Downtown McMinnville

Oregon's Favorite Main Street

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McMinnville rated as one of Bon Appetit's Best Foodie Towns in America

The news almost (but not quite) made me put down the delightful raspberry and hazelnut tart that I was scarfing down at the Red Fox Bakery last week, and stand up and cheer. Bon Appetit magazine, in its annual feature on Best Foodie Towns in America, had rated McMinnville Number Two, behind only Boulder, Colorado.

We’re Number Two! We’re Number Two!

We have terrific restaurants, to be sure. There are 17 of them listed on our directory of restaurants, and I could go on at some nauseating length about the gustatory pleasures I’ve received in our downtown area, starting with the platter-sized pancakes at the Wildwood Café at one end and ending with a mug of house-brewed beer, a burger and the sensational fennel salad at the Golden Valley Brewery & Restaurant. The diversity is dazzling: Walk down Third Street and you can choose from Italian food, Japanese sushi, pizza, coffee, ice-cream, salads, Spanish tapas, Mexican, fine French cuisine and classic American fare. Oh, and Cream of Broccoli soup (our Dan Hinmon raves about it).

But more than that, we are a place that cherishes good food, good wine, and the nurturing qualities of both that extend to our families and friends. It’s no accident that the Harvest Fresh grocery store anchors a corner of our downtown, with its fine selection of fresh produce, healthy milled grains and organic meats. And that on the same block we have a thriving Farmer’s Market (through October 14th, at least), that allows local farmers and food producers to sell their wares directly.

I remember when I first moved here, and was invited to an Easter Sunday party held at the farm of the people who own and run WineWorks Oregon, which is one of several wineries in town. It was a potluck event, and I had no reason to expect anything more than hotdogs and potato chips and supermarket baked goods. Boy, was I wrong. The people arrived bearing oysters from the coast that they barbequed, rings of homemade sausage, freshly baked breads and pizzas from their ovens, cakes and pies and mounds of chopped salads, all washed down with Willamette Valley-produced beer and wine.

I knew then that I was moving to foodie heaven. It’s nice to see that the rest of the culinary world is taking notice.

The mission of McMinnville Downtown Association (MDA) is to sustain and enhance historic downtown McMinnville as the cultural, retail and professional heart of the community.

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