The farm-to-table concept is in full bloom in Oregon. Its cuisine highlights regional seafood, locally raised meat, and organic produce. Farm stands are plentiful in the rural areas and are definitely worth a stop; almost all cities have at least a weekly farmers' market.
Almost every city in Oregon has a stellar dining spot. Portland takes a back seat to no city in terms of culinary excellence in all price ranges. The city's latest rage are the food carts that are springing up in parking lots and along roadsides.
Oregon's wines are well regarded throughout the world, particularly those produced in the Willamette Valley. Almost every town has its own local brewery. Coffee, of course, is a staple in Portland, and every community has at least one espresso joint.
Reservations and Dress
Regardless of the venue, it's a good idea to inquire whether reservations are needed on a weekend evening. We only mention them specifically when reservations are essential (there's no other way you'll ever get a table) or when they are not accepted. For popular restaurants, book as far ahead as you can (often a week is more than ample), and reconfirm as soon as you arrive. (Large parties should always call ahead to check the reservations policy.) We mention dress only when men are required to wear a jacket or a jacket and tie.
Wine, Beer, and Spirits
Oregon's wineries mostly lie in the Willamette Valley between the northern Cascades and the coast. The Oregon Wine Board maintains a helpful Web site, with facts, history, and information on local wineries.
Oregon has more than 60 microbreweries, with plenty of festivals and events celebrating its brews. The Oregon Brewers Guild also has links to breweries and information on events.
You must be 21 to buy alcohol in Oregon.
Oregon Brewers Guild. www.oregonbeer.org.
Oregon Wine Board. www.oregonwine.org.
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