Top tips for the best Dry January in Bend
January 8, 20248 minute read
The taste of Bend means more than just our booming craft beer scene. Bend’s coffee and bakery culture brings roasty, toasty notes of belly-warming, baked and caffeinated pleasure. Ready to indulge?
Just like a long day of exploring the great outdoors gets better with a cold brew at the finish line, an early morning out gets dreamier with a cuppa something warm both before and—if you’re lucky—after. And what’s a good mug of coffee without a freshly baked pastry or breakfast sandwich?
It gets tough to track all the great coffee and pastry options in Bend, but the following list of favorites might help.
With three Bend locations, Thump is one of the original roasters on this list. Specializing in quality and experience, Thump also serves their own pastries, putting them in rare air for a coffee shop in this town. The majority of shops on this list either serve only their own coffee, only their own pastry, or neither of the above.
At their roastery location on the westside of Bend (and just down the road from Phil’s trailhead), the cafe stays open late on Fridays during the summer months for a concert series. The kitchen serves hot pizza and cold beverages, making it a great place to kick off the weekend with some friends on the patio under the backdrop of the Cascade Mountains.
Just down the street, Thump has a location at the Grove Market Hall, typically with a shorter wait when the roastery is at capacity. Or drop by their downtown location, a small cafe lined by exposed brick, featuring local artwork on display.
Winner of The Source Weekly’s Best of Central Oregon reader’s choice award for the “Best Bakery” category for as long as the category has existed, Sparrow Bakery is a living legend. Opening in midtown Bend in 2006, the bakery has since relocated to Northwest Crossing. Serving espresso, along with a hearty breakfast/lunch food menu, select cocktails, and shelves overflowing with pastries, and baked goods, it’s hard not to spend 15 minutes in the out-the-door line in order to taste their unique French-inspired menu.
Sparrow’s claim to fame is the savory/sweet cardamom Ocean Roll. But it’s hard not to absolutely love every single item that comes out of their kitchen. Most local grocers and coffee shops in the area serve Sparrow pastries. Just don’t be surprised if they run out by 10am (or earlier on weekends). If you suddenly crave a couple (or a dozen) Ocean Rolls, we find that Market of Choice typically stocks the most Ocean Rolls and sells out the latest.
Originally a Sisters exclusive, Sisters Coffee Company also has an Old Mill location, with a complete coffee and espresso menu, complemented by breakfast/lunch options and house-baked pastries.
Sisters Coffee Company is known for their bold, complex roasts and their cafes’ authentic Americana vibes. Take home a bag of their beans for later, or pick a bag up at one of the area’s many fine grocers who stock their beans. Just be careful—you may well get hooked. Not to worry though, their website offers direct shipping anywhere in the continental United States.
One of the newer artisan roasters on the block, Still Vibrato has quickly made a name for themselves with a distinctive selection of single origin coffees from around the world, highlighted by a light, bright flavor profile that feels especially unique to other options for gourmet beans roasted in this area.
Still Vibrato recently opened their first cafe, a light, bright space in the lobby of The Hixon apartment building on the westside of Bend. Stop in for a very distinctive espresso experience on your way up to the mountains, or hang out for a while and enjoy a pastry.
Lone Pine entered the Bend roastery and cafe space in 2009, with a tiny cafe wedged behind the theater in downtown Bend’s Tin Pan Alley. After years of success, Lone Pine relocated a few blocks away into a much larger space with room for a large bespoke roasting operation, separated by glass paneled doors from a new cafe space with plentiful seating and mid-century modern, relaxed vibe.
Their downtown Bend location is open 7 a.m.-5 p.m., every day, with special Apéro hours on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Still serving their legendary liege style waffles, Lone Pine also offers a handful of rotating pastry selections from around town.
In addition to their downtown location, Lone Pine has recently opened an eastside Bend location. You can find their beans at select local grocers or order directly from their website.
Backporch boasts the largest presence among artisan coffee roasters in the area, with three full-service cafes in Bend and one drive-up coffee stand in SE Bend. Backporch has been sourcing direct trade beans from around the world since 2006. Their curated sourcing and production process is awe-inspiring and has helped define the industry here in the Northwest.
Each cafe offers light breakfast and bakery fare, sourced daily from various local producers. You can find them near the base of Pilot Butte on Greenwood, on Newport on Bend’s Westside, or at their newest location, a bright space in downtown Bend. Take home beans for later, or find their coffees at fine grocers across Oregon and Washington.
Serving Thump Coffee and pastries, as well as additional pastry options from Sparrow Bakery, The Commons is located at the heart of downtown Bend. Overlooking Mirror Pond, at the intersection of Drake Park and downtown development, this fine establishment is located in the historic Goodwillie-Allen-Rademacher House (built 1904). During the summer, the Wednesday Bend Farmer’s Market takes place in Brooks Plaza just across from the The Commons. During the winter months, catch a concert here as a part of the Mt. Bachelor Aprés ski concert series and grab a beverage inside while you warm up your nose between sets.
Nancy P’s is a Bend classic. Nestled into a standalone craftsman bungalow on Bend’s westside, enveloped by deciduous and fruiting trees, Nancy P’s is a fantastic option for breakfast, lunch, or a quick bite with an old friend. They serve hearty quiches, homemade soups, sandwiches on house-baked bread, and a large assortment of fresh pastries. Just don’t forget to bring home extras!
Downtown Bend has the highest density of coffee shops and bakeries in the entire state, east of the Cascades. Here’s a tally of all your options within half a mile of the Bend Visitor Center:
Backporch Coffee Roasters: high-powered drinks in a modern environment
Bellatazza: friendly and charming staff
The Commons Cafe & Taproom: cozy space to work and hang out inside, and lots of outside seating with a river view
Lone Pine Coffee Roasters: the waffles!
Looney Bean of Bend: riverside seating and dog-friendly vibes
Thump Coffee: the fastest cappuccino in town
Turtle Island Coffee: a queer and indigenous cafe serving bowls and bagels