Although there are a few condos located in the downtown business district such as Franklin Crossing, it is the shops and restaurants that draw everyone here. The downtown business district is the heart of Bend. Most cities popular with tourists have a downtown area where all the popular restaurants and night spots are and Bend is no different. Though it can't compete in size with Portland's Pearl District, or San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, Bend's downtown easily has just as much charm.
Downtown is a diner's dream. There are numerous high quality restaurants along with some quick and easy lunch spots. Some lunch and cheaper eats highlights include Pizza Mondo for slices of pizza, The Downtowner for authentic east coast style sandwiches, Taj Mahal for an all you can eat Indian buffet, and Super Burrito for inexpensive Mexican food. For those looking for pub fare and amazing micro-brews, there are 4 breweries in the downtown area, along with several other excellent pubs. Highlights for pub fare would include the Deschutes Public House known for their world class beers, and the Summit Saloon and Stage with their large selection of micro-beers, good food and live entertainment. There is no shortage of fine dining downtown either. Some of the chefs working downtown have very impressive resumes, and they are turning out some amazing dishes. Some of the fine dining highlights are Zydeco's, The Blacksmith's Restaurant, and 900 Wall.
Downtown isn't all restaurants though. There are many shops and art studios to keep shoppers and browsers busy. The shops include clothing stores, book stores, antique shops, barber shops and beauty saloons, and miscellaneous other small shops. The art galleries attract a lot of attention from window shoppers, especially on the first Friday of each month. This first Friday features an ongoing art event called Art Hop. All the art galleries downtown and in the Old Mill stay open late and serve free wine and snacks and many feature a select artist showing his work and answering questions. Art Hop attracts a lot of people, even in the dead of winter when it is freezing out.
For entertainment there is the renovated Tower Theatre which hosts special events and the occasional indie movie or ski film. McMenimen's Old Saint Francis Theater shows second run movies for bargain prices, and even serves their excellent food and micro beers in the theater.