TASTY BAKERIES

Bailey's Bakery & Café

26910 Sandridge Road

Nahcotta, Wash., (360) 665-4449

Recommended but unrated - $

Breads and baked goods (say, wondrously gooey Thunder Buns) are first-rate, while an array of sandwiches shows some unusual spins - tuna salad sprinkled with marinated artichokes, olives and roasted red peppers.

Blue Scorcher Bakery Café

1493 Duane St., Astoria

(503) 338-7473

www.bluescorcher.com

Recommended but unrated - $

Everybody seems so cheery here. Probably due to the fresh-baked artisan breads, multifarious treats (bread pudding muffins, fabulous carrot cake), soups, quiche and such. Everything's organic.

Bread and Ocean

387 Laneda Ave., Manzanita

(503) 368-5823

Three stars - $-$$

Julie Barker's whole-wheat cinnamon rolls, brioche, onion-rye bread, polenta, fig-walnut and potato loaves draw crowds. Sandwiches incorporate combinations of Virginia ham, prosciutto, Gruyere, raw-milk smoked cheddar, organic greens, herb-spiked Dijon butter and horseradish mayo.

Pacific Way Bakery & Café

601 Pacific Way, Gearhart

(503) 738-0245

Three stars - $$-$$$

Lisa Allen's muffins, scones and flavored croissants are drop-jaw delightful; likewise her loaves of potato-dill and molasses-oatmeal. Imaginative salads, creative risottos, seasonal vegetarian entrees and superlative pizzas are popular in the café.

CASUAL CAFES

Astoria Coffeehouse Café

243 11th St., Astoria

(503) 325-1787

Recommended but unrated - $

This joe joint hangout seems to fit everybody to a T, with unusually good grub, regular live music, long hours and an overall welcoming vibe.

42nd Street Café

4201 Pacific Way, Seaview, Wash.

(360) 642-2323, www.42ndstreetcafe.com

Three and a half stars - $$

Chef Cheri Walker's far-flung repertoire encompasses skillet-fried chicken, halibut stew, seductive ravioli, pork chops dripping cranberry barbecue sauce and sugarcoated beignets for breakfast.

Columbian Café

1114 Marine Drive, Astoria

(503) 325-2233

Three stars - $-$$

Breakfast and lunch afford fine opportunities for fruit-yogurt parfaits, crepes and veggie stir-fries. Come evening, crowds gather for chef Uriah Hulsey's seafood-pasta dinners. Everybody from scenesters to seniors patronizes the next door Voodoo Room, Astoria's hippest club.

Corpeny's

2281 Beach Drive, Seaside

(503) 738-7353

Three stars - $$

When I yearn for someplace homey, I head for this delightful breakfast and lunch lair a block from the beach. Egg and potato scrambles, omelets bursting with choice ingredients and stellar sandwiches always register high-fives on my gastronomic radar screen.

JP's at Cannon Beach

240 N. Hemlock St., Cannon Beach

(503) 436-0908

Three and a half stars - $$-$$$

Oregon Culinary Institute grad Bill Pappas attracts lots of stares with his open-kitchen pyrotechnics, and his finished product runs the gamut from delectable seafood chowder to a top sirloin simmered in a lusty red wine sauce and smothered with onions, 'shrooms and hunks of garlic.

The Bistro

263 N. Hemlock St., Cannon Beach

(503) 436-2661

Three stars - $$-$$$

Unpretentious and understated seafood and beef dishes crafted by classically trained home boy Matt Dueber are a joy at this charming eatery. Think grilled halibut freshened with avocado salsa, port-infused steak piled with portobellos or grilled salmon with a roasted corn, red pepper and garlic relish.

The Depot

1208 38th Place, Seaview, Wash.

(360) 642-7880, www.depotrestaurantdining.com

Three and a half stars - $$

So-called because it's housed in a former railway station, The Depot offers rock-solid internationally oriented, upscale bistro fare (gussied-up salmon and sturgeon, cheesy gnocchi, pistachio-crusted lamb chops), and desserts are grand.

T Paul's Urban Café

1119 Commercial St., Astoria

(503) 338-5133

Two and a half stars - $-$$

Roasted chicken quesadillas, multiple fettuccines and the humongous spinach salad well-stocked with prawns are top-drawer choices, as are the cheesecakes, sundry chocolate concoctions and the strawberry lemonade.

The Schooner Twelfth Street Bistro

360 12th St., Astoria

(503) 325-7882

Three stars - $$-$$$

A favored stop for singles, cuddling couples and across-the-street Hotel Elliott guests, the Schooner affords a lounge-restaurant that serves Thai fusion salads, twin-patty buffalo burgers and full-fledged meals, such as a a wild salmon filet stacked atop fried sweet taters.

