Albany, Oregon Restaurant Review Guide

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Albany, Oregon Top Restaurant Recommendations:

Modern Dining: Vault 244, Sweet Red
Chinese: Lum Yuen (such as it is)
Pizza: Ciddici's, Pizza Amore
Beer and Pub Food: Calapooia Brewery, Frankies
Coffee: Sweet Red, Allan Bros/Beanery
Fine Dining: Sybaris, Vault 244
Mexican: Los Tequilas
Japanese/Sushi: Ginza
Ice Cream/Shakes: Hasty Freeze
Lunch: Pepper Tree, Wine Depot
Sausage: Pepper Tree
Best Burger: Calapooia, First Burger
Gluten Free/Wheat Free Options: Ciddici's Pizza, Thai Noodle


Albany Restaurant News (see the review section below for more information):

- The Flinn Steakhouse has opened on 1st in Albany. See our review, below, for initial impressions. It's worth checking out; Albany needs a good steakhouse. Although, the prices seem high for the quality of food. http://www.theflinnsteakhouse.com/"

- The Riverside Mongolian Grill Albany location has closed. I'm surprised it has lasted this long.

- Update: As of 10/20/13, Anothony's has closed. They didn't last long. Cappies has been sold, and is now rebranded as Anthony's. Menu is much the same as Cappies. There are no longer bottled beer sales. Stay tuned for a full review. http://anthonysdowntown.com/

- Tup Tim Thai has opened in the former Clemenza's space on 1st street. This Albany location is an expansion from their highly- rated Salem location. We're looking forward to trying them out; more information to follow. Be warned that they DO NOT YET HAVE A LIQUOR LICENSE. No beer, sorry. Review coming soon. Facebook Page

- Frankie's officially opened on 8/15 in the former Valentino's location. The newly remodeled space is nice, with outdoor seating. Regionally renowned Chris Churilla was consulted on the cocktail program, which is good. Reviews are mixed, due to the inconsistancies of quality and service. We sincerely hope they can make it! They now (Sept. 2013) only serve lunch in the bar.

They are located next to Momiji in North Albany across the parking lot from Ray's. Their web site is http://frankiesoregon.tumblr.com/

-A Facebook post made by Belmont Stakes on 7/15/13 says: "We are sorry to inform you that Belmont stakes is closed for reconstructing until further notice but please join us at the Ciddicis pizza parlor next door for the best pizza in town!!"

-Clemenza's closed 6/8/13.

-This is one we missed: The Pine Cone Restaruant at the east end of the intersection of I-5 and Hwy 34 has reopened. In this incarnation, it's an American/Indian joint. Among other things, you can get Goat there. Reports are good: it's worth a try.

- Golden Town Buffet opened May, 2013. It's built on the former Bamboo Terrace/#1 Buffet location. The buffet features chinese food, sushi, and a mongolian grill. Initial reports are middle-of-the-road.


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    A-C         D-K         L-N         O-P         R-S          T-Z

    This list is in alphabetical order.

    AB Chinese

    AB is a little Chinese place that delivers! The food is middle of the road. Nothing to rave about, but it makes us happy to have food delivered right to our house. Our last order was overcooked, stale, and dry, so sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose with AB. B-

    Recently, while recovering from surgery, we ordered from AB Chinese and were pleasantly surprised. We wished that there was some way for us to see a menu, but since we could not we had to ask several questions on the telephone. A lady patiently answered all of the questions and offered additional suggestions for our home delivery. The young man who delivered the food was courteous and friendly. From there we were amazed at the generous and tasty servings. There was so much food, we had enough for a second meal the next day. We would recommend their fine food and home delivery. ++

    Menu Page 1
    Menu Page 2
    • Tel: 928.6688
    • Addr: 1121 Pacific Boulevard SE

    Albany Brew Company

    Albany Brew Company (ABC) sadly closed in 1999. The space that Albany Brew Company was in what is now occupied by Toki Teriyaki. Sure Fire Design and a yogurt shop were the occupants in the interim.

    Angelica's

    Is now Rosie's. See that listing for more info.

    Bailey's Sports Bar and Grill

    Bailey's has closed. It's space was needed for a clinic expansion.

    • Addr: 831 Elm St. SW

    Bamboo Diner

    Bamboo diner closed on 2/14/10. First Burger has opened in it's place, operated by the same folks.

    The Beanery

    A locally-owned mini-chain of coffee houses. They have light food available, and it is quite good. Recommended. A

    • Tel: 812.8000
    • Addr: 1852 Fescue St SE
    www.allannbroscoffee.com

    Boccherini's Coffee and Tea House

    Boccherini's has been sold. The new owners (Daniel and Cynthia Alire) plan to have a coffee house during the day, and wine bar at night. Stay tuned for more info.

    7/7/09 DA: It has lots more space and a great little menu. They're still getting set-up, so there's an empty spot up front and no real dishes yet (everything seems to be in compostable containers right now). The baked goods are awesome because they make them on site, or down at Sybaris. Yummy little donuts, good Alann Bro coffee, fast internet, and the same great vibe that we all missed from the original Boccherini's.

    • Tel: 926.6703
    • Addr: 208 First Avenue
    www.boccherinis.com

    Bo-Mack's BBQ

    Bo Macks is owned by the Knebel family out of Lebanon, who have been running a well-liked catering business ("Gotcha Covered Catering"). A dedicated BBQ place in town is somwhat nice. However, Bo Macks is marginally OK. The prices are quite a bit high for Albany. (We compared Bo-Mack's prices with several downtown New York BBQ joints, and Bo-Mack's was higher. You'd expect little old Albany, Oregon restaurants to cost less than the big city!) Please note that they are only open Wednesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner. They do not sell alcohol, so no beer with that BBQ! I ate lunch their recently and as much as I want to like the place, it's just not there yet. The family that runs the place is very nice and sincere. But, the service was not fast, even though there were only four or five other tables (two were singles) in the place. I had a beef brisket sandwich, and it was quite mediocre. The brisket was mushy and fatty. The consistancy of the white bread and the meat was the same. Not good. The cole-slaw was fine, but it had no flavor. I'd guess that if the cabbage had more of the dressing, it would be good. The fries are the same disappointing shoestring greasy things that you would get a McMenamins. And, the bread on the sandwich got soaked in all the excess grease from the fries. Yuck. And, finally, the potato salad was bland. Just a little more salt and pepper would make it decent. The menu reported "large sides". They are not. The potato salad was the size of a single small ice-cream scoop, and it was $2.00. On the good side, the cornbread and sweet butter is quite good. So, I had the sandwich, coleslaw, potato salad, and fries for lunch, and it set me back $12.50, not including beverage or tip. Ouch. Oh, I can't forget the BBQ sauces. They are fine. Nothing exciting. They have three different varities: normal, spicy, and extreme. Don't be afraid to try the extreme, it's not very hot. I don't want to be mean, but I've bought better (and cheaper) sauce at the grocery store. So, to sum the experience up: Bo-Macks is not bad. They're just not great, and not worth the prices they charge. Unless I hear reports of huge improvements, I'll not be a regular customer. Because they are genuinely nice folks, I wish them well. C+.

    Click Here for User Reviews

    Click for Menu
    • Addr: 119 SE First Avenue, Albany
    • Tel: 791-7058
    www.bo-mack.com

    Bogey's

    Bogey's is open again. Stay tuned for a review and more information.

    Brewster's

    Brewsters has closed as of Jan. 2012. No surprise there.

    • Hours: Sun - Wed/ 11 a.m. to Midnight/ Thursday - Saturday/ 11 a.m. - 2 a.m.
    • Tel: 541.928.8590

    The Buzz Saw

    The Buzz Saw closed circa 2003. It was purchased and operated as Takena Pointe for a short time. Since then, it has been shuttered. Someone in Corvallis purchased the building, tore it down, and has buildt a new office/restaurant space. The restaurant space is available for lease. or so.

    Cafe Cristo

    The former Cafe Cristo has closed (Spring, 2008). Bailey's Sports Bar now operates at that location. See their listing, above.

    Cappies Brewhouse

    Cappies opened mid-June 2010. Our initial experiences have been good: they were quite busy one night, and handled it well. The food is good and reasonably priced. The menu is varied from burgers to streak. The restaurant is operated by Chad Pope, who formerly was a chef at the Springhill Country Club. They feature Capapooia Brewing beer, with a good selection on tap. There are the usual unfortunate TVs on the bar side, but fortunately none on the restaurant side. The food is above-average pub style food. It is fresh, and served with an attractive presentation. Their rueben is quite good, as are their fries. The service is generally quite good, but one evening we did have a server that needed to be reminded to bring serveral items (rolls, salad dressing, silverware). The atmosphere is quite nice, being a cleaned up spiffed out version of Wyatt's. Cappies is very much worth a look. Rating: B+.

