Life seems to be just a little slower on Whidbey Island. That is one of the things that I love most about being there. It truly feels like a vacation and a welcome escape from the craziness of life in the big city. Even the restaurants on Whidbey Island have a more chill vibe. The star performer of many of the restaurants on Whidbey Island is, of course, seafood, which is fresh and delicious. You can’t get much closer to the sea on an island and the Penn Cove shellfish are amazing. Of course, there are also many quaint cafes, pizza and burger joints, coffee shops, and a few ethnic dining options as well. Here are the 25 best places to eat on or near Whidbey Island.
Orchard Kitchen – Langley
Orchard Kitchen is located right in the middle of an organic farm. The food is incredibly fresh. In addition to using their own grown food, Orchard kitchen collaborates with local oystermen, farmers, cheesemakers, chefs, and vintners. The menu is ever-changing so that the ingredients can be fresh with the season. Note that Orchard Kitchen offers one seating for thirty-two guests and the meal takes place at community tables. Be sure to make a reservation.
The Oystercatcher – Coupeville
Another restaurant that strives to showcase farms on the island is The Oystercatcher. This restaurant has been around for almost 20 years and has great pride in its Penn Cove Mussels. Other favorite menu items include Pacific Northwest ceviche, Catch of the Day, and the 3 Sisters Reuben. It is hard to get much fresher. Wine and cocktails are available and watch for special holiday menus.
China City – Freeland and Oak Harbor
Both China City locations offer tasty Chinese food and a pleasant atmosphere. Find a full bar at each restaurant with drink and food specials for happy hour. The menu is just what you would expect for a Chinese restaurant in America. Choose from a variety of soups, appetizers, chicken, beef, pork, seafood, vegetarian entrees, and dinner combinations.
The BBQ Joint – Oak Harbor
When you get a hankering for good BBQ, head over to The BBQ Joint. The staff is very friendly, the restaurant is clean, and take out and catering is available. The brisket will make your mouth water, the smoked sausage is delicious, and the sides are all very good. A few favorites are the potato salad, baked beans, and coleslaw. The sauces, rubs, side dishes, cornbread, and desserts are all homemade. This restaurant has a great relationship with the naval base and takes pride in being part of the community of Oak Harbor.
Charmers Bistro – Freeland
Visit Charmers Bistro for Southern Italian cuisine with a Pacific Northwest twist. There are often new menu selections to try, as the chefs here enjoy being creative and using what is fresh, local and in-season whenever possible. Try pasta, veal, rib eye, personal pizzas, crab, oysters, and seafood. The atmosphere is cozy and romantic and there is a full-service bar. Sauces, dressings, and dessert are all made in-house and there are vegetarian and gluten-free options available.
Gordon’s on Blueberry Hill – Freeland
Chef Gordon Steward offers an eclectic menu at Gordon’s on Blueberry Hill. His training in New Orleans led to a love for Cajun food, so you will find these influences on the menu. In addition to Cajun inspired dishes, diners will also find traditional American cuisine, pasta, chicken, steak, and seafood dishes. Chef Gordon works with locals to find fresh ingredients and really knows how to layer flavors and present a beautiful meal. Also watch for Chef Gordon on Whidbey TV hosting his own local television show called “The Cook and the Comic”
Rustica Café • Wine Bar • Kitchen – Oak Harbor
The theme of many restaurants on Whidbey Island is farm to table and Rustica is no exception. This Italian restaurant offers many menu options seasonally to match fresh ingredients. Try the house specialty, short rib lasagne, limoncello crab ravioli, chicken alfredo, and much more. Pair your meal with a local beer or wine on draft, local craft ginger beer or root bear, or a variety of local ciders, cocktails, tea, coffee, or soda. The interior of the restaurant is very tastefully done by a local artist in reclaimed materials from around Whidbey Island. The atmosphere is pleasant with Edison bulbs, hammered copper, and live-edge slabs of old-growth timber.