Wanda's Café

2850 U.S. Highway 101, Nehalem

(503) 368-8100

Two and a half stars - $-$$

Simply one of the region's finest breakfast and lunch stops. Smoked-salmon omelets, cinnamon-oat waffles, lean-beef French dip and a toothsome rendition of huevos rancheros keep the customers coming. Don't miss owner Wendy Crosta's muffins, tarts, cobblers, coffee cake and superlative dense and intense scones.

ETHNIC ENCLAVES

Drina Daisy

915 Commercial St., Astoria

(503) 338-2912

Three stars - $$

The food here draws from both Eastern European and Mediterranean influences. Look for sarma, broth-cooked cabbage leaves rolled around risotto and ground beef; a spinach-cheese pie densely layered with phyllo called Zelijanica Pita; a whole lamb roasted three hours or longer; baklava; and kafa, a potent Sarajevo-style coffee.

Fulio's Pastaria and Tuscan Steak House

1149 Commercial St., Astoria

(503) 325-9001

Three stars - $$

Surprising diverse fare awaits at this downtown Italian-inspired eatery. Pasta platters anchor the menu, which also showcases veal piccata, eggplant Parmigiano, pollo Rosemarino, scampi a "diavolle" and a 12-ounce Bistecca d'Abruzzo ribeye. The Italian wine list is moderately priced.

Kim's Kitchen

575 E. Harbor Drive, Warrenton

(503) 861-4314

Two and a half stars - $-$$

She may be small in stature, but Kim Fuhrmann packs a wallop in the kitchen. Her repertoire of Korean comfort food - beef or pork bulgoki, kalbi, seafood stir fries, tempura veggies and fiery kimchee - is unmatched locally.

Lil' Bayou

20 N. Holladay Drive, Seaside

(503) 717-0624

Three stars - $$

Don't be timid. Go ahead and order the jambalaya, crawfish etoufee, blackened catfish and a side of mague choux. Chef John Sowa's Cajun-Creole cooking is subtly seasoned rather than hot 'n' sassy. Live music often plays in the Magnolia Lounge, a sultry setting to sip an exotic libation and take in the tunes.

Rio Café

125 Ninth St., Astoria

(503) 325-2409

Three stars - $-$$

Seven burritos, south-of-the-border-inspired soups, chili-stewed pork and pan-fried sole or snapper crusted with garlic and red chili salsa are on tap at this cute and unfussy Tex-Mex cantina, plus flan in flavors from cinnamon and chocolate to pumpkin and vanilla.

The Ship Inn

1 Second St., Astoria

(503) 325-0033

Recommended but unrated - $$

Sometimes you want to steer clear of fancy and just order a plate of fish 'n' chips. Head for this self-styled English pub for delicately breaded halibut, prawns, oysters, calamari or cod accompanied by an ample portion of plank fries. Meat pies and British cheeses, too.

FAMILY FRIENDLY

Clemente's

1335 Marine Drive, Astoria

(503) 325-1067

Recommended but unrated - $$

It's a seafood market with indoor and outdoor seating and a wide-ranging menu - seafood martinis, cioppino, oysters Casino, succulent Dungeness crab cakes, chowder bread bowls, six choices of fish 'n' chips, even spaghetti and meatballs.

McKeown's

714 Broadway, Seaside

(503) 738-5232

Two stars - $-$$

What kid wouldn't favor chocolate-chip pancakes, fish 'n' chips, barbecue cheeseburgers or peanut butter-fudge pie? For adults, there's cinnamon-swirl French toast, veggie teriyaki rice bowls or the Hunter's sirloin, a hulking hunk of charbroiled beef.

Lumberyard Rotisserie & Grill

264 Third St., Cannon Beach

(503) 436-0285, www.thelumberyardgrill.com

Two and a half stars - $$

Ribeye chili, rotisserie chicken or turkey, lots of burger choices, scrumptious desserts and warm-weather patio seating are all ideal for a family outing.

MEALS WITH A VIEW

Baked Alaska

No. 1 12th St., Astoria

(503) 325-7414

Two and a half stars - $$-$$$

Give serious consideration to the Campfire salmon, the cod tempura, a double-cut pork chop baked with prosciutto or the cormeal-crusted oysters at this luxe eatery overlooking the Columbia River.

Beach House Café

421 11th St., Long Beach, Wash.

(360) 642-5265 or (866) 843-5782, www.thebeachhousecafe.com

Three stars - $$-$$$

Chef Vinessa Mulinix's preparations are imaginative, colorful and only slightly less sublime than the view out over the dunes all the way to the ocean. Save room for the triple-berry cobbler a la mode.

Cannery Café

No. 1 Sixth St., Astoria

(503) 325-8642, www.cannerycafe.com

Three stars - $$-$$$

The Columbia River rushes in and out with the tides underneath this century-old former cannery-turned-restaurant. Savor the whoosh and the view with a splendid bowl of chowder, panini, sautéed lime prawns or crab and shrimp cakes.

