September 2, 2015

Eureka, Samoa Island: Samoa Cookhouse + Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum; restaurant review + things to do

101 North 

Samoa Island, Eureka

Samoa Island is a scenic 5-minute. drive from town across the Samoa Bridge,  Before the bridge was built in 1972, people traveled here by ferry. 

Samoa Cookhouse  908 Vance Ave., off Cookhouse Rd. (call for directions), (707) 442-1659.  B-L-D daily; adults B $12.95, L $13.95, D $16.95; kids 8-11 $6.95, 5-7 $4.95, under 5 free, 60+ 10% discount.  No reservations. 

Originally built in the 1890s by the Georgia-Pacific Corporation to feed its loggers, this is the last surviving cookhouse in the West.  There is no menu.  Just sit down at one of the long, boarding house-style tables and a hearty, delicious, family-style meal starts arriving.  Though the menu changes daily, a typical breakfast consists of biscuits and gravy, fluffy scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausage, and coffee or tea.  Lunch might be a marinated three-bean salad, long-simmered and flavorful Florentine tomato soup, fresh-baked bread with butter and assorted jams, green salad with ranch dressing and croutons, rice pilaf, lemon-pepper chicken, saucy beans, peas, chocolate cake with chocolate pudding frosting and whipped cream topping, and coffee or tea.  My most recently lunch here included fluffy housemade white bread with butter, chicken and rice soup, crispy salad with croutons, marinated 3-bean salad, roasted potatoes, pot roast with carrots, baked beans, peach cake, and iced tea.  It is a fantastic value!  Most dishes are prepared from scratch with fresh ingredients.  The only items not included in the fixed price are milk and sodas.

exterior of Samoa Cookhouse in Eureka, California

front door of Samoa Cookhouse in Eureka, California

menu board at Samoa Cookhouse in Eureka, California

dining room at Samoa Cookhouse in Eureka, California

dining room at Samoa Cookhouse in Eureka, California

lunch bread basket at Samoa Cookhouse in Eureka, California

lunch salad at Samoa Cookhouse in Eureka, California

lunch at Samoa Cookhouse in Eureka, California

peach cake at Samoa Cookhouse in Eureka, California

Click to add a blog post for Samoa Cookhouse on Zomato 

After dining, wander through the free Historic Logging Museum of artifacts and historical photos located in the back. 

Historic Logging Museum at Samoa Cookhouse in Eureka, California

●Work up an appetite before, or work off some calories after, with a walk along one of the area's driftwood-strewn beaches.  To find them, follow any of the turnoffs from Samoa Boulevard. 

Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum  77 Cookhouse Rd., (707) 444-9440.  Tu-Sat 12-4.  By donation, $3. 

Located next door to the Samoa Cookhouse, this small museum operates inside a replica of the oldest commercial building in Eureka.  It  displays vintage photos and artifacts that tell the maritime history of the north coast.  Shipwrecks and disasters include a submarine that ran ashore in 1917.  Eureka is one of only two official Coast Guard Cities in the U.S., so you’ll learn about the local legacy.  Many artifacts came from offshore shipwrecks, and displays include vintage tools and instruments as well as a 4th-order Frensel lens from the long gone Table Bluff lighthouse and a cupola from the Humboldt Bay lighthouse.  Museum volunteers are on hand to tell stories and answer questions.

exterior of Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum

mooring anchor at Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum

displays at Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum

displays at Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum

4th-order Frensel lens at Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum

More things to do in Eureka.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


  1. That really looks like a slice of slice in the logging community especially with those huge breakfast meals.

  2. I'd love the Samoa Cookhouse- I was expecting to see Asian fare. We love family-style home-cooked meals so eating in the last surviving cookhouse would be right up our culinary alley. Thanks for sharing this- now on the long list of places we want to dine at.

  3. When I read that Samoa Island was a weekend adventure, I didn't realize it was in your backyard! It looks like the Samoa Cookhouse has a rich history coupled with delicious food!

  4. "Last cookhouse in the west!" What foodie wouldn't want to try that? Looks like a great place to enjoy a bit of Americana!

  5. Samoa Island looks like a fun place to visit. And the food looks delicious. Adding this to my list of places to visit.

  6. Well I'd never heard of Samoa Island or its Cookhouse before and now I can hardly wait to get down there and try them both on for size. Love the looks of the cookhouse!

  7. I'm very interested in visiting the Maritime Museum sometime -- looks like quite a collection. However, my mind and my tastebuds are focused on lunch at Samoa Cookhouse. Pot roast has always been one of my favorite meals. Your posts are giving me some great incentives to head north.

  8. What a fun spot for some down home cooking. I was a little confused when I saw the Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum and all the Nantucket signs. For a second it transported me to the Nantucket Lifesaving Museum, as much of the interior is quite similar. Great Day trip. I'm a big fan of Humboldt Fog cheese. Is this the area it comes from Carole?