For lunch, the Sandwich Factory (277 NE Court St., 541/447-4429, 7 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 7 a.m.–3 p.m. Sat., $6–13), just west of the courthouse, has a huge menu of really good sandwiches. It’s also an excellent place to people-watch at lunch—most of downtown Prineville  seems to eat here.
Ranchero (964 NW 3rd St., 541/416-0103, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. daily, $7–16), next to the Rustler’s Inn, has a great selection of south-of-the-border specialties and a friendly atmosphere.
Behind a downright scary exterior lies an extremely popular (and not at all frightening) steak house: Club Pioneer (1851 E. 3rd St., 541/447-6177, 5–9 p.m. daily, $10–22). The competition, downtown’s Barney Prine’s Steakhouse and Saloon (380 NE Main St., 541/447-3333, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Wed.–Fri., 5 p.m.–close Tues.–Sun., $16–22), is a bit more stylish, with beechwood floors salvaged from a Jim Beam distillery, a huge and beautiful bar, and a good wine list.
A somewhat more generic and moderately priced steak, barbecue, and sandwich restaurant is Dillon’s Grill (142 5th St., 541/447-3203, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. daily, $7–19), which is a pretty good alternative if you’re coming off the river and want a no-fuss meal and a glass of beer.
It’s about 20 miles (a 20-minute drive) from Prineville  to the Brasada Ranch resort, where you’ll find the most sophisticated cuisine in the area at the resort’s Blue Olive (16986 Brasada Ranch Rd., Powell Butte, 888/701-2987, 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m. daily summer, 11:30 a.m.–8 p.m. daily winter, $14–30). Named after the blue-winged olive, a trout fly, the Blue Olive is a great place to order fish (the chef did a stint as a commercial fisherman). If you’ve never tried razor clams, the sesame-studded and wasabi-topped version here will make you an instant convert. Beef is raised locally and cooked perfectly. During the long summer evenings, the view from the restaurant’s large windows is expansive.