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Orcas and San Juan Island---best bets

  • c
  • Charlotte Q Feb 5, 2002 02:07 PM

Hi everyone
I'll be taking a long weekend on the islands (my first trip!!!!) and I'd love suggestions for where to eat the finest meal. I know Christina's on Orcas has a great reputation---is it worth it?
What about a great bakery or brunch place?
What about Duck Soup Inn?
thanks in advance for you help!

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  1. I know some of you must've been to this area! Please offer suggestions...

    1. Friday Harbor House, a bread and breakfast on San Juan Island, has a wonderful restaurant.

      1. Check out Duck Soup Inn (www.ducksoupinn.com). It is by far the best restaurant on the island. It dos not have rooms, but there are several B&B's close to Duck Soup.

        1. I missed DSI when I was on San Juan (They were closed for the winter. If you plan to go, you should make sure that their reopening date is not after your visit. I think I recall that they're only open a few days a week, too.), but had the good fortune to dine at 120 Nichols, which was excellent. Feel free to use its name to search for my contemporaneous post.

          1. I suggest you try The Place or Steps in Friday Harbor for small, very nice places with fine kitchens and very good service. The best bakery (maybe in the whole state) is Big Barn Bakes in Friday Harbor.

            1. One of our favorite places in Friday Harbor is the Backdoor Kitchen ( http://www.backdoorkitchen.com/ ). It is in a really obscure location next to a nursery and is not very well signed, but once you find it you will be very happy you did. The food is fabulous! A must for your trip!!

              1. Christinas is pretty good. Yes, sometimes a bit over-rated but always satifying.
                My favorite food on Orcas is really the Inn at Ship Bay. A relatively unknown place on the way from Eastsound to Rosario. www.innatshipbay.com

                I also think their own description of their food is really better than I could say it:

                "Food for Thought: Inn at Ship Bay's Dining Room offers seasonal menus that predominently feature fresh locally farmed products. We strive to use only sustainably harvested seafoods and antibiotic - hormone free meats & poultry as available. All of our foods, breads, and desserts are created in-house, using the finest products we can find. We make every attempt to source the majority of our produce locally. Our food is fresh, produced daily and wholesome. Our bread is baked using a sourdough starter that is over 100 years old."

                They also feature an extensive wine list mostly WA and OR and CA. Menu changes regularly and with the seasons best stuff from Orcas and the Islands.

                1. My husband and I spent 3 nights last July in Friday Harbor. Each night we had a good eating experience. One night we ate at Vinny's -decent Italian food and filled with large groups of locals. At The Place we shared a few appetizers for a light dinner, the mushroom, cheese platter with bread was excellent. The last night we ate on the deck at Maloulas a family run Middle Eastern restaurant. The salmon was very good as was a vegetable and eggplant dish. I would go back and eat at all of these places. Enjoy!

                  1. There really is some good food in the islands, but also some bad, just like the city. On Orcas, Christina's is so overrated that it is almost funny, stay away for the food, atmosphere is good, wine is ok, a bit too much $. You can get great food at Rose's, Chimayo (for dinner), and at Inn at Ship Bay, very good and reasonable wine list. Basically that is it for Orcas. I will not even mention the main street 'sucker' locations. If you are on island during the warmer months, then check out the farmers market which is downtown, it is good. Ask where to eat, they will tell you who is using local ingredients.

                    1. The SO and I just returned from several days on Orcas. Christina's was $ 145 worth of nothing very special, Rose's and Cafe Olga were excellent for lunch, Chimayos was very good for dinner, we could not get into Ship's Bay and the Rosario Resort was surprisingly good for dinner.