Before I go into the top Troutdale eateries, let me offer you a bird’s-eye view of the city. As you exit Highway 84 to explore the 75-mile-long picturesque byways of the Pacific Northwest on US Route 30, you’ll feel a rush of adrenaline. Troutdale, Oregon serves as the western entry point for the Historic Columbia River Highway, the Mt. Hood Scenic Byway, and the Columbia River Gorge. It is also the starting point for many of Troutdale’s greatest restaurants.
Troutdale is around six square miles in area and is located about twelve miles east of Portland, where the Sandy and Columbia Rivers meet. It stretches between Oregon and Washington along the south bank of the Columbia River.
The Historic Columbia River Highway was the first scenic route in the United States, opening in 1915, and was particularly constructed to offer tourists with access to the most outstanding features of the Columbia River Gorge, such as waterfalls and vistas of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, and Mt. St. Helens.
Troutdale, a little, historic town established in 1907, with a current population of roughly 16,000 people. Pioneer John Harlow called it Troutdale after a trout pond in a dale near his home. If you’re in town on a Sunday, don’t miss the National Register of Historic Places-listed Harlow House. The lands are now included into the municipal park system.
The main strip, Historic Columbia River Highway, is lined with antique shops, art galleries, art shows, large-scale bronze statues, boutique-style shopping, and delicious restaurants. All of the eateries in Troutdale will make you happy and surprise you. On Wednesdays and Sundays, you may also visit a handful of museums to learn about the pioneers who inhabited this region.
Tip: Park near the overhead Gateway sign and walk down one side of the street, poking your head into the antique stores along Historic Columbia River Highway, taking a foundry tour at the Caswell Gallery, touring Harlow Home Park, then walking up the opposite side, possibly having a snack, and returning to your car.
Additional attractions in the region include beautiful flights over the Columbia River Gorge and Portland by Envi Adventures, which leave from the Troutdale airfield. There are several outdoor activities available in Oxbow Regional Park. If you need some shopping therapy, Columbia Gorge Outlets is only a short walk from downtown Troutdale.
Not in the mood to dine out tonight? Click here to have Grubhub deliver right to your door from the greatest restaurants in town.
7 Troutdale Restaurants You Should Try
The Bandits Bar and Restaurant
W. Columbia River Highway, 503-328-8120108
Are you searching for a relaxed cowboy bar where you may rest your spurs? You don’t have to leave Oregon to locate a restaurant that caters to cowgirls and cowboys, or to those seeking Cajun or Creole-influenced cuisine. The greatest bar and grill in the region is located in downtown Troutdale.
We stopped to Bandits for a drink and a food on our trip across town and felt perfectly at home. Yet, you are not required to wear a cowboy hat to enjoy the relaxed environment. In fact, we saw clients dressed for work enjoying a bottle of wine during a business meeting. Once their shift was done, construction workers also drank at the pub.
Bandits boasts that all of their meats are smoked in-house.
The Smoked Shredded Chicken Nachos were their house speciality. The clot of cream above the spicy chicken, salsa, jalapeño peppers, olives, and gooey cheese melted over crunchy chips was notable.
Dirty rice, deep-fried pickles, gizzards, and the Dirty Boat are all dishes inspired by southern cuisine. Dirty rice is a typical Creole dish from Louisiana. It’s made with white rice, tiny chunks of pork, beef, or chicken, green bell pepper, celery, and onion (the holy trinity of Cajun basic ingredients), cayenne pepper, and black pepper, and topped with parsley and chopped green onions.
Step over, and bring me some Cajun smoked meats! It may taste like Louisiana, but it is one of Troutdale, OR’s top restaurants.
Edgefield McMenamins Black Rabbit Restaurant
+1 503-492-30862126 SW Halsey St.
The list of Troutdale dining options would be incomplete without including McMenamins Edgefield. Walking around the 74-acre property with a drink in hand is an excellent way to see this ancient home.
Edgefield was once known as the Multnomah County Poor Farm. It was founded in 1911 to accommodate the sick and destitute of Portland. The Edgefield building and grounds were utilized as a nursing home and sanitorium, as well as a reform school for disturbed children, until being abandoned in the 1980s.
Since it housed mentally challenged, crippled, and elderly persons, many of whom were buried in unmarked graves on the grounds after their deaths, the property is said to be haunted.
There have been tales of strange wailing and a woman’s voice reciting nursery rhymes in the building. A white-clad lady is also often observed wandering about the property.
I have not directly seen these instances, but I always keep my eyes and ears alert while I am around, just in case.
The Troutdale Historical Society was successful in conserving Edgefield for its historical significance in 1990. It has been included on the National Register of Historic Places.
Edgefield was bought by the McMenamin family the same year, and it is currently run as a hotel, restaurant, vineyard, distillery, and brewery. There is also an outdoor stage for performances, which attracts audiences to watch Willie Nelson and other big-name musicians throughout the season.
