There are many great things to do in Salem, known for its beautiful scenery and enviable location nestled in the fertile Willamette Valley. It’s one of the top areas for wine growers both in the Pacific Northwest and in the country. This State Capitol city also has some of the best seafood restaurants due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. McGrath’s Fish House is the oldest seafood restaurant in the city, still delivering fresh seafood daily. Newport Seafood Grill serves mouthwatering steaks, along with delectable seafood. Both are musts for foodies visiting Salem who are also looking for a little romance. Here’s the rest of the 25 most romantic restaurants in Salem.
1. ACME Cafe
© ACME Café
Serving homemade food from scratch in a neighborhood setting, ACME Café in Salem, Oregon, is a local leader in New American cuisine. The contemporary designed interior features exposed HVACs, track and pendulum lighting, and light-colored walls that add to an inviting ambience. Wood tabletops, hardwood floors, and an old-fashioned, behind-the-counter diner kitchen, makes this an ideal setting for a date night. ACME Café utilizes locally sourced ingredients to prepare their sumptuous fare. Selections include items like parmesan rockfish, chicken fried chicken, and seared rockfish with lemon butter, black pepper, parsley, and shallots. All dinners come with two sides.
110 Hansen Avenue South, Salem, OR, Phone: 503-798-4736
2. Amadeus Cafe
© Amadeus Café
Located in the historic Grey Building in Salem, Amadeus Café believes in providing customers with great food and service. The contemporary interior at Amadeus Café provides an ambience of relaxation and casualness with light colored walls, high ceilings, and exposed HVACs. Hardwood floors, dark wood furnishings, and multiple dining areas make this restaurant an ideal setting for a date night. The culinary team serves “fork-to-mouth” cuisine using only locally sourced ingredients. Menu items include selections like Korean fried chicken, spiced lamb, and grilled salmon – wild caught Coho with sautéed cabbage, mashed potatoes, Latin herb sauce, and asparagus.
135 Liberty Street Northeast, Salem, OR, Phone: 503-362-8830
3. Annette's Westgate Cafe
Large portions of food are just one of the many reasons customers rave about Annette’s Westgate Café in Salem. Patrons also love the all-day breakfast, and the enticing salad bar. The long-standing restaurant exudes comfort and relaxation with an interior of exposed HVAC’s, two-toned walls, and large pane windows. Dark wood furnishings, ceiling fans, and an outdoor dining area that is dog friendly make this venue a desirable choice for the whole family. The all-American menu includes selections like rib eye steak, meatloaf, and salmon fish and chips – Alaskan salmon, coleslaw, and French fries.
1311 Edgewater Street Northwest, Salem, OR, Phone: 503-362-9588
4. Bentley's Grill
© Bentley's Grill
Bentley’s Grill in Salem is located inside The Grand Hotel serving food inspired by the great Northwest. The elegance of the interior of Bentley’s Grill is captured by its barrel ceilings, show kitchen, and large pane windows. With polished, hardwood floors, cushioned dining booths, and a romantic indoor fire pit, Bentley’s Grill is an ideal setting for a romantic night out. The culinary team sources ingredients from the Pacific Northwest to showcase seasonal changes on the ever-changing menu. Entrées include items like grilled New York steak, seafood stew, filet mignon, free-range chicken, and burnt end mac and cheese.
291 Liberty Street Southeast, Salem, OR, Phone: 503-779-1660
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5. Bo & Vine Burger Bar
© Bo & Vine Burger Bar
In 2017, the dream of three friends in Salem came true when they opened Bo and Vine Burger Bar, a place where friends come to hangout, drink beer, and indulge in great burgers. White walls, pendant lights, a gleaming copper counter front, an edgy urban wall mural, and a bank of date night booths create a sleek urban space with clean lines and a minimalist vibe. Guests can dine al fresco on a front patio that seats 16. Burgers are handcrafted and house made French fries and tater tots are served with special sauces. Guests can choose their favorite patty, bun, cheese, toppings, and sauces to build a burger. Even the milkshakes are hand-spun.
