Seafood: from Sea to Shining Sea
Lest we forget, on the opposite side of the states, there’s also a place where seafood is fresh, plentiful and popular, and a city where you can find some of the country’s best seafood eating. We’re talking about Seattle, Washington! From its location in the northwest corner of the continental United States where it sits right on Puget Sound, Seattle is known as one of the best and most famous seafood cities internationally.
Here you’ll find a variety of seafood specialties that are regional favorites to the Pacific Northwest, relative to the northeast coast in Maine, where lobster reigns more exclusively. Also, unlike Maine, Seattle is not known for having conventional fish houses or fish shacks like on the east coast. When searching for a seafood meal, you’ll find them a lot throughout menus at restaurants that focus on specific cuisines like Italian or Chinese. There are still hundreds of restaurants that are first and foremost, seafood restaurants.
As many fantastic restaurants as there are in Seattle, what follows is a sample of some local favorites where you can dine on everything from tasty fish and chips to fresh oysters and exotic ocean delicacies.
A visit to Seattle isn’t complete without a trip to Pike Place Market. The market is public farmer’s market that’s operated all year long, and is one of the oldest in the country, having opened on August 17, 1907.
Pike Place overlooks Elliott Bay on the waterfront in Seattle and features four fresh fish markets that offer everything from crab, shrimp, lobster and shellfish to halibut, swordfish, tuna and squid. You owe it to yourself to catch (no pun intended--well, maybe!) the tradition of fish throwing at the market, where fishmongers literally put on a show shouting orders and tossing huge fish to each other.
For delicious Greek and Mediterranean food in a casual setting, Omega Ouzeri is a great restaurant for Mediterranean small bites and sharing plates. Customers have raved about the grilled octopus on the menu, among many other dishes.
Pike Place Chowder
Even if you’re visiting from the east coast, you can get New England clam chowder here that’s extremely filling and delicious. It’s a comfort food staple packed with big, meaty clams and served steaming hot. On the menu are also Pacific Northwest smoked salmon chowders, seared scallop chowder, vegan chowder, shrimp rolls, dungeness crab rolls, smoked salmon rolls, and more.
Rockcreek Seafood & Spirits
Globally sourced seafood from well-managed fisheries populate the menu offerings at Rockcreek Seafood & Spirits. There are specialties that include local Northwest favorites like crab, oysters, and mussels. Tropical fish like Kona Kampachi or Hawaiian Ono, and East Coast staples like striped bass.
AQUA by El Gaucho
At the tip of Pier 70, AQUA by El Gaucho brings delicious food and waterfront dining together. It was named a Top Ten Seafood Restaurant in America by Gayot’s in 2012. Offering fine-dining and nightly live music, the menu features fresh, wild seafood selections that are prepared on an open-pit charcoal grill in the exhibition kitchen. It’s considered to be the quintessential Seattle fine dining experience.
Ivar's Fish Bar
With indoor dining as well as walk-up outdoor seating, nothing-fancy seafood place, Ivar’s serves great seafood at a good price. A waterfront location lets you sit right on the pier where you can watch the ferries come and go. Plus, you can feed the seagulls that are always hanging out. Halibut and chips, jumbo prawns, clam chowder are menu faves for folks that want good seafood fast.
Elliott’s Oyster House
Fine dining awaits you at Elliott’s Oyster House, with a fresh seafood menu featuring oyster selections like Oysters Rockefeller, Spicy Buffalo Style Oysters, and Alaskan and Washington oysters, and others, plus restaurant specialties like Manila clams, salmon pesto sliders, rock fish tacos. There’s something for everyone on the menu.
Seattle abounds with seafood options too numerous to mention, but you can be assured that wherever you go, your’re going to be in for a unique experience you’ll never forget!