What is it about salt air and sunshine that works up your appetite, even when the most strenuous thing you’ve done all day is watch waves roll in? Check out these off-the-radar South Coast favorites for a bite that’s sure to hit the spot.
Chowder House, Gold Beach
The Chowder House at Pacific Reef has recently revamped its menu with an eye to affordability and locally sourced products. Made from scratch is something of a motto here, with all breads baked on site (including burger buns) and fresh cut fries. Nearly all the entrees check in at under $10, which means you won’t blow your vacation budget. At breakfast, try the mouth-watering cinnamon bread French toast made with house-baked cinnamon bread. At lunch and dinner, the fish and chips, shrimp tacos and Pacific Reef Plate (a seaside sampler of clam chowder, a crab slider and Caesar salad) are among the favorites. Take some house made fudge to go, with 10-25 varieties available on any given day.
29362 Ellensburg Hwy 101
Gold Beach, OR 97444
Nothing says road trip quite like a hot dog enjoyed al fresco. At this unassuming country market along Highway 101 near milepost 287, close to one million dogs have been sold in the last three decades (since they started tracking these things) with customers traveling far and wide to indulge. Take a seat at an outdoor picnic table and savor a dog from Pendleton-based Hill Meats dressed with house mustard (Grandma Sweet’s original recipe) and pickles. It’s the version aficionados swear by. Be sure to save room for a scoop of Umpqua’s Huckleberry Cheesecake ice cream.
48444 U.S. 101
Langlois, OR 97450
Crazy Norwegian’s Fish and Chips, Port Orford
Port Orford, Oregon’s western-most point, is a quaint, artsy community with one of the coast’s most intriguing features — a dolly dock crane that hoists commercial fishing boats in and out of the harbor each day. It’s quite a spectacle to watch and one of those “do nothing” activities that works up an appetite. Sate it at Crazy Norwegian’s Fish and Chips, a rough-and-ready roadside diner that serves up what Sunset Magazine has deemed some of best fish and chips on the West Coast. Lightly battered fish, rich chowder, a lip-smacking crab melt and local berry pie are all on the menu. Eat outside or in the small dining room decorated with a distinctly Norwegian flair.
259 6th Street
Port Orford, OR 97465
Vista Pub, Brookings
“Good food, good beer, good people,” is Vista Pub’s motto, and it doesn’t disappoint. Local products are highlighted with grass-fed Hastings Natural Beef (raised within 10 miles) featured in the ample burgers, Rogue Creamery cheeses and Bakery by the Sea rolls (oven-fresh from just down the street). For something a bit different, try the albacore tuna burger, featuring fresh caught fish. Things are so local here that you may even find yourself eating alongside the angler who landed it. Rotating taps offer a chance to sample beers from local makers such as Chetco Brewing and Arch Rock Brewing.
1009 Chetco Avenue
Brookings, OR 97415
Photo courtesy of Chowder House