176 Liberty Street Northeast, Salem, OR, Phone: 971-301-2585
6. Christos Pizzeria
© Christos Pizzeria
Serving classic Italian-American cuisine since 1997, Christo’s Pizzeria in Salem provides patrons with a dining experience they’ll not soon forget. Nestled in the Little Italy neighborhood of the city, the restaurant’s interior features high ceilings, pendant lights, and an open kitchen. Floor-to-ceiling windows, dark wood trim, and a warm color palette give this restaurant a homey vibe. They believe that serving Italian fare properly means only using the freshest ingredients. Even the pizza dough is made fresh daily. Besides pizza, Christos serves grilled rib eye steak, linguine and clams, pasta alfredo, beef braised short ribs, and veal or chicken marsala.
1108 Broadway Street Northeast, Salem, OR, Phone: 503-371-2892
7. DaVinci Ristorante
© DaVinci Ristorante
Recognized as one of the top restaurants in the Willamette Valley, DaVinci Ristorante has been a staple of fine Italian dining in Salem for over 20 years. The epitome of elegance, DaVinci Ristorante features ornate iron, candelabra-style chandeliers, red tile floors, rich wood furnishings and finishes, and plush leather seating. With exposed brick walls, a stylish marble topped bar, and a cozy loft, this restaurant is an in-demand choice for a romantic dinner. The menu, like the seasons, changes to utilize the freshest produce and ingredients possible. Menu favorites include veal Milanesa, center cut filets, pork medallions, and a five-course Chef’s Tasting Menu.
180 High Street Southeast, Salem, OR, Phone: 503-399-1413
Gamberetti’s is an award-winning, casual eatery in Salem serving authentic Italian fare. This modern restaurant features floor-to-ceiling windows, hardwood floors, and exposed wood beams. Tuscan-colored walls create a warm and inviting space. Soft pendant lighting, and a loft dining area make this an ideal venue for a romantic dinner. The Italian menu is focused on classic dishes, plus vegan and gluten-free options. Entrées include traditional dishes like Cioppino – a house special with lobster, corvina, shrimp, and clams in a red broth that is as spicy as it is rich, and Chicken Piccata – pancko crusted chicken in a light butter caper sauce with white wine and lemon and a side of fettuccine.
325 High Street Southeast, Salem, OR, Phone: 503-339-7446
9. Gerry Frank's Konditorei
© Gerry Frank's Konditorei
Gerry Frank’s Konditorei in Salem has been a household name in this area since 1982. This bakery/café with a black/white/red color scheme features black and white checkered floors, white walls with red trim, and large windows overlooking the street. Light-colored wood bistro tables and chairs, and fresh flower centerpieces, make this a fun place for an afternoon date. Konditorei, meaning pastry/cake shop in German, this restaurant serves far more than sweets, though diners won’t want to turn down the creatively decadent treats. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus include sandwiches, soups, and salads. There is also a wine list.
310 Kearney Street Southeast, Salem, OR, Phone: 503-585-7070
10. Gilgamesh Brewing
© Gilgamesh Brewing
Having recently moved to Salem from the woods of Turner, Oregon, Gilgamesh Brewing occupies a building that runs along Pringle Creek. This contemporary rustic-chic restaurant’s interior features exposed beams, industrial lighting, hardwood floors, and a stone fireplace. Two outdoor patios – one covered and one uncovered – overlook a creek that flows along the back of the property. The tranquil ambience is perfect for a romantic evening. Sourcing ingredients locally for the freshest ingredients, the menu features global and American eats. A few favorites include include steak with Yukon Golds, grilled steelhead, and Vampire Slayer cheese ravioli. They offer a range of house brews where the motto is “There’s a beer for everyone.”
2065 Madrona Avenue Southeast, Salem, OR, Phone: 503-584-1789
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11. La Hacienda Real
© Joshua Resnick/stock.adobe.com
La Hacienda Real in Salem is an award-wining restaurant serving authentic Mexican cuisine in a comfortable setting. The bright color scheme enlivens the restaurant with stone floors, multicolored walls, and ornately designed tile work. Suspended lighting, arched doorways, and traditional artwork create a lively space where no detail was spared. The culinary team prepares authentic Mexican fare elevated to the level of artistry with fresh and flavorful ingredients. Guests can expect Mexican favorites like Costillas Verdes tender pork ribs or Mi Jalisco grilled skirt steak. La Hacienda house specials are also must-try dishes. There is a Nachos Bar, a children’s menu, and vegetarian options.
