Local Flavors: a Resident’s Guide to Eating and Drinking on the OlyPen
Food is at the center of who we are… the late and great Anthony Bourdain said “it’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go.”
We whole-heartedly agree, allowing food to fuel the direction of almost all our travel. Here are a few close-to-home favorites, from places to stock up to a special spot to share for a fine-dining experience. Hope you enjoy!
Finn River Cidery: An incredible cider farm and tasting room in the heart of Chimacum, with multiple food vendors, music on weekends, and gorgeous views overlooking this valley farm. Food vendors include Dented Buoy wood-fired pizzas, Hama Hama Oysters (get ‘em on the half shell, and they serve up clams and crab cakes, too), La Crepe de Quimper (sweet and savory crepes), and the seasonal Fiddlehead Creamery. Finn River’s kitchen also serves up a daily soup and sandwich special, baked cheese plates, and a very local Hearty Bratwurst plate. This place is really special, and worth the visit!
Alpenfire Cidery: Our favorite cider on the OlyPen. Ranging in style from “old world to new world; from barrel matured, bittersharp, bone dry varieties to luscious pommeau's made with fresh pressed juice and apple brandy. “ We haven’t met one yet that we didn’t like! Their orchard and tasting room is tucked away in Port Townsend near Discovery Bay and given its small nature, feels like such a private treat to visit! Alpenfire doesn't serve food, but welcomes you to bring a picnic to enjoy in their orchard.
Mystery Bay Farm: Located one mile from Plum Nelli, Mystery Bay is a farmstead goat dairy making cheeses, decadent yogurt, and in the Winter – cajeta (OMG so good). They offer private educational tours by appointment and their dairy products can be sourced just below the farm at the Nordland General Store. You can also catch them at Port Townsend Farmers Market in Uptown on Saturdays. They are there with loads of other farmers and yummy food vendors (think paella and salmon wagons), so this excursion is a treat in itself!
Plum Nelli FarmStay: Of course, one of our favorite spots to eat is home… we are honored to offer all of our guests fresh eggs from our flock of pasture raised hens during their stay. All it takes is one taste to know that fresh eggs from happy chickens are the best! Need something to cook up for dinner? Just ask and we’ll show you what’s in season in the garden! We also sell multiple varieties of apples from our orchards, so you can bake pies and remember Plum Nelli when you return home…
Hanazono Asian Noodle: Serving up sushi, sake and delicious bowls of steaming noodle soups. This is our go-to dining spot.
Finestere: Fine uptown establishment who’s name means “end of the land” – which is quite fitting for the Olympic Peninsula. They offer weekend brunch, dinner serving Wednesday through Sunday, and a killer happy hour deal with fantastic small plates.
Lanza’s Italian Restaurant: Our perfect order here is the roasted veggie salad, an order of meatballs, a pizza (or calzone) and a bottle of wine. Done!
TRI-Area: Chimacum, Port Hadlock, Quilcene
Farm’s Reach Café: Our local café - a great little breakfast and lunch spot offering uber local ingredients in their cooked plates, and decadent baked goods. We like to pick up to-go pastries on our way out on a hike J
San Juan Taqueria: A short drive off-island to delicious Mexican cuisine… serving up great margaritas and sangria, and we highly recommend the tacos (fish, pork adavado, or cauliflower!)
Ajax Café: A historical establishment that just recently reopened (yay!), serving up traditional Pacific Northwest meals with great ambience… located down by the bay in Port Hadlock and open for dinner only. Take your pick from a wall full of whacky hats to make your evening even more fun!
Hama Hama Oyster Saloon: If you asked us what’s our favorite thing to do on a sunny day, we’d easily tell you go for a hike on the Southeast side of Olympic National Forrest and *definitely* go slurp some oysters at Hama Hama. This outdoor oyster saloon overlooking the Hood Canal, serves up the freshest and the best, along with cold beers and other delicious menu items, cooked and served outdoors. Should you decide to go with a po’ boy or some crab cakes instead, you can buy oysters by the dozen to bring back for sunset at Plum Nelli. If it’s not sunny, go anyway.
ON YOUR WAY OUT
Butcher & Baker Provisions: This counter order joint is located just over the Hood Canal bridge in Port Gamble. (All-in-all, about a 30 min drive.) A great spot to hit for lunch, especially if you’re already headed in that direction. We heart their staple fried chicken sandwich and chocolate pots! There’s also great bike trails and kayak rentals nearby - should you need to work off the lunch you just consumed :)
OTHER NOTABLE STOPS
Chimacum Corner Store: Incredible grocery store offering uber local meats, produce, and beverages as well as easy prepared food items, and ice cream by the scoop. Also, they host a little farmers market on Sundays April – October.
Waterfront Pizza: If you’re downtown Port Townsend, you’ll smell them. Street-front slices… deeeeeeelicious!
Uptown Pub: A friendly drinking establishment where true locals hang, cash only!
Marrowstone Vineyards: We mentioned these guys in our “Top 10 Island To Do’s” as well! Our “neighborhood bar,” located just a stone’s throw from Plum Nelli :) A vineyard and tasting room boasting great views and serving wine that is sophisticated and down-to-earth. Also featuring live music on Summer weekends!
Port Townsend Brewery: local brews best know for their Scottish Ale, with loads of others to choose from.
*Two other notable taprooms are The Keg and I, located in Chimacum and the Pourhouse, in Port Townsend.