Take a road trip to the Oregon Coast this winter and bring along this perfect itinerary for the gastronomically inclined.
Winter in Central Oregon is gorgeous, but sometimes the ocean calls you away from the mountains for a weekend getaway. Four hours west and you’re in the land of sand, sea and salty air. At the beach, the flavors of the ocean, forest and farm come together under the skilled hands of local chefs to create delicious foods and crafted beverages. At the beach, don’t practice restraint. Taste everything. Here’s our suggested coastal foodie tour weekend itinerary.
Begin with a Friday night pint of pale ale at Astoria’s Buoy Beer Company, housed in a 100-year-old warehouse on piers overlooking the Columbia River. Dinner is at the Astoria Coffeehouse and Bistro, where the halibut tacos are fresh and the ambiance vintage Americana. Grab an ice cream cone for dessert at Frite and Scoop, to the sounds of the sea lions barking on the waterfront.
Saturday brunch is in Manzanita at Yolk, where you might linger over eggs benedict or fresh tuna salad long enough to make it to happy hour, offered with class at MacGregor’s Whiskey Bar down the street. Craft cocktails and a menu of more than 200 brown liquors are offered in this locals’-favorite gathering place with a fire pit out front.
Grab some chowder for the road at Buttercup Ice Creams and Chowders in Nehalem, where freshly made seafood soups range from Thai to Indian to good old-fashioned clam chowder. Your dinner destination is Local Ocean Seafood on Newport’s bayfront. Grab a crab po’ boy sandwich with crunchy French fries and a Willamette Valley pinot gris, or perhaps the supremely fresh grilled albacore tuna kabobs are more your style.
Grab Sunday breakfast at the Drift Inn, on the highway in Yachats. Live music and divine seafood dishes light up this place at night, but breakfast brings crepes, eggs benedict, or clam and eggs to your plate. Blown glass light fixtures and umbrellas (open and hung from the ceiling) mark the Drift Inn, which has a long and salty history as a dive bar that you can read about on the back of the menu.
Sunday lunch is in downtown Coos Bay at Shark Bites, which features locally sourced seafood including Coos Bay oysters and Dungeness crab cakes, surrounded by traditional coastal décor of driftwood and surfboards on the wall.
Your gastronomical tour concludes in Port Orford with dinner at the renowned Redfish restaurant, perched on a cliff with a panoramic view of the beach. The black cod primavera comes with local vegetables. The sun setting over the ocean is 100 percent local, too, and just as satisfying as the amazing meals you’ve enjoyed all weekend.