A Guide to Dining on Highway 26

Our picks for memorable dining options on the way to and from Mount Hood.

It’s winter on Mt. Hood, which means it’s time for some fresh tracks at Timberline, Mt. Hood Meadows, or Skibowl. Or maybe a snowshoe up to Mirror Lake or a day of family sledding at White River Sno-Park. Perhaps a Mt. Hood Adventure snowmobile tour through a snowy fir forest is more your thing, or maybe a light, scenic stroll along the Salmon River in the mountain’s shadow is calling your name.

No matter your winter activity of choice, adventurers of every sort need fuel for their fires before and after heading out. Fortunately, Highway 26 on the way up to the mountain is home to a stretch of charming eateries that can satisfy just about any alpine appetite. Here are five to consider as you’re traveling to or from Mt. Hood this winter.

Coffee House 26

Locally roasted beans from Hoodland Coffee Company, tasty breakfast sandwiches and divine homemade baked goods whipped up by a baker and former Ringling Brothers circus performer – there’s not much more you could ask for from a mountain coffee and book shop. But Coffee House 26 delivers all that and then some, making it the perfect spot to perk up for a snowy day on Mt. Hood. It opens at 7 a.m., which means you might be able to grab a coffee and bagel to go and still make it in time for the first chair.

coffeehouse26.com, 67211 E Highway 26, Welches

Skyway

It’s hard to top an end-of-mountain-day meal at the Skyway Bar and Grill. Dimly lit and warmed by a crackling iron-door fireplace, this Zigzag favorite is renowned for its barbecue and an unforgettable mac-n-cheese that can be accented with everything from bacon cubes and beef brisket to smoked chicken and pickled jalapenos. There’s also meat by the quarter-pound, sandwiches, ice cream and cookies. A family-friendly joint, the Skyway hosts regular live music both inside its cozy walls and, in both the summer and winter, outside in its welcoming garden patio.

skywaybarandgrill.com, 71545 E Highway 26, Zigzag

Wraptitude

What’s in a name? At Wraptitude, pretty much everything. This long-time sandwich joint specializes in tasty burgers and wraps ranging from cordon bleu and Greek to chicken Caesar and curry. And don’t forget the crispy fries, onion rings, salads and other sides that round out the menu. The folks at Wraptitude can be fast, so swing by here to grab lunch on your way up to the mountain, or sit and dine inside after a day on the slopes, enjoying the live music that’s frequently on the menu.

Wraptitude.com, 67441 E Highway 26, Welches

Al Forno Ferruzza

Keep the smell of Timberline Lodge’s fireplace with you on your way down the mountain with a stop at this colorful wood-fired pizza place in Rhododendron. Inviting and quirky, Al Forno delivers real-deal Sicilian cuisine, including thin-crust Sicilian pizza, stromboli, pasta and antipasti, and a giant slice deal that’s hard to beat. Its taps flow with local craft ales, but Al Forno also specializes in unique maple syrup beverages it calls MapleAqua that are definitely worth a sample.

73285 E Highway 26, Rhododendron

Koya Kitchen

Nothing warms the bones after a day on the mountain like a steaming hot bowl of noodles in a rich broth. And thankfully, Koya Kitchen counts such a warming elixir among its specialties. There’s more though, much more. Koya’s Asian fare also features sushi rolls, poke bowls, stir-fried noodles, steamed and fried rice dishes and a green tea cheesecake for dessert. The magic comes from the Koya food cart, but the restaurant has also created a comfortable array of seating options, from its quaint and quiet interior to a delightfully lit garden patio outside.

koya.kitchen, E Highway 26, Welches