The Best of Cannon Beach
By Gary Hayes
Published: 09/01/2009
Chef Bill Pappas from JP's at Cannon Beach with his clam and salmon chowder.
Chef Bill Pappas from JP's at Cannon Beach with his clam and salmon chowder.  photo by Gary Hayes

With its renowned fine dining restaurants, casual pubs, a seafood market, deli, bakeries and casual cafes, finding the best of the best dining experiences in Cannon Beach can take years. To speed up the learning curve, we've selected some of our favorite things from Cannon Beach restaurants.

Looking for the best burger or the best chowder in ­Cannon Beach? Everyone has their opinion, but we believe we've come up with a can't miss list of suggestions for enjoying some of the best food, best treats and best places in Cannon Beach. There's not enough room for us to cover all of categories or all of the places worth mention, but you can offer your opinion on our Facebook page Discussion Board.

Best Chowder JP's at Cannon Beach

There are lots of good chowders in Cannon Beach, but at JP's, both their rich clam and salmon chowder and their flavorful seafood chowder are hard to beat. The clam and salmon chowder comes with a crunchy sprinkle of hazelnuts. Runners-up: Dooger's and The Wayfarer.

Best Steak Driftwood Inn

Hand cut steaks traditionally done without frills have made the Driftwood Inn a popular choice for decades. Served on a sizzling stainless platter traditional steakhouse style. Runner-up: JP's New York strip served with a lively green peppercorn cream sauce.

Best Burger and Fries The Lumberyard

The 2X4 Burger is two quarter-pound patties, a pile of frizzled onions and cheddar cheese. What the heck, add pepper bacon to your splurge. Fries are batter dipped. Runner-up: Warren House Pub's Ken's Big Boy with sauteed mushrooms.

Best Cookie Waves of Grain Bakery

The pecan praline cookie from Waves of Grain is filled with sweet pecan-toffee chunks. Warm from the oven, it's gooey, caramelly goodness. Runner up: The chocolate dipped Florentine at Cannon Beach Bakery.

Best Pasta Newman's at 988

Chef John Newman's thin and tender pasta is filled with chunks of lobster and served with a marsala cream sauce and a dusting of hazelnuts. Runner-up: JP's offers several pasta dishes and chef Bill Pappas is a master of rich cream sauces.

Best Lounge The Bistro

Dark and cozy, the converted beach cabin to restaurant is uniquely coastal. Runners-up: For upscale, grab a spot by the fireplace at The Wayfarer. For local wildlife, the Driftwood Inn.

Best Wine List The Wayfarer

From Walla Walla's Leonetti to Napa's Silver Oak, the Wayfarer's wine list will satisfy serious wine lovers with extensive Oregon and Northwest choices plus California wines and imports. Over 20 wines available by the glass. Runners-up: Newman's or JP's, smaller but well chosen lists.

Most Romantic Restaurant Newman's at 988

A cozy dining room in a converted beach cottage, white table cloths and a James Beard House recognized chef combine for a dining experience worthy of any occasion. Runner up: Cannon Beach's other beach cottage turned restaurant, The Bistro.

Best Oceanview Mo's

It's fish shack chic with wooden bench seating, but the oceanfront wall of windows has to make this the best view of any casual restaurant anywhere. Runner up: The Wayfarer.The corner booth practically sits on the beach access with a nice view of Haystack Rock.

Most Entertaining Dining EVOO Cooking School

Watch or assist in the preparation of your dinner and pick up tips and recipes from chef Bob Neroni and Lenore Emery. Runner-up: JP's, where the dining room glows from the fire as dishes are flamed by chef Bill Pappas in the display kitchen.

Best Soup Too Close to Call

There are a lot of good soups to choose from in Cannon Beach. For a casual easy warm-up try soups of the day at Waves of Grain, Season's Cafe, Cranky Sue's, Driftwood Inn or The Bald Eagle.

Best Sandwich Season's Cafe

The Antipasto sandwich is a flavorful combination of fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil, salami and ham on a baguette with olive tapenade and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. Runner-up: El Gordo Azul at Bill's, a hot combo of sliced beef, grilled mushrooms, green pepper and onion with a blue cheese-horseradish sauce.
The Best of Cannon Beach