    6/24/11 SK: Dinner at Cappie's on 5/28/2011: Saturday around 6 p.m. we were going to eat a Clemenza's, however, they were closed for a private party, so we went across the street to Cappie's. Husband had the pork chops and a salad, daughter had a pasta dish and a salad, I had soup and a wedge salad. Pork was okay, plate was plentiful, pasta was good, soup was their special, beer/cheese/potato, very thick, grainy and strong beer flavor (not as I remember it, or as well made as the tomato basil I had prior to this visit), wedge salad was great. The addition of some bread or bread sticks would have been nice, I'm not sure if it is usually included, but we didn't receive any. Service was poor, at least 2 wait staff on duty and a total of 3 tables, server took order, delivered food, and never checked back. Took a long time to get the bill. In all the food was okay, beer good, service poor. We won't make a point to go there again, except for a beer.

    6/18/10 SJ: After finding Henry's closed, my wife and I ventured over the bridge to Cappies to see if the crowds had yet abated. It was 8pm and they had. We were quickly seated. The menu definitely looked familiar. Although some of the dishes were different, chef Chad appears to have brought a lot with him from Springhill. My wife had fish and chips, I had the burger with the Boxcar Brown ale. The fish was halibut and very nice, as had been at the club. Served with peppered fries. There's only one burger on the menu, you just start with the basics and add what you want from a generous selection of cheeses, vegetables, and condiments. The quality of the meat seems better than it had been at the club, and the burger as a whole will provide serious competition for First Burger, across the street. Most of the menu, with some additions, are favorites we enjoyed at the club. I saw some tasty looking desserts go by but, alas, did not save room this time. My only regret is that the pub style cuisine doesn't let chef Chad express fully his talents in the fine dining department.

    • Hours: Monday - Thursday/ 11 a.m. to 9 p.m./ Friday - Saturday/ 11 a.m. - Midnight
    • Tel: 541.926.1710
    • Addr: 211 First Ave. SW Albany
    • Web: http://cappiesbrewhouse.com/

    Cascade Grill

    Cascade Grill opened in Dec. 2008. It is owned by the same person that operated the Big-O in Corvallis for many years. They are located at the north end of the Albany airport, next to the convention center. A recent dinner there changed my dim view of Cascade. The Ahi appetizer was cooked to perfection (lightly seared), my Cascade Chicken quite tasty, and my partner's salad was good as well. Service was friendly and fast. On another visit, the food was decent as well. The salads were large, and fairly tasty. Bread is good. But, in all the times we've been there (4 or so), the service has been slow. We've even had to ask other servers walking by for things. There is no shortage of staff, but even when it's not too busy, the service is slow. Fix that, and the place will be great. B-.

    6/24/11 SK: Cascade Grill: This is the 3rd time we have eaten at Cascade Grill. The first time shortly after they opened I left a poor review, however, I have to say, after 8 more visits (due to an elderly family member who craves salmon), I have to up their rating to at least a B. The service can be sporadic, however, the food is consistent, you always know what you order will be better quality than most places, plentiful and while it may not be "exciting" it, is well prepared. A great place to take "grandma" who misses the Buzz Saw and Herford Steer :)

    Click Here to See More User Reviews

    Click Here For Menu and Hours
    • Tel: 541.497.7802
    • Addr: Knox Butte Rd.
    • Web: http://cascadegrillalbany.com/

    Calapooia Brewing Co.

    This is the former Oregon Trader, with different owners/brewers. All reports are great about Calapooia Brewing. The main attraction is some of the best micro-brewed beers in the Valley. Their new kitchen is up and running. They have a great reproduction of the "Squirrel's Burger" there, as well as other good food. Second best burger in town! One customer told us "The new owners put the spirit back into the place". Kids are welcome until 6PM. Calapooia is partnering with folks in Corvallis to open a brewery there (Flat Tail). Hopefully the Albany operation doesn't get neglected. WARNING: Calapooia can be VERY slow at lunch. On 11/1/10 we had lunch there. It took 45 minutes to get our food (we did have a nice beer while waiting). There were only 4 other tables at the time. This would have been a disaster if we were in a hurry. Of course, once we finally got our food, it was good as usual. But, 45 minutes to wait for food is quite unacceptable! Our total time to each lunch was over an hour. Rating: B.

    Click Here for User Reviews

    Click For Menu and Hours
    • Tel: 541.928.1931
    • Addr: 140 Hill St NE
    • Web: www.calapooiabrewing.com
    • On-site micro-brewery
    • Heated Outside Seating
    • Children are permitted everyday of the week until 4PM. Adults (over 21) all other times.
    • Darts
    • Live Music

    Cappriccio

    Closed in 2001. See the listing for Sybaris.

    Charms Of Tea

    Is now (2/2010) The Ivy Garden Tea Room

    Rhythm and Brews - Live Coffee and Music

    logo

    This nice establishment has cropped up on 3rd st. We stopped in to Charlies on a recent Saturday morning, and we're quite happy with the place. They have light breakfast items, like biscuits and gravy, bagels, and muffins. Of course, there is coffee. The atmosphere is comfortable and inviting. Prices are right where they should be. Service was is fast and polite. Charlie sold the place awhile back, but it's still a great place to go. Here's what Mike and Sarah Allen, the new owners say "I'm the new owner of what was formerly "Charlie's Rhythm & Brews" now called "Rhythm & Brews Cafe'". The business is very much the same with live music on weekends, Allann Bros. Coffee, made to order deli sandwiches, hot dogs, chili dogs, paninis, soups, etc. However, we now feature local pastry goods from Jacopetti's and Pepsi products, too. Please help us spread the word that we are open for business and come check us out. We think you'll like what you see!"

    Quite recommended. A.

    6/14/09 SJ: Wife and I rode our scooters downtown this morning and stopped at Charlie's Rhythm & Brews for a morning bite and coffee. It's been there since last October, but this is the first time we've dropped in. Just driving by, the store front looks a little dive-y, but stop in - you'll be surprised. Inside it's a nice, comfortable coffee house. There's a little stage area in one corner for the Rhythm part. Sofa and chairs ala Central Perk, bunch of tables. Framed covers of Rolling Stone adorn the walls. The proprietor is Charlie Busch, late of KLOO-FM (from which we miss him). I had one of the breakfast burritos, toasted on the Panini grill - adds a nice crispiness. The Mrs. had one of the ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls, which was nice and fresh (although I like mine heavier on the goo). We'll definitely be back, either for breakfast or coffee drinks. Looking forward to coming by sometime in the evening for the live music. Recommended = A.

    • Tel: 541.924.5668
    • Addr: 229 3rd Ave.
    • Web: http://www.rhythmandbrewscafe.com/

    China #1 Buffet

    My wife and I visited the China #1 Buffet recently and I have to say that we were disappointed. Unfortunately, the Albany China Buffet was a disappointment in all these areas. My freshly washed (and still wet) plate had food particles on it. The sushi selection was very limited and the pieces were mostly rice. I tried two of the soups. The seafood soup had no seafood flavor and the egg flower tasted like chicken stock with a little egg thrown in. The other items I tried were notable for their blandness. They had a large selection of hard ice cream (yay) but the freezer was dirty and most of the tubs of ice cream were nearly empty. Those tubs showed signs that the product had melted and refrozen. I would suggest this restaurant if you're particularly hungry and not particularly fussy about cleanliness or tasteliness. Otherwise I would suggest that you take your $10 elsewhere. Not recommended.

    • Tel: 541.928.1810
    • Addr: 2732 Pacific Blvd SE

    Chinese Kitchen

    1/27/10 SS: I have to tell you, Chinese Kitchen is a humble, but clean establishment, but it's a real sleeper: they have been serving some of Albany's BEST chinese food for decades. Quantity, quality, service and price are all excellent. We go there as often as we can, and have been doing so for the best part of 25 years. Well worth knowing about.

    • Tel: 928-2197
    • Addr: 1644 Pacific Blvd

    Ciddici's Pizza

    The pizza is thin-crust style and is fantastic. Ciddici's is located in the old Oregon Electric Railway building. They also have non-pizza items on the menu, as well as wine and beer. Ciddici's is the best pizza in the mid-Willamette Valley. If you use their drive up window, you may need to honk, since the employees might not always see you. Highly Recommended, and they have Gluten Free pizza as well. Rating: A+. Ciddicci's has consistantly good pizza, even after all these years. They will have a second location near LBCC opening in later 2011. +++

    Click for User Reviews

    • Tel: 541.928.2536
    • Addr: 133 5th Ave SE (Corner of 5th and Lyon)
    Click For Menu
    • Gluten Free Pizza and Beer
    • Web: www.ciddicipizza.com
    • Click to print out coupons for Ciddici's!!
    • Party room for special events.

