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A long wooden dinner table with wine glasses on an outdoor patio shaded with beige canvas and a large garden in the background
Orchard Kitchen is a picturesque farm-to-table restaurant in Langley.
Orchard Kitchen/Instagram

Where to Eat and Drink on the South End of Whidbey Island

Daytrippers should take note of the farm-to-table fare, great wine, and one of the area’s great pickle destinations

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Orchard Kitchen is a picturesque farm-to-table restaurant in Langley.
| Orchard Kitchen/Instagram

At 169 square miles, Whidbey Island — the fourth largest island in the contiguous United States — is so big that there’s a distinct culture shift between the north end of the isle, where the city of Oak Harbor and its naval base set the tone, and the rural south end, an hour away, where it’s all about agriculture. South Whidbey’s got all the heavenly beauty of the San Juans, but it’s a little less touristy, and a lot more accessible from Seattle (as well as a bit more affordable). Here’s where to eat in the villages on the sleepy, farm-focused south end, with places listed geographically.

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Savory

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220 1st St
Langley, WA 98260
(360) 221-7106
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This new-ish bistro in downtown Langley has been pretty much an instant hit for its snappy PNW-meets-Mediterranean menu — and the sweeping view of Saratoga Passage probably doesn’t hurt either. Crowd favorites are the roasted wild salmon with shaved corn relish, shallot, cumin, turmeric, and fennel seed, as well as the harissa-roasted carrots and the curly mafalda carbonara with prosciutto. Diners love the bittersweet chocolate pots de crème too, and Savory has one of the most diverse, interesting wine lists on Whidbey.

A rustic chicken leg dish with carrots and vegetables in a white bowl
Savory is a popular bistro in downtown Langley.
Savory

2. The Star Store

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201 1st St
Langley, WA 98260
(360) 221-5222
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Langley’s century-old Star Store is a strange combo of a chic clothing boutique, general mercantile, and neighborhood food market, with an entire wine shop hidden in the back. It’s also got a full-service deli, and the fried chicken is just killer. Deli salads and sandos are lovely too, with an array of frou-frou options, making for a perfect snack stop before or after catching a film at the darling Clyde Theater next door.

3. Ulysses Coffee

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111 Anthes Ave
Langley, WA 98260

Opened in April, Ulysses is a sequel to the shop’s popular espresso hut counterpart down the road in Bayview. Brewing beans from Espresso Vivace, this tiny cafe’s a welcome addition to tiny Langley, which has had limited coffee options following the pandemic-related loss of Useless Bay Coffee Company. The spectacular cinnamon and pecan rolls are baked onsite and always sell out, so best to get there early.

4. Ultra House

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221 Second Street # 9A
Langley, WA 98260
(360) 221-4959
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It may be a bit unexpected to find a super-legit ramen spot in a small seaside town, but Ultra House is the real deal. Its porky, bone broth-based tonkotsu with black garlic oil and the nutty sesame-based tan tan ramen bowls can easily rival the big-city ramen houses — and half the menu is vegan-adaptable. Don’t miss the gift shop in the back, stocked with fun Japanese snacks, candy, toys, and T-shirts.

5. Cafe in the Woods at Mukilteo Coffee

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5331 S Crawford Rd
Langley, WA 98260
(360) 321-5270
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Attached to the vast Mukilteo Coffee Roasters property in Bayview, this ornate little cafe is a total fairy tale, to say nothing of the spacious gardens surrounding it. Kids will dig the artsy details, like the dragon-head sculpture sticking out over the barista station. The menu’s a collaboration between MCR’s coffee and local bakery Seabiscuit, and the burgers and eggy breakfast standards are a cut above.

Coffee shop with a dragon’s head next to a lighted bakery sign and other ornate decorations
Cafe in the Woods is among the more striking spots on Whidbey.
Cafe in the Woods

6. Orchard Kitchen

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5574 Bayview Rd
Langley, WA 98260
(360) 321-1517
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Bayview’s Orchard Kitchen is a dreamy farm-to-table restaurant that lives up to its name: the restaurant’s set on five acres of gardens and orchards, with all-outdoor summer seating amid the crops. Menus are prix fixe, hyperseasonal, and change weekly; recent mains include slow-roasted Whidbey-raised lamb and Dungeness crab lasagne with browned butter, crab sauce, and chili oil. The cheese list is a reliable star.