Pickles Deli – Clinton
Locals and visitors love Pickles Deli. If you stop in often enough, it is even likely that the staff will remember you. It is just up the street from the ferry terminal, so an easy stop before or after taking the ferry over to Mukilteo. Call ahead to make the stop even faster. A few favorites here include the Spicy Italian, Smokey Beast, and Reuben. Pickle Deli also offers homemade soups, salads, Buddha bowls, and paninis. Catering is also available as well as party platters.
Frasers Gourmet Hideaway – Oak Harbor
Chef Scott Fraser has been operating Frasers Gourmet Hideaway since 2006. Expect to find a high-end dining experience with excellent food and service. Sit down to dine among chandeliers, plush leather chairs, blown glass sconces, and an open kitchen. The menu includes such selections as spicy calamari, beef tenderloin, pork chop, roasted rack of lamb, scallops, red snapper, and many more sophisticated dishes. The white chocolate cheesecake is delicious and gorgeous. The prices here are not cheap, but the experience is worth it, especially for a special occasion.
Currents Bistro by the cove – Coupeville
Currents Bistro has replaced Christopher’s on Whidbey. The new owners are slowly modifying the menu to pay homage to favorites of Christopher’s and introducing new dishes unique to the new restaurant. The menu includes soups such as the popular clam chowder, salads, Penn Cove mussels, sandwiches, and seafood favorites.
Alfy’s Pizza – Oak Harbor
If you are looking for a more casual and inexpensive dining experience, try Alfy’s Pizza. There are several locations in the area north of Seattle, but the owners of this one work very hard to make sure that diners have a good experience at their restaurant. This restaurant offers two levels of dining with very nice views of the water. There is an all you can eat salad bar, pizza, sandwiches, pasta, wine, beer, and an arcade room.
Whidbey Coffee – Oak Harbor
Whidbey Coffee has two locations in Oak Harbor as well as drive-through locations in Clinton and Freeland. If you are looking for great coffee, a place to sit down and chat with friends, and a quaint spot for breakfast or lunch, this is it. Try the famous Frozen Moka or other favorite drink. There is also a wide selection of baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, salads, and soups.
Whidbey Island Bagel Factory – Clinton and Oak Harbor
When the desire for delicious carbs strikes, head over to Whidbey Island Bagel Factory. Choose from 23 different flavors including basics like plain, snickerdoodle, or cinnamon raisin or go for something more complex such as garlic parmesan, sun dried tomato basil, or bacon cheddar. Pair your bagel with a spread or try a breakfast sandwich with egg, cheese, and meat.
Whidbey Pies and Cafe – Greenbank
Travel to the middle of Whidbey Island to a 100-year-old farm and give Whidbey Pies and Cafe a try. Try as many of the delicious fruit pies as your stomach can handle. Savory pies are also available as well as quiche, salads, sandwiches, soups, and seafood chowder. There is also a wine store next door and lovely gardens to walk through while visiting the farm.
Village Pizzeria – Langley
Village Pizzeria is not your average pizza joint. The pizza is elevated and the restaurant hangs out over the bay, which means there are some gorgeous views to compliment the food. In addition to the pizza, the menu offers salad with a killer house dressing, pasta, and sandwiches. This place is popular and sometimes the wait can be long, but there are a few seats at the bar where you can hang out until a table is ready.
Whidbey Doughnuts – Langley
Each night, the bakers of Whidbey Doughnuts work late into the night making, frosting, and filling yummy doughnuts. Stop by the shop for a wide variety of options such as raised glazed, maple bars, red velvet, apple fritters, and bismarks. Whidbey Doughnuts also delivers to a variety of locations around the island, so watch for them while you are out and about. Also keep an eye on the events calendar, as there is often live music at the shop.
