Like a Local: The Best Restaurants in Hood River

by Jeff Rindskopf  |  Published January 2, 2017

Hood River is renowned as an outdoorsman’s paradise, offering ideal wind-surfing conditions, a surplus of picturesque hikes and close proximity to winter sports on Mount Hood. The natural bounty doesn’t end there however, as the uniquely fertile soil of the Columbia River Gorge has helped turn this modest resort town into a hotspot for culinary enthusiasts as well.   

Hood River Waterfront Park (Photo: Jeffrey Rindskopf)

Hood River Waterfront Park (Photo: Jeffrey Rindskopf)

3 Rivers Grill

A modest clapboard home on Oak Street hosts 3 Rivers Grill, an upscale dining location overlooking downtown Hood River and the Columbia River just beyond. Whether on the deck or inside the five separate dining areas, here guests can enjoy organic, Northwest-specific dishes like chicken encrusted with Oregon hazelnuts and couscous with local steelhead. Their award-winning wine list boasts a wide selection from independent wineries throughout the Northwest.

601 Oak St

Pfriem Family Brewers

Belgian-style artisanal beers are the main draw at Pfriem Family Brewers, but their food menu is not to be overlooked. The tasting room offers snacks, starters and entrees like potato croquettes or pork schnitzel, which use local ingredients to emulate old world favorites in new and delicious ways. Their beers come in pints or flights of six that allow drinkers to enjoy the complexity Pfriem brings to familiar brew styles like IPA and Belgian Dark.

707 Portway Ave

Solstice Wood Fire Cafe & Bar (Photo: Adam Steineke via Flickr / CC By 2.0)

Solstice Wood Fire Cafe & Bar (Photo: Adam Steineke via Flickr)

Solstice Wood Fire Café & Bar

Mere steps away from Hood River Waterfront Park, the family-owned Solstice Wood Fire Café & Bar serves pizzas infused with flavors unique to the Pacific Northwest including local pears, cherries and organic cremini mushrooms. The interior and outdoor patio areas are adorned with homey wooden accents and works from local artists, while the menu is full of creative thin-crusted pizza varieties and equally delicious supplemental dishes like their famous Moroccan beef stew.

501 Portway Ave

Sixth Street Bistro & Loft

A local bounty of fresh produce and meats is the central feature of Sixth Street Bistro & Loft’s extensive lunch and dinner menus, but what separates it from Hood River’s excess of similar Modern American eateries is the service. The friendly servers are always attentive and willing to educate diners on the care that goes into preparing each dish, including both simple classics like a half-pound cheeseburger and more creative fare like their rosemary maple quinoa and butternut squash salad.

509 Cascade Ave

Sixth Street Bistro & Loft (Photo: Sixth Street Bistro & Loft via Flickr / CC By 2.0)

Sixth Street Bistro & Loft (Photo: Sixth Street Bistro & Loft via Flickr)

Boda’s Kitchen

Boda’s Kitchen is a gourmet delicatessen that balances sustainable ingredients with great prices, even outside of their generous happy hours from 4 to 6 p.m. each day. On top of comforting classic sandwiches like their Thanksgiving-themed Turkey Berry, favorites include their curated cheese plates and lemon and herb-rubbed rotisserie chicken. Given 24-hours advance notice, Boda’s also prepares boxed lunches for events using popular dishes that can hold up long enough to be enjoyed later.

404 Oak St

Lake Taco

It can be a hard task locating Mexican food that’s totally authentic around the Pacific Northwest, but Hood River’s hole-in-the-wall institution Lake Taco offers just that. After ordering a shrimp taco or chili-dipped chorizo tortas, both of which come with kettle-cooked potato chips, fill up at their fresh salsa bar or watch the staff hand-prepare organic corn masa tortillas while you wait.

1213 June St

River Daze Café

The River Daze Café is locally famous for its breakfast and lunch sandwiches, all prepared with sustainable organic ingredients, including homemade sourdough English muffins and fresh produce grown at the owner’s own farm here in town. Enjoy coffee or beer alongside sweet and savory brunch entrees like their wild albacore tuna melt or waffles with bacon bits cooked right into the batter.

202 D Cascade Ave

Mike's Ice Cream (Photo: David Broberg via Flickr)

Mike’s Ice Cream (Photo: David Broberg via Flickr / CC By 2.0)

Mike’s Ice Cream

What better way to enjoy one of Hood River’s gorgeous summer afternoons than with a waffle cone and a cold scoop from Mike’s Ice Cream? This tiny seasonal ice cream shop is open from April to November each year and offers flavors both familiar and novel, like cherry vanilla, peppermint and galaxy (malted chocolate with chunks of white and dark chocolate). Their outdoor patio, complete with a kid-friendly wooden fortress, is the perfect place to relax while eating a small scoop of ice cream or a hefty hot fudge sundae.

504 Oak St