Sam’s Seaside Cafe
A well-executed burger shaped and grilled to perfection, layered with the proper ratios of ingredients, is a handheld piece of heaven. It’s hard to imagine any better fit for the phrase “greater than the sum of its parts” than the classic American cheeseburger or any of its variants. Here are five great places to try some of the best between two buns in Seaside.
1. Sam’s Seaside Cafe
If you find yourself in the heart of downtown Seaside when a burger craving hits, you’re in luck. Just a block away from the Promenade, Sam’s Seaside Cafe has been a beloved home for hamburger goodness — as well as local seafood — since 1997.
Sam’s cheeseburger starts with a fresh 6-ounce patty from local meat purveyor Reed & Hertig. It’s topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, Sam’s own special burger sauce, and your choice of Tillamook cheddar or pepper jack cheese on a toasted onion bun, all dressed up with a pickle spear on the side. For fancier fare, the Stuffed Bacon & Blue incorporates crumbled bacon and tangy Gorgonzola blue cheese right into the burger patty.
Burgers come with chips, hand-cut fries or tots. Pro tip: The Garbage Fries feature its hand-cut fries topped with melted Tillamook cheddar, bacon and green onions.
2. Ruby’s Roadside Grill
The open, airy Ruby’s Roadside Grill also offers outdoor seating with a pleasing view of the Mill Ponds natural area on the south side of town — it’s the only spot in town for the underrated pastime of burgers and birding. And what burgers they are, with a lineup of gourmet offerings that are among the finest on the North Coast.
All burgers start with 6 ounces of fresh, never frozen, local ground beef on a toasted brioche bun and go from there. Ruby’s cornerstone offering, the Ruby’s Deluxe, adds lettuce, tomato, onions and pickle chips, with mayo or smoky sauce. Show some love to Seaside by ordering the Seasider, a burger that comes with a bacon-wrapped sweet onion slice, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and smoky sauce.
Want to upgrade your fries? Try Ruby’s delicious take on twice-baked potato skins — baked, smashed and deep-fried red potatoes topped with bacon bits and parmesan sprinkles. Pro tip: Its thick, delicious handmade shakes are so good that Kelis herself would be impressed.
3. Relief Pitcher
For those who rightfully hold the term “dive bar” in high esteem, Relief Pitcher is a time-honored, locally loved institution. Think cozy confines indoors, an outdoor patio with horseshoe pits, drinks that won’t break the bank, good cheer among patrons and some mighty high-quality bar food.
Burgers come with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mayo, and your choice of Tillamook cheddar or provolone on an onion bun. Even hungrier? The Grand Slam is a half-pound burger topped with ham, a fried egg and both kinds of cheese. Both come with a side of house-made coleslaw and hand-cut fries. Pro tip: The burgers are great, but pescatarians aren’t the only ones who’ll love its albacore tuna Reuben sandwich.
4. Seaside Brewery and Public House
The beautifully renovated building — which once housed the City Jail and City Hall — has been home to the town’s first craft brewery since 2011 (since joined by Sisu Beer in the historic Times Theater on Broadway). Family-friendly Seaside Brewery and Public House on upper Broadway provides ample outdoor seating for its lineup of their own brews and a full, barbecue-centric food menu to complement them.
Burger options at the brewery include a basic hamburger, cheeseburger or bacon cheeseburger, and all come smoked. In fact, almost everything cookable at the Seaside Brewery sees some smoke before it hits the plate. All burgers come with lettuce, tomato, onion and a thin, garlicky aioli-style sauce on a classic (or gluten-free) bun, with fries. Pro tip: Get a side of the brewery’s smoky, meaty Pork Belly Baked Beans.
5. Firehouse Grill
Located in the old firehouse building just down the street, the aptly named Firehouse Grill is a breakfast and lunch spot with a focus on fresh and house-made — everything from breakfast sausage and biscuits to corned beef.
Its Firehouse Cheeseburger is born from a fresh beef patty, grilled and topped with your choice of cheese, lettuce, tomato, Bermuda onion and house-made burger sauce on a brioche bun. If you’re a vegetarian or just looking for a meatless meal, Firehouse’s grilled black-bean patty makes for a delicious beef stand-in. If the very mention of the word “meatless” causes you to shudder, the Corned Beef Burger will ease you right back into your comfort zone with house-made corned beef and grilled onions sandwiched between the burger and bun.
All burgers, regardless of meat content, come with fries and a pickle wedge. Pro tip: The Fireside Grill has a full bar. Its Bloody Marys pair nicely with just about everything.