Central Oregonians live for open air, and some of our region’s best restaurants encourage our outdoor obsession with patios, sidewalk seating and garden-style settings. Whether it’s a Saturday morning brunch, a weeknight happy hour or Friday date night, everything seems to taste a little better when it’s served up al fresco with a side of Central Oregon summertime. Here’s our list of the best outdoor restaurants in Bend and Central Oregon.
All you need to do is read the label on any local ale to realize that Central Oregon’s beers are inspired by the outdoors. Many of our favorite pubs have gone to great lengths to extend their footprint beyond the four walls, allowing patrons to enjoy these local libations in the open air that inspired their creation.
Pig & Pound Public House | Redmond
A wraparound porch sets the scene at this Redmond eatery. Food is United Kingdom-themed, and though we wouldn’t exactly put the Oink & Boink or Cornish Pasties among our favorite culinary delights, the menu is a novelty for Central Oregon pub grub, which makes it fun. Plus, the beer is cold and plentiful.
Three Creeks Brewing | Sisters
Although there may in fact be more visitors than locals hanging out in the woodland setting behind Three Creeks in Sisters, the vibe is undoubtedly one of small town hospitality. Picnic tables dot the rustic patio outside the barn-like pub where family-friendly is the name of the game. The brewery-branded fire pit is a sight to behold.
Bend Brewing Company | Bend
The new owners of the old-school Bend Brewing Company (BBC) changed the game in downtown Bend this summer. Having renovated a lot adjacent to the revamped NW Brooks Street brewery, BBC is now the only downtown pub with an outdoor space worth writing home about. Order a beer from the sidewalk on NW Brooks Street and head around back to see what else is in store. A wraparound patio more than doubles the full-service outdoor dining space, enhancing the view of Mirror Pond. A quarter-acre lawn, dotted with Adirondack chairs, sprawls toward the water. Radiant bench heating lines a twenty-eight-foot gas fire pit (Say what?!). A new parking lot corrals thirty bikes and includes a bike-tuning station. BBC is showing off, and we love it.
Crux Fermentation Project | Bend
Perhaps the crown jewel of pub-style al fresco, the football field-length lawn at Crux brings together hordes of locals and tourists in craft beer-lathered Bend harmony. Play a game of cornhole, then order another beer at the outdoor bar. The small kitchen at Crux has some solid, basic dishes. Onsite food carts are also a great option and help keep the food wait times down when the crowds swell.
Table With a View
Long summer days in the High Desert offer the ultimate chance to pair the region’s delectable culinary offerings with the area’s natural beauty. Enjoy a freshly prepared meal while taking in views of snow-capped peaks, emerald fairways and patina-hued spires at these eateries.
Greg’s Grill | Bend
An afternoon of shopping in the Old Mill should be capped with a cocktail and a round of appetizers, or more. Greg’s Grill has perhaps the best perch on the Deschutes River. The River Trail path and clear sound waves from concerts at Les Schwab Amphitheater equal a lively atmosphere. Order something cooked on the apple wood and mesquite fired rotisserie for an upscale, barbeque-style meal.
Cascada | Pronghorn
Pronghorn sits between Bend and Redmond and, yet, is an island—a self-sufficient luxury community, surrounded by desert and sage. From the clubhouse balcony of the resort’s casual dining restaurant, Cascada, the juniper-laden landscape extends beyond the golf courses in a scene unmatched elsewhere. The food is as memorable as the mountain views, and the scotch and wine selections deserve a golf clap.
Range Restaurant | Brasada
Views from Range Restaurant and Bar at Brasada in Powell Butte give the illusion of seeing the High Desert through a fish-eye lens. A wall of windows and another wall of roll-up glass doors heightens the Range’s indoor-outdoor, farm-to-table dining experience. Ranch-raised meat is prepared over an outdoor fire spit. After dinner, migrate out to the huge fire pit ring and curl up in a chair with a complimentary blanket and s’more kit.
Carson’s American Kitchen | Sunriver
Sunriver Resort’s flagship restaurant, Carson’s American Kitchen, is a showpiece, part of a major renovation at the iconic lodge that has upped the luxury factor at Central Oregon’s original destination resort. With summer comes seating for about forty people outside. Dine on Northwest casual fine dining fare as you imagine a time before the immaculate fairways when restaurant namesake, fur trapper Kit Carson, trekked through the area on his western journey.
Terrebonne Depot | Terrebonne
Known for its banana belt climate and even hotter climbing scene, Terrebonne is an agricultural community with an international draw. After a day exploring Smith Rock, you’ll want to slake your thirst at Terrebonne Depot, a rehabilitated relic of the area’s railroad history that serves as a gathering point for locals and visitors alike. If you’re lucky, a passing freight train will add extra story fodder to your meal. With pastoral views and the famed, patina-hued cliffs beyond, you’ll know you’re on the right side of the tracks.
It takes more than a few deck chairs and an umbrella to make a great al fresco experience. A memorable outdoor dining space evokes the atmosphere of the restaurant’s indoor dining room, but adds a pinch of adventuresome character. You won’t go wrong with a dinner reservation at one of these charming destinations.
Washington Dining & Cocktails | Bend
Fresh shucked Pacific oysters on the half shell on a warm, sunny day. Need we say more? In addition to a raw seafood bar, family-friendly Washington has a full menu with a “gourmet diner” bent and artisan cocktails. Not bad for a neighborhood hub. Located in the Westside Bend Northwest Crossing community. The restaurant was built to maximize the Central Oregon lifestyle, with a patio—equipped with an elaborate heating system should you feel a chill—that doubles the eatery’s seating capacity.
The Open Door | Sisters
The Open Door in Sisters has flouted just about every dining convention and we couldn’t be happier about it. Choose your own adventure: Eat in an art gallery among bronze sculptures, get cozy with a well-tailored wine selection in the wine bar, or gather on the ethereal patio or in the all-glass greenhouse. Dripping with twinkle-light allure, the patio is where Western Sisters meets farm-to-table Mediterranean bowls of pasta and plates of charcuterie—often set to live music.
Kebaba | Bend
The iconic purple craftsman is a slice of Lebanon on Bend’s Westside with the intoxicating aroma of lamb and Middle Eastern spices drifting from the kitchen. During summertime, the vibe is all Pacific Northwest in the restaurant’s garden. Bistro tables create an intimate dining scene where cocktails flow and scratch-made ethnic food is shared among friends. An added bonus: special diets are happily accommodated.
Bistro 28 | Bend
Owners of the award-winning Zydeco brought their winning formula to the Athletic Club of Bend and revived its dining room, which is open to the public. The decadent barbeque shrimp dish (a Zydeco favorite) also graces this casual fine dining menu. Outdoor tables under the pergola look out over the grassy knoll where the summer concert series is played (restaurant not open on event days).
The Porch | Sisters
From the outside, it looks more like a cottage home than a restaurant, but then that’s also what makes The Porch so great. Located on an unassuming side street in Sisters, the comfort food is served up with a touch of haute cuisine. Eating chicken and waffles on the patio is the kind of guilty pleasure that you can only indulge in when dining at this culinary home away from home.