Are you ready to embark on a culinary adventure? Welcome to Bainbridge Island, Washington—a hidden gem nestled just a stone’s throw away from Seattle, offering the ultimate food and wine escape.
Escape to Bainbridge Island and discover a culinary paradise. Every bite and sip becomes a sensory journey in this enchanting getaway, where culinary wonders await to delight your palate. From discovering the local food and wine hotspots to embarking on a wine tour to finally retreating to the cozy haven of Pleasant Beach Village, this article will be your guide to immersing yourself in the extraordinary flavors of Bainbridge Island. So, why wait? Plan your ultimate escape today to sample the food and wine of Bainbridge Island, and let this culinary paradise leave an indelible mark on your taste buds.
Delight in Culinary Wonders
From farm-to-table restaurants showcasing the freshest local ingredients to charming cafes serving up artisanal pastries and coffee, Bainbridge Island offers a wide array of dining experiences to suit every palate. Indulge in the rich flavors of Pacific Northwest cuisine, where seafood takes center stage, or savor the authentic tastes of global fare influenced by the island’s diverse culinary heritage.
Bainbridge Island is home to many local food and wine establishments that showcase the region’s rich flavors and unique culinary offerings. Whether you’re a fan of farm-to-table cuisine, artisanal cheese, or freshly baked pastries, there’s something for everyone to indulge in.
One must-visit spot on the island is the downtown Winslow area, a hub of culinary activity. Here, you’ll find a variety of charming cafes, restaurants, and specialty food stores, each offering their own delectable creations. From cozy bistros serving up seasonal menus using locally sourced ingredients to bustling bakeries filled with the aroma of freshly baked bread, the downtown area is a haven for food enthusiasts.
Breakfast on Bainbridge Island
There’s no excuse for skipping the most important meal of the day when you visit Bainbridge Island. Stop by Blackbird Bakery for true French-inspired pastries. Don’t let the line out the door deter you. It’s worth the wait. The Spinach Chèvre quiche is delicious, and those pastries taste as if they’re straight from France. Order a steaming cappuccino or foamy latte and enjoy watching the people pass by on Winslow Way.
If you prefer a sit-down meal, stop into Streamliner Diner, the closest breakfast joint to the ferry terminal. This is a tiny spot, so you might have to wait, but it’s worth it! The biscuits are to die for, as are the homemade seasonal muffins.
I could not resist the eggs Benedict. They were delicious with fresh avocado, homegrown tomatoes, and crispy bacon. This is upscale diner food that will kickstart your day exploring Bainbridge Island.
Pacific Northwest Coffee at its Best
Every visit to the island should include a stop at Pegasus Coffee House. A Bainbridge Island tradition since 1980, Pegasus is the first coffee roaster to serve espresso over the counter in the Seattle area. You can pick up a cup of Pegasus coffee in many locations—including the Bainbridge Museum of Art—but I recommend heading to the first store, an ivy-covered brick building just a block off Winslow. Order a coffee, enjoy the artwork, and save room for the gluten-free donuts.
Flavorful Lunch on Bainbridge Island
You simply must stop into Bruciato for lunch or dinner—or both! I ate dinner here the first time I visited Bainbridge Island and raved about it to my husband. When we returned together this year, we headed to Bruciato for lunch.
Restaurateur and James Beard nominee Brendan McGill uses local ingredients from his family farm, foraged foods from around the Olympic Peninsula, and imports from Italy to create the best flavors. Enjoy Neapolitan-inspired wood-fired pizzas—the Funghi features locally foraged mushrooms—along with the most delicious meatballs anywhere. A side of focaccia is perfect for soaking up that Pomodoro sauce on the meatballs.
After lunch, stroll along Winslow Way to explore boutiques, galleries, and more.
Dinner Highlights the Food and Wine of Bainbridge Island
You have many choices for dinner out on Bainbridge Island, where you’ll enjoy the island’s flavors.
Ba Sa Restaurant
If you stay on Winslow Way, I recommend stopping at Ba Sa Restaurant. You’ll savor traditional Vietnamese dishes inspired by French techniques, using Pacific Northwest ingredients.
To me, Ba Sa highlights the culinary charm of Bainbridge because it marries the island’s culture so beautifully. I recommend starting with the Chili Lime Calamari, fried to perfection with a lovely balance of spice and freshness. The lemongrass aioli is amazing! We also ordered the spicy truffle wonton with delightful steamed pork and shrimp wontons. It took me back to Asia!
I had a spicy lamb for my main course, which was so full of flavor. I was full, but somehow managed to clean the entire plate with a little help from my husband. The menu changes seasonally and based on availability, but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with anything at Ba Sa.
Via Rosa 11
A short drive from Winslow Way takes you to the Rolling Bay neighborhood, home to a tiny Italian restaurant, Via Rosa 11. This is a unique little spot where you’ll enjoy traditional Italian fare. Pino, the founder, started making hand-cut pasta to sell at the farmer’s market. It quickly became an island favorite and eventually led to the restaurant.
