Astoria Exploration Guide

This page is a great place to come if you want to know the best restaurants, attractions, hikes, shops & community events in our favorite little town on the Columbia River.

We visited Astoria for years until we finally decided that it is where we wanted to make our home. We're not the only ones! Astoria is a growing town with a rich history and welcoming community that will win over even the most jaded traveler.

This guide to Astoria is an attempt to share with you all we love about our new home, so that when you come to get a massage, take a yoga class, or get some acupuncture, you'll have plenty to do as you wander in a blissful post-treatment state. Enjoy – and feel free to contact us if you think we've missed something.

This page was last updated on 2017-03-30.

Our favorite places to eat & drink in Astoria

Buoy is a new spot in Astoria – and a good one. We like to sit at the bar in the main dining room and chat with Milan, the bartender there most evenings. The view is incredible, and you get to experience pilot boat drivebys & sea lions sleeping under a thick pane of glass in the floor. Their beer, of course, is wonderful – and for the gluten free they always have a good cider on tap. The food is always decent – we love the gluten free fish & chips with sweet potato fries, but you can't go wrong with the specials of the day. This place can get VERY BUSY during high season, so be prepared for a wait. Off season it's typically easy to get a seat at the bar, or even a table, with little wait.

A major presence in the downtown area, Fort George is the only pub we can see from our treatment rooms. 🙂 Their beer, like Buoy's, is available all over Oregon, but you'll get the widest selection by coming to the source. They have diverse food available, including some good pizza upstairs and very solid burgers downstairs. For the gluten free set, they have GF buns for burgers, and a small GF pizza crust that we enjoy. Food otherwise is fairly standard pub fare – you won't be disappointed. They have great music & events including philosophically oriented discussions and their sprawling campus (three distinct spaces) is fun to explore.

If you want great coffee, even better pastries & a beautiful space to get some work done – this is your spot. As an ex-Portlander, I have extremely high (snobby) standards about coffee & cafes in general. I'm not proud of it – but there it is. This place hits all the right spots. But, really, the best thing about Street 14 is the staff. They always have information for visitors and are happy to hear about you & your day. Try their breakfast menu – and they now serve dinner! We've not been able to go to dinner there, yet, but we hope to do so soon.

A great place for fresh oysters & interesting cocktails, with excellent decor and ambiance, Albatross is the place we go for dates and celebratory interludes. Slightly more expensive for the portion sizes than most places on this list, it is nonetheless a good place to have a meal you will remember. They do have music some nights that can be quite loud, but otherwise it's a great place to sit and enjoy a rainy Astoria evening. They also just kicked off a happy hour that has a killer grilled cheese sandwich and excellent tomato soup.

A popular breakfast spot, Astoria Coffeehouse & Bistro really does a little bit of everything. From solid coffee to cocktails to sushi night and a variety of excellent breakfast items, you can expect to find what you need here. I've especially enjoyed their omelets – served with their excellent homestyle potatoes. There are fewer options here for people with limited diets, but they do their best. Staff is friendly and available – a good choice for any meal.

The Portway is largely a locals joint, which you may well feel when you walk in. It's a small pub with a nice big deck, and just a short walk from the Riverwalk & views of the Columbia. We've not spent a huge amount of time here, despite their close location to our home, but for our money, they serve the best burger in town – maybe in the state. Their veggie burger is also pretty legitimate. Yum.

  • Bridgewater Bistro – 20 basin street, Ste A, Astoria (near NW Wild Products & the marina, very near the Astoria-Megler bridge)

This is the fanciest restaurant on the list – but the cost of a meal is not extreme and the ambiance is relaxed enough. The space is gorgeous, with a lovely view of the river, the marina and the bridge. The only meal we've had here is the only meal we will ever need to have here – brunch. It was GREAT. Wonderful Eggs Benedict and most importantly all the brunch entrées come with scones and the best lemon curd we've had. They typically have plenty of space, so you can bring a small group here without much of a problem.

A wonderful lunch spot – their soup and sandwich combo really hits the spot. The space is pretty busy, visually, and sometimes it can be a touch confusing what to do when you walk in (just walk to the counter and grab a menu) but the service is friendly and quick. I love their crab/shrimp melts & the soup of the day is usually right on.

We can almost see this place out the window of Watershed Wellness, and that's a dangerous proposition. We've had many an ice cream cone after a long hike at Ft. Stevens or along the riverwalk. The friendly folks behind the counter will enthusiastically give you as many tastes of their small batch, french custard style ice cream as you want.They even have a few vegan options that don't leave you wanting. We recommend going for a split scoop so you get to enjoy two flavors. Even better, get some of their Belgian Style frites to dip in the myriad of inventive sauces that they have to go along with your ice cream. Our favorites: The Chef's Choice, Cocoa Pokey and Lemon Meringue Pie.

This cooperative bakery never disappoints with a good cup of coffee, a laid back atmosphere and an excellent pastries made in house. This vegetarian spot is a great place for breakfast, and has some of the best bagels around. They do offer a few gluten free options both in pastries and breakfast choices.


Our favorite natural (and semi-natural) areas in & near Astoria

We moved to this area chiefly because of the abundance of beautiful natural areas in every single direction. This is a place more dominated by the elements & the wild than most, and we love it for that.

This State Park rests at the confluence of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean. There is much to explore here, including hiking and biking trails, miles of beautiful beach, The Peter Iredale shipwreck, the old Battery Russell military base. Our favorites include walking along the jetty at parking area C, and a great loop through old forest from Battery Russell to the Peter Iredale. Beware the mosquitoes in the summer months!

  • Cape Disappointment
  • The Riverwalk
  • The Column (+ paths)
  • Discovery Trail in WA
  • Ecola State Park and trails (crescent beach, indian beach)
  • Short Sands