South Beach Fish Market at first glance is a just a bright blue and pink, rambling roadside shack with a bunch of picnic tables in front. Unless you notice that all the signs for fresh crab and clam chowder on the fences and odd poles are referring to it. If you pull into the small, graveled parking lot on the side, you will see the oversized sea creature art on the wall. From there, you will also be able to see the large, steaming metal crab pots behind the picnic tables under a sort of gazebo. Then, you will have to go in and see what could be inside. (see below for more specific location)
There are two main rooms. One, off to the left, is a store. The room on the right is the one I was most interested in. It is a sea food deli that reminded me of Taiwan. There was a display of an abundance of sea food, all shapes and sizes, all looking very fresh. The couple of people behind the counter were friendly and energetic, ready to answer questions and fill orders. We went in looking for clam chowder. When we saw the long list of choices on the menu, we all ended up with something different. (click on any photo to enlarge)
The orders were ready amazingly fast, even though each of the 5 of us ordered something different. The food was hot and fresh tasting, although a touch on the greasy side, like they hadn’t wasted any time getting it from the cooking pot to the table. Each of us liked what we got and ate as much as we could without bursting our bellies.
I have been on a fish and chips kick the last few months, so I chose a triple fish version that was a special they told us they were having. It consisted of 2 big chunks each of ahi tuna, salmon, and halibut. The tartar sauce was deliciously basic. The French fries were unremarkable, but worth eating. Other people’s meals were things like crab and salmon burgers, and prawn and halibut combos. Everything we had came with fries.
There were a few wooden tables available to eat at, also a couple of bars facing windows. Take out was apparently popular, but even though we were eating mid afternoon, the place was quite busy with both tourists and locals who knew the crew by name. Water was self-serve. When I ran out of tartar sauce (I do like my tartar sauce), I went up to the counter and asked for a small amount more. I was smilingly handed another full little plastic cup of it.
The inside of the cafe was decorated with everything from cans of salmon for sale to mounted rifles. Mostly, though, it was filled with more signs that they sell and ship fresh fish! Buy it there and take it home, or they will even ship it to you. They have a website from which you can order.
When I was done with my meal, I went up to the front to ask if they had a business card. I also took that opportunity to ask if there was anything they would like me to mention about their business in my blog. Before I could get the words all the way out, they wanted to know if I had been satisfied with my meal. Then, they went on to tell me that one of the things they are very proud of is that they recycle all of their cooking oil into fuel for their trucks. They have not purchased any other source of fuel for their trucks in 7 years! They are careful to recycle everything they possibly can.
I will definitely be keeping South Beach Fish Market in mind for a unique source for gifts, or food for special meals at home. It will be interesting to compare to what I can get in the grocery stores in Idaho. Meanwhile, if we are back in the South Beach region of Newport, Oregon, I will be tempted to go back and at least buy some of their clam chowder.
They can be found at: South Beach Fish Market Inc, U.S. 101, South Beach, OR, on the west side of the road, just south of the big bridge out of the main part of Newport. It is slightly south of the Oregon Coast Aquarium.