Seattle may have a big food scene, but the smaller towns in Washington are where you can really find some of the best dishes. Especially when they’re made with fresh, local ingredients from right here in the Pacific Northwest. The next time you’re looking for a bite to eat, skip out on the crowded bistros in the city and find one of the many local spots in these 15 small towns.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
You may know Roslyn as the home to this cafe's famous mural, which was featured in the '90s show "Northern Exposure." But the town has plenty more fantastic options, too - like The Roslyn Roadhouse, Village Pizza and The Brick Tavern.
2. Port Townsend
Port Townsend is a small, charming town on the Olympic Peninsula, known for their Victorian-style architecture, thriving arts scene, and of course, wonderful selection of local restaurants. Get a taste of the clam chowder at Fountain Cafe, or try a dish from one of their countless other spots - like: The Blue Moose Cafe, Hudson Point Cafe, Silverwater Cafe and Sweet Laurette Cafe & Bistro.
Cafe Burlington is one of the many quality places to grab a bite to eat here in Skagit Valley. You can also find outstanding local fare at Train Wreck and NYP Bar and Grill.
Pullman may be a small college town, but they have a pretty decent selection when it comes to restaurants. South Fork Pub House never disappoints with their deluxe burgers and fries, nor does Cougar Country Drive-In. More great options include: Black Cypress, and the pub fare at Paradise Creek Brewery - which is situated inside of an old, historic post office building.
Sumner is a small town just outside of Puyallup, with a variety of bistros for every meal of the day. You can find great eats at: BerryLand Cafe, The Buttered Biscuit, The Windmill Bistro, Branks BBQ, and Sorci's Italian Cafe and Enoteca.
Just east of Leavenworth, Cashmere has a vast selection of five-star-worthy Mom & Pop restaurants. Check out the ribs from Country Boys BBQ, the burgers from Rusty's Drive In, and the authentic Mexican fare from Taqueria El Chavo.
Camas is a historic town on the Columbia River, just east of Vancouver. They're lucky to have several restaurants to satisfy almost any craving, ranging from seasonal cuisine at Roots Restaurants, to burgers at K&M Drive In, and Russian-style comfort food at Natalia's Cafe.
8. Friday Harbor
Visiting Friday Harbor is a must while you're on San Juan Island. It's a total paradise for art lovers with neighborly shops, galleries and an array of local restaurants without fast food chains everywhere, like: The Place Restaurant, Cask & Schooner and Rocky Bay Cafe.
9. Moses Lake
Moses Lake offers plenty of great local options in eastern Washington. Michael's On The Lake (as seen here) features a gorgeous view overlooking the water, along with excellent steak and seafood. Some other local favorites include: Chico's Pizza, Michael's Market & Bistro, Simmer, El Rodeo Mexican Restaurant and Rock Top Burgers & Brew.
Enumclaw offers plenty of outdoor opportunities and dining options about an hour outside of Seattle. The Kettle, in particular, is known for their massive home-style breakfast dishes. If you have enough room for lunch, check out The Historic Mint Restaurant for some craft brews and burgers. Top it all off with a sweet pie from The Pie Goddess, and you'll be full for the next week.
After browsing the many antique shops in Snohomish, you can find an excellent selection of places to sit down and eat. Try a giant, housemade cinnamon roll from The Maltby Cafe, the Northwest fare from Trails End Taphouse & Restaurant, or the all-day American foods like omelettes and burgers from Jake's Cafe on 2nd Street.
Anacortes is filled with quality restaurants serving seafood & Northwest favorites on Fidalgo Island. For local catch, check out Adrift downtown, or The Secret Cove - which is off the beaten path, but overlooks the beautiful Guemes Channel.
Lynden is a charming, walkable town in northeastern Washington, complete with a windmill, Dutch architecture and several local dining options. You can wake up with fluffy pancakes from Dutch Mothers Family Restaurant, stop by Fairway Cafe for lunch, and top it off with melt-in-your-mouth pastries from Lynden Dutch Bakery.
Arlington is a small rural town just north of Marysville, with a range of local fare that can satisfy almost any appetite. Some of their highest rated spots include: Nutty's Junkyard Grill, Bistro San Martin, Moose Creek BBQ and Blue Bird Cafe.
15. North Bend
If you're heading out to hike Mount Si this summer, stop by North Bend and try a dish from the famous Twede's Cafe. They were even featured in the television show Twin Peaks, back in the '90s. The area's home to all kinds of excellent options - like Boxley's, which serves as a jazz club, and the classic North Bend Bar & Grill.
Have you been to any of these small towns before? Where are some other places you would recommend to eat?