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Thursday through Sunday. I recommend making reservations because it’s difficult to get walk-in seating. If you make a reservation, you will place your order beforehand. When you arrive, you’ll pick up your drinks (a Prosecco is in order when eating Italian), pay for your meal, and the staff will escort you to your seat. In just a few minutes, you’ll receive your fresh pasta dish at one of the outdoor tables under the tent.
You can choose from various pasta dishes or order one of the wood-fired pizzas. While the pizzas looked and smelled delicious, I had to go with fresh-made pasta. I thought my ravioli was some of the best pasta I’ve had. I went basic with a 6-cheese ravioli and chose a vegan marinara sauce. It was perfection.
Bill opted for Lasagna Bolognese, and it was a large portion, made with the Via Rosa 11 marinara sauce. The restaurant also offers panini, salads, and tiramisu and cannoli for dessert. If you want to take home some of this goodness, they sell fresh pasta and sauces in the market adjacent to the restaurant. The market, with various gifts and food items, is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Community Dinners at Heyday Farm
I also recommend planning your trip to enjoy one of the community dinners at Heyday Farm. Held each Thursday and Friday, you can enjoy the farm-fresh food prepared by the owners, Executive Chef Tadao Mitsui and his wife, Tifanie. After enjoying the food and Washington wines, wander through the beautiful gardens, relishing the bounty of the Pacific Northwest.
Enhance Your Experience with Wine Tours
Now that you’ve discovered the local food hotspots, it’s time to enhance your experience with a wine tour. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or simply enjoy a glass of vino, a guided tour from Tour Bainbridge offers an immersive experience that takes you behind the scenes of the island’s wineries. From tastings to meet-and-greets with the winemakers themselves, these tours provide an opportunity to deepen your appreciation for the art of winemaking while indulging in the flavors of Bainbridge Island.
Tour Bainbridge knows everything about the island, so even the drive is fun. Stopping at the wineries allows you to taste the delightful wines, speak with the winemakers, and soak up the island vibes.
My favorite wineries included Eleven Winery, Rolling Bay Winery, Eagle Harbor Winery, and Fletcher Bay Winery.
Eleven Winery has two testing rooms on Bainbridge Island. The tasting room sits on Winslow Way, a quick stroll from the ferry terminal, with indoor tables looking out on the passers-by or tables out back under a beautiful Japanese maple. They also have a tasting room at the winery on Day Road, about five miles from the ferry terminal. You might have a chance to ask the winemaker questions when you stop by the Winery on Day Road.
I recommend the 2022 Pinot Grigio. The fruity pinto grigio from Washington State is unlike its European counterpart and is more fruity than even those in nearby Oregon. For something a bit unique, try the 2021 LEM. This 100% Lemberger varietal is much more popular in Austria and Germany, where the cold-hardy grapes are welcome. These Lemberger fruits are from Kiona Vineyard in Red Mountain. The 2021 LEM is smooth and tastes of red plums and sweet blueberries. It was an unexpected taste.
Rolling Bay Winery
Rolling Bay is a small artisan winery where you stop into the tasting room, pick up your glass, and wander out into the backyard to sit and chat with new-found friends. On select winter weekends, you can enjoy a tasting out in the barn, surrounded by the wine barrels. Winemaker and owner Alphonse de Klerk is usually around and loves to talk about his wines. He only makes 2,100 cases annually, so stop by the winery to taste his award-winning wines.
I recommend the 2019 Graciano made from Spanish Rioja grapes with lovely blackberry flavors. Another favorite is the 2018 Malbec sourced from Verhey Vineyards in Rattlesnake Hills. This is a rich Malbec with lovely baked cherry flavors.
Eagle Harbor Winery
Eagle Harbor Winery was started in 2005 by Cynthia and Hugh Remash. A few years later, Emily Parsons began assisting the owners and took the reigns in 2014. Parsons prides herself on creating wines that seem perfectly fitted for Bainbridge Island—unhurried, refined, and graceful. The winery sorts grapes by hand and barrel ages each wine before bottling.
Eagle Harbor has two tasting rooms. The newest is downtown on Winslow Way, close to the ferry terminal. I visited the Eagle Harbor Winery & Tasting Room, where they make, age, and bottle the wines. There’s live music each weekend all summer; you can probably catch the crush if you visit in the fall. They do take reservations for the Eagle Harbor location, and I recommend getting a reservation.
Eagle Harbor Wines
I tasted almost all of the Eagle Harbor wines, and I enjoyed every one of them. Of special note is the 2019 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. This is beautiful, unfiltered wine from mostly Walla Walla grapes. Most of the grapes are from the Kiona Vineyards in Red Mountain, with a small percentage of cabernet franc grapes from Weinbau Vineyard in the Waluke Slope AVA. It ages 32 months in new French Oak.
I also love the 2018 Reserve Merlot. This 100% merlot wine is made with grapes from Aria Vineyard in Walla Walla Valley, offering some of my favorite Washington wines. To create this beautiful wine, Parsons uses a double-fermentation process that brings out the most incredible flavors. Then she ages it for 33 months in 50% new French oak. It is bottled unfiltered and unfined with a beautiful, dark ruby color. It is a bold red with balanced tannins and acids, making this a luscious red wine.
