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Where to Eat on Orcas Island: Restaurants You’ll Love

If you are unfamiliar with Orcas Island, it is one of the San Juan Islands in Washington State.

Since I live in Anacortes, the hub of the ferry to the islands, getting to and from Orcas Island is super easy.

You can make ferry reservations to go on with your car or walk on!

Ferry in the San Juan Islands.

Where to Eat in Orcas Islands: Restaurants and Eateries You’ll Love

Buck Bay Shellfish Farm

One of the best places to eat in Orcas Island is Buck Bay Shellfish Farm. Set along the end of Buck Bay, this stop is very scenic with views of the water.

There is a fish store and an outdoor picnic area where you’ll sample your first foods. The staff lets you pick your own oysters and clams and then shows you how to shuck them.

They set you up with everything you need to open and eat the oysters and clams, from shucking knives, to ice, and limes and hot sauce. Halibut ceviche with chips is also on the menu as well as a tasty Albarino wine.

I liked the hands-on aspect on getting to pick your oysters and clams, learning how to shuck and then doing it yourself. I loved the halibut ceviche, and the Albarino turned out to be one of my favorite wines!

Rosario Resort & Spa

Another great place to eat in Orcas Island is Rosario Resort & Spa. The property is such a unique spot on the island and has deep Washingtonian roots.

The resort is the former home of Robert Moran, a Seattle Shipbuilder. In 1902, his company became the largest employer in Seattle when they were contracted to build the USS Nebraska.

That took its toll on Moran’s health and he purchased 7,000 acres on Orcas Island and began building his island retreat. The resort has many historical features, including a Tiffany chandelier, Belgian stain-glass, and a grand library.

The library is open to the public and is a museum with artifacts and bedrooms to view. Tuesday to Saturday at 4 p.m. the resort gives a historical presentation and concert with music played on the 1913 Aeolian organ. If you are staying on the island, you’ll want to make sure to return.

At the resort, guests are lead into the Moran Lounge, which is the original living room of the Moran household. It has a large fireplace, bistro tables, a bar, and water views.

I tried an assortment of olives, Marcona almonds and a Pinot Grigio from “The Orcas Project.”

Girl Meets Dirt

Another great Orcas Island restaurant is Girl Meets Dirt. It has such an interesting story, and I have a feeling now that Oprah Winfrey has purchased a house on Orcas Island that more people will soon know about this company!

What’s the scoop? After ten years on wall street the owner of the company, Audra Barkley, and her husband, decided to head West and recreate their lives.

They landed on Orcas Island, and Audra noticed the heirloom orchards and their fruit not being used. She started making jams, and preserves and Girl Meets Dirt was born.

This stop is all about tasting her creations and learning about the island’s century-old fruit trees. If you are like me, you’ll most likely return home with some jars!

Doe Bay Wine Company

If you’re interested in trying some more wine, here is a great place to do so!

Here we had more tastings and some nibbles while we drank.

Taking a Food Tour on Orcas Island

Salish Sea Tour Co. is new, but the guide and owner, Cole Sisson was born and raised in Doe Bay on Orcas Island.

Like many young people, he left the place he grew up to go to college and explore the world. And, explore he did. His travels took him to Colorado, Las Vegas, Spain, Belgium, Mozambique, and so many other places. Along the way, he became a sommelier and met his wife, Stephanie.

They decided to return to Orcas Island and open Doe Bay Wine Company, a wine shop and tasting room in the small town of Eastsound. They choose their wines very carefully and often have a relationship or story about the winemakers or vineyards.

They also have special classes, events, and even a signature series of wines called “The Orcas Project.”

Salish Sea Tour Co.

With a passion for food, wine, and the people that make Orcas Island a unique place to live they expanded their business and now also operate Salish Sea Tour Co.

Two tours are offered: Art, History & Local Legends, and Fresh, Fermented & Flying Fish. The history tour runs Sunday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The foodie tour runs Sunday through Thursday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

When you need to catch the ferry Cole will make sure you get there on time. If you are purchasing bottles, I suggest doing that before its time to go so you are all ready when the time comes. Guests on the tour receive 10% off wine purchases. If you are staying in town, you can end your tour more leisurely and dine downtown.

Other Stops on the Food Tour

All these restaurants on Orcas Island are a part of the food tour. Other stops include Ship Bay Orchard and Kathryn Taylor Chocolates. The stops might change based on the season and the food that is perfect at that time.

Click here to see available dates and book your Salish Sea Tour. 

41 thoughts on “Where to Eat on Orcas Island: Restaurants You’ll Love”

  1. How far is Orcas Island from Whidbey Island? I think Girl Meets Dirt (such a CUTE name) would be my favorite because I love homemade jams and usually bring them home from my travels. I could definitely use the teaching from Buck Bay Shellfish Farm on shucking and the halibut ceviche sounds amazing!!

    Reply
    • Heather, It is not far from Whidbey Island as Deception Pass Bridge connects the island to Fidalgo Island which is where you catch the ferry. The jams are amazing! I bought some for me and my parents.

      Reply
  2. We just left the Pacific Northwest after 10 years living there. Reading this maybe we made a mistake! I have eaten so many oysters and other shellfish in the last 10 years, but it still isn’t enough. Thanks for posting this we will have to check it out next time we are over on the west coast. I don’t think people understand how great the food and drink is in the PNW. It is such a beautiful part of the world and offers so much to travellers.

    Thanks for sharing. Keep travel blogging. Adventure is better shared with friends!

    Reply
    • Anthony, The PNW is such a special place, isn’t it? I so love the food here and a food tour is such a great way to taste and learn about it.

