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Apr 20, 2011 09:42 AM

Most Decent Restaurant on the Seattle Waterfront?

Friends visiting from out of town. Thinking of pairing dinner with a walk-on ferry ride. What's the most decent restaurant in the main area of the Seattle waterfront? Pier 70/Anthony's/Waterfront Seafood Grill are too far north. I was thinking Elliott's, but if it isn't any good for anything but the oyster happy hour, that won't really do. Will have children with us so the bar is out.

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  1. I've found Ivar's Acres of Clams to be consistently good for dinner. It's connected to the walk-up window and is pretty kid-friendly. I've been told that Ivar's is so concerned with the quality of their seafood that they actually do their own fishing. And their roast chicken, oddly enough, is fabulous.

    Ivar's Acres of Clams
    1001 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98104

    6 Replies
    1. re: soypower

      Hi, soypower:

      "Ivar's is so concerned with the quality of their seafood that they actually do their own fishing."

      Nothing in particular against Ivar's, but I'm astounded. On what do you base this statement? Ivar's has one or more commercial fishing licenses? What particular seafood do they--themselves--fish for? I would like to learn more about this.


      1. re: kaleokahu

        The more research I do, the more I believe I've been misled on this point. Perhaps I should have taken in to consideration how ardently in love the source of this information was with Ivar's in general. I still believe that Ivar's halibut and chips are some of the best of I've ever had and that the Acres of Clams restaurant serves interesting and delicious food.

        But next time I'll fact-check before making incredible statements like that. :o)

        1. re: soypower

          Which Ivar's location has your favorite halibut and chips? Always looking for a good one.

          1. re: equinoise

            I've actually done quite a bit of research on this matter and found that the fish bar on Coulon beach seems to have the best fry-cook of all the Ivar's locations. The fish is incredibly crispy and non-greasy. Maybe they change their fry-oil more often than the other spots? And all those flavored vinegars to choose from. I generally like to do a combination of the garlic and the red pepper vinegars.

            Some of the best halibut & chips I've had were the air-fried ones at Pike Pub & Brewery. That was years ago, so I should try to conduct some fresh research.

          2. re: soypower

            Further investigation reveals that Ivar's does none of their own fishing, but is still concerned about the quality of their fish:

            'Ivar's sources the majority of its seafood from Alaska, with 10 percent coming from Washington state and 
the remainder from Oregon and British Columbia. Suppliers include 
American Seafoods, Trident Seafoods, Unisea, Odyssey Seafood, Taylor Shellfish and Kwik'Pak, a native fishery group on Alaska's Yukon River. Ivar's purchases chum salmon from Kwik'Pak, using it for broiled salmon sandwiches and salads. "The oil content is higher than king salmon from most other rivers in the country, so it's 
really tasty," Donegan says. "And Kwik'Pak [has] the nation's only fair-trade agricultural product."

            Buying seafood from Alaska is an easy decision for Ivar's, which uses wild fish exclusively. "The Alaska state constitution requires that its fish stock be managed sustainably, so when we buy from Alaska we know those fish will be around for a long time," he says. "That's really important to us."

            Source article:

        2. re: soypower

          Not a huge fan of Ivar's, especially the Acres of Clams location. Elliot's is significantly better, although a little more expensive.

        3. Lecosho is up a flight of stairs (or elevator).
          Chez Shea is another flight higher, a block awawy

          Chez Shea
          94 Pike St. Suite 34, Seattle, WA 98101

          1 Reply
          1. re: mrnelso

            Lecosho is great, there's always Steelhead. There are some OK places in the market with water views and much more character than anything on the piers. Tom Douglas' Seatown isn't on the water but it is across from Steinbruck (sp?) park, so pretty close. All are longish walk from the terminal, but you might want to walk off those calories anyway. You could also eat on the Island -- I don't know Bainbridge well, but Streamliner Diner is walking distance to the terminal and OK.

            Streamliner Diner
            397 Winslow Way E, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110