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Seafood shacks and/or kid friendly in Cannon Beach vicinity? Sidetrip to Mt St Helens?

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Hello, All -

I've searched the board and found some great suggestions for spots around the coast, but I wanted to check in with all of you and make sure I'm on the right track. First, here's some background - our family of four (hubby, two daughters ages 9 & 14, and me) will be visiting relatives in Seattle in June, and will escape by ourselves for a quick 3-4 day trip (leaving Monday morning, returning to Seattle Thurs afternoon) down to the Oregon coast with a possible detour to Mt St Helens. If we find that we're trying to add on too much by going to Mt St Helens, we'll skip it. During our trip to the coast, we're making Cannon Beach our home base and will hope to explore north and south along the coast. We plan to hike at some of the state parks, ride bikes on the beach, etc.

I am a major foodie, but my husband is not so much and my kids, although they like to experiment a bit, are still only 9 and 14 yrs old and usually prefer pizza and burgers to most foods. I'm very excited about tasting oysters and crab and whatever other local interesting and/or ethnic specialties the area has to offer. I'm focusing mainly on seafood places but want to mix other types into the list - not super fancy places but hopefully places that will serve a glass of wine for me and a nice microbrew for hubby w/dinner.

Here's my list so far - In Cannon Beach: Ecola Seafood, In Seaside: Norma's Ocean Diner, In Astoria: the Stand (although we live outside of San Diego so we get our fair share of good tacos), Drina Daisy (Bosnian food sounds interesting!), In Bay City: Pacific Oyster. What do you think about these places? Any others?

One more question - if we go to Mt St Helens, we'll either stop there on our way to/from Seattle, or we will do it as a side trip one day from Cannon Beach. Any places along the way that shouldn't be missed? We love good Thai and I read about Pok Pok in Portland, which definitely appeals to us, so we may do that as we go through Portland one day. Wish we had time to make Portland a focus of the trip but I think that will have to wait for another trip.

As you can see, I'm a bit all over the place...any help you can offer is much appreciated!! Thank you!!

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  1. Most of the places that you have mentioned do have non-seafood offerings or kids items. No worries - eat away!

    1. Definitely hit the Lazy Susan for breakfast in Canon Beach. It is a town staple and you (benedict galore) your husband (amazing omelettes) and your kids (ginger bread pancakes with lemon sauce, pears and whipped cream) will be happy you did.
      In terms of seafood, Ecola works well for my family (my kids are even younger) because it is rowdy and there are fish hanging all over the place. The chowder is great and kid friendly.
      JP's will be your best bet for all around good meal with a glass of wine for you. It used to be at the Cannon Beach hotel and was a little nicer then - but not as child friendly. Now it is on the main drag and they have accessible stuff for kids but still a nice, fresh meal for the adults. Get a reservation if you are there in peak periods.
      The absolute best meal in town is at the Bistro, but you might have a hard time convincing your kids. Give it a whirl though, it wont hurt them and the place is casual and dark so if they misbehave you won't be miserable.
      The Oregon coast (at least that part of it) is not a food meca, we tend to buy our seafood at Bell Bouy in Seaside or at Ecola and cook in at our rental.
      Finally, last month's issue of Portland magazine had a great spread on eating and touring up and down the coast, complete with restaurant reccomendations (they seemed to have skipped Cannon and Seaside, but what did I tell you?). It is worth getting a hold of a copy before you make the trip.

      1. Mt St Helens would be great, especially on a clear day (if it's raining, I'd skip it). But it's kind of a culinary dead zone. Centralia is kind of in the general area, and is the home of the wonderful La Tarasca, which is a family-friendly place that serves great Mexican food. You could stop there on the way to the coast if that fits your schedule. I think they're closed one day a week--is it on Tuesdays?