Oregon’s rich agricultural land yields an abundance of food year round that provides creative juice for Ashland chefs and a thriving farm-to-table scene. Ashland restaurants step forward every day to craft local, fresh ingredients into transformative dishes. Put these on your dining card for your next visit to this bucolic town. Then be sure to browse the directory for other Ashland food and drink spots.
Peerless Restaurant and Bar
Peerless (top image) is among Ashland’s finest dining spots and has been named “Most Beautiful Restaurant in all of Oregon.” Each dish is meticulously prepared and artfully plated with close attention to detail. Since 2015 Chef-owner Harlan Brooks has been putting seasonal ingredients to work using flavor-forward methods, meticulously crafted from scratch, yet comfortingly nostalgic. Guests will experience a bit of excitement in each corner of the menu.
Chef Harlan’s skill with local ingredients shines in dishes that encompass what is fresh at the moment, such as
- Salt Spring Potatoes & Gouda Fonduta
- Strawberry & Balsamic-Glazed Beef Short Rib
- Cucumbers & Poached Shrimp (White soy-marinated shrimp, cucumbers in sauce verte, watermelon radish, red onion, strawberry & fresno chili togarashi spice)
- Chicken Confit (Quinoa & garbanzo salad, grilled baby artichoke, castelvetrano olive, fennel, cucumber, saffron yogurt)
Chocolate Rum Cremeux Tart and Oat Milk & Brown Rice Koji Ice Cream are representative of the show-stopping desserts that are offered. Even the cocktail menu reveals the season, such as Strawberry Fields (Reyka Vodka, Aperol, Amaro Nonino, lemon, and strawberry cream) and Tipsy Turvy (Espolon Blanco Tequila, lime, snap peas, cucumber, lemon verbena-infused agave, and soda)
More than anything, Peerless excels at showcasing Pacific Northwest ingredients, some from the restaurant’s garden, focusing on fresh produce with well-prepared meat- and fish-centric plates.
Getting there: 265 4th St, Ashland
Hither menu reflects its mission and philosophy that says “local first”. All ingredients in each scratch-made dish originate from products that are alive, natural and sourced from local, organic farms and artisan purveyors. Brunch eats range from Brioche Donuts and Avocado on Brioche Toast with Za’atar and Meyer Lemon, to Herbed Eggs with Local Greens on house made Focaccia and Spring Salad with Salmon and Meyer Lemon. For dinner, Hither raises the bar with Steak and Fries with Béarnaise Sauce, Burgers and Fried Chicken.
To wash it all down, Hither only carries natural wines by the glass or bottle, focusing their wine library on Oregon winemakers. For home dinners and picnics, meal kits and larder baskets can be pre-ordered online.
In addition to their cafe offerings, co-owners Corrie and Wesley Reimer curate an array of artisanal foodstuffs for the home cook, such as olive oil, grains, wines, and pastas. A monthly larder box can be purchased with dinner fixings at home. Seasonal bouquets stocked by Rogue Valley’s artisan flower designer Jacklily are available for purchase.
Getting there: 376 E Main St, Ashland
Standing Stone Brewing Company (closed)
Not only is Standing Stone’s beer bursting with flavor and its food tasty, but the establishment also strives to be zero-waste and sources its ingredients from local farmers in Rogue Valley. This includes Wandering Roots Farm, Happy Dirt Veggie Patch, RA Farms, Mushrooms All Year, and Rogue Produce. There’s always a seasonal menu that includes the freshest ingredients in the kitchen as Standing Stone continues to brew great beer and serve farm-to-table fare.
The main menu includes dishes that are worth a try, like the Pesto Caprese Pizza, Build Your Own SSBC Burger, a Seafood Taco Trio, Kimchi Fried Rice Bowl, and Beer-Battered Fish and Chips. Since it’s a brewery, the beer cannot be overlooked. Ask any bartender for the best pairing with the food, check out their eclectic cocktail menu (they use regional favorite Wild Roots Spirits), and take advantage of the dog-friendly patio.
Getting there: 101 Oak St., Ashland
MÄS – Cascadian Cuisine
The self-proclaimed Cascadian cuisine at MÄS is Ashland’s (and Southern Oregon’s) most trendy dining experience. Chef Josh Dorcak, Awarded Top Chef Ashland of 2015 and 2016 and Iron Chef Oregon in 2017, and co-owner Chef Luke VanCampen, assemble their menu with the most readily available, locally farmed and foraged ingredients in season. They use the Japanese term “omakase,” meaning “I’ll leave it up to you,” as the basis for his menu. Their meals are authentic, made delicately, with care for the ingredients.