    Ciddici's is a site sponsor!


    Clemenza's American Italian Cafe

    As of 7/1/12, Clemenza's is serving a new menu created by Matt Morse (of the late Cappriccio). This a an improvement over the former mid-grade american/ italian menu. The chicken is fantastic, and the Bolognese was good, if not a bit salty. Service was pleasant and efficient on a surprisingly slow friday evening. We were quite pleased with the earthiness of the house red. Of yes, and the deserts are superb. Creme Brulee is one of my favorites. Recommended. Rating: B+.

    6/24/11 SK: Clemenza's: We used to love Clemenza's, especially after they started taking reservation. The last visit was disappointing. Husband had the chicken cannelloni, I had mushroom pasta, daughter a take out of the special (pasta/sausage/broccoli. Husband had the salad, which was as great as always, I had red pepper soup, which was fabulous (all of their soups have been wonderful!). Husbands, entree okay, nothing special, mine thick, bland , and overly rich sauce (not what I've had in the past). Food okay, more of a c- as opposed to the b+ or a I have given it in the past.

    Click for More User Reviews

    Click For Menu and Hours
    • Tel: 926.3353
    • Web: http://www.clemenzacafe.com/
    • Addr: 236 1st St. SW Albany, Oregon


    Cooper's

    No review, please submit. Coopers opened in Sept. 2008


    County Courthouse Diner

    No review, please submit.

    • Tel: 967-3877
    • Addr: Fourth St SW

    The Depot Restaurant

    This is a fried seafood joint. Smallish, cozy, with an interesting decor. Very well known in the local area. As one customer said, "You can have anything you want, as long as it's fried." Which is basically true, but most fried fish plates come with a salad. Sometimes a bit on the greasy side, and not-so-fresh tasting, but usually better than chain restaurant seafood. Rating: B-

    6/21/11 SK: Depot Cafe: 3 times in the last month. Food and service is always above average as long as you order the fish and chips, salads, apps, or chowder. Whenever we are "stuck" on where to go for dinner, we usually end up here, since it is always consistent, never disappointing. Daughter and I love it, husband doesn't eat fish anywhere else. I've been coming here for 30 years, through out various owner changes and have never been disappointed. One of my top Albany restaurant choices.

    3/15/2011 KT: Was turned onto this restaurant for the first time a month ago. We have been going back once a week ever since. The fish isn't heavily battered but just nicely fried and on the lighter side which is very nice. Not too greasy. Their fries are the best I've ever had in any restaurant. They are exactly like homemade. Great service and nice people. I haven't tried anything off the menu other than the fish and the fries but I eventually will. I saw someone served a shrimp salad with probably 50 little shrimp on top. No joke.

    Click Here for More User Reviews

    • Tel: 541.926.7326
    • Addr: 822 Lyon St S
    • Interesting Decor

    EL Dorado

    Mexican -- No review, please submit.

    • Tel: 791-3198
    • Addr: 1720 Pacific Blvd SW

    El Toro Mexican

    Has Closed.

    First Care Cafe

    Located inside Albany General Hospital.

    BM 9/2/07: Better then you would guess and half the price you would guess. They get extra credit for serving kozy shack puddings.

    First Burger

    First Burger (Motto: "Famous by Word of Mouth") opened on March 2, 2010. They are operated by the Sybaris/Clemenza's folks. As the name would imply, their focus are burgers. Their twist on this standard is to use as many local ingredients (beef, etc) as possible. The meat is ground and fries are cut on-site. They have some of the better burgers in town, and the fries are decent. And, the chocolate malt is quite good. The interior is quite spiffy, if a bit loud. The are open for lunch at 11:30AM, and dinner at 5PM, monday through saturday. Burgers can be made gluten-free on request. They do take-out. Recommended. A.

    Click Here for User Reviews

    Click For Menu
    • Web: www.thefirstburger.com
    • Tel: 541.704.1128
    • Addr: 210 First Ave W

    The Flinn Steakhouse

    The Flinn Steakhouse officially opened on 4/4/14. t's always nice to have a new restaurant open in downtown Albany. I've always thought that a steakhouse would be a great addition. Even though we were there on their first night of official business (they had the usual night or two of soft opening), things went smoothly, if not a tad bit slow. But, that's to be expected at a new restaurant. The main glitch that we saw with service is that three or four tables that came in after we did got served much before we did. It could have been what we ordered, of course. The food is mediocre at best. Disclaimer: we went to a steakhouse, and didn't order steak. We had salads, a burger, and the pork brisket. Since a small steak starts at $28.00, we didn't want to gamble on that. The brisket was merely OK. The high point of that dish was the mashed potatoes, which were 1) real 2) included the skins and 3) tasted good. The "brisket" itself seemed liked a frozen-preportioned-homel-type-thing. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't $18.00 good. It was served with a decent, if not too salty gravy and some nice diced zucchini (not a very seasonal selection, though). The mushrooms seemed straight out of a can (or they had sat around for awhile). My cohort says the burger was awful. The burger was cooked beyond her specifications, the meat too lean, and of low quality. In other words, it was tasteless, as were the cardboard-like tomatoes. She also agreed that the mushrooms tasted like they were out of a #10 can. Did we see a Sysco truck parked out back? Both salads (Caesar, wedge) were of cafeteria quality and freshness. We ate up in the mezzanine, which was quite sparsely appointed. The tables are against a long concrete beige wall with no artwork. Felt quite institutional and sterile. The very bright white fluorescent lighting did not help. However, the downstairs is nice. In summary, if the price point were lower, and I was 20 years older, it might just hit the spot. And, to be fair, it's brand new, so hopefully food and prices will adjust accordingly in the future. And, our server was awesome.

    C+

    Game Time Sports Bar

    Looks to be ok. C+.

    For such a seemingly generic sports bar they have surprisingly good pizza, although the wait staff and bartenders seem new and inexperienced. After only getting half of our party's orders, we had to ask if the rest had been placed (which it hadn't). One of the orders was a plate of appetizers which they also got wrong. On the plus side, they have local beers, including Calapooia's Boxcar Brown. Overall I would say this is a safe bet as far as sports bars go in Albany.

    •Addr: 2211 Waverly Dr SE
    •Tel: 541.981.2376
    •Web: www.gtsportsbar.com

    Geary Street Cafe

    Closed circa 2006.

    Ginza

    This is a decent Japanese sushi restaurant. The sushi is fresh, the other Japanese dishes are quite good, and the portions are large. Sometimes the service is great, other times it is very slow to practically non-existent. I think the key is to be there when it is not busy (after the dinner hour). Try the green tea ice cream. Recommended. Prices are reasonable. If service was consistently good and somewhat fast, Ginza would be highly recommended! Rating: B.

    8/21/08 MM: Delicious but I've only eaten there for lunch where you order at the counter so service isn't an issue. Lines aren't too bad if you get there early and the plates are large. The owners are friendly as well.

    BM 9/2/07: I agree the service is sporadic, but the chef is way better than "acceptable". This guy's rice is the best in the valley; his knife technique is textbook and his presentation is in the the Japanese tradition. We just order everything "to go" over the phone and pick it up (thus avoiding service issues and screaming kids [ours, not the restaurant])

    • No Online Menu Available
    • Tel: 917.9999
    • Addr: 2218 Santiam Hwy SE
    • Fresh Food

    Hasty Freez Freeze

    I don't know how/why we forgot to post this treasure of a local establishment on the page until now. (Thanks LD!) It's a good old fashioned walk/drive-up ice cream, shake, and burger joint. It's been around for more than a million years, and is a fixture in downtown Albany. It's certainly not gourmet, but nothing beats an ice cream and some greasy fries from Hasty on a hot summer night. Sure, they might be slow. But, enjoy every minute of standing in line. Recommended. A.

    Click for User Reviews

    • Tel: 541.926.2144
    • Addr: 655 Lyon St. Albany, Oregon

    Henry's at Hickory (Or is it Henry's on Hickory)

    Henrys has closed. No surprise there. Brewster's has opened in it's place.

    • No Menu Available
    • Tel: 541.926.3672
    • Web:
    • Addr: 640 NW Hickory St across from Ray's Grocery

    The Hickory Pit

    As of 12/4/10, the Hickory Pit has closed.