Currents

35815 U.S. Highway 101, Nehalem

(503) 368-5557

Three stars - $$$

Go with the seasonal flow at this eatery snuggled up against the downtown Nehalem waterfront. Meals such as Kobe meatloaf and barbecued beef short ribs can be transcendent, and the double-chocolate brownie is a not-to-be-missed treat.

Port Bistro

235 Howerton St., Ilwaco, Wash.

(360) 642-8447, www.theportbistro.com

Three stars - $$

Windows on Ilwaco's waterfront, a copper-covered serving bar, big pours of wine matched with bistro-hearty chow - sweet corn chowder, sesame-coated oysters, a New York peppercorn - equal a fine respite after hiking the Discovery Trail or strolling Ilwaco's Harbor Village.

PUTTIN' ON THE RITZ

Café Uniontown

218 W. Marine Drive, Astoria

(503) 325-8708

Three and a half stars - $$$

Straight-grained Douglas fir graces the Uniontown's interior. The food is equally eye-catching; everything from prawn pasta tossed with wine, tomatoes, peppers and herbs to a prodigious cut of charbroiled filet mignon wrapped with thick rashers of bacon and garnished with melted blue cheese.

Nehalem River Inn

34910 Oregon Highway 53, Nehalem

(503) 368-7708, www.nehalemriverinn.com

Three and a half stars - $$$

"Food without borders," chef Ryan Hamic terms his cuisine. Roast quail and duck confit, black truffle gnocchi, white corn risotto, seared diver scallops and the tenderest cut of Painted Hills beef imaginable are served in an intimate setting overlooking the Nehalem River.

Newmans at 988

988 Hemlock St., Cannon Beach

(503) 436-1151, www.newmansat988.com

Three stars - $$$

Chef John Newman makes no compromises, and a meal here is an experience to be savored, especially if capped by one of pastry chef Nancy Daggatt's scrumptious pot au cremes or gelatos.

Silver Salmon Grille

1105 Commercial St., Astoria

(503) 338-6640, www.silversalmongrille.com

Two and a half stars - $$-$$$

The Northwest's favorite fish draws raves at this downtown restaurant and wine bar that boasts Astoria's most extensive surf 'n' turf selection. Come dessert, it's hard to resist bananas Foster, an oversized blend of sautéed bananas, ice cream and booze all aflame.

The Shoalwater/Heron and Beaver Pub

4415 Pacific Highway, Seaview, Wash.

(360) 642-4142, www.shoalwater.com

Four stars - $$-$$$

It's hard to go wrong with anything exiting chef Lynne "Red" Pelletier's kitchen - braised Moroccan chicken, poached salmon enlivened by tarragon and citrus, a perfectly grilled Black Angus and Pacific Rim Potlatch, Pelletier's take on bouillabaisse.

PUBS OF FINE REPUTE

Bill's Tavern & Brew House

188 N. Hemlock St., Cannon Beach

(503) 436-2202

Two and a half stars - $$

Share the sociable vibe with a diverse clientele while you sip and savor a distinctive ale alongside an oversized burger or a bowl of seafood stew.

Fort George Brewery & Public House

1483 Duane St., Astoria

(503) 325-7468, www.fortgeorgebewery.com

Three stars - $

Local lads Jack Harris and Chris Nemlowill have adeptly tapped into the brewpub scene, while maintaining their own distinctive touches - boudin blanc sausages, Astoria's tastiest fries, a $9 hanger steak, appealing brewskis and refreshing wasabi ginger ale.

Goose Hollow at the Cove

220 Avenue U, Seaside

(503) 717-1940

Two and a half stars - $-$$

This convivial tavern is prime territory to kick back and bask in the conversation and the suds and bite into a well-crafted roast beef or Reuben, both two-fisted stalwarts.

Rogue Ales Public House

Pier 39 complex, Astoria

(503) 325-5964

Recommended but unrated - $$

This beer hall and restaurant enjoys a fabulous setting - a circa-1875 cannery complex built on a pier above the Columbia River. Almost 30 tap brews are available for quaffing, including 20 from Rogue Ales (based in Newport).

Warren House Pub

3301 S. Hemlock St., Cannon Beach

(503) 436-1130

Three stars - $$

A pub with a serious restaurant attached, Warren House's kitchen specializes in smoked ribs, lamb pitas, seared ahi and other delights. Ales come from Bill's Tavern & Brew House.

Wet Dog Café

144 11th St., Astoria

(503) 325-6975, www.wetdogcafe.com

Three stars - $-$$

Overlooking the river and Astoria's favored watering hole, the Dog purveys an extensive menu and a fine selection of ales, crafted in-house at Astoria Brewing Company.

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