Seafood in Seattle
August 15, 2019 10:52 AM   Subscribe

I’m visiting Seattle this month and am looking for recommendations for excellent casual dining seafood options.

My focus is on freshness and quality - I want my $$ to go towards the food on the plate rather than the decor on the walls. My one holdout is for food safety and sanitary conditions to prevent unpleasant food-borne illnesses. :) But otherwise, if it’s a fish market with an offshoot clean counter service or other highly-recommended casual option, I’m there!

I especially enjoy clam chowder, fish, crawfish, shrimp, eel, and calamari. Crab and lobster are also fine in smaller quantities. I definitely do not like oysters, raw or otherwise, and will be passing on sashimi and other raw seafood this time around.

I will be staying in the North Seattle area but have plans to visit downtown and otherwise have access to a car and local transportation for getting around, so any dining spot in the greater Seattle area is fair game.

Thanks in advance for helping make my upcoming Seattle trip a tasty one!
posted by Goblin Barbarian to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (19 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: For clarity, I have no problem with full service restaurants. It's more the fine dining options I'm looking to avoid.
Thanks again. :)
posted by Goblin Barbarian at 11:10 AM on August 15, 2019

Chinook's at Salmon Bay is casual with decent seafood, and they're right on the fisherman's terminal.
posted by eruonna at 11:34 AM on August 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

They have both full service dining and a little counter service annex.
posted by eruonna at 11:36 AM on August 15, 2019

Taylor Shellfish is my go to. I prefer the Pioneer Square location.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 11:43 AM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Ivars is the classic Seattle seafood place and there are multiple locations.
posted by k8t at 12:09 PM on August 15, 2019

There are multiple Ivar’s but the quintessential Ivars experience is on the pier downtown. The seagulls are as big as zeppelins but a lot faster - buy an extra order of fries and hold them in the air for the precision aeronautics.

Keep Clam!
posted by chuke at 12:15 PM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

I would go to Ivar’s in the U district, they have a lovely deck on the lake and it is just so Seattle. Taylor’s Shellfish is also good, a bit more upmarket and focused on the raw stuff.
posted by pazazygeek at 1:29 PM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

And to sound like a local, Ivar's rhymes with divers.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 2:55 PM on August 15, 2019 [5 favorites]

Seconding both Ivar's and Taylor Shellfish.

I have a friend who works at the Taylor on Melrose (near downtown) so that's the one I go to - the oysters and such will be just as fresh and good at either one. Up on 15th Coastal Kitchen is another option with fresh oysters.

And for Ivar's I have to go with the "Salmon House" by the University Bridge as pazazygeek recommends. Fantastic little dock you can sit on with boats and stuff going by. The weather's great right now, I was on that dock two days ago. The inside portion has a more menu-driven thing if you decide you're more into crab or whatever that day.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 3:30 PM on August 15, 2019

Salt and Iron, in Edmonds, is delicious, and I don't like oysters either (although relatives who like oysters love Salt and Iron).
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:19 PM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Restaurants in Tom Douglas' empire could set you up pretty good. Etta's is kitty-corner from Pike Place Market--low key and absolutely delicious, though not cheap.
posted by Sublimity at 6:15 PM on August 15, 2019

Ray’s Café! Amazing view, good fresh seafood, and near the Ballard locks and a neat little beach. Also a wee bit closer to you than downtown.
posted by Tiny Bungalow at 6:19 PM on August 15, 2019

The Walrus and Carpenter in Ballard is spendy but well regarded, and I've enjoyed raw oysters a few blocks away at Ballard Annex.
posted by jomato at 6:30 PM on August 15, 2019

Sorry, I did this on my phone and missed half your question (casual, no oysters) somehow. Maybe those suggestions will help a different person in the future.
posted by jomato at 6:37 PM on August 15, 2019

I love love the fish and chips at Pacific Inn in Fremont.
posted by 10ch at 7:04 PM on August 15, 2019

For a chowder tasting flight go to Pike Place Market's Pike Place Chowder.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 8:38 PM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

I know you said seafood, but the blackened salmon sandwiches at the Market Grill in Pike Place Market are really good. Plus it's fun to squeeze into the seating at the little bar, watch people go by and watch them work.
posted by purple_bird at 2:37 PM on August 16, 2019

I think Chinook's is a great choice for quality seafood and a cool location in Fisherman's Terminal. Ivar's Salmon House is also worth a visit. It has a very Seattle atmosphere, but, in my experience, the food can be hit or miss.

In my opinion, RockCreek in Fremont is the best fish restaurant in Seattle. It always offers an interesting variety variety of small and large seafood plates. It is a little trendy and a little pricey, but not stuffy or formal.
posted by lumpy at 8:56 AM on August 17, 2019

It's hard to get any more casual than the counter at Jack's Fish Spot in the Market. Or maybe Emmett Watson's Oyster Bar (you don't have to have the oysters) which is proper old school Seattle. If you're by Green Lake and crave something fried there's Spud Fish & Chips - the building is a cool throwback to the 60s. The original Spud is at Alki, if your travels take you to West Seattle.
posted by plasticpalacealice at 11:04 AM on August 17, 2019

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