by Henry Allen
With scenic drives, year-round outdoor action and quaint small towns with a Western flair, North-Central Washington’s Okanogan Country is full of discoveries for the curious traveler. And while you’re traveling, you have to eat, right? Luckily, Okanagan Country offers everything from home-spun cafes, fine dining, brewers of great coffee and beer, farm stands, farmers markets and more to satisfy your road-trip cravings. Here are top picks of where to get a true taste of Okanogan Country; and there are many more spots where you can whet your appetite—for a full list, go to okanogancountry.com.
Breadline Café, Omak,
Here, you’ll find homemade breads made from Okanogan Country wheat, house-made pies with fruits from local orchards, rich milkshakes to die for, and an array of selections for lunch and dinner. The décor is country eclectic and the ambiance homey and welcoming. Housed in the historic building that was once Omak Beverages, Breadline Café is a must when traveling through Okanogan Country.
Blue Star Coffee Roasters, Twisp,
Since 2007, Blue Star has been the hub of great coffee in Okanogan Country. Locals and travelers alike follow the aroma emanating from this roastery of find the best coffee in these parts. Grab a cup and a pastry at the newly opened Blue Star Roastery and Coffee Bar in Twisp and get some beans to go to enjoy at home.
Copper Glance, Winthrop,
With its old-west charm, the photo-worthy town of Winthrop is perfect for browsing around. And, while you’re there, you’ll discover mixology magic and bites made with locally sourced ingredients at Copper Glance. They specialize in classic craft cocktails as well as inventive new concoctions. Go experimental by indulging in the daily bartender’s special, and be sure to give the bartender your opinion of their creation. Remember, don’t drink and drive; Winthrop is a great place to bunk down for the night (with advance reservations).
Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Winthrop,
The folks at Old Schoolhouse Brewery claim to make the best beer ever. There’s one way to find out. Their secret ingredient is clean, pure water flowing from the pristine North Cascade mountains. Stop by their pub perched on a bank of the Methow River in Winthrop and sip a few. Be sure to order their Greek lamb burger made with organic lamb from a nearby ranch.
Smallwood Farms, Okanogan,
What could be better than a farm stand with its own restaurant while you’re on a country drive? You will find it at Smallwood Farms, a fourth-generation family-run farm in the Okanogan Valley. Seasonal farm-grown fruit and produce, jams, sauces, honey and much more are what you’ll find at this farm stand. Grab a table at their casual restaurant and enjoy a wholesome breakfast or lunch fresh from the farm.
Methow Valley Farmers Market, Twisp
Farmers and crafters markets are perfect places to get a sense of what’s grown and made locally and take some of that goodness on the road with you. If you are in Twisp on any Saturday through October, check out the Methow Valley Farmers Market. You’ll find everything from artisan breads to organic produce, from grab-and-go snacks to homemade pickles, and even hand-crafted home décor goods and gifts.