News from Olympia, Washington and Beyond
Thurston County has a bounty of delicious restaurants, tap rooms and other one-of-a-kind food spots to explore. Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Yelm, Rainier, Tenino, Grand Mound, Rochester and Bucoda offer a wide variety of locally sourced, hand-crafted culinary experiences to enjoy this summer. From fine dining to food trucks, sweet treats to seafood, cold brews to breweries, the below culinary artists offer an international trip through cuisine all in Thurston County.
Worldly cuisines aplenty
Thurston County offers culinary adventures around every turn, from Venezuelan arepas to South Indian curries to freshly caught Pacific Northwest seafood.
- Food on the go
- Akashic Food Trailer | South Indian-American cuisine featuring curries, wraps and salads.
- Arepa Latin Street Food | Inspired Venezuelan cuisine including arepas.
- Delmonico’s Heritage Butcher Shop | An artisan butcher shop that sources from local farms and growers, DelMonico’s is the perfect spot to grab charcuterie and a bottle of wine as well for the picnic basket!
- Honeycuspe | Brunch favorites including sweet and savory waffles and coffee.
- Olympita Food Truck | Located in Olympia’s Westside neighborhood this food truck offers Middle Eastern street food classics like shawarma, falafel and a the most luxurious humus.
- International cuisine
- Curry Corner | A dining experience to satisfy all aspects of fine cuisine: selection, service, ambiance, atmosphere and the diversity of India.
- Don Juan’s Mexican Kitchen | A family operated restaurant serving authentic Mexican cuisine.
- Hotstone Authentic Korean Cuisine | Authentic Korean dishes including tofu, soups and bubble tea.
- Jerk An’ Tingz | Delicious herbs and spices served through Jamaican food.
- Left Bank Pastry | This French patisserie bakes some of the region’s best croissants, quiche, brioche, and pastries. Come for the kouign amann, stay for the canelé.
- Rush In Dumplings | Classic Russian comfort food such as dumplings and borscht.
- Fresh seafood
- Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar | Created by 2nd generation shellfish farmers serving the freshest, locally sourced shellfish in the county.
- The Olympia Oyster House | Located in the same building where the native Olympia Oysters were culled in 1859.
- Olympia Seafood Co. | Quality local and exotic seafood, focused on sustainability.
Summertime sips around every turn
Summertime is the perfect season to enjoy a coffee, craft brew or fresh wine at one of these locally owned and sourced establishments.
- Axis Meads | Crafts quality, small batch meads with a tasting room to enjoy a sweet and fresh brew.
- The Cider Barrel | A reverse taphouse retail concept with over 300+ different varietals of hard cider, more than any cidery in the Pacific Northwest.
- Ebony & Ivory Coffee | This modern coffee shop in Lacey serves fresh coffee and community connection.
- Heritage Distilling Company | Among the top premier craft distilleries in the United States and one of the largest on the West Coast, making and offering a variety of whiskeys, vodkas, gins, aquavit and rums.
- Talking Cedar Brewery & Distillery | Opened in 2020 by the Chehalis Tribe, this brewery and distillery is quickly becoming an invaluable partner to craft distillers throughout the nation.
- Three Magnets Brewing Co. | This microbrewery in downtown Olympia not only produces incredible craft-beer, but they’re also brewing craft NA beer that tastes like an IPA and shipping it to 40 states.
- Sandstone Distillery | Ready to taste some hand-crafted spirits made from Washington-grown grains and – you guessed it – quality water from local aquifers? Take a tour at the distillery or stop by their beautiful new Tasting Room in historic downtown Tenino.
- The Shiplap Shop & Coffee House | A place to enjoy handcrafted espresso drinks or baked goods while shopping consigned items from over 100 local artisans.
- Swing Wine Bar | Perched on a hill overlooking Capitol Lake, enjoy over 30 wines by glass and over 200 bottle selections on the outdoor patio.
- Well 80 Brewhouse | Built on the site of one of Olympia’s famous artesian wells, this brewpub uses the delicious well water to craft their own line of tasty beers.
- Whitewood Cider Teeny Tiny Taproom | A nano-cider producer and South Puget Sound’s first craft cidery invites you to sip a locally made brew on their patio of their teeny tiny taphouse.
Foodie tour through the Thurston Bountiful Byway
Enjoy the peak of Washington weather on this 60-mile loop tour covering rural Thurston County that offers a multitude of special stops and activities, including a variety of eateries and libation options such as:
· Heritage Meats | This neighborhood butcher shop is partnering with local farmers and growers to provide a line of meat products like grass-fed and grass-finished beef, a robust artisan sausage selection and hand-crafted smoked meats.
· Johnson’s Smokehouse and Country Store | This specialty grocery store located on the outskirts of Olympia specializes in smoked meats and cheeses.
· Lady of the Lake Public House | A lakeside restaurant offering American fare.
