8 restaurants in Bellingham that are totally worth the drive

Mar 7 2023, 10:50 pm

Sometimes you just need to get away, have a change of context, and dine at another city’s restaurants.

And while jumping on a plane and planning a big trip isn’t always possible, there are plenty of road-trip-worthy destinations just a short drive from Vancouver that will scratch the travel itch in a pinch.

One of Vancouverites’ favourite places to head for a day trip is Bellingham, the small but charming city just south of the border in Washington.

At around a one-and-a-half-hour drive, Bellingham is nearby but also feels like a change of pace from Vancouver, with its old brick buildings, numerous thrift stores, and small-town vibes.

Here you’ll find some seriously great Mexican food, several Italian restaurants, and so many spots for sweets that you’ll have to pace yourself (or not!).

Check out our picks for some of Bellingham’s best spots that are absolutely worth driving to from Vancouver.

Chuckanut Bay Distillery

Housed in a historic building in the heart of downtown Bellingham, the Chuckanut Bay Distillery has its own production facility, two bars, a restaurant, and event space, with a rooftop bar coming soon. The Pennyfarthing restaurant focuses on shareable plates with dishes like patatas bravas, Cast Iron Catalan Shrimp, and a Muzzleflash Whisky Queso Dip. You can also book a tour of the distillery during your visit.

Address: 1311 Cornwall Avenue, Bellingham, WA


Bar Cicotti


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This tiny, romantic spot is tucked into the historic streets of Bellingham in Washington. Both wine bar and cafe, it makes for a cozy spot to dip into during the day, as well as a great place to end the evening with a glass of wine and a plate of antipasti or handmade pasta.

Bar Cicotti also has jazz nights on Wednesdays, spaghetti nights on Thursdays, bubbles nights on Fridays, and pizza Roman nights on Saturdays, so pretty much anytime you go, you’re guaranteed to have a good time. It’s only about an hour and 40-minute drive from Vancouver, meaning it can easily become a fun day trip destination.

Address: 202 Grand Avenue, Bellingham


Black Sheep


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Located in the same building as the Bellingham Hardware store, Black sheep is “a bar with tacos,” as self-described on its website. The brick interiors, fun cocktails, and killer tacos (think carnitas and fried chicken) make this spot more than worth a visit from out-of-state.

Address: 221 West Holly Street, Bellingham


JoJo’s Doughnuts


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Looking for sweets in Bellingham? Look no further than JoJo’s Doughnuts, a charming doughnut shop with some seriously wild flavours. JoJo’s Doughnuts offerings rotate daily, but you can expect options like Berry Bismark, Snickers Bar, and some 21+ options too, like the Salted Margarita with actual tequila.

Address: 1301 Commercial Street, Bellingham


Storia Cucina


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For a charming atmosphere and winning Italian food, look no further than Bellingham’s Storia Cucina. This place is often busy, but it has indoor and outdoor seating, Italian-inspired cocktails, wood-fired pizza, plus an entire menu of other fantastic dishes, so it’s well worth the wait.

Address: 109 Grand Avenue suite 102, Bellingham


Mallard Ice Cream


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Longtime spot Mallard Ice Cream is a go-to for locals looking to get cool treats during the hot summer months. The flavours rotate depending on the seasons (think Red Velvet Cheesecake, Butter Pecan, and Ube), the labels are hand-designed and adorable, and the ingredients are sourced locally – what more could you want from a local ice cream parlour?

Address: 1323 Railroad Avenue, Bellingham


Sweet Art

A true hodge podge of everything sweet and a real dream come true for the sweet tooths among us, Sweet Art is a charming little candy and chocolate shop in downtown Bellingham. The place looks straight out of a storybook and specializes in handmade chocolates, as well as artwork for sale created by locals.

Address: 1335 Railroad Avenue, Bellingham

Structures Brewing

Brewing some of the best beer in town, Structures is actually planning to open a second location later this week. You’ll find some pretty innovative takes on beer here, and while the taps rotate, you can expect beers like the Strawberry Banana Smoothie Beer and West Coast DIPA.

Address: 1420 N State Street, Bellingham


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