5 Superb Eateries In The Pacific Northwest
Thanks to its coastal influence and progressive culinary culture, the Pacific Northwest is brimming with restaurants that showcase the region's bountiful fresh ingredients in unique ways. There's something for everyone, whether it's great vegan dishes, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, or even a spot of tea. In no particular order, here are some eateries serving up delectable food and drink in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.
Showing up at #1 is Seattle's Cafe Flora. Its vegetarian menu melds global inspiration with the bounty of the Pacific Northwest, utilizing local, organic, and sustainable produce while building direct relationships with Washington farms. The company carries its eco-conscious philosophy into its sibling restaurants, which include Floret, located in the SeaTac airport, and the Flora Bakehouse, where patrons can enjoy fresh-baked pastries, bread, and a cup of coffee.
Cafe Flora's lunch and dinner menu includes sandwiches, salads, and entrees such as lobster mushroom risotto and Oaxaca tacos. Customers can also enjoy a weekend brunch, where breakfast platters are joined by house-favorites including pancakes and avocado toast. The eatery also boasts plenty of coffee, cocktail, wine, and juice options, plus sweets like cake and ice cream. Menus change often with seasons and ingredients.
For #2 we get Virtuous Pie. This pizza place was founded in Vancouver by vegan foodies Rob Milne and his sons Ben and Alex, who wanted to provide great-tasting food for our bodies and the planet. Committed to a healthy and handcrafted approach, it uses hand-stretched dough, plant-based cheese, and creamy small-batch ice creams that are all created in-house. Beyond Vancouver, Virtuous Pie has an additional British Columbia location in Victoria, as well as one in Portland, Oregon.
The eatery is dedicated to a creative, 100% plant-based menu and sustainable high-quality ingredients. Among its handcrafted pizzas are the Superfunghi, which uses cashew mozzarella and truffle almond ricotta, and Cajun Goddess, topped with vegan chicken, kale, and tofu feta. The restaurant's ice cream comes in flavors such as peanut butter & jam, while drinks include locally brewed kombucha, craft beer on tap, and locally produced wine.
At #3 is Mother's Bistro & Bar, which has grown over the years from a 90-seat restaurant on Stark Street to a 200-seat institution in Downtown Portland's Embassy Suites Hotel. The restaurant takes traditional homemade favorites and refines them with classical cooking techniques, striving to create an elevated version of "mom's cooking." Making everything from scratch, it utilizes ingredients such as Pacific Northwest wild salmon, pork, natural beef, and fine European-style butter.
This establishment specializes in slow-cooked foods that take hours to prepare, offering everything from hand-made dumplings to stews, roasts, and braised dishes. Diners can enjoy menu items including shiitake mushroom-crusted red snapper, bistro bowls, and a wide variety of sweets. To pay tribute to moms, executive chef and owner Lisa Schroeder highlights a different mother each month, and features some of that mother's special dishes at the beginning of the menu.
For #4 we have the Secret Garden Tea Company, one of the oldest tea houses in Vancouver. Located in Kerrisdale, a village-like community nestled in the heart of the city, it serves breakfast, lunch, brunch, and homemade miniature sweets and scones. Patrons can choose from a variety of specialty blends of the eponymous beverage, served steaming hot in a teapot with cup and saucer. They can also order online for delivery, as well as go to the store to pick up freshly baked pastries by the dozen.
The Secret Garden offers a seasonal High Tea menu, plus menus made for vegetarians, vegans, children, and those with gluten intolerance. Among the freshly steeped, loose-leaf offerings are an assortment of black, green, herbal, and rooibos teas, as well as special decaffeinated options. There are also sparkling wines, mimosas, and beer. For lunch, customers can select from many sandwiches, soups, and salads, and finish things off with a sweet confection.
Finally, coming in at #5 is Andaluca Restaurant, a Mediterranean-style eatery in Seattle. Independent and family-owned, it serves a selection of shareable plates as well as seasonal salads and Northwest entrees, with signature dishes including paella and Aleppo chicken. Inside, the restaurant features mahogany mill work, hand-painted murals, and plush, deep-toned fabrics that evoke a sun-baked Mediterranean grotto.
Andaluca's appetizers encompass an array of classic regional standbys like hummus, marinated olives, and chicken kebabs. Entrees include duck, a tamarind-brined and grilled pork chop, and pan-seared salmon. For dessert, customers can enjoy panna cotta and the restaurant's signature Liquid Chocolate Cake, among other treats. Andaluca allows for private dining events for a range of party sizes, with private function rooms available at the adjacent Mayflower Park Hotel.