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Recently my husband and I spent a week on the southern Oregon Coast and we found some pretty good food � not stellar, but pretty good.

Depoe Bay, Oregon
On our first day we drove from Portland down to Depoe Bay to the Whale Cove Inn, just south of the town of Depoe Bay. There are hardly enough superlatives to describe this place. Less than 3 years old, the Inn is totally contemporary in design and features ocean views from every room that are stunning. When we entered our room and took it all in, I said to my husband, �Wow, this is one of the few places that exceeds my expectations!� A very large, totally private terrace with soaking tub overlooks the cove where dozens of sea otters were bobbing in the surf. On the first floor is Restaurant Beck, opened in June 2009 by Chef Justin Wills. The restaurant enjoys the same ocean views as the rooms above and dining at sunset is a magical experience. This restaurant is trying hard to be a fine dining experience, in an Oregon style. We found the service to be friendly and competent, and quite laid back. Some of the food was quite good, some just ok. A butternut squash soup was excellent, a lamb entr�e was very dry and stringy. I cannot provide more details as I did not take notes and the menu is not posted online. One thing that really surprised us was that the menu contained very few items that are actually from Oregon. The only seafood option was Maine scallops. No salmon, no other seafood from the West Coast. There were some items from a nearby farm (Barking Dog), but they were a relatively small portion of the menu. The cost of the meal was considerably less than we would have paid in DC for a similar meal without the view, so we forgave the less than perfect details. And you can�t beat the commute: 2 flights up in the elevator!
Restaurant Beck
2345 S Hwy 101
Depoe Bay, OR 97341
(541) 765-3220

Reedsport, Oregon
The following day we drove 4 hours south on the 101 Highway along the coast. Midway through this drive we found ourselves in Reedsport and looking for lunch. Well, folks, there ain�t much here! By chance we happened to spy a Natural Foods Store and decided to check it out. What a good find. A food store with fairly minimal offerings and a caf� with about 5 or 6 tables. They offer all kinds of coffee drinks, baked goods and some freshly-made foods. I ordered a fresh juice drink that was prepared before my eyes with produce procured from the stores� bins: carrots, beets, celery, garlic, cabbage, not sure what else. It was delicious! Also had a house-made roasted pepper soup that was really good. Husband had a Panini which he also said was delicious. Our server/cook was a young man who had recently earned his M.S. from the U of O marine biology program and is looking for a job. He was a delightful conversationalist. It was great fun to observe people come in and out of the store � this place is obviously beloved by the locals. Before departing, we bought some organic chocolate bars and a bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir which turned out to be delicious. If you ever find yourself in Reedsport in need of some sustenance, I recommend:
Reedsport Natural Foods
1891 Winchester Ave
Reedsport, OR 97467
(541) 319-0089

Gold Beach, Oregon
We spent 5 nights of our vacation at a Lodge on the Rogue River a few miles upriver from Gold Beach (Tu Tu Tun Lodge). The food at the lodge was great, but after a few days we wanted to explore lunch choices and we found some good options: There is not much going on in Gold Beach, but they have an amazing bookstore, considering the size of the town. The bookstore has a wi-fi coffee shop, but it does not offer more than coffee drinks and pastries. They recommended the Barnacle Bistro a couple of blocks down the street, so we tried it out. Frankly, the name was a bit of a turn-off. Barnacle Bistro? Those two words don�t seem to go together. Well, we are so glad we tried this place as our lunch was really good. We both had sandwiches which were served with a side of ginger slaw which was tasty and so much more welcome than fries or potato salad. Husband had something called �Horseradish Heaven� which was beef and horseradish sauce on a bun. I had a special of the day which was Blue Cheese, Caramelized Onions, Cranberries, on toasted multi-grain bread. Oh my God, that was so good. The bread clearly had a sourdough base. The bread was fantastic � very reminiscent of European bread. I asked the owner where the bread came from and he said it�s made especially for them in Coos Bay. Wow, it wouldn�t have surprised me if he said it was from Germany � it was THAT good. I also had a microbrew which was similar to a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale�very good. They have several microbrews on tap. This is a funky, down-home kind of place with friendly, casual service. If we�re ever there in the future, we�d be happy to return.
Barnacle Bistro
29805 Ellensburg Ave (Hwy 101)
Gold Beach, OR 97444
(541) 247-7799

Port Orford, Oregon
Redfish had been recommended to us by staff at the Lodge. One day we had completed a strenuous hike just a few miles south of Port Orford, so we decided to try Redfish for a late lunch. What a delightful spot! This restaurant is relatively new � only open a few months � and has a location that many would kill for � beautiful ocean views. The interior is like an art gallery�slate floors, chairs custom-designed, artwork on the walls. Very contemporary, very sleek. Fortunately, the food we had for lunch matched the d�cor � very good. For lunch they offer soup, salad, sandwiches and hot entrees. We both had the soup of the day: tomato bisque: it was topped with a slice of emmentaler and microgreens, it looked like a piece of art, it was hard to start eating it because it was so lovely. Husband had a pulled pork sandwich on excellent bread (made specially for them in Coos Bay) and I had an arugula salad which was extremely fresh. We would love to come back here for dinner.
517 Jefferson Street
Port Orford, OR 97465
(541) 366-2200

