The best way to any guy or girl’s heart is, of course, through their stomach. It’s not hard to find good food here in Eugene, just talk a walk downtown or down Thirteenth Street to snag yourself a delectable treat. Valentine’s Day, however, is about much more than just good food—it’s all about the ambience. Here are five of our favorite, charming Eugene restaurants that have the perfect combination of kick-ass grub and will get both you and your date in the mood for love.
1. The Vintage
Tucked away on Lincoln Street near downtown, The Vintage is a cozy restaurant/bar offering a variety of locally-sourced foods. Surrounded by a white-picket fence, this charming two-story restaurant immediately feels like home. Known for their cheese and chocolate fondue, they also serve a wide range of tapas, pub grub and desserts. Breakfast is served from 9 am- 2 pm and their selection of sweet and savory crepes make for a fabulous brunch option.
Address: 837 Lincoln St., Eugene OR 97401
Hours: Mondays closed, Tues-Thurs 11 am-10 pm, Friday 11 am- 10 pm, Saturday 9 am-10 pm, Sunday 9 am-9 pm
This little-known Greek and Indian hybrid restaurant is easy to miss walking along downtown Willamette Street, but it’s truly one of Eugene’s lesser-known treasures. Start your meal by snacking on crispy pappadoms and surprise your tastebuds with flavorful entrees like a traditional Greek gyro or hearty Vindaloo chicken curry. Unable to make the date on Saturday? Never fear, Poppis Anatolia offers a special Sunday menu featuring items such as grilled lamb, shrimp skewers and their usual array of desserts like Baklava and Karidopitta (Greek walnut cake with cinnamon and clove, topped with whipped cream.)
Address: 992 Willamette St., Eugene OR 97401
Hours: 11:30 am – 9 pm Monday, 11:30 am – 10 pm Friday, 11:30 am – 3 pm & 5 pm – 10 pm Saturday, 5 pm – 9 pm Sunday
Meet the hot Latin sister of the downtown soul-food restaurant Belly: Belly Taqueria. If you haven’t been, make it your very next pit stop in Eugene. The restaurant’s softly-lit paper lanterns, glowing flamingoes and radiating chili-pepper lightbulb strands evoke a funky Mexican vibe that immediately induces a craving for margaritas and tacos. Sip on a “Wrong with Passion” cocktail (Vodka, lime, passion fruit, grapefruit bitters) while you wait for a serving of the special Paella. Cap your romantic evening off with a special Valentine’s Day champagne cocktail and a slice of key lime pie. ¡Buen provecho!
Address: 454 Willamette St., Eugene, OR 97401
Hours: Valentine’s Day 4 pm – 10:30 pm, Mon-Thurs 5 pm – 9 pm, Fri-Sat 5 pm – 10 pm
East blends with West at this homey Japanese restaurant and bar. A bookshelf ladder behind the bar extends upward along warmly-lit shelves of liquor, giving the space a relaxed, homey feel. A great place for tapas and drinks, the menu features mouthwatering fusion dishes like Salmon Misoyaki (Alaskan Chinook salmon marinated in miso ginger marinade served with pickled mustard greens) and wash it down with one of their many whiskeys, sakes or beers. For dessert, dare to try the Fresh Ginger and Seckle Pear cake topped with whisky buttercream.
Address: 345 Van Buren St., Eugene, OR 97402
Hours: Daily 5 pm – 1 am
Located on the corner of West Broadway and Olive Street, The Davis offers a mix of modern American and Latin dishes. Slightly more upscale, the dark wood panelling and red accents make for an intimate experience in the otherwise spacious dining areas. The full bar offers killer drinks, like the new, one of kind Unicorn Tears cocktail which looks like shimmery, purple liquid mercury and tastes like a vodka-grape dream. Favorite dishes include jalapeño tots, their signature Davis burger and kale salad with crispy bacon bits.
Address: 94 West Broadway, Eugene, OR 97401
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 am- 11 pm, Friday 11 am-2 am, Saturday 4 pm-2 am, Sunday closed