As might be expected given the strong military presence in Oak Harbor, most eating places fall in the traditional American food groups: McDonald’s, pizza joints, and steakhouses.
The best among these types of establishments is Flyers (32295 Hwy. 20, 360/675-5858, www.eatatflyers.com, 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m. daily, $15), a kid-friendly brewery restaurant with a book-length menu that goes far beyond the typical fried-meal-in-a-basket pub grub. Flyers makes 10 different salads, quality prime rib and steaks, seafood, and even lamb shanks. This boisterous place is definitely meant to satisfy big parties with different tastes.
For Cantonese and Szechuan meals, stop by China Harbor Restaurant (630 SE Pioneer Way, 360/679-1557, 11 a.m.–midnight daily, $9). Another dependable standby in town is Zorba’s (841 SE Pioneer Way, 360/279-8322, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Mon.–Sat., $13), a delightful Greek restaurant where you’ll find staples like gyros and some Italian dishes, along with more traditional entrées like moussaka. It gets very busy (and loud) most evenings.
If you intend on touring the island for the day, stop by Bayleaf (720 S.E. Pioneer Way, Ste. 1-B, 360/675-6600, www.bayleaf.us, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Tues.–Fri., 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat., noon–4 p.m. Sun.) first for some picnic provisions. This little store is a foodie’s delight, serving up fresh artisan cheeses, gourmet cured meats, olives, fresh rustic breads, fancy crackers, and a good selection of wine to pair with it all.
The Oak Harbor Public Market (360/675-0472) is held 3–7 p.m. Thursday June–September next to the visitors center. Head to Safeway (8075 80th St. NW, 360/679-3011) for the best selection of groceries on the island.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition