Hop onto the Whatcom Chief ferry and take a quick, scenic ride to Lummi Island to indulge in food at its freshest. Surrounded by water teeming with life, this island offers up a fine selection of fresh seafood and flavorful, organic dishes. And once your appetite is satisfied, indulge your other senses by checking out the sunset over the San Juans, a treat vastly better than any after-dinner mint.
The dining room at the Willows culls the best ingredients from the area to create a menu that embodies the flavors of the Northwest: seafood, herbs and farm-fresh produce. Co-owner Riley Starks catches the restaurant's popular reefnet salmon, one of the dishes unique to the island, though he also suggests the live spot prawns as well as the filet mignon, from organic Skagit River Ranch beef. Savor the local fare while admiring the seascape outside, which Starks calls the best view north of Seattle.
Get a meal with a personal touch at the Beach Store CafÃ©, where everything down to the tortilla chips is handmade. Manager Laura Dammann says the hands-down favorites are the brick-oven pizzas, made with hand-tossed dough and topped with anything from grilled vegetables to Thai chicken. Watch the ferry come in and nosh on some fish and chips, or try the reefnet salmon caught in Legoe Bay.
A coffee shop in the morning and a pub in the evening, the Taproot is also a movie spot on Sunday nights in winter months. Located in the Willows Inn, the Taproot is small but accommodating, open to guests and non-guests alike. Popular items include the daily fresh quiche and deli sandwiches, or for a snack try the fresh baked goods.
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The farmers market, located at the general store, features a variety of local goods, from cookies, pies and coffee to a range of vegetables, and it is a quick walk from the ferry landing. The market is a great spot to pick up organic ingredients to cook at home or a vibrant bouquet of flowers to brighten up your day, all while supporting local entrepreneurs.