The charming Little Red Shed, which was originally used as an incinerator during the days of the Poor Farm, has been turned into a tiny tavern. It comfortably accommodates 10 visitors and serves the famed McMenamins beers or guest liquors while serving modest nibbles. Cigars may be purchased in the shed, but they must be smoked outdoors near the firepits.
The Black Rabbit Restaurant, a Troutdale institution, serves breakfast, lunch, and supper daily, as well as brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. On weekdays, they have the happiest hours, offering food and drink discounts late in the afternoons.
The abundance offered periodically at the Black Rabbit Restaurant & Bar comes from the Edgefield vegetable and herb gardens, as well as the property’s fruit orchards. They shop locally for fresh and organic products like bespoke spicy sauces, organic non-GMO tofu, goat cheese, and gluten-free bread, all the way up to organically fed, growth hormone-free beef.
Plan to spend some time touring the grounds before or after eating at the Black Rabbit Restaurant if you attend. You may or may not hear the ghosts. If you do, the voices could be informing you that this is the best place to eat in Troutdale!
Di Pompello Ristorante
177 W. Historic Columbia River Highway, 503-667-2480
Restaurant Di Pompello’s interior décor includes rich red tablecloths, napkins, and wallpaper with Pompeii figures, which is not surprising given the family name Pompeyo. Even if you don’t know anything about the restaurant’s history or the proprietors, Saul and Ruby Pompeyo, it’s evident that they take delight in the authenticity of their customers’ eating experiences.
The original family name, Di Pompello, commemorates Saul’s grandparents. As he was growing up in Mexico, he learnt exquisite Italian cuisine from his grandmother.
Saul moved to Troutdale because he enjoys the small-town environment and wants to treat his clients like friends and family.
From across the street, I was drawn to Restaurant Di Pompello by its crimson facade and blossoming vine-covered entryway. I was drawn to the red motif both outdoors and inside.
They cooperated when I requested that my food be given all at once so that I could see all of the colors. The contrast of white dishes against the red tablecloths, as well as the bold, colorful cuisine, created a striking backdrop.
The crusty bread with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, tomatoes, and garlic bits was fragrant and acidic. The supper salad was fresh and crisp, with typical Italian dressing, black olives, and a dusting of cheese.
The scorching hot lasagna casserole with Parmesan cheese baked into the dish and sprinkled on top was browned around the edges and made my mouth swim.
Restaurant Di Pompello provides breakfast, lunch, and supper, as well as having a wine bar and offering Happy Hour Specials. Fresh mussels, portobello mushrooms packed with prosciutto, and tiger prawns with mushrooms and fresh basil are on the happy hour menu.
With the aroma of garlic drifting through the air, a genuine Italian dining experience, and a welcoming ambiance, this moderately priced restaurant is one of the finest places to dine in Troutdale.
Riverview Dining Room
The phone number is 503-661-366329311 SE Stark St.
Riverview Restaurant is an upmarket and picturesque eating experience located along the Sandy River beside the Stark Street Bridge. This restaurant is a neighborhood icon, with an outstanding view of the river, groomed gardens, creative artwork, and gourmet meals.
Mr. Yoshidas (Yoshidas Gourmet Sauce) Teriyaki Bowl, Sweet Chili Vegetable Bowl, Butternut Squash Ravioli (my fave), and Shepherds Pie are among the hallmark dishes on the menu, which specializes on fresh Northwest cuisine. Items that are vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free are labeled.
When root vegetables are in season, one of my favorite meals to order is the Root Vegetables. It is an uncommon menu dish that is served simply steamed and is highly colorful.
Riverview Restaurant only offers meals in the evening. The a la carte dinner menu has meat, fish, pasta, and a vegan option such grilled cauliflower, as well as appetizers, soups, and salads.
If you want, you may dine at the bar and choose from a limited menu that includes appetizers, soup and salad, signature dishes, and three basic entrees.
Just the lounge serves happy hour food and beverages on a regular basis. They provide draft beer and house wines, as well as a few classic cocktails like the Bartenders Special.
A small salad, hummus, gourmet chicken with peanut sauce, fish tacos, gnocchi, Kobe bruschetta, dumplings, or Asian style pickled veggies are also available.
The Chefs Four Course Menu is established at a fixed price per person and includes an appetizer, soup or salad, entree, and dessert.
The highlight of the dessert menu is Bananas Foster. The tableside burning dessert is a beautiful way to finish a dinner.
Live music, whether on the piano inside or on the terrace, sets the tone for relaxation and pleasure. At dark, the market lights on the patio provide a romantic and intimate environment for dinners done al fresco.
Riverview Restaurant is the greatest fine dining restaurant in Troutdale for a refined dining experience.
Tippy Canoe Shirley
W. Columbia River Highway, 503-492-222028242
Shirley, the proprietor of Shirleys Tippy Canoe, is a laid-back establishment with a fishermen ambiance and eye-catching decor.
This one-of-a-kind restaurant will thrill you, from the gigantic sailfish that Shirley caught hanging on the wall to the seasonal, larger-than-life decorations on the terrace.
