Best food in Cannon Beach right now!
”By Brandon O.Published on Aug, 2020
W ith Portland a mere 1.5 hours away, I had high expectations for Cannon Beach’s food scene. We tried dozens of restaurants during our week-long stay as recommended by Oregon locals, town natives, online reviews, and following the crowds. I quickly learned that most restaurants cater to a crowd that has frequented the area for decades. Many dishes are traditional, simple, and let’s face it, just plain average. Most restaurants showcase the Pacific North West’s (PNW) fresh seafood and lack advanced cooking techniques. Also, did I mention the food is expensive? You’ll be hard-pressed to find a good meal for under $20 per person and less than an hour wait during summer. This should be expected in a resort town. In Cannon Beach, most hotel rooms are fitted with a kitchenette or a full kitchen. We hope this guide will help you better choose whether to dine in or out during your vacation.
Best fish & chips
Hardware & Public House
We tried multiple fish and chips, both halibut and cod, while in Cannon Beach. Surprisingly, a no thrill hardware store turned out to be a gem! Hardware and Public House (or Screw & Brew as the locals call it) creates the best fish and chips I’ve ever had! The halibut was buttery, warm, crispy, moist, and tasted fresh off the boat! For $20 you get three pieces of fish fried in a light tempura beer batter. This is a great value for Cannon Beach. Many other shops substitute cod for around the same price and overcook the fish. The fries were good too! Nice and crispy.
If you’re not into seafood, they have other options too. The locals that we met favored the pastrami melt sandwich as a Reuben or on sourdough!
Head to Ecola’s Seafood for fresh Dungeness crab. They’ve been providing a boat to table experience since 1977. Yes, you heard right, they catch and serve their own food. Caught the day of, our crab smelt of an ocean breeze. The meat was warm, clean, fresh, and mildly salty. Not fishy at all. Coming in at $40 for a full crab plate complete with coleslaw, chowder, and garlic bread. The carapace (top crab shell) was around 7” wide. With the legs fully extended, the crustacean was over 12” wide and plentiful with meat. Three of us easily shared it (really a two-person meal). If you prefer smaller portions, cold pulled crab can also be purchased for $12.99 per pound or $20 on a crab melt.
Ecola also offers small bay shrimp, large prawns, clams, halibut, cod, salmon, tuna, and scallops. Our server told us the PNW halibut and salmon are always freshly caught. We also tried the shrimp and pan-seared halibut, and it all tasted extremely fresh. The other seafood may be older, so ask your server before ordering or know what to look for. Look for firm, shiny flesh to know it’s fresh. Never buy matte, dull-looking fish. Secondly, smell the fish. Fresh fish should give off the scent of an ocean breeze or be absent of any smell at all.
? Credits: @sifteyreviews and Pelican Brewing Co.
Pelican Brewing Company
If you enjoy beer-infused food and want Portland quality burgers, then you’ll love Pelican Brewing Company. It’s the only restaurant in Cannon Beach that I went back for seconds!
My favorite entree is the Backyard burger. The patty came out perfectly medium (server asks for temperature preference) with a bit of pink. Lightly seasoned, it is made from juicy, fresh Oregon-raised meat. My favorite part was the homemade beer-infused Tsunami Stout bacon jam and BBQ sauce. The bacon jam is crunchy, sweet, and salty. A layer of BBQ sauce gives off deep, smokey notes, with a thick texture similar to crystallized honey. When you bite in, the flavors sing! It’s topped off with local cheddar cheese, a little arugula, onion ring strings, and a bun made with excess brewery grain. The bread is buttered and toasted with a nice crust. It’s served with crispy beer-battered fries.
If you’re in Cannon Beach, do yourself a favor and get one! The contrasting textures and bold flavors will make you want more! Other popular burgers include the Tsunami Burger and Beer Burger.
MacGregor’s Restaurant & Whiskey Bar
Looking for a restaurant that feels homey, plays the Beach Boys, and serves tasty Eggs Benedict? This is it! Our meal was a great value: large portions, hearty, quality ingredients, and reasonably priced. Most entrees could easily be shared between two adults. We ordered several entrees:
For the biscuits and gravy, the sauce was rich, creamy, and savory with a hint of rosemary. Great sausage profile! The biscuits were soft, spongy, and flat. I prefer them buttery and flakey with more volume.
My favorite dish was the Classic Benny. The English muffins were buttered and toasted to perfection. McGregors substituted Canadian bacon with thick, premium ham. It was mostly savory with a hint of honey. The hollandaise sauce was thick, creamy, and savory. The egg was poached to perfection and dusted with paprika. It comes with hash browns that are under-salted, so you can salt the potatoes to your liking.
