Washington is a foodie’s paradise thanks to miles of coastline, rich soil, and diverse climates. Known for fresh seafood, the state is also a top producer of hops, apples, cherries, potatoes, and more. If you’re hoping to taste food from the source, Washington food trails can help guide the way. From award-winning tamales to fresh oysters and farm-to-table restaurants, here are some ways to experience tasty food and beverages across the state. 

Washington Food Trails

Yakima Valley Taco & Tamale Trail

Los Hernandez Tamales | Photo Credit: Steph Forrer

Washington’s centrally located Yakima Valley produces more than 40 crops, earning it a reputation as the heart of Pacific Northwest agriculture. To showcase the region’s farm fresh cuisine and diverse community, the Central Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce helped launch the Taco & Tamale Trail, which runs between Yakima and Grandview and features 26 restaurants and taco trucks along the way. Try the carne asada tacos from the three-generation-run restaurant Mercedes & Family, or pair birria with a brew at Garcia’s Kitchen located in Valley Brewing Co. For tamales, head to one of two Los Hernandez locations for pork, chicken, or their seasonal (and famous) local asparagus tamales with pepper jack cheese. Participants can even earn points through a digital passport, which can later be used for prizes and gift certificates.

Olympic Culinary Loop

Finnriver Farm & Cidery | Photo Credit: Jen Lee Light

Discover an abundance of farm-fresh produce, just-caught seafood, and craft beverages on the Olympic Peninsula. The Olympic Culinary Loop celebrates that bounty as you drive along Highway 101, with a few detours off the main road. This food trail, which maps more than 350 miles, is broken up into five itineraries with suggestions on where to eat, what to see, and what to do, or you can create your own loop depending on what you’re in the mood for. A visit to Finnriver Farm & Cidery will allow you to explore a working orchard while sipping hard cider and enjoying a picnic.

For oysters, sixth-generation Hama Hama Oyster Company offers roadside waterfront views along the Hood Canal and fresh raw or roasted oysters, clams, and chowder. In Sequim, you can visit a vibrant lavender farm before heading to lunch at Nourish — a gluten-free restaurant with a focus on sourcing organic, seasonal ingredients.

Whatcom County Farm-to-Table Trails

Head to Northwest Washington to explore eight different Washington food trails in Whatcom County and beyond. Each trail from Sustainable Connections can be delivered to your phone, with the option to find discounts and collect points for prizes along the way. The Food Fun in Ferndale trail highlights The Cheese Shop at Appel Farms, where you can sit and enjoy an antipasto plate or book a private tour and cheese tasting ahead of time. On the Food for You on Route 542 trail, stop in at Rome Grocery — running since 1925 — for a Walnut & Arugula pizza or curb a sweet craving with a bakery treat. Down the road at Mama’s Garden farm stand, find fresh vegetables, grass-fed beef, and Neil’s Bigleaf Maple Syrup, which is made just a few minutes down the road.

Skagit Valley Food Trails

Known for its annual Tulip Festival, which draws thousands to the area to view fields of vibrant blooms, the Skagit Valley’s rich agricultural roots and proximity to the Salish Sea make it a foodie destination as well. The Skagit Valley Food Trail is broken up into three itineraries with individual focuses: Grains for Change, Tidal Tastings, and Flowers & Farms. Visit Garden Path Fermentation for beer, cider, and mead made using Skagit-grown grain, fruit, and honey. Try freshly baked crusty wheat bread from Water Tank Bakery, which utilizes flour milled right next door at Cairnspring Mills.

For fresh, seasonal produce, pick your own blueberries at Bow Hill Blueberries before snacking on a blueberry ice cream sandwich. Snow Goose Produce Market is a great stop for everything from garden fresh tomatoes to berries.

Gorge Food Trails

Henni’s Kitchen & Bar | Photo courtesy of Gorge Food Trails

The Columbia River Gorge along the Washington/Oregon border provides exceptional growing conditions for apples, cherries, wine grapes, and more. Both the West and East Gorge Food Trails highlight everything from craft beverages to local farms. On the Washington side of the Gorge, go wine tasting in a private hillside tent at Cor Cellars before making your way to French’s Farm for fresh fruit and homemade ice cream. To the east past Goldendale, St. John’s Monastery and Bakery is a can’t-miss roadside stop for handmade baklava. You’ll find native-caught Columbia River smoked salmon at Wild Columbia Salmon in Stevenson and a seasonally focused menu highlighting local farms at Henni’s Kitchen & Bar in White Salmon.

Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail

Photo courtesy of Yakima Valley Tourism

Quench your thirst and learn why Washington is the second-largest wine producer in the U.S. as you explore this wine trail in the Yakima Valley. Take your pick from 15 winery stops (no reservations required). The wineries are part of the Rattlesnake Hills American Viticultural Area, with plantings of cabernet sauvignon and riesling dating back to 1968. Grab a designated driver and visit a couple of tasting rooms, all within 15 minutes of one other. VanArnam Vineyards offers sweeping views from their large patio, while Two Mountain Winery pours a can’t-miss juicy rosé for sunny day sipping. Cultura Wine is a boutique red-only winemaker focusing on Cabernet Franc and zinfandel. While not on the official trail, Hoptown Wood-Fired Pizza is a great nearby stop for a bite to eat after a day of wine tasting. The Hey! Elote! Corn Dip is a must-try dish before digging into a slice of piping hot pizza.

Washington Shellfish Trail

Taylor Shellfish Farms | Photo Credit: Steph Forrer

With miles of Pacific Ocean coastline and Puget Sound’s many bays and inlets, Washington is known for its fresh, local seafood. The Shellfish Trail is spread throughout Western Washington and highlights the state’s local shellfish farms and restaurants. From downtown Seattle to Hood Canal and out to Westport on the coast, you’ll find recommendations for where to dine on oysters, mussels, and even the elusive geoduck clams, along with public access points so you can try to harvest your own. Taylor Shellfish Farms has three restaurants in Seattle, along with shellfish markets in Bow and Shelton. Each location dishes up fresh oysters from the Puget Sound. Want to learn more about harvesting oysters? Oysterville Sea Farms on the Long Beach Peninsula hosts a tour of their oyster beds. 

Kent Food Trails

Wild Wheat Bakery | Photo Credit: Ingrid Barrentine

Located south of Seattle, Kent offers five different Washington food trails for a variety of tastes. Explore downtown dining at stops like Nana’s Southern Kitchen for fried chicken or Iron Pot for Korean fare. The Kid-Friendly Kitchen Trail includes the beloved no-frills Washington burger joint Dick’s Drive-In, along with Sweet Themes Bakery for cake pops and mini cupcakes. Taste farm-to-bottle pours at Sidetrack Distillery, which offers fruit liqueurs and Nocino (a walnut liquor) on the Local Libations Trail. On the Farm Fresh Trail, grab lunch at Macrina Bakery where old-world techniques are paired with organic grains and regional ingredients such as locally sourced apples and hazelnuts. Wild Wheat Bakery also serves freshly baked breads and pastries for breakfast and lunch.

About the Author

Molly Allen is a freelance food and travel writer, hiker, and paddleboarder who has spent more than 14 years exploring the Pacific Northwest. When she’s not playing outside, you’ll find her perfecting her homemade pizza craft. Her work can be seen in Travel & Leisure, Wine Enthusiast, Business Insider, Taste of Home, and other publications.

Featured Image by Steph Forrer