Good Eats in Ashland
Welcome to the Travel Oregon staff’s monthly “Good Eats” blog! This month, we’re exploring the unique cuisine of Ashland, located in Southern Oregon. If you’re planning on heading down to Ashland for the Tony Award-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival, you’re in luck! This town has a wide variety of options, all of which are absolutely delectable choices.
Our staff has put together a list of restaurant reviews, ranging from Asian Fusion to Polyethnic that are guaranteed to make your mouth water.
Dragonfly Restaurant- Reviewed by Jessica Sherifdeen
Dragonfly, located just down the street from the Shakespeare Festival serves a fusion of Latin and Asian dishes which will delight your senses and leave you planning your next trip before your last bite is gone.
I tried their lettuce cups which cannot be matched; not only is the teriyaki chicken savory, but the abundant sauces — some sweet, some mild, some fire hot and some peanutty — sent a plethora of flavor rushing to my taste buds. I also tried a tofu and vegetable Thai curry served over noodles and perfectly balanced with ginger, basil and lemongrass to create a warm, soothing dish with a twist.
The opportunity should not be passed up to enjoy such a jewel of a feast.
Pangea Grills & Wraps – Reviewed by Mo Sherifdeen
I can’t ever go to Ashland without making a “lunch stop” at Pangea Restaurant. They’re a small family-owned restaurant located on Main Street and puts together an eclectic menu of delectable wraps, soups, salads and Panini’s.
Using hormone-free, free-range meats, wild salmon and seasonally organic and local produce, they produce some of the most exotic “fusion” wraps I’ve eaten. My favorites are the “Indian Curried Chicken”, which blends together curry spiked chicken with tomato, red onion, carrots, roasted peppers and curried aioli, and the “Grill from Ipanema” which has grilled chicken, avocado, tomato, red onion and roasted garlic aioli. But of course if you’re not in the mood for a wrap, there are plenty of soups and salads to choose from. With all this to choose from plus diverse offerings of vegan, wheat-free and low-carb options, you will see why I can’t stop going there!
Pilaf Restaurant- Reviewed by Ashley Moran
Pilaf includes Polyethnic cuisine, with Greek, Middleastern and Mediterranean spices. I had never tried authentic Polyethnic food before, and I ended up being thoroughly impressed. My friend and I ordered two samplers: the Turkish sampler (spinach pie in puff pastry, eggplant imam, cucumbers with yogurt sauce, garden salad, and pita bread). We also ordered the Arabic sampler, which contained Mujadarra (lentils and rice), salad with garlicky yogurt, falafel with tahini, hummus, and pita bread. Not to mention the Sweetie fries, which are basically seasoned french fries made from two types of potatoes- the perfect accent to a meal! This dinner was incredible, and completely guilt-free! Nearly all the ingredients on the menu were organic or vegetarian (with a few exceptions for the meat lovers, of course). I also tasted some loose-leaf Egyptian chamomile tea, which arrived in a personal tea press and was absolutely to die for. In addition to that, I had a glass of French Chardonnay, which was crisp and delightful.
I would highly recommend visiting Pilaf, as their food is wonderful and the atmosphere is incredibly cozy. We had the best seat in the house- right next to the blazing fireplace (perfect for a cold, snowy day).
Larks Restaurant- Reviewed by Carole Astley
I tried a glass of wine (as luck would have it, we sat down next to the sommelier at the bar so she offered up great wine choices for us) and an aperitif at Larks Restaurant (well actually the bar). I recommend the crab fondue! I raved about it the whole weekend it was so good, but they have irregular hours so if you want it a second time during your stay, you may want to plan accordingly.
Ashland Bakery- Reviewed by Ashley Moran
Ashland Bakery is an adorable bakery/cafe located only a block or two away from the Shakespeare Festival. They serve breakfast and lunch, in addition to espresso drinks and bakery items. I would highly recommend their espresso latte, paired with a caprese sandwich and fresh green salad. The caprese sandwich contains fresh Mozzarella, ripe tomatoes, basil, olive oil & oregano grilled on fresh foccacia bread- a very light and healthy meal (but still enough to fill me up). I’ve got my eye on their breakfast burrito, however (scrambled eggs, jack cheese, Canadian bacon, potatoes & onions served with sour cream & roasted pepper salsa) so I will return before too long!
Black Sheep- Reviewed by Carole Astley
After the evening play, a stroll on over to the Black Sheep, a British themed pub, will find you all sorts of interesting mixed draft beer combos to tempt your post-play palate. As was only fitting, I had the Razzle Dazzle which is a combo of Cider & Raspberry Liqueur and mighty tasty I might add!
Editor’s Note: Yes, there are SO MANY more restaurants in Ashland and this column does not do justice to them all! For a complete list of the best of what Southern Oregon has to offer, head to our Southern Oregon dining section.