· Masonry Café | This local café in downtown Yelm creates handcrafted dishes focusing on freshness and flavor. With cases bursting at the seams with macaroons, cookies, pastries, and cakes, you’ll want to be sure to save room for dessert.
· The Pacific Northwest Honey Company | Stop in to pour-your-own honey, sample one of their many flavors at the Honey Bar and watch the bees in action at the Observation Hive!
· Pizzeria La Gitana | A Yelm based pizzeria that resembles a trip to Italy with romantic décor and high-quality ingredients.
· Stottle Winery | Founded by Olympia natives now based in Lacey, this winery produces 13 different award-winning wines and offers cheese plates to pair on their picturesque patio.
Fresh farm fare, straight from the source
For a more hands-on experience with food in Thurston County, check out the plentiful family farms to pick your own produce or buy directly from the farmers, such as:
- Carr’s Organic Blueberry Farms | Stop in to stock up on organic blueberries at this u-pick farm outside Olympia.
- Helsing Junction Farms | This Rochester farms specializes in farm-fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs and visitors can pick their own strawberries in June.
- Kingfisher Organic Farms | Sign up for a Community Supported Agriculture box and show support for small, family-owned farms.
- Lattin’s Cider Mill and Farm | A small, family-owned farm that works year-round to produce quality fruits and vegetables, as well as jams, cakes, and pies. Visit Thursday through Saturday mornings for their apple fritters, stay for the cutest petting zoo ever.
Events and Summer Happenings in Thurston County
In addition to the incredible array of food and beverage offerings, Thurston County has events and activities for the whole family, all summer long.
Port of Olympia
At the southern end of Puget Sound, the Port of Olympia welcomes vessels of all sizes to its picturesque waterfront. Moor your boat at Swantown Marina and stroll along the boardwalk where unique shops, exceptional dining, and friendly locals are waiting to welcome you to our shores. Learn more about boating in and exploring Thurston County here.
The Port of Olympia will also host live music, food trucks, and a beer garden at the Summer Nights at the Port waterfront events from 5 to 8pm on the following dates:
The Washington Center for the Performing Arts Notable Events
Head to South Puget Sound’s beloved performing arts facility to enjoy exceptional entertainment and live music.
- Benise: Fiesta! | August 6
Washington State Senior Games
Founded in 1997, this is the largest Olympic-style multi-sport event in Washington, bringing seniors from across the county to the South Puget Sound to compete in a variety of events, open to in-state and out-of-state participants.
Sundays in the Park – Lacey Food Truck Depot (July 23, August 27) – This family friendly and pet friendly event features live music, food trucks, activities and local small business owners from around the Pacific Northwest. Enjoy shopping with over 40 vendors, balloon art, face painting, games and more.
Lacey in Tune (July 25, July 28, August 1, August 2, August 4, August 8, August 9, August 15) – Started July 11 & running through August 15, Tuesdays will be full of entertainment the entire family will love. Shows start at 6:30pm, giving you plenty of time to grab some blankets or chairs and head to Huntamer Park.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (July 20 – 23, 26 – 29) – The Tenino Young At Heart Theater presents: The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Tenino Music Festival 2023 (July 21 – 22) – Come and join us for some great music by local artists and great food for a great cause. Friday’s show features Danny Vernon as the Illusion of Elvis, with Saturday featuring the Olson Bros Band.
Oregon Trail Days (July 21 – 23) – Join in for Tenino’s Oregon Trail Days. The event offers a parade on July 23, a rock and gem show, black powder shoots, vendors of all kinds, and lots of food. Enjoy the family fun and learn a bit of local history.
Nisqually BBQ Rally (July 22) – An annual event filled with a whole lot of barbecue and a ton of family friendly activities.
Thurston County Fair (July 26 – 30) – A community celebration that educates, promotes and showcases the agricultural, business, industry and home life of Thurston County citizens of all ages.
Tenino Arts Creative Market (August 12, September 9) – This fine art, fine craft street fair gathers artisans skilled in wood, glass, metal, leather, paint, and a sundry of other unique and original creations.
Tumwater Artesian Brewfest (August 19) – A unique outdoor experience, in the shadow of the former Olympia Brewery, for you to sip craft beers from 40+ Northwest breweries along with cider, wine and spirits. Savor food from local vendors and restaurants and play super-sized beer pong and putt putt golf or enter stein holding competitions, and more. A 21 and over event.
South Sound Block Party 2023 (August 25 – 26) – A two-day music festival with more than 15 live bands, local vendors and food and drink offerings aiming to restore, preserve and contribute to the historic and legendary Olympia-area music scene for years to come.
Olympia Harbor Days Festival (September 1 – 3) – Join us for this free, all-ages maritime heritage celebration, a long-standing community tradition, now in its 50th year will run September 1, 2023, starting at 5:00 p.m., through September 3, 2023, ending at 6:00 p.m. The outdoor event will take place along the boardwalk from historic Percival Landing to the Port Plaza and Lookout Tower. A special drone light show is being planned for September 1 at 9:00 p.m.