A thirty-five minute ferry ride away from the bustling city is a cute and quiet little town called Bainbridge Island. If you are a Seattleite looking for an escape from the concrete jungle or visiting the Pacific Northwest and looking for an easy day trip, this town is the perfect place to go.
Growing up on this little Island, I have spent my life watching the town grow into the ideal vacation spot. With this, there have been amazing restaurants popping up left and right all down Winslow Way. Here’s a Bainbridge local’s favorite things to do on the island. Whether it be eating, drinking, or enjoying the pacific northwest, this guide will be a day trip go-to.
‘Downtown’ Bainbridge is not like your normal downtown. Being a small island, the size of the ‘city’ is nothing like Seattle. Bainbridge is an escape from the crazy environment of Seattle and allows one to transport somewhere much farther in your mind. Downtown Bainbridge is a main little strip called Winslow Way. About a 6-ish minute walk from the ferry dock, you’ll find yourself surrounded by restaurants, shops, wine bars, and breweries.
In the summertime on Bainbridge, there is a 8-seater golf cart called the ‘Sweet Deal Mobile’ that is a tip-based ride share that will drive you to and from the ferry and downtown! They play music and you get to relax and enjoy the Seattle summer sunshine!
Where to Eat
Spot #1 Agate Restaurant
Agate Restaurant has just opened on Bainbridge Island and is one of the finer eateries in the small town. It used to be located on the other side of the water near the Indian reservation. The menu is packed full of Pacific Northwest flavors.
Spot #2 Bruciato
If you love Neapolitan style pizza, Bruciato is your new home! This restaurant and bar is located in the old hardware store and is equipped with a full bar and a wood-fired oven. This spot is the social hub of the community. Plus, you even cut your own pizza with scissors (how fun is that!?). This restaurant prides themselves on cooking simple foods in a simple way. Everything that is cooked, is done in their wood fired oven.
The menu changes seasonally and is up to the discretion of the head chef. Whatever fruits and vegetables are in season, Will be showcased in the menu.
My personal favorites are their pork and beef meatballs served in a homemade marinara sauce, Datteri e Prosciutto wood fired pizza (topped with dates, mozzarella, grabs padano, Basil, prosciutto, and balsamic), or the Pera e Gorgonzola wood fired pizza (topped with red wine poached pears, Gorgonzola, red dog farm radicchio, and mozzarella).
Spot #3 Streamliner Diner
What would a small-town community be without their classic breakfast diner?
Streamliner Diner is Bainbridge’s long-standing diner that serves a hearty breakfast and an Italian bistro at night. It was voted Bainbridge island’s breakfast favorite... but more importantly my breakfast favorite!
Every day the chef’s homemade buttermilk biscuits and jam and can be served on the side of anything on the menu.
In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with anything on this menu. Though, if you’re looking for something local, the Pacific Northwest Salmon Eggs Benedict is a must.
P.S. Don’t be intimidated by the line out the door, it is well worth the wait!
Spot #4 Blackbird Bakery
Blackbird Bakery is one of Bainbridge’s longest standing bakeries/coffee shops. Here they specialize in baked goods, coffee, cakes and more.
ANY local knows that when you go to Blackbird, you go for the TOAST. Their toast is unlike anything I have ever had before. It is thickly sliced, buttered to perfection, and baked in house. Pair this with one of their rotating soups and you’ll be coming back time and time again.
My summer tip: Stop in here for their Lavender Lemonade. It’s 100% seasonal and infused with fresh lavender from local farms!
Spot #5 Mora Iced Creamery
Mora Iced Creamery is Bainbridge Island’s small family-owned ice cream parlor and is famous for their Lavender iced cream. All of their ice creams and sorbets taste like nothing you’ve had before. It’s located downtown Eagle harbor. No need for a car! All of the flavors are perfectly balanced and take anyone to their “happy place”. They make their ice cream in small batches using fresh milk, real eggs and cane sugar… that way you can feel good about eating them. Get here early in the summer to avoid long lines and your favorite flavors selling out!
“We don’t take shortcuts or use powdered mixes. We develop our own recipes, carefully testing them over and over, to make certain that one ingredient doesn’t overwhelm another, to ensure a texture that is smooth and creamy, and to create the most intensely flavored ice creams and sorbets you’ve ever tasted.”
If you make it a point to stop here for dessert and finally surpass the summer line out the door, you will find that they have 48 flavors to choose from… AND you can sample them ALL! I will always get their Chocolate Peanut Butter MOreo, but when they run out (which they do) I taste my way through the menu.
