This Charming Pizzeria in the Mt. Hood Corridor Has Been Loved Since 1945

ivy bear pizzeria
Ivy Bear Pizzeria / Google

Hidden like a treasure among the verdant landscape of Oregon, just ten minutes east of Sandy on Highway 26, the Ivy Bear Family Pizzeria beckons travelers with its warm, rustic charm. This isn't just a pit stop—it's a landmark steeped in history, a place where every pizza tells a story of the Mount Hood corridor.

Ivy Bear Pizzeria

Nestled beneath a towering ivy-clad bear statue, Ivy Bear Pizzeria has been a cornerstone of culinary delight for mountain-goers since 1945. Acquired by Scott Olsen and his wife Lindsay in 2010, the couple revitalized the establishment while honoring its storied past.

Jaimie Aclala / Google

The pizzeria's deep-rooted history is compelling, yet it’s the exceptional pizza that truly shines.

Positioned as a charming roadside attraction in Alder Creek en route to Mt. Hood, the Ivy Bear welcomes travelers with its verdant ivy scaling a metallic structure up to the bear’s head—creating a whimsical landmark impossible to miss.

Ivy Bear Pizzeria

Scott's meticulous approach to crafting their signature margherita pizza is both a science and an art. He approaches the creation process with the precision of a maestro, orchestrating each ingredient like a musical composition: each element must harmonize perfectly, or else the flavor profile falters.

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An intriguing aspect often overlooked by patrons is the pizzeria’s bespoke point of sale system, engineered from the ground up by Scott himself. This custom tech solution not only streamlines operations but showcases Scott's programming prowess, a talent that hints at the high-profile tech career he could have pursued.

The Ivy Bear Pizzeria is a historic jewel with a story as rich as its menu. Scott Olsen, whose roots intertwine with the towering pines of Mount Hood, infuses his deep love for the region into every slice.

At Ivy Bear, it’s not just about making pizza; it’s about crafting a legacy. Scott's commitment to the freshest ingredients, like hand-cut veggies and a specially aged dough, turns a simple meal into an extraordinary experience. But the devotion doesn't end with tradition; here, innovation mingles with legacy as Scott personally oversees the crafting of their own in-house pepperoni, adding an extra layer of authenticity to a cherished family recipe.

As you step into the pizzeria, your gaze might first land on the famed Ivy Bear topiary, a green monument lovingly restored by Scott. It stands as a sentinel to the past, overlooking a koi pond that whispers the lore of the land. Inside, history melds with hospitality. The walls showcase a mural of Mount Hood and tables are inlaid with historic photographs, while artifacts from the Oregon Trail and a collection of Mount Hood paintings add layers of intrigue to your visit.

Shahadat Sohel / Google

The pizzeria's menu is a parade of flavors. Take the 'Jack', the house favorite boasting old-world-style cupping pepperoni that cradles the cheese with each crispy bite. Or perhaps the 'Jill', a delicate Hawaiian with hand-sliced Canadian bacon and pineapple, telling tales of distant tropical isles.

For the ones who can’t decide, the 'Jack & Jill' offers the best of both worlds with its half pepperoni, half Canadian bacon and pineapple. The 'Baby Bear' is a classic cheese pizza, a tribute to simplicity loved by all ages. Those with adventurous palates will adore the 'Goldilocks', a four-cheese masterpiece blending mozzarella, romano, feta, and brindisi in a symphony of flavors.

Tila Motzko / Google

The 'Mama Bear' is a traditional vegetarian delight, a garden on a crust, while the 'Papa Bear' presents a hearty ensemble of pepperoni, Canadian bacon, and Italian sausage. For those who favor a walk on the wild side, the 'Grizzly Bear' and 'Kodiak Bear' offer a rich tapestry of toppings including crumbled Italian sausage, onions, green peppers, and a medley of mushrooms.

Beyond pizza, the Ivy Bear is a cultural hub, with an arcade room that echoes with laughter, and an inn adorned with historical treasures and local art. Here, the spirit of Oregon's pioneers is rekindled, inviting you to partake in the state’s rich heritage.

Scott Olsen is more than an owner; he's a curator of memories, a chef of nostalgia, blending his passions for history, the outdoors, and the culinary arts. His endeavor to create the perfect pizza pie is as much about honoring the past as it is about pleasing the palate.

So, if your travels take you through the Mount Hood corridor, pull over at the Ivy Bear Family Pizzeria. Unwind beneath the gaze of the Ivy Bear, indulge in a slice of history, and let Scott's dream enrich your Oregon adventure. Keep up with their latest creations and stories by following the pizzeria on social media. The Ivy Bear isn't just a place to eat; it's a destination that captures the heart of Oregon, one slice at a time.

You'll find Ivy Bear Pizzeria off the beaten path at 54735 HWY 26, positioned closer to Brightwood and the Villages of Mt. Hood rather than Sandy. It's a destination well worth the journey—perfect for refueling with good company and great food after a day on the mountain.