When it comes to choosing the right beverage to drink with your meal, there’s really just one rule to follow: go with whatever you enjoy. It’s easy to nibble and sip well in Cannon Beach, with its abundance of first-rate seafood restaurants, locavore-driven bistros and inviting cafes, many of them offering extensive menus of Northwest-made artisan coffees, craft beers, earthy pinot noirs and small-batch spirits. To help inspire your next meal in town, here are some suggestions about what exactly to eat and drink together at seven terrific restaurants.
- Bakery Bliss
Deciding which of the flaky, made-from-scratch goodies at Sea Level Bakery is no easy feat: the crusty and buttery chocolate kouign-amann cake, apple-berry galette with mace and black pepper, and ethereal three-cheese biscuit all delight the taste buds. Whichever you settle on, savor it with a silky-smooth caramel or vanilla latte, brewed with beans from Stumptown Coffee Roasters.
- Pub Pairings
Amid the cozy dark-wood trappings of Warren House Pub, which occupies a handsome century-old house across from Tolovana Beach State Park, order the signature Manhattan (“the red kind,” as the staff describes it) clam chowder alongside a pint of crisp Duck Dive Pale Ale, which is produced locally at sister establishment, Bill’s Tavern Brew House. Then stick around to shoot a game of pool after your meal.
- Seafood and Sauvignon
One of CB’s top draws for juicy steaks and fresh-caught seafood for more than seven decades, the refined but relaxed Driftwood Restaurant serves a magnificent tomato-based stew of crab, salmon, halibut, prawns, and steamer clams that’s absolutely delicious with a glass of ded.reckoning Wine Company’ sauvignon blanc.
- Caribbean Comfort
Known for its tropical-inspired Caribbean fare and breezy vibe, Castaways serves some of the prettiest and tastiest cocktails in town. The fresh-fruit pineapple-jalapeño margarita is a particular standout. Try it alongside the herb-crusted seared ahi tuna with a piquant hibiscus-wasabi reduction and pineapple-ginger teriyaki sauce.
- Subtly Sweet, Slightly Spicy
Known for presenting some of the best live music in town, Sweet Basil’s Cafe is also a warm and inviting wine bar with an eclectic menu that’s dedicated in part to Cajun and Creole specialties. You can’t go wrong with the chicken-and-sausage jambalaya and a glass of zippy Chehalem Winery pinot gris. This slightly spicy dish brings out the wine’s hints of melon, honeysuckle, and peach.
- Craft-Beer Cred
The town’s craft-beer cred continues to rise, thanks in part to the recent opening Pacific City–based Pelican Brewing, which has earned serious kudos for its robust, flavorful lagers and ales. The deep, dark Tsunami Stout is the ideal accompaniment to 14-hour slow-hickory-smoked tri-tip slathered with a stout barbecue sauce and served with Tillamook cheddar smashed potatoes.
- Touch of the Irish
Using locally sourced ingredients and specializing in Emerald Isle–inspired stews and grills—and addictively delicious soda bread, the casually sophisticated Irish Table also serves Irish ales and stouts. But do save room for dessert: consider the dark-chocolate pot de crème with coffee shortbread cookies and the “Preacher,” an after-dinner cocktail of St. Brendan’s Irish Cream liqueur, Frangelico, Irish whiskey, and whipped cream.
Photo by Justin Bailie