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August 31, 2016

Where to Eat, Drink & Play During the BendFilm Festival

By: Marlena Williams

Where to Eat, Drink & Play During the BendFilm Festival

For three days every fall, film lovers take over Bend, Oregon. The annual BendFilm Festival is dedicated to showcasing local independent talent and spreading the love of film through a wide variety of educational programs. 

Almost like Central Oregon’s own version of Sundance, the BendFilm Festival offers the unique opportunity to discover the work of up-and-coming independent filmmakers amidst the natural splendor and burgeoning arts culture of Bend. With venues sprinkled throughout the city, in everything from an art deco performance theater to a renovated 1930s schoolhouse, it’s not hard to find a convenient and remarkable place to catch a screening. 

When you aren’t enjoying one of the many films in the festival’s line-up, you can experience some of Bend’s world-class sustainable dining, visit a local brewery, shop in the Old Mill District, or hike, bike, and canoe your way through the stunning natural beauty of Central Oregon. Here are some of our  guest top picks to make sure you get the absolute most out of your weekend.   


Map of Recommendations & BendFilm Venues




Chow: Start your busy day of film going off right with breakfast at Chow. Chow is one of Bend’s most popular restaurants, and for good reason. With its backyard garden and locally sourced menu, Chow is a great place to sample sustainable, farm-to-table dining in a homey, laidback setting.  Chow fills up fast, so we recommend you get there early. 


Sparrow Bakery: The Sparrow Bakery is the perfect place to fuel up on coffee or grab a delicious lunch in between films. Most people go for their world famous Ocean Rolls, which are well worth the trip, but the Sparrow Bakery also offers a wonderful selection of pastries, sandwiches, salads, and homemade soups.


Drake: Whether you are in the mood for Duck Confit or burgers, fries, and a shake, Drake has got you covered. Drake specializes in upscale comfort food, serving up fancy takes on everything from popcorn to fish ‘n’ chips. The black-and-white checkered floors and stylish leather booths create the ambiance of a classic American diner, without all the grease.



10 Barrel Brewing Pub: There are 17 breweries sprinkled throughout Bend and choosing the right one can feel a little daunting. For the true Bend experience, you should probably visit a couple, but 10 Barrel Brewing is a great place to start. Stop by the brew pub to sample some of 10 Barrel Brewing’s locally crafted beers and if you have the time, try to catch a free guided tour at the nearby brewery.


Dogwood Cocktail Cabin: If you are in the mood for a stylish place to sip a stiff drink while discussing all the films you’ve seen over the weekend, head to the Dogwood Cocktail Cabin. Somehow both swanky and cozy at the same time, the Dogwood Cocktail Cabin offers a lengthy menu of inventive cocktails featuring unique ingredients like beet, basil, and rhubarb. Come during the happy hour from 5-7 for $4 dollar cocktails.


McMenamin’s Old St. Francis School: Once a 1930s schoolhouse, the Old St. Francis School now does it all. In addition to being a bakery, hotel, movie theater, pub, and brewery, the St. Francis School is also the site of some of the BendFilm Festival screenings. After catching a flick in the theater, stop by the pub for burgers and beers.



If you are in desperate need of fresh air after spending too much time staring at screens in a pitch-black theater, take a walk along the Deschutes River Trail. You can access the trail from the Old Mill District, so it’s easy to see the river and get some oxygen pumping before or after a movie.   


October is the perfect time to visit Tumalo Falls before it closes for the winter. The pleasant 3.8-mile hike takes you to a breathtaking 97-foot waterfall surrounded by lush pine trees and a crystal clear, glacier-fed creek.


If you want to experience some of Bend’s world famous adventure sports without traveling too far, the Bend Whitewater Park is the perfect place to go for easy access to canoeing, paddle boarding, white water rapids, and wildlife viewing, located just minutes away from the Old Mill District.



For more information about BendFilm Festival, visit their website and  follow BendFilm Festival’s Facebook page. There are volunteer and sponsorship opportunities.


Pine Ridge Inn boasts spacious and quiet accommodations and a great location overlooking the beautiful Deschutes River. Find tranquility while still having easy access to downtown Bend, the Old Mill District, and hiking & biking trails. All of our guests receive complimentary local craft beer or wine, a locally sourced breakfast, free WiFi and more.

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