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I'm on the Oregon Coast, specifically Cannon Beach at least once every year. I don't know why I've never posted on this thread, although given the amount of time I've spent in Cannon Beach the number of restaurants I've been to is relatively small.  Some of this is logistics, at this point I'm typically there with a large family group, and coordinating more than ten people for a meal out at a restaurant is much more challenging and costly than just cooking. And some of it is because, in my experience, there aren't a lot of great places to eat here, which is typical of a tourist destination.  That said, here are a few thoughts on some places I've been to recently:

Mo's - I think it's terrible. Which is a shame as it's literally steps from where we stay every time in Cannon Beach. I'd been on a long boycott until this year, when we stopped in. I won't be back. Thin, watery chowder, mediocre fish, nothing to recommend it, except for the view, which is fantastic. I'd eat elsewhere then take a walk on the beach here.

Waves of Grain Bakery - I was about to write some extremely positive things about this place, particularly the cheddar cheese biscuits and the coffee.  Unfortunately, when Googling to make sure I had the name correct I learned that they closed two months ago. That's tragic, they were fantastic. They're apparently reopening in Portland, so there's that.

Bill's Tavern and Brewhouse - Went there for dinner on Thursday. Service was fantastic. I mean, really extraordinary, particularly given that this is a casual dining establishment. Accommodating, responsive, anticipated our needs. Really impressed, and want to highlight that. Atmosphere is cool. It's rustic and relaxed, and they had live music in the other room. It wasn't too loud, which is an issue for a couple of folks in our group.  Beer (all their own brews) was ok. I really didn't like the Duck Dive Pale Ale, but my second beer, an amber of some sort that I don't see on their website, was substantially better, or at least more to my tastes.  The food was also just ok.  It's the typical Oregon coast menu, lots of fried seafood in different forms. The menu is substantially different from what's on the website, and quite expensive for what you get. I had the fried oysters, which were good, and not overcooked. I think they were around $18. My wife got the halibut and chips, price was about the same.  The chowder was good.

Cannon Beach Bakery - I've been eating their Haystack bread my entire life. I enjoy it, and I'd recommend it. Their donuts are quite good as well.  Located right in town.

Ecola Seafoods Restaurant and Market - Good seafood market, and a nice casual place to get your (fried) seafood of your choice.  Chowder is good, and I'd recommend it.

Bell Buoy - Technically this is in Seaside, but worth mentioning. They've got a great counter where you can order fresh fish to go (and great smoked salmon and canned tuna). On north side, however, is a separate entrance to the restaurant. I really like this place. It's got a ton of personality, and if you're not terribly impatient I'd recommend it. Service is extremely friendly, but it isn't fast. My razor clams were fantastic, and the seafood chowder was awesome (the smoked salmon was a great addition). You can see into the kitchen, and everything you order is cooked to order by one dude (which is part of the reason for the speed of service).

I'll try to think of other places I may have missed, but this will have to do for now.

As for where to stay, the only place I've ever stayed is at the Tolovana Inn just south of town as my grandfather bought a unit there in the early 1970s and we've stayed there ever since. I'd recommend it. You're right on the beach, and it's a great beach. Units include a front and rear unit, and can be rented together or separately. If you get one of the front units (oceanfront or ocean-view) you get a full kitchen, living room and balcony. The rear units are much smaller, have no view to speak of, and I really wouldn't recommend them on their own.

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A few more Cannon Beach thoughts from our quick trip this past weekend:

Cannon Beach Hardware and Public House - It's a hardware store. Yet they've placed tables amongst the nails and tools, and put up a small bar inside. They also have a small patio on the side to dine outside. I believe it's relatively new, and at a minimum nobody in my family had been before. I enjoyed it. The food was typical of most Cannon Beach spots (and other Oregon coastal spots for that matter). Lots of fried seafood, and a few other things. My fried shrimp were good, although the batter wasn't as crispy as I would have liked. Good fries. They have a small, but quite interesting beer list, and they apparently change it frequently. Great service.

The Lumberyard Grill and Rotisserie - We were apparently determined to eat only at hardware store-themed spots this time around (although we did grab lunch at the Ecola Seafood Market mentioned above to ruin that narative). This is the an old lumberyard/hardware store, not a currently operating one, and it's located just south of downtown. It's a great looking space. Good sized patio. And the food we got was all solid (which, again, is about the best I've ever found in Cannon Beach). My rockfish tacos had nice flavor, and good spice, and I was pretty happy with the whole experience. Once again, because Oregon, they have an excellent beer list.

