The Snoqualmie Valley is a fascinating northwest wonderland but I must admit that I did not fully realize all the amazing things to see, do, and, perhaps most importantly, taste – that is, until I opened a B&B (now closed). One of the most frequently asked questions I received as an innkeeper was, “Where’s the best place to eat?” Although there are far too many delicious places in the Snoqualmie Valley to list them all, here are seven of my favorites where your meal becomes an entirely unique experience.
Camlann Medieval Village
Step back into time, into 14th century rural England to be exact. Camlann Medieval Village in Carnation features in-character interpreters who have taken on roles of medieval persons living in a small village in the year 1376. Camlann is dedicated to offering the public powerful personal experiences of history, including multiple learning and performing arts opportunities, built upon research of rural communities in 14th century England, to provide a deeper understanding of the relationship between those historical events and western society today. The Bors Hede Restaurant at Camlann is open year-round and there are special festivals through out the year such as the upcoming May Fests. Camlann is a perfect place for a unique and educational holiday experience. Keep up with the 14th century fun by following their Facebook page.
Euro Lounge Café
If you love coffee and you love crepes, you need to visit Euro Lounge Cafe. Sinisa and Cristina have brought their travels throughout Europe into each of their made-to-order, gorgeous crepes. Their recipe is nearly 100 years old and all of their ingredients are fresh. They have even added a gluten-free option to their menu; but, of course, they didn’t take this request lightly. Several recipes were tried and only the best products were used to develop their gluten-free crepes.
While Euro’s crepes are unique enough to stand out on their own, the excellent and friendly service you’ll find here is what really knocks your socks off. Cristina and Sinisa put much love and care into everything they do. Even the decor of the restaurant is from 90% recycled items, including the “new” old, gorgeous wine bar which made it’s way from Bend, Oregon to North Bend, Washington. Be sure to say hi and ask them about their exciting new goals for the Euro Lounge when you stop in.
The Grange Café
The Grange Cafe offers a cozy and casual dining environment in downtown Duvall in the original Cherry Valley Grange Hall built in 1926.
Their menu features American classics prepared with local and mostly seasonal, organic ingredients. The house specialties include pasture finished pot roast and meatloaf, Beecher’s mac n’ cheese, “The Grangeburger”, homemade biscuits and gravy, organic bread pudding, local microbrews and wines along with a full bar. The Grange is open six days a week (closed Mondays) serving lunch and dinner during the week and brunch and dinner on the weekend. There’s even a special area for children as well as outdoor dining during the good weather months and groups up to 30 people can be happily accommodated.
Did I mention they have a real pizza oven? This place supports local farmers and simply rocks.
After visiting the Woodman Lodge several times, I finally sat down with the owner Peter La Haye to chat about his amazing restaurant. You may have seen their commercials on the Food Network but if you haven’t made your way out to Snoqualmie to check it out yet, please allow me to personally invite you to visit the Woodman now. No, really, right now. You’ll thank me.
The Woodmand Lodge is well-known their Cowboy Steak and All-You-Can-Eat Rib Nights but did you know they also serve elk, wild boar and buffalo? There is something for everyone on the menu and a lovely western bar which will take you back in time. This restored 1902 building which now boasts a sense of great food and joyful community thanks to renovator and owner Peter La Haye.
Outstanding in the Field Dinner at Full Circle Farm
Have you ever enjoyed a farm-to-table dinner in the middle of a gorgeous field at a table decorated in white linens with over a hundred other people? Yes, indeed. The Outstanding in the Field Dinners are a memory-maker and we are so very fortunate to have them in our very own northwest backyard once a year. Locations vary every summer so be sure to check out their website. A local chef cooks a perfect dinner and a Washington state winery delivers wine to the dinner table that perfectly pairs with each course.
Make new friends as the sun sets in all its beauty in the background of a most perfect dinner experience. Be sure to watch the website or Facebook page for the annual schedule for this one-of-a-kind experience.
Gianfranco Ristorante Italiano
Gianfranco Ristorante Italiano specializes in Southern Italian cuisine while using seasonal, local flavors to create crazy-delicious meals. The warm atmosphere and excellent wine selection will have you almost believing you are in Italy while you enjoy your authentic Italian meal. Gianfranco’s now has gluten free pizza and pasta available so everyone can still enjoy a taste of Italy.
Their expansive wine list features a large selection of Italian wines. Gianfranco’s also holds quarterly wine dinners featuring five courses of Italian food, paired with wine. The technique of food and wine pairing are explained and discussed while you enjoy this unique experience offered by their friendly team. Visit while hungry and visit soon.
Boxley’s (Update: Boxley’s is now closed.)
I’m giving one last nod to a Snoqualmie Valley favorite. Boxley’s will be setting their closing date soon but their music will live on so I recommend getting your reservations in soon and then following their Facebook page so you can watch for their continued music later.
Boxley’s has been named by Downbeat Magazine on their list of top jazz clubs in the world for the last 3 years. Boxley’s has made North Bend proud. They have live music every night (with an occasional exception for special events for the community). Their roots go deep into the local community with their mentorship program designed to bring the generations of experienced jazz artists out to work with the brand new and future jazz artists. The Boxley Music Fund is a Non-Profit organization music membership program where members get access to a website with 100s of hours of music recorded live at Boxley’s.
In 2012, the first North Bend Jazz Walk to support the community at large and it was a huge success. Over 800 people come out for the festival and there was live jazz in six venues along North Bend Way. The Jazz Walk continues today and has opened doors to festivals in other cities as well. Although the restaurant is closing soon, the song will play on through this inspiring Snoqualmie Valley family. We wish them all the best!
About Deanna McCaulley: Deanna’s love for baking and cooking began as she sat upon a baker’s stool as a little girl. Her love for people grew in the midst of church potlucks. She expresses her loves today creatively through speaking, writing for her food blog, and local & national television appearances. The Old Hen has hosted guests, including celebrities, at her award-winning inn, The Old Hen Bed & Breakfast in Snoqualmie Valley, Washington which was open from 2009 through 2014. Besides subscribing to these posts at theoldhen.com, you can also connect with The Old Hen on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.