I would personally avoid Ships Inn in Astoriaanymore; it used to be spectacular. You could find James Beard there quite often in the summer. It’s sad, as great food is sorta hard to find in Astoria, unless I’m cooking at our beach house. That said, Pretty Darned Good can be found at Andrew’s & Steve’s (a greek diner in the middle of what seems like the least-Greek area of the country), Silver Salmon Grille in downtown is pretty good, and there’s a good mexican place whose name escapes me across Marine Drive from the Papa Murphy’s take-and-bake pizza. Astoria is not blessed with good chinese or pizza options; don’t even bother trying. For frozen custard fans, there’s Custard King, a short walk from the Maritime Museum, and both spots are well worth it.
The Pig and Pancake (locations in Seaside, Astoria and Cannon Beach) is a great place to have breakfast. It’s sorta how I imagine mornings in heaven; pleasant women bearing big plates of food in a family environment. USAToday said it’s one of the 10 best restaurants in the country to take the kids to eat, and I’m not quite sure how they earned that particular distinction, as they don’t do much to cater to kids (aside from a kids menu, kid-friendly food and free balloons), but I still go there regularly. The sausage patty is excellent.
forgot to say: every lighthouse along the coast is worth the stop. Stunning.
Astoria: Ships Inn+the column. you’ll feel good if you start at the end of Lewis & clark’s journey. Maritime museum and trolley.
tillamook: gotta’ stop at the cheese factory.(see stern’s review) 3 capes tour is beautiful and netarts bay is cool
Neskowin: Stop at THIS beach. Unlike most oregon beaches, this is wide sheltered by the mini-mountain you’ll see. your kids can play in the creek that winds through the beach.
newport:most sophisticated city on the oregon coast. State aquarium
http://www.oregonlive.com/sharks/cams/index.ssf/multi.ssf. = the bay waterfront area, Mo’s salt water taffy and a "ripley’s believe it or not" for the kids.
Yachats:blue whale to eat and the best park access on the coast. turn at the grocery
store and 2 blocks to great ocean access where the yachats river enters the ocean.
next mountains and sea lions.
sand dunes then florence: an A&W is on the left complete with car hops.
I’d keep going through North bend/coos bay. Bandon,then on to Gold Beach which bears a stop to ride the jet boat up the rogue.
brookings is next and then it’s California.
a hint: if you journey east to 199(about 10 miles) in between brookings/harbor and cresent city, one of the very best units of jedediah Smith State park , groves of redwoods in very peaceful settings. no postcard shops etc., just Wow!
Also while in the Gilroy Castroville area look for fresh mushrooms. They have some great buys at the roadside stands.
As you reach the Monterey,CA bay area two locations spring to mind. The places along Cannery Row and the pier in Monterey itself have great chowder and seafood specials..Walk the walk, enjoy the sights and smells before you eat…It enhances the food 1000%.
Just north of what was Fort Ord (tears of memories gone by) is Castroville. Artichoke Capital of the World !! Also the home of the Central Texas BBQ House. Moderate prices and pretty decent BBQ combinations.
If you do any short-side-trips on the way south…From Castroville swing over to Gilroy and visit one of many roadside fruit and veggie stands for som local garlic spoecialties… Nothing gets rid of Teenage Hormone – Wet tennis shoe odor faster than a strand of 25 Garlic bulbs tossed into the Back seat while it is empty at a rest stop…..and they will never know what hit them.
Failure to stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory (with its associated cafe and ice cream stand) in Tillamook, OR is a crime punishable in ways that Amnesty International hasn’t even heard of yet.
Pretty simple really……..they open the oysters…………put bbq sauce on them and stick them on the bbq. The freshness of the oysters, smokiness of the bbq combined with everyone’s different versions of bbq sauce………I may have to plan a trip up north again real soon! I can’t remember specific places, it’s just something as you drive down Hwy. 1 from around Fort Ross towards SF. They seem to be more concentrated around Tomales and Bodega Bay. I’mm sure the locals can suggest their favorites when you drive thru!
Ed — please tell me more about these Barbequed Oysters and where to find them! They sound phenomenal. And I second Ed’s comment about the Swan Oyster Depot in SF — always very crowded, but WELL worth the wait.
As you go through Morro Bay, stop by the Madonna Inn to use the restroom and trip out on the decor. Lunch is alright, but not really worth the money. But it’s one of those places you’ve just gotta see. The bakery is good, so grab a pastry and just wander around. Don’t miss the men’s room. If you actually use it, beware…lots of women sneak in there to get a look at the place.
Touristy as it may be, I love the pea soup at Anderson’s in Beulleton.
Another good stop is Solvang, (between Morro Bay and Santa Barbara) a "little bit of Denmark in California". It’s about 5 minutes off the freeway, past a llama farm. Great little Danish open-faced sandwiches and the best pastries, naturally.
That’s a great drive….and there are so many places to stop. I’d take Hwy. 1 from Willits on down to SF though——–there are a lot of places that you can identify by a few Weber barbecues sitting out front around Bodega Bay and and that area. These places make a specialty called Barbecued Oysters—–they are simply wonderful. In San Francisco, try the Swan Oyster Depot—–cold seafood and chownder that is great in a great atmosphere. Check out the Stern’s review of it here. As you go down Hwy. 1, make sure and stop in Morro Bay for breakfast at the Coffee Pot. Excellent! There are several places that make a good fish and chips there—-my favorite is Rose’s Landing….nice view, $4.95 f&c special——and for a buck more you get killer garlic fries. As you go further south and rejoin Hwy. 101, Jocko’s in Nipomo makes great steaks and pork chops. A breakfast there will fill you for the whole day. It’s definitely a local’s place—-funky and old but some of the best meat I’ve ever had. Down into Santa Barbara I always eat at two places——La Super Rica, the best Mexican food you can find—–and it’s almost impossible to spend more than $10. Try the chorizo tacos or the pork sauteed with pasilla peppers and cheese. Amust there is the tamale verduras—-a tamale with sqash, zucchini and corn—–covered with a delicious white sauce. You can tell the place cuz it looks like an old shack but with a line of people around the corner. also good there is a mini-chain called the Cajun Kitchen—excellent for breakfast and for lunch. Good gumbo and if they have the shrimp po’boy on special, definitely try that. In Ventura try Duke’s Bitchin Burgers for breakfast or lunch. Just thinking about their macadamia-banana french toast makes me hungry—-and at $4.95 it’s enough for two! On Channel Islands Bl. in Port Hueneme is Tacos Jalisco—–very reasonable and some of the best Mexican seafood I’ve had. enjoy the trip—-it’s a great drive!
We begin the drive on Wednesday, July 2 – two parents and three hungry teens. Where’s the good cheap eatin’? Thanks in advance to all!
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