Grays Harbor is known for incredible natural beauty, fantastic vacation destinations and breathtaking sunsets, so it is hard to imagine that the region can get any better. Spread around the region, close to the most visited places in the Harbor, a handful of restaurants offer delicious delicacies and mouth-watering meals. The coastal cuisines offered will satiate the appetite of the most refined foodie, helping to make the case that Grays Harbor is for the wild and the refined. From seafood dishes perfectly cooked to incredible meals in historic rooms, the dining options along the Washington Coast will leave you longing for more weekend trips, surrounded by wilderness beauty and feasting on delectable fare. If you didn’t know that Grays Harbor had some of the best dining in Washington, use this as a guide to give your taste buds a well-deserved adventure in coastal deliciousness.
1. Ocean Crest
Considered one of the classic and best places to dine in Grays Harbor, Ocean Crest has been delighting taste buds for over five decades. Since the restaurant opened its doors in 1963, those who enjoy quality, local foods have fallen in love with Ocean Crest. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week, the restaurant has been repeatedly featured as one of the best dining experiences in the state. Situated on a 120 foot bluff that overlooks the ocean, the views and the food perfectly encapsulate the spirit of the Pacific Northwest.
Jess Owen, one of the owners of Ocean Crest, explains their secret. “We have always tried to focus on Pacific Northwest cuisine with a global flair,” he says. “We use high quality ingredients, with everything being made nearly 100 percent from scratch.”
The most famous dish at the Ocean Crest, Grandma’s Famous Clam Chowder, is also one of the oldest. Originally made a decade before the restaurant was built, the success of the clam chowder helped lead to the creation of the business. Today, the restaurant offers more deliciousness in addition to the incredible clam chowder. Each meal has mouthwatering dishes waiting for you. Breakfast and lunches are amazing, but the highlights of coastal cuisine are always found on the dinner menu.
For dinner, you can’t go wrong with the salmon au poivre with maple-balsamic glazed strawberries, featuring charbroiled salmon with black pepper, fresh strawberries and maple-balsamic reduction. Tack on a the award winning Asian Dungeness crab cakes, made with chocolate chili sauce and enjoy one of the best meals around. The Ocean Crest also has one of the best wine menus on the Olympic Peninsula, perfectly pairing with the numerous unique menu options.
2. Rediviva Restaurant
Located in Aberdeen, Rediviva is quickly becoming known as one of the best places to go for award winning foods and delicious cocktails. The eclectically delicious menu pairs foods together that will make your mouth water. You will have a hard time to choose just one favorite dish. The appetizers are amazing, starting with the black and blue oysters that are a delicacy worth returning time and time again for, and finishing with the crispy oyster slider that is a masterpiece of flavor. Rediviva also has numerous salads and incredible main dishes that focus on the tastes found along the coast. The preparation and love given to each dish by chef Ben Garrett and chef/owner Andy Bickar will leave you craving more.
3. Salmon House
Located on the shores of Lake Quinault, the Salmon House is one of the most scenic places to eat in the county. In the shadow of tall timbers, surrounded by rainforest beauty, this cozy restaurant serves some of the best salmon you will ever enjoy. Featuring four salmon main dishes as well as a smoked salmon appetizer, your dining experience doesn’t get much more Pacific Northwest than this. Relaxed and laidback, eating at the Salmon House lets you enjoy the view in a gorgeous setting.
While the Salmon House is best known for its salmon, owner Dave Morrison tells us that the restaurant has even more to offer. “We try to have something for everyone,” Dave explains. “We have numerous gluten free dishes, as well as a great meatless pasta and other options for vegetarians.”
This popular restaurant is off the beaten path, but it’s worth the trip. Even in bad weather, the restaurant remains open, thanks to generators.
4. Mill 109 Restaurant and Pub
Located in the delightful town of Seabrook, Mill 109 is already a favorite dining destination for locals and tourists alike. Serving seafood, local brews and family-friendly favorites, this restaurant is a tasty treat for all ages. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Mill 109 serves meals with a local twist. Flavorful appetizers like locally sourced manila clams, dungeons crab and artichoke dip, and pan fried oysters will whet your appetite for the savory main dishes, which include the razor clam sandwich and the fisherman’s fettuccine. Mill 109 also has standard fare, including burgers and fish and chips, each with a unique and delicious local take.
5. Tokeland Hotel and Restaurant
The Tokeland Hotel and Restaurant has been around as long as Washington has been a state, and has served their amazing food at the same location for generations. Open only for breakfast starting at 8:00 a.m., this small and cozy destination serves some of the tastiest food around. The highlight for many who dine at the Tokeland Restaurant are the scallops and the Dungeness benedict, leaving them wishing every breakfast could be this delicious. If you haven’t yet dined for breakfast at the Tokeland Hotel and Restaurant, you are not only missing out on experiencing an amazing and historic building, but also one of the best breakfasts around.
Cortese’s Italian Restaurant
Located in Aberdeen’s historic downtown district, Cortese’s Italian Restaurant brings delicious Italian fare to the Harbor. Striving for upscale New York-style dining experiences, the restaurant has been a place for your taste buds to take a trip to Europe with each bite. Classy and accessible, the food here is incredible and perfectly hits the spot if you are craving Italian food. A favorite for many is the pollo parmesano, which is a baked chicken breast, breaded with garden herbs, served with marinara and parson, all paired together in a mouth-watering dish. The house favorite is their Cioppino, which is a tasty combination of clams, blue mussels, cod, salmon, shrimp, scallops, and crab, married together in a red wine cioppino sauce. The food and ambiance here will have you thinking you are in the old country.
Roosevelt Dining Room at the Lake Quinault Lodge
It is rumored that the views of Lake Quinault, along with the meal at Lake Quinault Lodge helped finalize the creation of Olympic National Park for Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Sitting in the Lake Quinault Lodge, overlooking the Lake Quinault and the rainforest, the rustic feeling of the location overwhelms many, making this an incredibly moving and beautiful place to have a meal. With options to sit inside, or out on the porch, there is not a bad seat in the place. Despite being the dining destination for a sitting president, the lodge’s restaurant has relaxed atmosphere, perfect for a post-meal hike or a romantic evening. When dining here, we recommend starting with the smoked salmon wontons or the Quinault clam chowder before enjoying a wide selection of meats and pastas, including salmon, chicken, duck and a steak house burger.