We are heading to Seattle in July and driving down the Oregon coast. Would love some suggestions on the best places to eat on our drive down the coast. We'll be in Seattle for three days and then heading to Yachats, staying at the Wayside Logde for two nights and then on to Medford for one night and then to San Jose to visit the in-laws.
Canlis is a nice, albeit, super expensive place. El Gaucho has great steaks and is cheaper.
Less expensive, try Ivars (seafood) down at the waterfront or Royal Grinders in Fremont if you want some awesome sandwiches.
There is also Paseo, if you want to try a Cuban sandwich.
Calozzi's is supposed to have great cheesesteaks. I'm not so sure.
For burgers, I usually just go to Dick's. It's cheap and decent.
Red Mill supposedly has good burgers, but I'm not a fan.
If you want a hot dog, Cyber Dogs serves up some nice vegetarian dogs. They're pretty good and I'm not even a vegetarian.
Yachats is a WONDERFUL destination, marshamd. You will enjoy your time there. Unfortunately, I don't have any good eating recco's for there, as only stayed/ate in a private home there.
My OR coast experience is largely yearly trips to Cannon Beach.
On the way down (or up, in my case to SEA), stopping in Astoria for either a 'classic old-school' meal at the Ship Inn; fish 'n chips, chowder, a martini or a pint with a great view of the tankers, etc. on the river heading out under the big bridge across the Columbia.
Or, a similar view with a more upscale take, try Bridgewater Bistro a 1/2 mile south of the bridge. Ann and Tony Kitchner have been cooking on the coast for decade's. Formerly at their famous Shoalwater restaurant in Seaview, WA.... The bright, modern resto they now have with stunning views onto the Columbia match there great locally-sourced and delicious food.
Lunch menu kind of boring, but Sunday brunch (smoked salmon and arugula eggs benny? - yes) is great, as is dinner. We usually time exit from Cannon beach in time to have brunch there on the way home.
In Cannon Beach, try Newmans at 988 for dinner http://www.newmansat988.com/ where I had an amazing 4 course NYE dinner last year. Nice wine options, foie for an appetizer, and scallops with their roe in the shell were highlights. Also, Ecolla Seafoods for fish & Chips, fresh caught fish and shellfish - dungeness crab! - to take away to eat; http://www.ecolaseafoods.com.
On the way down, if your driving itinerary puts you anywhere near Cannon Beach, please stop in this great quaint town (NO franchise resto's are allowed in the town. NO starbucks, NO mcd's, etc.). Go to Ecolla for some smoked salmon, a steamed dungeness crab or crab salad, and take that down to Hug Point beach for a picnic. Go at low tide, and run around the North end cliff to get to 'secret beach' and the waterfall. Have your picnic there. BEST PLACE ON THE OR COAST.
Yachats is one of our very favorite places on the coast. Dining options are limited but just fine for relaxed evenings out. Nothing there is going to make you want to give up your favorite spots at home. We try to go to Heidi's at least once. Heidi and Will have a nice homey style and her specials are usually quite, well, special. Low key but very nice. LunaSea is a pretty good fish shack. The guy who operates it has a fishing boat and knows what's fresh.
If we decide we want to get back in the car we head up to Newport to Saffron Salmon on the bay front. Always good food in a more upscale (but still pleasantly coastal) atmosphere. Of late we've gone for lunches so we can enjoy the lovely view of the bay.
We spent last weekend in Ashland (about 10 miles south of Medford) and had two lovely meals. Amuse in Ashland always puts a smile on our faces. Food and service are very good and make for a great evening. We usually go there before a play so don't know how a full relaxed evening might play out. Speedy but very nice.
Then there's New Sammy's Cowboy Bistro in Talent. Apparently you either love it or hate it. We love it! Last Friday night we had a stellar meal and evening. I had a savory flan with beets in a lemon sauce, a fabulous sausage dish, and dessert for about $35. Amazing! We always let Vernon pair the wines and he does an outstanding job. It seems like I always learn something about food, wine, or other aspects of the good life when I go to Sammy's. I'd say that if you're go with the flow folks who want a great experience you really should try it. If you really want to be amused I'd recommend reading some of the extraordinarily mixed reviews before you make up your mind though:).
Have a great trip and let us know what you try.