Sand. Surf. And clam chowder. Yep, these are a few of the essential ingredients to any Seaside visit. But finding a cup of chowder that pleases everyone? That’s not so easy. Some chowder connoisseurs seek out the thickest, creamiest concoctions; others prefer the brothier bowls. Seaside serves both, plus a one-of-kind chowder made with Oregon ale. Nearly 20 eateries offer their unique take on this classic coastal dish. Here’s a sampler of what you’ll taste around town — grab your oyster crackers and start spooning!
Norma’s Seafood & Steak
Named by Epicurious.com as one of the best soups in the country, Norma’s (20 N. Columbia St.) has earned the right to be a little braggy. No wonder they call it their “World Famous Clam Chowder.” Chock full of potatoes and select clams, this chowder is pork-free and served with fresh baked bread or garlic toast. The downtown restaurant also boasts hormone and antibiotic-free natural angus beef. And with an extensive kids’ and wee little ones’ menu, families will feel right at home.
Doogers Seafood & Grill
Located in downtown Seaside, Doogers (505 Broadway St.) ladles a brothier chowder that’s so good, the restaurant actually sells clam chowder kits that you can take home and recreate in your own kitchen. Doogers serves up a good selection of other seafood, as well. Portions are big here, so you may want to share or opt for a half order.
The Crabby Oyster
While some restaurants use canned clams in their chowders, that won’t pass muster at The Crabby Oyster (150 Broadway St.). Its chowder is made fresh everyday, creamy and full of rich flavors. Opt for a cup, bowl or the heartier bread bowl.
Sea Breeze (84774 U.S. Highway 101) is one of those small, unassuming restaurants that you could easily drive right by on Highway 101. It’s not fancy, but the food is top notch. You’ll know because you’ll likely be dining with locals. The chowder here is rich and filled with tender clams. And don’t skip dessert, like blackberry pie à la mode. You’ll be so satisfied that you may find yourself back for what some folks say is the best breakfast on the Oregon Coast.
Seaside Brewing Co.
Chock full of clams, bacon and beer, the chowder at Seaside Brewing Co. (851 Broadway St.) is a twist on the classic. The brewery, once the old Seaside City Jail and Town Hall, uses coastal rainwater, filtered down through the forests and into area streams and rivers as the base of its brews. The folks here even have a specific beer to pair with your cup. So cheers to chowder!