Not Your Normal Nachos!

Out of all of the foods that I love to eat and all of the different types of foods that I’ve tried, I still haven’t found anything that brings me the same amount of joy as a big plate of nachos piled high with delicious cheese and toppings. Living in a brewery town, I’m blessed with nachos on every menu I read, but what exactly makes a good plate of nachos? You’ll get a different answer from every single person you ask.  Some people will tell you it’s the chip-to-topping ratio. Others will say the type of toppings used. Others will say it’s how unique they are. I always say I’ll know once I taste them! After tasting countless nachos around town, I feel comfortable saying that these are my top picks- with variety!

Bend Brewing Company 

Steak Nachos | Bend Brewing Company

Bend Brewing Company is one of my absolute favorite spots in Bend. They have a large lawn on the river that’s perfect for eating nachos and sipping beer in the summer. Their nachos come piled high with a protein of your choice, black beans, cheddar cheese, tomato, green onions, and sour cream. I suggest the steak, but you can also get them with ground beef, chicken, or veggies! I love the nachos here because they don’t skimp on the toppings, and they also toast that cheese to perfection, so your chips will stay crisp deep into the pile. My favorite beer is the Ching Ching Sour, but you honestly can’t go wrong on their brews! Not in the mood for nachos? Give the crispy chicken sandwich a try!

GoodLife Brewing Company 

Chicken Nachos | GoodLife Brewing Company

GoodLife is another great outdoor spot with games on the lawn, and their nachos have been my long-standing favorite in town. Why? Because they turned me on to two unique nacho toppings that give your pile a little extra zing: pickled red onions and pepperoncini. In addition, you’ll find your chips loaded with cheese, black beans, salsa, cilantro lime sour cream, and your choice of pork or chicken. I’ve always been extremely pleased with the topping-to-chip ratio here, and their beer certainly doesn’t disappoint either! Descender IPA is still my favorite IPA in town, without a doubt, hands down. Not in the mood for nachos? You can’t go wrong with their hot wings!

10 Barrel Brewing- Westside Pub

Steak & Gorgonzola Nachos | 10 Barrel Brewing

Alright. I know some of you will have an opinion about this pick because I did also before I tried them. 10 Barrel wins for the most unique nacho option in Bend! You can get these puppies with potato chips or fries (I personally stick to the chips), and they come loaded with steak, bacon, jalapeno, garlic, shallots, gorgonzola, pepper jack, and a four-cheese sauce, and green onion. BUT WAIT! There’s more! You can also sub out the meat for tofu chorizo! Either option you take, these nachos will satisfy that crispy, cheesy craving.

Immersion Brewing 

Chicken Nachos | Immersion Brewing

To be honest, these were surprising. I hadn’t been to Immersion in a while, and I was craving nachos. I figured I’d give these a go. They’re simple. They have a perfect ratio of chips to cheese to toppings. The chicken was flavorful and juicy. They just checked all the boxes without over-the-top or grandiose ingredients or gestures. They have a PHENOMENAL house-made habanero cream sauce they drizzle over the chips, queso, pico de gallo, and your choice of chicken or carnitas.

Written by Ariel Rose

Ariel Rose, a.k.a. The BBQueer, was born and raised in Bend, OR. She has always had a passion for food, primarily focusing on local and sustainable options. Although she can eat and cook just about anything under the sun, she was raised a vegetarian and loved to explore her plant-based roots, especially on the grill. Ariel can be found experimenting on her Traeger, hanging out at local food trucks, sipping local brews, traveling, hiking, writing poetry, paddleboarding, bouldering, and…well, you get the idea.

IG: @the_BBQueer