Spot #6 Emmy’s Vege House
CALLING ALL VEGANS!
We understand how hard it is to find that perfect place to eat out when you’re on such a restricted diet. Have no fear, Bainbridge Island has got you covered. Emmy’s Vege House is a globally inspired vegetarian & vegan restaurant with casual dining and outdoor tables.
As a meat eater myself, I even choose to frequent this place as much as possible. My favorite dishes are the #25- Ginger Chicken (which is not chicken at all) and the #7- Kabob Salad. Everything on this menu is under $20 and satiating beyond belief. Plus you’ll leave feeling healthier than ever.
Where to Drink
Spot #1 Eleven Winery
If you love wine, Bainbridge island is a wine lovers haven. Throughout the island, you’ll come across seven different wineries and tasting rooms.
Eleven Winery has been continuously voted as the #1 winery on Bainbridge island, for both great wine and great service! The tasting room staff’s job description is even “Happiness Engineers”... I mean, it would make sense since they’re there to serve wine all day! Eleven Winery is dedicated to producing delicious wine, and to making sure that you have a fabulous time drinking it. Their motto is:
“If anyone who tells you that wine tasting is serious business or makes you feel bad about your level of wine knowledge, they’re just missing the point - and we'll be more than happy to straighten them out for you. We'll also be happy to answer all of your questions about wine so that you can hold your own in party conversation with the snobbiest wine geek. We don't believe in dumbing down our wines for novice tasters – we believe that everyone can enjoy a great wine and that the better the wine, the more fun you'll have”
Their production focuses on somewhat offbeat varieties, including Malbec, Syrah, Mourvedre, Petit Verdot, Pinot Grigio, Roussanne, Viognier, and a few others. They also make a dry rosé and both white and red dessert wines.
Eleven has a number of award-winning bottles as well as a few unique takes on winemaking. The tasting rooms have a CHILLED red wine, called La Diavola (the she devil) that is both fruit forward and off dry and a WHITE Mourvedre... and if you’re familiar with Mourvedre, you’ll know that it’s a red wine grape (pretty unique if you ask me). This is my top stop when I come to the island because I’m always so curious to see what innovations the winemaker has made!
Spot #2 Bainbridge Brewing Alehouse
Craft beer part of the Northwest culture, so of course I wouldn’t expect anything less from the up-and-coming city of Bainbridge Island. As a social beverage Bainbridge Brewing has become a Island staple. The Alehouse located between the heart of downtown and the ferry. If you have time before your next boat, stop in for a local beer, it’ll make the ferry ride that much more enjoyable.
“The local brewery is part of the fabric of the community, giving it character, individuality, and indeed, an air of hometown pride. Bainbridge Brewing is the island’s brewery, and the island is as much a part of us as we are of it.”
All of their craft beer is brewed right on the island most of their hops are grown right in Washington’s Yakima Valley. As an IPA girl myself, I would recommend their Windfall Grapefruit IPA. Their award winning, well balanced Northwest IPA, is packed full of flavor with hints of refreshing grapefruit citrus and ONLY 6% ABV!
Spot #3 Bainbridge Organic Distillers
Bainbridge Organic Distillers is distilling pure, organic Washington grain into the state's first USDA Certified organic vodka, gin and whiskey. This distillery is a family-owned-and-operated business that started back in 2009.
When you come to the island, keep in mind that you HAVE to come here because they are the state's only distillery producing 100% of its organic spirits from scratch, on site in their own distillery.
All of their spirits are award-winning and have been featured in publications all over the country. They currently are distilling; Bainbridge Battle Point Organic Wheat Whiskey, Bainbridge Yama Mizunara Cask Single Grain Whiskey, Bainbridge Battle Point Two Islands Islay Cask Finished Organic Wheat Whiskey, Bainbridge Legacy Organic Vodka, Bainbridge Heritage Oaked Doug Fir Gin, and Bainbridge Heritage Organic Doug Fir Gin.
My two personal favorites are the Bainbridge Battle Point Organic Wheat Whiskey and the Bainbridge Legacy Organic Vodka.
Don’t worry, if you make the trip out to the distillery, you will be rewarded with their full service bar… and tastings of all their spirits (if you can handle it).
There you have it- A foodie’s guide for a day trip to Bainbridge Island. If you’re looking for more suggestions of places to eat in Seattle neighborhoods, frequent this blog or follow our instagram @eat_seattle!
Post by Natalya Niehaus