Long Beach WA: An unexpected food paradise
The beaches of the Pacific Northwest are known for their rugged landscapes, huge rocks jutting out of the sea, and the marine life in tide pools and off shore. One thing most beaches along the west coast in Washington and Oregon are not known for is their food. It’s not that the food is bad; it’s just not always worth raving about. Maybe we get so caught up in the scenery that we forget to take note, but I’ll tell you one thing. The Long Beach Peninsula is a food lovers paradise that has yet to be discovered by the masses.
Many of us head to Seaside or Cannon Beach, OR with the kids. It’s easy. Everything is there. I know I can’t get enough of Haystack Rock, that Goonies icon that takes over the landscape and makes sunset pictures all the more dramatic. The food is so-so in this quiet, yuppie beach town. When we headed to Long Beach, WA I expected the same. Food that was good but uninspiring. I was mistaken in this assumption and Long Beach was out to prove it.
Almost every meal we devoured was a delight to my taste buds. From fresh paella, so good I thought I was back in Spain, to hot apple bread from the local bakery and blueberry syrup at the café that could simply be drunk with a straw; we couldn’t get enough. There was no way to sample every spot on the Long Beach Peninsula, but we did get a try a few I’ve listed below. Some had specialties, but honestly anything you order should make your stomach sing.
The best part? Not only is the food good, but also cheap. Long Beach is still a quiet area on the coast. Lodging prices are cheaper than its neighbors to the south and food prices follow suit.
42nd Street Café
4201 Pacific Way, Seaview, WA 98644. This cute little café has a friendly staff that welcomes kids and their tired parents with coffee and crayons before you even look at the menu. Order anything that you can put their signature blueberry syrup on top of. Even their house beignets are good with the syrup! Favorite bite: waffles with blueberry syrup
Laurie’s Homestead Breakfast
4214 Pacific Way, Seaview, WA 98644. Across the street from 42nd Street Café you will find Laurie’s. This is country cooking to a tee. This place is packed with tables and the staff does not mess around. They get your orders to the kitchen and back out to you in record time (meaning just before the kids melt down). The portions are huge and the price is right. There can be a line up, so be prepared to wait. The French toast and eggs are tasty, especially if you throw some strawberries on the French toast. Favorite bite: French toast with strawberries. And bacon. Always order bacon.
Cottage Bakery & Delicatessen
118 Pacific Ave, Long Beach, WA 98631. I never thought I would find the perfect bread that need nothing on it, but the apple cinnamon bread at the Cottage Bakery proved me wrong. Our one loaf barely made it home. I couldn’t stop picking at it. The apples stay moist and butter actually detracts from this bread. The pastries are delicious, but it is that bread you want every time you come through town. Favorite bite: apple bread
Ole Bob’s Seafood
151 Howerton Ave SE, Ilwaco, WA 98624. If you visit the weekly farmers market you had better pop into Ole Bob’s for their fish and chips. Prices can feel a little steep, but the fish quality is top notch. The crab cakes are so, so, but the chowder is worth a taste. Favorite bite: halibut fish and chips
409 Sid Snyder Dr., Long Beach, WA, 98631. On top of Adrift Hotel you will find the Pickled Fish, a visitor and local favorite for dinner and weekend brunch. The views of the ocean are endless and the food isn’t so bad either. Dinner was tasty, but it is the dessert you really want to save room for. Their cobblers have just enough sweet added to not distract from the tart berries and the ice cream cookie sandwiches are massive. They are large enough to share with your ice cream loving kids and there will still be a few bites left for you. Favorite bite: “dirty dirty” hand cut fries and the ice cream sandwiches (huge!). The oysters are reportedly to die for as well.
The Depot Restaurant
1208 38th Pl, Seaview, WA 98644. The Depot is one of the hidden gems of the Long Beach Peninsula. Make a reservation pronto. Anyone who has been to the area will tell you to go visit this husband and wife run restaurant that is located in one of the old clam train depots. They have kept a lot of the original fixtures, but you may be too busy salivating over every morsel they pop in front of you. The owners love Spain and it shows in their Paella that pops up on the menu twice a year. This is as good as it gets. The duck and steaks were tender with the perfect flavor combinations. Nothing was over seasoned, and no scrap was left on our plates. The wife even has a bucket of wind up toy trains to give out to the younger visitors who may need a little distraction while mom and dad sip on a local wine or brew. Favorite bite: Paella (if in season) and the duck. Steaks are also cooked to perfection.
101 Pacific Ave, Long Beach, WA 98631. Are you actually allowed to go to the beach and not have ice cream? I think it is required somewhere in our constitution. Scoopers has more than a few flavors to satisfy your hungry crew, but my favorite would be the Pacific Northwest flavors, like Marionberry, that you can’t find many other places. It passed my son’s taste test and I’m sure it will pass your kids too. Favorite bite: Marionberry ice cream
Other local recommendations
We couldn’t go everywhere during out weekend down at Long Beach, but the locals are not shy about recommending a few of their favorites. The manager at the Breakers, the hotel we were stay at, recommended Nanci & Jimellas and Pelicano. We strolled by both and looked incredible.
What destination has surprised you the most with its food?
Many thanks to Long Beach, WA for hosting my family for three nights so we could experience the food, activities and serene living on the Washington Coast. As always, opinions are my own; when they aren’t you will be the first to know.