Eat Local Washington

by Megan Hill | Photo © Gabe Rodriguez

“It’s like we’re flitting from food to food,” my travel buddy Sam says as we ogle piles of freshly baked bread and glistening pastries at the Breadfarm in Edison, Washington. We’ve already stocked up on cheese, yogurt, blueberries and pastries from another bakery down the road, but we can’t help ourselves. This place is a foodie wonderland.

Teensy Edison boasted a population of just 133 in the 2010 census. But there must be something in the water here, because those residents—and the folks in unincorporated Bow next door—have a deeply creative, hyper-local approach to just about everything, it seems. The three or so blocks that make up Edison’s downtown, in the northern reaches of Skagit County near the well-traveled route to scenic Chuckanut Drive, are stuffed with locally focused restaurants and food-related businesses, art galleries and quirky shops. Zoom out to the wider region and you’ll find still more restaurants, two shellfish farms, a distillery, two creameries, innumerable farm stands and more u-pick than you can shake a berry bucket at.

But we always start our trips to Edison at the Breadfarm, where bakers hustle to handcraft giant loaves and tiny pastries. The dough is made of organic and, whenever possible, local ingredients.

If we come on a weekend, we almost always head to Tweets, just a few doors down. The little café is dreamy when the sun is shining and the big garage door is flung open. We’re treated to the high-quality espresso we’ve come to expect in Puget Sound’s urban centers, plus enormous portions of farm-to-table offerings like quiches and strata and baked chicken, which all miraculously come out of a kitchen the size of a dinner table. There are baked goods here, too—big and rich, like everything else.

We can round out a picnic with sausage, wine, and cheese at Slough Food, the small grocery between Tweets and Breadfarm. The wine selection here is outstanding, with bottles from around the world—with Washington vintners featured heavily. They serve lunch here, too, and you can scarf homemade soup and sandwiches (with Breadfarm bread, of course) on a charming patio behind the store. If we haven’t tired of sweets, we stock up on hunks of lime-soaked polenta cakes at the Farm-to-Market Bakery on Chuckanut Drive.

Just around the corner, we never fail to miss Samish Bay Cheese, where we sample slivers of fresh and aged cheeses. The pickled blueberries from up the road at Bow Hill Blueberries are lovely on a hunk of buttery fresh Ladysmith cheese, and the dried blueberries add sweetness to Samish Bay’s delightful yogurt.

We leave with our stomachs encroaching on our lungs. Next time, we’ll bring an ice chest.

When you go:
>> Skagit
 Valley 
Tourism, skagittourism.com
>> Samish 
Bay 
Cheese, samishbaycheese.com
>> Breadfarm
, breadfarm.com
>> Slough 
Foods, sloughfood.com
>> Bow Hill Blueberries, bowhillblueberries.com
>> Tweets Cafe, tweetscafe.com