Ngo: Best Corvallis Restaurants, According to Students

Corvallis has many local spots that are favorites for college students and the community alike. Whether it’s breakfast from Wise Cracks and late night munchies from Riva’s, these student favorites seem to satisfy any craving.

Many restaurants in Oregon have been heavily impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19. According to the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant industry ended 2020 $240 billion below pre-pandemic earnings, with 110,000 food places either temporarily or permanently closed.

Corvallis is no exception and many local restaurants, which have served the Oregon State University student body for years, have been impacted. 

In light of this, I reached out to students on the OSU Reddit community page and compiled their recommendations for the top restaurants in Corvallis. 

The first place was Local Boyz Hawaiian Cafe on Monroe Avenue, stationed on the second floor of the Cobblestone Square. The restaurant offers traditional Hawaiian dishes, including its signature sweet shoyu chicken, sweet short ribs and much more, all of which come in three sizes: menehune (dwarf), regular and blalah (large). All meals also come with a side of Macaroni salad and fresh white rice.

If you are looking for the best brunch spot in Corvallis, you might want to try the Wise Cracks Cafe on Third St. The cafe offers traditional comfort foods like Country Road, which is a gravy-smothered chicken-fried steak along with a side of two eggs and hashbrowns. If you’re not feeling like having a chicken-fried steak, you might want to check out their omelettes. Possibly the most massive item is the El Juapo, an eight-egg omelette stuffed with bacon, ham, sausage, mozzarella and basically everything under the sun. 

One of the most common spots mentioned was Riva’s Taco Shop, located on Fifth St. The shop serves regular burritos, fried burritos, carne asada fries and essentially, everything you would look for in a Mexican restaurant. The portions are definitely hefty and can induce a food coma, as I would eventually find out after eating their fried al pastor burrito and an entire plate of carne asada fries.

Students also suggested Thai Chili, a small restaurant on Monroe Avenue which serves dishes like pad thai, yellow curry or pineapple fried rice. All of their meals’ spiciness levels can be adjusted from freshman to senior. Personally, I was only able to reach junior-level spicy before I lost feeling in my tongue. But if that’s something you are looking for in your Thai food, maybe Thai Chilli’s the place for you.

The next popular recommendation is Bo & Vine Burger Bar on Third St. They offer an assortment of chicken and beef burgers alongside seven special fries called “piles.” The last time I went to Bo & Vine I got Dante’s Inferno fries. They were seasoned in a cajun dry blend and topped with housemade Pepper Jack beer cheese, fresh jalapeños and a ranch Sriracha drizzle.

But beyond the top suggestions, there are dozens of other grub spots with a variety of cuisines all over Corvallis that students enthusiastically suggested. So next time your tummy is rumbling keep this list in mind to support small businesses and your appetite.