White Salmon; everybodysbrewing.com
Planted on White Salmon’s main street, the star attraction at three-year-old Everybody’s Brewing is the sun-drenched back deck and its eyebrow-raising view of Mount Hood. Of course, 10 well-balanced American-, English-, and German-style beers, like the nutty-sweet Hoedown Brown or the hop-errific Country Boy IPA (all brewed on site), and a fresh menu of salads, burritos, and burgers don’t hurt either.
SOLSTICE WOOD FIRE CAFÉ
Whether the Gorge is socked in with cottony fog or glowing in summer’s resplendent rays, Solstice rises to the occasion. Owners Suzanne Wright Baumhackl and Aaron Baumhackl traveled to Italy to handpick the parts for the wood-fired oven that reigns over this cabinlike eatery, endowing flavorful char to Tuscan-style pizzas, juicy, free-range chickens, and chorizo-studded mac and cheese. Snuggle up by the fire and warm your belly with hearty, oven-baked pasta while drying out your soaking socks, or tuck into a portobello quesadilla at one of the sunbaked outdoor tables.
10-SPEED COFFEE ROASTERS
Hood River, Mosier, White Salmon; 10speedcoffee.com
Contrary to popular belief, leaving Portland city limits doesn’t mean abandoning excellent coffee. The Gorge’s 10-Speed Coffee roasts its own small-batch, single-origin coffee in Hood River and deftly transforms the beans into artful lattes and well-pulled Americanos in its trio of cafés along the Columbia. Two-wheeled visitors can get the complete 10-Speed experience by exploring the Hood River roastery and then riding seven miles up the Historic Columbia River Highway to the Mosier café.
EAST WIND DRIVE-IN
Cascade Locks; 541-374-8380
This roadside Cascade Locks burger shack—where a drive-in has stood since 1939—still maintains a walk-up window, tallies checks by hands, and makes its food and so-thick-you-need-a-spoon shakes to order. And like so many old-school burger joints, there’s nothing petite about the East Wind: not the six-inch-tall “small” ice creams cones, not the line that forms along WaNaPa Street, especially on weekends … and certainly not the brain freeze that comes from gobbling your enormous tower of tropical crème soft serve before it melts.
Hood River; norastable.com
When you’re in the mood for a little less Black Diamond gear and a little more white tablecloth, head for Nora’s Table. The cozy eatery tucked just off Hood River’s main drag expertly plates a rotating cast of locally sourced dishes—from braised pork shank in sweet bean sauce to a Goan seafood curry. Find the best seats at the counter in front of the kitchen, where you can watch chef Kathy Watson (who named the restaurant after her mother) prepare your meal while you chat with the locals who make Nora’s a regular stop. Got a question about what pairs well with your butternut squash enchilada? Simply ask your neighbor, who’s likely familiar with every glass on the exclusively Gorge-grown wine list.