Best bakery (breads/savories)
1. Hideaway Bakery 3377 E. Amazon Dr. 868-1982. hideawaybakery.com.
2. Metropol Bakery 2538 Willamette St. 465-4730. metropolbakery.com.
3. Eugene City Bakery 1607 E. 19th Ave. 334-6906. eugenecitybakery.com.
Not much has changed since last year — or the year before that, or the year before that … Hideaway can’t be beat for that savory bun, loaf or crust that you’re waiting for. Even when the line gets long, you get to stare at the fresh, doughy goodness behind the glass the whole way, and the sweet, seasonal espresso drinks couldn’t make a better complement.
Best bakery (sweets)
1. Sweet Life Patisserie 755 Monroe St. 683-5676. sweetlifedesserts.com.
2. Noisette Pastry Kitchen 200 W. Broadway. 654-5257. noisettepk.com.
3. Hideaway Bakery 3377 E. Amazon Dr. 868-1982. hideawaybakery.com.
Best hangover breakfast
1. Brails 1689 Willamette St. 343-1542.
2. Glenwood 1340 Alder St. 687-0355; 2588 Willamette St. 687-8201.
3. Studio One Café 1473 E. 19th Ave. 342-8596.
It’s hard to talk about Brails without immediately conjuring up images of syrup-drenched pancakes, scrambled eggs and perfectly toasted, crunchy-yet-chewy hash browns. Joy Knudtson, owner of Brails, is no stranger to the best hangover breakfast award, and when asked why she thinks Brails has scored for a 10th year, she says it’s because she makes an effort to connect with her community. “We have really quality food, but I have a very good relationship with a lot of people who come through our restaurant, and it makes me so happy,” she says. And Knudtson recently reached out to the community through volunteer work, helping to make 300 pancakes and 100 orders of biscuits and gravy for the Eugene Mission. “The guy from the Mission came in today and said he really appreciated it,” Knudtson says. “That kind of thing makes me so happy, so from now on I’ll do it every year.”
1. Cornucopia 295 W. 17th Ave. 485-2300; 207 E. 5th Ave. 485-2676; cornucopiaeugene.com.
2. Dickie Jo’s 1079 C Valley River Way. 912-9091. djburgers.com.
3. Falling Sky Brewing 1334 Oak Alley. 505-7096. fallingskybrewing.com.
1. Wandering Goat 268 Madison St. 344-5401. wanderinggoat.com.
2. Full City 295 E. 13th Ave. 465-9270; 842 Pearl St. 344-0475. full-city.com.
3. Vero Espresso 205 E. 14th Ave. 654-0504. wkly.ws/1lw.
A stop at the Wandering Goat is a must when taking a casual stroll through the Whit. The amazing coffee aroma hits your face and you’re done for. And while the Goat is well known for its coffee selection, from spicy Sumatra to vanilla-tinged Mexican Chiapas, it also hosts live music shows and displays local art on its walls, making it a rich hotbed of Eugene culture.
1. Sue Harnly Eugene Coffee Co. 240 E. 17th Ave. 344-0002. eugenecoffeeco.com.
2. Aaron Chester Perk. 1351 Willamette St. 636-3255.
3. Matthew Pierson Brails Espresso. 1695 Willamette St. 343-1542. brailsespresso.com.
Eugene Coffee Company recently reopened after being closed over the summer. Two months in, coffee-lovers have already set up home in its new campus-area location. Sue Harnly, who came in third last year, has owned the store for more than five years and has worked hard to build a sense of community in the shop. Harnly says she loves her connection to the customers, when working as a barista, and credits her whole team as integral to the continued success of the store. “She is an incredible woman. She really focuses on building the community atmosphere,” says Taylor Bolle, an employee of Eugene Coffee for two years.
1. Papa’s Soul Food 400 Blair Blvd. 342-7500.
2. Hole in the Wall 3200 W. 11th Ave. 683-7378; 1807 Olympic St., Spfd. 726-1200.
3. H&H BBQ 575 Oregon 99. 688-3333.
1. Beppe & Gianni’s 1646 E. 19th Ave. 683-6661. beppeandgiannis.net.
2. Mazzi’s 3377 E. Amazon Dr. 687-2252. mazzis.com.
3. Noli 769 Monroe St. 686-9199. noliitaliancafe.com.
1. Poppi’s Anatolia 992 Willamette St. 343-9661. poppisanatolia.com.
2. Dalia on Broadway 898 Pearl St. 345-8232. daliaonbroadway.com.
3. Café Soriah 384 W. 13th Ave. 342-4410. soriah.com.
Best eats under $6
1. Café Yumm 1801 Willamette St. 686-YUMM; 130 Oakway Center. 465-YUMM; 730 E. Broadway. 344-YUMM; 1005 Green Acres Rd. 684-YUMM; The Crossroads, 3340 Gateway St., Spfd. 747-YUMM; Sacred Heart: 3333 RiverBend Dr., 736-YUMM. cafeyumm.com.