Mukilteo Coffee Roasters – Langley
It takes a little effort to get to Mukilteo Coffee Roasters. It is located off a gravel road, but the extra effort is work it for terrific coffee, tasty food and a friendly atmosphere. The menu includes breakfast burritos and breakfast sandwiches, huevos rancheros, burgers, salads, and a variety of sides. Sit inside and enjoy the woodwork and unique decorating or sit outside at a quaint table surrounded by the woods.
Ivar’s – Mukilteo
Ivar’s is not technically on Whidbey Island, but it is located at Mukilteo Landing, on the water, right next to the ferry that will take you to Whidbey Island. It is fun to sit and watch the ferries come and go while eating the delicious Northwest seafood. The clam chowder, fish and chips, and salmon are especially good and the Happy Hour deals are great.
Bubba Flame Broiled Burger – Freeland
If you are looking for an amazing burger, try Bubba Flame Broiled Burger. It may not look like much, as it is merely a food trailer with picnic tables outside, but as you are sitting there waiting for your food and chatting with the regulars, you will discover why it is special. The Greek burger is very popular and the potato chips are made on-site. Do be aware that this restaurant is seasonal, it is not open during the winter.
The Captain Whidbey Restaurant – Coupeville
The Captain Whidbey Restaurant is located in the Captain Whidbey Inn. It is situated in a gorgeous location on the coast among old growth firs. The restaurant decor pays homage to Captain Whidbey and the history of the island. The menu includes breakfast boards, shellfish dishes, salmon, produce from their garden, house-smoked meats, and homemade bread. There is a full bar and the back deck is open late and offers beautiful views of Penn Cove.
Ciao – Coupeville
The food at Ciao is made by hand and with wood and fire as often as possible. The menu includes authentic Pizza Napolitana with a variety of topping choices, starters and antipasti, salads, seafood bowls, and desserts. Ciao also offers specialty cocktails, beer, wine, Italian soda, and other beverages. Check out the calendar for upcoming live music and special events.
Island Cafe – Oak Harbor
If you are looking for classic American cafe food, stop into Island Cafe. The atmosphere is relaxed and quaint. The breakfast menu is full of favorites like omelets, pancakes, breakfast burritos, and biscuits and gravy. The lunch and dinner menu includes classic diner favorites such as hamburgers and fries, steak, salads, sandwiches, and fish and chips.
Joe’s Wood Fired Pizza – Langley
Joe’s Wood Fired Pizza is a popular stop for lunch and also a great choice for dinner or take-out. You order up front at the counter, find a table, and then the food is brought out to you. The pizza has a nice taste, coming out of the wood fired oven. There are many options for toppings and sauces as well as pasta, salads, hot sandwiches, pita sandwiches, and cold sandwiches. Soda, beer, and wine are available as well. The restaurant is clean and tastefully decorated with a chance to watch the brick wood fire pizza oven in action,
Island Nosh – Clinton
Another great option after disembarking the ferry or going to catch one is Island Nosh. It is just up the hill on the right when you are driving away from the ferry. The food here is fast, made to order, and reasonably priced. The menu includes ethnic noodle dishes such as crab mac and cheese, spätzle and bratwurst, ramen bowls, curry dishes, and daily specials. This is an especially great spot for vegan and vegetarian options. Stop into the artisan craft store next door, Make Whidbey General Store, to shop for souvenirs or items for your home.
Ultra House – Langley
There are not a ton of ethnic food options on Whidbey Island, but Ultra House is one of them and very good. They serve Japanese food and offer a variety of ramen dishes. Choose from pork, chicken, prawns, vegetarian, or vegan. Also try the gyoza, miso soup, and the mochi ice cream. Beer, wine, and sake are available as well. Ultra House is tucked in a little village of shops, restaurants, and coffee shops in Langley close to the water. It is a fun place to walk around and explore and a great way to spend an afternoon.
Marie lived in the Seattle area for nearly 10 years and has visited Whidbey Island many times. She loves the slower pace, natural beauty, and the friendly island atmosphere. She still has family and friends in the area and goes back to visit as often as she can.