The “Astoria renaissance” everyone is talking about definitely extends to the city’s ever-expanding restaurant scene. Until just 5 years ago, Astoria was a city with a couple of decent restaurants. Now the area around the restored Liberty Theater at 12th and Commercial has several worthwhile dining spots, and there are also a couple of good places on or near the waterfront.
Baked Alaska NORTHWEST/PIZZA Everyone loves this casual waterfront restaurant and pizzeria, and it’s easy to see and taste why. The restaurant takes up an entire pier and offers the most amazing water- and bridge-views—especially from the outdoor tables at the very end, where you’ll find the bar (happy hour daily from 3 to 6pm). There’s a limited number of soups, salads, and small plates on offer, including oysters on the half shell and a really delicious clam chowder. For mains, lunch or dinner, try one of the signature Baked Alaska sandwiches, created by the chef when he had only one pizza oven and had to be creative. The sandwiches are made with hand-tossed pizza dough, folded and baked in the oven, and filled with smoked salmon, iron steak, grilled chicken breast, pork belly, or vegetables. The handcrafted, brick-oven pizzas here are also worth trying (gluten-free crusts available), and so are the Alaskan cod fish and chips.
1 12th St. www.bakedak.com. tel. 503/325-7414. Main courses $10–$25. Daily 11am–10pm.
Bridgewater Bistro NORTHWEST A step up in the sophistication level from Baked Alaska, this large, attractive bistro in a former cannery near the upscale Cannery Pier Hotel offers an all-purpose, gluten-free-friendly lunch and dinner menu (90% of the menu can be modified to be gluten-free). Even the fish and chips are gluten-free, although you’d never know it. If you’re coming for dinner, you might want to the try the Northwest Potlatch, a signature bouillabaisse with Dungeness crab, salmon, crabs, mussels, and scallops in a tomato-pancetta-ginger stock. There are many options here, from small plates to burgers and fresh fish. There’s also a good wine and beer list and a good Sunday brunch with seafood specialties.
20 Basin St. www.bridgewaterbistro.com. tel. 503/325-6777.Main courses $10–$32. Mon–Sat 11:30am–8 or 9pm; Sun 11am–8 or 9pm.
Clemente’s SEAFOOD/PACIFIC NORTHWEST This corner restaurant in the “urban renaissance” section of downtown Astoria is casual, like all Astoria restaurants, but it has a crisp formal touch, too, with cloth napkins and heavy cutlery whether you’re having lunch or dinner. Clemente’s has been around for several years, and it has grown up in that time to become an excellent restaurant for fresh seafood and produce from local suppliers. The menu changes seasonally. For a really satisfying lunch, I would recommend the fresh fish sandwiches; the oyster and halibut are both great and served on chewy rustic bread with non-greasy fries and house-made catsup. You can order fish and chips made from freshly caught halibut, salmon, cod, or oysters. Clemente’s, with its airy dining room and cool bar area, is very much a local venture and a good spot to know about.
1198 Commercial St. www.clementesrestaurant.com. tel. 503/325-1067.Main courses $10–$28. Tues–Sun 11am–3pm and 5–9pm.
T Paul’s Supper Club AMERICAN/PACIFIC NORTHWEST A touch of whimsy prevails in this cheerful, casual bistro in downtown Astoria. It’s not what you might think of as an old-style supper club, but rather a good spot to stop in for lunch or dinner or in between for a snack or a meal. The menu is all over the place, with Caribbean, Mexican, Southern, and Pacific Northwest offerings. One of their most popular offerings is the whopping Boom Boom Salad with chicken or shrimp served on a bed of greens with chopped apple, pear, strawberry, and red onion with bacon and cheese. The burgers and sandwiches are good and, in keeping with the old supper-club shtick, several kinds of steak are available.
360 12th St. www.tpaulssupperclub.com. tel. 503/325-2545.Main courses $9–$28. Mon–Thurs 11am–9pm; Fri–Sat 11am–11pm.
Coffee, Beer, Wine & more
Here’s a list of some other good spots in Astoria to check out for coffee, beer, smoked salmon, and baked goods.
Smoked Fish & DeliTo be in the know in Astoria, you have to know about Josephson’s, 106 Marine Dr. (www.josephsons.com; tel. 800/772-3474 or 503/325-2190), a local seafood-smoking company that opened in 1920 and sells smoked salmon by the pound. It has a take-out deli counter with clam chowder, smoked seafood on rolls, and more.
CoffeeFor the best latte in town, head down to Three Cups Coffee House, 279 West Marine Dr. (tel. 503/325-7487), the coffee house that shares space with Columbia Coffee Roasters. In downtown Astoria you can get good espresso at the Astoria Coffeehouse & Bistro,243 11th St. (www.astoriacoffeehouse.com; tel. 503/325-1787).
BrewpubsAstoria is big on brewpubs. Downtown on the waterfront, there’s the Wet Dog Cafe, 144 11th St. (www.wetdogcafe.com; tel. 503/325-6975), and at the east end of town, there’s the Rogue Ales Public House, Pier 39, 100 39th St. (www.rogue.com; tel. 503/325-5964), where you can sometimes watch sea lions just outside the window. Some of the most unusual brews in town are on tap at the Fort George Brewery & Public House,1483 Duane St. (www.fortgeorgebrewery.com; tel. 503/325-7468).
BakeryThe Blue Scorcher Bakery Café,1493 Duane St. (www.bluescorcher.com; tel. 503/338-7473), is Astoria’s best bakery.
WineThe Cellar on 10th, 1004 Marine Dr. (www.thecellaron10th.com; tel. 503/325-6600), is a well-stocked wine shop that has weekly tastings and occasional winemaker dinners.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.