3690 Commercial Street Southeast, Salem, OR, Phone: 503-540-5537
12. Marco Polo Global Restaurant
© Marco Polo Global Restaurant
Serving a fusion of Modern European, Vegan/Vegetarian, and Chinese cuisine, Marco Polo Global Restaurant in Salem presents an eclectic menu of delectable food. The elegant interior design of this restaurant features hardwood floors, recessed lights, and dark wood furnishings. With a stone feature wall, private dining area, and a romantic indoor fire pit, it’s the perfect place for an intimate dinner. The executive chef creates ethnic fusion dishes with locally sourced produce and ingredients. Entrées includes items like Pad Thai, Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo, Smoked Salmon Ravioli, and Veggie Raspberry Pistachio Chicken – parmesan and marinara sauce, chicken fried and breaded, topped with parmesan and pasta Alfredo.
300 Liberty Street Southeast, Salem, OR, Phone: 503-364-4833
13. McGrath's Fish House
© Leonid Nyshko/stock.adobe.com
McGrath’s Fish House in Salem has been a staple in this community for almost 40 years. The interior of this restaurant features exposed brick walls, high ceilings, exposed beams, and HVACs. Stone flooring, ceiling fans, wood columns, and a banquette create a friendly, neighborhood vibe. This Northwest original is a crowd-pleaser with fresh seafood that is delivered daily. A couple seafood favorites are Seafood Astoria – petite prawns, grilled fish, fresh Dungeness crabmeat with a white wine sauce, and their signature Halibut Parmesan – Alaskan halibut that has been encrusted in parmesan cheese and grilled. Diners can’t praise this favorite enough.
3805 Center Street Northeast, Salem, OR, Phone: 503-485-3086
14. Nagoya Steakhouse and Sushi
Specializing in sushi and hibachi selections, Nagoya Steakhouse and Sushi provides the Salem community with premier Japanese food and expert service. The interior has a feature stone wall, tile floors, cushioned booths, subtle lighting, and a large sushi bar. Hibachi mains performed by chefs lend an air of exuberance to the contemporary, minimalist space. Guests can expect an array of hibachi and hibachi combo entrées on the menu waiting to be prepared tableside. The extensive sushi menu includes traditional, hand, spicy, tempura, veggie, and Chef’s Special rolls. Love Boat for Two – nine sashimi, one salmon roll spicy, seven nigiri sushi, and one Bozeman roll is a good choice for date night.
3760 Center Street Northeast, Salem, OR, Phone: 503-362-8018
15. Rudy's Steakhouse
© Rudy's Steakhouse
For more than 20 years, Rudy’s Steakhouse in Salem, has been serving in-house, premium, hand-cut steaks. Glass chandeliers, shaded wall sconces, high-back leather chairs, tables dressed in white linens, and a subtle color palette create an upscale ambience. This classic American steakhouse makes their own salad dressings and gourmet sauces in-house. They age their beef and hand cut their steaks in-house, which has led to gold medal winning steaks. Some Rudy’s Steakhouse favorites include large cut filet mignon, roast prime rib, and Rudy’s Tomahawk – three pounds of marbled meat that is ready to be shared.
350 Chemeketa Street Northeast, Salem, OR, Phone: 503-399-0449
16. The Sassy Onion Grill
© The Sassy Onion Grill
The Sassy Onion Grill in Salem has been serving the Willamette University area mouthwatering American-style breakfasts and lunches since 2002. This laidback eatery features cushioned booth and banquette seating, hardwood floors, and soft-colored walls. It’s the perfect casual spot for a breakfast or lunch date. No matter what time of day it is, they serve their World Famous French Toast with diners’ choice of seasonal berry toppings. Other menu items include from-scratch pancakes, thick-cut bacon, and freshly baked muffins. Big appetites will love the Farmer’s Breakfast – fresh hash browns, any style of two-eggs, toast, and choice of Italian sausage, bacon, cured ham, and pork sausage.
