January 17th, 2019

Tiny Travels: Health goals don’t limit restaurant choices in McMinnville

In the past, it’s been difficult to be a traveler and stick to health goals. But if you’re staying true to a New Year’s resolution to make better eating choices for your overall wellness, it’s time to see what the creative chefs and in McMinnville are serving up in 2019.


Wanna know who knows about Keto? Try Jesse Kincheloe of Valley Commissary, chef and owner of an unpretentious, upscale-leaning breakfast and lunch joint in the town’s Alpine District. If you’re bored on Keto then it’s time to meet Kincheloe, whose menu items burst with flavor, interesting pairings, fun textures and freshness.

Standout: Beet salad with avocado mousse, citrus, hazelnuts and chevre.  


Gluten-free living is a rather simple limitation to overcome in McMinnville. The town has two dedicated gluten-free breweries in Bierly Brewing and Evasion, and local chefs work hard to serve the large dedicated gluten-free population in the community. Want a real surprise? Longtime French restaurant Bistro Maison is one of the most accommodating to GF types, with menus options in every category and course for those avoiding gluten. Each day’s menu there includes a gluten-free, dairy-free soup option.

Standout: Moules à la provençale, mussels with rosemary, fennel, tomato, roasted garlic and parsley, served with bistro fries (Bistro Maison).


Not all cleanses and detox programs are created equal, but short-term dietary purges should not prevent you from traveling. Take your choice of ingredients at the salad bar at Harvest Fresh Grocery & Deli, or head to Local Flow, a health bar open for breakfast and lunch. Antioxidant-packed acai smoothie bowls, kombucha, cleansing juices, gluten-free toasts, and rice and quinoa bowls: The list would make any health-conscious traveler feel the abundance.

Standout: Thai Bowl with Quinoa, cabbage, carrots and sesame curry dressing (Local Flow)


Eating locally can be a powerful motivator with strong implications for your health (and the health of the planet). The closer you can consume fruits and produce to their moment of harvest the more nutrients they contain. Many McMinnville Restaurants source ingredients from surrounding farms, standouts being Thistle, a destination farm-to-table dining experience where local is a philosophical obsession.

Standout: Elk with winter squash, kale and huckleberry


If you’re trying to go vegan in 2019, Local Flow has the most options for you in McMinnville for lunch and breakfast. Dinner is the farthest from dicey at La Rambla, a Pacific Northwest and Spanish mashup with enough vegan tapas choices to make food philosophy feel like a party.

Standout: Roasted winter squash with cumin and tahini sauce (La Rambla)


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