Washington Cascade Mountains and Valleys Restaurants

Olympia and especially Tacoma have increasingly hip and sophisticated dining scenes, with everything from laid-back cafés to seasonally driven restaurants with water views. After those cities, Gig Harbor and Bellingham have the best food scenes—they’re not terribly big, but support fine little crops of notable restaurants. You’ll also find good brewpubs and indie coffeehouses in most of the larger towns in the area. Edmonds also has a growing bounty of exceptional eateries.

On the road, refueling takes place at country-style cafés, farm stands, and kitschy or specialty shops like the ’50s-style sweets shops of Port Gamble and Snoqualmie or the Norwegian bakeries of Poulsbo. None of these is in short supply, and many eateries, however small, pride themselves on using local ingredients.

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  • 1. Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro

    $ | American

    Long a top venue in downtown Bellingham, both for sampling distinctive, well-crafted microbrews and enjoying big portions of delicious pub fare...Read More

  • 2. Homeskillet

    $ | American

    This decidedly offbeat breakfast and lunch spot in a quiet neighborhood just north of downtown stands out both for its prodigious portions of...Read More

  • 3. La Tarasca

    $ | Mexican

    Fans of Michoacán-style Mexican food have been known to schedule their Portland–Seattle road trips to hit this festive but unfussy family-run...Read More

  • 4. Our Table

    $ | Modern American

    Locally sourced, sustainable ingredients take center stage in the artfully plated dishes at this otherwise simple-looking downtown restaurant...Read More

  • 5. Red Hot

    $ | Hot Dog

    The first thing you notice upon walking inside this bustling tavern and hot-dog joint are the dozens of beer taps hanging from the ceiling,...Read More

  • 6. Rexville Grocery

    $ | American

    From local artisanal chocolates to local microbrews, Rexville is one well-stocked country store, with a great mix of everyday and gourmet snacks...Read More

  • 7. Southern Kitchen

    $ | American

    Sure, it's awfully far north to be specializing in down-home Southern cooking, but this bustling, casual spot on Tacoma's north side, a little...Read More

  • 8. Anthem Coffee & Tea

    $ | Café

    Drop by this spacious, modern café to kick off the day with a well-crafted espresso drink and breakfast sandwich, or linger later in the day...Read More

  • 9. Calico Cupboard

    $ | Café

    A local favorite, this storefront bakery, with branches nearby in Anacortes and Mount Vernon, turns out some of the best pastries in Skagit...Read More

  • 10. Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen

    $ | American

    Even if you're not a beer aficionado, this spacious, chatter-filled brewpub in a modern industrial building near Whatcom Creek and the Maritime...Read More

  • 11. Cliff Droppers

    $ | Burger

    This casual burger joint with a small but decent beer list and an outdoor space draws hikers, skiers, families, and tourists on their way to...Read More

  • 12. COA Mexican Eatery

    $ | Mexican

    You'll find some of northern Washington's tastiest Mexican food, from wild-cod ceviche to chicken in a complex 30-ingredient mole sauce, at...Read More

  • 13. El Pueblito

    $ | Mexican

    The mariachi music, cilantro-and-chili-pepper scents from the kitchen, and a waitstaff that chats in Spanish are reminiscent of a compact cantina...Read More

  • 14. Europa Bistro

    $ | Italian

    Set in the middle of the genial and hip Proctor retail and restaurant district, on the city's north side (not too far from Point Defiance),...Read More

  • 15. Fish Tale BrewPub

    $ | American

    This long-running microbrewery and tavern in a slightly industrial section of downtown has a bustling, open dining room with mounted fish on...Read More

  • 16. Georgia's Bakery

    $ | Eclectic

    Although new owners took over and renamed the restaurant in 2015, this reliable fueling stop on the way to Snoqualmie Pass remains a trusted...Read More

  • 17. Harris Avenue Café

    $ | Café

    Occupying a light-filled, cheerfully painted late-Victorian building a few blocks from the port and train station in Fairhaven, this hugely...Read More

  • 18. New Moon Cafe

    $ | American

    This cheery, simple downtown breakfast and lunch spot renowned for its house-made blackberry jam and funky vibe is a cooperative, owned entirely...Read More

  • 19. Old World Deli

    $ | Sandwiches

    Epicureans flock to this bustling, high-ceilinged deli and specialty market in the heart of downtown for generously portioned sandwiches, salads...Read More

  • 20. Patty's Place at 19 Mile House

    $ | American

    For a memorable meal midway up Spirit Lake Highway, drop by this rustic roadhouse with a veranda overlooking the North Fork Toutle River—be...Read More

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