      Reply
  3. This sounds like so much fun! I’ve been to Seattle before, but haven’t traveled the Orcas Island (or any of the San Juan Islands), so this sounds like the perfect way to visit it. I love that it’s operated by locals – as I’ve found on other tours, a local guide often adds so much more to the narrative script when they have their own stories and experiences there. The ceviche looks delicious and I’d love to try the Girl Meets Dirt preserves. Along with all the different wines of course! I’ll have to seek this out on my next visit to WA!

    Reply
  4. This is so amazing! The PNW has an overwhelming lot of natural treasures and Orcas Island is definitely one of them. I wonder why the Puget Sound is called the Salish Sea. The first time I heard of it was in class when a classmate recounted the time she came across a foot in a shoe somewhere along the Salish Sea. I’d love to visit.

    Reply
    • Mohana, The Salish Sea is a name that honors the areas native inhabitants, the Coast Salish. It is such a beautiful area and I hope your travels take you here and to Orcas Island!

      Reply
  5. Food tour by ferry! What a novel and incredible idea. And I would also walk on and enjoy the luxury van pickup. And OH the food and wine you experienced. I am fully into white wine — so the Albarino would have tickled my palate for sure, especially paired with a ceviche and raw oysters. 😉 Mmmmmmmmmmmmm. Gotta say the history tour also sound very intriguing. Must check that out.

    Reply
    • Michael, Sounds like the perfect tour for you! And, I agree, I need to check out the history tour too as I’m one of those people that geeks out over history (and food and wine).

      Reply
  6. I’ve never heard of the Orcas Islands before , but they look like such a great excursion. Looks like a beautiful locale from the pics, and all that seafood and wine…yum….

    Reply
    • Mel, The San Juan Islands are a very special place, very scenic and have such a great food scene. I need to explore them more for sure.

      Reply
  7. This is so cool! I had to stop and salivate over that wine shop – wow! I’ve never been to this area, but I’m seriously considering it. I loooove the name “girl meets dirt” and they really do have a cool story. I am always interested in the stories behind the places I visit, and this was great read.
    -Malini

    Reply
    • Malini, One of the things I love about small town traveling is hearing about all the neat stories behind peoples passions turned businesses. I hope your travels bring you to the PNW soon!

      Reply
  8. I hope to make it to that part of the world one day and visit this place. What a great story of how they met and all they have accomplished. And so cool to see such a tour in a smaller part of the wordl, people associate such tours only with big cities.

    Reply
  9. This sounds like a unique food tour. The Salish Sea Tour Co, indeed seems to curate some fascinating food experiences. Each stop seems to have its own unique flavours and stories. I was fascinated reading about the story behind Girl meets Dirt. Would be great to taste their jams some day. All in all a pretty satisfying experience it must have been.

    Reply
    • Sandy, The island is full of such great stories and food and I think this tour is going to become really popular.

      Reply
  10. We had the chance to visit Orcas Island during our trip from Vancouver Island back to Seattle, and really enjoyed the island, as well as the other San Juan Islands. I am not surprised to hear about all these food treasures, as we sampled the freshest fish while we were there.

    Reply
    • Patricia, That is great you were able to visit the San Juan Islands during your trip. Love the seafood from this entire area.

      Reply
  11. Orcas Island is another favorite of mine. I remember sailing with a friend there while visiting many years ago. The view back to the island from the sound is spectacular. But I digress. Back then, there certainly weren’t any foodie tours. And that would have only made my visit all the more enjoyable. I, too, love the name of the jam company, Girls Meets Dirt! How is it that some people are so creative! I’d love to have some of that jam!

    Reply
  12. We moved to anacortes from south Florida about 2 years ago and feel like we have SO much of this beautiful place to still explore. What a wonderful opportunity to check out our “backyard.” Definitely on my bucket list now!

    Reply
    • Ariel, Quite a change from Florida! Welcome! I’ve lived in Washington for over 13 years and am still finding out about great things to do and places to see. 🙂

      Reply
  13. Sounds like a special experience to try some of the handpicked wines these guys select for their business. Looks like some amazing food and wine experiences happen in this great location

    Reply
  14. You can’t get much fresher than that! Wow, what a cool tour. I would be scared to death to try shucking an oyster. LOL The ceviche looks amazing! I have a feeling this is going to be a very popular offering.

    Reply
  15. I’ve never heard of the orca’s island before! If I ever go back to the west coast, this will now be a stop! I always love to taste local products, especially the wine and seafood!

    Reply
  16. Orcas island looks so beautiful and I really hope to be checking this area out on my next visit to the state. Have to admit, I hate oysters with a passion so that I would avoid straight away 😀

    Reply
    • Danik, I don’t care for oysters either, but that stop ended up being my favorite as I got to learn how to shuck an oyster and the Albarino wine with the halibut ceviche was super good.

      Reply
  17. This sounds like a lovely tour. I’m not sure about the oysters either. I’m not a fan of the texture. I do have to say though that I’m a bit disappointed that a trip to Orcas Island doesn’t involve any orcas 😛

    Reply
    • Briana, Our resident and transient orcas do come through the San Juans, and you might be lucky and see one on the ferry!

      Reply
  18. A food tour by ferry – that’s so unusual, love the idea! But I love the idea of halibut ceviche even more – that must be so good! I appreciate how you introduce all these hidden gems in your blog!

    Reply
    • Catarina, When you return to the US, I hope you find your way to Washington State and the San Juan Islands. You’ll love it!

      Reply

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