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Best Fresh Seafood in Seattle Downtown

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I am from Seattle but now live in SF.
I have a friend who will be in town this weekend and wanted a recommendation for good seafood...Help me out! I have'nt done seafood in Seattle, unless you count Ivar's as a kid, which I do not.

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  1. http://www.theoceanaire.com/Seattle/ - I have not been, but a friend of mine took his mother there the other day (both are seafood FREAKS), and he said it was incredible. The other is Palisade. If you go, and you enjoy crab, their crab legs are AMAZING. Seriously - they're already cut open, and the meat is something you'll never forget.

    1. Another is McCormicks, two locations downtown. The one on 4th Avenue is nicer than McCormick and Schmicks.

      1. I've been to Oceanaire and the reports are true--great food. It's a chain (out of MN, I believe), but the seafood is always fresh and they do some great preparations. The sides and drinks are good as well, and there's a good wine list. It can get pricy, though.

        If they like sushi I would suggest Kisaku in Greenlake/Wallingford/Tangletown neighborhood--it's my favorite in the city. http://www.kisaku.com/kisaku/

        Flying Fish (downtown) is also good, but I haven't been in awhile. http://www.flyingfishseattle.com/

        1. Matt's in the Market does good fish, but I'm guessing you'd like to present more of a giant-menu-seafood-extravaganza experience. For such a thing, there are a bunch of great places hereabouts. Oceanaire is surely one of these many, but a friend looking over my shoulder is not so sure. She allows as how it suffers from the "sounds classy, but are you sure these ingredients really get along on a plate" syndrome. She also says she found it way spendy for the value, but had a really fun small spurge with a few oyster apps and some great clam chowder.
          Elliott's Oyster House is on the waterfront, which suits out-of-towners and they have all the menu a fellah could want, and more than just oysters, but you will want some of those. Don't stress yourself out about the oyster kerfuffle, the local industry is careful and will not poison you.
          Flying Fish is erratic and noisy, but can be fun and will probably not break the bank.
          Ray's is the primo out-of-towner wowser joint. Killer view is top attraction, but they do a consistenly good job of a good menu. For a bunch less dough and also great seafood, maybe Chinook's, which also has the fishing fleet outside the window. A good pairing with a trip to the locks.

          1. Last time I went to Waterfront Restaurant on pier 70 I had an outstanding meal. Perfectly cooked halibut, Dungeness crab and we had a side of the mac & cheese with crab..incredibly decadent. The meal was a bit pricey, but worth it. Also, it's right on the water so the view is great. I'm sure your out-of-towners would love it.

            1. as stated in previous posts, ray's is the finest seafood restaurant in seattle (downstairs, that is; the upper level cafe is just ordinary...). oceanaire (downtown)is, indeed, a chain but they have discovered the secret to fine seafood dining - get it fresh, serve it amply and don't muck about with it too much

              1 Reply
              1. re: howard 1st

                I used to love Ray's, and recommend it on this board regularly. But I have to say that the last three times I've been there (downstairs), the food and service have been far below what they used to be. I am sorry to say that I don't feel I can give them a good recommendation anymore.

              2. Couldn't agree more with everyone. Oceanaire, Waterfront, Elliott's, you can't go wrong. For Oceanaire, look for the Simply Grilled portion of menu. At Elliott's, the Cioppino is outstanding. If Halibut Cheeks are in, go for it. Waterfront is sexy and new classic.

                Far more casual but great are a few places in International District.

                1 Reply
                1. re: TheDexter

                  Great seafood in Seattle also depends upon what you want. Waterfront is upscale and wonderful - you won't find planked salmon. Service is polished. Planked salmon is at Palisade, but don't skip the Pupu Platter or the Crab Cakes. Incredible view at night. Cascadia doesn't specialize in fish, but what they serve is always wonderful. You're at the center of the action in Belltown when you go to Cascadia. Have Fun!