A small movement seems to have started in my hometown in the last few years. More restaurants are moving away from the ubiquitous schnitzel and brats that the upper end of the valley has become known for, and are instead embracing the notion that locally-sourced food made with love is where it’s at. That said, along with this handful of leaders in slow-food are a trove of blog-worthy restaurants I’ve enjoyed again and again. Read on, friends:
Yodelin Broth Co.
Yodelin Broth Co. sits at the west end of town, directly across the street from the copper dome at Gustav’s. They’re down a steep stairway below Carlos’ 1800, next to the town’s original Oktoberfest venue. Bring your pup, as there’s room both inside and out at this earthy gem. With a wide array of superfood-salads (more than the size of your head), a healthy dose of burgers (try the Aasgard, and ask for bacon and a fried egg on it), or something as perfectly developed as their sweet potato bahn mi sandwich, you’ll find yourself walking away looking forward to when you can return. You’ll find no straws, no ziplock bags, nor Teflon pans in the back at this sweet spot. And from the patio or adjacent lawn area, you’ll have spectacular views of Blackbird Island and a sleepy stretch of the Wenatchee River.
Colin Patterson, perhaps best known for his now-shuttered Wallingford restaurant Sutra, has found bliss in Leavenworth. His restaurant, Mana, sits just a block away from the hustle of lederhosen-clad revelers on the corner of Commercial and Division streets. Tucked into a sunshine-yellow house, Colin’s vibrant, creative approach to food marries well with their warm-yet-simple interior. With 8-course culinary journeys Friday and Saturday nights, I can only imagine he and his family allowing this beautiful valley to fill their lives and give inspiration on their days off. His take on food is beautiful, organic and beaming with creativity from his playful ice cream lollipop on a fresh pine stick to an Israeli Zaatar sweet Kauai shrimp. Plan on taking your timing, enjoying the relaxed pace, and allowing yourself to feel the love in the room. Mana is love, after all.
Perched on the edge of Leavenworth’s commercial district, barely overlooking a slow-moving fork of the Wenatchee River, Watershed has quickly made a name for itself in this little town. Calling it a “chef-driven, farm-to-table Northwest-inspired restaurant” makes Watershed sound like every other restaurant popping up on the other side of the Cascade mountains. Their food is simple, yet complicated. Seasonally fresh ingredients are brought together to showcase what make the Northwest unique … and delicious.
While not technically in Leavenworth, Wildflour is more than worth the scenic cruise to Kahler Glen near Lake Wenatchee – roughly 20 miles north of town. Nestled on the edge of a driving range, amidst vacation homes and towering Ponderosa pines, this gem-of-a-restaurant has made their mark in this tight-knit community. With a culinary arts degree, and under the tutelage of famed Italian chef Eliza Marzano, chef Ben’s passion for pasta has been honed, fine-tuned, and now showcased in this woodsy setting. Fresh, seasonal elements blend with his skillful techniques producing unforgettable meals.
Perhaps Something Simpler?
Along with these gems, Leavenworth boasts an array of options for those looking for something simple and more budget-minded. I walked, noshed, sipped, and photographed these gems on a recent visit.
Hand-crafted Cocktails at Pika Provisions
Truly my all-time favorite bar, Pika Provisions is a charming speakeasy with hand-crafted cocktails. SERIOUSLY hand-crafted. With more unusual and high-end bottles than I’ve seen anywhere in eastern Washington (and possibly in the state) Aaron and Liz bring their wealth of knowledge to your glass.
BONUS: Join them the last Sunday of every month for Tiki Night – you’ll thank me for the tip!
The Hot Mama Pizza at Blewett Brewing
Thick-cut bacon, mama lil’s peppers and a healthy dose of peppery arugula make the Hot Mama my go-to pizza. Pair it with Blewett Brewing‘s Citra IPA.
A Brat at Visconti’s Sausage Garten
Bypass the lines across the street and get one of der town’s best brats at Leavenworth Sausage Garten. Made in-house from old-world, traditional recipes, you’ll find a trove of brats to satisfy your meatiest of cravings.
Pretzels at Rheinhaus
Soft, huge, and especially delicious dipped in their cheese/beer sauce. Rheinhaus is new to Leavenworth (back in 2018) but boasts one of the best view of town! My first taste of this came during the town’s ‘Taste of Leavenworth’ event in early 2019 – a two-day event that gives more tastes than you’ll have the time (or stomach) to conquer.
Bacon Cheeseburgers at the Heidelberger
Sometimes a perfect burger at a roadside burger-joint is just what you need. Heidelberger has been a steadfast part of the Leavenworth food scene for nearly half a century!
Old Fashioned at Blue Spirits Distilling
Another roadside gem, Blue Spirits Distilling has both a main street tasting room, and a full-on distillery in Leavenworth. You’ll find their distillery perched on the side of Highway 2 on the far east end of town. Their old fashioned is a bit non-conformist – boasting their popular cherry whiskey, rather than mixed the traditional way with bourbon or rye.
Looking for more suggestions, or have one of your own? I love sharing and welcome hearing your favorites in this quaint German town!