Sleeping and Dining in McMinnville, Oregon

The quaint town McMinnville, in the heart of Willamette Valley wine country with shaded streets, good restaurants and interesting shops, makes a great base for exploring the area.

3rd Street Flats

3rd Street Flats offers rooms in two converted historic buildings in the heart of town. Both locations are convenient for exploring the town as well as making day trips to the wine country. We stayed at the old Odd Fellows Lodge location. All the flats are decorated differently and ours, the 9th flat, a two bedroom unit, has a crisp, soft contemporary vibe where intense colors pop against a bright white back drop. All the needed amenities including coffee and creamer, iron and ironing board, soap and shampoo, and good wifi are provided. Added touches include a complementary bottle of wine and killer salted-caramel chocolates. The bedrooms are small but the beds are wonderfully comfortable. All the rooms are upstairs with stair access only. Parking is on the street and is limited to 2 hours between 9 and 6. However, this means you can park after 4PM and not have to move your car until 11 the next morning. There is also a parking garage and valet parking available at the nearby Atticus Hotel which is a sister property.

Restaurants

La Rambla

La Rambla, a downtown eatery located on 3rd Street, is everything you want in a tapas restaurant; warm inviting atmosphere, friendly staff and most important tasty small plates of traditional Spanish fare. Flavors are big and bold with plenty of smoked Spanish paprika but not spicy hot. One of the best dining experiences we’ve had in a long time. We ordered too many plates, 6, but I honestly don’t know which one I would cut.

Pura Vida Cocina

Pura Vida Cocina, an unassuming mid-block eatery is listed as TripAdvisor’s number one restaurant in McMinnville and touted by locals. A server at a wine tasting gave us an unsolicited recommendation, “You have to try it, if you are staying in McMinnville”.

A meal consisting of substandard offerings left us wondering what the fuss is about. An over-limed Margarita, an over-limed salmon ceviche – the dressing of which was so sour it was barely edible, so-so fish tacos and the weirdest enchilada de mole I’ve ever seen – layers of chicken and big hunks of vegetables in a mole sauce with refried beans on the bottom and a thick flour tortilla on the top all covered in salad.

Although folks rave about the quality of the food, this has to be more about value, i.e., large portion size to price, than great food. If you love chicken mole and know what it tastes like you won’t like it here.

Breakfast

Wildwood Café

With myriad antique signs on the walls, the Wildwood Café offers good basic breakfasts without undo flare, except for maybe the plate-sized pancake.  The eggs are well cooked, the fried potatoes crisp on the outside and soft in the center, and the slices of house made bread white, thick and lightly toasted. Don, however, found the vegetable omelet watery.

Crescent Café

Conveniently located across the street from 3rd Street Flats, the Crescent Café, does a good basic breakfast. The potatoes, a choice of O’Brian or hash browns, are well done. All their bread is house made including fresh cinnamon rolls. The sparsely decorated interior has a casual refined feel compared to the Wildwood Café.

For links to all the posts in this series see the Pacific Northwest page.

May 8-10, 2019