I love discovering unique wines, so I was captivated by the 2019 Raptor, a red blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and cabernet franc. Each separate wine was aged in stainless steel and inoculated with Bordeaux yeast before blending, then aged in New French oak barrels for 32 months. The grapes come from different vineyards in Walla Walla Valley and Red Mountain, with a touch of merlot from Bacchus Vineyard in Columbia Valley. While each of these vineyards yields incredible fruit, the superb blending by Parsons makes this an exceptional Washington wine.
Fletcher Bay Winery
Fletcher Bay Winery also has two tasting rooms—downtown on Winslow Way and at Coppertop Winery, about 2.5 miles north of the ferry terminal. You can make reservations at the Coppertop Winery location. The back patio is perfect all year long for sipping wines—with heat lamps and fireplaces for chilly winter afternoons. The Coppertop location has a loft that is a dedicated kid’s play area with toys and a DVD player.
The Winslow Tasting Room is a short walk from the ferry terminal and offers a chic indoor space or a patio for summer days. Above the tasting room is the Rooftop Wine Garden, open afternoons and evenings with beautiful views overlooking the water with Seattle in the distance. There are fire pits for chilly winter evenings.
The winery offers a white tasting flight, a mixed flight, and a premium red flight, or you can create your own from any four wines. The Barking Dog Red, a blend of merlot, Sangiovese, and syrah, is available on tap, along with the Battle Point Red, a blend of tempranillo, merlot, and cabernet sauvignon.
I enjoyed the 2021 Tempranillo, a 100% tempranillo from Les Collines Vineyard in Walla Walla. I also enjoyed the 2022 Sauvignon Blanc.
Interestingly, Fletcher Bay Winery also offers several fruit and dessert wines. There is always some type of entertainment or happenings at Fletcher Bay Winery.
Retreat to the Cozy Haven of Pleasant Beach Village
After a day filled with good food and good wine, you’ll be ready to discover a cozy haven for the night. I recommend The Inn at Pleasant Beach Village, where tranquility and comfort await, providing the perfect respite to reflect on your wine-filled adventures. After indulging in the sensory delights of Bainbridge Island’s culinary paradise, there’s no better way to unwind than by immersing yourself in the charm and serenity of Pleasant Beach Village.
The quaint village sits on the southern end of Bainbridge Island, overlooking Puget Sound’s Rich Passage. The resort surrounds an original Tudor-style Manor House and includes restaurants, shops, a pool and fitness complex, and residential townhomes.
Each room at The Inn at Pleasant Beach is individually furnished with fireplaces, balconies or patios, cozy sitting areas, and exquisite beds.
My room had the most welcoming shades of blue and white, with a lovely patio that provided the ideal spot to sit, sip a glass of wine in the evening, and enjoy coffee and a croissant in the morning. I definitely could have stayed comfortably for a while!
Other Things to Do at Pleasant Beach Village
However, the grounds are beautiful, and the shops and boutiques in Pleasant Beach Village beckoned to me. After exploring the grounds and walking down to the water’s edge a block away, I made my way back to the village to poke around the shops lining the streets below the inn.
I discovered great pastries—try the scones!—from The Marketplace Café and Taproom. If you haven’t gotten enough wine, I recommend visiting Earth & Vine Wine Bar for a glass of champagne, a crisp pinot grigio, or a lovely cabernet sauvignon. If you’re looking for a whiskey after a day of wine tasting, stop by The Bottle Shop to check out the hand-curated selection of spirits. Whether you prefer an American bourbon, single-malt Scotch, or Japanese gin, you can find it here. They also offer spirits from Bainbridge Island’s own Bainbridge Organic Distillers.
With the promise of more culinary delights and exciting adventures, Pleasant Beach Village is an enticing starting point and ending point for exploring the food and wine of Bainbridge Island.
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Savoring the Food and Wine of Bainbridge Island
Bainbridge Island intrigued me from the first time I visited, calling me back for a longer visit this past summer. My husband and I spent several weeks on the island with our RV and enjoyed our time there. It is a welcoming place with a slower pace of life that makes me feel calm and relaxed. I enjoyed exploring the great outdoors while on Bainbridge. I loved getting to know the artisans who thrive in the beautiful setting. The cultural history of Bainbridge Island captivates me, making me want to know more about the people who call this Pacific Northwest island home. But it was the culinary scene that stole my heart.
Bainbridge Island’s culinary paradise offers food and wine enthusiasts an unforgettable escape. Immerse yourself in the extraordinary flavors, plan your ultimate food and wine escape today, and let Bainbridge Island leave an indelible mark on your palate—and your heart.
As Julia Child once said, “People who love to eat are always the best people.” So why wait? Book your escape to Bainbridge Island, Washington, and savor the flavors awaiting you on this enchanted island.
We invite you to explore Wander With Wonder for more when visiting Bainbridge Island or other parts of the Pacific Northwest. Please drop us a note in the comments to let us know what you enjoyed most about the food and wine of Bainbridge Island.
Food and Wine of Bainbridge Island, WA