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Great Roche Harbor Restaurants to Try in 2023

Roche Harbor Restaurants, photo of Roche Harbor marina

A trip to the San Juan Islands often includes a ton of activities where you get your steps in, which makes your meals out all the more enjoyable! On the north end of San Juan Island, you’ll find a cozy marina with many things to explore and fantastic dining opportunities at the local Roche Harbor restaurants. This historic nook on the island faces the Haro Strait, and the quiet inlet is protected from wind and the elements, creating glassy green waters ideal for sailing, kayaking, and catching the sunset.

The portion of the island was discovered for its deposits of limestone in the late 1800s, so you’ll see the remnants of the quarry and lime kiln at the Roche Harbor marina. John S. McMillin was one of the founders of the Roche Harbor Lime Company, and his influence is all over this area. Roche Harbor is the perfect place to spend a day during your time in the San Juan Islands—you’ll find historical monuments, hiking trails, outdoor attractions, and a great selection of Roche Harbor restaurants for lunch or dinner. 

While Roche Harbor is a charming location, we suggest making our Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast your home base during your stay. Our spacious yet cozy Inn is located just a few blocks from the San Juan Island ferry. We offer an array of lodging accommodations to fit a variety of vacations, including spaces for families, pet-friendly rooms, and romantic suites designed for two. A delicious and home-cooked meal is delivered to your door each morning—the best way to start your adventures! Enjoy your breakfast in the privacy of your own suite, and then plan on lunch or dinner at one of these fantastic Roche Harbor restaurants. Reserve your room at our Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast today! 

bowl of steamed clams

The Best Roche Harbor Restaurants & More to Explore

The majority of our guests enjoy their morning meal at our Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast and then set out to explore the island. If this sounds like your game plan, here’s a list of things to do on the North end of San Juan Island—you can get your steps in, see some beautiful sights, and work up an appetite for dining out at the local Roche Harbor restaurants. 

Here are our favorite things to do in Roche Harbor: 

  1. English Camp, San Juan Island National Historical Park: Perched on the shores of the calm and serene Garrison Bay, English Camp is on the way to Roche Harbor, and it’s a great place to hike and take in a bit of island history. Head down to the English settlement to check out the historical buildings and mini-hedge maze still manicured and maintained.
  2. San Juan Island Sculpture Park: On your way out to Rocher Harbor, this outdoor museum is a great place to stop. You’ll discover 20 acres with more than 150 sculptures and art installations placed along pretty garden pathways. The beautiful space is free to visit (donations are welcome), and all of the art is for sale. 
  3. The McMillin Memorial Mausoleum: This trail’s entrance is just across from the Sculpture Park. This hike, also known as Afterglow Vista, leads visitors through a local cemetery featuring ceremonial tombstones among the woods and grassy stretches. Follow the signs to the mausoleum, an impressive open-air monument with a large round limestone table representing the table the McMillin family sat around for dinner. Be sure to take in the panoramic view of Roche Harbor from the structure. 
  4. Sea Kayaking with San Juan Outfitters: This outpost of one of our favorite boat tour companies operating out of Roche Harbor and booking one of their three-hour sea kayaking excursions will be one of the most extraordinary things you do on the San Juan Islands. You may even have a whale sighting or two. 
  5. Roche Harbor Marina: This may be one of the most picturesque areas on San Juan Island: the glassy waters, hundreds of docked sailboats and yachts, and charming brick buildings and walkways. It’s the perfect place for a stroll before relaxing for a delicious meal at one of the Roche Harbor restaurants. 

Whether pre or post-hike lunch or dinner, there’s only a handful of Roche Harbor restaurants on this side of the island, but it’s all about quality over quantity. You’ll find flavorful bowls of steamed shellfish and chowders, oysters on the half shell, a lovely wine selection, and so much more at these Roche Harbor restaurants.  

  1. McMillin’s Dining Room: Head to this classic, historic eatery with white tablecloths and stunning marina views. You’ll find a Northwest-driven menu with fresh products from land and sea, as well as 60-day-aged Nebraskan prime-grade rib eyes and a wine list to match the elegant service. By far, one of the best Roche Harbor restaurants for fine dining! 
  2. Madrona Bar and Grill: Reopening for the season on May 4th, this causal neighborhood cafe is located directly on the water in the heart of historic Roche Harbor Village. Grab a spot under an umbrella on the patio, order a refreshing beer or glass of Washington wine, and enjoy the selection of fresh seafood. 
  3. Lime Kiln Cafe: For casual lunches, including cafe salads and wraps, hearty sandwiches, fish and chips, and burgers, this is one of the best Roche Harbor restaurants for a quick bite. 
  4. Westcott Bay Shellfish: If you skipped the Roche Harbor restaurants near the marina, there’s a lovely farm store, shellfish farm, and cafe, The Net Shed, to hit on your way back. They offer indoor and outdoor seating for the freshest shucked oysters and other fantastic seafood dishes. Reservations are highly recommended. 
wooden deck with chairs and green shade umbrella

Stay at the Best Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast

After your day of adventures on San Juan Island, your warm and welcoming accommodations will await your return! If you opted for lunch at one of the Roche Harbor restaurants, our farm-to-table bistro, Coho Restaurant, is just a block away for dinner. Expect fresh, Northwest cuisine with beautiful cocktails, wine pairings, and fantastic, personable service. We support our nearby local farms and purveyors to the best of our abilities, and the ingredients shine on every plate that leaves the cozy kitchen. 

As mentioned above, our Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast offers an excellent selection of lodging accommodations. Our Inn collection includes the Tucker House Inn with spacious guest rooms perfect for couples on a romantic getaway on San Juan Island. You’ll enjoy the comforts of home and the luxuries of traditional hotels. Still, our Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast amenities are far from ordinary, especially while relaxing in your jacuzzi tub or curled up by your fireplace.

The other option at our Friday Harbor Bed and Breakfast is the Harrison House Suites, which offers fully-appointed cottages and multiple-room suites that accommodate up to ten guests. All cottages and suites are pet and family-friendly. Offering comfort and privacy, our accommodations are individually designed in a relaxed decor with fully-stocked kitchens and views of Friday Harbor. Now it’s up to you to decide which is the best fit for your next getaway to the San Juan Islands. Book your lodging today! 

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