1244 State Street, Salem, OR, Phone: 503-378-9180
17. Tiga Sushi and Asian Bistro
© Tiga Sushi and Asian Bistro
Tiga Sushi and Asian Bistro in Salem offers diners a cross-cultural menu that will satisfy anyone’s craving for Asian food. The interior features dark tiled ceilings, recessed lights, and light-colored walls. Cushioned booths, blonde wood shelves and bistro tables and chairs, and a long sushi bar creates a contemporary, minimalist vibe with clean lines. Diners can expect classic, veggie, fried, and special rolls, plus sashimi and nigiri. There are ten kinds of pho, and a variety of traditional dishes like udon noodle, Mongolian stir fry, Malaysian fried rice, Mandarin stir-fry, and spicy Szechuan dishes with onions, carrots, rainbow bell peppers, and Szechuan sauce.
260 Liberty Street Southeast, Salem, OR, Phone: 503-339-7846
18. Venti's Cafe and Basement Bar
© Venti's Café + Basement Bar
Located in downtown Salem, Venti’s Café + Basement Bar provides patrons with a vibrant atmosphere, abundant craft beer, a global menu that’s also vegetarian-friendly. This airy restaurant features an interior of bright colors, exposed brick walls, and hardwood floors. This family-owned restaurant is dedicated to “good, clean food” that is locally sourced for their farm-to-table partners and from the Pacific Northwest that is free of chemicals, preservatives, additives hormones, MSG, and GMOs. Delectable menu items include items like Red Curry Burger, Chicken Caprese Flatbread, and Korean BBQ Tempeh – mixed vegetables, cabbage slaw, sliced avocado, scallions, and garnished sesame seeds.
325 Court Street Northeast, Salem, OR, Phone: 503-399-8733
19. Wild Pear
© Wild Pear
Wild Pear has become one of the trendiest restaurants in Salem with excellent food and a funky vibe. The interior of this contemporary restaurant has a feature stone wall, colorfully designed flooring, and brightly colored walls. With cushioned booths, recessed lights, and a banquette along one wall, the Wild Pear an inviting place to dine. The restaurant serves food with organic and seasonal ingredients to ensure the richest flavors. Menu items include options like Kahlua Pork Sandwich, Seafood and Lobster Melt, French Dip, and Roast Beef and Blue Cheese. All wraps are served with kettle chips.
372 State Street, Salem, OR, Phone: 503-378-7515
20. Word of Mouth Neighborhood Bistro
© Word of Mouth Neighborhood Bistro
Word of Mouth Neighborhood Bistro in Salem, a restaurant whose owners just happen to double as the chefs, serve food that is inspired from their hearts. A converted house, this cozy restaurant has the ambience of dining at home. Design elements include eclectic wall and ceiling art, brightly colored walls, and a romantic fireplace. It’s a quaint space for an intimate shared meal. Word of Mouth serves an eclectic menu with selections like Rueben-Lover’s Rueben, Cheesy BLT, Grilled Turkey Rachel, and Chopped Chicken Salad – mozzarella, basil, diced chicken breast, Roma tomatoes, and mixed greens.
140 17th Street Northeast, Salem, OR, Phone: 503-930-4285
The 20 Best Restaurants in Salem, Oregon near me today according to local experts:
More Ideas: Willamette Valley Pie Company
The Willamette Valley Pie Company in Salem, Oregon offers a fresh selection of pastries, pies, and good simple food. The flavor, texture, and presentation of the food are constantly being met with positive reviews and the rising recognition of the company has spurred Willamette to expand its organization in 2016, moving to a location in Silverton with more room for production. The building is 67,000 square feet, and Willamette’s baking team has a more linear approach to production, more room to maneuver, and a sense of comfort in their new location.
The humble beginnings of the Willamette Valley Pie Company began in 1999. The Roth family was known for their berry growing operation, which had been carried down through generations, but they went on to make themselves a household name with their quality berries that are fresh and flavorful. They process over 12 million pounds of fruit and work with 20 to 30 local growers who help keep up with demand. The Roth’s berry selection is excellent and includes cranberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberry’s, marionberries, boysenberries, and blackberries. They supply their products to the foreign and domestic markets. The Willamette’s are up to date on social media and cater to people who want to purchase online. They package fruits, pies, cobblers, jams, and syrups that are all 100% fresh. The ingredients to all their recipes are available to read for those with dietary requirements.
