Precariously perched on an isthmus between the Puget sound and Lake Washington, Seattle lives and breathes seafood.
There is a tide-to-table economy that means many of the city’s restaurants are able to offer blindingly fresh oysters all year round.
The Puget Sound has been called the most creative oyster region in the entire world. It gets this accolade due to its use of pretty much every known oyster fishing technique!
You’ll find tumbled oysters, beach grown oysters, suspended oysters and countless other methods used across the sound.
What’s more, the Puget sound is also home to all five breeds of oysters eaten in the USA. Naturally, these oysters were originally imported to the region, but now they all grow happily in the salty waters of the sound.
The 5 different kinds of oysters eaten across the US are Pacific Oysters, Olympias, Kumamoto, Virginica, and the European Flat.
Within these 5 categories are tens of different local breeds. You have the coppery South Sound Olympia oysters, the sweeter, well fed Pickering Passage Pacific oysters. The list could go on.
This is what makes Seattle such a haven for oyster lovers. There is endless variety in the Emerald City that can’t be matched anywhere else in the US.
The question is, where to sample Seattle’s delights?
We’re going to talk you through the best oyster bars and restaurants in the Seattle area. Each of these establishments has a reputation for beautiful oysters and excellent service.
Elliott’s Oyster House
1201 Alaskan Way, Pier 56, Seattle, Washington 98101
With the tagline ‘Where Seattle Goes for Seafood,’ Elliott’s is a staple of the downtown area. It is hugely popular with locals and tourists thanks to its waterfront location, and it’s proximity to the Great Wheel.
On the menu you’ll find lots of incredible dishes including pesto Manila clams and a crispy pacific rockfish entrée.
However, we’re here for the oysters! Elliott’s offers 12 different local oyster varieties at about $3.50 each. These drop to $2 per oyster during happy hour, which is an absolute bargain!
Elliott’s Oyster House has been a mainstay of the Seattle oyster scene for over 40 years. Their experience and devotion have been rewarded and recognized nationally. It was even given the title of America’s number 1 oyster house by Food and Wine magazine.
If you’re in Seattle, make sure you check out Elliott’s!
The Walrus and The Carpenter
4743 Ballard Avenue NW, Seattle, Washington, 98107
Named for the Lewis Carroll poem, The Walrus and The Carpenter is a mix between a fishing pub and oyster bar. It has a lively and welcoming atmosphere which will make you want to stay all night!
The décor is somewhere between sea chic and harborside café. Your eyes will be immediately drawn to the wonderful coral chandelier that hangs in the front of the restaurant.
As for the oysters, you can choose from 8 different varieties. Again, they’re all local and all deliciously fresh. When you order a platter, they arrange the oysters from sweet to salty for you. They’ll also give you a note of what each one is, so you can ask for more.
Providing both inside and outside seating, The Walrus and The Carpenter is an absolute gem.
Capitol Hill Location: 1521 Melrose Avenue, Seattle, Washington, 98122 / Pioneer Square Location: 410 Occidental Avenue, Seattle, Washington, 98104
206-501-4321 / 206-501-4060
As one of the fastest oyster growing companies, Taylor Shellfish knows what they’re doing when it comes to Oysters. They have a number of oyster bars and shellfish markets around Washington state, but we’re interested in the two Seattle locations.
The Capitol Hill location has the benefit of being right next to the Melrose market. It’s a great place to stop for food after spending a few hours shopping.
For a fancier interior and classier vibe, check out the Pioneer Square location. Situated in the historic district and close to Safeco Field, this is a snazzy place to hang out with your colleagues or watch the Seahawks.
The oyster menu consists of about 6 different varieties farmed by the Taylor Shellfish company. Also on the menu is sliced geoduck. As the largest burrowing clam in the world with a lifespan of 140 years when it doesn’t end up on your plate, geoduck is a delicacy you need to try.
429 15th Avenue E Seattle, WA 98112
There’s nothing better than getting out of that cold, damp Seattle weather and sitting down to some delicious oysters. Coastal Kitchen is a great place to pull up a barstool and enjoy the wide range of dishes on its menu.
