Savor the Flavors of Summer in Thurston County, Washington

With worldly cuisines, food tours, fresh farm fare, and summertime sips around every turn, new culinary experiences await in Washington’s Olympia and Thurston County. 

As one of the state’s most picturesque counties, it is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers and now a hotspot for foodies! Just head to Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Yelm, Rainier, Tenino, Grand Mound, Rochester, or Bucoda, where an enticing variety of locally sourced, hand-crafted culinary experiences are waiting to be relished. 

Whether heading into Olympia by boat, taking a family road trip, visiting friends, or coming to town for an epic outdoor adventure, you’re in for a real treat when hunger strikes!

Enjoy Worldly Cuisines and Fresh Seafood

Thurston County is a paradise for culinary enthusiasts, offering diverse flavors from around the globe and the freshest Pacific Northwest seafood. 

For those seeking delicious food on the go, the options are endless. Indulge in South Indian-American cuisine at Akashic Food Trailer, savor the flavors of Venezuelan arepas at Arepa Latin Street Food, or pick up artisan charcuterie and wine from Delmonico’s Heritage Butcher Shop for a delightful picnic experience. Honeycuspe tempts with brunch favorites like sweet and savory waffles, while Olympita Food Truck entices with Middle Eastern street food classics like shawarma, falafel, and luscious hummus.

For a journey into international cuisine, Curry Corner offers a rich and diverse taste of India, while Don Juan’s Mexican Kitchen serves up authentic Mexican dishes. Hotstone Authentic Korean Cuisine delights with traditional Korean delights and bubble tea, and Jerk An’ Tingz brings the flavors of Jamaica to the table. At Left Bank Pastry, indulge in French pastries and treats, including the renowned kouign amann and canelé. Rush In Dumplings satisfies with classic Russian comfort food like dumplings and borscht.

And if you’re a seafood lover, Thurston County has you covered. Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar, run by second-generation shellfish farmers, offers the freshest locally sourced shellfish. The Olympia Oyster House, located in a historic building, continues the tradition of serving native Olympia oysters. Olympia Seafood Co. focuses on quality, sustainability, and a large selection of local and exotic seafood. 

Summertime Sips Await Around Every Turn

As summer’s warmth unfolds, Thurston County beckons with various locally owned and sourced establishments, inviting you to relish the perfect summertime sips. 

Ebony & Ivory Coffee in Lacey serves up the finest, freshly brewed coffee, and with its modern ambiance, it’s the perfect spot to forge connections within the community. The Shiplap Shop & Coffee House invites you to enjoy hand-crafted espresso drinks and baked goods while shopping for consigned items from over 100 local artisans.

Axis Meads crafts exquisite small-batch meads and their tasting room is a haven for those seeking a sweet and fresh brew to savor the essence of summer. Well 80 Brewhouse adds a historical touch to its craft, built on the site of Olympia’s renowned artesian wells and using the delicious well water to craft its line of tantalizing beers. Three Magnets Brewing Co. stands out as a microbrewery in downtown Olympia, offering incredible craft beers and satisfying the demand for non-alcoholic brews, shipping their craft NA beer to 40 states.

The Cider Barrel boasts an unparalleled cider selection with over 300+ different varietals, making it a cider lover’s paradise. Whitewood Cider Teeny Tiny Taproom beckons with its small but mighty offerings as a nano-cider producer, marking a significant milestone as South Puget Sound’s first craft cidery. Embrace the opportunity to sip locally made brews while relaxing on their charming patio.

Heritage Distilling Company holds a prestigious position among the top craft distilleries in the United States and stands as one of the largest on the West Coast. It’s a destination for spirit connoisseurs with an impressive variety of whiskeys, vodkas, gins, aquavit, and rums. Talking Cedar Brewery & Distillery is a recent addition, founded by the Chehalis Tribe in 2020. Already, it has become a valuable partner to craft distillers nationwide, showcasing the tribe’s dedication to crafting exceptional brews and spirits.

Sandstone Distillery takes pride in crafting hand-crafted spirits from locally sourced Washington-grown grains and the purest water from local aquifers. A visit to their new Tasting Room in historic downtown Tenino promises an unforgettable experience.

Swing Wine Bar offers a picturesque setting perched on a hill overlooking Capitol Lake, where you can unwind with over 30 wines by the glass and choose from an extensive selection of 200 bottle offerings on the outdoor patio.

Savor Fresh Farm Fare, Straight from the Source

Experience the essence of farm-to-table freshness in Thurston County by immersing yourself in a hands-on food adventure. Take the opportunity to support family farms by picking your own produce or buying directly from the farmers themselves.

Delight in the organic blueberries at Carr’s Organic Blueberry Farms, a charming u-pick farm just outside Olympia. At Helsing Junction Farms in Rochester, relish in the season’s finest farm-fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs, and in June, indulge in the joy of picking your own strawberries. Show your appreciation for small, family-owned farms by signing up for a Community Supported Agriculture box at Kingfisher Organic Farms

And for a heartwarming experience, visit Lattin’s Cider Mill and Farm, a cherished family-owned farm working tirelessly year-round to provide quality fruits, vegetables, jams, cakes, and pies. Take advantage of the delightful Thursday through Saturday mornings, where you can savor their scrumptious apple fritters and spend time with the cutest petting zoo ever.

Taste the Flavors of Thurston on a Food Tour Through the Thurston Bountiful Byway

Set out on an enchanting 60-mile loop tour through the tranquil countryside of Thurston County. This exciting road trip offers one-of-a-kind stops and activities catering to the tastes of both foodies and adventure seekers. 

Indulge in the finest cuts of beef at Heritage Meats or journey to Johnson’s Smokehouse and Country Store, where the enticing aroma of smoked meats and cheeses fills the air. For a picturesque lakeside dining experience, head to Lady of the Lake Public House, offering delectable American fare. Then grab a sweet treat at Masonry Café in downtown Yelm, where a delightful assortment of macaroons, cookies, pastries, and cakes await.

Transport yourself to Italy at Pizzeria La Gitana, a Yelm-based pizzeria boasting a romantic ambiance and high-quality ingredients. Visit The Pacific Northwest Honey Company and enjoy the natural sweetness of their pour-your-own honey, and explore the fascinating world of bees at the Observation Hive. 

Lastly, savor the award-winning wines at Stottle Winery, a Lacey-based establishment founded by Olympia natives, while enjoying the scenic beauty of their inviting patio and delicious cheese plates.

This article originally appeared on Wander With Alex. Photo Credit: [@monkeybusiness/DepositPhotos]


Alexandrea Sumuel - Groves is a nationally syndicated travel writer and founder of the Wander With Alex travel blog. Her work has appeared on MSN, YAHOO!, Euronews, and FOX, ABC, and NBC affiliates across the United States. 

Alex travels to experience, eat, explore, and occasionally escape! She collaborates with destinations, vacation property management companies, and hospitality technology firms to provide her readers with exclusive insights and information.