With a location on the Pacific Ocean waters, Seattle has direct access to a plentiful vein of incomparably fresh seafood. From the famous Pike Place Market bursting at the seams with local fishermen selling the day’s catch to restaurants that basically scoop the fish out of the salty water only to immediately toss it on the grill or a plate, the seafood restaurant scene here is comparable to those in Maine or Alaska, yet with its own signature flair. When in Washington, stop by these seaside eateries to gorge on some of the best fresh delicacies in the region.
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Elliot’s Oyster House
Not only does Elliot’s Oyster House help fund the restoration of Puget Sound, but they work hard to stick with environmentally friendly fishing practices so that their precious resources are preserved. Local wild catches define Elliot’s, like pan-fried oysters or Pacific rockfish with mushrooms, cashews, rice and black bean sauce. Crab legs and seafood based soups paired with potato bread finished with the flourless pistachio cakes proves to be a seamless Seattle meal.
Matt’s in the Market
Matt’s in the Market is a must-see in Pike Place Market, which brims with piles of ice, covered with scallops, oysters, lobster and salmon lined through the partially indoor walkways. With views of Elliott Bay, Matt’s is great for enjoying swanky dish presentations and fantastic wine. Catfish sandwiches, flawlessly seared scallops and a diverse seafood stew are amongst the favorites—but any Pacific Northwest seafood plate delivers on all levels of expectations.
Pike Place Chowder
Pike Place Chowder is a supreme nook in Pike Place to get flawless chowder, especially unpredictable selections like grilled scallop chowder. Bread is a major focus here as well, whether it be seafood stuffed rolls or just buttery slices to pair with a bowl of bisque. How about some New England clam chowder overflowing from a fresh baked bread bowl? Options are abundant, but keep in mind you’ll have to wait in a generous line on the weekends—however, it’s truly worth the sacrifice.
Seattle is well known for its excellent sushi scene, which can be attributed to Japanese chefs like Shiro, who has been making sushi in the city for 50 years. Old Tokyo style sushi is prepared by the master sushi chef at this waterfront dining space with modern vibes. Some even say it rivals, or even trumps, sushi in Japan. Enjoy other authentic dishes like the cucumber fish salad sunomono and tuna poke bowls.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
The Walrus and the Carpenter is all about oysters. No matter what way they’re prepared, the freshness is ever present in the flavor, which is incomparable to anywhere else that serves the shelled delicacy. As simple as it sounds, the bread and creamy butter are an absolute essential when dining here, as the French influence overflows into the tasty carb filled treat. The French onion soup is also an excellent addition to the flavors of the shellfish and bread.
When dining at RockCreek Seafood, sit on the upper level if you have the chance—but any seat is rustic and eclectic. Along with being eco-conscious in how the food is sourced, RockCreek offers an upscale, artisan take on seafood with interesting ingredients and pairings. Cocktails are creative with unusual ingredients and dessert’s on point with selections like pear cake with ice cream and a whiskey-based sauce. Brunch is equally as impressive with options like caramel apple ricotta beignets or bacon oyster benedict.
Chinook's At Salmon Bay
Set within Seattle’s Fishermen’s Terminal, the food at Chinook’s At Salmon Bay couldn’t be fresher as it’s loaded directly onto the docks. Watch boats chug in while gazing out at the sparkling bay waters at a sunset dinner. Jersey chowder is a unique blend of white New England and red stew and pairs perfectly with the famed pillowy focaccia bread. Go with salmon anything and you won’t be disappointed, from fish and chips, tacos, to simply seared in soy sauce. Breakfast offers some seafood options too, like a crab scramble!
Duke's Chowder House on Alki
Simpler and pleasantly rustic, Duke’s Chowder House on Alki offers casual vibes, great seafood and grass-fed burgers. When you’re wanting to steer away from high-end restaurants for the night, this is the best place. Perfectly executed house chowder, zingy Thai halibut and salmon sliders are made with seafood sourced sustainably and locally, which of course is what travelers look for in authentic places to eat.
Puget Sound and the mountains of Washington are on display at Ray’s Boathouse waterside establishment. Supporting local fisherman is a core belief of Ray’s, which heavily pays off in the taste of their fresh Pacific seafood plates. Guests rave about the house smoked Sable Fish as well as the wild caught halibut paired with potato gnocchi and mushrooms. There’s a reason that this place has been an iconic destination in Seattle for nearly half a century, and a reason one should certainly make a reservation in advance.
Our final list item is Market Grille, a simple, to the point, over the counter seafood booth inside Pike Place Market. A variety of fish sandwiches and platters from halibut to salmon, in addition to fish poke bowls with marinated veggies, are served in basic paper boats. But don’t let the presentation fool you, the freshest of the fresh seafood is tossed on the grill to order, and the simple preparation methods don’t overshadow the truly impeccable taste of right out of the ocean catches. Be prepared to take your meal elsewhere as seating fills up quick. But no doubt you’ll find a stunning place by the water to enjoy the blackened salmon sandwich is harmoniously paired with rosemary infused mayo.