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Bites in the Beaver State: What to Eat in Oregon

These 22 iconic foods — and the restaurants that serve them — will tick everything off your Pacific Northwest checklist. 

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Eat Well in Oregon

The Beaver State doesn’t have a city with a defining dish, like Chicago pizza or Philly cheesesteak. What it can lay claim to, though, is stellar local ingredients from its farms, vineyards, dairies, oceans and rivers. Some have become nationally renowned, but in Oregon they’re prepared with a level of creativity and pride you won’t find anywhere else. Plus, there’s no sales tax!

Illustration by Hello Neighbor Designs

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Pear and Blue Cheese Ice Cream

Salt & Straw in Portland is known for crazy limited-edition flavors like dill pickle and blood pudding. But a dozen classics, including this one, are available year-round. The pears — Oregon’s state fruit — are grown in Salem, and the cave-aged cheese comes from Central Point. To skip the perpetually long lines, grab a hand-packed pint from the freezer and head straight to the cash register.

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Photo: Edis Jurcys

Veggie Burger

The Gardenburger was invented in Oregon when restaurateur Paul Wenner mixed leftover rice pilaf with mushrooms, oats and cheese, and grilled it. Now plenty of restaurants make their own meat-free burgers from scratch, but Next Level Burger’s quinoa and white bean patty topped with smoky tempeh bacon and organic lettuce, tomato and red onion is one of the best.

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Photo: Voodoo Doughnut

Bacon Maple Bar

If you see someone carrying a pink box onto an airplane at PDX, chances are good that yeast doughnuts from Voodoo Doughnut are inside. Topped with maple frosting and an entire piece of bacon broken in half, the Bacon Maple Bar is one of the simpler doughnuts on Voodoo’s cheeky menu, which also includes the Marshall Mathers (made with M&M’s — get it?) and a chocolate cake version topped with a vanilla-icing pentagram.

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