    Menu Page 1
    Menu Page 2
    Menu Page 3
    Menu Page 4
    • Tel: 541.924.9667
    • Addr: 2200 Pacific Blvd SE

    The Ivy Garden Tea Room

    logo

    2/14/10 GL: Charms Of Tea changed hands a while back and was renamed The Ivy GardenTea Room. The new owner is Dawn McElroy, who used to have the Joyful Hearts Tea Room in Corvallis. I believe they have limited days of opperation. Now Dawn has taken over the remainder for the space formerly occupied by Aromatique and will be opening a gift shop.

    • Addr: 333 1st Ave.
    • Tel: 541.928.7330

    Jacopetti's Deli

    Jacopetti's has closed the cafe, but they still offer catering services. Sweet Things Bakery and Deli has opened at the same location.

    King Kone

    I used to love the place as a kid!

    6/4/08 MT: My favorite meal from King Kone is their Chicken Cordon Bleu sandwich. It's not what you'd call 'diet friendly', but it is sooo good. It's a chicken breast (I believe it's breaded and fried) with a slice of ham, cheese (it's a mild white cheese), lettuce, tomato and a special sauce (I think it's ranch dressing) on a sesame seed bun. It comes with really yummy krinkle fries and is only $4.50 or, if you prefer it without fries it's $4. They also have the best soft-serve ice cream and their large ice cream portion sizes are what they are known for - hence the name. My youngest really loves their strawberry cheesecake ice cream (not soft serve). The dining atmosphere isn't that great, but I would recommend ordering your food to go and taking it to one of the nearby parks.

    • Tel: 926.5668
    • Addr: 1515 Salem Ave

    Lee's Wok

    Has closed. Lucky Garden (see review below) has opened in it's place.

    Linn-Benton Community College Culinary School, The Santiam Restaurant

    LBCC operates several restaurants as training outlets for their culinary program. All reports come back good. One review said, "You get a great meal for a great price." Recommended. Give LBCC a ring for more details. Rating: A.

    • Tel: 917-4392
    • Addr: 6500 SW Pacific
    http://www.linnbenton.edu/go/culinary-arts/events
    • Local Educational Institution

    Little Bangkok

    Has closed. So has it's replacement: Thai Tip. First Buger is in that space.

    Loafers Station

    After extensive remodeling Loafers Station reopen in March, 2011. The new interior is nice, but very very loud. The quality of the food is lower than that of the previous incarnation of Loafer's. Service is hit or miss. C-.

    6/22/11 FL: After hearing that Loafer's had reopened, we decided to give it a try and went the first week of June, 2011. We had been to Loafers many times before they closed, and enjoyed their sandwiches then. I heard that they had expanded their menu, and so we went to check it out hoping that we would have another good choice restaurant for lunch/dinner. I was happy to see they had fish and chips, and my husband likes pulled pork and brisket, so he was excited as well. I ordered fish and chips, he ordered the slow-roasted brisket sandwich. But, to our disappointment, both dishes were mediocre at best. The fish consisted of little, flavorless and greasy "pieces" that were mostly hard-fried batter. They tasted like they were out of a cheap bag of frozen who-knows-what kind of fish. The brisket was pretty flavorless as well, and tasted much like a roast out of the oven that had not been seasoned in any way. . . kind of like Sunday pot roast leftovers. The only thing we both thought tasted ok was the fries. I have to say, if you open a restaurant and you can't make a dish taste great - or at least pretty good - then you should leave it off your menu. I don't know if we will be back to try again. The service wasn't that great either, we were pretty much ignored until I heard one waitress tell another who just came in "Hey, do you want to get those guys?" We are still holding out hope that someone will bring us a few more good choices in restaurants in Albany.

    5/9/11 FK: Went to loafers before the Loft Tour on Friday, May 6th, 2011; was excited about the re-opening. The initial service was slow for taking our orders (I was with a friend and my boyfriend). We waited so long for our food that I got up and asked them the status of my salad since it shouldn't take that long to bring a salad before the meal. The waitress told me usually they serve salads with the meal so they weren't going to bring it until my hot food had arrived so that I could stare at my hot food getting cold while eating my salad, apparently. The little side salad was good once it made it to us though. Then, my burger arrived and it looked undercooked (red in the middle), it looked like someone had dropped raw meat on the hamburger bun so I set that aside not wanting to eat the suspiciously red-stained bottom bum, and the meat was very fatty and looked low quality. It just looked so unappetizing that I didn't want to eat it so I told the waitress she could take it back to the kitchen. I asked her to bring me a menu so I could maybe pick something else instead. Then the manager came over all charged up and she started into a big speech about how her burger meat is hand picked and they ground it fresh that morning so it's the best possible meat and there's nothing wrong with it so what can she do for me? I didn't quite know how to take that since she basically just told me that my opinion of the meat was wrong and that she's right. I told her I wasn't sure that there was anything she could do since she already had her mind made up that everything from her kitchen was just fine and dandy. I told her I was waiting for a menu so I could see if there was something to re-order so she ran off in a huff to go get me one. By the time I got the menu, though, I was so put off by the rude manager telling me I was wrong before I even got to say anything and so put off by the look of the meal in the first place, not to mention the super slow service, that it wasn't surprising to me that I found nothing else on the menu worth ordering. I had two people with me who assured me that I wasn't crazy; that the manager acted very inappropriately and handled the situation horribly. We got the bill and there it was: a charge for $6.50 for a crappy burger that I didn't even take one bite out of and had returned. They left the charge for the burger on the bill?? Seriously?? OK. I had to ask my boyfriend to go up and pay because if I went up there and had to talk to them I knew I was going to cause a big scene. He had to argue with them for at least 5 minutes at the counter to get the burger charge removed. Needless to say, we left no tip and won't be back. It's too bad; I was really looking forward to finding a new place to eat in town on a regular basis.

    • No Online Menu
    • Tel: 541.926.8183
    • Addr: 222 Wasington St.

    Los Dos Amigos

    Los Dos Amigos is very much not recommended. The food and service are sub par. There are many other good alternatives in this area. Not Recommended. Potential diners should be aware of this incident that happened several years ago. Does not bode well for Los Dos Amigos! Again, not recommended. Rating: D.

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    • No Online Menu
    • Tel: 541.928.4820
    • Addr: 2133 Santiam Hwy SE

    Los Tequilas Mexican Restaurant

    Los Tequilas is a generally good restaurant. Usually the service is great, but we were there on one occasion where it was horrible. But, that was unusual, so we still recommend this joint. Probably the best "Mexican food" in Albany. Rating: B.

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    • Tel: 541.791.3966
    • Addr: 2525 Santiam Hwy

    Love Love Teriyaki

    Love Love is decent. B-.

    PG 6/18/10: A friend recommended this place to me when I first moved here about three years ago. Pretty much typical Teriyaki joint. Noodles, pork dishes, etc. I am absolutely addicted though to their spicy chicken. You get a huge amount of chicken and rice for around $8. I always have leftovers for the late night munchies. The lo mein noodles and yakisoba are subpar. Greasy and not very flavorful. They are also now venturing into the sushi business which only appears to have a shrimp tempura roll on the menu. I hear it is amazing, however trust your sushi to Ginza. All in all, if you want some Teriyaki chicken, then this is a safe bet. B

    Lucky Garden Chinese

    Lucky Garden is another mediocre "chinese" joint. Not recommended. They have many misspelling on their website and menus. It looks like they "used" the template for their very annoying website from a Japanese restaurant site. Wierd. C-.

    1/17/10 GJ: This is the new Chinese restaurant that is at the old Lee's Wok address. My friends and I had high hopes that Albany would finally get a great Chinese restaurant. We will be continuing to wait. We will be going back to AB Chinese or Lum Yuen since they are a steady average. Also: spelling errors on the take-out menu (Carb should be Crab.) Grade: D- Good: Friendly and knowledgable staff. Nice Decor. No MSG. Will have an internet menu. Portions generous. Bad: The food. Pork Fried Rice and Vegetable Fried Rice: too salty and heavy on the oil. Pineapple Chicken: great combo of flavors, but frozen mixed veggies and gristle chicken. Almond Fried Chicken: heavy gravy, this was all that you can taste. The foods that let you know that it is a "great" Chinese restaurant: Crab Puffs and Fried Shrimp: not light and tender, but heavy on the grease and fried crisp/hard. We purchased appx $30 worth of food, and threw out near half of it out. It was not deemed worth eating again.

    • Tel: 541.928.9908
    • Addr: 2845 Santiam Hwy, Albany, OR
    • Web: http://www.luckygardenchinese.com/ Menu is on the website.

