It’s no shocker that Seattle is one of the best cities to eat seafood. The Northwest city on Puget Sound enjoys fresh catches such as wild salmon and halibut from Alaska, and tons of fish caught and shellfish raised closer to home. Here are 10 stellar dishes that showcase the mad skills of the Seattle chefs who make all sorts of seafood shine.
Dungeness Crab Cakes at Etta’s
Chef Tom Douglas made a big splash when he introduced East Coast-style crab cakes to the city shortly after the Delaware native arrived in the 1970s. He and his vast team are still killing that dish at flagshipÂ Dahlia Lounge, and Etta’s, where the set changes often. Don’t miss the latest creation, where those cakes are perched on a savory crab bisque, sharing a bowl with blue potato, corona beans, bacon from Bavarian Meats and king oyster mushrooms.Â
Salmon at Lark
James Beard Award-winning chef John Sundstrom has a gift when it comes to the Northwest’s signature seafood, pioneering the seared skin preparation way back when. (Try it! You’ll like it!) He was also leader of the pack in featuring Neah Bay “marbled” salmon caught off the Olympic Peninsula coast. This fish has a lighter colored flesh, but is remarkably rich and buttery. It’s a welcome sign of spring, and will be available soon.
No Anchor Bar‘s Smoked Trout Spread
What snacks go best with the incredible lineup of craft beer at this fun bar in Belltown? Chef Jeff Vance has cooked up a bunch of clever bites that’ll make that pint taste even better. While the pickled mussels and the Dungeness crab roll are fab, it’s the smoked trout spread on sourdough-rye toast that keeps us coming back for more.
Fried Oysters Benedict at RockCreek
You truly cannot go wrong at chef Eric Donnelly’s place, named for his favorite fishing hole in Montana. Oyster lovers should plan on coming in for weekend brunch and the ultra-rich version of the classic Benedict. Fried oysters are the star of this dish while strips of crispy bacon play a supporting role, smothered in a vibrant citrus hollandaise sauce. Start the meal with a Baller Bloody Mary, topped with shrimp and an oyster on the half shell.
Aerlume‘s Seared Scallops
This lovely new spot near Pike Place Market debuted with a knockout menu starring King salmon gravlax, halibut ceviche, grilled octopus nestled against some brilliant green hummus and truly magnificent sea scallops. These sweet morsels are seared in a cast iron skillet, turning a deep shade of gold. Your server might say these large plates are suitable for passing around, but you’re probably not going to want to share the succulent scallops.
Custom Bowls at goPoke
In a city stuffed with poke possibilities, this sweet shop in the International District gets bonus points for having the direct connection to family fishing boats in Hawaii. So that means their ahi and tako (octopus) are island fresh. The signature poke bowlsÂ andÂ “pokerritos” are amazing, but adventurous eaters should definitely create their own combo from the long list of topping options: fried garlic, shallots, furikake and more. In keeping with the aloha spirit, they serve Kona Lager and Dole Whip.
Seafood Cocktails at Pike Place Fish
Yes, most visitors to the city know this as the famous fish-throwing landmark, but it’s so much more than a good spot to snap a photo. Step right up and talk to the savvy, kinda salty crew about the extensive selection and order up a crab cocktail, or ask for a sample of one of the oysters before you make a purchase. The entertaining fish mongers are happy to ship it, or pack up your catch for the plane ride home.
Deviled Eggs at White Swan Pub
Who knew deviled eggs made such a terrific platform for fish? The team at White Swan Pub’s big sister restaurant, Matt’s in the Market, that’s who’s been wowing diners for years with those seriously delicious starters. This cozy venue on Lake Union is packed when the sun’s out, more mellow when the skies are gray. No matter what the weather, those exceptional eggs make every day a little brighter.
Dungeness Crab at Elliott’s Oyster House
Elliott’s Oyster House sits over the water on Pier 56, and is often jammed with out-of-towners, pushing it off the radar of many food-obsessed locals. That’s a shame because chef Robert Spaulding’s seasonal specials are some of the most impressive in the city. Just get a load of that Neah Bay halibut, basted in lemon-herb butter, and served alongside Yukon potato hash, spiced chickpeas, nettle pistou and crispy prosciutto. Every meal should begin with some oysters and an of Dungeness crab legs. So sweet and tender and tasting of the sea.Â
Matt’s in the Market‘s Catfish Sandwich
Cornmeal-crusted and pan-fried this Southern staple gets a fresh mighty finish in between sambal-mayo-smeared Macrina Bakery potato bread, shredded romaine adding some additional crunch. This lunch menu staple comes with soup or salad on the side, and the kitchen’s going to come through no matter which direction you go. (But the soup’s always spectacular.)
Yes, of course, there’s so much more to explore. Let’s hear about your Seattle seafood faves at email@example.com.