Oregon

6 Must-Try Bend Spots for 2019

Ask us why we love Bend, Oregon so much, and we’ll immediately start gushing its praises. Chances are this “gushing” will last for several minutes and will end with us enthusiastically out of breath. Our friends, family, even our neighbors know how much we love this thriving and ever-changing mountain town… and if we’re being honest, they’re probably all waiting for the day when we announce that we’re officially moving to Bend. (It could happen!) 

In the meantime, we’ll find any excuse to visit. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter - Bend is a beautiful adventure no matter the season. The more we visit, the more we discover about Bend, and the more we see this town continue to grow and flourish - but all the while keeping a small town feel. We’ve got our favorite places that we keep coming back to (check out our Bend Guide), and we always try to branch out and explore new spots too. This time was no exception, we visited some of our tried and true spots, and mixed in some new places as well. 

Here’s 6 places that are on our radar (or should we say “Bend-ar”) for 2019:

COFFEE

Companion Coffeehouse: It was love at first sight with this hip, welcoming, and modern neighborhood coffee house. Maybe it’s the cool tilework, maybe it’s the friendly baristas, or maybe it’s their $3 kombucha (it’s double the price in California), but whatever it is - we’re big fans of this place. Oh, and they have overnight oats on the menu. We really love overnight oats. (Is that weird?)

Looney Bean: Contrary to the name, there is nothing “looney” about this place. Set along the Deschutes River, this tucked away coffee shop is a gem of a place… and we can’t believe we haven’t been before! Its homey vibe makes you feel like you’ve stepped into someone’s cozy lakefront cabin, and the spacious “backyard” is the perfect place to spend an afternoon!

Loving the vibes at Companion Coffee

Here for the coffee and the views at Looney Bean!

BEER

Boss Rambler Beer Club: They had us at “Beer Club”, and at the picture-perfect ambiance and stylish decor didn’t hurt either. This brand new brewery just opened in April, and it’s already taking Bend’s craft brewery scene by storm. From hazy IPA’s, to farmhouse-style ales, to their special “Collaboration” beers with other locals brewers, their beer menu is constantly changing and always exciting. 

Crux Fermentation Project: K, this spot isn’t new. But we couldn’t not include it. It’s our favorite. The open, contemporary tasting room has a fun and bustling energy, but their spacious outdoor area is where we always gravitate to. There’s food trucks, plenty of room for kids (and dogs) to play, and it’s one of the best places in Bend to catch the sunset. Plus their beer (and wine) is top-notch!

Boss Rambler is a delightful spot for a few beers :)

Crux is always our go-to

FOOD

900 Wall: Over the years we’ve heard a lot about this trendy New-American eatery, so we figured it was time we checked it out for ourselves! The raving reviews were right - 900 Wall’s menu is extensive, their food is delicious (try the French Onion Soup!), and the dimly lit setting makes it perfect for a date night or special occasion. Don’t leave without trying one of their many desserts!

Riff Cold Brewed Coffee: You might be wondering why a coffee spot is on our food list… and at first, we were a little confused as to what Riff Cold Brewed Coffee was. A coffee shop? With food? And cocktails? Exactly. Many of the items on Riff’s food menu is inspired by (and sometimes infused with) coffee - and it’s SO GOOD. Get the Hummus Trio and the Thai Chicken Bowl and you’ll never want anything else. Except maybe one of their Blondie Sundaes or Unforgettable Affogatos… 

Date night at 900 Wall

900 Wall yummies…

The beers are as good as the coffee at Riff

Our time in Bend was short, but so, so sweet. There’s no doubt we’ll be back soon, as our list of must-try spots keeps getting longer and longer. It’s a wonderful problem to have, and we’re thinking that our next visit should be for at least a week. And it most definitely will include a float on the river - something we STILL HAVEN’T DONE!! (We’ve been too busy eating, haha!)

We will definitely be floating next time!

Leave a comment and let us know where the cool kids are hanging, so we can keep our Bend list as fresh as possible!

Bend Lived Up to the Hype

Bend is one of those cities that our friends RAVE about.

The river, the hiking, the friendly locals, the epic breweries, the food trucks… We’d heard it all. When we set our minds on doing a road trip, it was one of the first cities we decided on. It was about time we saw what all the Bend hype was about… and wow, our friends were right.

Out of all of the places we’ve visited on our roadtrip, Bend is one of the few spots we actually said, “We could live here”. It really has it all. Beautiful weather, incredible scenery, awesome locals (for real - Bend attracts cool people), and some of the best food we’ve had on our trip! Because there was so much to see and do, our stay in Bend was one big dreamy whirlwind, but we’ll do our best to share what stood out!

 

WHERE WE STAYED

Tetherow is a resort in Bend that borders the forest, has an 18-hole golf course, has a pool, three restaurants, and is minutes from downtown. Oh - and they’re dog friendly!! It’s incredible.

Some of our highlights were sitting on our porch watching golfers tee off, or watching the sunset behind the mountains. Tetherow felt like our own little oasis.. It was peaceful, cozy, and had all the luxuries of a 5-star resort. Their beds are SO plush and comfy, even Sally couldn’t resist them!

We could’ve easily spent our whole time there! But like we said, there was too much to see, do, and eat in Bend, so we tried to pull ourselves away from the amazing Tetherow Resort at least once or twice a day! ;)

 

WHERE WE ATE (AND DRANK)

Oh man, the food options in Bend are limitless!! We did the best we could for only being there for 3 days, but there are soooo many other places we have yet to discover. For now, here’s what we tried (and loved):

  • The Sparrow Bakery: Delicious coffee, mouth-watering pastries (try their famous Ocean Roll!), and breakfast sandwiches we’ll be craving for months.. This place is a must.

