Sights and Events
Blasts of hot air fill brightly colored envelopes as dozens of balloons lift off like giant lanterns from Howard-Tietan Park. Sunrise flights over town are the highlights of the Walla Walla Balloon Stampede (Oct. 16–20 this year). Bring along a blanket to watch the action, or book a ride for the ultimate experience.
Gas station fare takes on a flavorful, creative edge at Andrae's Kitchen. The hip counter-service eatery—located in a Cenex convenience store—has earned numerous national awards. The halal-style chicken with chef Andrae Bopp's magical white sauce may transport you to Morocco; brisket tacos come topped with Oaxacan cheese and charred salsa. Grab a bistro table at the front of the store and count the Foo Fighters posters hanging on the walls. (Bopp has catered for the band.)
Crossbuck Brewing and Walla Walla Steak Company both recently opened inside an old train depot; the original wallmounted timetable now details what's on tap. Once inside the main door, turn left to visit the pub for beers such as Hazy Schmazy IPA, made with Pacific Northwest hops. Turn right for the upscale steak house. The Hatchet, a bone-in prime rib eye, is so big it merits tableside carving. Reserve the 1950s train car parked outside for private dining.
Eritage Resort opened in June 2018 on 300 acres about seven miles north of town. In the on-site restaurant, chef Brian Price focuses on seasonal offerings from the region, matching them with wines of similar provenance. Locally raised beef short ribs, Frog Hollow beets with merguez sausage in curry yogurt, and a craband- corn soup compete for attention with views of the vast landscape outside.