You’re a visitor and hungry and wandering around Hood River and wondering, where can we get a memorable bite to eat?
Hood River has a load of dining establishments. Getting the straight skinny on which ones are going to deliver something both affordable and memorable, and which aren’t, can be a challenge. Locals know, but which locals should you ask?
Uh, hull-oh — US!
Here are seven that we like:
1. Cornerstone Cuisine (yes, it’s our restaurant, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth listing, and hey, it’s our list), for the stellar Grilled Lamb Burger with basil tomatoes, feta cheese, micro greens, and garlic mayo, or the … well check it out.
2. Nora’s Table (on 5th, between Oak and Cascade). Build your order online, pick it up and park your picnic wherever you like, or eat it on-site. Burmese pork curry, anyone?
3. El Rinconcito (aka “The Trailer”), on West Cascade, just past the Big Gym and Zeman’s Music. Good tacos, burritos and (on Friday mornings) tamales.
4. Mekong Thai (across from No. 3). Rich menu of authentic Thai dishes. Affordable, casual, cool (A/C). Limited parking, but …
5. Hood River Taqueria (on 13th, in the Heights: See Directions below). Indoor or, in summer, shaded outdoor tables for tasty Mexican staples, and cervezas. Lengua tacos, senor? Menudo? Mui autentico.
6. China Gorge (intersection of Hwy 35 and Hwy 30, east of town). Owned for more than 30 years by two Indonesian immigrants of Chinese ancestry, the China Gorge has a rockin’ good Chinese chef, serves large portions at affordable prices. Watch him kick it in this video.
7. Double Mountain Brewery (4th and Columbia), for great locally brewed beers and stellar pizzas and sandwiches.
Now, a word about directions and neighborhoods. Many visitors to Hood River share the mistaken impression that there is nothing more than downtown and the strip development out West Cascade (can you say “Rite Aid and Safeway and Taco Bell, oh, my”?).
There’s also the Heights. The what?
Heights, as in “uphill from downtown.” Lots of options there, to be sure.
To reach the Heights, take Oak from downtown west to the light at 13th, turn left and keep going. You can’t miss it. When you pass May Street, traffic goes from two-way to one-way on 13th and 12th until you pass south of Belmont. Along that brief stretch, you can find some good, casual eatin’ joints to supplement faves from the other business zones.