An Insider’s Guide to Linn County Main Street Restaurants
by Katie Mills Giorgio
If you’re looking to get a taste of the Main Street Districts of Linn County, we’ve got some great recommendations for you. We hope you work up an appetite while reading this post. Rest assured, there will be a lot of good eats in your future.
Central City Mainstreet District
When you head to Central City, make Montana’s Family Restaurant (433 E. Main St.) your go-to stop. The rustic cowboy motif sets the mood for a fun dining experience and offers a nostalgic nod to the restaurant’s namesake. This casual dining spot — for breakfast, lunch or dinner — serves up “tasty grub at an honest price.” Locally owned and operated, Montana’s and their home-cooked menu offerings have been a staple in the Central City community since 2003.
Grab a delicious breakfast or heart burger for lunch at Wapsi Bar and Grill (347 E. Main St.). The relaxed atmosphere is welcoming to all diners. Breakfast is also served all day at The Stove House (2 Al Waterhouse Ave.). Don’t miss the pancakes! The staff is so friendly in this local restaurant, you’ll feel like you are enjoying breakfast at home.
And if you plan to spend the day at Pinicon Ridge Park, just outside of town, you’ll want to make a pit stop at Hometown Market (9 South Ave.). This local grocery store has a full stocked deli where you can grab sandwiches to go. The menu is ever changing but the deli manager takes pride in her food and makes sure that customers are well taken care of.
Czech Village-New Bohemia Main Street District
The Czech Village-New Bohemia Main Street District is chock full of taste-bud tempting dining spots. When you are looking for a cold brew, pop into Lion Bridge Brewing Company(59 16th Ave SW). Sample one of their award winning beers — we’re partial to Compensation and Yard Sale — and order something tasty off their impressive food menu. We’d argue it’s one of the best by way of brewery nosh.
If you are looking to add a little spice to your palate, head over to Caucho (1202 3rd St SE). Their hand-crafted cocktails are a must, as are the chicharrones (made in house), the guacamole and their street tacos. The atmosphere in this urban taco joint is as enticing as the gourmet Mexican fare.
The new kid on the dining block in the NewBo neighborhood is Fong’s Pizza and Tiki Bar (1006 3rd St SE). These kitschy pizza joint offers Asian-inspired menu items — seriously don’t pass up the crab Rangoon pizza! The drinks are creative and come in fancy glasses, which is just plain fun. Fong’s also offers late-night pizza slices if you are out and about enjoying the nightlife and need a quick bite to eat.
When you are looking for a snack or sweet treat, pop into Almost Famous (1121 3rd St SE). They have more than 100 popcorn flavors — both sweet and savory — to choose from. Plus you can grab a piece of fudge, a scoop of ice cream or an old fashioned flavored soda.
Mount Vernon Main Street District
You can find a full day of good eats on First Street in Mount Vernon. Start your morning at the Skillet Café (101 1st St NE), where they serve up an all American breakfast — any time of day—and delicious comfort food with fresh ingredients. The atmosphere is relaxed and the food is diverse with nine choices in one 12-block area.
Pop in next door to Fuel (103 1st St NE), an artsy coffee shop where you’ll enjoy shopping for distinct gift items while waiting for the barista to whip up your espresso.
For lunch grab a bite to eat at Palisade’s Café (117 1st St NW) where they whip up “artful food with a local flair.” The menu is ever-changing and the dishes they come up with are always satisfying.
And save room for a sweet treat after lunch. Mount Vernon Confections (114 1st St SW) is a chocolate-lovers dream. The truffles are divine and the specialty chocolates—like chocolate pigs and chocolate ears of corn—will bring a smile to your face.
When dinner time rolls around, grab a spot at the quaint Lincoln Wine Bar
(125 1st St NW). It has the perfect atmosphere for enjoying unique wood-fired pizza and a big glass of your favorite vino. If you plan to visit on Friday or Saturday night — or an occasional Thursday — you’ll enjoy the sounds of local musicians as well, everything from blues and jazz to bluegrass and folk music.
Uptown Marion Main Street District
Plan a bar crawl around Marion’s Main Street District to check out the eclectic mix of eateries and drinking establishments. Grab a drink at The Uptown Snug, a unique Irish pub with three distinct spots to enjoy a pint. For quiet conversation pull up a chair in the parlor room, grab a table by the fireplace in the social hall, or sit on the back patio and enjoy the lighted Artway. It’s the perfect backdrop for sampling premium Irish whiskey.
Just around the corner you’ll find Ramsey’s Wine Bistro. With more than 170 wines to choose from — don’t worry, you can create a custom wine flight — and ten beers on tap, it’s a great spot to spend a relaxing evening. Sample one of their signature grilled cheese sandwiches or paninis. Plus, there’s usually live music to enjoy.
When you are ready to watch your favorite team take to the court or field, pop into Brick Alley Pub & Sports Bar. They boast a 180” big screen TV with stadium seating that’s sure to make all the sports fans happy. Grab your favorite beer or cocktail and play a game of pool or darts. They also offer happy hour specials on the weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. so it’s a great spot to meet up after work. Grab a bite to eat at any of the 7(!) pizza places in Uptown! Check out the famous Zoey’s Pizzeria or a new style of made to order individual pizza pies at Urban Pie.