5 Top Spots for Food and Outdoor Fun in Central Oregon

Pair your epic hiking, paddling, fishing and biking adventures with these exciting eateries.
April 19, 2023

It’s a popular maxim around Central Oregon: No outdoor adventure is truly complete until you sit down for a post-hike meal or post-paddle pint. Fortunately, you’ll find plenty of options for both around the region, from waterfall hikes and down-home cooking in Redmond to forested campgrounds and creative ciders around La Pine. Here’s a guide to enjoying an epic food-cation in Central Oregon — this spring and all year long.

Boss Rambler Beer Club

1. Beer Tasting and Good Eats Go Together in Bend

With roughly three dozen craft breweries across Central Oregon, beer tasting is as much a part of the local culture as shredding the slopes at Mt. Bachelor or floating the Deschutes River.

Start your sampling with a few pours on the patio at Boss Rambler Beer Club, which opened in 2019 and has since earned acclaim for fruity IPAs, crisp lagers and boozy slushies — all best enjoyed inside the brewpub’s airy taproom or next to an outdoor fire pit. Explore more of the region’s celebrated suds with a Bend Ale Trail passport, a self-guided tour that showcases 37 breweries and pubs throughout Central Oregon. Wherever you go, be sure to either travel on foot or hire a guide (such as the popular Cycle Pub) to safely bounce between stops.

Sen Hot Pot and Noodle House

And because you can’t drink beer all day, stop in at Sen Hot Pot and Noodle House for fresh Thai fare and vibrant craft cocktails. You’ll find noodle soups, stir fried noodles and street food dishes like bone-in spareribs and vegan jackfruit curry, as well as shareable Thai hot pots for two or more diners. 

Steelhead Falls Trail

2. Hike Steelhead Falls Near Redmond

Start your day with an ambling hike on the Steelhead Falls Trail, just over 20 minutes northwest of Redmond. The 2-mile (round-trip) trail gains about 200 feet of elevation while mostly hugging the banks of the Deschutes River. Its namesake waterfall comes into view after just a half-mile — and never looks more resplendent than in April and May, when snowmelt brings it to a booming roar. The trail continues beyond the falls and offers dramatic views of the rocky river canyon. Keep an eye out for golden eagles overhead and rattlesnakes below, which can occasionally be spotted in the area (although rarely on the rail). If you do come across a rattler, stay calm and move away slowly — and remember to never approach any wild snake. 

One Street Down Cafe

After your hike, enjoy a late breakfast or early lunch on the patio at One Street Down Cafe back in Redmond. The friendly eatery is beloved for scrambles, sandwiches and other comfort-food classics that use local ingredients whenever possible.

Suttle Lake

3. Suttle Lake Enchants All Year Long

Less than 20 minutes northwest of Sisters, Suttle Lake boasts four seasons of outdoor fun. In winter snowshoe a mostly flat trail hugging the lakeshore while enjoying views of Mt. Washington. (This hike also makes an excellent autumn outing, when foliage displays light up the forest in hues of yellow and orange.) In late spring and summer, Suttle Lodge and Boathouse rents kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards — and serves beer, wine, cocktails and light bites for relaxing lakeside after a day on the water.

Back in Sisters, refuel with cold beverages and filling fare at The Barn food-cart pod. A handful of locally owned carts dish up pizza, barbecue, tacos and more in the shadow of a barn-shaped taphouse that slings beer, wine, cider and other locally produced drinks. Events from burger nights to live music add to the pod’s cheerful charm.

Hola! restaurant

4. Plentiful Natural Beauty Along Paved Bike Paths in Sunriver

Enjoy a leisurely bike ride on more than 40 miles of paved pathways across the community of Sunriver. These mostly flat paths, many of which are protected from roads, pass through ponderosa pine forests, skirt the edges of three horse fields, offer dramatic views of Cascade peaks and even connect to the Lava Lands Visitor Center in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.

Revel in your day’s ride over award-winning margaritas on the shady patio at Hola!. This local chain, with additional outposts in Bend and Redmond, serves modern Mexican dishes and fresh Peruvian cuisine.

LaPine State Park

5. Outdoor Adventure and Creative Ciders Come Together in La Pine

South of Sunriver, take your pick of outdoor activities at LaPine State Park. The expansive park sits in a forest of ponderosa pine along the Deschutes River and features 14 miles of multi-use paths, plentiful boating opportunities, excellent trout fishing, and a year-round campground that includes nearly 130 tent and RV sites and 10 log cabins.

Legend Cider (Photo by Dylan VanWeelden)

A short drive away, Legend Cider has become a beloved community mainstay in the heart of La Pine, owing largely to its selection of fruity ciders. The tap list changes often, but offerings might include a strawberry-lemonade cider, a slightly tart raspberry cider and one cider inspired by piña coladas (complete with pineapple and coconut juice).

About The

Matt Wastradowski
Matt Wastradowski is a travel and outdoors writer living in Portland, Oregon. He’s written about the outdoors, craft beer, history, and more for the likes of Outside, the REI Co-op Journal, Willamette Week, 1859, and Northwest Travel & Life.

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