Most come to Baker City for some of the best hiking, backpacking and snow sports in the state. But this historic town is also emerging as one of the coolest little foodie towns in Eastern Oregon, a secret haven for artisan food and drink.
Here, you don’t have to travel far — just walk down the block, really — for an Instagram-worthy food-and-drink tour.
Lone Pine Cafe
Start with huevos rancheros or juicy burger at Lone Pine Cafe, where everything is locally and sustainably sourced, and you can get breakfast all day. If you’re in between meals, you can linger over a good cup of coffee and a slice of salted honey pie, listen to vinyl records and maybe even watch the snow fall outside.
Sweet Wife Baking
Keep the good times rolling just down the street with a bacon apple maple scone from Sweet Wife Baking, where everything is 100-percent scratch-made. Sweet Wife prides itself on homemade versions of nostalgic treats, like Twinkies and Oreos. Sweet and savory, it’s all sublime — from the loaves of fresh-baked breads to the herbed goat cheese quiche, hazelnut macarons, pork pie and whatever else comes out of the magical oven that day. Open Wednesdays, Fridays (Pie Days) and Sundays, get there early before they sell out and call ahead at least three days in advance to pre-order treats to take home (trust us, it’s worth it).
Barley Brown’s Brewery
As a nice palate cleanser, head down the block to Barley Brown’s Brewpub (or their tasting room next door), for a refreshing pint. Malty, hoppy, fruity or even spicy, this family brewery isn’t afraid of bold flavors. For something new, try the hot black beer — cerveza negra caliente — a winter jalapeno ale with hints of chocolate and roast, finishing with a warming spice. Their Shredders Wheat, an American-style wheat beer, took silver in the Great American Beer Festival in 2016.
No food tour is complete without chocolate. Peterson’s Gallery and Chocolatier is an endorphin rush of handmade truffles, ganache and other chocolate confections. Wander and enjoy the creative space with a cup of French-pressed coffee or real drinking chocolate — the velvety smooth, semi-sweet, semi-bitter liquid indulgence.
Wander around the corner to Glacier45 Distilling to warm up with a nip of bourbon whiskey or hot cinnamon vodka. Opened in 2016, the corn vodka is distilled on site, which you can see behind the glass from the tasting room floor. Their infused vodkas — cucumber, huckleberry or pepper — are also lovely straight-up or in a celebratory cocktail.
Geiser Grand Hotel
Next head across the street to a historic landmark. Built in 1889 and spectacularly restored in 1993, the Geiser Grand Hotel is must-visit in Baker City. The elegant hotel is home to two restaurants, such as the iconic Palm Court, where you can dine on farm-to-table feasts amidst ornate mahogany, crystal chandeliers and a giant stained glass ceiling.
Copper Belt Wines
Mosey over to Copper Belt Wines, which became the area’s first winery in 2010. Owner and winemaker Travis Cook planted his estate vineyard on the land of his family’s old homestead, part of the Snake River Valley AVA, but you can enjoy the rich wines in the comforts of downtown Baker City. Perhaps best of all, Cook’s sister, Cody, runs The Cheese Fairy – Cheese Shop, out of the tasting room.
Finally, take in a nightcap at Lefty’s Taphouse, home to 31 taps of craft beer and cider. There are plenty of non-beer and non-alcoholic drink options too. The pizza menu is also noteworthy, with pies cooked in a stone oven and named after legendary baseball players. Try to time your visit with a live music event or the First Friday Art Walk.