Jan 13, 2023 - Food and Drink

Where to find great seafood in the Seattle area

Crab legs.

Photo courtesy of Saltwater Fish House and Oyster Bar

Long weekends like this one often bring out-of-town visitors (and sometimes, for locals, pressure to entertain them).

  • One thing travelers typically want to know is: "Where can I find Seattle's best seafood?"

We've got you covered with these local spots that won't disappoint.

Local Tide

A buttered, toasted roll piled high with Dungeness crab.
The Dungeness crab roll at Local Tide. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios

This Fremont spot serves perhaps the best Dungeness crab roll in the city, overflowing with fresh shellfish.

  • It's available only Fridays through Sundays. But the rest of the menu has plenty to savor too — don't miss the shrimp toast or albacore tuna sandwich.

Taylor Shellfish Farms

Dungeness crab and a plate of mussels on a table.
Crab and a bowl of mixed clams and mussels at Taylor Shellfish Farms. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios

The variety of oysters here can't be beat. Bring out-of-towners to the Capitol Hill location for a glass of wine and geoduck sashimi to round out your meal. The bubbling tanks of shellfish add to the atmosphere and also provide fresh mollusks you can buy and take home.

  • Pro tip: For the best experience, pop by and get on the waitlist while you explore nearby shops, as seating is limited.

The Walrus and the Carpenter

Raw white fish topped with a green oil and cucumber on a plate of creme fraiche.
Scallop crudo with lemon creme fraiche and mint oil at Walrus and the Carpenter. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios

Renee Erickson's highly acclaimed Ballard restaurant is known first as an oyster bar. But its other plates aren't to be missed, either — like a scallop crudo with lemon creme fraiche, cucumber and mint oil; tender fried oysters; and thoughtful sides like grilled squash laced with tomato jam and lime.

Plus: There are fun, whimsical touches, like a tower of whipped butter the servers return to over and over to liven up your bread tray.

Saltwater Fish House & Oyster Bar

Crab legs sticking out of a bowl full of ice, garnished with lemon and a cocktail sauce dish on the side.
Dungeness crab at Saltwater Fish House & Oyster Bar. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios

This spot in picturesque downtown Langley is well worth a trip on the ferry. Be sure to order the melt-in-your-mouth crab cakes.

  • The cozy restaurant also serves flavorful pots of clams and mussels, fresh-from the-sea oysters and top-notch chilled Dungeness crab.
  • For those who are shellfish averse, the menu includes a stellar fish and chips.
  • Pro tip: it's a small place, so you may have to put yourself on the waitlist. But there's plenty to wander and explore nearby, from quaint artisan shops to a public beach.

Sushi Kashiba

A carefully constructed plate of seafood on a scalloped dish.
Photo: Courtesy of Sushi Kashiba

Local sushi legend Shiro Kashiba left his namesake Belltown spot, Shiro's, in 2015 to start this restaurant on the edge of Pike Place Market.

  • The vibe is upscale, and the chef's choice (omakase) menu makes for a memorable and delicious experience.

Seattle Fish Guys

A platter of sashimi on a blue plate, shown in a photo mounted on a blue background.
Photo: Courtesy of Seattle Fish Guys

This South Seattle favorite is another great place to buy fresh fish to cook at home. It also makes killer sashimi platters, along with some of the best poke bowls in the city.

Westward

Halibut resting on a bed of vegetables with a sauce on a white plate.
Halibut at Westward. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios

If you want to wow your out-of-town guests with not only great seafood, but also sweeping water views of South Lake Union, Westward is the place.

  • On a recent visit, the halibut and clams were standouts. But the kitchen showed a deft touch with non-seafood ingredients, too, like in a creative salad of radishes, dates and mascarpone.
  • The menu changes daily to feature the freshest available options.

Pike Place Chowder

Four paper bowls of chowder next to a crab roll and a bread bowl filled with chowder, on a tray.
Chowder and a Connecticut-style crab roll at Pike Place Chowder. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios

Don't be intimidated by the line that stretches deep into Post Alley. The queue moves fairly quickly — and it may take you the whole length of it to decide between all the delicious choices.

  • You can try a variety of chowders, but also don't miss the Dungeness crab rolls, which come either Connecticut style (warm with butter) or Maine style (cold with mayo).
  • If you want to bypass the line entirely, you can order for pickup. They also ship nationwide.

RockCreek

Octopus and potatoes on a white plate.
Photo: Courtesy of RockCreek Seafood and Spirits

Pretty much everything is good at this Fremont temple to fish. But you'll want to make sure you order some of the creative small plates, like the barbecued octopus with fingerling potatoes, white beans and olives.

  • They also have a killer brunch.

MARKET

A crab roll loaded with bacon.
Photo: Madeline Ingham/Market.

The Edmonds restaurant's top-notch crab and lobster rolls are now available at a second location at the Seattle Art Museum. The fish tacos and fish and chips are solid options, too.

Manolin

This restaurant switched chefs in 2019, but still serves up some of the city's best fish dishes (in addition to plenty of other options).

  • The menu changes often, but recent highlights included rockfish ceviche with avocado and sweet potato, plus halibut will gold potatoes, cipollini, saffron and coconut.

Of note: On Thursday through Sunday mornings, the restaurant doubles as Old Salt Fish and Bagels, which makes bagel sandwiches topped with fish like lox and smoked black cod.

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