    Lum Yuen Restaurant

    A pilot friend, who likes to fly into the Lum Yuen and eat, tells us their Chinese-style food is decent, and the portions large. There is ample parking for both planes and cars. Lum Yuen is located at the south end of the Albany Airport runway. The airport code is S12, for you pilots. Suggested.

    FE 1/8/10: This is a great chinese place. They have a wonderful lunch buffet with quality food and a great price. The variety of food in the lunch buffet may not be as wide as some, but the quality and freshness of the food is much better than your average chinese lunch buffet. For $5.95 all you can eat, it's a great lunch choice if you're hungry. Dinner here is excellent as well. My first time there for dinner I ordered the Kung Pao chicken. It was served in a large pyrex pie plate. It was a heaping pile of food. Huge portions! More than I could eat (which is rare). Unlike some chinese places, this Kung Pao chicken was primarily chicken. The next time I went for dinner I tried a combination dinner. The fried shrimp was extremely fresh, right out of the fryer. And the sweet and sour pork was also very hot and crispy fresh. I've been to several chinese places in Albany, this is by far and away my favorite.

    • No Online Menu
    • Tel: 541.928.8866
    • Addr: 1236 Price Rd SE
    • Parking for Small Planes

    Mexico Lindo

    This is a Mexican joint that opened up in the North Albany Shopping Center. Service is fast and friendly, but the food is a bit bland. They are good for take-out, but we'd recommend Los Tequilas for sit down meals. Mexico Lindo is marginal. Rating: C+.

    8/11/09 WM: My fiance and I use to enjoy this place fairly regularly for its quick service, the food was never outstanding just typical Mexican fare. Unfortunately, our opinion had to change after our last visit. As with most people, we don't have a ton of money to spare and since we weren't especially hungry, splitting a plate of fajitas made the most sense/cents. The hostess was pleasant enough until the moment we asked to split our dinner, from there on out her demeanor had switched completely. While she completely was ignoring us and chitchatting with the tables around us, we were forced to grab the guy cleaning tables for everything she neglected, such as our salsa, guacamole and sour cream along with refills on our drinks. We rarely judge a place solely by one poor experience, but that evening left such a sore taste in our mouths, it's hard to give them a second chance. Perhaps we will try this place again, but first we are in serious need of some mouthwash.

    6/6/09 SJ: I've dined at the Corvallis location for years, mostly due to the close proximity to my office and their lightning fast service. My wife and I visited the North Albany location for an early dinner on a Saturday. The food is quick and reliable, but fairly bland. That suits my wife fine, she doesn't care for spicy food. However I like it zesty, so the cuisine leaves me fairly nonplused. Merely okay = B.

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    • Tel: 541.981.2379
    • Addr: 637 NW Hickory #130
    • Web: http://www.gomexicolindo.com/

    Momiji Japanese

    Momiji opened in mid-march 2010. They feature Sushi and other Japanese fair. The service is good, but the food is OK. We tried the sushi and the bento box. Service was good, except that our sushi came out 10 minutes before the rest of the dinner. For Japanese, we recommend Ginza. B-.

    3/24/10 SA: 5 stars, great sushi, very nice service, nice ambience, great addition to North Albany!!!

    3/23/10 WM: We just ate lunch at Momiji and loved it! We got 15% off for their Grand Opening, and ate our weight in nigiri and rolls. The tempura in the soft shell crab roll is spot on! My fianc?? (who historically sticks to philly and Cali rolls) loved that roll, even with it's large crabby pieces sticking out to high heaven. I got tuna and yellow tail nigiri, it was fresh, firm and flavorful. The service was great, although the food took a little longer than normal...but come on! They just opened! Try it, it's delicious!

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    • Tel: 541.497.6013
    • Addr: Ray's Plaza, North Albany
    • Web: http://momiji-sushi.com/

    Novak's Hungarian Paprikas Restaurant

    Novaks Paprikas is a locally-owned Hungarian establishment. Food is good, and service normally good. You might even have an accordion player roaming around serenading you. The atmosphere/decor is uninteresting, but on many nights the owners, Joe and "Mama" Novak, will personally greet you as they circulate through the dining room. A recent mother's day dinner was a disaster. We had reservations, and still had to wait 20 minutes to get seated. It was quite obvious Novak's oversold. That's not accepatable for mother's day. Once we were seated, it took another 15 minutes for a server to come by. And, she stank like cigarettes. After that, we had to flag down another server to remind him that we ordered drinks. The kitchen was swamped, again, because they were oversold. Once the food finally came, it was decent. Not as good as usual, but OK. After eating dinner and waiting another 20 or so minutes, we had to flag yet another server down to provide a desert menu. After being ignored again for too long we finally got up and waited too long to pay our bill at the till. We've been big fans of Novak's in the past, but this lack of planning on their part is completely unacceptable. We can not ethically recommend them. Novaks is marginally OK. A bit above average pricing $18.00. Rating: B-

    LM 9/5/11: Novak's Hungarian is a real treat for my whole family. The meat-eaters love the Chicken Paprikas, the vegetarians enjoy the Spinach Palacsinta, and the kids like the Mac & Cheese. Everyone loves the pastries! The atmosphere is warm and friendly. The service is excellent. The family members who run the restaurant visit with us and make sure we enjoy the meal.

    VL 5/15/08: Food at Novak's is delicious. Being of Eastern European descent, the food reminded me of my family's. Prices are very reasonable and service was wonderful. Definitely going back.

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    • Tel: 967.9488
    • Addr: 2306 Heritage Way SE
    • Next door to GI Joe's
    novaks-hungarianrestaurant.com

    Olde Towne Cafe

    Is closed. Clemenza's is roughly in the same location.

    One Wine Bar

    Jim Jones' One Wine Bar closed in June 2006, Wilhelm's Spirits and Eatery has opened in this location.

    Orchard Cafe

    Has closed.

    Oregon Trader Brewery

    Oregon Trader has changed hands. See the Calapooia Brewing Co. listing.

    The Original Breakfast

    A recent breakfast was not enjoyable. Sure, the food was ok (and a bit over priced). My eggs benedict was mediocre, and my partner's pancakes were dry. We can make both items much better at home. Service was quite good, though. But, it was very very hot and loud. The restaurant was a bit more than half full, so who knows how bad the atmosphere would be if it was full. I can see no reason to go back. They are a bit overpriced and the service is hit-or-miss. Not recommended. C-.

    10/16/11 TC: We decided to give this place one more chance after becoming ill with suspected food poisoning. And not just one person, all 4 of us! We tried to place a to go order but was told you have to come to the restaurant to order. So my husband did just that and waited over 25 minutes for the food. When we got it home, they gave us the incorrect order. After speaking with two different people on the phone, they agreed to replace the order but only if we returned the incorrect order. Then my husband had to argue that he wanted it ready when he got there since he had just spent over 25 minutes waiting for the incorrect order. Needless to say, we won't be going back. Ever.

    5/10/11 GM: Went there for breakfast on Saturday May 8, 2011. As usual the restaurant was very busy, but we were seated within ten minutes, a very acceptable wait time for such a small breakfast restaurant on a Saturday morning. The noise level is very high. Initial service was quick and friendly, but the management must have changed their soft drink distributor because when we attempted to order a Pepsi type drink formt the menu we were told they were no longer available. Also white toast is oddly not available. The meal was served quickly and completely. About half way through the meal, one of my dining companions bit down on what appeared to be a one inch square charcoal briquette. When we brought this to the attention of the staff, we were told loudly that "your not getting your meal for free!!!" We asked to speak to the manager and were informed that the manager was not on the premises. As we were getting ready to leave (I can't stand being yelled at), our previously polite waiter informed us that "YOU CAN'T LEAVE WITHOUT PAYING!!!!!!" Although it had never occurred to me to do so, I did inform this rude person that I could most certainly do so if I desired to do so - and we paid and left our unfinished meals. Obviously, a resaurant needs to be managed during the busiest part of their day. Obviously, we will never return to this "business" again. As far as the briquette? We think it was probably an accumulation of "ash" from a very, very, dirty grill. I would not recommend this restaurant.