The Roths purchased a pie company in 2001 from a neighbor and still use the original recipes, although their pies are made with their own natural ingredients. The food from the Willamette Valley Pie Company is also provided to farm stands, grocery stores, and schools/non-profit fundraisers. The Roth’s also purchased a farm store in 2009 to connect with the local people.
Local Store & Café
The company grew tired of just working with wholesale buyers and wanted to invest in a retail environment, so they opened the store/café in 2009 to bring them closer to the buying customer. The store/café offers field trips and tours at the Silverton production facility, where visitors can get a look at the pie-making process. The store also offers fresh scones, muffins, hot drinks, smoothies, and slices of pie.
The U-pick event offers all the joys of berry picking and the 2016 season took place a ¼ mile south towards Sunnyview Road. They request that participants pick all sizes of berries, and to pick the row clean. The pickings include strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries. The prices vary with each category of berry, and when a row is done a flag is simply moved to the end of the picked row.
2994 82nd Ave NE, Salem, OR 97305, Phone: 503-362-8857
More Ideas: Gilbert House Children's Museum
Located in Salem, Oregon, The Gilbert House Children's Museum inspires children to learn through playing creatively through hands-on exhibits and special activities that focus on science, arts and humanities.
The Gilbert House Children's Museum was founded in 1989 and named after A.C. Gilbert, famous inventor of the Erector Sets who also held 150 total patents, Olympic athlete, scholar, magician and business owner. A.C. Gilbert has also been hailed as the man who saved Christmas when Congress declared a moratorium on toy manufacturing in 1918 during World War I.
Located on Salem's Riverfront Park, the private nonprofit museum is home to 15 different exhibits, an outdoor discovery area, and offers educational programs. The museum is most appropriate for children ages 2-10 years old, however, older children and adults enjoy the museum as well.
Three historic homes comprise the museum—Rockenfield, Gilbert, and Parish House.
The exhibits at Gilbert House Children's Museum are spread between three historic homes as well as the Outdoor Discovery Area. Because of this, only about ½ of the exhibits are handicap accessible and the museum staff is happy to help anyone in need of assistance in planning their visit. There is also no formal stroller parking available at the museum and strollers cannot be taken into the exhibits except under special circumstances; however, strollers and wagons can be left in the lobby although the museum has no liability for lost, stolen, or damaged items.
Gilbert House Exhibits:
· A.C.Gilbert Legacy of Play This room educates visitors on the life of the museum's namesake and his inventions including the famous Erector Sets, magic tricks, and numerous achievements.
· Fortopia- Children can build their own world in this exhibit designed to allow the imagination to soar as visitor's problem solve, team build, and create.
· Tinker Tracks- Build a system of chutes and tracks and explore motion as you watch a ball move through a maze designed by you and your friends. Small parts are used in this room that small children may need to be monitored around.
· Center Stage Theater- Star in your own play or musical act, put on costume, play with puppets and more. Use the activity cards for inspiration or a fun game of charades for the whole family.
· All About Me- Kids can explore science and medicine in this station where they can tend to babies, play doctor, view x-rays, and check out real microscopes.
· Creation Station- An art studio where cultural from around the world can be explored through hands-on themed projects that rotate throughout the year.
· Farm to Table- Learn all about how agriculture and how the food you eat makes it to your table. Pick fruit, milk a cow, and harvest crops. Learn all about ecological diversity in the state of Oregon through murals by local artists and historical photographs of local farmers.
· Vet Clinic- Children can put on a lab coast and learn how to keep animals healthy and happy in this exhibit that features x-rays, weigh stations, and real life vet clinic situations. There are washing stations, kennels, and lots of stuffed animals.
· Eye Euphoria- A one-of-a-kind children's museum exhibit, eye euphoria features an oversized stained glass kaleidoscope located in the entrance to the Gilbert House. This special exhibit took over 2.500 hours to create and has an adjustable rotation speed. Designed by Donald Ferris of Washington, the creation was donated to the museum by his sister after his passing.
· Up, UP and Away- This interactive exhibit teaches children about aerodynamics, velocity and flight through building model airplanes and testing them in the wind tube. Not only that, there is an airplane cockpit that can be explored.
Exhibits at Parish House
· All Aboard- A.C. Gilbert wasn't just famous for Erector Sets, he was also known for his model trains. The Parish house is home to his original American Flyer trains that are still in working condition.
