The food scene in Ashland has changed so much over the past few years, it can be hard to keep up. We've been coming here fore years with our family of four, and consider each trip a culinary adventure. Here are some places we really enjoyed discovering, and some reliable favorites. I'd love to hear about some other places we haven't tried yet.
Hither. This is a new one, serving breakfast and lunch. We had some truly delicious coffee, and a couple sophisticated but solid versions of breakfast classics: Something called Purdu that was basically fluffy french toast with fresh nectarines and a creamy panna cotta-like thing; and a nice poached egg on toast with savory chanterelles. The casual atmosphere was right up our alley. We spent $40 with tip.
Hiro Ramen. This turned out to be the perfect take-out dinner for our crew. Between two adults and two kids, we were more than satisfied with the chicken ramen; vegetable / rice / egg medley with a side of kimchi; katsu chicken; and potstickers. We would get it again in a heartbeat; this time without the bulgogi beef, which was really just sweet beef & broccoli over rice. We could easily feed 4 people for $40-$50.
Ashland Food Co-op. On every Ashland trip, we have a picnic in the park. This time it was deli sandwiches for the kids, good bread from Mix Bakeshop, olives, tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella; a few frivolous drinks, and some really nice regional fresh fruit (it was early August). The air was a little smoky, but the picnic was, as usual, a highlight of the trip. The post-lunch walk in the creek was fueled, also as usual, but a box of cookies.
Caldera Brewing. Out on the other side of the tracks from the posh downtown is a staggeringly large brewery / restaurant. While we've tried most of the menu, the following is our no-fail combo: Tap House sliders (with bacon), garlic fries, and a pizza. Sometimes we eat there to watch the sunset, but in this case a take-out dinner eaten in our hotel room was the perfect thing.
Cafe 116. The coffee is always good, the croissants are bordering on the sublime. They have a nice menu of lunch & breakfast-type things. I've been going there for years, and it's always good.
Places for coffee: There is so much good coffee in Ashland it's hard to not be jittery all the time. Case Coffee, Noble Coffee are two of the local roasters that do a really nice job. For this trip, it was the coffee at Hither that stood out (cappuccino and drip coffee).
Fancy Places: Amuse, Peerless, etc. These are always good, always pricey, and will remain on our list of "splurge" dinners for a date night. I know there are others at this level (Pub & Pies, Lark's, Alchemy), but price and satisfaction with the known have pushed them into the "one day, maybe" category. If there's a reason to change that, I'd love to hear it!