This easy-going, family-friendly oyster bar is a true Capitol Hill favorite. You can choose from five oyster varieties which are displayed on ice every day. Each oyster is shucked, then placed on ice before being served with a choice of preserved lemon-cucumber relish, house cocktail sauce, or fresh horseradish.
We recommend heading down here at happy hour. This happens every weekday from 3-6 pm and then again after 10 pm (9 pm on Mondays). The chef’s choice of oysters are always at a low price ($1.25 each) which works out at about half price. If you want value for money and delicious seafood, Coastal Kitchen is a great choice.
Emmett Watson’s Oyster Bar
1916 Pike Place, Seattle, Washington, 98101
Emmett Watson’s Oyster Bar is a chilled out, laid back spot. It’s not a high-class oyster bar in terms of the décor and service style. However, the food and in particular the oysters are as high quality as they come.
The food is fresh, fast, and fantastically tasty. A lot of people describe the style as ‘home-cooking’ or ‘comfort food.’ The food here, oysters included, is comforting, made with love, and full of soul.
Price wise, Emmett’s is great value. You can get half a dozen oysters for about $12 and a full dozen for $21.50.
The Oyster Bar Special is particularly awesome. You get 2 raw oysters, 3 peel and eat shrimp, a cup or bowl of chowder, gazpacho, shrimp soup, and bread. This will cost you as little as $10.25! It’s incredibly delicious and awesome value.
411 University Street, Seattle, Washington, 98101
Shuckers is an upscale oyster bar that caters to the business crowds rather than tourists. The interior screams class and sophistication with lots of mahogany paneling and bright chandeliers. It is definitely a snazzy place that you’ll want to dress up for.
You can dine on a half dozen oysters served with horseradish, cocktail sauce, and mignonette. This will set you back about $24 for 6 oysters. Make sure you bring a lot of cash if you’re heading to Shuckers.
The cost is worth it for the wonderfully prepared food and cocktails. Everything is prepared and presented with precision and prestige. If you’re trying to wow someone, this is definitely the place to do it.
Shuckers is located below the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, which makes it ideal for people visiting the city on business.
Tankard and Tun
1415 1st Avenue, Seattle, Washington, 98101
Tankard & Tun - Pike Brewing Company
Found in the downtown Pike Place Market neighborhood, Tankard and Tun is a brewpub owned and run by the Pike Brewing Company. It is a wonderful place for amazing beers and delicious oysters.
You can dine next to the fermentation cellar, watch different parts of the brewing process, and taste the wide variety of Pike beers while you dine.
Oysters start at $4 a shell. They have a rotating selection that are all sourced from the Puget Sound. If you make it in time for happy hour, you can get oysters for half the price.
The rest of the menu is equally delicious. A lot of the meals feature freshly fried seafood including snappers, calamari, and oysters! The fried oyster sandwich is a thing of beauty that you have to try.
Frank’s Oyster House & Champagne Parlor
2616 NE 55th Street, Seattle, Washington, 98105
Frank’s is a warm, cozy, gem that is more off the beaten track than other restaurants. It’s a little neighborhood favorite that you don’t want to miss out on.
Their food is loved and lauded as some of the best in Seattle by locals and regulars. The menu pairs the wonderful oysters and seafood of the pacific northwest, with some east coast favorites like a New York strip steak and ravioli.
The restaurant was established in homage to co-owner Sarah Penn’s Bostonian grandfather. Thus, the menu has some Boston classics.
When it comes to the oysters, you can get them on the half hell for about $3 a piece. They come with either a champagne mignonette, yuzu granita, cucumber aquavit relish, or cocktail sauce.
If you’re not feeling raw oysters, check out the cornmeal fried oysters or the baked oyster bingo. All are beautifully delicious and reasonably priced.
You’re never short of oyster bars in Seattle. It is a city brimming with delicious, fresh, Puget Sound oysters just waiting to be slurped down!
Hopefully, you’ll find a place you love on our list. We recommend hopping around a few oyster bars during your stay in Seattle. You won’t be disappointed!