Slideshow: Crab, Salmon Jerky, Smoked Mussels, and More Bites from the Oregon Coast

Smoked Salmon Jerky
Smoked Salmon Jerky
Josephson's Smokehouse in Astoria is a smoked fish wonderland. They smoke the wild-caught salmon all sorts of ways: with garlic pepper, with spicy pepper, or in a wine-maple marinade, soaked for 24 hours then hot-smoked. Sweet salmon candy.

Josephson's Smokehouse: 106 Marine Drive, Astoria OR 97103 (map); 503-325-2190; josephsons.com

Dungeness Crab Melt
Dungeness Crab Melt
In addition to the fried salmon and chips we ordered at Bell Buoys, there was this crab melt. We couldn't stop talking about it the rest of the trip. Toasted white bread covered in a warm layer of melted Tillamook cheddar, green onions, a bit of mayo mixed in, and the sweet Dungeness crab meat piled on top. It's like an open-faced grilled cheese with a mountain of fresh local crab, and it's exactly what you want to be eating in Seaside, Oregon (what a great name for a seaside town).

Bell Buoys: 800 South Roosevelt Drive, Seaside OR 97138 (map); 503-738-6348; bellbuoyofseaside.com

Smoked Salmon Collar
Smoked Salmon Collar
Nextdoor to the Bell Buoy's restaurant there's a little seafood market where you can find all manner of fish, fresh or smoked. This salmon collar is a must-try, especially since you don't see the collar cut that often. It's the oiliest part of the fish, right behind the gills, which means it's extra high in those omega-3s. Peel back the fatty skin to find dark, smoky meat that's so intensely oily, my fingers were still glistening even after five napkins. One of the best morsels is hiding under the fin.

Bell Buoys: 800 South Roosevelt Drive, Seaside OR 97138 (map); 503-738-6348; bellbuoyofseaside.com

Mr. Crab, still alive at this point
Mr. Crab, still alive at this point
Along the 101 in Rockaway Beach, pull into Kelly's Crabs marina to catch your own crab on the docks, or have a guy wearing hip-high orange wader boots do it for you. Here's our crab about to be plopped into a giant pot.

Kelly's Crabs: 29200 Highway 101 North, Rockaway Beach OR 97136 (map); 503-368-5745; kellyscrabs.com

Seating at Kelly's
Seating at Kelly's
Grab a green picnic table or a wooden seat at the fire pit. Doesn't get much better than chilling here, breathing in all that smoky, salty air while your crab steams.
Pacific Oysters
Pacific Oysters
We enjoyed these gorgeous oysters from Netarts Bay in northern Oregon. At Kelly's Marina, they're steamed so they plump up in their deep shells.
Oyster in Crab
Oyster in Crab
Even the oyster needed a dip in the crab butter.
Smoked Mussels
Smoked Mussels
Smoky, sweet, and chewy. At Ecola Seafood in Cannon Beach, they brine the mussels first in salt and brown sugar to bring out all the natural flavors of the sea.

Ecola Seafood: 208 North Spruce Street, Cannon Beach OR 97110(map); 503-436-9130; ecolasseafoods.com