This Unsuspecting Oregon Coast Cafe Is Famous for Their Legendary Cinnamon Rolls

by | Jun 2, 2024 | Food, Food & Drink

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Nehalem is one of my favorite cities in Oregon, sitting slightly inland from the cute beach town of Manzanita. Nehalem itself is a very small town, but it happens to be home to one of the best breakfast spots on the entire coast! Wanda’s Cafe and Bakery is located right on the 101 (though it’s called “H Street'' when you’re driving through town), and it’s been open since 1999 so this year is the restaurant’s 25th anniversary. Anybody who’s been to Wanda’s once knows how special it is, and you’ll see why when you head over for breakfast, lunch or just to get one of their famous cinnamon rolls. 

cinnamon rolls
cinnamon rolls, Wanda's Google Local

The restaurant has been a mainstay of the community for nearly a generation, but in 2019 it changed ownership when Frank Squillo and his husband Patrick Conner purchased the cafe from longtime owner, Wendy Crosta. Frank and Patrick had recently moved to Manzanita with their two daughters and wanted an opportunity to be a larger part of the community that they serve. Crosta continued to work and bake alongside the couple for a few months as they found their footing, and it was clear right from the start that everyone was committed to making this a smooth transition and ensuring the same great service and quality stayed with the cafe. Frank and Patrick have kept the menu mostly the same but have added their hugely popular fresh bread on the weekends. They also transformed the back patio area into an inviting and eclectic space for dining al fresco.

Eggs bennie
Eggs bennie, Courtney Shiroma Google Local

Everything at Wanda’s is made from scratch using local and seasonal ingredients whenever possible, and you can taste the love and care that’s put into every bite. They serve both breakfast and lunch from 8:00am to 2:00pm every day, but note that their last seating is at 1:45. There’s both indoor and outdoor seating on their back patio, but be prepared for a long wait on the weekends as this place is popular! The good news is you can grab coffee while you wait, and they have heaters outside when it’s cold out or you can browse their gift section where you can buy locally made crafts.

Meatloaf sandwich
Meatloaf sandwich, Gregory Wilson Google Local

For breakfast, some fan favorites are the Huevos Rancheros made with two corn tortillas and topped with black beans, ranchero sauce, pepper jack cheese, two fried eggs with salsa and sour cream on the side, the Smoke Salmon Omelet with wild pacific salmon and topped with scallions and dill cream cheese, or the French Toast. For lunch try the quintessential Club Sandwich, the Grilled Meatloaf Sandwich with housemade meatloaf on a grilled ciabatta bun covered in melted cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and Wanda’s special sauce. They also have huge salads that are piled high with fresh veggies.

Salad, JoDee Hunter Google Local

But breakfast and lunch aren’t the only things that Wanda’s does well! You can’t leave without trying some of their delicious baked goods like their lemon bars (that come gluten free), hazelnut berry bars, or their rotating scone selection like bacon, cheddar and chive or fresh berry and lemon. They also sell freshly baked artisan bread, sourdough starter, and cinnamon rolls that are nearly as big as your head on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They have a full espresso bar and proudly serve Sleepy Monk coffee that’s roasted right up the 101 in Cannon Beach. They also serve cocktails so you can get a bloody mary, mimosa or irish coffee with your brunch!

baked goods
baked goods, Wanda's Google Local

If you’re looking for a laid back, welcoming atmosphere with truly excellent food and service, look no further than Wanda’s Cafe and Bakery.  

Hours: Every day, 8:00am - 2:00pm

Address: 12880 H Street in Nehalem

Phone: (503) 368-8100

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Written By Diana Flowers

Diana is a writer living in Portland with her delightful son and crotchety cat. Growing up in the area, family vacations were often to nearby destinations reachable by car. She has since expanded that love of local road trips and has been all over the great state of Oregon and throughout the Pacific Northwest, frequently pairing backpacking trips with exploring new towns and regions.

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