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Chinook's at Salmon Bay = BEST salmon in Seattle?

s
SeattleMonkey Jun 13, 2011 09:39 AM

I've been told by some foodies that Chinook's serves the best salmon in Seattle. Is this true?

If so, it sounds like a real bargain. Their website says that they offer FREE parking, although their menu doesn't list prices. I wonder how much the salmon main courses cost here.

  1. p
    PAO Jun 13, 2011 12:34 PM

    In the interests of full disclosure, I haven't been there in a long time. That said, I doubt it. In my experience, they subscribe to the theory that the more butter you put on seafood, the better it is, which is why we stopped going. It's moderately priced and the parking is free. We do like their little fish and chips bar, Little Chinook's, right outside. They do have a bargain salmon dinner there, which I can recommend, for a light supper or lunch. Or you can try salmon fish and chips, also nice. Best in town? No.

    2 Replies
    1. re: PAO
      c
      christy319 Jun 13, 2011 04:31 PM

      Like PAO, I also haven't been there in a few years, and I also doubt it. Chinooks was always a "family compromise restaurant" for us--everyone could find something to eat there, even if none of us was blown away. It's in a neat location, at Fisherman's Terminal, but it's huge and LOUD and there are always screaming toddlers running around. It has a corporate/family restaurant vibe. (The families are there because the prices are quite moderate, I'd imagine).

      It''s in an area (not near downtown) where all the parking is free, so that's not noteworthy.

      1. re: PAO
        s
        SeattleMonkey Jun 14, 2011 07:00 AM

        Oh? Can you recommend other places where I can get a good, inexpensive salmon dinner? I will be renting a car so i will have access to the suburbs as well. I'd like to eat as much salmon as I can on my upcoming trip to Seattle. :). Thanks!

      2. g
        GreenYoshi Jun 14, 2011 08:13 AM

        Maybe your friends meant best VALUE for salmon in Seattle.
        It's not a bad place (and I've taken several out of town friends there who've liked it), but overall Chinook's is a pretty standard seafood joint doing old standards.

        On the other hand, there's only so much you can do with grilled salmon, and if that's what I'm going for, I'd rather go here and pay half the price of WSG or something.

        1. knowspicker Jun 14, 2011 08:56 AM

          Cafe Ponti has a Plenty for $20 menu with grilled Copper River Sockeye plus a starter. That would be one of my top options in a lower price range.

          The grilled coho on Ivar's Acres fo Clams Beat the Tide menu [served until 5:00PM] is $19.38.

          I've always liked the salmon dishes at Duke's Chowderhouse. An 8 oz portion is $25 and a 5 oz portion is $20.

          Another good option would be Ray's Cafe with a $24.95 grilled King salmon entree.

          1. dave_c Jun 14, 2011 09:15 AM

            I agree with the current sentiment.
            Chinooks isn't bad, but BEST? Probably depends upon your friends criteria.
            On a sunny day, that little area is pretty nice to just stroll around after a meal.

            Also, Ray's Cafe is a good place too.

            It's been a long time since I've gone to Pike's Place. There was a little stand across from Uli's that made a decent salmon sandwich. I'm not sure if it's still there.

            I've had coworkers recommend Ivar's and Anthony's.

            1 Reply
            1. re: dave_c
              c
              christy319 Jun 14, 2011 09:37 AM

              That would be the Market Grill. I would recommend it for a grilled salmon sandwich.

              I think Anthony's Bell Street Diner is another good value (and great view). I really like the salmon at La Isla in Ballard. It's a Puerto Rican place but they do a great job with the fish.

              Salmon is such a common entree around here I'd also encourage you to just read up on restaurants, find some that sound great and check the menus to see if they have salmon.

              -----
              Market Grill
              1509 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101

              La Isla
              2320 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107

            2. c
              cocktailhour Jun 14, 2011 09:53 AM

              I agree with everyone else. I really like Chinook's for the location/view. It's in the middle of the commercial fisherman's docks, although it is not at all workmanlike inside. The food is fine, but not great. I also agree that many, many restaurants have salmon. I just had very well prepared salmon at Palace Kitchen and would expect the same at any Tom Douglas restaurant.

              -----
              Palace Kitchen
              2030 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

              2 Replies
              1. re: cocktailhour
                m
                mrnelso Jun 15, 2011 01:51 AM

                Guest visitors from far locales will be talking about Chinook's colorful setting for years after, and the fact that they are in Fishermen's Terminal doesn't hurt. Often, catcher-processors will moor on the wharf, below the restaurant, where you might find freshly caught and flash-frozen fish of northwest waters.
                Ponti is also memorable, especially if it's warm enough to sit on the deck.
                Ray's is perennial, and knows fish as well as any, with a stunning sunset view.

                1. re: mrnelso
                  p
                  PAO Jun 15, 2011 06:02 PM

                  I could easily recommend Ponti's. It went downhill after its original chef, Alvin Binuya, left, but he's back now and I've gone twice and enjoyed it.

              2. eight_inch_pestle Jun 16, 2011 03:12 PM

                Love the view at Chinook's. They do one of my favorite fish-and-chips in town, especially when white fish is running well. I think it's all you can eat on Mondays. They also do a nice job with oysters, mussels, and clams for apps.

                Most of the rest of the menu we find hit or miss, salmon included. We follow one rule that we've found quite helpful: the simpler it sounds the better they do it. Anything complicated or with chefy pretensions tends to be a fail. Simple roasted fish is usually a winner.

                1 Reply
                1. re: eight_inch_pestle
                  kaleokahu Jun 16, 2011 07:46 PM

                  Hi, E-I-P:

                  I respect your opinion very much. If Chinook's fish-n-chips is in the same league as Old Town's or Pacific Inn's (or McCormick's when they gets ono), let me know. If it weren't for the HO specials and the Cannery bread, I'm not sure I'd go to Chinook's much.

                  The fishmarket there is 'WAY overpriced (and stinks most days).

                  Aloha,
                  Kaleo

                  Aloha,
                  Kaleo

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