Perhaps you spent the morning kayaking along the Necanicum River or hiking to Tillamook Head, and now you’re hankering for a sweet reward. Or maybe for you the very notion of vacationing at the beach provides the perfect excuse to treat yourself to some of the iconic dessert fare that has been a fixture in Seaside for generations. Oregon’s original ocean resort town might just be the candy capital of the state, and you’ll find a bounty of sweet shops and ice cream parlors lining Broadway Street, a short stroll from “the Prom,” the signature beachfront walkway. Here are a few Seaside treats to seek out on your next stay.
Marionberry crisp: Developed through innovative fruit-hybridization experiments at Oregon State University, the marionberry — a cross between two especially delicious types of blackberries — makes its appearance on numerous menus along the Oregon Coast. This light, buttery baked dessert at the sophisticated bistro Maggie’s on the Prom offers one of the finer renditions of Oregon’s almost-official state berrry.
Candied fruit slices: Since 1897, Phillips Candies has been producing first-rate sweets, including handmade saltwater taffy and tempting cherry, clove and butterscotch stick candies. But it’s the satisfyingly chewy, sugar-glazed fruit slices that fans can’t seem to get enough of — favorites include the pink-grapefruit, chili-mango and black-cherry varieties.
Gelato: Giving traditional ice cream a run for its money, Sea Star Gelato offers patrons a remarkable variety of flavors. Some fan favorites include root beer float, white-chocolate lemon and beach bonfire s’mores.
Saltwater Taffy: Among several shops in town that carry these chewy and rather addictive sweets, the Seaside Candyman deserves kudos for its astounding array of flavors (and colors): banana-marshmallow, champagne strawberry, German chocolate cake, huckleberry, molasses-mint, rhubarb and tropical orange-coconut are among the 170 varieties.
Official Pink Dundee Donut: Adjacent to the popular all-American eatery of the same name, Dundee’s Donuts serves a wide variety of fritters and pastries, but it’s the house classic — a flaky confection with pink frosting and a confetti of sprinkles — that keeps devotees coming back for more.
Over-the-Top Twinkies: There’s plenty of eye-catching sugar-bling at the Buzz on Broadway, one of the state’s premier locations for unusual sweets: think red-velvet saltwater taffy, gummy bacon, watermelon fudge, eggnog truffles and smoked sea-salt caramels. But it’s the crazily inventive house-made Twinkies that generate the most buzz at the Buzz — check out the chocolate-covered bacon and cherry-dipped varieties.
Handmade Ice Cream: Boasting the ice-cream with the highest butterfat content in town (which translates to decadent richness), Zinger’s has long been a favorite Seaside dessert stop, doling out such beloved flavors as Oregon black cherry, double butterscotch chip and Aztec chocolate.
Elephant Ears: You can’t really blame the shops and galleries near We’re All Ears for asking customers to finish these oversized puff pastries before they come inside — they’re covered with powdered sugar and, on request, plenty of other delectably messy toppings, from bacon bits to whipped cream.
Photo by Jason Kaplan