Sometimes, you just want to sit in the bar, have a glass of wine or a cocktail, drink in the local color and/or views and eat crab cakes, clam chowder or hors d’oeuvres.
Here are eight popular bar food spots frequented by both locals and tourists.
MacCallum House Inn & Restaurant – Grey Whale Bar & Cafe: the menu changes with the seasons, but choices include duck tamales, fried oyster tacos, Dungeness crab gnocchi gratin and a MacBurger Royale. And, of course, drinks with a local flavor, such as the Huckleberry-Basil Mojito.
Mendocino Hotel – the bar at the Mendocino Hotel is a classic hotel bar where you can sit around with food and drinks and friends. Here, though, it’s in a beautiful old historic building (built in 1878), and you can see Mendocino Bay out the windows. You can move around into the restaurant if you want, but you can get the same food in the bar and lobby area, and there’s usually a fire going in the winter.
Little River Inn & Restaurant – Ole’s Whale Watch Bar: James Dean drank here during the filming of East of Eden in 1954. And founder Ole Hervilla used to conduct all his business this room — once his mother-in-law’s living room — while bartending and telling tales. You can get crab cakes, calamari, St. Louis Style Ribs and baked brie and roasted garlic, to name a few menu items. Overlooks the beach and ocean at Van Damme State Park, which is right next door.
Glendeven Inn Wine Bar(n) – great selection of Mendocino County wine and cheeses. Open 4-7 daily. Between Little River and Mendocino. Glendeven also has special dinners.
Casual and Bustling
Patterson’s Pub – this is a very casual and noisy spot in Mendocino Village — loud because is it small and often jammed with locals and tourists. Fourteen beers on tap, six flat screen TV’s and really good food. My favorite spot for fish and chips.
Silver’s at the Wharf – located in Fort Bragg’s Noyo Harbor with views of the fishing fleet coming and going, the Noyo River and ocean. Silver Canul, co-owner and Executive Chef, has an extensive background in French Cuisine, the food of his Mayan heritage, and Southeast Asian cooking through the Culinary Institute of Art at Greystone. His crab cakes won first place at the 2007, 8th Annual Crab Cook-Off and Wine Tasting Festival.
North Coast Brewing Company Tap Room & Grill – on Main Street in Fort Bragg, across the street from the North Coast Brewing Company, makers of Red Seal Ale, Acme, Old Rasputin, Scrimshaw and many others, this is both a tasting room for the brewery’s award-winning beers and a place for good old fashioned bar food, including burgers, clam chowder, garlic fries, steamed clams and beer-battered onion rings. Instead of a single beer, you can order “tastes” — small amounts just so you can try them all.
Wine Bar at the Company Store – this wine bar is right downtown Fort Bragg and is a great place to come for a drink before dinner. Best part: y0u can walk to many very nice restaurants so there is no need to worry about drinking and driving.
All of these restaurants offer regular dinner menus.