  • Backporch Coffee Roasters: Solid coffee, chill vibes. You can’t go wrong.

  • McKay’s Cottage: If you love a good hearty breakfast, you’ll die and go to heaven at McKay’s. It took us a solid 20 minutes to decide on what we were going to order, everything sounded amazing… And it is. (Don’t leave without a chocolate chip cookie!)

  • Fix and Repeat: The cutest little juicebar (that even has smoothies for dogs)! Order a toast or two while you’re there because why not? It’s healthy! (And SO GOOD)

  • Crux Fermentation Project: Probably our favorite brewery in Bend (that we’ve been to so far, at least.) Crux has awesome drafts in a really fun, chill, and dog-friendly environment. Bring a deck of cards and chill on their lawn for a few hours, just like the locals do!

  • Spoken moto: What do motorcycles, good coffee, craft beer, live music, and food trucks have in common? Not much - but you can find them all at Spoken Moto! It’s laid-back atmosphere is perfect for a Saturday afternoon, or pretty much any day really!

  • Spork: Global cuisine that is crave-worthy. This place is popular (be prepared to stand in line for 30+ minutes), but it’s worth the wait. Order the Lomo Saltado and the Spicy Fried Chicken and mmm.. You’ll thank us later!

  • Thailandia Food Truck: Best pad thai we’ve ever had. Fresh, healthy, and full of flaver. Oh, and it’s from a food truck. That’s Bend for ya!

WHAT WE DID

To be honest, we mostly ate our way around Bend.

We did walk a lot, and enjoyed meandering our way along the Deschutes! We also went to the Oregon High Desert Classics, which is a free horse show in Bend. Dogs are allowed, so we had a blast introducing Sally to some horses… she wasn’t as entertained as we were!

These are some awesome trails that we heard about from some friends, and definitely some fun spots to float along the river, but we just didn’t have enough time. We have to save some things for our next trip, right?

Not only does Bend have it all, it still has the small-town charm that makes it relatable. We quickly learned our way around town, and numerous times we’d recognize people or run into someone we’d already met! We left feeling like honorary Bend locals. (Even though there is still SO much we have yet to discover.)

 

Winter road trip to Bend, anyone?

Sidenote - for those of you that love road tripping in an RV, Bend is the PERFECT destination. One way to cut hotel costs (and add to the adventure!) is by renting an RV with RVshare. They're the largest, safest and most trusted RV rental marketplace with wide ranging inventory from affordable pop-ups to luxury motorcoaches. Whether it's just you and your significant other out on the open road, or you're planning a trip with your family - they have something for everyone! They even have pet friendly RV rentals too! RVshare also has 24/7 emergency roadside assistance on every booking, making it a very safe and trustworthy travel option. Head to RVshare.com to learn more!

Pacific Northwest Adventure: Portland

We have a special place in our hearts for Portland. Voted one of the most “green” cities in the world, you can easily explore Portland by foot or by bike, and you are never far from a tree-lined park. We prefer visiting in the Fall and/or Spring, as the colors are vibrant and the whether is crisp!  Natural beauty aside, Portland boasts some of our favorite restaurants, coffee shops, and hotels. And with no sales tax, it’s a great excuse to do some shopping!

Riverplace HotelWhile we try to avoid major hotel chains, we are big fans of Kimpton. Their hotels are always unique, modern-yet-inviting, and located in ideal locations. The Riverplace Hotel by Kimpton is no exception. Located on the Willamette River, it boasts an impeccable view of the water, and yet it is only a stones throw from downtown PDX. While the hip decor alone draws us to the Riverplace, they also have an evening wine reception, coffee and tea in the mornings, and Linus bikes for their guests to ride. If you’re visiting in the wintertime, nothing is more inviting than sitting by the big fireplace in the lobby!


The Nines: If you are looking for a true Portland city experience, there is no better spot to stay than the Nines Hotel. The Nines not only has a central location, helpful staff, and some of our FAVORITE restaurants (Departure & Urban Farmer), but their accommodations will make you feel like royalty. Make sure you request a room on one of the top floors, as the views of the city are breathtaking!

 

Portland is a coffee lover’s dream. There are SO many options - just try yelping “coffee” and you’ll instantly feel defeated. Instead of limiting ourselves, we like to hit up 3 or 4 coffee shops in one day, and share a cup here and there (so we don’t get too “buzzed”). Anyways, here’s a few of our favorite places to grab a cup of joe.

Barista

Coava 

Stumptown Coffee Roasters 

Case Study Coffee 

Heart 

Crema

Multnomah Whiskey LibraryWords can’t really describe this place, you just need to go. The line forms quick, but don’t let that sway you. Put your name in and walk around the city, they’ll text you when you’re up. Whatever you do, make sure you order the brussel sprouts.

 

Ava Genes: Ava Gene’s serves a “Roman Inspired” menu… we’re not entirely sure what that means, but whatever it is, it’s GOOD. The plates are small and meant to be shared. Ask your server for suggestions, it’s hard to choose!

 

Departure: You can safely assume that when a restaurant’s head chef was a finalist on “Top Chef”, the food is going to be top notch. Departure will blow your expectations away, as the pan-Asian menu is some of the best we’ve ever tasted. Especially the chicken wings. Life = changed.

 

Urban Farmer: One of our favorite breakfasts in Portland is located right in the lobby of The Nines Hotel! The entire breakfast menu is amazing, but we highly recommend the eggs benedict. Great coffee, too!