San Juan Island Fine Dining
Dine indoors or out at the Backdoor Kitchen, tucked away in Friday Harbor off the beaten path but in easy walking distance from Spring Street. Its expansive patio is bedecked with soft lights and heated with lamps, and you’ll find its international cuisine served with a twist and prepared using mostly local ingredients.
Around the corner is Coho Restaurant, slightly more formal but no less friendly, which serves island-grown, Pacific cuisine with a Mediterranean flair, and boasts an award-winning wine list. Local art adorns the walls, and with only nine tables in the dining area of a historic Craftsman house, you’ll enjoy both intimacy and personal service.
A stone’s throw from the ferry landing, right on the water, The Place Restaurant & Bar presents classic yet innovative seasonal Northwest cuisine in a comfortable, romantic ambiance that surrounds you with fine local art and views of the harbor. With an emphasis on local and regional fish and shellfish spring through fall, and fresh bread baked daily, the restaurant is a paean to the Islands: natural, organic dishes, island wines, and locally roasted coffee.
At Vinny’s Ristorante you’ll find a formal (but not stuffy) atmosphere and a warm welcome about three blocks from the ferry. Besides Italian specialties like Vinny’s Carbonara and the highly-spiced Pasta from Hell, the menu offers an array of gourmet Northwest steak and seasonal seafood dishes.
A ten-minute drive from either Friday Harbor or Roche Harbor takes you to Duck Soup Inn, a cozy and elegant country restaurant set in the woods and overlooking a pond. Enthusiastic reviews in Gourmet and Bon Appetit laud its seasonal menus—fresh seafood, island produce, and home-grown herbs. Applewood-smoked local oysters are a house specialty.
Historic McMillin’s Dining Room at Roche Harbor Resort combines an old-world feel with a spectacular view of the harbor (at sunset, you’ll have a front-row seat for the retiring of the colors ceremony each summer). Local lamb is offered alongside just-caught fish (with a nod to the fisherman)—salmon, crab, and halibut are popular choices.