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Road Trip: Washington, Missouri, Boasts Charming Riverside Restaurants

This month marks the 35th anniversary of the Art Fair & Winefest in Washington, Missouri. Hosted in the city’s charming downtown overlooking the Missouri River, festivities start on Fri., May 20, in the evening, with the kickoff of the art fair and winefest. The Winefest brings together 12 Missouri wineries sampling more than 60 wines. The festival caps off with the Sip and Savor Sunday competition, where local wines are paired with dishes from area restaurants. For more information about the festival, visit


Gottfried’s Cabin Gast Haus

Built in 1834 as a home for G. Gottfried Beyreis’ family (one of the first 15 to settle in the area), the house is one of the oldest and most historic structures in Washington. Gottfried’s is just far enough away from the hustle and bustle to provide a relaxing and restful retreat. The cabin has been outfitted with modern amenities, but its rustic log-cabin interior is preserved. Guests at Gottfried’s also have breakfast covered: $15 gift certificates good at many restaurants come complimentary with your reservation. 124 Jefferson St., 636.239.1743,

DeBourge Guesthouse

Overlooking the Missouri River, DeBourge Guesthouse offers single-room bookings, or large parties can rent the entire house for a day, weekend or longer. Guests at DeBourge enjoy a continental breakfast, either in the dining room or delivered directly to your room, and each room comes equipped with a flat-screen TV and cable. 119 Johnson St., 636.399.0466,

Old Dutch Hotel & Tavern

With sweeping views, shopping just steps away and on-site dining, a stay at Old Dutch Hotel & Tavern offers the very best of Washington. With almost eight decades of history, Old Dutch is a local landmark, yet its newly renovated accommodations feature modern conveniences including flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, full baths and adjoining rooms. Stop in the Tavern for lunch, dinner or a drink, including a selection of local craft beers. 227 Elm St., 636.390.4400,


The Blue Duck

The Blue Duck specializes in hearty comfort food with a creative twist. The riverfront restaurant serves lunch – think Reubens or the DLT (house-cured and smoked duck, lettuce and tomato) – and dinner, including entrées like smoked fried chicken and a buttermilk biscuit waffle slathered in pickled pepper gravy or a Kentucky Hot Brown. For a quick bite, opt for the smoked chicken wings with a craft beer or house cocktail. Owners Chris and Karmen Rayburn also operate Slamburger in Washington, serving griddle burgers, hot dogs, hand-cut fries, milkshakes and more. 516 W. Front St. #100, 636.390.9131,

Joe’s Bakery & Delicatessen

Whether it’s for lunch or dinner, sandwiches made with housemade bread are the focus downtown at Joe’s Bakery & Delicatessen. The small bakery and café bakes its loaves daily (including French, country white and hearty rye), which you can purchase whole or as the bookends to sandwiches such as a classic French dip, a spicy brisket and pepper Jack, and a Reuben. For dinner, Joe’s serves larger plates including marinated pork tenderloin, roasted brisket, pork loin roast and stuffed Italian chicken breast. 9 W. Main St., 636.390.8282

Miller’s Grill

Steak, baby back ribs and fried catfish are house specialties at Miller’s Grill, which serves lunch and dinner seven days a week. Highlights on the lunch menu include shrimp or fish tacos, a Reuben sandwich and the catfish po’boy, while the dinner menu offers hearty entrées like bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, surf and turf, and pulled pork. Be sure to ask about the daily specials, which offer discounts on Miller’s most beloved menu items. 2301 Highway A, 636.390.0167,

Cowan’s Restaurant

Cowan’s Restaurant was constructed in 1860 as a hardware store before becoming a candy store in the 1920s; Cowan’s has called the building home since 1973. Here, homestyle breakfast includes made-from-scratch Belgian waffles; dinner features stick-to-your-ribs fare including fried chicken and barbecued pork steak, plus housemade pie in flavors like peach-blackberry. 114 Elm St., 636.239.3213,

John G’s Bier Deck and Tap Room

Boasting arguably the best view of the Missouri River of any restaurant in Washington, John G’s Bier Deck and Tap Room is the outdoor extension of John G’s Tap Room, home to Augusta Brewing Co., located just in front of the outdoor patio. Choose from Augusta drafts including the hefeweizen, Jack’s blonde and Hyde Park stout, as well as local wines, paired with burgers, brats or appetizers including “insanely hot” Brewers Nuclear Wings during lunch and dinner hours. 107/109 W. Main St., 636.432.1337,


I.B. Nuts & Fruit Too

This cute downtown shop specializes in house blends of fruits and nuts, housemade candies and other locally made artisan food and drink products, including tonic syrup from New Haven, Missouri’s Pinckney Bend Distillery. Stop in to browse the shop’s many snacks and treats, including dark chocolate orange peels, double-dipped goobers (peanuts) and French-vanilla popcorn. 200 Elm St., 636.390.4438,

Washington Farmers’ Market

From April to October, the Washington Farmers’ Market offers the best local produce, meat, eggs and artisan food products produced in and around the town. Every Saturday morning from 8am to 1pm, fruit and vegetable vendors including Patchwork Gardens and Hunter’s Ridge Berry Farm set up stalls next to pork farmer Todd Geisert (who recently opened a store, Farm to You Market, in Washington) and pasture-raised chickens from Stuart Farm. 317 W. Main St., 636.239.2715,

Jennie & Grace Coffee Shop

Perk up your day with a coffee, espresso or latte from Jennie & Grace Coffee Shop, located just a few blocks from the Missouri River. In addition to coffee and tea drinks and gifts, Jennie & Grace serves breakfast specials like a Reuben English muffin and multigrain mini-pancakes, as well as lunch, dessert and bakery items. 219 W. Main St., 636.283.5288,

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