WTA salutes the finest diners, burger joints and restaurants not far from the trailhead. We've sorted them by region for the best at-a-glance decision-making.
North Cascades & Mountain Loop Hwy
Cinnamon Twisp Bakery (Twisp): Oodles of yummy pastries (from éclairs to the world-renowned Cinnamon Twisp) and most of it’s organic, too.
The Eatery (Marblemount): Breakfast is super tasty. Try the Cascade Crisp for a deliciously fruity experience. Open for dinner, too.
El Gitano (Sedro Woolley): Every hike should end with chips, salsa and a margarita. Oh, and maybe camarones gitano (two words: bacon and shrimp) or the tacos al carbon packed with spicy beef goodness.
Espresso Chalet (Index): Name me one person who can hike to Lake Serene without a morning latte. So many flavors!
Graham’s at Mount Baker (Mount Baker Hwy 542): You’ll find burgers, sandwiches, a pan-Asian assortment, steaks and a stick-to-your ribs breakfast menu.
Milano’s (Glacier, Mount Baker Hwy 542): Fine Italian dining (from fettuccine alfredo to chicken parmagiano) all within easy reach of Mount Baker hiking.
Mountain View Cafe (Mountain Loop Hwy): The burgers and other cafe food are OK, but the pies are worth a stop.
North Fork Brewery (Mount Baker, Hwy 542): This “pizzeria, beer shrine and wedding chapel” serves up tasty pizzas, delicacies such as smoked salmon salad, and plenty of beers. And you can get hitched by the on-site ordained minister.
Winthrop Brewing Company (Winthrop): Panko-breaded fish and chips and Outlaw chili (with sausage and olives) at a brew pub near the North Cascades.
Stevens Pass/Leavenworth/Lake Chelan Area
Anjou Bakery (Cashmere): Pumpkin muffins, chocolate truffles, great soups and high-quality coffee make this a must-stop on the return from hikes in the Entiat.
Clay Oven (Monroe): Satisfy your post-hike craving for Indian food at this great little restaurant with a tandoor oven, lots of traditional Indian dishes (including many vegetarian), inexpensive prices and great service.
59er Diner (near Lake Wenatchee): Burgers, fries and to-die-for shakes in a corny, 50s-kitsch diner.
Gustav’s (Leavenworth): Good beer made on premises plus lots of great pub grub (try the fish and chips). Lederhosen not required.
Lakeside Drive-In (Chelan): After returning on the Lady of the Lake from Holden and Stehekin, celebrate the return to civilization with a chicken cordon bleu sandwich and a huge order of curly fries. Great shakes, too.
Rusty’s Drive-in (Cashmere): Pure drive-in heaven.
Stehekin Pastry Company (Stehekin): After a long trek in the North Cascades, the gooey warm cinnamon rolls and flaky pies at this legendary bakery are a welcome sight indeed.
Sultan Bakery (Sultan): Dense cakes, cobblers, and pineapple coconut haystacks (just a buck a piece!) have tempted scores of famished hikers returning from Stevens Pass. Plus, each evening, the bakery serves tasty (and huge) home-cooked dinners.
Zeke’s (Goldbar): Pizza, burgers and delicious deep fried objects—all conveniently located in an old locomotive along Highway 2
Snoqualmie Pass Area
Campus U Tote-em Burgers (Ellensburg): Burgers of all shapes and sizes, plus breaded mushrooms and an assortment of shakes and floats.
Cle Elum Bakery (Cle Elum): Four words that stir the hearts of hikers everywhere: Maple bars. Apple fritters.
Denny’s (Issaquah): The Issaquah Denny’s is a time-honored tradition with WTA’s Thursday trail maintenance crew. Food’s okay, and the service is first-rate.
Leftie's (Roslyn): Natural healthy and yummy food in Roslyn! Try the vegan biscuits and gravy.
Northern Espresso (Cle Elum): Fill ’er up on the way to the Teanaway.
North Bend Bar & Grill (North Bend): After a jaunt up Mount Si, head here for beers, good atmosphere, and the only chicken-fried steak we’ve discovered made with prime rib. (The kid’s menu deep-fried mac & cheese triangles are pretty darn good, too.)
Rhody’s BBQ (North Bend): Nosh on melt-in-your mouth ribs and pulled pork sandwiches at this unassuming location in a gas station at Exit 34 off I-90 east of North Bend.
Scott’s Dairy Freeze (North Bend): Burgers, shakes and other frozen-cream goodness.
Village Pizza (Roslyn): A good selection of pizzas, huge salads and microbrew beers—all just a stone’s throw from the Salmon La Sac area.
XXX Root Beer (Issaquah): After a late afternoon hike at Tiger Mountain, you’ll definitely need one of the burgers at this classic drive-in. Want fries and a float with that? You bet.
Mt Rainier Area
410 Café (Buckley): Great menu, mouth-watering pies, and yes, a senior discount.
Black Diamond Bakery (Black Diamond): Huge breakfasts, but the standouts are the pastries and cinnamon rolls.
Cynthia’s Pony Express (Enumclaw): Stop at Enumclaw’s best eatery for breakfast (including fresh baked muffins) or dinner (steaks and carnivore fare).
Brocklesby’s Greek & American Take Out (Port Angeles): “These burgers are not for sissies” the proprietors warn. But you’ve just hiked the Bailey Range Traverse, so who’s going to quibble with your appetite?
Fat Smitty’s (Hwy 101 near Discovery Bay): Big-as-your-head-burgers plus an assortment of kitschy sculpture await at this popular Olympic Peninsula grub joint.
Forks Café (Forks): Breakfasts in this neck of the woods are filling and fantastic.
Itty Bitty Buzz (Port Angeles): Grab a latte and a scone on your way to Hurricane Ridge.
Oak Table Cafe (Sequim): Fuel up for your hike to Klahane Ridge with fluffy pancakes, creative scrambles, or the quiche du jour at this venerable Sequim institution.
Snug Harbor Cafe (Sequim): Great fish and chips and good beers on tap at this place east of Sequim.
Three Rivers Store/Cafe (Quillayute): No coast hike would be complete without a fish or chicken basket and a hand-dipped malt at this friendly place.
Cougar Bar and Grill (Cougar): Stop for pie and coffee on the way home from hikes at Mount St. Helens.
Inn of the White Salmon (White Salmon): This is a B&B, but you can pay to sample the astonishing breakfast buffet here without an overnight stay (be sure to make reservations). The little cream cheese-filled dumplings swimming in maple syrup are sinfully divine.
Loafer’s Old World Bakery & Coffee House (Bingen): A great pit-stop for coffee and scones in the Columbia Gorge.
Plaza Jalisco (Morton): The tasty, authentic Tex-Mex cuisine here hits the spot after a long backpacking trip in the Goat Rocks wilderness.
Ranch House BBQ (between McCleary & Olympia): Some of the state’s most authentic and finger-licking barbecue is to be found at this joint on state route 8, about 16 miles west of Olympia.