Get recommendations from a local! Save my list of the best restaurants in Willamette Valley including Newberg, Dundee, and McMinnville restaurants.
The secret of Willamette Valley wine country is out! It's become a popular alternative to Napa Valley for wine lovers looking for something less touristy and more authentic.
Oregon wineries are also easier on the wallet. Tastings cost a fraction of what they do in Napa. Think $15 to $35 compared to $50, $100, sometimes even more in Napa Valley.
Pair Oregon's affordability with the ultra-casual atmosphere and gorgeous views (you might even see Mt. Hood on a clear day)...it's easy to see why people are flocking to Willamette Valley for a wine getaway.
Oh, did I mention the wine is world-renowned and making a name for itself across the globe? Especially when it comes to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
As expected, the surge in tourism has created a flourishing restaurant scene. You'll find that most restaurants offer menus that change with the season and focus on locally sourced ingredients.
As I visit my family in Oregon at least once a year, I find myself coming back to my favorites over and over again.
Save my list of the best restaurants in Willamette Valley including Newberg, Dundee, and McMinnville restaurants for your next trip!
This map shows the best restaurants in the Willamette Valley. Click the icon in the very top left to see a list view of each pinned location. Click the top right button to enlarge the map. Click the star to save to your own Google Maps account. To access this map once saved (after clicking the star), open Google Maps (on your phone/computer/tablet), click the menu button, go to "your places", select "maps", and you will see this map listed.
Bistro Maison - McMinnville
One of my favorite restaurants in the Willamette Valley for a gourmet dinner and outstanding service
Bistro Maison is a classic French bistro and one of the BEST Willamette Valley restaurants located in the historic downtown area of McMinnville.
I make a point to dine at Bistro Maison at least once for brunch or dinner each time I visit. Husband and wife team Chef Jean-Jacques and Deborah have created a delicious French menu in a quaint and welcoming atmosphere.
This is a wonderful option for brunch or dinner. Some of my favorite items for brunch are the quiche du jour and croque monsieur. Bistro Maison also offers a killer burger made from NY strip steak ground to order.
Ask to sit on the garden patio if the weather is nice. If visiting for dinner, try the roasted hazelnut-crusted pork chop, confit de canard, and their locally-sourced mussels.
Bistro Maison is one of my favorite restaurants in Willamette Valley and has been for years. This is an absolute must in my opinion.
Thistle - McMinnville
One of the best restaurants in Willamette Valley for locally sourced ingredients
Thistle is an outstanding Farm-to-Table restaurant that was named Restaurant of the Year by the Oregonian. All ingredients are sourced from local farmers and ranchers within 20 miles of McMinnville.
The atmosphere is dimly lit and cozy, perfect for a romantic dinner. Check the chalkboard for the menu of the day and order the gnocchi if they have it.
Patrick, the mixologist, is a genius when it comes to cocktails. This is a good place to take a break from wine (though their selection is wonderful), and order a fun and inventive cocktail.
I will also note that Thistle is one of the most accommodating restaurants in Willamette Valley for dietary restrictions. The last time I went I was on a strict diet for autoimmune issues and they went above and beyond for me with a smile.
La Rambla - McMinnville
One of the best Willamette Valley restaurants for shareable plates
La Rambla offers a menu of Spanish tapas and expert cocktails with a lively atmosphere. Everything on the menu is fantastic! I recommend sticking with the small plates and skipping the large ones. The small plates allow you to try a bit of everything, which is more fun.
Try the chili shrimp, roasted cauliflower gratin, fried artichoke hearts, bacon dates, and piquillo peppers!
I'm not the only one who visits this tapas spot on repeat and sings its praises. La Rambla has been featured in several publications including Oregon Wine Press and Oregon Wine. Wine Spectator hailed La Rambla as a "culinary gem in the heart of Oregon's gorgeous wine country".
