings sparkling wine
Sour beer lovers, rejoice! Ale Apothecary is brewing some of the best hyper-local sour beers in Oregon. Founded in 2011, Ale Apothecary’s artisanal brews are made in a small brewery in the forest just west of Bend.
Using barley and wheat malts from Grade Estate Malt in Madras, Ale Apothecary uses a natural fermentation process—never force carbonating their beers.
Their tasting room in Bend may seem unassuming, but it’s anything but basic. Owners Paul and Staci Arney are often greeting, serving, and chatting with customers, describing notes of their small-batch barrel-aged sours and telling stories of their wooded home brewery.
Raw Oregon honey is used to condition the bottles, which are later corked and aged to maturation. And, if you think that beer is “not your thing,” consider this—Ale Apothecary’s funky brews tend to meet somewhere between a beer, sparkling wine, and a shrub. Stay for a pint of Farmhouse and leave with a 750mL bottle of Fierce Turtle.
Oregon Spirit Distillers
From the arrival of High Desert grains to sipping Straight American Bourbon Whiskey in the tasting room—it all takes place at Oregon Spirit Distillers’ midtown Bend distillery.
Using regionally sourced ingredients and pure Cascadian water, Oregon Spirits Distillers makes award-winning bourbons, whiskeys, and botanical spirits. Sip on whiskey and bourbon flights or enjoy a crafted cocktail using their house-made Luster Limoncello or herbaceous spirits while watching the distillation process through the windows of the tasting room.
For a farm-to-table experience, take a tour of the distillery with one of their in-house experts. See the process from start to finish, and end with a flight of whiskey in the tasting room or on their expansive outdoor patio. Tours require a reservation and cost $20 per person. On weekends, find live music and food carts in their buzzing indoor/outdoor tasting room.
Farm To Table
Without the farmers of Central Oregon, we couldn’t have the High Desert Food Trail. When you visit a Bend or Central Oregon farm, you’re supporting these farmers directly from the source.
Plus, many of these farms offer incredible farm-to-table dining, experiences, and boutique shops where you can purchase High Desert fare.
The primary purpose of the High Desert Food Trail is to showcase culinary experiences that source from local farmers of Central Oregon.
So, what happens when the farm is the culinary experience? Rainshadow Organics, located between Terrebonne and Sisters, takes you through every step from the farm to the fork.
As a full-diet farm, Rainshadow offers seasonal and year-round CSAs that include veggies and herbs, raw milk, whole grains and flours, eggs, meat, and honey. Additionally, they provide many Central Oregon establishments with organic produce, meat, and grains. During the summer, Rainshadow features a myriad of farm-to-table events on their High Desert farm.
On Sunday mornings, enjoy a 3-course brunch along their insulated deck. Then, finish your meal with a visit to the adjoining farm store. As the weather gets warmer and the nights stay lighter, join Rainshadow for a long table dinner in the garden. This 4-course dinner can be paired with wines from Rainshadow’s farm store. Or, bring a bottle from home for a $20 corkage fee.
Furthermore, all meals are prepared by Chef Nic Maraziti with 100% Rainshadow Organics ingredients. Meals are produce-forward, with meat from their sister cattle ranch Pitchfork T Ranch.
SunLife Farm and Ranch
As one of Central Oregon’s newest agritourism destinations, SunLife Farm and Ranch aims to be one of the region’s most diverse agricultural destinations for locals and visitors.
This summer, SunLife will unveil its years-long project of lavender fields, an apiary, outdoor yoga, hiking trails, and farm store. Furthermore, SunLife is also working to make areas that are ADA accessible, creating an opportunity for everyone to experience their farm and ranch.
In addition to by-appointment farm visits, SunLife offers monthly seasonal events. Think lavender picking and 5k races at their 160-acre farm. With over 20 miles of trail options throughout the property, SunLife offers an escape from the hustle and bustle.
After a scenic hike, relax in one of their shaded hammocks while sipping on a beverage from the farm store. And, be sure to grab a jar of Bootah Bees honey on your way out.
L&S Farm and Gardens
Linda Stephenson had already written several gardening books, including ‘Cold Climate Gardening’, when she and her husband, Sonny, started L&S Farm and Garden in Prineville in 2017. As a ninth-generation Central Oregonian, gardening and farming go back to Linda’s roots (pun very much intended).
On the petite grounds of L&S Farm and Garden, you’ll find baby doll sheep, free-range chickens, Angus beef, and a single hoop house with seasonal herbs and produce.
Linda offers seasonal tea parties catered to children and their parents, along with a year-round farm store. Here, she sells farm-fresh eggs, baked goods, jams and jellies, and a variety of salsas and pickled vegetables.
The farm’s USDA-inspected kitchen is also permitted to sell their beef and pork by the pound. Give this quaint farm a visit and stock up on housemade canned goods while paying a visit to their livestock.
With many of these locations serving wine, beer, and spirits, it’s important to consider transportation. Shuttle Oregon offers custom and private trips for groups in Central Oregon, allowing you to enjoy the High Desert Food Trail without the worry of ride shares. Notably, their outfitted shuttles include Wi-Fi, charging stations, air conditioning, and beverages for the trip.
Learn more about the High Desert Food Trail. Thank you to Visit Central Oregon for supporting Eat Drink Bend and making it possible for us to visit these farms and eateries along the High Desert Food Trail.