It's hard to beat the hot chocolate at Timberline Lodge.

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Dining and drinking options on and around Mount Hood range from an irresistably greasy bag of donuts at Joe's in Sandy to fine fondue and chardonnay at Timberline Lodge's Cascade Dining Room. A good hard day of shredding at high altitude makes everything taste better, so it's best to be open-minded about all your mountain options. I'll organize this article into three sections: Heading up to the Mountain, On the Mountain, and Heading Back Home.

 Heading Up From Portland

Liberated Baking in Gresham has good coffee, gluten-free goodies and sandwiches to go. Launched by a local mom who grew up skiing Mount Hood, it's right next door to Hillcrest Ski & Sports, driver's right off Highway 26, 2518 SE Burnside. Fresh cinnamon rolls! Open 8 am Tuesday-Saturday. Unfortunately, closed on Sundays.

Not surprisingly, Starbuck's has dozens of locations between Portland and the mountain. The most easily accessible are on driver's left just off Highway 26, 2442 E. Burnside in Gresham Village and 26765 Hwy. 26 in the Sandy Marketplace. Coffee and treats, open early, good service, but be forewarned: ordering requires a certain amount of fluency in Italian.

If you are starving and not in a hurry, the Tollgate Inn in Sandy opens at 6 am and serves a mean Lumberjack Breakfast. Portions are ridiculously large.

Mountain Moka is a locally owned and highly recommended cafe in Sandy with a long list of tasty specialty drinks, a cozy interior and a friendly staff. 17450 Meinig Rd., driver's left in Sandy's split-highway 25 MPH zone.

I wouldn't recommend the heavy fare at Joe's Donuts if you were planning on a sedentary day. But if your plan is to shred Hood, why not? You'll need all the energy you can store. Joe's is a classic Sandy establishment and a must-stop for plenty of people passing through on their way to the mountain. Open 4am, seven days a week, the red-and-white building on driver's right in the Sandy 25 MPH zone, 39230 Pioneer Blvd.

Cafe Aria isn't the easiest spot to find when you're heading east on 26, but once you find your way there, you'll want to return. Delicious specialty drinks, free Wifi, gourmet chocolates and fresh waffles make this a must-visit spot. It's tucked on driver's left at Milepost 40 off Highway 26 near the Rendezvous Grill and Tap Room, El Burro Loco and the Mt. Hood 26 Board Shop.

Wraptitude sells healthy delicious wraps, espresso and smoothies. Driver's right, 67441 E. Highway 26. Welches, OR 9706, 503-622-0893, milepost 41.

Coffee Brewsters has a good selection of hot drinks and sweet treats to get you going. Easy to find in the Hoodland Plaza in Welches next to the Thriftway, driver's right, 68224 E. Hwy. 26.

Mt. Hood Roasters is a skier-owned establishment that air-roasts its beans on site and serves up quality. Access can be a little tricky after a snowstorm, but the coffee and treats are top notch. Driver's left in Rhododendron, just past the Dairy Queen at 73451 E. Hwy. 26.

Heading Up From Hood River.

Dog River Coffee Co. is a spacious, independently owned and super cool hangout in Hood River that serves Stumptown Coffee and fresh baked goods. 411 Oak Street, Hood River.

Pine Street Bakery is well-stocked with fresh goodies to give you energy for the slopes. It's in Hood River's Pine Street Heights neighborhood, right on your way out of town to get to Mount Hood. 1103 12th Street, Hood River.

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