The Sage - McMinnville
One of the best Willamette Valley restaurants for a casual lunch
The Sage is a longtime favorite of locals. This lunch spot is known for its creamy broccoli soup, sandwiches made on thick homemade bread, and salads. The Sage is located upstairs inside a boutique shop on 3rd street in downtown McMinnville.
The Painted Lady - Newberg
One of the best Newberg Oregon restaurants for special occasions and multi-course menus
The Painted Lady offers an exquisite fine dining experience in Newberg, Oregon. World-class wine country cuisine is available in a 5 or 7 course menu. The Victorian restaurant is Oregon’s only Forbes Four Star and AAA Four Diamond dining experience and has the price to prove it.
The Painted Lady is one of the best restaurants in Willamette Valley for a special occasion.
Peirano & Daughters Market - McMinnville
One of the best McMinnville restaurants for picnic supplies
If you’re looking for sandwiches or charcuterie items to take with you for a day of wine tastings, Peirano & Daughters is a wonderful option.
Crescent Cafe - McMinnville
One of the best Willamette Valley restaurants for a local crowd
Crescent Cafe is a family-owned and operated "daytime cafe" focused on using seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.
Notice a theme yet with the "locally sourced, seasonal, rotating menus". That's Oregon wine country for you!
This is a great spot for a hearty brunch. The setting is casual and typically filled as the space is small.
You can't go wrong with any of the baked goods, which are made in-house daily from scratch. The coffee cake, typically a different flavor every day, is a must. The cinnamon rolls are also divine.
Other menu items to note are the caramelized banana pancakes, ham and cheese crepes, and veggie hash served with homemade bread.
The Joel Palmer House - Dayton
One of the best restaurants in Willamette Valley for fine dining and wild mushrooms
The Joel Palmer House is perfect for those looking for a fine dining experience. Choose between the $85 5-course menu or the $145 10-course Oregon Omakase menu.
The cooking revolves around wild mushrooms and truffles, which they gather themselves. Wild mushroom risotto, escargot with truffle butter, truffled infused beef tartar, angel hair pasta with crab in a mushroom cream sauce, mushroom beef Wellington...you get the drift. Mushrooms of all kinds are the star of the show.
This is one of the best restaurants in Willamette Valley if you're a mushroom and truffle lover.
Red Hills Market - Dundee
One of the best Willamette Valley restaurants for a snack between wine tastings
Red Hills Market is close to a number of top wineries in Dundee. It's the perfect stop for a snack between tastings or for to-go picnic items. They offer hearty sandwiches, wood-fired pizzas, fresh salads, soups, and charcuterie items.
Pizza Capo - McMinnville
The best restaurant in Willamette Valley for wood-fired pizza
Pizza Capo is a new addition to the growing list of restaurants in Willamette Valley. It didn't take long for the Napoletana-style pizza to become a hit with both locals and tourists. I recommend arriving when they open at 4:00 pm as the line is consistently out the door.
Order the arancini (saffron risotto balls filled with pork ragu, tomato butter, and parmigiano) and the valley special pizza with pepperoni, romanesco, cauliflower, broccoli, chili, goat cheese, and red onion.
The mushroom pizza with oyster and cremini mushrooms, caramelized onion, fontina cheese, and fried sage is also very good. This thin-crust pizza will have you reminiscing of Italy in no time!
Recipe - reopening in McMinnville early 2023
Recipe's original location in Newberg is officially closed. The new McMinnville location is set to open early this year and will offer an a la carte menu with "worldly inspired dishes". Below is my description of the Newberg location. I'll update this once the McMinnville location is open.
Recipe's founder, Chef Paul, is truly talented and uses only the finest ingredients for a seasonally fresh menu. Choose from items like fresh oysters, brioche monkey rolls with miso cream cheese, savory sourdough pancakes with fennel-cured salmon, duck-leg confit, homemade pasta, and pacific swordfish.
These are my top 10 picks for the best restaurants in Willamette Valley. Whether you're craving an Italian-style pizza in a casual setting or an elegant multi-course affair, Oregon wine country will not leave you hanging.
Now is the time to visit as this region is quickly gaining popularity.