7. Taproom at Bayview Corner

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5603 Bayview Rd
Langley, WA 98260
(360) 222-2643
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Located inside the 1920s-built former Bayview Cash Store, this family-friendly pub is just loaded with excellent beer and cider options, as well as craft sodas and finger foods for kids. For grown-ups, though, mussels are the thing to get, harvested from nearby Penn Cove and steamed in ale, shallots, and butter. But don’t sleep on the Taproom’s spicy take on a Cubano, served on sourdough with carnitas in place of roast pork. 

8. Flower House Cafe

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2780 Marshview Ave
Langley, WA 98260
(360) 321-7140
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The Flower House is yet another obscure Whidbey gem, tucked in the community gardens surrounding the historic Bayview Cash Store, noticeable by the color-pops of flowers in all directions. The espresso here is on par with Vita or Victrola, and everything on the menu’s thoughtfully crafted and aesthetically pleasing. Cilantro-pesto avocado toast and the Ruby sandwich (pastrami, red sauerkraut, pickles, and provolone on multigrain, served hot) are standouts, as are the rotating salads.

9. Pickles Deli

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11042 WA-525 STE 122
Clinton, WA 98236
(360) 341-3940
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“Ken’s Korner,” the semi-haunted ‘80s mall in Clinton, is home to a bunch of weirdly charming businesses, among them Pickles Deli. This place is beloved by islanders for its long litany of hot and cold sandwiches — and, of course, its manifold flavors of pickles. No need to choose just one; the deli offers a pickle flight, and diners have the fascinating option of swapping out the bread on their sandwich choices for a gigantic halved pickle instead.

Four small glasses filled with spears of pickles against an orange floral backdrop
Pickles Deli offers flights of its namesake snack.
Pickles Deli/Facebook

10. Bailey's Corner Store

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7695 Cultus Bay Rd
Clinton, WA 98236
(360) 579-1814
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Deep in the forest, near Cultus Bay, hides an ancient wooden schoolhouse-turned-gas station and mini-mart. There’s a good selection of beer and cider, which patrons then can enjoy either on a huge covered porch or what’s possibly the state’s smallest bar (the size of a walk-in closet). Bailey’s also has the best cheeseburgers on the island —juicy and enormous, piled with thick strips of bacon and Beecher’s cheese — and the porch often has live music on the weekends.

A closeup of a bacon cheeseburger topped with lettuce, pickles, and ketchup
Bailey’s is known for its rustic vibes and stellar burgers.
Bailey’s Corner Store/Facebook

1. Savory

220 1st St, Langley, WA 98260
A rustic chicken leg dish with carrots and vegetables in a white bowl
Savory is a popular bistro in downtown Langley.
Savory

This new-ish bistro in downtown Langley has been pretty much an instant hit for its snappy PNW-meets-Mediterranean menu — and the sweeping view of Saratoga Passage probably doesn’t hurt either. Crowd favorites are the roasted wild salmon with shaved corn relish, shallot, cumin, turmeric, and fennel seed, as well as the harissa-roasted carrots and the curly mafalda carbonara with prosciutto. Diners love the bittersweet chocolate pots de crème too, and Savory has one of the most diverse, interesting wine lists on Whidbey.

220 1st St
Langley, WA 98260

2. The Star Store

201 1st St, Langley, WA 98260

Langley’s century-old Star Store is a strange combo of a chic clothing boutique, general mercantile, and neighborhood food market, with an entire wine shop hidden in the back. It’s also got a full-service deli, and the fried chicken is just killer. Deli salads and sandos are lovely too, with an array of frou-frou options, making for a perfect snack stop before or after catching a film at the darling Clyde Theater next door.

201 1st St
Langley, WA 98260

3. Ulysses Coffee

111 Anthes Ave, Langley, WA 98260

Opened in April, Ulysses is a sequel to the shop’s popular espresso hut counterpart down the road in Bayview. Brewing beans from Espresso Vivace, this tiny cafe’s a welcome addition to tiny Langley, which has had limited coffee options following the pandemic-related loss of Useless Bay Coffee Company. The spectacular cinnamon and pecan rolls are baked onsite and always sell out, so best to get there early.

