STRAIGHT OUTTA OREGON...

Restaurants that got their big start in Oregon offer a variety from pizza to coffee, casual quick-Mexican fast food, pies, and gastropub food. Sitting down in a restaurant in Oregon is a fun experience. Some might take it for granted that Oregon’s original eateries have become some of the most popular fast-food chains and casual dining sensations. One of them is even international (see #1).

Welcome to OR via US 101 from CA
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5 Popular Restaurant Chains That Got Their Start in Oregon

 

1.
TACO TIME

ESTABLISHED: 1960

WHERE IT GOT STARTED: Eugene, Oregon

If you have ever eaten at Taco Time, you know that they serve fresh Mex cuisine. Taco Time is sixty-three (63) years old. That is quite an accomplishment! They now have an estimated 300 locations all over North America. There's even an international Taco Time location in Kuwait.

The original Taco Time location at 3855 W 11th Ave in Eugene.

The Original Taco Time Location in Eugene OR
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HOW TACO TIME GOT STARTED

In 1960, a World War II vet had a brilliant idea to start his own restaurant. He wanted to serve Mexican-style food for his customers. His name was Ron Fraedrick, and he named his new place, Taco Time.

Taco Time
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2.
ABBY’S LEGENDARY PIZZA

ESTABLISHED: 1964

WHERE IT GOT STARTED: Roseburg, Oregon

When I first moved to the Pacific Northwest, I was struck by how many kids’ birthday parties I was invited to that were held at Abby’s Pizza. It was that popular! I found their pizza to be very delicious. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Abby's Legendary Pizza in Oregon City
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HOW ABBY’S PIZZA GOT STARTED

Two high school buddies got together and built a pizza shop. They named it Abby’s Pizza. Their pizzas were so delicious and popular that Albert “Abby” Broughton and James “Skinny” Herrell were able to open up more locations all over Oregon. They branched out to Washington state, too. Their caricatures are included in the restaurant’s logo. Abby’s Pizza now has an estimated 35 locations.

Abby's Legendary Pizza
Abby's Pizza via Google Maps
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3.
DUTCH BROS. COFFEE

ESTABLISHED: 1992

WHERE IT GOT STARTED: Grants Pass, Oregon

Dutch Bros. have been rapidly expanding locations to seven states including the Pacific Northwest, Midwest, and parts of the Southwest.

Dutch Bros Coffee Shop in Portland
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HOW DUTCH BROS. COFFEE GOT STARTED

Back in the early 90s, the Boersma family farm was hitting some tough times. Brothers Dane and Travis decided to start an espresso coffee cart to help make ends meet. The coffee became so popular the brothers were able to open up a drive-thru in 1994, and the rest is history. If you look closely at the Dutch Bros. logo, you’ll see a caricature of Travis and Dane.

Dutch Bros Coffee
Dutch Bros Coffee via Google Maps
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4.
MCMENAMINS

ESTABLISHED: (AS A BREWPUB) IN 1985

WHERE IT GOT STARTED: Portland, Oregon

McMenamins is a popular place for families and friends to meet up for a pint and tasty food with an Irish flair. I had the fish and chips there a few years back and it was tasty. The cocktails are good, too. The overall vibe of this restaurant is friendly and jovial.

McMenamins in Portland OR
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HOW MCMENAMINS GOT STARTED

Brothers Brian and Mike opened up a cafe in 1974. They hosted local bands and artists. In 1985, they expanded their business to a brewpub and named it after the Portland neighborhood they were housed in Hillsdale. The McMenamin Brothers grew their restaurant business to locations all over Oregon and Washington state.

McMenamins Queen Anne
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5.
SHARI’S CAFE & PIES

ESTABLISHED: 1978

WHERE IT GOT STARTED: Hermiston, Oregon

Shari’s is a popular place for families to get together and have a sit-down diner style meal. Sure, the pies, meals, and bottomless cups of coffee are what bring in the crowds, but the servers are what keeps people coming back for more. I’ve seen more 5-star reviews about the servers at Shari’s than I do about the food!

Shari's Cafe and Pies in Portland OR
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HOW SHARI’S CAFE & PIES GOT STARTED

Husband and wife team, Ron and Sharon “Shari” Bergquist wanted to open up a place where they could serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and some delicious pies. During the 90s, they expanded Oregon restaurants to Washington state, Wyoming, Nebraska, Idaho, and California.

Other popular national restaurant chains that got started in Oregon include The Counter, Voodoo Doughnut, and Port of Subs.

Shari's Cafe and Pies
Shari's Cafe and Pies via Google Maps
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Eating at one of these Oregon original restaurants is sure to be a fun and inviting experience for locals and visitors alike!

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