We hope you’ve packed your appetite. This month, we’re finishing our Hit the Road series with a foodie foray into Walla Walla.
Whether you’re interested in taking a tour of the town’s many excellent wineries, sampling dishes made from the valley’s famed sweet onions, or trying five-star restaurants, this driving-distance destination is every foodie’s dream.
Before you start packing your bags, here’s everything you need to know about the area + our insider recommendations.
- Drive time: ~4.2 hours from downtown
- Est. population: 34,526
- Avg. high in August: 87°
🎟️ Things to do
- Curated Walla Walla | There are a lot of wine tours in this bottled-up town, but this one gives you the flexibility to customize an experience — choose from a private chef’s dinner, cheese tasting add-on + scenic bike rides.
- Dunham Days | The family-owned winery housed in an remodeled WWII airplane hangar is hosting a big party from Fri., Aug 19-Sun., Aug 21. On the docket are art exhibitions, classic car displays, live music, and a hearty Sunday brunch with bottomless riesling mimosas.
- Food Truck Night | On the first Monday of every month through September, local brewery Burwood hosts a full-on smorgasbord with live music + family-friendly vibes. Be sure to grab some tacos from the Happy Wanderer, which is all about that local produce.
- Summers in the Park | The Walla Walla Symphony — the longest continuously running group west of the Mississippi — has a series of small, casual shows at Wildwood Park these days. They’re free to attend, and perfect for a shady picnic.
- L’Ecole’s Historic Schoolhouse | If you’re hitting up tasting rooms, stop by this acclaimed winery’s rustic, 1915-built outpost that was once a working school. There are even still chalkboards + a restored, hand-painted mural from former students.
- Whitman College Art Walk | Stroll through Walla Walla’s scenic college campus that has a sculpture park + is nearby other welcoming tasting rooms like DAMA Wines and El Corazon.
🍲 Memorable eats
- Hattaway’s on Alder | Looking for a taste of the Southeast in the NW? Here you’ll find the likes of honey glazed pork collar (pictured as article’s lead photo), roasted oysters in a New Orleans-style butter + a sweet duck fat corn cake. Drool.
- Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen | Refined, but approachable Turkish, Cypriot + Spanish dishes await at this restaurant founded by former James Beard Award semifinalist Chris Ainsworth. For true local flavor, don’t skip the gazpacho made with Walla Walla sweet onions.
- AK’s Mercado | For a long time, one of the state’s best taco joints worked out of a Walla Walla gas station. For real. But the former Andrae’s Kitchen — from critically lauded chef Andrae Bopp — is all grown up now with a spiffy new spot in the heart of town (and those tacos al pastor are still fire).
Walla Walla Steak Co. | Soon after opening in 2018, this upscale meat haven was named one of the “Best Wine Restaurants in America” by Wine Enthusiast. The original is as terrific as ever, though you can take a shorter trip to Woodinville + check out its newest location.
- Passatempo Taverna | Nothing goes better with a glass of vino than some freshly made pasta. Here you can load up on carbs with the likes of cacio e pepe + baked conchiglie to fuel those tasting room adventures. Andfun fact: Renowned Seattle chef Mike Easton originally created the menu.
- Walla Walla Bread Company | This is a great place to soak up some of that wine with heavenly sourdough varieties, paninis + Neapolitan pizza.
🏨 Accommodations with award-winning cuisine
- Cameo Heights Mansion | 1072 Oasis Rd., Touchet | If you’re a little bit country, but also love a bit of luxury, this boutique hotel located on the outskirts of Walla Walla should hit the spot. It houses five-star restaurant The Vine that’s tailor made for special occasions + romantic meals.
- Eritage Resort | 1319 Bergevin Springs Rd., Walla Walla | Sunset Magazine once rated this sprawling getaway a top 20 travel destination — and for good reason. The views are gorgeous, the amenities (like the heated, saltwater pool) are top notch, and the Eritage Restaurant has culinary champion roots.
- The GG | 92 Bonsella St., Walla Walla | Located in a historic home, the revamped Green Gables Inn gives off French duchess energy with antique trunks + ornate flourishes throughout the building. On Fridays, the in-house chef preps a three-course meal emphasizing local meats, cheeses + vegetables.
- The Finch | 325 E. Main St., Walla Walla | One of the newer, modern hotels around town is also among the more affordable options. There are some early bird special rates + a “sweethearts package” that comes with chocolates from esteemed Bright’s Candies and a gift card to TMACS restaurant.