With its picturesque lighthouses, adventure-inducing sand dunes and character-filled town, the Central Oregon Coast is a getaway unlike any other. Especially important to this region is its relationship with food. In fact, even the landscape tells the story of food’s important role. Just take a peek at the shell middens, the ancient remnants of Indigenous Tribes that dot the coastline. There is no better way to experience the area than by eating your way through the heart of the Oregon Coast through the new self-guided Central Coast Food Trail, launching soon. Though you’ll need a few different visits to experience it all, here’s some of what you’ll find.
The laid-back vibe of Lincoln City shines through in its food scene. Stop into Barnacle Bill’s Seafood Market for its fresh and smoked seafood — and don’t leave without a bottle of homemade cocktail sauce. Meet the maker of your food at the Lincoln City Farmers and Crafters Market, open on Sundays. If you’re looking for a bite to eat with a good vibe, check out Olde Line Lanes & Kitchen, a family-friendly eatery in a vintage still-in-operation bowling alley that serves up comfort food and Oregon brews. If you need a boost, head to Cape Foulweather Coffee Co. for freshly roasted coffee whose name is a nod to their commitment to being a good local neighbor.
Local Ocean is a restaurant that serves tasty seafood for dine-in or takeout, but they also are notable for selling DockBox meal kits, perfect for making one of their divine meals on your own. For a stop more centered around beverages, go to Coast + Vine, which serves light fare in addition to wine, ales and ciders. Or check out Wolf Tree Brewery, a pet-friendly, full-menu brewery and taproom. If you need a way to get around to all your food spots, get your pedal on with a rental from Bike Newport, which also has local craft brew and kombucha on tap.
Take in the beauty of the region by heading up Yachats River Road to Seeds of Oregon’s farm stand. Feel good about your meal by grabbing food at Beach Street Kitchen, a sustainably focused and locally sourced restaurant with from-scratch offerings. Spend the night at the relaxing, eco-friendly Overleaf Lodge & Spa. When you wake up the next morning, be sure to stop into Bread & Roses Bakery for one of their decadent pastries and a loaf of organic bread for later.
From-scratch cooking steals the spotlight at the restaurants in Florence, and that’s exactly what you’ll see on the seasonal menu of Nosh Eatery and the family-friendly Homegrown Public House & Brewery. Taste locally crafted liquors infused with Northwest fruits and spices at Stillwagon Distillery. Or opt to meet the local growers at the Florence Farmers Market, open on Tuesdays from May to October — look for their educational classes and workshops. Try a cooking or crafting class at The Mustard Seed.
Detour-Worthy Spots on Highway 101
In between these Central Coast towns are a number of spots worth a detour, including Asiatico Asian Kitchen in Depoe Bay. This Asian-fusion restaurant serves up must-try local seafood and farm-to-table dishes. Using sustainable ingredients to create delicious baked goods, Pacific Sourdough in Waldport whips up naturally leavened sourdough breads. South of Yachats, on the site of an important hunting and gathering ground for the Siletz Tribe, the historic Heceta Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast is also a detour worth making. Enjoy a tasting flight at the Flying Dutchman Winery in Otter Rock, which packs stunning views in with its latest vintages.
By Emily Gillespie
Photo of Nosh Eatery by Melanie Griffin / Eugene, Cascades & Coast