7 Iconic Washington Food Experiences

The Evergreen State's culinary landscape nourishes at every turn.

Washington's enchanting combination of coastal valleys, inland farms and nutrient-rich seas creates the perfect growing conditions for more than 300 crops, seafood items and a host of other delicacies. Here are just a few ways visitors can sample some of Washington’s signature foods straight from the source, from food tours to wine and cheese tastings.

1. Barrett Orchards, Yakima

The sun-drenched days and cool evenings east of the Cascade Mountains create the top-producing apple and pear harvests in the U.S. Stop for a bag of rosy-hued fruit at roadside stands or a farm like Barrett Orchards, where you can ask the farmer for tips on organic farming or stroll through the orchards.

2. Northstar Winery, Walla Walla

Immerse yourself in the creativity and science behind composing a red wine blend in this hands-on experience at Northstar Winery in Walla Walla. Located in Washington's famous Wine Country region, visitors can also enjoy rolling vineyard views throughout the area.

3. Chateau Ste Michelle, Woodinville

Find out why Washington’s Columbia Valley such a prized grape-growing region, learn the history of the vineyard (the estate’s winemaking roots date back to the repeal of Prohibition in 1933) and treat your taste buds to a wine sampling.

4. River Valley Cheese, Fall City

Just to the west of the huckleberry-sprinkled Cascades and not far from spectacular Snoqualmie Falls, cheese gourmands gather for a culture-rich class at River Valley Cheese. Craft your own mozzarella or raw-milk havarti under the wing of a cheese pro.

5. Savor Seattle Food Tours

For a taste of Seattle's Pike Place Market, look no further than the Signature Tour from Savor Seattle. This family-friendly walking tour provides bites and sips at 12 locations, including the original Starbucks.

6. Puget Sound U-pick Farms

Cherry-picking your own finds at Washington farms is also a treat. Just minutes from Seattle, fill a flat (or three) at local U-pick farms stocked with strawberry fields, pumpkin patches and Northwest blackberries.

7. Mushrooms & Seafood Hunting Along Washington’s Shores

Mist-enshrouded shoreline and cool coastal air nourish mushrooms and seafood. Sniff out golden chanterelles and meaty matsutakes on a foray through the forest. Just be sure to brush up on your mushroom identification skills first.

Clams, oysters and Dungeness crabs can also be harvested along Washington's shores. Shuck it up in March at the Razor Clam Festival in Ocean Shores, featuring hands-on clamming instruction and a competitive chowder cook-off.

About the Author

Lora Shinn