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Found my notes from Fall 2009.

We had a pretty good dinner near Lincoln City at a place called The Bayhouse.  Good service, great view.

Figs stuffed with cheese and a tiny strawberry and drizzled with chili oil. Sounds weird but it worked. Really excellent bread. A dungeness crab cocktail with wasabi cocktail sauce (and claw meat) was refreshing but not amazing. A duck dish that was otherwise good was too sweet with sun chokes and parsnip puree.  The sweetbreads dish we had with arugula, apple matchsticks blueberries and some kind of gastric was best when you had a bit of everything on your fork - which is as it should be in my book. And then there was the best dish of the night - a Superior Farms lamb dish with grilled potatoes and roasted cherry tomatoes, but the lamb was perfection. Finished up with various ice creams (their fruit flavors shined while standards like vanilla and chocolate were quite subtle  by comparison.

Not a bad meal at all. That lamb was totally great.

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A couple of quick notes on the four days we spent on the north coast last week, enjoying incredible weather.

Cannon Beach

Ecola Seafoods - It remains great. It's basically a bunch of fried seafood that you can choose from, but everything I've gotten here has been cooked well, and is delicious.

Morris's Fireside - Eh. This place has been here forever, and it's fine.

Cannon Beach Distillery - This is a nice little distillery. I like their stuff, in particular their rums. They have begun producing whiskey, but I've yet to be able to try any of it because they're doing nothing but one-offs, and all of them sell out on the weekend they release them.


Big Wave Cafe - Nice breakfast spot. And it's a gorgeous drive down the coast from Cannon Beach to Manzanita.

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Cannon Beach - The Stephanie Inn - This is widely proclaimed to be both the nicest hotel and the nicest restaurant in Cannon Beach. I can't comment on the former (although the hotel looks extremely nice), but it almost certainly is the best restaurant in town, and the only real fine dining experience I've ever had on the Oregon Coast. The dining room is lovely, and the service was fantastic. I don't think they could have done a better job. The food was also good, perhaps even approaching very good at times. But I'm still having some trouble getting over the prices (and complaining about price is very much not my thing). I feel like we were paying essentially DC prices and not really getting the meal to match. I had the Curried Crab Salad to start ($17). It was fine. There wasn't much crab, and the rest of the salad just wasn't that interesting. I then had the Rack of Lamb ($48) as my entree. It was cooked beautifully, and the accompaniments were also quite good. Several people went with the Dungeness Crab Cakes ($45), and while these reinforced my believe that I've never had a good crab cake in Oregon (although these were the best that I've had there). Basically, if you're looking for a very nice meal in Cannon Beach you should go here. But I'm guessing that in the future we'll find ourselves somewhere else. 

Seaside - I know I've mentioned it before, but I'll put in another plug for the Bell Buoy. Great chowder, and fantastic fried fish (although my razor clams this time were sauteed with lemon and butter). Love it. And the smoked oysters from the fish market adjacent to the restaurant are awesome. 

Astoria - I hadn't been to Astoria in years, but it's extremely cool. There are at least three breweries and a distillery in the downtown (this is just what we walked past), and it's worth a visit. We ended up eating at Fort George Brewery and Public House, and it was a good choice. I enjoyed my burger very much, and their beers are great. 

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3 hours ago, Mark Dedrick said:

Fort George Brewery and Public House

Hey, I've been there. I've only been to Oregon once. Most of the visit was in Portland, but we also did (way too short) day trips to the Willamette Valley and Astoria and Cannon Beach. I'm not a beer drinker, but I remember enjoying fried oysters for lunch. I can't remember what my husband had, but I know he liked it, too, including the beer. He bought a t-shirt.

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Cannon Beach

Bill's Tavern and Brewhouse - This remains a very solid place. Their chowder is quite good, their fried seafood is solid, and they have decent beers. 

Harding Trading Company - Probably the best meal I've eaten in Cannon Beach. It's a relatively new place (about six months old) located on the north side of town. Service was very good, although there was a bit of weirdness with our order. Initially three of the six of us ordered the linguine with clams. Our server came back to tell us that they only had two orders, so I switched to the gnocchi with summer vegetables. The server returned then later to inform us that they actually only had one order. Both pastas were fantastic, my wife's steak was cooked perfectly, and the seafood bisque I had to start was also delicious. I'll definitely come back here.

Sea Level - Very good spot for coffee and pastries, located just south of town near Tolovana.


Big Wave Cafe - Remains a very good breakfast spot. 


Northwest Wild Products - Great, hole in the wall seafood spot right on the docks. Their fish chowder was great, as were the steamer clams I ordered (which came with a ton of clams). Folks also seemed to really enjoy their fish and chips. I'd definitely return.

Pilot House Distilling - One of the best small distilleries I've ever been to, and their products were also extremely affordable. We didn't taste everything, but I thought their whiskey was very good, as were both of their gins. Worth stopping in. 

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