Pub food is just the beginning. Bend’s foodie culture is on the rise, drawing on influences from around the world for fascinating and delicious fusion dishes. If you can’t make up your mind, we advise stopping by one of Bend’s memorable food cart plazas, which include The Lot, Podski and On Tap. We’ll also give a special shout out to Spoken Moto, which manages to be a motorcycle repair shop, café, bar, merchandise shop and food court — all at the same time.
The food experience in Bend wouldn’t be complete without a stop by some of the best and most innovative restaurants, too. Make sure your list includes places like Spork, Hola, Jackson’s Corner, Chow and Sparrow Bakery!
Google Bend, and one of the first things you’ll see is that it’s known for beer. It boasts the most breweries per capita of any place in the United States, and has a long list of famous labels, including Deschutes, 10 Barrel, Crux and much more. There’s even an Ale Trail activity to visit more popular pubs and breweries around the city to win prizes.
In recent years, the flood of talented breweries has been complemented by a rise in cider makers, wineries and boutique cannabis shops, so there really is something for everyone.
A look at the Bend lifestyle wouldn’t be complete without talking about the food. Taking cues from both Northwest styles and California foodie culture, Bend is packed full of delicious dining experiences, from Old Mill casual food to downtown pubs and Eastside restaurants. The outdoor food carts and beer gardens are particularly worth trying as skilled chefs practice their favorite dishes.
When you look for sit-down restaurants, the “pub food with a twist” vibe is sure to catch your eye, and you’ll never run out of dishes to try. But spare some time for Bend’s excellent forays into Peruvian, Asian and European fusion restaurants, boasting dishes miles beyond any ordinary fare. Bend also sees plenty of entrepreneurial activity too, so there’s always something new to try!
Bend avoids the indoor mall and instead focuses on free-flowing, terrain-friendly outdoor shopping centers, of which there are many. Feeling more upscale? Take a walk around the gorgeous Old Mill District. Look for a blend of familiar and interesting? Try The Forum on Bend’s east side, or Cascade Village toward the north. Of course, there are many smaller malls that dot the area from the Westside to Brookswood, offering an unique combination of food and shopping that’s so much a part of Bend’s culture.
Looking for familiar brands? Don’t worry! The shopping centers include plenty of time-tested brands like Best Buy, Whole Foods, Target, and Pier 1. Meanwhile, a drive up and down 3rd Street will quickly show you familiar markets like Fred Meyer, Walmart, Walgreens, Safeway, Albertsons and much more – all easily accessible.
Many shopping experiences are more unique to Bend, offering a closer look at what makes the city a special place. Taking some inspiration from Portland (but with better weather), on clear weekends you can find farmers’ markets in places like Northwest Crossing and artist markets downtown where you can check out the latest local creations.
Speaking of downtown, it’s always worth a stroll to see what cool new shops have popped up. Bonta Gelato is a recent winner for those who like artisan ice cream in the summer, and establishments like Crow’s Feet Commons (a mixture of bike shop, ski shop, café and bar on the edge of Drake Park) has been a favorite stop for Bendites for several years now. On the way back, you may want to stop by Dudley’s, another hybrid shop that combines a café and used/new bookstore – with an upper room available for meetings!
This is only the beginning of Bend’s unique shopping experiences. A visit to the Old Mill outdoor mall isn’t complete without a stop by the Savory Spice Shop, where unique spice blends are made while you watch. Serious downtown shoppers will want to stop by Hot Box Betty to check out hand-selected clothing and accessories from around the world.