Bend’s food scene continues to bloom with dozens of new bars, restaurants, and food experiences to try. While some plans were delayed during quarantine, a wide variety of new bars and restaurants have recently opened, including some of the tastiest options in Central Oregon. Here are some of the latest restaurants in Central Oregon to open this year and why you should stop by!
1. Boxwood Kitchen
Boxwood Kitchen is one of Old Mill’s newer dinner restaurants, offering a delicious, eclectic menu that ranges from Duck Confit and tuna bowls to Chicken Schnitzel and stuffed zucchini. The theme is high-end comfort food: Whatever you’re looking for to taste and feel good, you’re likely to find something here (right down to the amazing mac ‘n’ cheese). Two notes: First, the menu isn’t really designed to be kid-friendly, so you may want to plan accordingly. Second, the Kitchen is currently only open in the evening so make your plans for dinner!
2. Rapa Nui Tiki Lounge
Taking the second story space of Level 2 and its incredible views of the Cascade sunsets, this Lounge is fully inspired by tropical bar traditions, and goes all out in presentation, borrowing from tropical bar scenes from across the world. If you’re looking for the latest cocktail creations in Bend or a special place to meet for evening drinks, it needs to be on your list. The Tahitian Rum punch is a particular favorite, but you’ll find tropical cocktails of every kind here. The food menu is limited to tasty Asian fusion tapas, but some plates are large enough to count as your meal for the evening – just make sure to make reservations if you’re eating!
3. Unkle Kate’s Bait Shoppe
We’re not going to include too many food trucks on our list (or it would become a very long list), but this unique food experience deserves a shout-out for a couple of reasons. First, it may be the only place on the West Coast where you can get authentic New England lobster rolls. They have lobster freeze-dried and shipped directly from favorite spots on the east coast, and the addition of rich, flaky warm bread is a perfect combination that you can’t get anywhere else. Second, the truck is right next to Boss Rambler, a chic little bar and café looking out on Galveston, and the perfect place for an afternoon hangout. Note that the Baite Shoppe is currently only open in the latter part of the week.
4. Bangers & Brews
While it’s been open for a little while, not nearly enough people have tried it yet. If you are a fan of traditional bratwurst dishes (plus some inspiring Argentinian additions), you’ll love the fully authentic Bangers & Brews experience. Pick your brats, pick your toppings, and order enough for the whole table or just yourself – you’ll love the experience either way.
5. Bos Taurus
If you love steak and are living in Bend, you need to make reservations at Bos Taurus immediately: The new restaurant specializes in steak: All the primary dishes are steaks from a variety of farms throughout the western half of the United States, featuring a variety of cuts based on what’s currently available (there’s also fish and chicken options if you aren’t feeling like red meat, as well as a variety of starters, but the focus here is clear). The restaurant even has a Butcher side shop where you can purchase your own cuts to take home and grill as you prefer. As always, make your reservations well ahead of time!
6. The Cellar
The Cellar is a new downtown pub that sits underground in a century-old building built stone by stone into an inviting grotto. The style is somewhere between English Pub (the hand pumps are even imported from the UK) and old-fashioned speakeasy, both beautiful and cozy at the same time. There are a variety of in-house brews that you won’t be able to find anywhere else, including traditional naturally carbonated, flask-fermented brews. The menu is also based on favorite British classics includes savory pies, sausage bites, and more.
7. Sen Thai Hot Pot and Noodle House
Bend’s Thai food scene gets yet another great entrant with the stunning Sen Thai’s, featuring a diverse menu that’s guaranteed to have your favorite Thai dishes, whether you are looking for a flavorful hot pot experience (noodle, stir fry, and dry dishes are all available) or an amazing rendition of Thai street food dishes. If you love Thai food and are looking for where to eat in Bend, make your reservations today.