Home2018-2019Restaurants in walking distance that are worth visiting

Restaurants in walking distance that are worth visiting

Claire Alongi,
Staff Writer

There is no shortage of restaurants in Salem, and it would be hard to cover them all at once. Nonetheless, here is a sampling of a select few within walking distance, so you can make a more informed decision about your next non-Goudy dining excursion.

Sassy Onion

Type of food: Classic American breakfast and lunch with a modern twist
Address: 1244 State Street
Distance from campus: 0.3 miles, approximately a five minute walk.
Price range: $-$$
Gluten-Free/Vegan Options: Yes

Comments: The Sassy Onion has several things going for it: it’s incredibly close to campus, has reasonably priced food and French toast the size of your face. It’s only open for breakfast and lunch, but you’ll probably wish it was open for dinner too. Its food may not be totally new or unique, but its location and solid quality of food makes it a good destination if you’re looking for a break from Goudy monotony.

Ritter’s

Type of food: Slightly upscale take on classic American cuisine
Address: 102 Liberty St. NE
Distance from campus: 0.6 miles, approximately a 15 minute walk
Price range: $$
Gluten-Free/Vegan Options: Yes

Comments: Ritter’s is a good choice if you’re looking for something a little more swanky, but don’t actually want to put on your best shoes and jacket. It keeps aspects of a casual eatery, but steps up its food game with menu items such as croque monsieur tartine and lox platter for breakfast. Serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Amadeus

Type of food: Upscale American
Address: 135 Liberty St. NE
Distance from campus: 0.6 miles, approximately a 15 minute walk
Price range: $$
Gluten-Free/Vegan Options: Yes

Comments: This is an ‘I want to impress someone’ or ‘splurge’ restaurant, but the price is worth it. While some menu items are more inventive than others, what Amadeus excels at is doing fairly straightforward foods really well. Check out their mac-n-cheese and add smoked chicken apple sausage or bacon for a little extra flavor. Don’t forget dessert: they’re connected to the cake shop Sweetsmith, which you can visit independently of Amadeus if you’re just looking to satisfy your sweet tooth. Amadeus serves lunch and dinner.

Thai Orchid

Type of food: Thai
Address: 285 Liberty St. NE Unit 250 (located inside Salem Center Mall)
Distance from campus: 0.7 miles, approximately 20 minute walk
Price range: $-$$
Gluten-Free/Vegan Options: Yes

Comments: One might not expect a great Thai restaurant with large windows overlooking Downtown Salem to be located on the second floor of a dying mall, but that’s exactly where you’ll find Thai Orchid. It’s a bit like an oasis in the middle of the white tiled, fluorescent-lit mall. From curry to fried rice, Thai Orchid nails it, and the trek upstairs is worth it. Open for lunch and dinner.

The Kitchen

Type of food: Diner food with a modern twist
Address: 466 Court St. NE
Distance from campus: 0.7 miles, approximately a 15 minute walk
Price range: $-$$
Gluten-Free/Vegan Options: Yes

Comments: It must be said out of the gate: The Kitchen is open 24 hours. While the food may be slightly overpriced for what it’s worth, the range of the menu and its generous operational hours make it a great choice for college students who want a milkshake at 3 a.m. With equal parts greasy diner food and gluten-free and vegan meals, The Kitchen is a solid choice for a dinner with friends or a visiting parent. The Kitchen is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, midnight snack, etc.

Venti’s

Type of food: Upscale bar food and new age
Address: 325 Court St. NE
Distance from campus: 0.8 miles, approximately a 20 minute walk
Price range: $-$$
Gluten-Free/Vegan Options: Yes

Comments: Venti’s is a great choice if you are gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian. This is one of its main draws. The signature dish is chicken wings combined with one of their special sauces (this is obviously not for the vegans and vegetarians, but they do make gluten-free wings). They also rock a mean black bean burger and mac-n-cheese with bacon. Bowls, tacos, soups and salads also find a place on the menu. For those over 21, there’s a taphouse in the basement. Open for lunch and dinner.

Word of Mouth (WoM)

Type of food: Breakfast and lunch
Address: 140 17th St. NE
Distance from campus: 0.7 miles, approximately 15 minute walk
Price range: $$

Comments: This collection wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Word of Mouth. A Salem icon, WoM is notorious for having lines from the time it opens in the morning to when it closes. It’s worth the wait. It serves breakfast food decadence at its finest — just look at the hot chocolate complete with whipped cream, sprinkles and fudge brownie bits. It also boasts some unusual and Instagramable bathrooms. It’s worth braving the line for at least once (and probably more than once after you realize how good it is). WoM is open for breakfast and lunch.

clalongi@willamette.edu

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