We also enjoyed our other dishes. We loved the homemade Marion Berry (blackberry) jam. The PNW Scramble was tasty too with its thick bacon, Brussel sprouts, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, red potatoes, and cheddar. Savory and hardy, but not too salty. Not to mention, the pancake that came with the American breakfast was enormous, had a nice crust, tasted of buttermilk, and was soft and moist. When I return to Cannon Beach, this will be one of my first stops!
Cannon Beach Bakery
If you seek out reliable, quality fresh baked goods, then stop at Cannon Beach Bakery! They offer handcrafted danishes, donuts, pies, muffins, cinnamon rolls, and artisan bread. We loved their raised donuts and danishes. Our glazed and maple bar donuts were spongey, soft, and warm with a light interior. For the Danish, we enjoyed the fresh marionberry center most. It was chunky like a jam, with both the seeds and berry bulbs present. The pastry itself was buttery and flakey on the exterior with a soft interior. With so many baked goods, I can’t wait to go back for more!
Best ice cream
Cannon Beach hosts around five ice cream shops. What most tourists don’t know, they’re all serving the same local Oregan-made ice creams: Tillamook and Cascade Glacier. So when shopping around, where you get your scoop really comes down to convenience and price. After going to multiple parlors, we felt that Suzy’s Scoops gave the best value. Lower prices and more ice cream.
As for which brand you choose, we prefer Cascade Glacier over Tillamook. We found the ice cream to be denser with plentiful mix-ins. It also utilizes higher sugar content, so the ice cream is a bit sticky. As for Tillamook, the ice cream offers decent texture and flavors. It’s soft, creamy, silky, and airy. However, expect it to melt faster due to high aeration. You can also find it at a local grocer if you’re looking to save money.
Pizza A’ Fetta
Back in 1996 (two decades ago), Pizza A’ Fetta was ranked “Top 50 in the Nation” by Pizza Today Magazine, a leading publication for Pizza professionals. While this might still be the best pizza in Cannon Beach, it doesn’t compare with the likes of nearby Portland.
Pizza a’ Fetta serves by the slice or you can order a custom pie. We went with the ‘Meat Combo.’ To start, Pizza A’ Fetta uses pre-shredded mozzarella cheese, not fresh. It’s mixed with smoked provolone. The sauce is more savory than sweet and thinly spread across the pie. The texture resembled tomato paste with dry herbs mixed in. Thick bacon bits and premium pepperoni act as toppings. Our menu also boasted dried basil as a finishing. However, we saw little more than a couple of specks of green particles. The crust closely resembled New York Style pizza. Thin in the middle and thicker on the rim. The exterior of the crust was crunchy and flakes off when you bite into it. The dough is soft but somewhat dense, yet elastic when you bend it. A little more volume would enhance the body and texture. It was cooked golden brown on the sides and shows some charring on the bottom.
My slice didn’t live up to the claim of “Top 50 Pizza” today, but it was a decent, average slice of pizza. With few cheap restaurants in Cannon Beach, it’s a good option at $4 per slice or $22 to $35 per pie. We also really enjoyed their patio seating.
Best street food
? Credits: @sifteyreviews and Crepe Neptune
For quick street food, consider Crepe Neptune’s savory and dessert crepes. At $9, it’s not cheap because most will need two to fill their belly but for a snack, it’s a decent option. The crepe itself is great! Our thin-pancakes were tender, lightly browned, and buttery with savory batter. They also offer a gluten-free buckwheat option that tasted more earthy, with a subtle bitterness.
For the price, we expected more premium fillings. Otherwise, most of the combinations tasted as expected. We ordered the Cape Falcon (strawberries with lemon curd), Cape Meares (eggs, goat cheese, and veggies), and Cape Lookout (ham, egg, and cheese). For the dessert options, the fruit was fresh. However, canned whipping cream (that melts quickly) and syrupy sauces brought the quality down. For the savory options, the veggies were nice and crisp, but the meat was your average thinly sliced deli meat. A few small changes would go a long way to better this restaurant.
Contributor: Brandon O.
We hope to return to Cannon Beach in the future to rank other food categories as well!
* IMPORTANT! Allergy options presented are based on speaking with the restaurant and/or online research. The actual food prepared in any of the listed restaurants may contain the following ingredients: milk, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, or other allergens. If you have a food allergy, please notify your server before consuming any food and be aware of cross-contamination. Thank you.