Situated right on Puget Sound, Seattle is one of the best cities for seafood – particularly regional specialties like salmon and oysters – but you may be surprised to learn they don’t have many typical fish houses. There isn’t one definitive place to go for seafood as many restaurants, whether they’re Italian or Chinese, just have fresh seafood dishes sprinkled throughout the menu.
That said, we’ve rounded up a mix of longtime classics and contemporary favorites where you can find anything from simple, yet satisfying fish and chips, to freshly shucked oysters on the half shell.
Ask any Seattleite where to go for fish and chips and chances are the first place they’ll name is Ivar’s. A local chain since 1938, there are several locations in the city and surrounding area ranging from street side fish bars to fine dining restaurants. Popular spots include the Salmon House restaurant and Fish Bar located near the University District on Portage Bay and Acres of Clams restaurant and Fish Bar along the Seattle Waterfront.
Salmon House and Fish Bar 401 NE Northlake Way; Acres of Clams and Fish Bar at Seattle Waterfront Pier 54
Run by Seattle restaurateur, Tom Douglas, Etta’s specializes in seafood with a Pacific Northwest twist and is a popular brunch spot with its Dungeness Crab Eggs Benedict and ‘Pike Place Bloody Mary’ which features ingredients from market favorites like Beecher’s Handmade Cheese and Pike Place Brewing Company.
2020 Western Ave.
The Walrus & the Carpenter
One of the country’s best restaurants according to Food and Wine magazine, GQ, and Bon Appetit, The Walrus & the Carpenter is a must for any oyster lover. Located in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, the small spot is simple and unpretentious; focusing solely on serving up the freshest oysters and shellfish it can source from local suppliers.
4743 Ballard Ave. NW
Duke’s Chowder House
The family-friendly Duke’s Chowder House offers a range of small plates, main dishes and, of course, chowder. Named the People’s Choice in Seattle’s chowder cook-off for three years running, head over to Alki Beach for dinner with a view…their happy hour is also pretty popular.
2516 Alki Ave. SW
Pike Place Market
Along with seafood stalls, Pike Place is also home to several restaurants and cafes (including Etta’s) that serve up Seattle staples. Wander the market to see what catches your eye. You can even take some fresh fish home with you as a unique souvenir as the counters offer shipping for out of town buyers.
1st Ave. at Pike St.
Another Ballard favorite, Ray’s Boathouse is situated right on Shilshoe Bay overlooking the Puget Sound and the impressive Olympic Mountains. The longtime local joint started as a dockside cafe in 1939 and now serves contemporary seafood fare.
6049 Seaview Ave. NW
Anchovies & Olives
The menu at Anchovies & Olives is built around Italian-inspired seafood dishes meant for sharing. Only open for dinner, the restaurant focuses on serving high quality food in innovative ways that’s great for groups.
1550 15th Ave.
Salty’s Waterfront Seafood Grill
Known for its panoramic views of the skyline and outdoor dining, Salty’s Waterfront Seafood Grill is a Seattle institution with a menu catering to locals and visitors alike.
1936 Harbor Ave. SW
Woodsy meets urban chic, RockCreek serves up a wide variety fish from near and far, all expertly prepared. The restaurant is located in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood and is open daily for dinner and brunch on weekends.
4300 Fremont Ave. N
Little Chinook’s at Salmon Bay
Want seafood on the go? This little fish bar can be found at Seattle Fisherman’s Terminal looking out over the water at the boats coming in. The casual grab and go spot is connected to their larger sit-down restaurant, Chinooks.
1900 W. Nickerson St.
We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of Seattle’s seafood options – don’t forget to try some of the city’s sushi bars and Asian-varietals for more freshly prepared fish!