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    • Tel: 928.7841
    • Addr: 3225 Santiam Hwy

    Pepper Tree Sausage

    Pepper Tree is an Albany gem since 1982. Mike makes the sausage (and other tasty meat products) on-site, and it's fabulous. They serve breakfast and lunch in their small (probably 12 people) seating area. Plus, you can get sausage, bacon, and other meat to go. Open Tues to Sat. 7 to 3, except open 'til 6 on Tuesday and Friday. They'll be closed for the month of April 2010 for maintenance. Highly recommended! A+

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    • Tel: 541.928.1254
    • Addr: 1125 Salem Avenue SE, Albany, OR
    • Web: http://www.proaxis.com/~ptsh/

    Ping's Garden

    Pings Garden is a below average "Chinese" restaurant. Food is not interesting and not fresh, but the service is decent. The restaurant decor is worn, and marginally clean. Menu is overpriced. Not recommended: there are better, cheaper choices, like Lum Yuen. Rating: C.

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    • Tel: 967.7367
    • Addr: 1206 9th Ave SE
    www.pingsgarden.com

    Pizza Amore

    This place is another good pizza joint in Albany. The calzone is good, as well as the pizza. The wait might be long if you go in, but the secret is to call ahead. We are lucky in having yet another good pizza joint in Albany. The crust can sometimes be a bit greasy, but still good. Recommended, and not too expensive, either. Rating: B+

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    • Tel: 541.917.9000
    • Addr: 2200-block of SE Santiam Hwy (next to Ginza, see above)

    Pizza King

    Pizza King is a pizza joint that serves more than pizza. Every Friday night, they hold "Taste of Italy", which is a Prix Fixe Italian dinner. You'll want to make reservations for that event. Check their website for this week's menu. Ok, back to the Pizza: it's decent. Of course, my preference is cracker crust, and this pizza is much more doughier. My review partner likes that kind of pizza, and he rates Pizza King good. We have meet the owner, Ruby, who is nice. Pizza King is family oriented, with a fairly large play room, and other activites. So, it can be quite loud at times. Not the place for a romantic dinner, for sure. We'd like to see them use compostable/recyclable take out containers. Recommended. Rating: B-.

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    • Tel: 926.9468
    • Addr: 231 Lyon St
    • Web: www.pizzakingalbany.com/

    Pop's Branding Iron

    Pops Branding Iron is a 24-hour, cowboy-themed, family-style restaurant. I used to come here with my friends when we'd get off work late. They have good burgers and the food is well priced. Don't come here expecting a formal place by any means. I don't really want to call it this, but the only other description I can think of is "greasy spoon." Suggested. Rating: B-.

    • Tel: 926.5755
    • Addr: 901 Pacific Blvd SE

    Rigoberto's Mexican

    3/12/12 LD: Hey guys my daughter from West Albany begged me to try this place, which doesn't look in the best of shape but the burritos were awesome! The Oregon Burrito as they call it, is stacked with the meat of your choice, affordable, and very tasty to my surprise! Later last month, an old customer of mine at the bank I manage, that he drives from Salem to grab their steak Quesadillas. He came down to take me to lunch and it was probably the best I have had west of Chicago. Haven't tried the tacos or breakfast burritos but these people seem like the same Rigoberto's Taco Shop, that has a chain in California. Worth trying since Albany has been struggling to find good mexican food! The salsa is very good also with non greasy chips. Here is the link to the one in California. http://www.rigobertostacoshop.com/

    • Tel: 541-967-4066
    • Addr: 2025 Satium HWY SE

    Riley's

    Rileys has burgers, sandwiches, or deep-fried stuff. You can play pool and darts there, as well. Riley's has the usual lower-to-middle of the road bar food.. Their focus is now to be a dance/bar/hangout. I'd guess that this direction was determined by economics. It's just not a place to hang out and have a good dinner anymore. But, if you like the younger bar (meat market) type of scene, Riley's is one of two choices in downtown Albany. JPs is the other. I like the place and the folks that run it, it's just not our scene. Rating: B-

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    • Tel: 926.2838
    • Addr: 124 Broadalbin St SW
    www.rileysbilliards.com
    • Occasional Live Music


    Riverview Mongolian Grill

    A less-than-average, unexciting Mongolian grill. Last time were there, the "buffet" was a bit dirty, and so were the table. The service was almost non-existant, and the prices high. Not Recommended. Rating: C-.

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    • Tel: 541.791.4784
    • Addr: 2125 Pacific Blvd SW

    Roger's Restaurant

    We have been checking out local greasy spoons, looking for Albany's best comfort food. Unfortunately Rogers wasn't it, not even close. I had the pot roast special with a baked potato (because the mashed, my favorite, was instant). The potato appeared to have been in the warmer for 6 hours so it was pretty solid and the gravy was definitely out of a can, no doubt a very large can. The commercial roll came with whipped margarine (Illegal in NY). The canned corn was okay and the bean soup was quite tasty. My partner's 1/2 chef salad was nearly all iceberg lettuce. The cheese was pasteurized something. The total of the toppings made up about 10% of the salad. Definitely not a place we'd return to. (So far, the Branding Iron is our favorite in this category.)

    2/24/08 PM: Oh, and to add a comment to your review of Roger's, I've only ever eaten breakfast foods there, and their breakfasts are greasy but pretty good. I've never tried it for lunch or dinner and I'm in no hurry to, but I'd recommend the breakfasts.

    • Tel: 541.926.6717
    • Addr: 2165 Pacific Blvd SE

    Rosie's

    This was formely called "Angelica's"

    HB 11/22/09: Angelica's in now called Rosie's.? It does not appear to be the same owners...the interior and menu have all changed.? After returning from Texas after 3 years my wife and I wanted to hit Angelica's for lunch and found it changed to Rosie's, but decided to give it a try.? This is the worst excuse for Mexican food I have had in my life!? Lunch was one small ent??e (I had a cheese enchilada, my wife had a chicken enchilada) with rice and beans.? The portions were ridiculously small?? The cheese turned to oil, and the sauce is some strange, orange stuff that obviously comes from a can.? Who ever took over this restaurant just plain isn't trying! Not recommended!

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    • Tel: 541.926.1943
    • Addr: 1727 Hill St. SE Albany, OR 97321
    • Web: http://www.rosies-restaurant.com/

    Sam City

    Sam City is, in a word OK. The service is friendly, if not fast. Prices are fine. Food is really so-so. It's not bad, but it's not amazing, either. It's a funky (or as they call "fusion") menu, that ranges from Pho to Gyoza to Fish and Chips. We were there for dinner, but I hear it's better for lunch. Again, Sam City gets a so-so rating. Rating: C.

    SJ 6/24/09: I finally persuaded my wife to try Sam City. I've been curious about it since they opened. Have to agree that the service is friendly. You'll notice two things right away. 1) The seats are uncomfortably close to the table and 2) the menu looks like it was made by someone with 101 fonts on their computer and an ambition to use each and every one. I had the spicy pork - it was so-so. My wife had the teriyaki chicken but didn't care for it at all. She much prefers Toki Teriyaki. I hate it when my wife is right. Can't really recommend them. = C

    10/18/08 RK: Have eaten at Sam City a couple of times now, and it's very good with nicely varied menu. The Pho is excellent and the other dishes we've tried have also been delicious. We'll definitely go back, and often. I only wish I could get a Vietnamese lemonade somewhere around here. Recommended!

    • Tel: 928-6180
    • Addr: 2180 Pacific Blvd SE

    Shawn's on first

    Shawn's has closed their doors permanently circa Labor Day weekend 2008. Bo Mack's BBQ has opened in that location. See their listing for more information.

    Sidekick's

    Sidekicks is a good coffee and light fare joint. We've always been happy with their coffee and food. Located next door to The Depot. B

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    • Tel: 967.7558
    • Addr: 832 Lyon St

    Shirley May's

    They have great, affordable burgers and fries. Not really in Albany; it is in Cottonwoods between Albany and Lebanon on Hwy 20.

    2/18/10 JC: Shirley mae's My husband loves this little hole in the wall. Super cheap prices and a wonderful breakfast! Coffee under $1 and free refills- the pancakes are as big as the plates and they put the eggs, bacon, etc on the pancakes as there is no room on the plate. The place is pretty small and the decor is a little crazy (jungle animal theme... it is truly a "greasy spoon" kinda place) but if you want a great price and good food fast try it out!

    • Tel: 928.9662
    • Addr: 36065 Highway 20

    Smokehouse Cafe

    The Izzy's owned Smokehouse Cafe has closed (Sept 2008).

    Spice & Ice Asian Grill & Gelato

    They have an interesting menu, from steamed hamburgers to grill to gelato. There has been some service glitches in the past, but the food is decent. Given the mixed reviews, we'd say maybe recommended. S&I is improving. They feature gluten-free items. B-.

