Best places to eat in Salem

by Jennifer Johnson,

  • Students at coffee house
    Willamette students sitting at Archive Coffee.
Whether we’re studying, meeting friends or simply heading to our weekly lunch spot, the Willamette community cares about its food. If you're in town for a campus visit, you'll probably find several of us at these locations. 


Archive Coffee: Industrial chic coffee house that serves breakfast, lunch, dinner. Known for their cocktails, too. 

The Governor’s Cup: Great coffee, bagels and other breakfast items. Regularly holds live performances. 

Rick’s Cafe: On the first floor of Willamette’s College of Law, the cafe offers coffee, grab-and-go items as well as specialty breakfasts. 


Word of Mouth: Mouthwatering hearty breakfasts.

Patty’s Off-Center: Diner-style scrambles and entrees. 

Isaac’s Coffee, Wine & Dessert: Toasts, bagels, sandwiches, salads.  

Lunch or dinner

Taproot: Top vegan and gluten-free spot downtown. 

Ritter’s Restaurant: A WU go-to for pizza, sandwiches, salads, ice cream, cocktails. 

La Margarita Express: Close proximity to campus and fast service makes this a Willamette lunch favorite.

table Five 08: New American cuisine, happy hour. 

Wild Pear: Soups, salads, sandwiches. 

Amadeus: Extensive lunch, dinner and happy hour menu. 

Venti’s Restaurant: Rice bowls, soups, salads.  

Happy Bibimbap House: Korean spot serving barbecue, rice dishes and excellent extras. 

Gamberetti’s Restaurant: Italian favorites like cioppino, pizza, pasta and salads. 

Christo’s Pizzeria, Restaurant and Lounge: Favorite for pizza and pasta. Live jazz every week. 


Gerry Frank’s Konditeri: Although the menu includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, dessert is the star of Oregon icon’s bakery.
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