Half the fun of visiting a destination for the first time is discovering all the great local restaurants to try.
Visitors can experience the beauty of the San Juan Islands from several restaurants with great chefs on the Island.
There are the main islands in the San Juans; Lopez Island, Orcas Island, and San Juan Island located in the Pacific Northwest of Washington State.
I’m sharing more about some of the best restaurants and places to grab a drink during your visit to San Juan Island. They have a small-town feel that’s big on seasonal ingredients and flavor.
Thanks again to Visit San Juan Islands for hosting our visit. All opinions are my own and this article may contain affiliate links.
1. Enjoy Local Craft Beer at San Juan Island Brewing Company
410 A Street, Friday Harbor, WA
San Juan Island Brewing Company is located within walking distance of Friday Harbor Marina (an 8-minute walk) and there is a large parking lot onsite.
This is a great place to enjoy a craft beer with good food and friendly service. I opted for the Apricot cider
and my husband enjoyed the San Juan Pilsner.
FYI – San Juan Brewing has Happy Hour daily from 3-5 PM.
“Prime Rib Dip”
San Juan Island Brewing Company was founded in 2017 and specializes in Old World Ales and Lagers.
They serve traditional American Pub Fare options including appetizers, sandwiches, salads, and pizzas.
I tried the Wild salmon sandwich with Harissa spiced Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, housemade lemon aioli, cucumbers, Mama Lil’s Peppers, and arugula, served on a burger bun.
My husband opted for the CBJ burger made with a third-pound ground beef patty with smoked gouda, housemade bacon onion jam, arugula, and Mama Lil’s aioli, served on a burger bun.
Both options were a satisfying sandwich.
If you’re traveling with your dog, the brewery allows dogs that are accompanied, leashed, and well-behaved at their patio and their six front outside tables.
2. Wine Tasting and a Beautiful View at San Juan Vineyard
3136 Roche Harbor Rd, Friday Harbor, WA
San Juan Vineyard is the only winery on San Juan Island that produces estate-grown wines.
You can enjoy a glass of wine in the tasting room or the outdoor patio is a beautiful place to enjoy a wine flight.
We almost didn’t make it to San Juan Vineyard before they closed.
They stay open later on Saturdays but the rest of the week they close at 5pm. I recommend checking their hours of operation so that you can plan accordingly for your visit.
We purchased a bottle of wine to take back to enjoy at our vacation rental, Saturn’s Return.
If you don’t make it to the vineyard you can still find their wine offered at many of the local restaurants on the island.
One of the historic buildings on the property is a remodeled school house that dates back to 1895 that can be rented out with the estate for special events.
The 30-acre vineyard also hosts live music on select Saturdays.
3. Dine at a Tide Table at Westcott Bay Shellfish Farm
904 Westcott Dr, Friday Harbor, WA ( A short drive from San Juan Island NHP – English Camp)
You can enjoy fresh oysters at a working shellfish farm.
During the summer months, Memorial Day – Labor Day, the Tide Tables are a beautiful place to dine within eyesight of the local waters where the shellfish are harvested.
Westcott Bay has Manila Clams, Mediterranean Mussels, and Pacific Oysters.
Guests can purchase freshly harvested shellfish to cook and eat at home or eat lunch at the Tide Tables Restaurant that overlooks the water. (Reservations are recommended)
The outdoor patio has picnic tables with umbrellas along with bar seating.
The umbrella above our table came in handy to shelter us from the rain.
I tried the Madrone cider and my husband opted for the Outer Island IPA.
We started with bread from San Juan Bakery served with olive oil and roasted garlic butter. It was so good that we ordered another round.
We prefer grilled oysters and found that the Stoplight sampler was a great way to experience variety.
It came with Herb & Lemon, Chipotle Bourbon & Lime Cilantro, and Sriracha. It was hard to pick a favorite so we ordered another round of the sampler.
There are raw oysters available by the oyster, half dozen and dozen.
The grilling process is on full display and you can appreciate all of the heavy lifting that goes into your meal
There are a few other options on the menu for non-oyster lovers too.
If you have a sweet tooth, save room for their delicious cookies.
Guests are asked to stay off the beach which is covered in oyster shells.
Summer farm tours are only available on select dates and times in correspondence to their low tides for an additional fee.
The tours provide visitors with behind-the-scenes access to the farm where they learn about the history of the farm, and how the shellfish are grown and harvested by the farm crew.
Tours include a hands-on shucking demo with your own oysters that you can shuck and enjoy and there isn’t a charge for kids under 14.
4. A Great Dining Experience at Duck Soup
50 Duck Soup Lane, Friday Harbor, WA, US
Duck Soup was originally named Duck Soup Inn and dates back to 1978.
Reservations are highly recommended for a good reason. Once you try their delicious food you’ll understand why many patrons choose to celebrate a special occasion here.
Duck Soup was a restaurant that came up multiple times in conversation when we asked locals where to go for great food.
Our meal at Duck Shop was our collective favorite meal of our visit to San Juan Island.
We enjoyed fresh bread on the table served with 2 butters before our main course. The anchovy butter was a surprising favorite of everyone including my boys.
For our entrees, we tried the following. The Duck breast was made with Herb polenta, blueberry & cherry chutney, braised spinach, tarragon oil
The Lamb Rack was made with a Saffron risotto cake, cauliflower, and mint gremolata.
The Filet Mignon was made with sun-dried tomato-caramelized onion-balsamic butter, and served with chive mashed potatoes, and my son subbed the zucchini for asparagus.
