A popular place on U.S. 101 is Don’s Main Street Restaurant (2115 Winchester Ave., 541/271-2032, 8 a.m.–8 p.m. daily, $7–13), with burgers, fried chicken, and a parlor serving local Umpqua ice cream. This is the locals’ favorite place for pies.
The Schooner Café (423 Riverfront Way, 541/271-3945, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. daily, lunch $8–10), on the boardwalk next door to the Discovery Center, has a pleasant riverside patio and a good selection of delicious salads and sandwiches. This is a quiet spot for an alfresco lunch overlooking the Umpqua.
For the best fresh seafood in the dune country, head down to the Salmon Harbor marina at Winchester Bay, where there are a number of casual seafood restaurants within easily strolling distance.
The friendly staff at the Sportsmen’s Cannery and Smokehouse (182 Bay Front Loop, 541/271-3293, shop 9 a.m.–7 p.m. daily) hosts a weekend seafood barbecue (4–7 p.m. Fri., 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Sat.–Sun., $12–17) that features salmon, halibut, and crab (and whatever else is fresh) and all the trimmings. Don’t expect indoor seating for this meal—you’ll eat at picnic tables set up in the parking lot. Peek inside and you may see cannery employees cutting up the day’s catch. Visit the adjoining shop to purchase fresh, smoked, or canned fish; they’ll even smoke your catch for you.
Just down the marina is a couple of other good bets for fresh seafood in an authentic no-frills setting. Fitzpatrick’s Crabby Cafe (196 Bay Front Loop, 541/271-3474, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Sun. and Wed., 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Thurs.–Sat., $8–16) offers excellent fish-and-chips, crab, and fish sandwiches in a woodsy dining room. The Anchor Grill (208 Bay Front Loop, 541/271-2104, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Sat., 8 a.m.–3 p.m. Sun., $12–24) is more than just a fish shack, with good sandwiches and steaks. But of course everyone comes here for fish, particularly the halibut and chips and the creamy chowder, which recently garnered the chef first place in statewide chowder cook-off.
Once you’ve filled up on fish, wander over to the Village Roastery (140 Coho Point Loop, 541/271-3424, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. daily) for good house-roasted coffee and a wide selection of teas. Head out the back door to the adjoining business, which serves ice cream and homemade desserts.
For something completely different, cross the avenue to Pah Tong’s Thai Cuisine (460 Beach Blvd., 541/271-1750, 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Wed.a.m.–Mon., $9–11), with tasty noodles, curries, stir-fries, and—you guessed it—fresh fish specials.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel