The pandemic whipped Bend’s restaurant world like a chocolate mousse, then carved it up rib roast style before scrambling it like an egg. A gross-sounding culinary combination, but not everything’s awful about how COVID changed dining in Bend.
One bright spot is how beautifully Bend breweries, pubs, restaurants, and coffee shops have pivoted to offer top-notch takeout. From awesome online ordering systems to eco-friendly packaging, dining spots across Central Oregon are keeping us safe, happy, and very well fed.
The Visit Bend team spent several weeks trying Bend takeout options across the spectrum and taking note of what’s outstanding. While this is a small fraction of what’s out there and you should check out our takeout page for more, here are some of our faves.
Fresh, wholesome, nutritious fare is the name of the game at Active Culture, which boasts an impressive array of vegan and vegetarian picks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Tasty acai bowls and breakfast scrambles fill their morning menu, while healthier twists on nachos and sandwiches give you plenty to pick from in the afternoon or evening.
Their assortment of bowls make perfect one-dish meals, and they’re both filling and delicious. My favorite Quinoa Lentil Bowl (organic quinoa, organic lentils, organic garbanzo beans, kale, carrot, cucumber, red onion, tomato, sunflower seeds, lemon vinaigrette, and Slammin’ sauce) is enough to cover me for two lunches, and makes my tummy so dang happy.
Online ordering is done through the Hazlnut app, and if you download it to your phone, it’ll save your order info for next time.
Owned and operated by one of Bend’s most charitable citizens, Bellatazza also makes darn fine coffee. Shop online to buy coffee beans for brewing at home, or swing by in person to grab a cup of espresso and a tasty empanada. If you buy beans or ground coffee for home, get a stamp on your bag and the fifth one is free.
Bellatazza works directly with coffee plantations in Guatemala, supporting families there who fall well below the American poverty line. It’s nice knowing your bag of beans or tasty latte helps support a greater cause, so drop a little extra in the tip jar for the fine folks who work here.
Bend Burger Company
While there are plenty of spots around Bend to grab a great burger, few places rise to the level of Bend Burger Company.
A family-owned Central Oregon staple since 2008, they serve 100% fresh chuck roast patties from NW Natural beef. Their buns (including awesome gluten-free options) are made fresh daily, along with homemade sauces and hand cut french fries.
The Lava Butte Burger is a Visit Bend favorite, with pepperjack cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, jalapenos, and Bend Burger Sauce with chipotle spread and a side of hand cut fries.
Do yourself a solid and add a large side of tater tots for just $5. Online ordering is a cinch with the Toast app, and orders are ready quickly. They also have a drive-through as well as on-site ordering.
A favorite among Bend foodies, 5 Fusion is famous for creative twists on Asian and American dishes. With one of the niftiest online ordering systems around, it’s simple to scroll through adding salads, appetizers, sushi rolls, cocktails, and even a bottle of wine or sake.
While the amount of plastic packaging isn’t awesome, I’ll concede it helps keep sushi rolls intact, and the restaurant is conscientious about not flooding customers with plastic utensils, chopsticks, and napkins if they’re not needed.
It’s easy to see why Chef Joe Kim has been a James Beard Award finalist so many times, and that’s evident in everything from the scrumptious Korean short ribs, to specialty sushi rolls like the Cherry Blossom made with toro, avocado, scallions, tempura flakes, ocean trout, kiwi, and yuzu ponzu.
It’s long been handy that Jackson’s Corner boasts both an Eastside and Westside location, but proximity isn’t the only perk of this arrangement.
Thanks to COVID, the restaurants boast a slick new online ordering system with separate menus for each location. There’s some overlap, with favorites like biscuits and gravy offered at both spots.
But the special popup menu on the Eastside includes special treats like fish & chips, a fried chicken sammy, or their tasty squash rings with chili infused honey. On the Westside, you’ll see more of the standard Jackson’s Corner fare like French toast and pizzas.
