A pre-emptive brunch at the Commons can prevent hangry wine tasting later in the day.

Image: Brooke Fitts

The farmland that surrounds Woodinville doesn’t yield many wine grapes—those come, mostly, from vineyards 150 miles to the east. But it does ensure some beautiful plates of food in this hamlet, equal parts small-town wine haven and full-service Seattle suburb. Casual restaurants abound in Woodinville’s populous center, but if you’re here for the riesling and red blends, these casual stops and fine-dining beacons can sustain you before, during, or after a day of tasting.

 

Hollywood District

Barking Frog

Chef Bobby Moore is one of Woodinville’s culinary fixtures after years at the helm of the restaurant at Willows Lodge (no relation to Willows Inn). Elegant dinners here might include beef tartare, wild nettle tagliatelle, and grilled octopus paired with smoked brisket. Daily brunch service lets visitors start the day with a dungeness crab benedict or the smash burger that Moore has pretty much perfected.

Bistro at Hollywood Schoolhouse

A low-key restaurant hides behind the stately brick schoolhouse that now serves as the area’s central landmark (and as a satellite tasting room for Maryhill Winery). The bistro has a subtle filling station vibe and a menu of comforts—BLTs, bacon-wrapped dates, even chicken pot pie.

The Commons

As the name implies, it’s the wine community’s answer to a campus commons, a destination for morning coffee or a preemptive avocado toast before diving into the winery agenda. The afternoon-to-evening lineup of salads and sandwiches appears simple, but the Commons is part of Heavy Restaurant Group (Barrio, Pablo y Pablo, Meet the Moon, Purple Cafe down at the other end of the parking lot), which specializes in making accessible food feel considered.

The Commons is essentially an upscale dining hall for adults...adults who love wine.

Image: Brooke Fitts

The Herbfarm

Every meal is a production at the longtime fine-dining staple, a chintz-draped cottage that looks like an extension of the garden and farm that fuel its themed meals. Expect a salute to Copper River salmon or a meditation on Northwest mushrooms. Born as part of an actual herb-growing operation that expanded into nine-course single-seating banquets (with at least five paired wines), the restaurant on the edge of the Willows Lodge grounds leans hard into pageantry, but the meals themselves are worth the ovation that usually concludes each night’s presentation. 

Heritage

The network of surrounding farms and growers drive Breanna Beike’s seasonal menus, each one overloaded with dishes you can’t wait to eat: Steamed Hama Hama clams, wedge salad, roast chicken, or, at brunch, cheddar black pepper biscuits and mushroom gravy.  In her kitchen in the busy Redwood Place retail complex, familiar dishes take on a bit of extra polish; so does the service.

Hollywood Tavern

Seldom do old and new pair as well as this adjacent duo of the 1940s-era roadhouse and sleek industrial building that’s home to Woodinville Whiskey’s distillery operations. Inside the tavern, wood paneling and vintage hunting decor recall the days when pull-tabs  lined the back bar—though those have been replaced with an excellent whiskey selection. Burgers and sandwiches upgrade tavern food with local ingredients (don’t miss the fried pickles) and Adirondack chairs surround a firepit in the adjacent courtyard.

The Lounge at DeLille Cellars

The venerable Woodinville winery has opened a proper restaurant in the former Redhook Brewery, where Forecaster’s Public House used to be. The sprawling space, adjacent to DeLille’s tasting room, has all manner of seating configurations, and serves an accessible menu from chef Michael Toni. His “wine lounge” menu includes fresh pasta, fancy salads, some share plates, and, yes—plenty of wine.

Purple Cafe

A staple of Woodinville dining since 2001, and still deeply reliable for meals that feel like a day in wine country: indulgent, yet rustic. Pasta, chopped salad, baked brie, and calamari arrive against a backdrop of brick, a timbered mezzanine, and floor-to-ceiling shelves stuffed with Washington wine.

The original Purple location is a Woodinville staple.

Image: Brooke Fitts

Sora Sushi

A tiny spot tucked between tasting rooms in the Hollywood Vines development serves maki, nigiri, and sashimi for lunch or dinner. Groups who make a day of wine tasting appreciate the larger platter options.

Village Wines

Yes, this is a wine shop and bar, but also just the place for a turkey club or some battered green beans when your palate has neared its breaking point. Visitors who sit around a U-shaped bar build lunch, snack, or dinner plans (there’s even a section for kids) from a versatile menu of classics, including the popular flatbread pizzas. Happy hour begins at 2pm on weekdays.

Vivi Pizzeria

The charms of this family-friendly trattoria go way beyond wood-fired pizza, including comfort pastas and a menu of salads that all deserve to be entrees. Vivi shares a heated patio with tasting room neighbors Patterson Cellars and Gorman Winery.

 

North Industrial

The PicNic Table

An oasis of mimosas and cheese plates beckons amid the gray industrial buildings. Owner Danilo Amato assembles a thoughtful cafe menu that ranges from pulled pork chilaquiles to ravioli with smoked prosciutto and peas. But packing picnics remains his kitchen’s superpower. Cardboard “baskets” full of Mediterranean eats (BYO actual wicker hamper) come in various sizes and contain an array of bites, from chicken pate to smoked salmon deviled eggs; larger versions include a charcuterie and cheese plate, flavors that pair well with just about any Washington wine purchased in the heat of tastings.

As the name implies, the PicNic Table offers some excellent options for assembling an alfresco meal on a blanket.

Image: Brandon Hill

 

Woodin Creek Village

Lifted Taco

For a few square blocks at least, this new residential complex with a growing population of tasting rooms makes Woodinville feel like Bellevue. Here, a fast-casual taco spot fills corn or flour tortillas with everything from barbecue-bacon meatloaf to panko-crusted shrimp. A vegan menu offers similar levels of taco intrigue, and a lineup of breakfast tacos includes brisket, salmon, and mushroom versions.

Lifted Taco pushes the boundaries of what goes inside a tortilla.

Image: Brooke Fitts

Woodin Creek Kitchen & Tap

A new arrival that services its similarly new neighborhood with bar snacks, salads, burgers, and pastas, even sushi or jambalaya. The generic name and broad menu might set off alarm bells, but the food’s made with care, thanks to the same ownership team behind Redmond’s Bar and Grill. A great beer list offers a break from wine, if you need it.

 

Downtown Woodinville

Tipsy Cow Burger Bar

The setting—a sprawling retail center with an Old Navy across the parking lot—may not be idyllic. But this sourcing-conscious burger shop is just a short jaunt from the Hollywood District’s epicenter. Loaded fries, elaborate milkshakes, and seven-ounce patties topped with fried bacon or triple-cream brie are all worth the trip.

Colossal burgers and (sometimes boozy) milkshakes at Tipsy Cow.

Image: Brooke Fitts

Woodinville Cafe

Locals love this railway-themed diner for its enormous breakfasts, but it’s also a handy stop for french toast or scrambles or chicken-fried steak to offset the day’s winery agenda. Plenty of breakfasts come in half-size portions.

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