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    • Tel: 541.791.3430
    • Addr: 637 NW Hickory - Next to Ray's Food Place in North Albany

    Springhill Country Club Restaurant and Pub

    12/4/10 SS: Lunch menu at Springhill is superb! They are blessed with what may be the best chef In the area! Their Salisbury steak, buried in mushrooms and gravy, with garlic-mashed potatoes and fried slices of zucchini, is to die for. And their HUGE triple-decker grilled Chicken club sandwich is amazing...it has the thickest chunks of chicken breast and thickest slices of bacon I've ever seen in a sandwich anywhere!

    Sweet Things Bakery and Deli

    2/14/10 GL: Sweet Things Bakery & Deli has gone in were Jacopetti's Deli used to be. They have great scone and pasteries and are famous for their GIANT cinnamon rolls! Sherrie did a wonderflu cake for my best friends Wedding reception. The cake was beautifully decorated and guaranteed to had to be the best tasting cake I'd had in a long time. Besided being a bakery they have a few tables where you can sit and enjoy coffee and a pastery or choose a deli sandwich for lunch.

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    • Web: http://www.sweetthingsalbany.com/home
    • Tel: 541.928.8804
    • Addr: 288 Hickory St. Albany, Or

    Sweet Red Wine Bar and Bistro

    Sweet Red is in the former Boccherini's location. They server breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Our first impression is good. A recent breakfast was nice, and dinner was quite affordable and exceeded our expectations. They also serve a decent lunch. As with many new restaurants, the service is a bit rough. I expect that will improve over time. Recommended: B.

    1/23/12 FA: Went here on Saturday night with my girlfriends to mix it up from our usual Vault visit. The wine menu is varied athough not huge. They offer free tastes which is a nice touch. We purchased by the glass and the prices were reasonable - what one would expect at a wine bar. We also tried the fruit cheese appetizer which came on an adorable tray. It had a nice variety of cheese and fruit. Some nice fruit - including dates. It was enough for 3 of us as we were only looking for something to nibble on with our wine. We asked for additional bread to enjoy with the tray. It was very fresh. The other food items looked enticing and I'd like to go back and try other options. Admittedly anyone who has ever been here when it was Boccerinis will have a hard time adjusting to the set up because it is exactly the same. You may imagine a lingering coffee scent...that being said it is cozy & pleasant. Could be a nice place for a date as well as a girls night out...although it did get a bit noisy at times (high ceilings). The service was prompt and unobtrusive. Definitely try it! I look forward to my second experience there.

    YS 1/21/12: I finally got to go to Sweet Red's, which I have been anxiously waiting for. The new owners did a great job with the interior, it is very nice inside. The wine selection was not a large as I expected, but both my husband and I managed to find something delicious. They brought us some bread (crostini style slices)and butter, which was very good. We were not going to order food since we had dinner reservations elsewhere, but I couldn't resist giving something a try. We ordered the walnut and date crositni with brie and honey. It was small, three pieces, but it was fantastic! The woman helping us told us their cheese plate is the best and it sounded tempting. Maybe next time. Overall, the food menu is small, the items are pricey, and what we saw of them the portions are very small. We saw several tiny desserts and coffees go to the table next to us. Our bill was $24 for two glasses of wine and the crostini. We will go again, we just won't plan on eating anything substantial there.

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    http://www.sweetredbistro.com/menus.html
    • Tel: 541-704-0510
    • Addr: 208 1st Ave W Albany, Or

    Sweet Waters Family Restaurant

    7/22/09 AR: Albany, Oregon. My boyfriend and I were looking for a new, quiet place to eat in Albany. The atmosphere was clean and quiet because of the three parties in the restaurant, we were the only one under the age of 50. But that does not matter. Sweet Waters is billed as home cooking, and if they were aiming to cook like my mother they were right on par. I ordered top sirloin and teriyaki chicken for $13.50. I chose a trip through the salad bar, which I would recommend as part of a meal, but come no where near the stand alone price of $8.50 for one trip through. When my meal arrived I had a cup of canned green beans with bacon, which tasted, as well as looked to be fresh out of a can. The mashed potatoes and gravy were of the instant, just add water variety. The steak was tendered and cooked just as ordered and can easily be duplicated at home by first stopping by your favorite Costco frozen meat department. The chicken breast wore the scars of being defrosted in the microwave and probably shared shelf space at Costco with the steak. My partners mushroom Swiss burger was excellent and he states it is better than the Red Robin equivalent. Overall, if your level of home style cooking is canned, instant or cheap bulk meat product and you like overpaying for the privilege, Sweet Waters is the place for you. We, on the other hand, will continue to drive past Sweet Waters.

    7/22/07 KS: Sweetwaters is a quiet atmosphere--traditional type restaurant. Breakfast- lunch -dinner. We have always had great service. A large menu. What I like best is the salad bar. The salad bar has a variety of salads to choose from. My favorite is the broccoli salad. Salad bar comes with your dinner. The usual customers in the evening is seniors because of the quiet atmosphere. Their pies are homemade. Prices are real reasonable.

    Menu Page 1
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    • Tel: 812.9222
    • Addr: 2830 Santiam Hwy

    Sybaris Bistro

    Sybaris is one of the best and most expensive places in Albany for dinner. Their menu changes every month, and features locally grown/raised food. They feature a complete menu: appetizers, salad, entrees, desserts. They also have a vegetarian dish every month, but the focus is on meat! Sybaris also hosts periodic "event" dinners. Call or visit the website for details. Highly Recommended. Rating: A+.

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    • Tel: 928.8157
    • Addr: 442 1st Ave W
    • Web: www.sybarisbistro.com. Menu available on their web site.
    • Menu Varies
    • Special Events

    Szabo's Steakhouse and Seafood

    Szabo's has closed.
    Szabo's has a location in Newport, OR that is still operating.

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    • Tel: (541) 926-8183
    • Addr: 222 Washington St SW, Albany, OR 97321
    • Web: http://www.szabosrestaurants.com/ (Menu on website)

    Taqueria Alonzo

    This is a typical Mexican places. They have fairly bland food, and have had a past history of overcharging people. But, their fresh salsa is excellent. Rating: B

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    • Tel: 541.812.1311
    • Web: http://alonzotaqueria.com
    • Addr: 250 Broadalbin SW

    Tarasco's

    Rosies's is open in that location.

    House of Thai Noodle / House of Noodle Thai

    House of Noodles recently (Feb 2010) opened in the old old Pizza Hut building across from Staples in Albany. A recent dinner there was good. The service was fast, and the prices were right. We had the BBQ combo, and it was good. Recommended. Be advised that they currently do not have a beer/wine license, but are working on it. B.

    BR 12/3/10: I had lunch today at House of Noodle. Finally, Albany once again has decent Thai food. I ordered the Green Curry with Shrimp. I ordered it at a heat level of 2 (They go to 5.). The curry had a rich flavor and a heat that made my face break out in a sweat without setting my tongue on fire (My ideal of hot and spicy.) with a nice contrasting sweetness that came from just the right application of basil. Will have to try other dishes, but for the moment I am very satisfied. The service was very satisfactory, especially considering this was in the middle of the noon hour, and they appeared to be busy. I noticed several patrons commenting on thow mpleased they were. Definitely going back.

    BA 6/6/10: FOOD: Better than expected. I tried the Ka Pow w/chicken - medium-spicy, and that's exactly what it was, not painfully hot, but it had a nice kick and really tasty. Reasonable, thought not large portions... something I've come to expect in most Asian food establishments. Well-rounded menu - I'll be trying more very soon. SERVICE: Friendly, reasonably quick ( I WAS there right at luchtime, and this isn't fast food), Only issue - I ordered (and paid extra for) fried rice with my entree. It comes normally with streamed white rice... which is what I received. Strike one. Next time, I'll look inside the clamshell before I leave. PRICES: Again, I'm used to larger portions - even for lunch - so to me the prices are middle-of-the-road. Can't yet say if I recommend this place, yet. I'll try it out a couple more times first.

    BA 6/6/10: We've ordered delivery from the House of Noodles twice so far and have been thrilled. The food arrived within 30 minutes and was hot. We've tried a few different items: Pad Thai, Korean BBQ, Fried Rice, Duck, Mangos & Rice. Everything was delicious! This is some of the best (if not THE best) Asian style food we have eaten. The staff is friendly and helpful. I am so pleased we have another non-pizza delivery option.

