We alternative newsweeklies are predictable for our concentration on all that is downtown core and university campus, but that can sometimes mean missed opportunities. In this instance, those opportunities missed are of the edible variety. As a result, we gathered a list of restaurants that are favorites with longtime locals, the only rule being none from the city center or campus areas. As always, please let us know if you love one we’ve missed, and bon appétit!
Sharon’s – 1894 SW 3rd Street
It’s not hip, and you won’t find an oversized metal fowl guarding its front doors, but the coffee is strong and the breakfasts are large and delicious! On the south end of town, there’s not another diner that the locals flock to. Sharon’s has been one of C-town’s favorite greasy spoons for nearly two decades. It’s snuggled in between a mini mart and a gun shop, an unlikely spot to find a home-cooked meal. You might even miss it, if not for the wafting scent of their cheesy omelets, crispy hash browns, and perfectly toasted… toast. One too many pints last night? Eat yourself back to life with one of the best breakfasts in town.
New York Bagels – 1999 NW Circle Boulevard
Walk in to New York Bagels, and the first thing you will see is a warm, friendly smile from the patient and sweet owners. This is the newest place on our list. The bagels will change your life. A rotating selection of authentic, boiled, New York bagels that are a movement on their own, but a force as a sandwich. The Garden Veggie breakfast sandwich comes with all the vegetables you could want, including guacamole and roasted red pepper. Breakfast isn’t complete in the NW without coffee, and they serve Pastega. If coffee isn’t your thing, they have fresh squeezed orange, carrot, and beet juices for about five bucks.
Darrell’s – 2200 NW 9th Street
If you’re looking for a great place to eat breakfast, look no further than Darrell’s. Busy every morning since 1967, they serve some of the best and most simplistic breakfasts, and keep their customers coming back for more. The décor probably has not changed much in their two-score-and-eight years, but that may be part of the charm. After trying their pancakes, I would rather eat them at Darrell’s than any other restaurant in town. The best part is they have prices that fit my broke college student budget. They are open for breakfast all day, and also serve a variety of lunch and dinner items. Hungry? Head to Darrell’s!
Cirello’s – 919 NW Circle Boulevard
Anyone who lives on the northwest end of town knows that it’s slim pickings when it comes to a decent place to get a good beer and not have to drive home. You can walk to and from Cirello’s, located in the Circle Center, across from Market of Choice; it is one of my favorite places to eat over in this neck of the woods. The menu’s fairly diverse, with gluten-free and organic options. The atmosphere is laid-back and even a little cozy. They have great beer on tap and the pizza’s just how I like it: super-hot and crispy with a little extra grease on top… New York style! If you’re a carnivore, try the Sicilian. P.S. They have a salad bar, too.
Delicias Valley Cafe – 933 NW Circle Boulevard
Easily one of the best Mexican restaurants in Corvallis. Everything from classic nachos and fajitas to a selection of five different burgers and beyond. Great ingredients, excellent cooks, friendly staff. The Mexican offerings here are a step above—not gourmet, but more thought-out then the typical offerings. And while everyone concentrates on the Mexican cuisine, this place is also a hidden breakfast gem. They have an extensive—huge, even—breakfast menu, from which they serve all day. In sum, a step above at prices similar or a tad less than other restaurants like it.
Kim Hoa’s Kitchen – 1875 NW Circle Boulevard
The staff is friendly, and the walls are full of family photos. Vietnamese food done very well; salad rolls, curry, steamed pork buns, and more. Kim Hoa’s is beloved to many because of its pho, a beef noodle soup that is popular in Vietnamese cuisine. The process to make it authentically is complicated and time-consuming, so don’t miss out. My faves include the traditional room temperature dishes.
Al Jebal Restaurant – 2240 SW 3rd Street
If you’ve never stopped in to the Bazaar International Market attached to this restaurant, you probably wouldn’t know of its existence. And you’d be missing out on some excellent Middle Eastern cuisine. The interior isn’t anything to write home about, but the smells of shwarma make up for it quickly. You’ll also see many Middle Eastern students from OSU dining, so you know you’ve made a good choice. I go for the chicken shwarma but there are also plenty of options for vegetarians. No meal is complete without trying some of their authentic Middle Eastern sweets.
Murphy’s Restaurant & Lounge – 2740 SW 3rd Street
Famous for its Friday and Saturday night prime rib dinners, Murphy’s has been a favorite of locals for years. But if prime rib isn’t your thing (it’s not mine), and you haven’t visited Murphy’s as a result, you’re missing out on excellent food and a nice selection of beers. Murphy’s has recently changed up their burgers (now a whopping third of a pound) and I gotta say, this puts them in immediate contention for Corvallis’Best Burger. There’s also Mixed Plate Specials on Mondays, Trivia with Mr. Bill on Wednesdays and a Crab Boil on Thursday night (it’s on my list for sure). The best thing, though? It’s close enough for me to walk/bike to and from.