Either way, the online menu makes it easy to tell which spot you’re ordering from and what options are available at each. Both locations offer in-restaurant pickup as well as curbside pickup for takeout orders. They also have a plethora of pre-packaged foods to take home and prepare, including fresh pasta, soups, and cookie dough.
Packaging here is fairly eco-friendly, with minimal plastic and the option to skip utensils and napkins if you don’t need them.
Offering a hearty roundup of Middle Eastern fare, Joolz is one of those spots you hit when you crave something outside the realm of what you’d normally make at home.
Online ordering is simple as you click through to add mouthwatering appetizers like fingerling potatoes with garlic sauce, hummus, lamb meatballs, or fried cauliflower. You can make a massive meal out of small, sharable side dishes, so treat your tastebuds to some variety.
Cocktails come in cute little containers you may end up reusing at home for leftover liquids. Ditto that for the plastic tubs containing foods like olives, hummus, and baba ganouj (don’t skip that last one––it’s fabulous with warm pita bread).
Save room for their apricot baklava, and definitely treat yourself to one of their housemade cocktails like the Oregon Pear Drop Martini.
This one makes a fun family night if you have kiddos with experimental palates, so order extra and give everyone plenty to try.
Life and Time
What’s a busy parent to do when headed down from a ski day at Mt. Bachelor with a carload of hungry kids who still need to eat healthy?
Life and Time to the rescue! Touted as “free range fast food,” they specialize in healthier twists on standard fast food fare. Their beef, for instance, is non-GMO certified and never contains antibiotics or growth hormones. Your kids won’t know the difference, but you will.
Besides burgers, they offer copious salads, wraps, smoothies, and even breakfast options. Choices like elk chili and grilled rockfish tacos add a little pep to the lineup, or stick with standard kid-friendly grub like crispy chicken strips made with all-natural chicken breast and housemade gluten free breading.
Online ordering is simple, with text updates to let you know when to expect your order. Designated curbside pickup spots make it a cinch to grab your food and go. That’s crucial with cranky kids in the car.
Lone Pine Coffee
It’s possible that if someone offered to pay Visit Bend salaries entirely in waffles from Lone Pine, there’d be a few takers on the team.
Warm and sweet and deliciously crunchy with a cappuccino, the handheld waffles are the perfect treat if you have a sweet tooth. They also offer other pastries made by Foxtail Bakeshop, including a housemade marionberrry pop tart that’s to die for.
There’s a handy online ordering system for both gift cards and cafe pickup, but do yourself a favor and go in person. While you’re waiting for your order, you can breathe lucious coffee smells through your mask as you flip through copies of Ineffable.
This quaint little tucked-away eatery is one you’d miss if you weren’t looking for it, despite the bright turquoise exterior of Los Jalapeños.
A favorite among locals for its massive, mouthwatering breakfast burritos, they also make delicious fare like enchiladas, tacos, and seafood.
But it’s the breakfast burritos that’ll keep you coming back. That, and the terrific prices (plus a punch card that gets you a freebie after your tenth order). Kick your Saturday morning off with a belly full of happiness by ordering the Machaca Breakfast Burrito with shredded beef, bell pepper, hash browns, two eggs, and cheese. So good! Add spinach to boost the nutrition factor, or go full vegetarian with their Veggie Burrito.
There’s no online ordering, but phone orders are fast and simple, and food seldom takes more than 10 minutes to be ready for pickup. You can also order at the counter if you’d prefer to head inside and scan the lengthy menu in person.
There’s no online ordering system here, but the spot known for cranking out some of Bend’s best breakfasts is worth the time spent dialing and giving your order to friendly folks on the phone.
McKay Cottage has long been my go-to spot for some of Bend’s best bacon and best biscuits and gravy, but it’s their eggs Benedict that’s always made me swoon. Problem is, I can’t eat a full order in one sitting, and when I take home half my leftovers from in-restaurant dining, it’s squooshy the next day.
But the takeout game changes everything! The hollandaise sauce comes in a separate cup, making it easy to control distribution. Even better, I could add a handful of arugula from my home kitchen to spruce up the nutritional content.
