Fine Dining on San Juan Island

Tuck into a dinner at one of San Juan Island’s fine-dining establishments, and you’ll realize the island’s artists include a cadre of superb chefs. (You’re equally welcome in sports jacket or shorts, dressed up or dressed down.)

Stay close to home (Earthbox) in downtown Friday Harbor where you can enjoy the globally-inspired fare and creative mixology of The Back Door Kitchen, a local favorite and the “sort of gem that travelers dream of discovering” according to Frommer’s.  Or you can luxuriate in the intimate ambience at Coho Restaurant, whose owners have written a cookbook that reflects their fine eclectic fare.  Another option for elegant Italian dining is Vinny’s Ristorante which also offers downsized kids’ portions.  The Place Bar and Grill will delight your visual senses as well as your taste buds with its fantastic views of the harbor.

Adventuring beyond Friday Harbor for a meal? Locals and visitors alike celebrate every possible occasion at Duck Soup Inn, tucked in the woods in the middle of the island, for imaginative, fresh-ingredients cuisine created by a chef one international gastronome calls “a Picasso of the taste buds.” At charming, historic McMillan’s Dining Room—one of John Wayne’s favorite stops—you can look out over the Roche Harbor marina as you dine (otters, boats by the 100s, and great fanfare as the U.S. and British colors are lowered late afternoons in summer).