The 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. Book a prepaid reservation online now for parties of 1 to 6.
Recently opened to popular reviews is their second establishment, NAMA (140 Lithia Way), a sleek raw bar serving a rotating menu of Pacific Coast oysters, raw clams, scallop shooters, and Dungeness crab. Diners will also find items like Uni Toast and unusual sake choices, such as Yuzu sake and a sweet-spicy black rice sake.
Getting there: 141 Will Dodge Way, Ashland
For anyone curious about how hard a restaurant works to create a completely organic and local eatery, 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. Besides the popular fresh-pressed juices and fruit smoothies, the menu includes salads fashioned with different ingredients and house made dressings, breakfast waffles and cereals, coconut-based desserts and hot drinks.
NW Raw sources ingredients locally from Wandering Roots, Fry Family Farm, Wilderness Poets, and Hummingbird Wholesale. With a constant eye on their ingredients, the restaurant is also served by 100% organic Rogue Produce and Organically Grown purveyors. Even their waffle and bread mixes are made without fillers or preservatives by nearby gluten-free YES! Bakery. The kitchen practices are equally sustainable and robust with recycling, waste reduction, and reusable delivery containers.
Have questions about their sourcing? The NW Raw team is happy to share their “green” practices. Be sure check out past episodes of their podcast for discussions about the benefits of raw food.
Follow on Facebook for news about NW Raw expansion as they take their successful operation to Bend, their first juice bar beyond the Rogue Valley.
Getting there: 370 E Main St., Ashland
Luna Cafe + Mercantile
Located in Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites, Luna Cafe + Mercantile emphasizes 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 produce and meat from Oregon farms and artisan producers in the nearby Rogue and Applegate Valleys.
Regulars on the lunch and dinner menu include classics such as grass-fed Meatloaf, Southwest Chicken & Rice Bowl, Mushroom, Black-eyed Pea & Quinoa Burger, and flatbreads topped with chicken bacon ranch or tomato and basil. Food and beverages are also available for online ordering for dine-in or curbside pick-up. With a backdrop of the Ashland hills, Luna heralds the best patio view in town and one that will make you linger.
Getting there: 2525 Ashland St., Ashland
Larks Home Kitchen Cuisine
When looking for a fine dining experience that is also farm to table, Larks Home Kitchen Cuisine in the Ashland Springs Hotel is a top contender. Executive Chef Franco Console and his experienced chef de cuisine team design each menu item with the best ingredients delivered daily from local farms. Whatever is on the menu is the best each season offers, prepared with invention and inspiration.
Larks’ dinner menu boasts dishes like House-brined + Grilled Carlton Farms Pork Porterhouse, Southern Fried Chicken, and House Tagliatelle with Guanciale and Spring Peas. Desserts are standouts with the likes of Warm Buttercake with Smoked (local) Blueberry & Basil Compote designed by Chef Kali Kennedy. With a nod to Oregon’s most abundant berry, Larks’ Marionberry Lavender Lemonade is refreshing year-round. Fair trade organic espresso from Ashland-based Noble Coffee caps off a true farm-to-table experience.
Getting there: 212 East Main St., Ashland
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 Malted Waffles and the Chicken Fried Steak & Gravy anchor the weekend brunch “Brickfast.” Lunch offers various classic sandwiches and salads to hold one over until dinner, like the Pearikyaki Chicken Sandwich or the Veggie Po’Boy.
The evening menu features small plates such as Avocado Toast and Pretzel Baguette & Fondue, all prepared with the freshest ingredients to boost these iconic dishes. Sockeye & Green Beans, 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 Mexican Bee Sting or an El Avion Violeta off the cocktail menu. Brickroom’s bustling Plaza location, lively atmosphere, and expansive menu draw regulars and new customers with its classic, fresh dishes.
Getting there: 35 N Main St, Ashland
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.
Sauce has a portion of its menu dedicated entirely to this traditional Indian bread for all naan lovers. From plain naan to naan topped with goat cheese, garlic, and fresh basil, it’s easy to forget Sauce offers so much more. If you prefer to make your own bowl, that’s available too! When eating here, it’s evident the farm ingredients are fresh, the dishes are made to order, and the kitchen is thoughtful about sustainable practices.
Getting there: 1640 Ashland St., Ashland
Editor’s note: Article originally published on April 26, 2019. Content and images have been updated.
Top image: Peerless Restaurant and Bar
Due to the seasonal nature of local ingredients at these farm to table Ashland restaurants, actual menu items may vary at the time of reader’s visit.