    3/20/10 SK: Ordered to go from The House of Noodles. We had the Massaman Beef Curry and the Panang Curry. The Massaman was good but the Panang with chicken was excellent. Everything was flavorful, and plentiful. If you like it spicy hot, tell them, otherwise it is mild. Called in the order and it was ready in 15 minutes. Service and food both great, we will be eating here again soon! Would give it an A for the Panang and a B+ for the Massaman. I hope people will give it a try, great to have a Thai restaurant back in town. Maybe we'll get lucky and get an Indian restaurant next :)

    3/21/10 BJ: HI!My husband and I made it to House of Noodles ( you have it listed as Thai noodle [Ed note: that's fixed]) I was excited to try it since my co-workers eat there several times a week since they opened, and they gave it great reviews. We got to the restaurant at 5pm when they opened for dinner. The place got busy right after we arrived. We shared the spring roll appetizer, the large Tom Yum Gai soup, and the Yellow curry Chicken noodles. All were very good. And our bill game to $17.20. It was a lot of food for the price. I would recommend eating here, and I look forward to returning to try new menu items. I am glad that Albany has another great non-chain restaurant.

    Menu Page 1
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    • Tel: 541.928.0707
    • Addr: 2025 Santiam Hwy SE

    Thai Tip

    Thai Tip was destroyed in a 2006 fire.

    Toki Teriyaki

    Just what you would expect from a lunch-oriented teriyaki place. The flavors are good, the portions are plentiful, and the prices are reasonable. Sometimes service as a little slow, though. A decent place for lunch. Rating: B-

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    Menu Page 1
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    • Tel: 541.926.5138
    • Addr: 300 2nd Ave SW

    Tom Tom Restaurant and Lounge

    Tom Tom has closed.

    Cafe Venetian (in the Venetian Theatre)

    Cafe Venetian has reopened as of 8/2/11. Hours are Tues.-Fri. 7:30 am to 2:30 pm and Friday evenings 6:00-9:00 pm. They have breakfast items, sandwiches and wraps and salads.

    •1st and Broadalbin Aves. in Albany
    • Open 7:30AM to 2:30 Tues-Fri 6:00-9:00PM Fri

    Wilhelm's Spirits and Eatery

    Wilhelms Spirits & Eatery restaurant opened in early 2007. Please keep in mind that Wilhelm's does not allow children. They are open from 11 AM to 2 PM every day. The food is good bar food and the atmosphere is OK. They have lottery machines. Rating: B

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    • No Online Menu
    • Tel: 926-7001
    • Addr: 1520 Pacific Blvd SW, Next to Wendy's

    The Wine Depot

    There are new owners as of early 2010. Things haven't changed a bit, though. The Wine Depot is a great place to go grab a sandwich, salad, and a glass of wine. In other words, a great place to find an excellent lunch. They are also open for dinner. The main focus is the moderate selection of wines (bottled) for purchase. They also have wine (and beer) available by the glass. The Wine Depot will also cater lunches and other events. We have had them cater an event for the past two years, and have been very pleased. Matt and Marsha, Recommended. Rating: B+

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    • Tel: 967.9499
    • Addr: 300 2nd Ave SW
    • Located in Two Rivers Market
    www.winedepotdeli.com
    • Moderate wine selection

    Valentino's Pizzeria

    Valentino's is closed.

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    Menu Page 1
    Menu Page 2
    • Tel: 541.928.6229
    • Addr: 641 NW Hickory #160 (North Albany Shopping Center)

    Vault 244

    Vault 244 Bistro | Lounge opened on 9/15/09. Albany has needed an "upscale" bar/tapas joint for quite awhile. Of course, they get a bonus point since they have no TVs. It's refreshing to go to a "bar" and not have TVs blaring away. Thank you 244. The decor is well done, and the indoor atmosphere is loud, but the outdoor seating (seasonal) is quite pleasant. Vault 244 has an extensive cocktail menu.

    Recently (2011) , V244 has really dialed in it's menu and service. We like to enjoy a sampling of small plates, but their entrees are excellent as well. On a recent visit we enjoyed sitting outside after summer finally arrived. Service was friendly and attentive, but not obtrusive. The small plates/tapes we recommend are (but not limited to): Fish tacos (hint: ask for some Tabasco to spice them up a bit), wrapped dates, antipasto plate, and the fries (er, pommes frites). The Zucchini cakes are an entree, but they are priced right, and are great to share as a Tapas. 244 also has some very reasonable priced wines on their bottle list. The selection offered is affordable and accessable. It's recommended to be knowledgable on wines before going in, since the servers might not be able to answer wine-related questions. Their cocktail menu is modern, and well prepared. If you're blessed with good weather, sitting outside is the recommended option, since inside can often be too loud (why is it a trend to build restaurant so you can't have a conversation? If only inside seating is available, Vault is NOT a place for a romantic dinner or first date!!!). In summary, Vault 244 has made a steady climb upward since they have opened. I've been impressed on the last 3 visits. They really have hit the mark, and Albany is fortunate to have such a venue. Highly recommended.

    Rating: A.

    9/13/10 JH: Food is quite tasty! Attentive staff. Came during a busy time and order came cold but server was quick to resolve and I received my ravioli hot and in a timely manner. The Vault specializes in tapas and specialty drinks. I don't drink alcohol but enjoyed the nonalcoholic drinks. The atmosphere is cozy with a hearty buzz. I recommend trying the specials for that day as they tend to be creative and entertaining. I especially like the unusual blend of flavors that keep the palette asking for more.

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    • Tel: 541.791-9511
    • Web: http://www.vault244.com/
    • Addr: 244 1st Ave W, Albany, OR 97321
    • Chowgeeks Bonus Point: No TVs. We congratulate Vault 244.

    Wyatt's

    Wyatts closed in late June, 2009. Cappies Brewhouse opened in it's place on 6/13/10.

    Yaquina Bay

    "I ate lunch at Yaquina Bay a couple of times with colleagues. We all had lunch salads, which were large and fresh. Service was ok, and prices were reasonable. Atmosphere and menu choices are aged and not creative. Rating: C

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    • Tel: 967.8420
    • Tel: 926.8528
    • Addr: 325 Airport Rd SE

    Yummy House

    A somewhat silly name for a mediocre chinese restaurant in Albany. This is the old Chinese Kitchen with new owners and a remodel. The service is great, and quite friendly. I wish the food was the same. The Sweet and Sour chicken was bland, dry, and tough. Unlike the below reviewer's experience, our chicken was heavily breaded. The spring rolls were nothing special, and the pot stickers ok. Yummy House is pretty much the same boring Chinese food as you would get anywhere in town. We had high expectations. OK: B.

    PG 11/11/10: I'm assuming you guys have tried every item on the menu at Yummy house and can therefore come up with the opinion that their food is "bland". I wish you would refrain from posting that at the top of your page cause I have eaten Chinese food all over the US and in China, and some of their dishes are spot on. To your surprise, many chinese dishes are not suppose to have tons of sauces and such in order to showcase the vegetables and fresh ingredients. Oh well, every time I go in there, the place becomes more and more packed, and with the addition of a new server due to the crowds loving it. Most of your reviews are pretty good, but others wouldn't stand a chance to real restaurant reviewers. Keep up the good work, and I'll keep checking up on your reviews.

    10/27/10 SS: We decided to try the new Yummy House (formerly the Chinese Kitchen) for dinner. It seems that quite a few people must have had the same idea...the place was packed. It turned out to have been a very good idea. Freshened up inside and out a bit, the atmosphere was very pleasant,the people most friendly, the service fast and excellent. But the food was the star of the show: The egg-flower soup was some of the best we've ever had, anywhere.... The Sweet and Sour pork, shrimp, egg fu yung and chow mein were all extremely good, and served in great abundance, and the modest price was a surprise at the end. Over all, It's an A-plus. It promises to be a popular spot in Albany.

    PG 10/24/10: Finally we have some decent Chinese food in Albany. I went here recently with my girlfriend when on our way to get a pizza, noticed a new restaurant. Chinese Kitchen was the former restaurant here, but we were always to afraid to try it. The owners of this new restaurant reside from Southern Oregon and the China Hut franchise that is very popular in Southern Oregon. The food here is quite the step up from what we are all used to here in Albany. Biggest note is the meat dishes. Instead of your mar far chicken having mostly breading, here they only use breast meat and very little batter. Every dish I have tried here has loads of flavor and can all be made without MSG upon request. The egg flower soup is also excellent with the addition of pork and sweet corn to add some texture. During our visit, a few other couples could be heard praising how much of an improvement the food was over the other restaurants. One nice and humble thing I noticed was how Tiffany, the co-owner and hostess/server made sure you liked your food, and if you didn't, how she could improve it to get you to come back. If you don't see a combo plate on the menu you want, just ask, and she will make a combo that suits your needs and tastes. All told, I have gone here 6 days in a row and tried many different dishes. I am very thankful they have decided to move up here from Southern Oregon, and will highly be recommending them to everyone in town. My rating: A


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