What began as a logging stop in the 1940s, then became a biker pub in 2006, is now a popular stop on Old Highway 30. Shirley took over in 2007, transforming it into a high-quality restaurant and event venue that serves guests along the historic Columbia River Highway’s Sandy River.
Posters and Guy memorabilia from Guy Fieri’s (Food Network) Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives decorate the walls.
A map of the United States with numerous pins claiming areas from all of the customers’ hometowns, as well as a guest book and visitor information, making this venue unique.
Breakfast is my favorite meal at Shirleys. French toast and a half serving of Biscuits & Gravy are two popular menu options.
A substantial meal, biscuits and gravy, consists of three half of biscuits and savory sauce. It will feed three individuals.
Shirley reading the menu before taking your order is the highlight of your dining experience. Her speech describes the menu and how the food is made. She reads the material with such grace and humor that you don’t want her to finish.
Shirleys uses twenty-two distinct omelet recipes to work the eggs. Spicy chile omelets, Omelets on the Wild Side, and Omelets from the Bay and Beyond, all with fresh seafood and local eggs, are on the menu.
Sandwiches stand at least four fingers tall. The Old-Fashioned serves as the foundation for all Clubhouse sandwiches, which include meats, cheeses, fresh pieces of bread, lettuce, and tomatoes. There are Canadian, Italian, Polish, and Oyster Club options, which include pan-fried oysters.
Barbeque ham, beef, turkey, chicken, or halibut are available as additional sandwiches. The oyster sandwich is another option. Shirleys believes in seafood.
Shirley’s dinner service is more private and quiet. They feature an excellent bar and inventive starters such as oysters on the half shell or a smoked salmon and cheese platter.
If you attend, explore the interior and outside, sign the visitor book, and discover what makes Shirleys distinctive. Shirley may even pose for a picture with you; she is what makes Shirleys the best place to dine in Troutdale, OR.
Tad’s Chicken and Dumplins
Historic Columbia River Highway, 503-666-53371325
Tads Chicken n Dumplins is the place to go if you want some good old-fashioned chicken and dumplings like Grandmother used to cook. In a deep tureen, puffy large pillows of freshly prepared dumplings cap the chicken and sauce. This is the epitome of comfort food.
The Original Chicken n Dumplins is created with soft stewed chicken and homemade chicken gravy from a seventy-year-old recipe. The dinner is accompanied with a neatly put up relish plate, green beans cooked with morsels of bacon and onion, and an additional bowl of rich gravy.
You would assume Tads exclusively offers chicken and dumplings, but don’t be deceived. There are several varieties of fish, poultry, and beef on the menu. They even have Liver and Onions.
Appetizers at Tads include fried mushrooms, zucchini, onion rings, and chicken livers. This outstanding house-smoked salmon dish for two people comes with cheese, strawberries, and a dark bread.
The Seafood Menu include salmon, halibut, scallops, prawns, oysters, lobster, and razor clams from the Alaskan Kenai Peninsula (on Fridays).
Tads is one of the Columbia River Highway’s last roadhouses. They were south of the Sandy River Bridge when they initially opened in the late 1920s, Prohibition was in force, and they largely offered fresh fish and shellfish. In the 1940s, they relocated to the present site and added Chicken and Dumplings to the menu, establishing their history.
Warm wood tones fill the restaurant dining room and terrace, which overlooks the Sandy River and the Troutdale Bridge. Tads’ atmosphere is pleasant, casual, and accommodating to the whole family, young and old.
Tads does not accept reservations, however you may phone ahead and let them know you are coming the same day. The famed Chicken & Dumplings are the only thing fowl at this Troutdale eatery!
Note: Like classic biscuits and gravy, you may wish to acquire a To-Go box for the Chicken & Dumplings to eat for a full breakfast the next morning.
W. Historic Columbia River Highway 503-912-1462101
Troutini is an award-winning restaurant that serves French fusion food. That is, the chef mixes numerous local traditions with a French influence, which necessitates a well polished set of culinary talents.
A quick check at the menu shows an unmissable happy hour. Savory pomme frites, spicy and sweet bar almonds, a grilled and pressed Cubano sandwich, creamy avocado and smoked salmon toast, or a Caesar salad will please.
Shareable appetizers, soups, and salads are recommended for the Troutini Dinner menu, as are starters of Scallops, wild mushroom pappardelle pasta, duck, or a tiny filet.
There are also comfort food entrees such as veggie lasagna, chicken pot pie, baked Mac & Cheese, and fish, sausage, or a steak.
Brunch at Troutini is offered every day except Monday and features a variety of egg dishes, biscuits and gravy, and corned beef hash.
Lunch has a variety of burgers, gourmet sandwiches, soups, and salads.
If you prefer, you may jump straight to the Troutini Dessert selection. It includes house-made delicacies such as a gluten-free Death by Chocolate and my personal favorite, Crme Brule.
Every Tuesday evening, classic jazz is the entertainment. Combine it with Death by Chocolate Tort Cake for a fantastic date night at one of Troutdale’s greatest restaurants!
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