With its vast array of dining options, Ellensburg is a great destination for foodies. From classic American dishes to international cuisines that rock your taste buds – there’s something for everyone in this vibrant town.
I have compiled a list of the best restaurants Ellensburg has to offer. So if you are looking for good food and great memories, then look no further. These 12 restaurants have been deemed the true standouts in this city.
1. The Red Pickle
Address: 301 N Pine St, Ellensburg, WA 98926
The Red Pickle is an inviting spot and an ideal location for a casual dinner, catering to everyone from food enthusiasts to families looking for a delicious, affordable meal. Open from 4 PM to 9 PM, it’s perfect for an early dinner or a late evening snack.
The first thing you notice when walking into The Red Pickle is its cozy and clean ambiance. It’s a place where comfort meets class. The seating is comfortable, and the staff welcomes you with their warm smiles, which creates a positive vibe.
What distinguishes The Red Pickle is its spectacular service. The staff is friendly and attentive, always ensuring your needs are promptly met. Even during busy hours, the food comes out quickly, making your dining experience smooth and enjoyable.
The menu offers a variety of delicious dishes, but there are a few standouts that I’d recommend. The Brussels sprouts dish and the coleslaw are both great dishes. If you like tacos, then the tilapia tacos should be your go-to because they’re also really good.
2. The Pearl Bar & Grill
Address: 402 N Pearl St, Ellensburg, WA 98926
The Pearl Bar & Grill, tucked away in Ellensburg, is a great place for anyone seeking a delicious yet affordable restaurant. With its doors open from 11 AM to 8 PM, it serves as an ideal spot for both a family lunch and dinner.
As you step into the Pearl Bar & Grill, you’re immediately welcomed by its sophisticated yet cozy ambiance. There are chandeliers and fancy wooden tables throughout the restaurant. The welcoming aura of the place, paired with its neat, comfortable seating, is just the cherry on top.
The service at The Pearl Bar & Grill is a star feature, spearheaded by a friendly staff that aims to provide a memorable dining experience. Your server will give you spot-on recommendations and they’re funny too, adding a personal touch to your visit.
The menu at this restaurant showcases an array of dishes, but certain highlights are a must-try. The smoked salmon is my favorite. It is skillfully prepared and pairs excellently with the bacon in the smoked salmon BLAT. The vegetarian options are great too.
3. Julep Kitchen & Bar
Address: 429 N Main St Ellensburg, WA 98926
Julep is a restaurant that focuses on Southern food. Open from 11 AM to 8 PM, Julep caters to those searching for a delectable lunch or an early dinner, all at a price that’s affordable.
Julep’s atmosphere is engaging, setting the stage for an enjoyable meal. The ambiance is vibrant yet welcoming, balancing a sense of liveliness with a comforting charm that puts you immediately at ease. They also have a spectacular outdoor patio I recommend you go to on sunny days.
The staff is exceptional, going above and beyond to ensure your needs are met. Their attention to detail shine through, enhancing your dining experience.
Among their offerings, the specialty cocktails deserve special mention. The Huckleberry Mule and the Captain & Coke are highly recommended. When it comes to food, their catfish po’boy is a hit, along with the fries and coleslaw. Another notable dish is their classic fried chicken sandwich. All sandwiches and burgers come with a side of your choice.
4. The Huntsman Tavern & Restaurant
Address: 307 N Pearl St Ellensburg, WA 98926
The Huntsman Tavern & Restaurant offers a high-end yet reasonably-priced dining experience in Ellensburg. This is an amazing place for a drink or some prime ribs.
The ambiance at The Huntsman blends elegance with comfort. Despite its classy interior with chandeliers and fancy decor, the restaurant manages to maintain a warm, welcoming vibe, making it suitable for any occasion.
The staff here provides an immersive experience, sharing the story behind their meticulously handcrafted cocktails.
Now, let’s talk about the food. The Huntsman shines with its stellar prime rib, which many people say is the best in town. Their pork chops served with polenta and broccoli are also a fine choice, while the prime rib dip paired with fresh fries is nothing short of fantastic.
All and all, The Huntsman Tavern & Restaurant offers an all-rounded dining experience. From its superior service to its delectable food and drinks, this is a spot you wouldn’t want to miss when in Ellensburg. Just remember to make a reservation!
5. Lunchbox Cafe
Address: 409 N Ruby St Ellensburg, WA 98926
Open from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM, Lunchbox Cafe offers high-quality meals at affordable prices. This cozy restaurant is perfect for a tasty, budget-friendly meal.
A visit to the Lunchbox Cafe promises a comfortable and welcoming ambiance. The place feels cozy and warm, even during freezing temperatures, providing a comforting retreat. It’s managed by a friendly staff, ensuring a pleasant dining experience.
The Lunchbox Cafe’s menu leaves a lasting impression, with everything from healthy protein salads to savory soups. The ingredients are fresh and well-prepared, resulting in delicious meals that taste homemade. Their chickpea soup and the breakfast wrap are dishes that will definitely satisfy your hunger.
6. Oyama Sushi & Steakhouse
Address: 506 S Main St Ste 1 Ellensburg, WA 98926
Oyama Sushi & Steakhouse, located in the heart of Ellensburg, offers a fantastic sushi dining experience at an affordable price. Open from 11 AM to 9:30 PM, it’s an excellent spot for lunch or dinner, catering to sushi lovers and steak enthusiasts alike.