· Imagination Playground- Full of big blue blocks, this room is where kids can let loose and play through creative building—combing the shapes and blocks to make a variety of structures and systems such as forts, arches, towers and more.
Exhibits at Rockenfield House
· Go Figure!- Giant story books are featured in this room that focuses on literacy and math. Favorites such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Frog and Toad, and other children's classics have hands-on learning skills and activities for kids to connect with their adults.
· Forest Friends Toddler Room- Specifically for kids 2 years old and under, this room is designed for toddler play and features a slide, soft sided toys, and a quieter atmosphere.
· Main Street- A tiny town that is just the right size for kids. This to scale town allows kids to make independent choices and practice social skills involved in banking, shopping, and going to the post office.
· Recollections- Combing art and technology, Recollections creates full size images of visitors that are time delayed and combines over 256 colors to become part of a dynamic art work.
· Discovery Campground- An extension of Outdoor Discovery Center, the campground is a natural playground that uses logs, rocks, and other natural elements to help children develop motor skills, creativity, and imagination. The Discovery Campground is designed to be sustainable, challenging, and inspiring, while modeling the natural environment.
· Outdoor Discovery Center- There are many components to the Outdoor Discovery Center at Gilbert House Children's Museum. A.C.'s Backyard was a community build project that includes the largest Erector Set in the world at 52 feet high and 2 towering slides with a maze inside. There is also an American Flyer Train that can be explored as well as paddle wheeler models, a Mammoth dig site and Paleontology deck where visitors can learn about fossils and dinosaurs. Kids can also get dirty in the Global Village as they learn what it was like to live in an aboriginal hut or an adobe pueblo, crawl around the Earth's core, or stroll through the raised garden beds in the Discovery Gardens. The Hopscotch Amphitheater is also located in the Outdoor Discovery Center and when not in use for live demonstrations or performances, can be used for picnics and playtime.
Gilbert House Children's Museum offers camps, workshops and field trip opportunities for schools and the communities. All programs utilize inquiry-based, hands on approaches and many can be tailored to specific program needs. Educators staffed by the Gilbert House will guide all learning opportunities in conjunction with school staff. Classes are offered during public school breaks and over the summer. More detailed information can be found on the event calendar through the website.
Preschool- The Gilbert House offers an accredited preschool program for children ages 3-5 at the museum. Preschool is offered half days on a full time or part time basis. Children have independent and outdoor learning time as well and large and small group centers. Personal hygiene instruction is also taught.
Summer Camps- Summer camp programming can change yearly. Some program offerings may include camps on flight, transportation engineering, human biology, agriculture, toy building, infrastructure, and outer space. Half day camps are available for preschoolers and full days for children between the ages of 6 and 12 (or grades 1-6). All camps are led by experienced educators.
Homeschool Hangouts- In line with Next Generation Science Standards, these 2 hour sessions that happen twice per month engage homeschooled children with stimulating science and innovation experiences that they may not be able to get at home. There is a new theme each month.
Field Trips- Educators should refer to the website or contact the museum directly for guidance on setting up field trips to the Children's Museum; however, there are many options for self-guided field trips, or enhancements that are focused on STEM goals and workshops.
Throughout the year, Gilbert House Children's Museum will host a wide array of special exhibit, speakers, and events to make learning even more fun such as special craft events, magic shows, ½ price admission days and more. The events calendar will detail these events as they change frequently. Birthday parties are also popular at the Children's Museum with multiple packages available.
There are a few events that are annual and looked forward to by the community.
Legacy of Play Day- Annually in February, Legacy of Play Day celebrates the life of A.C. Gilbert and offers a day of free admission to the museum and invites toy makers, and inventors from the community to share their work with visitors and continue the legacy of Gilbert.
Summer Block Party- This free community block party hosted by the Children's Museum is a day of museum exploration, free food and activities, local community resources, and much more.
Science Night for Adults- Leave the kids at home and enjoy a night of live music, food and libations as adults come together to learn about science and community progress. This is a series of events.
Discover the Wonder- Annual Fall Fundraiser features a magic show, dinner, drinks, and auction with proceeds benefiting the Gilbert House.
116 Marion Street NE, Salem, Oregon, 97301, Phone: 503-371-3631