These iconic flavors are paired with iconic scenery at bustling restaurants on the downtown waterfront, home to both casual spots as well as fine-dining establishments. One favorite is The Crab Pot, at Pier 57, which pours a feast of clams, mussels, crab, salmon, and shrimp directly onto the table. You can enjoy casual classics like creamy clam chowder or fish and chips at Ivar’s Acres of Clams, which also has an outdoor deck right on the water at Pier 54.
For a fine-dining option and even more stunning waterfront views, AQUA by El Gaucho and Six Seven are two elegant spaces with menus that showcase grilled salmon, seared scallops, and Penn Cove mussels. On the waterfront in the West Seattle neighborhood, Salty’s on Alki Beach also shines with an umbrella-shaded patio and steamed or chilled Dungeness crab and freshly shucked oysters. And to the north in the Ballard neighborhood, Ray’s Boathouse charms with elevated seafood in a quiet waterfront setting. The applewood-grilled salmon and Dungeness crab cakes are particularly divine.
When it comes to fresh shellfish, in particular, Seattle also delivers. Elliott’s Oyster House, on the downtown waterfront at Pier 56, features an oyster bar with more than two dozen varieties, all sourced from nearby waters and shucked to order. Taylor Shellfish Farms, which has three locations in Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, and Pioneer Square, pairs a rotating selection of oysters with craft cocktails, while Westward on the north shore of Lake Union not only features fresh oysters but also a seafood tower that includes oysters, a regional type of clam called geoduck, and caviar.
As for creative spins on seafood, the chefs at the Fremont neighborhood’s RockCreek infuse their menus with soulful flavors and fish from both the Pacific Northwest and around the world. Try the squid ink spaghetti with braised octopus and clams or the refreshing tuna tartare with anchovy and a quail egg. Meanwhile, The White Swan Public House located in the South Lake Union neighborhood gives Pacific Northwest catches a sophisticated but cozy feel with dishes like poutine of the sea—French fries smothered in seafood chowder. And nearby, Duke’s Seafood presents the opportunity to sample an array of award-winning seafood, lobster, and clam chowders.
Travel Info: The waterfront is located steps from the heart of downtown. West Seattle is accessible via the West Seattle Water Taxi. The north shore of Lake Union is accessible from downtown via the King County Metro 26 bus route. Ballard and Fremont are accessible from downtown via the King County Metro 28, 40, and D Line bus routes. Capitol Hill is a 15-minute walk from downtown and is accessible via the King County Metro 2 and 12 bus routes. Pioneer Square is a 10-minute walk from downtown. Queen Anne is a three-minute monorail ride from downtown.
Dive deeper into Seattle’s renowened food scene with more itinerary ideas and group dining options here.