Food and Drink
Over the years, local produce and preferences have come to define “Northwest cuisine.” Fresh salmon is popular and can be found on virtually every restaurant’s menu. Red snapper, halibut, and cod are also served fresh almost everywhere in western Washington. Less common are the local Olympia oysters and geoduck clams. As you head east, the seafood is generally frozen, though some restaurants pride themselves on their fresh fish. Steaks are often imported from the Midwest and are generally very good.
Western Washington is also known for its strawberries, blackberries, and various other kinds of berries. For a detailed directory of organic farms, natural foods grocers, and organic restaurants, and a complete listing of 70 or so farmers markets, contact the Washington State Farmers Market Association (206/706-5198, www.wafarmersmarkets.com). The many farms around Puget Sound are listed in a free Farm Fresh Guide available in local visitors centers or online at www.pugetsoundfresh.org.
Eastern Washington is the place to go for fresh fruit and produce. Washington apples are mostly of the Red and Golden Delicious, Gala, Braeburn, Fuji, and Granny Smith varieties. Many other kinds of fruit are grown along the central corridor—cherries, peaches, and apricots. The Walla Walla sweet onion is reputedly mild enough to bite into raw, like an apple, and it is sold in gift packs. Asparagus, pears, and berries of all kinds are also big eastern Washington crops.
Beer and Wine
Washington is home to several microbreweries. The larger ones—such as the Redhook Ale Brewery in Woodinville—offer tours and tasting.
Washington wines have become world-class in the last decade or so, winning awards and gaining in popularity across the country. Most of Washington’s wine grapes come from vineyards in Yakima Valley and Columbia River Valley, and wineries line the highway between Yakima and the Tri-Cities and into Walla Walla.
For details on the state’s 170 wineries, see the Touring the Washington Wine Country booklet, available in visitors centers around the state or directly from the Washington Wine Commission (206/667-9463, www.washingtonwine.org).
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition