Top 5 Additions to the Central Oregon Food Scene | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Top 5 Additions to the Central Oregon Food Scene

1. Global Fusion

If you're getting that déjà vu feeling, it's probably because we included the food cart Bethlyn's Global Fusion last year. But we figure the move to a brick-and-mortar location in Bend's up-and-coming Maker's District, one of our favorite places to chow down, deserves a mention. Global Fusion landed in the former home of Second Street Eats in July and has been attracting a crowd with its unique mix of global flavors ever since (so much so that the cart is primarily used as an extension of the restaurant's kitchen—gotta have a fryer for those fried avocado tacos). Never one to be content with the same-old, same-old, chef and owner Bethlyn Rider is constantly mixing things up, recently adding brunch and booze to the mix and serving dinner in a corner of the city with few other evening options. Still haven't stopped by? Make it a New Year's resolution.

Global Fusion

1289 NE 2nd St.

Tuesday-Thursday: 11 am-3 pm

Friday-Sunday: 11 am-8 pm

2. The Barrel Thief

As much as we appreciate Bend's existing culinary clusters (primarily downtown, The Lot, and Newport Avenue), we are thrilled to see high-quality, local eateries spreading eastward. The most recent addition to the Maker's District may be more focused on drinks than dining, but it still offers a refreshing change of pace for happy hour or light meal options. An extension of Oregon Spirit Distillers' booze-making and tasting operation, the Barrel Thief is a cross between a swanky cocktail lounge and a laid back brew pub. And—no big deal—it may be the first distillery in Oregon with a full bar on site. In addition to a wide selection of classic and handcrafted original cocktails, the Barrel Thief also offers an impressive array of nonalcoholic options—including a rotating assortment of handmade drinking vinegars called "shrubs." On the food side, options range from veggie hot dogs to pulled pork sandwiches, most including Pringles and pickled veggies.

The Barrel Thief at Oregon Spirit Distillers

740 NE 1st St.

Daily: 11:30 am-10 pm

3. The Barge

While winter may not be the most popular time for cold treats, one of the highlights of the local food scene this year was the launch of The Barge, a floating ice cream "truck" anchored just upstream from the Columbia Bridge. While it made only a short appearance this summer, we're already looking forward to floating by on our tubes and grabbing a locally-made treat once the ice melts. To keep tabs on when The Barge is heading back out on the river, check out its Facebook page:

4. Pacific Pizza and Brew

It's hard to go wrong with pizza, but there's a distinct difference between a big greasy slice of cheese pizza (which holds a permanent place in the heart of every journalist on deadline) and a gourmet slice of pie. Pacific Pizza's offerings are this latter sort of delicacy. Their varied offerings include unique approaches like the Pacific Steelhead, a white-sauce pie topped with in-house smoked steelhead salmon, a sprinkling of capers, fresh dill, and a sliced hard-boiled egg. But it's not just the food that makes it worth checking out. Despite being located at a busy spot off Century Drive, Pacific Pizza and Brew has an open, airy and comfortable vibe, with an expansive deck looking westward with a clear view of Mt. Bachelor for spectacular sunset views. Now, that's a happy hour.

Pacific Pizza & Brew

340 SW Century Dr.

Daily: 11 am-10 pm

5. Spork expansion

Spork is another restaurant that started as a cart and has since seen an explosion in popularity at its restaurant on Newport Avenue (which opened in 2013). In response to that strong showing of support (often resulting in a line to the door), Spork recently expanded into the space next door and the results are impressive. The additional space is not only functional—giving a larger number of patrons the opportunity to dine in the eclectic, modern venue—it's also a feast for the eyes. With a stylish new side bar table and three pod-like booths with circular openings, the design marries nicely with the menu—both offer a unique blend of cultural influences with a modern flair and local sourcing.


937 NW Newport Ave.

Sunday-Thursday: 11 am-9 pm

Friday-Saturday: 11 am-10 pm

And one more to look forward to: The Brown Owl, formerly a food cart at The Lot, is returning after a hiatus with a brick-and-mortar establishment near Atlas Cider in 2016. Our mouths are already watering.

About The Author

Erin Rook

Erin was a writer and editor at the Source from 2013 to 2016.
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