With its compact streets and plenty to explore downtown, Seaside is the perfect place for walking or rolling along in just about any human-powered vehicle. Though you can stop for fish and chips or a pint of craft beer at many great places, you’ll also find plenty of street foods to nibble along your route — every kind of snack you can think of. Enjoy the sun on the 1.5-mile promenade, elephant ears or gelato in hand, or grab a sandwich to go for a makeshift picnic on the beach.
The Pronto Pup brand, aka “the original hot dog on a stick,” was born at the Oregon Coast in 1941, so it makes sense that Seaside has a Pronto Pup outpost. Look for the yellow awning next to the bumper cars for this classic carnival fare. Seaside Slushies & Dogs — the name says it all — sells quarter-pound specialty hot dogs from both a walk-up window and a restaurant less than a block apart. Look for regional homages like the Seaside dog, topped with luscious mac and cheese and bacon, or the Seattle dog, which is smothered with cream cheese and grilled onions.
For all your pretzel needs, head to Grandma Herzberg’s Pretzels and Lemonade, where you’ll find soft-baked twists coated in rock salt, as well as innovations gilded with pizza toppings or Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
Brunch on the go at Salmon River Smokehouse takes form in toasted cheddar bagels slathered with wild, Pacific Northwest-sourced smoked-salmon spread. For a high-protein pick-me-up, nibble on some of its signature fish jerky as you roam down Broadway.
If meat and cheese are more your thing, stop by the Ashore Hotel’s bar and order a charcuterie board or cheese plate featuring local goodies for an impromptu picnic. Don’t miss the bags of popcorn in fun flavors like black garlic and pinot noir — they’re all seasoned with Jacobsen sea salt, harvested just a few miles down the Coast.
There’s just something about cinnamon-and-sugar-sprinkled elephant ears that evokes fun. To relive your childhood county-fair days with a fried-dough fix, head to Seaside’s beloved We’re All Ears, which has been in business for 40 years.
There’s no shortage of frozen delights in downtown Seaside. Sea Star Gelato is a popular choice for handmade and impossibly creamy gelato in flavors like blackberry milk chocolate, cotton candy and local marionberry with lemon. For a retro vibe, try scoops like Blue Moon — a sky-blue ice cream that tastes like cereal milk — or a seasonal fave like peach crisp at Zingers Homemade Ice Cream. While Tuckered Bear Ice Cream specializes in waffle cones, this shop also serves soda-fountain classics like root-beer floats and malted milkshakes.
Housed in a yellow building with a green and blue yin-yang symbol, Tea Artist serves up bubble tea and other refreshingly chilled drinks in impossibly vivid shades. To delight both visual and taste senses, try the purple taro milk tea with salted creamy foam and crystal boba or another that looks like a blue sky studded with fluffy clouds of whipped cream. Don’t forget a freshly grilled bubble waffle! The shop’s owner was trained in the art of tea in China, and you can also purchase bulk packets of imported leaves or floral concoctions.
Portland Fudge is a tiny shop with rich slabs of chocolaty decadence; don’t miss intriguing varieties like red velvet. If it’s freshly made saltwater taffy you want — with a taste of history — head to Phillips Candies, the oldest continually run business in Seaside (since 1897!) with the hard-to-miss cobalt-blue facade. It’s also known for its crackly, airy, chocolate-coated seafoam candies and big pieces of rocky road, a chocolate confection with homemade marshmallows, milk chocolate and salted walnuts. If you’re after a mind-boggling assortment of candy, you’ll want to check out Seaside Candyman, which boasts over 170 flavors of saltwater taffy.
Top photo courtesy of Zinger’s Homemade Ice Cream