This summer, restaurants are reimagining what it means to “dine out” as COVID-19 continues to upend daily life all over the Willamette Valley.
With summer in full effect, cities around the region have turned to sidewalk dining, “streetaries”, and other innovative outdoor solutions to continue serving patrons in the safest possible manner. The spaced-out tables, fresh air, and rigorous devotion to cleanliness all create a safer environment that allows diners to enjoy the seasonal bounty from regional farms and growers.
So once you’ve put on your mask and slathered on sunscreen, here’s where to enjoy al fresco dining throughout the Willamette Valley.
Keep in mind: Face coverings are required in all public spaces (this includes outdoor spaces), except when eating, drinking, or seated at restaurant tables with those in your group, and eateries may require reservations or keep limited hours. Call ahead, or check with a restaurant’s website or social media channels, before arriving.
Outdoor Dining in Albany
Numerous restaurants in Albany and throughout Linn County are offering sidewalk dining this summer.
Calapooia Brewing Company, for instance, serves burgers and small-batch beers in a dog-friendly, open-air atrium near downtown Albany. And Brick & Mortar Café—specializing in homemade takes on breakfast and lunch classics—offers outdoor dining this summer, as well.
For more information, check with the Albany Visitors Association to see which restaurants are open—and follow up to see if your favorite eateries offer outdoor dining.
Outdoor Dining in McMinnville and Yamhill County
All summer long, four blocks of downtown McMinnville’s famous Third Street will transform into an open-air dining room. The Dine Out(side) program takes place between 5 p.m. Fridays and 6 a.m. Mondays throughout the summer, with restaurants hosting outdoor seating for a comfortable, safe experience.
Participating restaurants include Nick’s Italian Cafe, a James Beard award-winning restaurant noted for its classic Italian cuisine; Community Plate, serving fresh takes on classic comfort fare; and R. Stuart & Co. Tasting Room & Wine Bar, pouring the winery’s signature wines.
Space is limited, and reservations are strongly recommended; learn more about the Dine Out(side) program from the McMinnville Downtown Association.
Elsewhere in Yamhill County, a handful of Newberg restaurants are offering (or expanding) their outdoor seating this summer.
Housed in a regal Victorian home, Recipe Neighborhood Kitchen boasts the self-proclaimed “best patio in Newberg” and prides itself on locally sourced ingredients—best paired with the region’s celebrated wines. And in downtown Newberg, Ruddick/Wood boasts sidewalk seating—an idyllic setting for enjoying its sandwiches, salads, and American-inspired fare alongside craft cocktails, beer, wine, and cider. And Rosmarino Osteria Italiana, specializing in northern Italian fare, built a back patio last winter—a quaint setting for enjoying the restaurant’s prix fixe and à la carte items.
Outdoor Dining in Eugene
A section of West Broadway Street in downtown Eugene (specifically, the stretch between Willamette and Olive streets) has been closed to motor vehicle traffic and transformed into the city’s first “streetary”.
That means restaurants like Sizzle Pie (noted for killer pizzas—including vegan options), Killer Burger (where every burger comes with bacon by default), First National Taphouse (offering a strong selection of craft beers), and The Davis Restaurant (a chic eatery and cocktail bar) can expand seating into the street, which allows for safe physical distancing. Plans are even in the works to offer live music and other events later this summer.
The street closure remains in effect all day, every day, through Oct. 31, 2020.
Outdoor Dining in Corvallis
With a charming downtown and a busy dining scene around the Oregon State University campus, it’s no surprise that roughly three dozen restaurants boast outdoor seating this summer. Some of those downtown restaurants even come with views of the Willamette River, while Marys Peak—the highest point in the Coast Range—can be seen from numerous restaurants in south Corvallis.
With a rooftop bar in the heart of downtown, Sky High Brewing & Pub was already a hot spot for outdoor dining. But the pub has also opened an open-air courtyard area for even more outdoor opportunities to enjoy a locally made beer. A few blocks south, New Morning Bakery invites diners to enjoy homemade desserts and breakfast items (like hazelnut pancakes with marionberry syrup) at one of several picnic tables outside its eatery.
And the list goes on. Check out the Visit Corvallis website for more restaurants offering outdoor dining in Corvallis this summer.
Outdoor Dining in Downtown Salem
This summer, downtown Salem eateries are taking a novel approach to keeping customers safe: They’re joining the Summer Streets Program, which invites restaurants and retailers to serve customers outside to ensure social distancing and improve safety. And they’re doing it while six segments of downtown Salem streets are closed altogether.
Participating restaurants include Wild Pear, noted for its Vietnamese-influenced cuisine; The Kitchen On Court Street, serving European-inspired upscale fare; and Fork Forty Food Hall, home to six eclectic vendors.
The segments will be closed on weekends—Friday evenings to Sunday evenings—through Sept. 31. Learn more about the Summer Streets Program and participating businesses from the Salem Main Street Association.