Fort Bragg locals love Princess Seafood, and now the remarkable all-women crew who venture out every morning in their fishing boat, the F/V Princess, have opened a patio cafe with live music on the weekends, spearheading a modern renaissance in the bustling Noyo Harbor as it becomes the new “foodie destination” in Fort Bragg, California. Princess Seafood fires up their grill on weekends to serve fish tacos, fresh salmon and albacore tuna, abalone in season, BBQ oysters, and other offerings depending on the day’s catch. The deli cases are bursting with fresh fish and seafood, and a variety of prepared specialties like Shrimp and Crab Louie, Ceviche, smoked salmon, pickled herring, pickled halibut, poke cocktail, and shrimp and crab cocktail. Customers who purchase a whole fish can pay $10.00 for a special service—they’ll cut it up and prepare it for the home freezer.
Django’s Rough Bar and Casa Del Sol
Django’s Rough Bar is open Thursday through Sunday with live music by local artists, classic London-inspired Fish and Chips, New England clam chowder in a bread bowl and local North Coast Brewing Company suds on a covered patio. Mexican food lovers will relish the newly opened Casa Del Sol, a Tex-Mex restaurant featuring oysters on the half shell, fajitas, Chicken Marsala, and shrimp and crab wontons among diverse menu items. Another happening spot with both indoor and outdoor seating and a great harbor view is Noyo River Grill—try the fried calamari, Ahi Tartare, or one of their toothsome daily specials. The house made tortillas, bread, and burger buns are always outstanding.
Noyo Harbor Inn
Overlooking Noyo Harbor, up high on the hill, is the majestic and beautifully appointed Noyo Harbor Inn, with a restaurant, full service bar, extensive gardens, a wedding gazebo, meeting rooms and event spaces, walking trails, and spectacular views of the working harbor, local fishing vessels, and the Noyo River. Their menu includes a bounty of gourmet options created by Head Chef Fabrice. Try the Whiskey BBQ Ribs and Kennebec Fries or a traditional cookie called a Sable from Breton with White Chocolate Mousse and Alpine Strawberries from the local farmer’s market—great paired with a glass of tawny port. It’s a gem of a venue with a delightful ambiance that reflects the natural beauty of the harbor.
New Restaurants Join Stalwart Businesses in Noyo Harbor
Thanksgiving Coffee, established in 1972, is one of an emerging group of B-Corp businesses in Fort Bragg. Purveyors of organic, fair trade, and sustainable coffee, they’ve developed long term partnerships with non-profit organizations, purchasing from small scale co-ops. In the early days, the company roasted coffee in Noyo Harbor for 15 years, often trading coffee for fish to eat. Their corporate headquarters in Noyo Harbor is an interesting stop for Fort Bragg visitors.
Silvers at the Wharf, a longtime Fort Bragg institution, has a full bar and varied menu of seafood, steaks, burgers, sandwiches, pastas, Mexican specialties, and full meal salads–they’ll even cook a soup bone for the family pooch, who can join diners on the deck overlooking the harbor. Cheap but delicious burgers can be found at another classic spot, Sea Pal Cove, along with clam chowder and some of the freshest fish and chips around. The owners of Sea Pal Cove are also behind the new Schnaubelt Distillery project, projected to open soon in the historic building formerly known as the Noyo Ice House. The distillery will utilize wood barrels and copper stills to produce high quality vodka, rum, and eventually scotch.
Fort Bragg’s working harbor is rich with unique dining spots and businesses–a destination that’s full of history, yet moving into the future with exciting new ventures and delicious food and drinks in a captivating maritime atmosphere.