Living in Eugene, Oregon, for about two years now, I have tried multiple restaurants, all differing in categories and cultures. My love for food is very closely tied to my need to try new things frequently. I am the type of person who gets bored quickly, so of course, discovering new and different spots to eat is something I have found to be entertaining. The thrill that rushes through me when I find a great restaurant challenges my comfort zones. While I understand how sometimes it is hard for students to get off campus and explore Eugene, here are my top three favorite places to go out to eat for those and any others who are interested.
Some Thai Spice
Firstly, I love Thai food almost as much as I love getting my nails done or receiving a package in the mail. I have worked for several Thai restaurants since I started my first job at 18. There is something so refreshing about how they incorporate veggies and spices into their cuisines and why Thai food is my favorite choice when going out to eat. I am a big veggie lover, not because I am vegan or vegetarian, but because my mother always brought home loads of greens and fruits. She is a woman who believes that all good foods start with good nutrition, and I wholeheartedly agree. Thai cuisines are usually very high in protein while also incorporating those juicy vegetables that I love so much. Ubon Thai Kitchen, located on W 7th Ave, is my go-to stop when I am craving Thai food. This friendly business offers both indoor and outdoor seating, creating a fantastic scene for date nights. I was first introduced to Ubon after my dear friend noticed I was having a bad day. Walking into the restaurant for the first time, I saw that the walls were beautifully painted with vibrate colors. The smell of pad thai filled the whole restaurant. It is such a welcoming environment. The staff always greet customers with a smile, and the cooks are speedy; I waited less than ten minutes before. My two favorite dishes are the eggplant plater and the noodle curry noodles. Compared to other Thai restaurants in the college town, Ubon’s level of spice and favor surpass all of its competitors. Each bit is more savory than the next, and the Thai iced tea literally tastes like angel milk. One week over this past Summer 2020, I swear I went out to eat there four times in one week. I am now on a first name basis with the cashier, and while I find it charming, it really speaks to my level of commitment to the establishment.
I hope some of you are big Vietnamese foodie lovers! When I walked into a restaurant named Yi Shen, which has an extensive menu of noodle-related Asian dishes, I was seriously depressed I hadn’t discovered the restaurant when I first moved here. I thought there were NO decent Chinese or Vietnamese places in town, I was wrong. They serve the largest portions and offer SO many options. The restaurant also has a store connected to it, presenting many authentic Vietnamese sauces, ingredients, drinks, and merchandise. My favorite dishes are Yi Shen’s seafood pho and the Singapore noodles. I am very picky about my pho for the most part, but let me tell you, Yi Shen’s hits the spot. They have a fair balance of broth to noodles. The creamy chicken broth steamrolls over the shrimp, squid, and fish balls in the seafood pho. I am genuinely upset when I finish it, no joke. Also, if you are a massive sucker for bean sprouts, like me, Yi Shen includes so much for customers, just something to think about ;).
Best Hangover Food
Want to enjoy some breakfast after a long night out? Brails Restaurant strives to serve the best breakfast possible, winning the best hangover breakfast multiple years in a row. Entering this charming local hot spot, customers are seated right away as waiters rush past you. From eight to two, Brails is bustling with people. However, due to COVID-19, safety measures instill safe distance, but boy, do I miss seeing the restaurant full. On their menu, they offer more than just breakfast. From sandwiches, yakisoba noodles, and soups, this place has it all. My personal favorite is the eggs and benedict plater. Never in my life, and I mean this, have I tried something cooked to perfection. The eggs are perfectly poached and covered in a thick layer of juicy gravy, mhmm! They also sell some top-notch drinks. I usually get a Man Mossa, which is a large glass of champagne and orange juice. The owner, who is the sweetest Asian woman, is always walking around and making sure customers are satisfied. All in all, it feels like home to eat here and can’t be matched by any other breakfast location in the area.
If you have a chance to come visit Eugene, please try out these places! You will be amazed.