111 Anthes Ave
Langley, WA 98260

4. Ultra House

221 Second Street # 9A, Langley, WA 98260

It may be a bit unexpected to find a super-legit ramen spot in a small seaside town, but Ultra House is the real deal. Its porky, bone broth-based tonkotsu with black garlic oil and the nutty sesame-based tan tan ramen bowls can easily rival the big-city ramen houses — and half the menu is vegan-adaptable. Don’t miss the gift shop in the back, stocked with fun Japanese snacks, candy, toys, and T-shirts.

221 Second Street # 9A
Langley, WA 98260

5. Cafe in the Woods at Mukilteo Coffee

5331 S Crawford Rd, Langley, WA 98260
Coffee shop with a dragon’s head next to a lighted bakery sign and other ornate decorations
Cafe in the Woods is among the more striking spots on Whidbey.
Cafe in the Woods

Attached to the vast Mukilteo Coffee Roasters property in Bayview, this ornate little cafe is a total fairy tale, to say nothing of the spacious gardens surrounding it. Kids will dig the artsy details, like the dragon-head sculpture sticking out over the barista station. The menu’s a collaboration between MCR’s coffee and local bakery Seabiscuit, and the burgers and eggy breakfast standards are a cut above.

5331 S Crawford Rd
Langley, WA 98260

6. Orchard Kitchen

5574 Bayview Rd, Langley, WA 98260

Bayview’s Orchard Kitchen is a dreamy farm-to-table restaurant that lives up to its name: the restaurant’s set on five acres of gardens and orchards, with all-outdoor summer seating amid the crops. Menus are prix fixe, hyperseasonal, and change weekly; recent mains include slow-roasted Whidbey-raised lamb and Dungeness crab lasagne with browned butter, crab sauce, and chili oil. The cheese list is a reliable star.

5574 Bayview Rd
Langley, WA 98260

7. Taproom at Bayview Corner

5603 Bayview Rd, Langley, WA 98260

Located inside the 1920s-built former Bayview Cash Store, this family-friendly pub is just loaded with excellent beer and cider options, as well as craft sodas and finger foods for kids. For grown-ups, though, mussels are the thing to get, harvested from nearby Penn Cove and steamed in ale, shallots, and butter. But don’t sleep on the Taproom’s spicy take on a Cubano, served on sourdough with carnitas in place of roast pork. 

5603 Bayview Rd
Langley, WA 98260

8. Flower House Cafe

2780 Marshview Ave, Langley, WA 98260

The Flower House is yet another obscure Whidbey gem, tucked in the community gardens surrounding the historic Bayview Cash Store, noticeable by the color-pops of flowers in all directions. The espresso here is on par with Vita or Victrola, and everything on the menu’s thoughtfully crafted and aesthetically pleasing. Cilantro-pesto avocado toast and the Ruby sandwich (pastrami, red sauerkraut, pickles, and provolone on multigrain, served hot) are standouts, as are the rotating salads.

2780 Marshview Ave
Langley, WA 98260

9. Pickles Deli

11042 WA-525 STE 122, Clinton, WA 98236
Four small glasses filled with spears of pickles against an orange floral backdrop
Pickles Deli offers flights of its namesake snack.
Pickles Deli/Facebook

“Ken’s Korner,” the semi-haunted ‘80s mall in Clinton, is home to a bunch of weirdly charming businesses, among them Pickles Deli. This place is beloved by islanders for its long litany of hot and cold sandwiches — and, of course, its manifold flavors of pickles. No need to choose just one; the deli offers a pickle flight, and diners have the fascinating option of swapping out the bread on their sandwich choices for a gigantic halved pickle instead.

11042 WA-525 STE 122
Clinton, WA 98236

10. Bailey's Corner Store

7695 Cultus Bay Rd, Clinton, WA 98236
A closeup of a bacon cheeseburger topped with lettuce, pickles, and ketchup
Bailey’s is known for its rustic vibes and stellar burgers.
Bailey’s Corner Store/Facebook

Deep in the forest, near Cultus Bay, hides an ancient wooden schoolhouse-turned-gas station and mini-mart. There’s a good selection of beer and cider, which patrons then can enjoy either on a huge covered porch or what’s possibly the state’s smallest bar (the size of a walk-in closet). Bailey’s also has the best cheeseburgers on the island —juicy and enormous, piled with thick strips of bacon and Beecher’s cheese — and the porch often has live music on the weekends.

7695 Cultus Bay Rd
Clinton, WA 98236

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