The Scallops were made with lime rice, jicama, cucumber, arugula, hibiscus grapefruit vinaigrette, chili powder dust, and cilantro creme fraiche.
If you see the toasted dandelion with almonds ice cream on the menu make sure that you try it!
Reservations are strongly recommended. We didn’t have a reservation but we lucked out because we called ahead and made it before the dinner rush arrived.
The main dining room was filled over the course of our meal along with the outdoor patio.
5. A Laid Back Meal at Haley’s Sports Bar and Grill
175 Spring St, Friday Harbor, WA
This restaurant is located a short walk from the ferry landing in Friday Harbor.
Our first pick for the evening was closed for a special event and Haley’s Sports Bar and Grill ended up being a nice unexpected surprise that we found and another meal that everyone enjoyed.
Haley’s clam chowder was the best thing to start with. The New England-style chowder was a great way to warm up on a rainy day.
My husband ordered Moody blues burger made with 1/3 lb. burger patty, grilled onions, bacon, blue cheese, lettuce and tomato served on a brioche bun. He opted for onion rings as his side.
I enjoyed the Old Bay Shrimp scampi made with white wine, garlic, tomatoes and served with toasted bread.
My son ordered the Cajun shrimp pasta made with a light Cajun cream sauce, peppers onions and shrimp.
My other son tried the Fried Chicken Bacon burger made with a hand dipped chicken breast, cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, and ranch dressing on a brioche bun and served with french fries.
The restaurants has two sections, a family friendly dining room and a sports bar area where minors aren’t permitted.
6. Donuts at Lime Kiln Cafe at Roche Harbor Resort
248 Reuben Memorial Drive, Roche Harbor, WA
The last day of our road trip to San Juan Island, we enjoyed the “most important meal of the day” at Lime Kiln Cafe.
Confession: It was technically our second breakfast because we already ate breakfast at our vacation rental… but we went in the name of “research” because we heard they had great donuts.
The donuts at Lime Kiln Cafe are made in-house every morning.
If you decide to venture beyond the donuts you’ll find menu items of a traditional American cafe and if you visit later in the day you can check out their lunch menu.
There are plenty of booths and tables inside and out as a cozy spot to enjoy your meal.
Be on the lookout for bald eagles while you’re in the area. San Juan Island has a dense population of breeding bald eagles and there is a good chance that you could see one during your visit.
Additional Restaurants to Try on San Juan Island
We couldn’t make it to all of the restaurants during our visit but I did research additional Friday Harbor restaurants that are worth adding to your list.
- Blue Water Bar and Grill – Happy Hour specials from 2-5 PM every day on select appetizers and drinks
- Coho Restaurant – 120 Nichols St, Friday Harbor, WA – Farm-to-table world cuisine with fresh seafood including Dungeness Crab Cakes
- Downriggers– 10 Front St. N., Friday Harbor, WA (close to the ferry dock) -Popular Seafood restaurant
- Madrone Tasting Room and Wine Garden – 40 First St S, Friday Harbor, WA – Wine Bar that also serves cider and small bites
- Mike’s Cafe and Wine Bar – 135 Second St S, Friday Harbor, WA – Vegan food, artisan cheese
- Rocky Bay Cafe & Delicatessen – 225 Spring St, Friday Harbor, WA
- Bakery San Juan – 775 Mullis St, Friday Harbor, WA – Sourdough bread, sourdough thin crust pizza by the slice, or by whole, and an array of treats from breakfast pastries to fine cakes.
- The Restaurant at Friday Harbor House – 130 West St #101, Friday Harbor, WA (Next to the Whale Museum) – Seasonal menu offered for breakfast and dinner with panoramic views of the San Juan channel
- Friday Harbor Farmer’s Market – Brickworks, 150 Nichols St., Friday Harbor, WA – One of the grocery stores where you can purchase local farm produce, fresh products, and local goods and fine crafts from local artists on Saturday mornings, April through October from 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
- Oystertale – 10 Front St suite 101, Friday Harbor, WA – Locally sourced oyster bar
- The Market Chef – 225 A St, Friday Harbor, WA – Local ingredients for their soups, salads, sandwiches, and coffee from San Juan Island Roosters.
- Vinny’s Ristorante – 165 West St, Friday Harbor, WA – One of the only restaurants on the island for fresh classic Italian food and seafood.
- Van Go’s Pizza – 180 Web St, Friday Harbor, WA, United States, WA- A great place to enjoy a slice of artisan pizza or traditional-style pizza
Local Favorite Coffee Shops on San Juan Island
You have many options if you’re looking for good coffee during your visit to San Juan Island too. Here are some of the local coffee shops:
- Crows Nest Coffee Shoppe – 127 Spring St, Friday Harbor, WA
- Salty Fox Coffee – 85 Front St, Friday Harbor, WA
- Riptide Waterfront Cafe – 10 Front St #103, Friday Harbor, WA
- Friday Harbor Espresso – 565 Spring St, Friday Harbor, WA
- Medio Cafe – 680 Spring St, Friday Harbor, WA
- Sweet Retreat & Espresso – 264 Spring St, Friday Harbor, WA
- Roy’s Drive-Thru – 25 Nichols St, Friday Harbor, WA
- Beachtree Espresso Stand – 248 Reuben Memorial Dr, Friday Harbor, WA
- 13 Ravens Coffee – 150 First St S, Friday Harbor, WA