Spots to Stop in The Olympics and South Cascades

After fun in the mountains or on the water, a stop for food and refreshments on the drive home might be in order. Check out these recommendations from Super Volunteer leader Dick Hayek.
Dick Hayek Dick Hayek
Hike & Backpack Leader and Super Volunteer
February 09, 2019
Spots to Stop in The Olympics and South Cascades

After a long day outside with new friends, sometimes a food stop is in order on the way home. Here are the stops I have enjoyed most in the Olympics and South Cascades. 



Breakwater Restaurant: Admire a magnificent view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca while enjoying a delicious meal and good service. It's about a half hour drive from Neah Bay and Ozette.


Hungry Bear Cafe: The large servings will fill your belly while you observe fascinating decor and unique items for sale, like mason jars labelled "redneck wine glass". Buy a giant home-baked cookie on your way out the door. It's about a half hour drive from La Push and Rialto Beach.


Green Lantern Tavern: After a refreshing beach hike in the adjacent state park, enjoy a view of the Copalis River estuary while dining on delicious lunch or dinner fare with generous portions.


Asian Buffet Restaurant: Get all you could want to eat from an extensive buffet at a price less than you would pay for a menu dinner. There is a 10% discount for seniors if you ask for it - this is where the locals eat.


Hi-Way 101 Diner: Enjoy delicious food and friendly service in a 50's atmosphere, including a juke box made from the rear of a Ford Thunderbird.

Discovery Bay

Fat Smitty's Restaurant: Enjoy delicious food with good service while being amazed at the unique decor, including $16,000 of dollar bills taped to the ceiling. All payment must be in cash.


Hoodsport Coffee Company: The name is misleading - the attraction here is the great variety of delicious ice cream. Enjoy it while sitting in the comfy overstuffed chairs and sofas.

I-90 Corridor 


Yellow Church Cafe: This unique restaurant was once a church and now has good food and good service. While waiting for your table, you can read about the history of the building on a wall display. The choir loft is a seating option.


The Brick Saloon: This is the oldest continuously operating bar in Washington, dating back to the coal mining days of the late 1800s. The food and service are both unrivaled in this historic town. The name comes from the 45,000 bricks used to rebuild it. 

North Bend

Twede's Cafe: This restaurant was made famous by the Twin Peaks TV series, but there are other reasons to stop here - like the milkshakes that come with the mixing can along with the glass, and the giant salads that allow you to take half home for a second meal. Each table also has several humorous books available to read. If you like the book, you can buy a new copy to take home. 


Starbucks: This is a nice place to stop after a hike in the Issaquah Alps as it is larger than most Starbucks, allowing seating for a large hiking group.



Naches Tavern: On the drive back from east Mt. Rainier, this is the place to stop for dinner. On a sunny day the best seating is in the outside family area. The food is delicious but they do not serve ice cream, so for dessert be sure to walk across the road to Wapiti Woolies, who specializes in huckleberry ice cream.


Charlie's Cafe: This is the place for lunch if you have returned from your backpack trip in time, as it closes at 2pm. This is a family-owned restaurant that has been operating for three generations. It has continued all that time because of good food and good service. The founder was a woman named Charlene, known as Charlie.


Carbonado Saloon: This unique establishment has excellent food along with historical exhibits, highlighting the fascinating history of the building and the town. It opens at 12pm daily and sometimes has only one person on staff to take orders, cook, and tend bar. They ask that you to call ahead with large groups so they can staff appropriately.


Wally's Drive-In: Wally's is the epitome of a 50's themed eatery, with pictures on the walls of Elvis, James Dean, and Marilyn Monroe. The servers all carry coin changers around their waist and collect from you when they deliver the food. They offer the option to be served at your car, but eating inside is better. The food is all delicious, but my favorite is the Wallyberry milkshake. If your hike meets there in the morning, you can order a breakfast sandwich. 



Cruiser's Pizza: Packwood gets very hot during the summer, making ice cream the most desired item after a hike. Cruiser's Pizza seems to be the only place in town offering both a meal and ice cream for dessert, helping you drive home with a pleased belly.


Cruiser Cafe: It's easy to miss this gem of an eatery, because it is in an inconspicuous house converted to a restaurant. The delicious food is very reasonably priced and the service is excellent. There are pictures on the walls of all the local sports teams they support. This is a good stop after hiking in Nisqually State Park or to Little Mashel Falls.


Copper Creek Inn Restaurant: This iconic restaurant offers good food and fascinating historical decor, with both indoor and outdoor seating. It is nestled in a forest setting for a relaxing atmosphere.


Mt. Adams Cafe: This hiker-oriented restaurant has good service and good food at reasonable prices. During a backpacking trip I had picked up a bug, and when I arrived at the restaurant at dinner I did not feel up to eating solid food. I asked for oatmeal and a milkshake, which were not on the dinner menu. The owner asked the cook to prepare them for me as a special order, which I appreciated.

Around Mt. ST. HELENS


Fire Mountain Grill: This is the first restaurant you come to driving back from the Johnston Observatory, and well worth the stop. There is both indoor and outdoor dining, with the outdoor tables overlooking the Toutle River. I ordered the sasquatch burger and found it tasted remarkably like beef. Having a peach or apple cobbler for dessert is a must. All the food here is delicious and their service is good.


Lone Fir Cafe: On backpacking trips to Indian Heaven, we stop here for lunch on the way in and out. The food is all good, but their unique item is the volcano cookie that is an enormous ice cream sandwich, which takes two people to eat. It tastes great after an active weekend. Be sure to check their hours as they are currently only open Fri-Sun. 

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Richard DuBois
Richard DuBois says:
Feb 11, 2019 02:15 PM

Thanks Dick! In Enumclaw, I'd add the Historic Mint Restaurant & Alehouse, every person that has gone there after a hike has enjoyed it and been pleasantly surprised. Its locally sourced food is mostly organic and entirely delicious!