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Where to Go for the Freshest Seafood in Seattle

Our favorite destinations in the city to enjoy the bounty of the sea.

Seattle is one of the most visited places in the Pacific Northwest. What’s not to love about this city, with its beautiful national parks within a day’s drive away, Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, whale watching, and dozens of craft beer breweries?

mussels with garlic toasts at seattle seafood restaurant

You must try the seafood here in between seeing and doing all the things you want during your stay. Since it’s on the coast, Seattle has some of the finest seafood around, and all of it is worth trying.

With hundreds of restaurants in town, narrowing your choices down can be tedious. Lucky for you, I’ve been to the city and know where you can find the best seafood restaurants in Seattle.


RockCreek Seafood & Spirits

4300 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
Phone: 206-557-7532
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Just north of the city center in Fremont is RockCreek Seafood and Spirits. This restaurant has a  modern vibe with dark paint and wood accents.

It features two stories, allowing it to accommodate a larger number of patrons. Something I love about this eatery is that they focus on serving eco-friendly seafood from around the world.

Not surprisingly, their menu features all the seafood you could want. They have oysters on the half shell, shellfish, and more.

I couldn’t resist trying the crispy, fried oyster po’boy. It came with bacon, pepper aioli, onions, and greens and was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in Seattle.


The Walrus and the Carpenter

4743 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
Phone: 206-395-9227
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The Walrus and the Carpenter is a fan favorite in the Ballard neighborhood. Nestled amongst many craft breweries, this is a great spot to stop after or before having a few beers, and you’re getting peckish.

It’s unassuming from the outside, but inside it’s contemporary, sleek, and laid-back. Its menu changes daily to ensure they serve only the freshly caught fish.

Still, they almost always have oysters, some salads, other seafood, and desserts. I visited for an early dinner and ordered their halibut tartare and the scallop Crudo.

Both were delicious and went well with their divine 2019 savage grace from Yakima Valley.


Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar

Multiple Locations
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If you’re a fan of shellfish and oysters, then Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar is one you need to stop at while in Seattle.

There are three locations: one near the Space Needle, one in south Seattle, and one downtown. Each is the perfect combination of sophisticated yet casual.

Let me tell you that Taylor’s Shellfish Oyster Bar was an experience. You get to choose the shellfish and oysters you want before they’re served fresh.

I couldn’t come here and not try their fresh-caught oysters and crab legs. If you enjoy wine, the servers are always happy to help you find the perfect glass for your meal.


AQUA by El Gaucho

2801 Alaskan Way, Pier 70, Seattle, WA 98121
Phone: 206-956-9171
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AQUA by El Gaucho is the best option if you’re looking for an excellent seafood restaurant with waterfront and city views.

It’s inside Pier 70 on Alaskan Way, just minutes north of Pike Place Market. Inside is elegance personified, with beautiful artwork, and the patio features fireplaces when it’s cool outside.

The menu at AQUA is vast, so it wasn’t easy to choose what to order. Everything looked amazing but I eventually started with the Dungeness crab lettuce wraps that were delectable.

I couldn’t resist the yellowfin tuna with a peppercorn brandy sauce for my entree. Luckily, I dined with a friend so we could share the decadent crab mac and cheese.


Duke’s Seafood

1111 Fairview Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
Phone: 206-382-9963
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Another excellent waterfront seafood restaurant is Duke’s Seafood. Unlike AQUA, this restaurant is on the shores of Lake Union, not Puget Sound.

This local chain is famous in the area for casual yet delicious fish. I highly recommend sitting on their patio if the weather’s nice so you can enjoy the view.

Duke’s Seafood is known for its fresh fish, shrimp tacos, and blueberry and goat cheese wild salmon. I enjoy trying food that a restaurant is famous for, and these did not disappoint.

If you’re not a fan of goat cheese, you can’t go wrong with their cod fish and chips which I felt could easily have come from Merry Old England.


Manolin

3621 Stone Way N, Seattle, WA 98103
Phone: 206-294-3331
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In the Northlake Neighborhood, just west of Gas Works Park, is Manolin. This New American and seafood joint features beautiful blue walls, an open concept kitchen and bar, and a lively atmosphere that makes for a great dining experience.

While the atmosphere is casual, the food and drinks all look elegant. Manolin’s menu changes frequently, but they always serve superb fish.

They have a handful of non-seafood dishes on the menu if you’re with people who aren’t in the mood for fish.

I heartily recommend their Rockfish ceviche, which both times I’ve tried has left me wanting even more.


Market Grill

1509 Pike Pl #3, Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: 206-682-2654
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If you’re craving seafood while wandering through the hundreds of stores and vendors in Pike Place Market, Market Grill is a perfect spot for you.

It’s a counter-service restaurant that serves fresh caught seafood fast. You’ll order at the counter and take it wherever you want to eat it.

I saw many people ordering the catch of the day, so I knew that’s what I would be doing. Regardless of what you order, get a platter, so you get the fish, brown rice with soy sauce, and a mixed green salad.

Something to keep in mind is the chef cooks all their salmon to medium, and everything else is cooked thoroughly through.


Pike Place Chowder

1530 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: 206-267-2537
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Another great quick-service restaurant near Pike Place Market is Pike Place Chowder. Arguably the best place for chowder in Seattle, this spot is always packed to the brim with hungry patrons, and for a good reason.

It’s a small joint with minimal tables, but I recommend getting a seat if you can snag one.

As America’s number one chowder spot, I was thrilled to stop here. They have several chowder recipes, and the four or eight samples are an exquisite way to try everything you want.

