Vintage Bites in Washington Wine Country

The state leads the nation in the production of spearmint and peppermint oil, concord grapes, carrots and cherries thanks, in large part, to Washington wine country. West to east, here’s what to eat.
La Porte Brune Pop-up Dinner
La Porte Brune Pop-up Dinner

Just outside of Yakima, Los Hernandez in Union Gap serves up tamales and tamales only—including, every spring, the famous asparagus tamale. Other Latin American treats in the area include a pastel rainbow of dense Mexican pastries at Santos Panaderia in Tieton and a homemade strawberry-jalapeño popsicle at Tecampana Paleteria and Creamery in Toppenish.

Washington is also the nation’s No. 1 hops producer: Taste some at Horse Heaven Hills Brewery in Prosser, where brewmasters make beer in small batches. And, because the state is the No. 2 potato producer in the nation, drop by Richland's The Spudnut Shop in the Tri-Cities for doughnuts made from tater flour.

A great way to start the day in Walla Walla is at the Colville Street Patisserie, where the gelato and cakes are as tempting as the homemade croissants. Still hungry? Locals swear by “The Worm Ranch” (a.k.a. Dora’s Deli)—a Mexican restaurant, convenience store and tackle shop.

At night, resident winemakers can find a pop-up dinner in a vineyard by watching for tweets from @AndraesKitchen or liking La Porte Brune on Facebook. No two tasting-format dinners, served at communal tables in vineyards and wineries, are ever the same.

—Julie H. Case