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Café to Café


Dining on the Oregon Coast

Heading to the Oregon coast for some relaxation and fun is one of the fine local trips you can take. If you do nothing but walk on the beach you'll come back a new person. Watching the waves, the seagulls and the many dogs who love the beach is a full-time occupation. And you've got to eat, right? And that's what we're all about, so here are some options on the coast and along the way.

There are many great places, but we haven't been to them all. So don't think an omission (like Cannon Beach) means anything other than we haven't explored as much as we'd like.

Seaside

Twisted Fish Steakhouse , 311 Broadway, 503-738-3467, www.twistedfishsteakhouse.com
Large booths along the windows give you a good view of the pedestrian and car traffic-always fun in a beach town. Varied menu, something for everyone. Friendly staff. Huge bar in back.

Finn's Fish House , 227 Broadway, 503-738-8330, www.finnsfishhouse.com
Another great people-watching spot, Finn's has some sidewalk dining, and a great fireplace in the dining room. Full service bar. They offer a wide-ranging menu from several types of fish and chips to burgers, sandwiches, crab legs, pasta and prime rib.

Shilo Inn, The Boardwalk Restaurant & Lounge , 30 North Prom, 503-738-9571, www.shiloinns.com/search_results.asp?PI=CSSOR
You are right on the beach, so you get to watch walkers on the promenade and the waves crashing in-perfect. It's not going to be the best meal on your trip, but it will be just fine for a casual stop. Full bar.

Norma's Seafood & Steak , 20 N Columbia, 503-738-4331, www.normasoceandiner.com
Norma's has been around quite awhile and is a tradition for some folks. Lots of seafood along with steaks. This is a casual spot; don't expect high-end grub. We're talking calamari, fish and chips, chowder, pasta, burgers. It's a big family spot, so expect kids of all ages.

Bell Bouy's Best Fish House, 1800 S Roosevelt Dr, 503-738-6348, bellbouyofseaside.com
Don't let the name fool you, it sounds like a sit-down restaurant, but it's a small, very casual fish & chips spot that also sells retail. It's small, with good food and chowder. Cool weather means doors closed and it can be a bit close, but warm weather allows the breeze through and it's much more comfortable.

Nonni's Italian Bistro, 831 Broadway, 503-738-4264, www.nonnisitalianbistro.com
Right downtown Seaside, Nonni's is a very comfortable spot to enjoy local, quality ingredients turned into Italian favorites (plus a few Italian imports like Marzano tomatoes and cheeses). Full bar. No reservations taken, be prepared to wait during busy times. Tiramisu and panna cotta made from scratch.

Tillamook

Blue Heron French Cheese Company , 2001 Blue Heron Drive, 800-275-0639, www.blueheronoregon.com
It's a cheese shop, a great stop for lunch, a wine shop, a place for live music, with gift baskets to meet all your needs! Order at the counter, pick a table and enjoy some really good food.

Lincoln City

Blackfish Café , 2733 NW Hwy 101, 541-996-1007, www.blackfishcafe.com
Rob Pounding (owner/chef) was the executive chef at Salishan Lodge (upscale resort) from 1985-1999 when they received the AAA 4 Diamond and the Mobil 4 Star Awards. He has developed relationships with market gardeners, farmers and fishermen on the Oregon coast. It's fresh! No view of the ocean, but the view of seafood, lamb, pork, and duck on your plate will be plenty.

Bay House , 5911 SW Hwy 101, 541-996-3222, www.thebayhouse.org
Originally built in 1937, the building has always been a restaurant, but it became the Bay House in 1978. Right on the water, it's a great place to relax over a glass of wine and a fine meal. The dinner menu is reprinted daily to include the fresh food that arrives from local producers. Menus are posted daily around 5 p.m. They offer a tasting menu (prix fixe) as well as their a la carte menu that includes seafood, beef, vegetarian options.

Kyllos Restaurant , 1110 NW 1st Ct, 541-994-3179, www.kyllosrestaurant.com
Located right on the beach for 25 years, they offer a bar, dining room and outdoor decks. Northwest seafood classics include Dungeness crab, Willapa Bay oysters, halibut, salmon, ling cod and pink shrimp. They also offer steaks and pasta. Casual and nice interior. No reservations taken.

Fathoms Penthouse Restaurant at Inn at Spanish Head , 4009 SW Hwy 101, 800-452-8127, www.spanishhead.com/default.htm
All the rooms plus Fathoms, the dining room, have amazing views of the ocean. The restaurant is on the 10th floor, so you are looking way out to the horizon as well as onto the beach. The dining room staff is very accommodating, and the menu ranges from all kinds of seafood, steaks and specialties like saffron risotto and seafood cannelloni.

Gleneden

Side Door Café , 6645 Gleneden Beach Loop, 541-764-3825, www.sidedoorcafe.com
Along with a number of delicious salads, pastas, burger and salmon cakes, they offer a very nice menu of entrees: Oregon hazelnut encrusted pork medallions, charbroiled rib eye steak, honey and herb rubbed salmon, rack of lamb, Northwest seafood bouillabaisse, vegetable risotto. For a small spot in a small town, you'll be surprised at the quality.

Newport

April's at Nye Beach , 749 NW 3rd St, 541-265-6855, www.aprilsatnyebeach.com
Located near the beach with an ocean view, you'll find upscale food in a casual setting at April's. With the many restaurants in Newport and vicinity, this is one we always want to revisit. Produce and herbs, as well as flowers on the table are grown on Buzzard Hill Farm, which belongs to the restaurant owners. Menus are very seasonal. Everyone will be able to find something to enjoy on the menu, although it is not huge. It's just done that well.

Local Ocean Seafoods , 213 SE Bay Blvd, 541-574-7959, www.localocean.net
In the heart of Newport's Bayfront, these folks are serious about fresh seafood. It's a market where you can buy to take home, and also a casual spot for great seafood. Roll-up garage doors let you view the fishing boats. The open kitchen allows you to see what cooks are doing. Upstairs there's a more intimate dining room as well as a wine and beer bar. Apparently, they are famous for their fish tacos. In addition, they offer Brazilian stew, Fishwives stew, crab po'boy, tuna mignon.

Georgie's Beachside Grill , 744 SW Elizabeth St, 541-265-9800, www.hallmarkinns.com/newport/georgies
With a great view of the ocean and beach, Georgie's is one of those American comfort restaurants. You'll feel right at home. They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner with lots of seafood, but also steaks, pasta, burgers, soups and salads. It's a family-friendly spot, so lots of kids and a large kids menu. There's also a bar if you need a quieter space.

Saffron Salmon , 859 SW Bay Blvd, 541-265-8921, www.saffronsalmon.com
Located at the end of a pier in the Bayfront, you get to each fresh, fresh seafood and maybe even look at the boat it came in on through huge windows. Lots of sea life (especially sea lions) to watch. The restaurant itself is beautiful to look at with contemporary art throughout. Along with chowders and salads, you'll find crab and shrimp cakes, grilled cauliflower steak, wild west coast salmon, pasta, risotto, burgers and sandwiches. It's a lovely place you'll enjoy.

McMinnville

If you drive back through McMinnville vs. going along the coast, you can't miss La Rambla. Make it even more fun by dining there and spending the night at McMenamins Hotel Oregon.


La Rambla
, 238 NE Third St, 503-435-2126, www.laramblaonthird.com
I have never had a meal here that hasn't been almost inspiring. The flavor combinations are amazing, they have a wonderful wine list, they play rather eclectic music, even the lights hanging over the table and bar are interesting. Cold tapas, hot tapas, paella. There's nothing but good here.

May 2016


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