I loved the classic New England clam chowder, and its sumptuous, creamy texture could comfortably give the East Coast a run for its money.


Seattle Fish Guys

411 23rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144
Phone: 206-485-7388
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Out near Judkins Park is Seattle Fish Guys. While it’s a little further from the city center, this cafe and fish market is a place you’ll want to try when in town.

The space is modern and casual, where you’ll place your order at the counter before taking a seat at one of their tables.

Seattle Fish Guys are known for having the best seafood street food in the city. You can get poke bowls, soups, and plates.

I adored their homemade kimchi, which was a delight in and by itself. Still, you can’t just go by on that, so I ordered a king crab panini that melted in my mouth.


The White Swan Public House

1001 Fairview Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
Phone: 206-588-2680
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The White Swan Public House is on the shores of Lake Union on Fairview Avenue North. It looks like a large boat house with wood panels and casual decor.

I loved the exterior, and found the twinkling lights magical and the patio furniture ideal to relax on.

This restaurant is open for brunch and dinner, but I had the opportunity to visit during the dinner service.

Their menu boasts elevated seafood dishes like charred octopus, Alaskan halibut, and more. I chose their seafood platter with oysters, prawns, steamed mussels, and a salmon rillettes dip.

Everything was delicious, and the garlic butter it came with was heavenly.


Westward

2501 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103
Phone: 206-552-8215
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On the northside of Lake Union is Westward. This restaurant is everything you’d expect from a casual seafood joint.

You’ll see nautical decorations like fake fish, anchors, lifesavers, and more throughout the space. It can be a little cheesy, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

Westward’s menu features all your favorite seafood, including sea bass, shrimp, oysters, halibut, grouper, and more.

The spicy clam dip with potato chips is the perfect small plate to share. My server highly recommended the polenta fritters, and I was incredibly satisfied when I finished.


Anthony’s Pier 66 & Bell Street Diner

2201 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98121
Phone: 206-448-6688
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Anthony’s Pier 66 and Bell Street Diner are along the Bell Harbor Marina on Alaskan Way. The restaurant looks modern with white, light yellow, and blue hues and a sizable minimalistic fish painted on the exterior.

Once inside, you’re greeted by welcoming staff and a warm atmosphere. The thing I love most about this restaurant is that they have a blurb on their menu about their fisherman.

He catches almost everything they have, and it provides a unique experience. My top two favorite entrees here are their oven-roasted lobster tail and the Pacific mahi-mahi.


Chinook’s At Salmon Bay

1900 W Nickerson St #103, Seattle, WA 98119
Phone: 206-283-4665
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In the beautiful North Queen Anne neighborhood is Chinook’s at Salmon Bay. You’ll find the restaurant in Fisherman’s Terminal, on West Nickerson Street.

This modern and casual restaurant offers diners great views of the marina from almost everywhere. Chinook’s most popular appetizer is their crispy fried calamari, so I needed to sample it.

I wasn’t disappointed, but I also couldn’t help trying out a delicious wild salmon burger. The rest of their menu features salad, sandwiches, and an excellent selection of fresh fish, seafood burgers, and tacos.


Elliott’s Oyster House

1201 Alaskan Way Ste 100, Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: 206-623-4340
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Elliott’s Oyster House is on Alaskan Way and is only a short walk away from the Seattle Great Wheel Ferris Wheel on Pier 56.

The space feels sophisticated, but it’s not overly fancy. What’s more, the lighting is dim, giving it an old-school seafood joint charm with wood furniture throughout.

I was thrilled when I saw snapper on the menu. While it’s not everyone’s favorite, this was delicious. Other menu items that looked amazing were their roasted garlic oysters, the seafood risotto, and clam linguine.


Ivar’s Acres of Clams

1001 Alaskan Way Ste. 102, Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206-624-6852
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There’s no way you’ll miss Ivar’s Acres of Clams, even if you’re not looking for it. Located on one of the piers on Alaskan Way, this restaurant is light yellow with a large, red neon sign that features the restaurant’s name.

They have a take-out counter outside, but the inside is elegant and a much better experience if you ask me.

Ivar’s is known for its clams, so if you go here, you’ll want to try them. I particularly loved their white wine clams and their curry mussels.

As for the entrees, great options are their halibut fillet, surf and turf, and swordfish steak (the latter of which is an absolute treat).


Final Thoughts

There you have it. From my visits to this city, these are where you can find the best seafood in Seattle. Each restaurant features fresh seafood, a great atmosphere, and an experience you won’t forget. Seafood makes a great dinner, but breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so here are some awesome spots around town for you to try in the morning!

Next time you’re in Seattle, try one of these restaurants. You won’t regret it. Did I leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave a comment, and I’ll check it out!


Best Seafood Restaurants in Seattle

  1. RockCreek Seafood & Spirits
  2. The Walrus and the Carpenter
  3. Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar
  4. AQUA by El Gaucho
  5. Duke’s Seafood
  6. Manolin
  7. Market Grill
  8. Pike Place Chowder
  9. Seattle Fish Guys
  10. The White Swan Public House
  11. Westward
  12. Anthony’s Pier 66 & Bell Street Diner
  13. Chinook’s At Salmon Bay
  14. Elliott’s Oyster House
  15. Ivar’s Acres of Clams

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Written by Brian N

Brian has been an influencer in the food and beverage industry for over 20 years. He not only loves to eat and drink at restaurants on a regular basis, he also knows the business inside and out.