Tasty Day Trip to Newberg

December 15, 2021 (Updated January 5, 2022)

Editor’s note: Face coverings (ages 5 and up) are required at all indoor public spaces statewide, regardless of vaccination status. Learn more here. 

With its walkable downtown set in miles of rolling vineyards, Newberg residents weren’t surprised when USA Today highlighted the Willamette Valley wine country burg as one of its 10 Best Small Town Food Scenes. A hub for many of the events at the annual Oregon Truffle Festival each winter (stay tuned for the 2022 lineup and tickets), Newberg is a delight to visit year-round for everything from wine and craft beer to casual fare like pizza and tacos, fine dining and more.

Just 40 minutes west of Portland, Newberg is a small community with big heart. In spite of some controversy that made headlines in 2021, residents and businesses have stepped up to speak out for equality and acceptance, creating stickers and buttons with antiracist, LGBTQ and pride messaging; leading flag-waving events; and taking more small acts of compassion like wearing colors of the rainbow at a football game to promote love and respect in the community. 

Newberg’s destination marketing group has also posted a statement to let visitors know it’s a community that’s welcoming to all: “As the organization devoted to welcoming visitors and promoting the destination of Newberg, Oregon, Taste Newberg would like to express our unwavering support for equity and inclusion. We are committed to promoting diversity and inclusivity, and we want to emphasize that all are welcome here. There is no place for racism, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism, hate, or other discrimination in the travel industry.” 

If you decide to visit, here’s how to enjoy a day trip to sample some of Newberg’s best eats and drinks.

Advertisements

Craft Beverage Paradise

Start with coffee. Motorcycle enthusiasts should make a pit stop at See See Motor Coffee Company, a sporty outpost in a converted garage on Highway 99, Newberg’s main thoroughfare. Ogle the bikes adorning the airy space while awaiting breakfast and an Americano, or enjoy the hidden back patio. Local roaster Caravan Coffee is a must-visit for coffee lovers. Inside the roastery’s tasting room, skilled baristas walk visitors through their different roasts and single-origin beans. Need something sweet? Order a honey-cinnamon latte or a whiskey barrel-aged cold brew to sip in their newly renovated, covered seating area. 

Once caffeinated, it’s time for some of the state’s most lovely craft-beverage tastings. Downtown Newberg is the closest outpost to the Chehalem Mountains’ many wineries and some of the state’s longest-planted pinot vines. Drive up into the hills to sample the elegant single-vineyard bottlings from Colene Clemens or, a little closer to downtown, the earthy pours from Longplay Wine. Newberg’s Vidon Vineyard is now helmed by Tiquette Bramlett, one of Wine Enthusiast‘s 40 Under 40 Tastemakers and the first Black woman appointed to run a winery in a major U.S. wine region.  

Short on time? Downtown tasting rooms include Et Fille Wines for a plush selection of pinot noirs revealing each of the area’s distinct soil types. Valley Wine Merchants, also downtown, is the local bottle shop showcasing impressive local wines, including more than 200 pinots.

Beer lovers should plan a visit instead to the barn-style beer garden at Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery. Brewer-owner Christian DeBenedetti’s small-batch beers have earned the brewery accolades; try one of the citrusy oak-fermented saisons on tap.

Easy Lunch Options

When it’s time for lunch, seek out the royal-blue food cart Dos Mundos Mexican American Cuisine. Eduardo Rodriguez and his parents, Miriam and Jesus Hernandez, serve vibrant takes on tacos, burritos and tostadas during the day. Their new, second truck, which focuses on dinner, is located in Newberg’s food pod, Bite of Newberg. There you can also find Filipino fusion and burger cart Hunny Beez; Thai curry, noodle and rice dishes from Bangkok Noi Thai; and G&W Smoked Caribbean BBQ’s pulled pork and ribs.

There’s more delectable barbecue in town at Storrs Smokehouse. The by-the-pound meats are good, but the brisket sandwich, piled with housemade sauerkraut and special sauce, is great. Save room for an ice cream sandwich. 

 

Dinner and a Stroll

Chilly days call for pasta at Rosmarino Osteria Italiana and a visit with friendly Milan-born chef-owner Dario Pisoni. The approachable menu is heavy on classic flavors and Italian ingredients. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the restaurant also offers a five-course tasting menu with wine pairings. 

After lunch, work up an appetite again by strolling through Newberg’s several boutiques and antique stores. Shop for lightweight souvenirs at Miss Hannah’s Gourmet Popcorn or browse the titles at local bookstore Chapters Books & Coffee. If it’s open, don’t miss the extra-silky seasonal flavors from Cream Northwest, the independent ice cream shop at the back of the store. 

Another of Newberg’s hidden gems is Honey Pie Pizza, which is tucked into an alley off College Street. Owned by two couples, they churn out New York-style pizzas showcasing produce from nearby farms Even Pull and Nottinghamshire. Even the flour they use to make the dough is grown and milled in Oregon. 

When the clock strikes happy hour, hit up Barley & Vine Tavern. The cozy, emerald-green space has something for everyone with its 16 microbrew drafts and a globally inspired wine list. Cocktail fans should find a seat in the cozy bar at the back of Good Company Cheese Bar & Bistro to sip a Sazerac and nibble at one of owner Kristen Kidney’s expertly curated Butcher’s or Cheesemonger’s Choice charcuterie boards.

Special-Occasion Destinations

Those celebrating special occasions should book the eight-course tasting menu at James Beard Award-nominated The Painted Lady. Owners Allen Routt and Jessica Bagley deliver a polished dining experience in a renovated Victorian house. Recipe is another date-night favorite tucked into a historic house, and chef-owner Paul Bachand’s pan-European menu of dishes, like braised wild boar and truffled gnocchi, pair beautifully with a valley vintage. 

Dine in a wine cellar at SubTerra Kitchen & Cellar, a long-beloved Newberg restaurant that has recently reopened under new ownership. Craving something a little simpler? Noelle and Sean McKee’s open-kitchen bistro The Newbergundian has the best burger in town. You’ll undoubtedly be full by then, but you’ll be craving another trip back to this wonderful small town.

If You Go:

Consider planning your trip to Newberg in February, when the city comes together to celebrate the annual Truffle Month. A number of lodging properties (including The Allison Inn & Spa, The Setting Inn, Chehalem Ridge Bed & Breakfast and Yamhill Flats) offer packages that include a truffle culinary element such a five- course dinner featuring truffles at The Allison and in-room baskets filled with locally made truffle treats.

Black Tie Wine Tours offers private truffle hunts that depart from Newberg (led by Stefan Czarnecki, Jack’s son, and his truffle dog Ella), and the Oregon Truffle Festival will return in 2022 with a variety of truffle-filled experiences (stay tuned for dates to be announced).

Some of the Newberg restaurants that will feature truffles on their menu in February include truffle fries at Ruddick/Wood, truffle cheese at Good Company. It’s a fun excuse to make a trip to this part of wine country during the winter months.

 

About The
Author

Emily Teel
Emily Teel is a senior food editor at Better Homes & Gardens magazine and writes about food through the lens of both agriculture and dining for outlets both local and national. A McMinnville resident and an avid forager, she loves exploring Oregon's hiking trails and pick-your-own farms in all seasons.

Trip Ideas