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THE OREGONIAN — Ashland isn’t big like Portland, but it does have about 100 unique places to eat, from hole-in-the-walls where waitresses don’t judge a beer-chased breakfast to one-of-a-kind culinary experiences ripe for Instagram boasting.

Oregon Iron Chefs live here, as do culinary stars with kitchen experience in Chez Panisse-level dining as well as inventive self-starters who graduated from a food cart to a crowd-pleasing cafe.

What also makes Ashland unique: This is a theater town and an 8 p.m. curtain – with no late seating allowed – means a 6 p.m. arrival for a leisurely dinner is not unusual. Less time is needed if you’re already parked downtown for the evening and will walk from a speedier-paced restaurant to the theater.

Whether you have tickets to a show or you have all night to stage your own adventure, Ashland is packed with options. Innkeepers dedicated to pleasing repeat customers recommend casual to high-end dining, and everything in between. Locals have their favorites, too. Ask a foodie and you’ll discover every type of cuisine is executed here at all price levels.

FYI: There is no state sales tax in Oregon but the city of Ashland imposes a 5 percent tax on prepared food and nonalcoholic beverages.

This tiny, arts-centered southern Oregon city welcomes 350,000 visitors a year.

Here are Ashland’s secret dining and drinking places, for fast food or to linger, on a budget or a splurge:

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Ashland's Best B&Bs

© Ashland Bed & Breakfast Network developed with a grant from the City of Ashland Lodging Tax Revenues.