The charming McMinnville in Oregon, with its beautiful Historic Downtown, is truly a foodie’s paradise. This small city of almost 34,000 people has many incredible restaurants. We’ve put together a list of some of its culinary gems.
Located in the historical downtown area, Bistro Maison is a charming bistro specializing in delicious French cuisine, which it serves Wednesday through Sunday. A wonderful place to celebrate any occasion, this cozy place is set in an old house and features outdoor, garden seating when weather allows. The menu is brimming with classic French dishes, including soupe de poisson Provençale, which is fish soup with croutons and rouille, mussels in a sauce of sautéed garlic and oil with Pernod and cream, and the coq au vin, which is chicken, potatoes, wild mushrooms, onions, and carrots in a Pinot Noir sauce. To complement the meal, an impressive wine list is available, along with tantalizing desserts.
Open every day for breakfast and lunch, Community Plate is truly a community venue where friends and strangers can sit side by side at communal tables while enjoying classic American dishes and drinks. The sense of community also rolls over to the products as the owners procure the freshest ingredients available from local sources when possible. All-day breakfast highlights include buttermilk pancakes topped with local fruit compote plus maple syrup, the heritage pork hash with a sunny farm egg, potatoes, braised greens, and caramelized onions, and an assortment of breakfast pastries. For lunch, the grilled cheese with cheddar, Swiss, havarti, and dried tomato jam and the B.L.B. sandwich with roasted beets, bacon, local greens, and citrus aioli are two great options.
Serving breakfast and brunch dishes seven days a week, Crescent Cafe is a charming cafe located on 3rd Street. Procuring the freshest ingredients available from local purveyors, the culinary team gives visitors a true taste of local flavors that will suit many diners, from meat eaters to vegetarians. Must-try dishes to start the day off right include old-fashioned oatmeal with pecans and dried cherries, fried cornmeal with cheddar and green onions plus eggs and toast, and macaroni and cheese. A variety of beverages, including juice, coffee, wine, and brunch cocktails, plus weekly specials that incorporate seasonal produce are available as well.
Named after the famed street in central Barcelona, La Rambla is a welcoming venue serving Spanish cuisine inspired by the Pacific Northwest. Another historic downtown gem, this beautiful restaurant, complete with dark mahogany, a copper-topped bar, hand-blown light fixtures, plus artwork, uses local ingredients whenever possible for its flavorful fare. The menu features highlights such as a selection of Spanish cheeses; roasted beets with goat cheese, chive, lemon oil, plus candied walnuts; grilled cauliflower with romesco and pimentón dulce de la granja; and steamed clams with garlic tomato, marjoram, and sherry to name but a few. Many other cold and hot tapas are available along with salads, the delicious paella, desserts, plus an extensive wine menu.
Nick’s Italian Cafe
Established in 1977, Nick’s Italian Cafe is a beloved spot delighting customers again and again with its hearty Italian food and friendly atmosphere. A recipient of the American Classics Award by the James Beard Foundation, this cafe features a lovely interior perfect for sampling delectable Italian cuisine made with the freshest, local, seasonal ingredients available. Must-try options include the lasagna made with Oregon Dungeness crab, local mushrooms, roasted garlic, and pine nuts, the tagliatelle hand-cut pasta with gorgonzola dolce cream, and the bone-in rib eye for two with roasted squash, romesco, fried almonds, and arugula. Nick’s is open seven days a week.
Pura Vida Cocina & Arte
Opened by Ricardo Antunez and Carmen Borrasé, Pura Vida combines the interest of both owners by featuring Latin American cuisine plus arts and crafts direct from Costa Rica. Serving lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday, the interior space is comfortable and bright, which allows both the food and art to shine. Striving to use seasonal ingredients that are locally grown, the menu is brimming with incredible flavors. Highlights are the sandwich Cubano with roasted pork, ham, house pickled vegetables, Swiss cheese, and potatoes and the lomo saltado with beef tips, aji amarillo, tomato, potatoes, caramelized onions, and gallo pinto. Daily specials along with beverages, including seasonal cocktails and Latin sodas, are also available.
Red Fox Bakery
Located in the heart of downtown, the rustic, chic Red Fox Bakery is a locally owned, artisan bakery and cafe brimming with sweet and savory selections that are certain to make mouths water. Open Monday through Saturday, this bakery makes everything from scratch using only the best ingredients available from local sources. Sweet treats that will satisfy any sweet craving include cinnamon snails, coffee cakes, galettes, croissants, scones, turnovers, the bakery’s signature macaroons, and more. As for savory options, there are croissants, such as prosciutto and fontina plus red pepper and goat cheese, various breads, sandwiches, including the roast beef au jus on a grilled baguette, plus soups and salads.
The Sage Restaurant
Open Monday through Saturday, The Sage Restaurant is a lovely spot enticing hungry diners repeatedly with its tasty American dishes. Situated on the mezzanine of an 1893 historic building in downtown, the cafe offers an array of sandwiches, salads, and soups. For the meat lover, there is the roast beef sandwich with mayo, lettuce, tomato, and horseradish while the gobbler with roasted turkey, dill cream cheese spread, cranberry, plus lettuce is a great option for those guests who like poultry. Vegetarians might opt for the vegetarian sandwich with dill cream cheese, sunflower seeds, carrots, cucumbers, tomato, and lettuce. Soups always include creamy broccoli plus a daily option.
Thai Country Restaurant
Thai Country Restaurant continually pleases diners with its exotic fare. Within a welcoming, casual environment, guests can sample a host of dishes from starters to noodles to curries to specialties and more. Serving lunch weekdays and dinner Monday through Saturday, the cafe offers options such as the fried catfish filet with eggplant, bamboo shoots, bell pepper, onion, carrots, basil leaves, and chili paste. Also available is the classic pad Thai with choice of protein, rice noodles, egg, green onion, bean sprouts, and topped with ground peanuts. The pineapple red curry with choice of protein plus coconut milk, green beans, bell pepper, pineapple, peas, carrots, and basil leaves is another great option.
Owned by Chef Eric Bechard and Emily Howard, Thistle is an award-wining venue — The Oregonian’s 2011 Restaurant of the Year — featuring farm-to-fork cuisine. Located downtown, the culinary team procures everything they can from local sources ensuring fresh, flavorful dishes. Open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, the menu is ever-changing, allowing the culinary team to highlight the freshest, in-seasonal produce available. Within an intimate setting with soft glowing lights, guests might find delectable dishes such as gnocchi with fava beans, morels, tomatoes, and watercress, lamb with summer beans, lamb bacon, and gremolata, and ling cod with lobster mushrooms, crayfish, and peas. A selection wines and beer is also available.