There’s nothing quite like indulging in the rich, salty flavor of oysters, especially when they come from the pristine waters of the Hood Canal and South Puget Sound. It’s the perfect place to head for a culinary road trip! Whether you’re a seasoned oyster connoisseur or a curious first-timer, Hood Canal is an ideal destination for a quintessential oyster-eating experience. If you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at shucking oysters yourself. Shucking can be tricky for beginners, but with a little practice and some pointers from the friendly staff at the oyster farm, you’ll be an expert in no time. For details on available public harvesting beaches in the area visit shellfishtrail.org.
We’ve curated a few of our favorite dining spots to taste some of the locally harvested ingredients around the area for the perfect culinary road trips along Hood Canal and South Puget Sound.
Lilliwaup to Union – It’s all about the seafood
Hama Hama Oyster Farm Saloon
If you prefer to have the shucking done for you, head to Hama Hama Oyster Farm Saloon. Located in Lilliwaup, this charming and rustic establishment offers a truly unique oyster-eating experience in a picturesque setting you’ll never forget. Situated on the edge of Olympic National Forest, it’s surrounded by towering evergreens with a view of both the Olympic peaks and Hood Canal. As you sit at one of the outdoor picnic A-frame tables, breathing in the fresh, salty air, you’ll feel like you’ve landed in an oyster-lover’s paradise. Of course, the oysters themselves steal the show! Hama Hama, a fifth-generation farm, has been in operation since 1922, and over the years, they’ve perfected the art of shellfish cultivation.
The Tides on 101
Drive down the road to The Tides on 101 is a local favorite breakfast hangout. This modest roadside diner has a friendly staff and serves breakfast and lunch. Wake up to Eggs Benedict or fried Hama Hama Oysters.
Fjord Oyster Bank
Continue the road trip to Hoodsport and visit the newly minted Fjord Oyster Bank. This unique café is a must-visit destination for seafood lovers. Located across from the Hoodsport Salmon Hatchery on Hood Canal in a former bank building, the owners have been harvesting some of the finest oysters and clams for over a decade. Visitors can taste the freshest and most succulent oysters prepared in different ways, from raw to grilled, and enjoy them with a glass of Hoodsport’s Stottle wine or locally brewed Potlatch and High Steel beers. Apart from unbeatable seafood, Fjord Oyster Bank has a secret ingredient in all their dishes—the famous Chef Xinh Dwelley. She’s an undisputed legend in creating a remarkable fusion of flavors.
Hook & Fork
In Union the Hook & Fork showcases a rotating menu of seasonal ingredients. Savor local food and drink created by Chef Sara Harvey and enjoy live music most Mondays and Thursdays. Hook & Fork also offers Monthly Cookouts throughout the year, providing a unique opportunity to enjoy a delicious meal while in the company of a vibrant and friendly community. Held on the third Thursday of most months, these cookouts feature live music and locally sourced meats and produce. Come for the food, stay for the company, and leave with a full stomach and fond memories.
The Restaurant at Alderbrook
Alderbrook Resort & Spa in Union, is an idyllic getaway destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Tucked away in the lush greenery of the Pacific Northwest, waterfront Alderbrook Resort boasts stunning views of the Olympic Mountains and Hood Canal plus hosts a network of serene gardens to explore. The resort offers luxurious accommodations, from cozy guest rooms to private cottages, all perfectly appointed for a relaxing stay. The newly renovated interior setting of The Restaurant at Alderbrook takes its inspiration from the outdoors with warm colors of chocolate brown and sage green representing the gardens and lawn of the resort. Floor-to-ceiling windows and multi-levels amplify views of the brilliant shore and snow-capped peaks of the Olympic Mountains. Alderbrook Resort & Spa is truly a gem of the Pacific Northwest.
Case Inlet and Shelton – Eclectic dining with fresh local ingredients
Bistro at Lakeland Village
Drive over the hill from Union towards the town of Allyn on Case Inlet. Here you’ll find the Bistro at Lakeland Village. Nestled in the heart of a golf course community, overlooking a pond filled with koi and mature Northwest gardens lies a hidden gem. This cozy eatery is the perfect spot for a date night or a relaxing meal with friends. The ambiance is warm and inviting, with soft lighting, comfortable seating, and a friendly staff to welcome you. The menu is a mix of classic dishes and unique creations, all made from high-quality, locally sourced ingredients. Pair your meal with a glass of wine from their extensive list featuring local Washington state wines and international favorites.
The Boathouse Restaurant & Bar
The Boathouse Restaurant & Bar is truly a gem in the heart of Allyn offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and delicious seafood fare that is sure to satisfy any appetite. Enjoy an array of dishes such as fresh oysters, clam chowder, fish and chips, and other seafood classics including the fresh manila steamers—a pound and a half of fresh clams steamed in a broth of beer, butter and garlic. The laidback and cozy atmosphere, coupled with friendly service, makes for a truly unforgettable dining experience to enjoy a scenic meal while soaking up the beauty of Hood Canal.
Wilde Irish Pub
For something totally unexpected, check out the taste of Ireland in the heart of Shelton at the Wilde Irish Pub. With a rich, dark wood interior, accented by Irish memorabilia and artwork, the warm and welcoming atmosphere will transport you straight to the Emerald Isle. Of course, what would an Irish pub be without its delicious food and drink offerings? The Wilde Irish Pub doesn’t disappoint, with a mouthwatering menu featuring classic Irish dishes like shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, and bangers and mash. Wash it down with a pint of Guinness, or try one of the many other Irish beers, ciders, and spirits on offer.
This is just a sampling of the treats available when you’re taking culinary road trips along Hood Canal and South Puget Sound on the inner waterways of Mason County. For a complete list of dining options in the area visit https://www.explorehoodcanal.com/dining.
For things to do outside of culinary road trips, check out the Olympic Peninsula events calendar.
By Guest Blogger Rachel Hansen / Explore Hood Canal
Photos by Rachel Hansen / Explore Hood Canal