2. Burrito Boy 510 E. Broadway. 344-8070; 497 Hwy 99. 607-5513; 30 W. 10th Ave. 343-8089. burritoboy.com.
3. Laughing Planet 760 Blair Blvd. 868-0668; 2864 Willamette St. 505-5399. laughingplanetcafe.com.
1. Ta Ra Rin 1200 Oak St. 343-1230. tararinthai.com.
2. Sweet Basil 941 Pearl St. 1219 Alder St. 284-2944. sweetbasileug.com.
3. Sabai 27 Oakway Center. 654-5424. sabaicafe.com
Best frozen delights
1. Red Wagon Creamery 55 W. Broadway. 337-0780. redwagoncreamery.com.
2. Vanilla Jill’s 460 Coburg Rd. #300. 844-2286; 298 Blair Blvd. 345-2466. vanillajills.com.
3. Prince Pückler’s 1605 E. 19th Ave. 344-4418. princepucklers.com.
The savior of many Eugeneans during the hot, dry summer of 2013, Red Wagon Creamery now has its own place out of the elements for the winter. Known for making simple flavors like chocolate, caramel and vanilla irresistible with its rich, bold style, Red Wagon is slinging its ice cream downtown and from the cart. Owners Stuart and Emily Phillips are using the downtown space to treat customers to late-night treats with “Red Wagon After Dark” 10 pm to 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays. Think of it as an ice cream speakeasy — along with the cold stuff, Red Wagon has cocktails and homemade syrups (whiskey, anyone?) and it’s all delicious.
1. Noodle Bowl 860 Pearl St. 686-1114. noodlebowlrestaurant.com.
2. Café Arirang 485 E. Broadway. 302-4542.
3. Chingu Restaurant 1466 W. 7th Ave. 687-6424.
JC Lee and his mother, Sue, have run Noodle Bowl for three years, and the family vibes flow through this tasty, clean, speedy, affordable and spacious downtown restaurant. While Sue is the brains behind the operation, JC says he is the one with the good sense of taste that makes Noodle Bowl’s flavors authentic. The bi bimbop is everyone’s favorite — a rice dish with veggies and meat in a hot stone pot — but the side dish of kimchi that comes with many of the entrees is the true gem. And if you have room, order some bubble tea for dessert.
Best Mexican/Latin American
1. Belly Taqueria 291 E. 5th Ave. 687-8226. eatbelly.com.
2. Chapala 68 W. 29th Ave. 683-5458; 136 Oakway Center. 434-6113. chapalasmexicanrestaurant.com.
3. Taqueria Mi Tierra 628 Blair Blvd. 743-0779. mitierraeugene.com.
Belly Taqueria is everything you want from a Mexican restaurant: tortilla soup, quesadillas, margaritas and more tacos than you’ll know what to do with. But god, make sure you start with the sweet, tasty salsa, freshly fried tortilla chips and a pitcher of sangria. And if it’s up to waitress Bridget Young, you have to try a camarones taco and a carnitas taco that is “dripping with fat and delicious.” You’ll love the small portions so you can try a little bit of everything.
Best food cart
1. Delacata 725 Olive St. 543-0393. delacata.blogspot.com.
2. Sammitch sammitchtime.com.
3. Viva! Vegetarian Grill 12th & Willamette St. eugenecooks.com.
After two years of specializing in Southern-fried comfort food on the go, owners Stephen and Colleen Sheehan are still serving it up downtown while planning on scaling it up at the much-anticipated Elk Horn Brewery at Franklin and Hilyard. Stephen Sheehan says the brewery will have a full restaurant with a sort of “wild Oregon” theme, but the cart will stay open for at least a year after the restaurant opens, and longer if they can find the right staff to keep it running right. Meanwhile, catch them weekends during Christmas tree season at Carroll’s Country Christmas Trees in Veneta, and keep track of their locations and specials on Facebook.
