South Beach Fish Market | Best Oregon Coast Fish and Chips

Review by: Michael Stern

Why Visit South Beach Fish Market?

Customers come to this roadside eat-in-the-rough cafe and seafood market for many reasons. Some bring their own fish to be smoked. Others purchase fish to take home and cook. Roadfood travelers like it for an oceancentric menu of fried fare that ranges from clam strips to halibut. Oregon coast fish and chips gets no better than what they serve at the South Beach Fish Market.

These People Know How to Fry

Tempura batter laced with garlic makes the fried seafood extraordinary. Jumbo wild prawns offer two levels of crunch. First you feel the crackle of the crust that surrounds them, then the dense snap of the meat itself. Whatever fish you like, these folks will fry it just-right: salmon, tuna, oysters, calamari, or snow-white halibut. While the French fries are fine, we highly recommend paying a few dollars more for onion rings, too. Along with perfect o-ring circles, each basket also contains frail squiggles of batter that are merely onion-flavored as well as several hoops of onion with hardly any batter. These fried onions make a grand potato replacement on a plate of Oregon coast fish and chips.

Seafood Galore

Dungeness crabs come straight from the boat. They cook in great steaming cauldrons by the highway out front. Pile chunks of their cooled meat into a cup with no adornment other than a wedge of lemon (and, if you wish, horseradish-hot sauce) and you have an impeccable Pacific cocktail. Hickory and alder wood smoke infuses salmon, tuna, sturgeon, mussels, oysters, and sable with mouth-watering savor. Chinook salmon, glazed with pepper and brown sugar become salmon candy. Each firm, moist piece of this candy packs a provocative sweet and savory punch.

Roadside Casual

South Beach is a honky-tonk sort of place. Dishware is paper and plastic. You may have to dispose of not only your own, but also plates left behind by the last people who used the picnic table you claim.

What To Eat

Fish and chips

Dungeness Crab Burger

Smoked Fish

Salmon Burger

Halibut & Chips

Captain’s Platter

Crab Cocktail


Salmon Candy

Wild Prawns

Onion Rings

Tuna Salad Sandwich


South Beach Fish Market | Best Oregon Coast Fish and Chips Recipes


What do you think of South Beach Fish Market | Best Oregon Coast Fish and Chips?

2 Responses to “South Beach Fish Market | Best Oregon Coast Fish and Chips”

Jim Scheppke

February 8th, 2008

In 1994 a reporter for the Oregonian newspaper traveled the entire length of US-101 from Astoria to Brookings looking for the best fish and chips on the Oregon coast. He found it at the South Beach Fish Market, just south of Newport, and I agree.

The secret is the freshness. All the fish is right off the boat and is cooked only after you place your order. The breading is very light and flavorful, but doesn’t mask the quality of the fish. The selection varies with the season, but most of the year you can get fresh tuna, salmon, halibut, oysters, and calamari. The best choices, I think, are tuna or salmon.

Another unusual item offered in season is the Dungeness crab burger, which is really a giant crabcake on a bun. I wish they made it a little spicier, but it’s worth a try. There’s also a great fish market here and you can order by mail from their website. They now have a branch location at the Newport bayfront, so if you are down there with the tourists, you can get the same great food.


Jeff Bartlett

January 11th, 2008

I had heard about South Beach Fish Market and wanted to try it when we were in Newport. My wife and I were spending a weekend on the coast last summer, but we weren’t expecting to be close to Newport and consequently didn’t write down any details about the place. As it happened we ended up taking a drive down the coast and were within 10 miles of Newport one afternoon. I tried to remember the location and we drove around South Newport trying to find it. We gave up (we were hungry!) and stopped at a roadside seafood market for a quick lunch. We soon found out we had stumbled upon the very place we were looking for. Eureka!

The first good sign as we pulled up: fresh Dungeness crab boiling in huge vats outside. The second good sign: commercial fishermen standing in line getting ready to order. These guys know their seafood.

Our lunch was fabulous. I had rock cod and my wife had halibut and chips. It’s all about the fish, tremendously fresh, cooked perfectly. The batter is light and crisp, with a delicate flavor that doesn’t interfere with the fish. We sat at a roadside picnic table with the traffic roaring by and huge grins on our faces.

This is Roadfood at its best; world class food at reasonable prices at a restaurant with owners who are passionate about their product. The owner of South Beach Fish Market serves the freshest seafood caught on the Oregon Coast. Hope you can make it out to visit them; it’s entirely worth the trip!


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