- Indulge Staff
20 ways to dine in the Yamhill Valley
In the fresh air McMinnville eateries have led the charge for outdoor seating in the Yamhill Valley. McMenamins Hotel Oregon reigns as the go-to place for a bite and drink on a beautiful Oregon day. The Rooftop bar provides the finest views in the city. On the ground level, a dozen or so tables make for great city and people watching in downtown McMinnville. But Hotel Oregon is no longer the only option. A few blocks up Third Street, the KAOS building project has added a rooftop casual dining setting (1882 Grille) and a streetscape patio fine dining option (The Barberry). Likewise, many other downtown eateriers like La Rambla, Pura Vida, Nick’s Italian Café and Community Plate feature outdoor seating. But, most have room for only a table or two, and don’t take reservations and fill up quickly, so if you want supper outside, get there early. Golden Valley Brewing and Valley Commissary also offers patio seating when the sun is out, and the Grain Station Brew Works is a summer staple with its picnic benches and mini amphitheater setting, great for dining with the kids.
For a cause Fundraising dinner events in the Yamhill Valley are not only great benefits, but also often remarkable deals. Local chefs, restaurants and wineries are generous and gracious when donating to local causes, helping keep ticket prices down for these unique culinary and cultural experiences like !Salud!, Flavors of Carlton, Bounty of Yamhill County and many more.
Family style The Diner, near the Evergreen Aviation Museum, offers family style specials on the weekends. Pura Vida and La Rambla in downtown McMinnville are also great for ordering several plates and sharing among the table.
From the smoker Local barbecue joints are pioneering the Pacific Northwest barbecue style. For more, see the feature story BBQ in the Valley.
With an A-lister Subterra, Babica Hen Cafe, The Joel Palmer House, Dundee Bistro, Tina's Restaurant and many more offer an incredible selection of Oregon wines to pair with world class dining experiences. Click here to see all Oregon A-List Award winners.
With a flick Dinner and a movie is a timeless date for Americans, but on vacation there’s so much to do and often little time. So why not combine the two? The Moonlight Theater is located inside the 3rd Street Pizza Company in downtown McMinnville, which has New York style pizza, hot and cold sandwiches and hearty salads. Alcohol is allowed in the theater for shows beginning after 5 p.m. You can also order a to-go meal and eat in the car while enjoying a movie at Newberg’s 99W Drive-In Theatre.
For the burger Indulge Yamhill Valley held its first burger bracket competition in 2015, highlighting just how many great burger joints are here. The winner was the unassuming Carlton Corners. For years, Alf’s Burgers & Ice Cream won the News-Register’s Best Burger award in the annual Best of Mac. From dive bars to fine dining establishments, there’s plenty of great burger options around.
À votre goût Serving signature French dishes in wine country are chefs Gilbert Henry at Cuvée Restaurant in Carlton and Jean-Jacques Chatelard of Bistro Maison in McMinnville.
Next to the brew tanks There are two options to dine next to brewing stations: Golden Valley Brewery & Restaurant in McMinnville has been serving family raised angus beef and handcrafted beer for over two decades; The Grain Station Brew Pub in McMinnville is set in a historic barn at the Granary District and provides room for the children to run around while waiting for dinner.
With award-winners Nick’s Italian Café in McMinnville was honored with a 2014 America’s Classics award from the James Beard Foundation. Allen Routt, owner/chef of The Painted Lady in Newberg, a 2016 semifinalist for Best Chef: Northwest division, has earned AAA Four Diamond rating since 2011.
On the bricks Wood-fired ovens are a common sight at valley dining establishments like The Blue Goat in Amity, Nick’s Italian Café in McMinnville and Red Hills Market in Dundee. Needless to say, a pizza at any of these restaurants is delightful.
Winery picnics It goes without saying that eating a fresh boxed lunch or fare in a picnic basket created from a local market amid a sunny vineyard setting is a great way to spend an afternoon. Stop by markets like Harvest Fresh in McMinnville, Red Hills Market in Dundee or Amity Foods & Coffee House in Amity to select your own lunchtime party platters. There's also several great sandwich shops like Great Harvest, The Sage, Red Fox Bakery and Sandwich Express in McMinnville, or Archie's in Dayton, which will even pack a vintage picnic basket for you.
Of what you prepared For those wanting to invent their own culinary creations, the Wine Country Cooking Studio in Dundee offers classes to expand culinary skills and learn wine and food pairing — also great for corporate outings.
Your own private event Turn your vacation rental into a 5-star restaurant. Several chefs create private dining experiences for your wine country stay or home event, including Chez Vous and Nese Delzell (503-857-9432). Meals at the AgriVino Event Center on a farm outside Carlton also makes for intimate affairs.
In a pork frenzy The Carlton Business Association hosts a celebration of all things pig known as Porklandia at its downtown restaurants June 18. For the bacon connoisseur, a stop at 411 Eatery & Lounge in downtown McMinnville is a requirement.
From a truck Portland is known for its seemingly millions of food trucks. The mobile vendors' scene in the Yamhill Valley is far smaller, but the quality is superb and the prices low.
To kickstart your day Breakfast and brunch options in the valley have multiplied in recent years, ranging from farm-to-fork to country homestyle. Really, you can’t go wrong with any brunch spot in the region.
South of the border The Yamhill Valley is home to a vibrant Latino population serving some amazing authentic Mexican fare, both from food trucks to go or to enjoy streetside and from sit-down, family style restaurants.
From a chalk menu Places like Thistle and Valley Commissary in McMinnville are known for rotating menus, written on a chalkboard and changed to include the freshest ingredients available and the season's best dishes.
Indigenous indulgence Traditional, open-fire salmon bakes are held at several Native celebrations each year by the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, as well as at wine country events such as the International Pinot Noir Celebration at Linfield College in McMinnville.
Click here for a complete guide to your Yamhill Valley dining options.