1. Belly 30 E. Broadway. 683-5896. eatbelly.com.
2. Marché 296 E. 5th Ave. 683-2260. marcherestaurant.com.
3. (tie) Izakaya Meiji 345 Van Buren St. 505-8804. izakayameiji.com;
Party Downtown 55 W. Broadway. 345-8228. partyeugene.com.
1. Evergreen 1525 Franklin Blvd. 343-7944.
2. Taste of India 2495 Hilyard St. 485-9698. tasteofindiaeugene.com.
3. Poppi’s Anatolia 992 Willamette St. 343-9661. poppisanatolia.com.
Best place to eat with kids
1. Laughing Planet 760 Blair Blvd. 868-0668; 2864 Willamette St. 505-5399. laughingplanetcafe.com.
2. Papa’s Pizza 1700 W. 11th Ave. 485-5555; 1577 Coburg Rd. 686-2240; papaspizza.net.
3. Vanilla Jill’s 460 Coburg Rd. #300. 844-2286; 298 Blair Blvd. 345-2466. vanillajills.com.
We’ve all experienced the mixture of sympathy and annoyance for poor, helpless parents in restaurants trying unsuccessfully to curb the tantrum of a screaming child. But it seems that places like Laughing Planet, where dinosaurs abound and bright, whimsical artwork decorates the walls, provide just the sort of aura that kids dig. Dinosaurs, quesadillas and family time equal happiness for all involved.
Best vegetarian or vegan food
1. Cornbread Café 1290 W. 7th Ave. 505-9175. cornbreadcafe.com.
2. Café Yumm 1801 Willamette St. 686-YUMM; 130 Oakway Center. 465-YUMM; 730 E. Broadway. 344-YUMM; 1005 Green Acres Rd. 684-YUMM; The Crossroads, 3340 Gateway St., Spfd. 747-YUMM; Sacred Heart: 3333 RiverBend Dr., 736-YUMM. cafeyumm.com.
3. Laughing Planet 760 Blair Blvd. 868-0668; 2864 Willamette St. 505-5399. laughingplanetcafe.com.
Famous for proving the impossible possible and making delicious vegan comfort food, Cornbread Café is the sort of place where you can cart curious meat-eaters to try it out in a relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere. The staff keeps up the friendly diner atmosphere, and there are even board games in case of a wait. We suggest pointing newcomers toward favorites the Eugenewich, the Hot Things and the Southern-fried tofu. The café now offers breakfast, too, and has beer and kombucha on tap.
1. Mezza Luna Pizzeria 933 Pearl St. 684-8900; 2776 Shadow View Dr. 743-2999. mezzalunapizzeria.com.
2. Pegasus Pizza 790 E. 14th Ave. 344-4471; #4 Oakway Center. 344-0844; 2864 Willamette St. #300. 344-9931. pegasuspizza.net.
3. Pizza Research Institute 325 Blair Blvd. 343-1307. pizzaresearchinstitute.com.Photo by Trask Bedortha.
1. Sushi Domo 1020 Green Acres Rd., 343-0935; 2835 Oak St. sushidomoeugene.com.
2. Mame 541 Blair Blvd. 654-4378. wkly.ws/1lx.
3. PURE 296 E. 5th Ave., 654-0608. pureeugene.com.
Best new restaurant
1. Party Downtown 55 W. Broadway. 345-8228. partyeugene.com.
2. Falling Sky’s Pour House Delicatessen 790 Blair Blvd. 653-9167. fallingskybrewing.com/deli.
3. (tie) Kopi-O 1530 Willamette St. 458-205-8356. kopi-o.com;
Soubise 50 W. Broadway. 458-205-8487. wkly.ws/1lp.
Beer-braised beef gingerbread with mustard butter, potatoes and long-cooked cabbage; deep-fried bok choy kimchi; sweet potato pie with fresh ginger, whipped cream and honey caramel. With these menu items, it’s not hard to see why Party Downtown, born from the Party Cart that could, nabbed first place for best new restaurant. Sophisticated and innovative flavor pairings inspired by seasonal local produce and livestock, all beneath the guise of comfort food, is the signature of owners Tiffany Norton and Mark Kosmicki. “We don’t cut corners,” Norton says. “We make food that we want to eat.” It’s clear they’re not the only ones. Oh, and if you see “tiny biscuits with bacon honey butter” on their rotating chalkboard menu, order them pronto.