Northwest Cuisine – Savor the Bounty of Harvest

What exactly is Northwest Cuisine? In Albany we consider it foods that have been grown locally and prepared with techniques to bring out their natural flavor. In the Willamette Valley, nearly anything grows, and the farmers seem to enjoy trying new crops, new varieties, and new flavors.Photo of fresh vegetables and fruit at Farmers Market, Albany, OR.

Driving through the countryside throughout the season you can sample the fare at many roadside stands. Spend a delightful morning or afternoon taking in the region and gathering fresh produce along the way for your favorite homemade locally grown dinner. Use the Mid-Willamette Valley Food Trail as your guide to tasty stops along the way.

Farmers’ markets are plentiful in the valley and the Albany Saturday Farmers’ Market, on the corner of Ellsworth and 4th provides a variety of local produce, including a wide array of organic options, fresh baked bread, cut flowers and plants. They are open every Saturday from mid April to mid November, and because it is fresh, selections depend on the season. Oregon’s autumn bounty is upon us and your options are abundant.

Another great source for local food is Midway Farms with a small farm stand on Hwy 20 open 7 days per week. They’ve recently added the North Albany Farmers’ Market, open every Thursday, 3pm-6pm, at J&B Garden Center, to help small farms provide healthful food to the community.

If you are just passing through and don’t have the wherewithal to prepare your own meal, there are several restaurants that pride themselves in using local produce, meat and dairy products for their menu. Try one of these for a true taste of the Northwest. 

SYBARIS, 442 First Ave SW, is an award-winning establishment described as both elegant and eclectic, featuring Northwest Cuisine. Matt Bennett has twice been nominated for Best Chef: Northwest by the James Beard Foundation. The gourmet menu changes each month using the finest local seasonal ingredients, including Buffalo, Dungeness Crab or Wild Boar. 

SWEET RED BISTRO, 208 West First Ave., serves delicious, fresh homemade soups, salads, desserts and specials. Fall is here so they are rolling out all our favorite seasonal items – you simply must try the Pumpkin Flan. The extensive wine collection, creative cocktails, leisurely dining and warm hospitality make a great combination for celebrations. Now open for Sweet Red After Dark, 8:30pm to 10pm. The lights go down and the music goes up! Late Night Tapas and Cocktails every Friday and Saturday!

CALAPOOIA BREWING CO., 140 Hill St NE. For some of the best micro-brewed beers in the valley, visit this unique pub which serves numerous locally brewed micro-beers, great hamburgers, and sandwiches, or specials like pork loin and potatoes, and VIVACITY SPIRITS of course, housed in the same location. 

FRANKIE’S, 641 Hickory St NW, starts with a serious dedication to locally grown farm fresh produce and meats and seasoning, adds a unique twist to old favorites, and is a must-do for out-of-town guests. Take dinner to go or have a seat with comfortable indoor tables or patio dining. 

Historic Albany has without a doubt, some of the finest eateries in the northwest! We also feature authentic Eastern European, Mexican, Vietnamese, Thai, and Chinese cuisine.

Here are a couple more examples for your pleasure: 

NOVAK‘S HUNGARIAN, 208 2nd Ave SW. For authentic high quality Eastern European cuisine with a down-home atmosphere, try Novak’s.  Chicken Paprikas is their signature dish, with other wonderful choices including Papa’s Kolbasz (sausage) and Mama’s amazing cabbage rolls. Seasonal special with the harvest of hazelnuts – Mozart Torte, their famous Hazelnut cake. Everything is prepared fresh with love. 

HOUSE OF NOODLE, 2025 Santiam Hwy SE is a popular Thai food restaurant with take-out, delivery and dine-in options. This time of year, Pumpkin Curry made with a red curry base, sweet pumpkin, basil and bell pepper is a favorite! 

Our restaurateurs are taking great care to stay sparkling clean, sanitized and provide a socially distanced atmosphere. Please remember to wear your mask upon entry! 

Albany was also recently featured by NW Travel Magazine’s Veronika Patrashko: https://nwtravelmag.com/celebrate-fall-in-albany-oregon/

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