From sandwiches to baked goods, everything here is fresh and tasty and SO BIG. Packaging isn’t excessive and leans heavier on paper products than plastic. While parking can be a challenge if you’re dining at the restaurant on a busy weekend, that’s not an issue with takeout. Just wheel into one of their handy curbside pickup spots and give them a ring. They’ll come zipping out with your piping hot food.
Conveniently located in the Old Mill District, Mio Sushi is central from most spots in Bend.
Their online menu is a little wonky, and you’ll have to call to place your order if you’re picking up instead of having it delivered.
But don’t be dissuaded, because with a quick phone call, you’ll be filling your belly with one of my favorite sushi rolls in Bend, the Bubble Bubble. Made with avocado, tobiko, salmon, and ikura, it’s topped with the thinnest, tastiest little lemon slices that add an amazing dimension to the dish. I’m not kidding––order two. Otherwise, you’ll end up fighting for the last lovely slices.
Rolls are packaged in those plastic clamshells many sushi spots favor, but they do a nice job of combining things to minimize waste.
Here’s one of my favorite pandemic-era discoveries (I mentioned the other in the McKay Cottage section!)
Some of Bend’s best restaurants offer both breakfast and dinner versions of the same dish. Case in point, Rockin’ Dave’s has a meal I’ve adored for years called the Turkey, Bacon, and Spinach Bowl. It features all those ingredients, plus brown rice, seasonal veggies, chimichurri, salsa, avocado, fried egg, and microgreens. Yum, right?
But I just discovered they do a breakfast version swapping hashbrowns for the rice. Such a simple switch, but it made it a whole new (equally delicious!) meal.
Known for their tasty bagels, scrumptious sandwiches, and mouthwatering meats like house braised corned beef and smoked pastrami, Rockin’ Dave’s is perfect comfort food for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Online ordering is super easy from their site (they use chownow.com) and packaging consists mainly of paper products instead of plastics.
You can pay ahead of time online, then walk right up to their window and grab your food without going inside. Simple, fast, and did I mention delicious?
Another popular Bend eatery with two locations, you can choose to grab takeout from the original Sparrow Bakery Scott Street, or the Northwest Crossing restaurant.
Lines can be long on weekends if you’re ordering in-store for a grab-n-go meal, but it’s worth the wait for their famous ocean rolls or the croissant, bacon, and poached egg breakfast sandwich.
Visit on a weekday for shorter wait times, or treat yourself to their free home delivery, which is available on orders of $10 or more. You order ahead the day before and can not only get baked goodies like bread and granola, but home pantry staples like eggs, milk, sugar, yeast, and pizza dough. Be sure to tip your driver!
The double chocolate cookies and almond croissants are not to be missed if you want something on the sweeter side, or go savory with the cheese and salted bagels to do make-at-home breakfast sandwiches on your own.
Offering a top-notch online ordering system through the Upserve app, Spork makes it simple to customize your meal to suit your diet and preferences. A dizzying array of clicky boxes lets you specify allergies ranging from soy to peanut to shellfish, or alert them if you don’t do dairy, gluten, or meat. You can swap out proteins, write special instructions, and possibly order a circus performer to entertain you while you eat.
That last part might be an exaggeration, but this part isn’t: The food at Spork is soooooo good, you’ll come back again and again. Pre-pandemic, I confess I sometimes avoided Spork because its popularity makes it tough to get a table. But with such a slick online ordering system, I can have hot, fresh Lomo Saltado or Thai Steak Salad anytime I want.
Some dishes travel better than others, so keep that in mind if you’ve got a long distance to go and don’t feel like reheating your curry at home (though for the record, my leftover curry made amazing day-two leftovers when reheated in a skillet).
The eco-friendly packaging game is on point here with compostable containers and the use of foil on the clamshell style boxes, meaning the whole container doesn’t get leaky or gross. They’ve even got a nice array of beverages, including tasty cocktails, wine, or beer. Treat yourself to all of the above!
Sunriver Brewing Co.
