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de Fuego Grille Interior
Jarrod Lyman | 02/24/2022 | Happy Valley

Eat: Happy Valley — Clackamas

Happy Valley and adjacent Clackamas are rapidly growing communities filled with a massive selection of dining options. Here are a few of the hot choices for haute cuisine. And if you'd like to follow that up with a drink, check out these craft beverage makers in Happy Valley and Clackamas. 

1. Mezcaluna Mexican Cuisine and Lounge

Mezcaluna is Mexican food done right. Located in its own building in Clackamas Town Center, the restaurant has a hip vibe with indoor and outdoor seating. The menu is filled with delicious options, but the fajitas are the stars here. Order the steak, chicken or shrimp fajitas with one of their house margaritas to go with, and you'll find out why this newer restaurant, which only opened in 2021, has quickly gained quite the following. Oh, and by the way, as the name suggests, it also has a beautifully curated mezcal list.

2. Elka Bee's Coffee Shop & Tea Haus

Elka Bee's is part coffee shop, part tea house and all parts charming and adorable. This independently owned local fave is actually a long-time fixture in the neighborhood, having served as a coffee shop since the mid 90s. The coffee is fantastic, and since the owner is English, you know her High Tea is done right! They also have a fun selection of goodies and seasonal cakes and other baked items, so check back for something special for each holiday. 

3. Fat Cupcake

Fat Cupcake is a big name in the Oregon baking world. The Happy Valley location is actually the third for owner Anjelica Otness. Her bright, exuberant personality can almost be tasted in each of her decadent creations. It all started for Anjelica at the young age of 24 with a cupcake called "The Charlie." This chocolate cupcake with a peanut butter cup in the center with peanut butter buttercream frosting immediately cemented the bakery's place in the culinary world. It's still an incredibly popular option eight years later, along with the many other varieties that are all so good, it's impossible to choose a favorite. Not for lack of trying however...

4. de Fuego Grille

Meaning "the fire," de Fuego Grille is appropriately named. This restaurant features a killer menu filled with South American and Texas fusion cuisine. You'll find dry-aged steaks, delicious tapas and a whisky menu that is as expansive as the day is long. The downstairs speakeasy-style The Underground boasts live jazz music every night Wed–Sun and a pre-prohibition era cocktail menu. Basically the place is the adult version of the cool table from high school. Located inside the independently owned Monarch Hotel, de Fuego Grille has become a go-to spot for visitors and locals alike. 

5. Happy Valley Station

Happy Valley Station could actually take up nearly 20 spots on this list, as they are currently home to 18 food carts. What makes them stand out in the growing trend of food cart pods is the covered seating area that feels just as warm and inviting as indoor seating during colder months. When the weather is nice, the sides are opened for a wonderful open-air experience. They have a wide selection of food carts on site, with several Asian cuisine options, a Philly cheese steak cart, another one selling raw juices and smoothies, plus the mandatory grilled cheese cart and another with fresh seafood. And don't forget about the house cart inside featuring 45 local beer taps and six wine taps. 

6. Umami Ramen

If you've spent any time experiencing foodie scenes, you've learned firsthand that ramen isn't just for broke college students anymore. It's a delicacy and fantastic vehicle for delicious, creative meals that warm the soul. Umami Ramen makes their Japanese ramen noodles in house each day and provides a lot of options to choose from. The black garlic tonkotsu is popular, as is the spicy tonkotsu, and the vegetarian miso is a fantastic option for anyone in your crew that is on a plant-based diet. The savory broths are the very definition of umami, making this a thriving restaurant in Happy Valley. 

7. PHỞ Zen

Pho has grown in popularity in recent years. If you've been lucky enough to try this Vietnamese soup, you'll know why. It's the true essence of comfort food, and PHỞ Zen has definitely mastered this. Their menu goes beyond pho, however, as it's filled with a large selection of delicacies honoring the owner's roots in historic Hội An, Vietnam. One of the most exciting things about Vietnamese cuisine is how you can really taste the country's history, as their food draws inspiration from so many other countries. The end result is something greater than the sum of its parts, and PHỞ Zen is the perfect place to experience that. 

8. Bow + Arrow Coffee House

Just a few minutes down the road from Happy Valley is the community of Damascus. In the middle of town you'll find Bow + Arrow Coffee House offering what they call a "curated coffee experience." You'll find all the traditional coffee drinks you'd expect at a quality coffee house with a fresh, local twist. They also offer some great breakfast sandwiches, to help you get your day off right. Whether you're heading up to Mt. Hood or just in the neighborhood, Bow + Arrow is definitely worth a stop. P.S. If their caramel sauce happens to be in stock, grab a bottle!

9. Puffle Waffle

If you're in the mood for something truly unique, then you need to check out Puffle Waffle in the Clackamas Town Center. It starts with their take on the egg waffles found in Hong Kong. Here their versions are a bit more savory to pair it well with the delicious ice cream and sauces they put inside. The end result is something sweet and savory, soft and crispy all at the same time. Once you've had one, you'll be hooked. 

10. Hog Wild BBQ

There's nothing better that great BBQ, right? That's exactly what Hog Wild BBQ provides, just perfectly done briskets, ribs, pulled pork and all the other classics. As any true lover of the 'q knows, the sauce can make or break the deal. Here at Hog Wild, their sauces definitely make it. Just the right amount of sweet and heat to make you come back for more. As difficult as it may be, do try to save room for dessert. You'll be glad you did. 

11. Happy Hollow Wood Fire Pizzeria

As wonderful a food as pizza is, there's just something magical that happens when it's cooked in wood fire oven. Hence Happy Hollow Wood Fire Pizzeria is on this list. Each pizza is made from scratch upon order, so you know it's going to be the freshest, most flavorful pizza you've ever had the pleasure of enjoying. You can choose from their specialty pizzas like the pesto chicken or the shepherd with goat cheese Italian sausage, roasted garlic and arugula, or do the "build your own" and choose from a veritable treasure trove of toppings. Their menu also has a large selection of other delicious offerings in the chance, inconceivable as it is, that someone in your group isn't in to pizza. 

12. Liberated Baking

Liberated Baking proves that people dealing with gluten intolerance don't have to settle for less than delicious. They have a huge selection of absolutely delicious pastries, giving people who need to be gluten free all the goodies they used to have to avoid. Their menu also has a generous helping of sandwiches, soups salads and other meals, giving the gluten-free diners all the options they could ever want. 

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