Editors note: Due to wildfires in the Columbia River Gorge, Interstate 84 is closed from Troutdale (milepost 17) to Hood River (milepost 62) through at least Sept. 17. Alternate routes to access the gorge include taking U.S. 26 East, followed by Route 35 North toward Hood River. A second option is to take Interstate-5 North toward Seattle, followed by Route 14 East, over the Hood River Bridge and onto Route 35 South.
Majestic Mount Hood attracts adventure-seekers with an unparalleled array of outdoors attractions and three premiere ski resorts. Don’t hit the slopes on an empty stomach! This dining guide dishes on where to fuel up with jelly donuts and huckleberry pancakes, lunch at rustic mid-mountain huts and relax with large pizzas and local pints après-ski.
Roadside stops don’t get much sweeter: Set on Highway 26 in Sandy, Joe’s Donuts tempts travelers bound for Mount Hood with a glistening assortment of fritters, maple bars and bear claws at throwback prices: All pastries are $1.50 or less. Hearty options abound at High Mountain Café in Government Camp, where skiers can scarf biscuits and gravy, bacon-loaded breakfast sandwiches and even a Bloody Mary bar for an eye-opening start to the day. Nearby, Huckleberry Inn Café works ‘round the clock, serving stacks of huckleberry pancakes and heavenly hash browns to powder-hounds 24/7.
At 6,000 feet on Mount Hood, Timberline Lodge offers some of the best views in the state — and some of its tastiest meals, too. Chef Jason Stoller Smith showcases Northwest flavors in dishes like pinot-noir-poached Hood River pear with local Briar Rose goat cheese. On the lodge’s second floor, Ram’s Head Bar provides a classic lodge feel, with a cozy fireplace, exposed wooden beams and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Named one of the 10 best bars outside of Portland by Thrillist, this spot offers a smorgasbord of treats like Olympia Provisions charcuterie, Cascade Farms beef stew, Northwest artisan cheeses and other regionally sourced favorites.
Built in 1935 and accessible only by ski lift, Skibowl’s rustic Mid-Mountain Warming Hut provides a unique, classically Cascadian lunch spot and a great place to fuel up in the middle of a day on the slopes. Kick back in front of a crackling fire and order up bowls of traditional goulash or bottles of Euro beers like Pilsner Urquell and Spaten Optimator. Alpenstube Restaurant at Mt. Hood Meadows, another mountain ski resort, offers gluten-free, vegan-friendly bites — think green curry quinoa bowls, five-bean chili and garlic edamame — as well as its signature Nacho Mountain, which hungry skiers enthusiastically summit.
Voted Oregon’s best après-ski bar in 2014, Ratskeller Alpine Bar and Pizzeria is renowned for its topping-loaded pizzas and cheesy Double Black Diamond Calzone. Glacier Haus Bistro, another Government Camp mainstay, prides itself on authentic Old World recipes like jägerschnitzel and sauerbraten. Toast to another memorable day on the mountain at Mt. Hood Brewing Company, where house brews like the coppery Ice Axe IPA and Multorporter smoked porter accompany lip-smacking eats like chili-sauce chicken wings, steelhead chowder and ale-battered cod. Don’t miss the adults-only beer floats with Tillamook ice cream.