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Food & wine recs - Oregon coast and a little inland

We'll be heading to Oregon from Southern California for about 3 weeks in mid-May. We're starting way east at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for a couple of days, then will probably make a beeline for the coast and spend about 10 days there. Destinations are very flexible, although we do have to be in Lincoln City for a couple of days.

We drive a small camper-van and cook most of our own meals, so would welcome recommendations for good seafood markets as well as restaurants. Fine dining is okay occasionally, but we'd much prefer places that may be casual, but are uniquely Oregon. We both enjoy good wine and my husband is a beer devotee, so would also love to know about good brewpubs, and interesting wineries to visit. We'll adjust our itinerary accordingly.

I know that's asking a lot, but we haven't been to Oregon in over 20 years and want to make the most of it. Mo's in Newport used to be our favorite for good chowder, but I've heard it's not what it used to be (if it's even still around).

Thanks for any help you can give us.

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  1. You can do without Mo's, sadly.

    I think you can't miss the brewpub in Pacific City. It's not far out of Lincoln City, the view is GORGEOUS (go at an off time or hold out for a great table), and there's a neat walk to be had uphill at the point there. There are often surfers. And the beer is FAB. http://www.pelicanbrewery.com/

    My favorite local winery is Winters Hill. They have brilliant pinot and dessert wine, and are just plain the nicest, nicest people.

    1. If you drive to Lincoln City by going through Salem you really ought to hit some great Oregon wineries. You will be very close to McMinnville, Carlton and Dundee. Ground zero for the Oregon Pinot Noir business, most of Oregon's top 10 wineries are located here along with some good eats. McMinnville is probably 15-20 minutes max out of your way on the highway to Lincoln City. Stop and smell the roses and sip a little.

      1. The Stand, in Seaside is a wonderful little taco joint. Everything we ate their was the best in its class. Fresh thick tortillas especially.

        1. Try the Bay House near Gleneden for a terrific gourmet meal.

          1 Reply
          1. There is a LOT of info on this board regarding the coast restaurants and markets. A search of the site will get you much more info than waiting for responses, including an array of agreements/disagreements about the recs.

            1. What route are you taking up, and over to the coast?

              2 Replies
              1. re: bbqboy

                Not sure yet, we'll take Hwy 20 west from Burns to Bend, then are undecided whether to head towards Salem or Eugene. We'll probably wait until we're in Burns and ask the locals for advice, unless you have some recommendations.

                1. re: judybird

                  If you are interested in wine, then Salem is the route to go. Plus, you'll get many more miles of scenic highway 101 going down the coast.

              2. http://www.southbeachfishmarket.com/

                Used to be called Lighthouse Deli, it's in between South Beach and Newport right by the Bridge. Seafood market AND a divey fish and chips/deli joint. I still think about the fish and chips I had there....

                1. The Otis Cafe, in the small town of Otis, inland slightly from Lincoln City, is a unique and quite pleasant place for breakfast or lunch. Great molasses bread which is their specialty. Watch out, as it gets crowded on weekends and at peak times...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: chefguy

                    judybird: I just want to second the recommendations for the South Beach Fish Market and the Otis Cafe. These are both excellent places for distinctly Oregon eats. An Oregonian reporter once had fish and chips all up and down the Oregon coast and declared South Beach as having the best. They have lots of different kinds of fish and chips. I think the tuna is the best (also less expensive than the salmon or halibut, which are also good). A New York Times reporter once spent a week eating all over Oregon and said the best meal he had was at the Otis Cafe. You will go right by there on your way from Salem to Lincoln City. Sometimes you have to wait for a table (it only seats about 30 or so), but it's worth it. I recommend it for breakfast. Everything is great!