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May 14, 2009 11:08 AM

Oysters in Seattle?

I've got four relatives coming up from Phoenix in a couple weeks for a whirlwind three day visit. I've been commanded to take us to a place with oysters, but that also doesn't break the budget--I know hard to do. Oysters are wasted on me, and the only suggestions I've received are Elliott's and Flying Fish.

Truly, there are no foodies in this group, although they range in age and tastes. Still, l want them to experience my city bring them to spots that blend local Seattle with good food and possibly a view--at least some balance in all that. So it may be Lowell's for breakfast and Etta's for brunch, Matt's and Redhook Woodinville for lunch, Space Needle for drinks/view (really can't skip the Needle but wont eat there), Pink Door for dinner, Stumptown for coffee etc. But I'm digressing.


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  1. Oysters? Hands down it has to be The Brooklyn. Try the Kumomotos.

    1 Reply
    1. re: firecracker

      I have to agree here. I had a wonderful oyster and microbrew sampler when I was there.

    2. Elliott's progressive oyster happy hour is impossible to beat for oysters. Get there by 3 when they've got a variety for $6/dozen (the price goes up every half-hour.) Other varieties will be pretty expensive, but happily they don't cheap out on quality on whatever they're shucking for happy hour.

      9 Replies
      1. re: terrier

        I agree!

        I had 3dz oysters and a rockfish taco all for $21 :-D

        1. re: boisenewbie

          Thanks! Maybe Elliott's will be a good happy hour spot before an 8pm dinner. I know the Brooklyn is an oyster house, but I'm afraid I'll ruin their budget.

          1. re: seagrace

            Emmet Watsons in the market is a great dive for beer and oysters. But Elliots is really the spot for impressing out of towners. Oh, and the kumomotos ride back seat to the totten virginicas for best oyster.

            1. re: bluedog67

              Yes. I had a dozen Totten Inlet Virginicas at Cafe Campagne last fall that were revelatory.

              1. re: Spot

                Glad to have read this - the oyster prices surprise me at Elliott's I just peeked at their menu online. $2.50 per for a dozen Tottens! At Grand Central Oyster Bar in NYC (two months ago) they were $2.95 each - I would have expected (hoped, really) that being so close to their farms would mean lower prices (kind of like if you dine at Shaw's on the Wharf in New Harbor, Maine, lobsters are easier on the wallet.) Still - Tottens are so dang good I've recruited my buddy to ferry over there this weekend to see them in their (transplanted) native (farm) habitat - will post next week and thanks for the recs - if you happen to be at Elliott's on Friday lunchtime (1PM) say howdy!

                1. re: Pigeage

                  Totten Virginicas were the happy hour oyster the last time I went to Elliott's, so you can get lucky.

                  1. re: terrier

                    Wow - those are dice worth rolling, but lunch is locked. It'll be $30 and I'll have beans for breakfast to balance the budget - some things are worth it!

                    1. re: Pigeage

                      the Tottens at Union (when they have them) always seem extra plump and pristine compared to those at some other places (maybe the kitchen discards any bad ones) can get them at the bar during happy hour/ dinner

              2. re: bluedog67

                Actually, I had JUST this same experience with family coming from out of town and wanting local seafood. The service at Emmet Watson's was SO awful that I was terribly embarrassed. They even told my mother that they would not give her a straw because she had ordered water... her jaw was wired.
                Then the food was awful and lukewarm. Bummer, because it had been good in the past.

        2. Elliott's. Good oysters, right on the waterfront. No view to speak of from the Brooklyn.

          4 Replies
          1. re: PAO

            No view? You must have had a blindfold on - I had a perfect view of the kitchen from my seat at the raw bar! ;)

            1. re: PAO

              We will be visiting in May and I am wondering what time Elliott's Happy Hour starts/ends and days of the week that they have it. My goal is to eat as many oysters as I can! Thanks!

              1. re: WildSwede

                Mon-Fri, 15:00 - 18:00. You will absolutely love it...nothing in LA/OC compares!

            2. Since Pacific Northwest oysters are among the best oysters in the world, I can understand why you were commanded by your relatives to take them to a place with oysters. Kudos to them. Elliott’s will give you the largest and freshest selection of oysters in Seattle. At a recent visit to Elliott’s, there were 26 different kinds of oysters to choose from. The standouts, for my taste, were the Pacific oysters from Snow Creek (Port Angeles) and Kusshi (Deep Bay, Vancouver Island), and the Eastern oysters from Island Creek, Duxbury Bay, Massachusetts. Other good choices were the Pacific Oysters from Judd Cove (Orcas Island) and Mirada (Hood Canal). I agree with terrier that Elliott’s progressive oyster happy hour is a spectacular deal, but you only get one type of oyster that they have chosen as their “happy hour oyster.” The chosen oyster will be just fine, and maybe you want a dozen or so to save the bucks, but I’d recommend sampling a variety of the different oysters to experience the range of textures, tastes, and brininess. There are other good spots for oysters in Seattle, including Shuckers and The Brooklyn, but I think for oysters, despite the departure of oyster guru and champion shucker Dave Leck, Elliott’s is the place to go. It also has the advantage of being on the Seattle waterfront, which will be a picturesque venue for your visitors.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Tom Armitage

                (-: Thanks for the shout out for Elliott's. My visitors are looking forward to it and the chowder too. I guess can't blame them. I've already eaten my lifetime supply of the stuff.

                1. re: Tom Armitage

                  I LOVE Judd Coves! The perfect balance of brine-ness and sweetness. Even went on a mecca trip to Orcas Island to get them as close to their bed as possible! They are hard to find though, but am glad to hear there is a chance of finding them at Elliot's too.

                2. If you're looking for somewhere that offers good oysters that are super affordable, Ivar's Salmon House has a really great happy hour (3:30pm-close) until May 24th. You can order from the happy hour menu for the more affordable options and I'm sure they have others available on the main menu as well.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: morgblorg

                    I've enjoyed Ivar's for all that it offers, when I have been in Seattle.

                    1. re: Scargod

                      But only the Salmon house.
                      The Acres of Clams waterfront location is a much, much lesser touristier version.

                      1. re: GreenYoshi

                        I appreciate that tip, but isn't it in a "touristy area" being sandwiched by Pike's Place Market and the ferry?

                        1. re: Scargod

                          Sorry, that was bad punctuation on my part.

                          It's not "less tourist-y" it is "lesser" and "more tourist-y"
                          (ie, don't go there...)

                          1. re: GreenYoshi

                            Thanks. We have had about three good meals at Maximilien, even though it is a tourist area. It does have a nice view.