Oregon Coast Best of Awards, 2009
(Oregon Coast) – Again, BeachConnection.net scoured the Oregon coast (well, the upper half anyway), for the best the past year had to offer in terms of restaurants, bars, lodgings and other attractions. Via staff suggestions, editorial scrutiny, and a handful of advisors, these are the “Best of Oregon Coast 2009” winners.
Best Seafood. Blackfish Café, Lincoln City. It’s like a bit of the Pearl District in this longtime Lincoln City fixture. What once dwelled below now floats in a heavenly manner on your palate. You can’t beat these fishies. Most notable is their torchio pasta with smoked salmon: a satiny creation where the salmon spreads joy throughout your mouth and synapses. 2733 NW Highway 101. (541) 994-1007.
Best Family Dining. Morris' Fireside Restaurant, Cannon Beach. It’s gorgeous, delicious and classy – yet it accommodates kids nicely. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served for all, and all ages will love it. Corner of Hemlock and Second Streets, Downtown Cannon Beach, Oregon. 503-436-2917. www.morrisfireside.com.
Best Fine Dining. Arch Cape Inn and Retreat, Cannon Beach. While it’s most obviously a B&B, the glorious hidden secret here is that it moonlights as a jaw-dropping restaurant. It even won the Iron Chef competition of the north coast this past year. There is limited seating, so everything is by reservation. It’s worth the scramble to get in, as every bite is one eye-roll inducing bit of heaven after another. Look for East Ocean Rd., just north of the Arch Cape Tunnel. Arch Cape, Oregon (s. of Cannon Beach and Seaside). www.archcapeinn.com. 800-436-2848.
Best New Restaurant. Bay 839, Newport. Brother and sister owners Ian and Danielle Clayman have come up with a nice shot in the arm for Newport’s nightlife and culinary scene with Tapas-style dishes that larger than you’d expect. A lot of seafood – of course – but some stunning Mediterranean dishes dot their landscape as well. 839 Bay Blvd., Newport, Oregon. 541-265-2839.
Best Ethnic/Italian. Mr. P’s Ristorante, Lincoln City. It may not be upscale Italian, but this downhome-style Italian eatery has a special touch. There’s a truly homemade vibe to this food, as if each meal was made by your gourmet grandpa (which in this case, would be Mr. P. himself). It specializes in Italian dishes, and plates are enormous. But they’re famous for breakfast as well – and that alone is worth the drive to Lincoln City. 1845 U.S. 101. Lincoln City, Oregon. (541) 994-0003.
Best Bar. Bay 839, Newport. Yup, them again. This time, their bar gets the accolades for their startling housemade, infused vodkas. Big jars with fruit and other interesting edibles floating in vodka are set on a high shelf, looking vaguely like a mad scientist’s experiment. The results are mind-blowing when finally done. Also, the place is ultra classy with touches of Portland hipness, but an amazing bay view. 839 Bay Blvd., Newport, Oregon. 541-265-2839.
Best Coffee Shop: Manzanita News and Espresso. Sure it’s a Portland roaster that supplies their coffee, and you may be able to get that lots of places. But they have a special touch with flavorings, a fun and funky décor, and those iced espressos come with ice cubes made from frozen coffee. Exceptional. 500 Laneda Avenue. Manzanita, Oregon. (503) 368-7450.
Coolest Musical Moment: Jazz band Oregon showed up in their home state – finally. In fact, bassist Glen Moore used to live in Lincoln City, making this a rather special homecoming. An April show in Lincoln City saw Moore, Colin Walcott and jazz great Ralph Towner explode with their free jazz colors, hybrid world stylings and jaw-dropping musicianship. They played at the Cultural Center in Lincoln City.
Best Lodging Redo/New Lodging. Harborview Inn and RV Park, Garibaldi. A once dilapidated motel and rather sad RV park was given new life in the last year, as new owners did far more than simply gussy the place up. New, vibrant colors are the tip of the iceberg at this lovely little motel, and the RV park is a charming bayfront place to park your rig and soak in the ocean air. 302 South 7th Street. Garabaldi, Oregon. 503-322-2531. www.harborviewfun.com
Best Hotel. Inn at Cannon Beach. Part of the Escape Lodging list of properties, the IaCB has shown themselves to be an outstanding local entity with its run of wine and art events throughout the year. Besides being nice digs, this lovely lodging’s roster of to-do’s makes for great fun for the visitors as well. 800-321-6304 or 503-436-9085. Hemlock At Surfcrest, Cannon Beach, Oregon. www.atcannonbeach.com.
Best Small Lodging. Ona Beach B&B, Newport. You can’t get much smaller than this charmer between Newport and Waldport, with its mere two or three rooms (depending on how you think of it). This past year they’ve added some interesting amenities, including a fabulous wine cellar from which guests can purchase some glorious wines, and an inflatable boat made for running the nearby rivers and exploring the area’s wowing wildlife. 14389 S. Coast Hwy. South Beach, Oregon (Between Newport and Waldport). (541) 867-2923. www.onabeachb-b.com
Biggest Attraction Development. The Culinary Center in Lincoln City has really hit it hard this year, with a much larger roster of classes. It’s like a beachy Disneyland for foodies and food snobs, providing a ton of cooking fun and tasty times for those who come out to relax, but aren’t afraid to learn a little something in the meantime. 801 SW Hwy 101, Fourth Floor. North Lincoln City, Oregon. 541.557.1125. www.oregoncoast.org.
Weirdest Natural Development. This past fall’s run of dead seabirds was rather alarming, as a heretofore unheard of algae starting appearing on the Oregon coast – one that caused seabirds to lose their protective oils. They then would freeze to death in their own habitat. Luckily, the algae disappeared and things returned to normal. But scientists worry it could reoccur because of climate change.Biggest Bummer of the Year. Aside from the economy, Yachats' Landmark Restaurant and Lounge went bye-bye. In an unpleasant turn of irony, it was the economy that killed this gem, in the "gem of the Oregon coast."
More About Oregon Coast lodging.....