If you’re craving the classic burger, fries, and beer trio, you can’t go wrong with Sunriver Brewing. Their easy online ordering system using the Chownow app makes it simple to save your info for future orders whether you’re picking up from the Bend, Sunriver, or Eugene locations.
Don’t forget to add a six-pack of their Rippin’ NW Pale Ale, which is arguably one of the best beers in town. The Bacon Brew Burger is an excellent choice that comes with Painted Hills Beef topped with Tillamook Cheddar, pepper bacon, tomato, onion, and roasted garlic aioli on a telera roll. Fries are a natural pairing, or you can opt for a healthier side of greens.
Even if the food weren’t amazing at Sunriver Brewing, they’d get bonus points for packaging. After a year filled with a lot of takeouts, you notice who’s doing right by Mother Nature, and Sunriver Brewing rules when it comes to keeping our planet in mind. They offer plant-based, compostable utensils, napkins, and bag, or you can opt to skip those altogether. Packaging is minimal and mostly compostable or paper-based.
Food comes hot and fresh and oh-so-delicious, and it goes without saying that the beer is excellent. Cheers!
Tucked away in NW Crossing, Washington offers an easy online ordering system complete with the option to choose a pickup time.
While they’ve got plenty of grownup grub like salads, pastas, and seafood, it’s the build-a-box kids menu that’ll have weary parents weeping with joy. Kids can choose one protein and two sides, with a kids’ cupcake included. Choices like burgers, noodles, seasonal veggies, and cheesy potato bites get rave reviews from hungry kiddos, and it’s a bargain at ten bucks.
On the grownup end of the spectrum, start by treating yourself to bacon-wrapped dates. While steak can be a gamble when ordering takeout, they nail it nicely at Washington. The Grilled Prime New York Strip comes complete with whipped potatoes, gruyere, golden raisin agra dolce, and roasted broccolini, so you won’t go to bed hungry.
A popular pick among locals, Wild Rose Northern Thai Cuisine specializes in scrumptious curries, crunchy veggies, and a wide range of fresh chili pastes and sauces designed to be sopped up with balls of sticky rice.
They don’t offer an online ordering system, so you may need a little patience to call in your order. It’s worth the effort, since the food is outstanding. They’ve got two designated parking spots for pickup orders and will cheerfully bring food out to your car.
Meals are made for sharing, so it’s smart to order a combination of things. Check the “small plates to share” section of the menu and choose a handful of items that sound interesting.
While containers are marked recyclable, recycling options in Deschutes County are…uh…not awesome. But Wild Rose does a nice job keeping packaging to a minimum while nicely separating things like curries, which require separate containers for the curry, rice or noodles, and miscellaneous toppings.
With one of the most Celiac-friendly menus in Bend, Zydeco Kitchen & Cocktails whips up an impressive array of Northwest cuisine with a Southern twist.
Online ordering makes it easy to schedule your takeout meal whenever you like, and they offer two curbside pickup spots so you can run in and grab your food from a table accessed separately from the main restaurant entrance.
As is sometimes the case with takeout, meals may not be the perfect temp by the time you get them home, but this is easily remedied when you pop it in the oven to warm.
The Prime Flat Iron Steak is mouthwatering with Worcestershire glaze, mashed potatoes, carrots, and fries, or try the Blackened Redfish with sauteed spinach and mashed potatoes.
Oh, and if you’re a fan of their barbecue shrimp (and who the heck isn’t?!!) you’ll be delighted to know they sell jars of their base to make the sauce at home. Combine it with shrimp, a bit of butter, and the dairy or dairy substitute of your choice and you can whip up your own gourmet grub anytime you like.
Don’t forget dessert with your takeout order. The flourless chocolate cake will have you licking the takeout box to get every last taste.
Now THAT’S a Bend experience.
Note: Despite the Visit Bend team’s best efforts, we could not cover every restaurant in Bend offering delicious takeout, but it goes without saying locally-owned dining spots need our support. Check out our takeout page to see who we missed, and make it a point to order takeout at least a couple times a week. Treat yourself while helping local eateries survive the pandemic!