Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Chomping on Fresh Seafood at Bill's Tavern

It's been unseasonably warm in Portland lately, with 60 degree sunny days without end that Dan and I have found ways to take advantage.  The great thing about working from home is that you can easily shift your work schedule to the night time so you don't waste any of that beautiful sunshine. we went to explore the Oregon coast to the beautiful town of Cannon Beach.

Once we got there, we were welcomed with a charming little thoroughfare area on Hemlock Street where one can walk around, pop into quaint little souvenir shops and find some delicious food to eat.  Something we were particularly craving was fresh seafood, which we missed from living in NY, so we stopped at Bill's Tavern, a local brew house with plenty of seafood options.


Situated right in the heart of town, Bill's offers a great stop for lunch.  The first thing you notice is their front porch seating, which looks inviting but isn't that plentiful.  On a lovely day like today an outdoor table was tricky to snag so we sat inside and found a private booth.  In addition to booth-style seating, Bill's also has traditional tables and overall, I think they're pretty good at turning them around quickly.  The service is super casual so when you walk in, you can immediately seat yourself and wait to be served in just a few short minutes.  Arriving during prime-time lunch service, we found the dining room to be buzzing and full of hungry visitors devouring heaping plates of seafood.

As I already mentioned, we came for the seafood and this is exactly what we concentrated on during our meal - hitting all the major seafood groups.

Fried Clam Strips - Dan had a hankering for these so we ordered them immediately and were thrilled with the results.  Not only were they fried to perfection, sporting a beautifully golden crust, the clam strips were really meaty and fresh, boasting a good batter to clam strip ratio.

Clam Chowder - We hadn't had a solid clam chowder in months now, so this was definitely in order and again, we were wowed.  Satisfied with the consistency of the soup, it was nice and chunky, studded with tons of clammy bits as well as veggies such as potatoes, celery, and even smoky bits of bacon. The broth wasn't too rich and helped us work our way to the main course.

Oyster Burger - This dish was totally new to me, and it sounded pretty innovative.  What arrived was nothing short of spectacular, as we welcomed three crispy oyster cakes, topped with homemade tartar sauce and all the traditional burger fixins.  While Dan wasn't in love with the soft bun, I thought it was lovely and did a great job of letting the flavor of the seafood shine.

Service and Cost:
Due to its no frills atmosphere, the service was also simple, honest and efficient.  We noticed just one server but he did his job well and there was another person who bussed the dishes.  Overall, we were in and out of there in about 45 minutes, which was perfect because it allowed us to maximize the glorious weather outside.

Costs are competitive, especially given that this is a touristy area and in the heart of Downtown Cannon Beach. We walked out of there paying around $30 including tip.

3 Mmmms

Bill's Tavern Brew House - 188 N Hemlock Street, Cannon Beach OR 97110


  1. Hey Fooditka. We're thrilled you've moved west, and have hit on some of our favorite Portland eateries. We noticed you've made it all the way to the coast, and have reviewed one of our Cannon Beach favorites, Bill's Tavern. Great tavern food, and terrific as it also has a separate eating area that accommodates families. Our kids grew up loving a trip to Bill's, and always enjoyed watching the brewmaster work with their tanks through the window - and we loved that it kept them entertained long enough for us to eat!

    We'd like to suggest a trip to the coast to review some of the other wonderful north coast eateries, starting in our northern most town of Astoria. It's a wonderful city, and there are lots of great places to eat such as Blue Scorcher Bakery, Astoria Coffeehouse, and many more.

    Seaside and Cannon Beach are obvious stops, but you'll want to continue south, 13 miles past Cannon Beach, to the local Oregonians favorite Manzanita (and the nearby towns of Nehalem and Wheeler).

    In Manzanita you'll want to try Bread & Ocean Bakery for breakfast or lunch, Left Coast Siesta, and Bluebird. In Nehalem enjoy traditional breakfast and lunch at Wanda's, and made to order chowders and artisan ice creams at Buttercup. Don't miss Rising Star Cafe in Wheeler (it's a favorite). And if you're really in the mood for fresh crab, rent a boat at Kelly's Brighton Marina and enjoy the water while catching your own - they'll cook them for you!

    Enjoy your travels - The Houses On Manzanita Beach,

  2. Thank you for all these awesome suggestions, Kim! They're great and I can't wait to check them out. My husband and I recently took a little roadtrip to Manzanita, which was fantastic and much more low key than Cannon Beach (which we still enjoyed). We tried Left Coast Siesta and it was good, fast, cheap food. I'd love to go back and explore some of the other recommendations you mention above. Stay tuned for most posts - and I appreciate you passing on the good word to others. All the best!

  3. Great! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Each community on the coast has an individual flavor. Do feel free to contact us for further recommendations. There's so much to do and see in our area.

    For instance, for a wonderful fun time (and the freshest crab possible), stop at Kelly's Brighton Marina on Nehalem Bay and rent a small boat, apply for a 2 day permit, and go crabbing - it's a blast. Then bring your catch back, and they'll show you how to clean the crabs (or do it for you), and then cook them too.

    Or for a slower pace, grab a box lunch from Bread & Ocean in Manzanita, then rent a kayak at Wheeler Marina and spend a relaxing afternoon paddling on the Nehalem River.

    Enjoy! The Houses On Manzanita Beach



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