Chef Matt Bennett delivers a dish to a table at Sybaris Bistro.
Tucked into a curve of the Willamette River, the city once known as the railroad hub of Oregon is packed with historic buildings and modern shops and restaurants. albanyvisitors.com. Area code is 541.
1 The well-stocked kitchen shelves at Monteith House hold canned goods, a cone of Havana sugar, locally milled flour, and a list of laughably low 1849 prices. The state’s most authentically restored pioneer-era home, Monteith serves as an entry to the neighborhood’s stunning range of architectural styles. 928-0911, albanyvisitors.com.
2 An eight-foot baby Masai giraffe carved of wood welcomes guests to Sybaris Bistro, home base for chef Matt Bennett. His panfried rainbow trout tastes as if it swam to the kitchen. 928-8157, sybarisbistro.com.
3 Rufus and Bessie Hale’s Deluxe Shoe Shine Parlor, a faithful re-creation of the state’s last stand-alone shop for that humble trade, tells one of many compelling stories at the Albany Regional Museum, where the exhibits cover woman suffrage, veterans’ history, vaudeville theater, and the railroad and logging eras. 967-7122, armuseum.com.
4 A haven for fans of old-world comfort food, Novak’s Hungarian Restaurant serves fluffy, buttery handmade spaetzle with beef pörkölt (stew) or chicken paprikash. 967-9488, novakshungarian.com.
5 The sturdy hatchets and hammers that rub shoulders with chartreuse Fiesta dinnerware, expired license plates, vintage dresses, and thousands of other items help turn every visit to the Albany Antique Mall into a treasure hunt. 704-0109, albanyantiquemall.com.
Photography by David H. Collier
This article was first published in May 2013. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.