08.04 Fabulous Feasting: A Food Adventure – Orcas Island

Fabulous Feasting is a monthly blog feature focusing on one woman’s quest for the most fabulous food in Seattle to feast on, from restaurants to recipes.

Allium lunch

If you’re looking for something different in the way of food experiences, why not try a food adventure? Combine a local road trip with food tasting, and you have a winning combination! Whether it’s a romantic weekend get-away with your honey, or a girls-only trip, you don’t have to go far from Seattle to find great scenery and wonderful fare.  

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we know that we live in one of the most beautiful places in the country – especially when the sun is shining :)  But one of the most stunning locales in the world is right in our backyard, the San Juan Islands. The largest and most popular of the islands is Orcas.

You can  travel there and back in one day, but I would recommend taking a couple of days to enjoy the island (if only to make the cost of the ferry ticket, all the driving, and the time spent waiting for the ferry worth it!) It’s about an hour and a half drive to Anacortes, with a recommended arrival time of an hour before the ferry departure, then another half an hour drive to the quaint little town of Eastsound once you arrive on the island. Accommodations come in every budget. Camping is available in nearby Moran State Park, as well as plenty of bed and breakfasts and historic hotels, but if you really want to splurge you could get a room at the lush Rosario Resort and Spa

On Orcas there are a wide variety of outdoor activities ranging from whale watching and kayaking, to bicycling, hiking and beach-combing. And the views are breathtaking, like this one from the top of Mt. Constitution.

San Juan Islands

There’s also great shopping in the cute little boutiques that line the streets.

Eastsound art shop

If you happen to be there on a Saturday, be sure to check out the farmer’s market.

Fava beans at Eastsound Farmer's Market


Onions at Eastsound farmer's market


Wood fired pizza


Sunflowers at farmer's market 

But the food! Oh the food! There’s an amazing selection sure to please every palate!

Allium Restaurant

One must-visit tasting stop is Allium Restaurant, owned and operated by renowned chef, Lisa Nakamura, formerly of the HerbFarm in Woodinville. Allium just opened a few months ago but has the feel of a neighborhood favorite.

Welcome rock

The atmosphere here is as warm and inviting as the chef herself. Lisa is a gracious host who takes great pride in the food that she serves, locally sourcing the ingredients for the lovely dishes she prepares.

Salad greens at Allium

The food at Allium is fresh and seasonal, so the menu will change with what is available. This light salad was topped with fresh beets – I ate every last one of them – and I profess to not like beets. Thanks for converting me Lisa!

gnocchi dish at Allium Restaurant

The gnocchi are amazing little pillows of heaven! And are those the fava beans we saw earlier at the farmer’s market? :)

Also brilliant was the melt-in-your-mouth goulash served with the best spaetzle I have ever eaten! And with German cooks abounding in my family, I know my spaetzle! Lisa browns it so perfectly that the tenderness of the pasta is not lost, but the buttery, nutty taste it takes on in the pan frying is something I have never experienced before, and I was just stunned by this simple side dish. The onion jam made with sweet, sweet, caramelized onions and served with focaccia bread, is also not to be missed!

check with cookies 

Even the check comes with Lisa’s tremendous sense of hospitality! Yum cookies! But don’t fill up too much, there’s pie to be had!

Passionate for Pies

If you are looking for dessert (or lunch – they have potpies!), don’t miss Passionate for Pies. These organic, hand-made beauties are the talk of the town! A little on the pricey side, at almost five dollars a slice, they are more than worth it. Served plain or ala mode, by the slice or whole, sweet or savory, they have it all! The true test of a great pie is how well it holds up to the (hopefully) moist and juicy filling it contains, and these pies pass with flying colors. I highly recommend the Dark Cherry Pie!

Rose's on Orcas

One other stop in Eastsound that you must make is Rose’s Bakery and Cafe. A great place to pick up a sandwich for your hike up Mt. Constitution, grab some fresh baked bread, or enjoy a leisurely weekend breakfast, Rose’s is somewhat of an institution on the island. Go early though – the baked goods go fast!

What other places on Orcas have you all visited that you would recommend? What food adventures have you taken? Or would like to take?  I would love to hear!


Kristin Price

Kristin writes the monthly blog feature Fabulous Feasting, one woman's quest for the most fabulous food in Seattle to feast on, from restaurants to recipes. Kristin is a marketing and event professional whose favorite pastimes involve food, writing and connecting with her community. She connects with people daily on Twitter as @Seattle_Events, where as a Seattle native she is well equipped to dish up all the must-see and do around the city. You can also find Seattle Events on Facebook. Kristin also writes the blog KristinPotPie - Filled with tasty bites of food and fun, where she shares her passion for food and events. Connect with Kristin on Twitter @Kristinpotpie.

* This post is from a Girl Power Hour featured blogger. It is not written, edited or endorsed by Girl Power Hour. The authors are solely responsible for content.

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  1. Louise

    Wow, wish I could have gone on this adventure! Love my carbs and the homemade gnocchi and spaetzle looked delicious! And when they are homemade – even better. Your photos are very inviting, and the mountain is beautiful. And, I really do agree, this is not a day trip – it would be a great camping trip with somedays spent in Eastsound! Thank you for sharing your experience with me, your reader. Well done. Next time I’m in Seattle this might very well be an excursion I will take.

  2. Kristin Price

    Thanks Louise! It really is a great little get-away! And I can’t stop thinking about that gnocchi – I’m ready to go back just to get some more!

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