Oregon’s rich agricultural land yields an abundance of food throughout the year that provides creative fodder for Ashland chefs. Here are a few Ashland restaurants that step forward every day to craft local, fresh, and often unique, ingredients into transformative dishes.
Standing Stone Brewing Company
Not only is Standing Stone’s beer bursting with flavor and its food tasty, the establishment strives to be zero-waste and source its ingredients locally. The family-run operation started its Ashland-based One Mile Farm in 2011, where they now source their produce, raise the meat, and rotate livestock to keep the farm healthy and sustainable. And yes, the farm is just one mile from this popular brewery-restaurant. There’s always a seasonal menu, listing the freshest ingredients in the kitchen, but the main menu also lists dishes customers return again and again for. Pizzas like Roasted Pear & Chevre, nachos, burgers, seafood tacos, and fish and chips keep regulars coming back. Brunch every Sunday from 11 am to 2 pm. has become a new favorite of locals and theater-goers. Since it’s a brewery, the beer cannot be overlooked. Ask any bar tender for the best pairing with the food, and make sure to consider their eclectic cocktail menu as well.
MÄS – Cascadian Cuisine
Cured Mackerel, Grilled Cucumber & Summer Botanicals. Photo courtesy MÄS.
The self-proclaimed Cascadian cuisine at MÄS is one of Ashland’s (and Southern Oregon’s) most trendy dining experiences. Awarded Top Chef Ashland of 2015 and 2016 and Iron Chef Oregon in 2017, Chef Josh Dorcack assembles his menu with the most readily available locally-farmed and foraged ingredients in season. He uses the Japanese term “omakase,” meaning “I’ll leave it up to you,” as the basis for his menu. His Cascade-based meals are authentic. Composition of dishes and multi-course dinners are constantly evolving from four to 10 courses. A past menu served egg yolk, onion, and tosa-zu; Shima-Aji and shrimp; celery root and black truffle; and Yuzu tapioca pudding. Each plate is a masterpiece and the dining experience is truly one-of-a-kind.
For anyone curious about how hard a restaurant works to create a completely organic and local menu, look no further than NW Raw’s menu. Owners Web and Karen Staunton’s goal is to create the healthiest restaurant not only in Ashland, but in all of Southern Oregon. The menu is constantly changing and being tweaked based on what produce is most readily available from season to season. They source ingredients locally from Wandering Roots, Blue Fox, Fry Family Farm, Wilderness Poets, and Hummingbird Wholesale. Even their waffle and bread mixes are created without fillers or preservatives by nearby YES! Bakery. Their kitchen practices are equally sustainable and robust with recycling, reducing waste and reusing delivery containers. Have questions about their sourcing? The NW Raw team is happy to share about their “green” practices.
Luna Cafe + Mercantile
Located in Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites, Luna Cafe + Mercantile puts an emphasis on its farm-to-counter philosophy. The culinary team, led by Chef David Georgeson, has developed long-standing relationships with local farmers so the menu changes quarterly depending on the harvest each season. Their made-from-scratch dishes showcase ingredients, produce, and meat from Oregon-based farms and artisan producers in the nearby Rogue and Applegate Valleys. Regulars on the menu include classics such as meatloaf and natural beef burgers, grilled honey mustard glazed salmon, and flatbreads topped with Italian sausage or tomato and basil. Its weekend brunch menu serves up classics like breakfast scrambles, savory pizzas, huevos rancheros, and a long list of morning brews from Ashland’s Noble Coffee Roasting. With a backdrop of the Ashland hills, Luna Cafe + Mercantile heralds the best patio view in town, and one that will make you linger.
Larks Home Kitchen Cuisine
When looking for a fine dining experience that’s also farm-to-table, Larks Home Kitchen Cuisine in Ashland Springs Hotel is the place to go. Executive Chef Franco Console and his experienced chef de cuisine team design each menu item with the best seasonal ingredients, often delivered daily from local farms. Whatever is on the menu is the best the season has to offer prepared with invention and inspiration. Favorite dishes at Larks include pork chops, apple and caramelized onion fondue, and a towering plate of meatloaf, mashers and fried onion rings. New on the scene is award-winning pastry chef Sara Variel, whose mango tarts with pistachio cream and macarons, chocolate cake with house made salted caramel ice cream and cranberry-pumpkin bread pudding already have raving fans.
Smithfields Restaurant & Bar
Selected as Open Table Diner’s Choice in 2015, Smithfields has been impressing diners for years. The snout-to-tail meat centric restaurant sources from more than 20 local farms and independent suppliers. The simple menu lists cuts of meat cooked exactly as you like it, split between Start, Developed, Meat, and Sauce. Diners can enjoy house bacon beignets with maple chive crème fraiche roasted half chicken in lemon and thyme, Umpqua Valley porterhouse, Cedar River 8oz sous vide & grilled filet, and more. The cocktail menu is just as impressive as the meat, ranging from seasonal favorites like Hot Toddy and Whiskey Ginger. The rustic interior and close quarters with other diners creates an intimate celebratory atmosphere for meat-lovers.
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, or drinks you’re in the mood for, Brickroom has it. As soon as you reach the top of the stairs to this trendy brick-lined restaurant, it’s clear the staff knows what they’re doing. Chef Skye Elder (2018 Top Chef at Ashland Culinary Festival) created an extensive menu for every part of the day using ingredients grown right in Ashland. Fresh dishes like Huevos Rancheros and the Toasted Frenchman anchor the morning “Brickfast”. Lunch offers a variety of classic sandwiches and salads to hold one over until dinner. The evening menu features small plates, like chicken tenders, flat bread, and more all prepared with the freshest ingredients to boost these iconic dishes. Shrimp & Grits, Crab and Artichoke Ravioli, and Flat Iron Steak are customer favorites. It would be a shame to enjoy a meal here and not get a Negroni or Jaberwocky off the cocktail menu. Brickroom’s bustling Plaza location, lively atmosphere, and expansive menu draw regulars and new customers with its classic, fresh dishes.
Peerless Restaurant & Bar
Peerless is among Ashland’s finest dining spots. Each dish is meticulously prepared and artfully plated with close attention to detail. Since 2015 Executive Chef David Taub and Chef de Cuisine Harlan Brooks have been putting ingredients to work using flavor-forward methods. Together they create a rotating menu centered on seasonal ingredients. The type of cuisine varies, such as Glazed Dry Ramen, Dry Aged Rib-eye, and Lobster Stuffed Potato Skins to name a few. Tarte Au Chocolat and Pumpkin Spice Roulade are representative of the show-stopping dessert offerings that change weekly. If anything, Peerless excels at showcasing Pacific Northwest ingredients, focusing on fresh produce and well-prepared meat- and fish-centric plates.
Sauce Whole Food Cafe
This “whole food” restaurant emphasizes healthy, quality meals. Diners have the choice of eclectic ethnic bowls filled with freshly chopped veggies, roasted carrots or yams and grains. Specialty plates include Ginger Teriyaki Chicken or Tofu, Vegetable Curry, and Tibetan Lamb Curry. And, of course, with the name Sauce, there has to be a portion of the menu dedicated entirely to just that. Nirvana (a tangy miso vinaigrette), red chili sauce, house made tahini, and mango tamarind are house favorites. For all naan lovers, Sauce has a portion of its menu dedicated entirely to this traditional Indian bread. From plain naan to naan topped with goat cheese, garlic, and fresh basil, it’s easy to forget Sauce offers so much more. When eating here, it’s evident the ingredients are fresh, the dishes are made to order, and the kitchen is thoughtful about sustainable practices.
Due to the seasonal nature of local ingredients, actual menu items may vary.