The ambiance at Oyama is warm and welcoming, perfect for a quiet, relaxed meal. The design is minimalistic and plain. The simplicity of the place enhances the focus on the food.
The staff ensures that your food arrives promptly and maintains a keen eye for detail. They fast in ensuring your meal is served quickly and efficiently.
Turning to the food, Oyama presents a delightful array of dishes that cater to all sorts of people. However, three particular dishes stand out: the lunch bento box, the scorpion roll, and the green peace roll. These are must-try dishes that you should try.
7. Ellensburg Pasta Company
Address: 600 N Main St Ellensburg, WA 98926
With operating hours from 11 AM to 9 PM, Ellensburg Pasta Company a popular choice for both a casual lunch or a relaxed dinner.
Entering this restaurant, you’ll notice its unique structure and design. What seems like a small building from the outside holds a hidden gem (a “secret” bar) at the back. This element of surprise, coupled with its comfortable ambiance, makes it an exciting place to dine and enjoy drinks.
The staff is friendly and responsive, especially accommodating towards large parties. The team’s attentiveness ensures that your dining experience is smooth and enjoyable.
Food at Ellensburg Pasta Company is the main draw. Though you’ll find some unexpected items on the menu, there are three dishes that come highly recommended. Firstly, the pasta, despite its smaller portions, is simply amazing. Their lasagna also stands out for its authentic taste. Don’t forget to leave some room for their spumoni ice cream, a perfect end to your meal.
8. Fidelina’s Taqueria
Address: 119 W 5th Ave Ste 103 Ellensburg, WA 98926
Fidelina’s Taqueria is a notable addition to the dining scene of Ellensburg, open from 11 AM to 8 PM for all your Mexican cuisine cravings. Though relatively new, it has already made an impression.
Upon entering Fidelina’s Taqueria, you’ll find a welcoming atmosphere that is perfect for a casual meal. The place is known for its giant burritos, but don’t let that limit your exploration of the menu.
Service at Fidelina’s is respectable, making you feel comfortable. They also give great recommendations which enhance your dining experience, giving you another reason to return and try something new.
When it comes to food, there are a few dishes at Fidelina’s that deserve special mention. The chili rellenos, with their unique preparation, offer an unusual twist, while the Mary Tierra is a crowd-pleaser featuring a combination of tilapia pieces and carne asada. The perfectly fried jalapeños are a must-try for those who like it spicy.
9. The Tav
Address: 117 W 4th Ave Ellensburg, WA 98926
The Tav is an affordable, long-standing establishment in Ellensburg, serving its guests from 11 AM until 2 AM the next day. It has a reputation as a college-town favorite.
When entering The Tav, you might find the ambiance to be lively yet understaffed, particularly during busy weekend hours. Despite an occasional lack of prompt service, the staff manages to get you your drinks and food fairly fast.
As for the food, The Tav serves up typical bar fare, but some people suggest some foods may lack the punch they once had. The chicken burger and fries, while satisfying, may not be as memorable as you’d hope.
It’s worth noting that the restaurant has faced criticism for some less-than-professional behavior from staff members, which could contribute to the overall decline in guest satisfaction.
10. The Early Bird
Address: 412 N Main St Ellensburg, WA 98926
The Early Bird, a charming restaurant in Ellensburg, with its doors open from 7 AM to 2 PM, offering a wonderful breakfast and lunch experience.
The setting at the Early Bird is cozy and welcoming, where guests can even enjoy an alfresco dining experience complete with a propane heater and a blanket provided by the restaurant. Service is prompt and friendly, further adding to the great experience.
Their dishes are not only beautifully prepared but also delicious, as appreciated by their customers. However, their ‘Colorado-Style Pork Green Chili’ seems to have a bit of controversy, since it doesn’t look like what it portrays in the menu.
11. Brix Wine Bar & Restaurant
Address: 109 W 3rd Ave, Ellensburg, WA 98926
Open from 4 PM to 9 PM, Brix Wine Bar & Restaurant is an affordable and delightful spot in Ellensburg. It offers a cozy ambiance that is perfect for a casual date or meetup.
The customer service at Brix is praiseworthy, setting the tone for a pleasant dining experience. There’s also live music from time to time which is nice to hear.
The restaurant’s aesthetic, coupled with its cleanliness, adds to a great fine dining experience.
One of their notable dishes is the Devil’s on Horseback, which I have found to be delicious. Their American Beauty pizza, despite being slightly spicy, is delicious for the quality of its toppings. However, the crust may isn’t the best.
12. Cornerstone Pie
Address: 307 E 5th Ave Ellensburg, WA 98926
With operating hours from 12 PM to 8 PM, Cornerstone Pie should be your go-to pizza spot for a casual lunch or a relaxing dinner.
The restaurant exudes a comforting vibe, making it an ideal place for any dining occasion. Their rooftop patio is a must-visit if it isn’t raining outside – the view is great. Street parking is also plentiful and conveniently located, which is a big plus for me.
Cornerstone Pie’s staff is both friendly and knowledgeable, ready to recommend an array of delicious dishes. They remember your preferences if you’ve visited before, adding a personal touch to the service.
When it comes to food, Cornerstone Pie impresses with its delicious pizzas. The star of the show is the Russet Wilson special pizza, rich with fresh ingredients and sausage for that extra hint of flavor. The Camarones appetizer served with crostini bread is also a great pick.