October 15th, 2018

Tiny Travels: Whatever your foodie style, McMinnville serves up the right dish

Adventure Traveler, Food Truck Chaser, Farm-to-table Fanatic, Picnic Pleasurist, member of the Breakfast Club, or Gluten-free Gourmet — whatever your food style while on the road, McMinnville has an answer. A wine country town that has emerged in the past decade as a destination for epicures of all stripe, McMinnville is always giving new expression to the phrase foodie destination.

Pick your favorite travel type to discover the possibilities:

Farm-to-Table Fanatic

With its prime spot tucked in the Willamette Valley, McMinnville is a place where food never travels far from the source. Try Thistle Restaurant for early 20th century-inspired farm-to-table dishes sourced within 35 miles, James Beard Award-winning Nick’s Italian Cafe for upscale Italian with Pacific Northwest ingredients, or Valley Commissary for elevated lunch with a seasonal, local twist.

Picnic Pleasurist

Want to grab-and-go to your favorite winery destination? The best places to pick up picnic fare near downtown McMinnville are Pierano & Daughters Italian deli (maybe mortadella on fresh bread), Harvest Fresh Grocery (grab-and-go-sandwiches), Local Flow (healthy vegetarian bowls), Valley Commissary (nab some fried chicken), Sandwich Express, or Red Hills Market (fresh salads and sandwiches) if you’re in Dundee.

Food Truck Chaser

When it comes to food trucks in McMinnville, no single food pod captures all of the possibilities, so discovering the options is a trip in itself. Kate’s Thai Cuisine is a fresh and fun option, Omar’s Mediterranean Grill is your go-to for falafel and souvlaki, the cart at Tequila Grill is a local favorite for quick lunch, La Cubanita is the place for home-spun Mexican comfort food, and The Farmer’s Lunchbox has your zesty kimchi dogs and pulled pork

Adventure Traveler

For a quick adventure, try the Native American fry bread at Mom’s Mobile Kitchen, or experience the fresh, briny tastes of the ocean over the mountain with oysters at The Barberry, which can also create a unique multiple-course tasting menu with wine selections. Inventive South American fare brought with fresh flavor combinations is on the menu at Pura Vida Cocina (also great for those with diet restrictions). Or for the ultimate in foodie road trips, do the full prix fixe Mushroom Madness Menu at the Joel Palmer House in nearby Dayton.

Breakfast Club

Sometimes you just need breakfast, and you need it now. Community Plate is where a lot of locals hang out, or surround yourself with the eclectic vibes and dig into giant hotcakes at the Wildwood Cafe. Crescent Cafe’s homemade bread is legendary, and Morning Thunder will make the kids a funny-faced pancake they’ll remember. The Diner with its four different types of Eggs Benedicts, is always a delight.

Gluten-free Gourmet

Dietary restrictions need not restrict your travel. If you’re traveling GF, dairy free, or grain-free, options abound. On Saturdays, visit the certified GF tasting room of Bierly Brewing for a Felix Pilsner and a home-made GF pretzel, try Pura Vida Cocina for a bevy of GF dishes, or engage the expertise of Deborah Chatelard at Bistro Maison to find the diet-friendly dishes inspired by French cuisine. Local Flow Health Bar is always a good choice in the early hours of the day for a healthy choice.

Emily Grosvenor is the voice behind Tiny Travels and the Editor of Oregon Home magazine.