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Cascade Loop Highway suggestions from Seattle

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planning to accompany friends on the Cascade Loop on 9/27 (Highway 2 thru Leavenworth, north to Highway 20, west to Deception Pass then south thru Whidbey Island and the ferry home - starting about 7 am and would appreciate any suggestions as to special places (especially east of the Cascades but west as well) for yummy treats. We'll want to stop occasionally in any case so please give us some reasons.

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  1. In Marblemount, the Buffalo Run restaurant has respectable food - better than other Marblemount establishments.

    In Rockport there's the Cascadian you-pick berry farm that has homemade ice cream.

    On Whidbey Island, I recommend Toby's Tavern in Coupeville for amazing fresh-out-of-the water Penn Cove mussels. Their draft beer tastes watered down, so order bottled beer to accompany it.

    1. We always stop at the Index Chalet for coffee when we're heading over Stevens Pass. They sell some snacks and ice cream, too. Our favorite place in Leavenworth is South, a great Mexican restaurant. Try the Stinger cocktail and the roasted green beans with lime. Anjou Bakery just past Cashmere is a must. And we like the Twisp River Brewpub a lot, both for beer and food.

      It should be a beautiful drive!

      1. Second the rec for mussels @ Toby's.

        There's a place in Marblemount with a sandwich board sign out front that says "GOOD FOOD". Burgers, fries, blackberry shakes...picnic tables out back along the river. I haven't been in a few years so I don't know if it's as good as it used to be, though.

        Are you doing the whole trip in one day??

        1. As you are heading down 20 towards Deception Pass bridge, Deception Cafe will be on your left just a few minutes before you reach the bridge. It's not much to look at and the service is slow but the food is excellent! It's very consistent and I've literally never had anything bad there in all the times I've eaten there. The seafood, grass fed steaks, pasta, veggie burgers, you name it, it's good! They have locally sourced food and wine, as well as ice cream. It's pricier than its appearance may suggest but worth it!

          Probably my two favorite places on Whidbey are Fraser's Gourmet Hideaway in Oak Harbor and Prima Bistro in Langley. Frasers has good service & atmosphere and the seafood and other entrees are always good. At Frasers you might enjoy sitting at the bar and watching your meal get prepared. Prima Bistro has outdoor seating & a variety of events throughout the year.

          The Knead and Feed in Coupeville is another favorite for baked goods and yummy sandwiches.

          Toby's is often recommended on this board but despite multiple attempts to have good mussels there, I've found that they are just OK compared to other places in the area. Every time I get mussels at Toby's the ones on the top of the stack are dried out. I think you can get more competently prepared Penn Cove mussels at Seabolt's in Oak Harbor and Christopher's in Coupeville.

          Hope you have a lovely time!

          1. Haven't been to Toby's yet, but in Coupeville you can't go wrong with the Oystercatcher. Topnotch food, the mussels are excellent. Pricier atmosphere than Toby's Tavern, but every bite DH and I had there was spot-on, including the wine recs.