Best Cheap Seafood Restaurants in Seattle
by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)
My favorite seafood restos are well known to picky Seattleites. So, don’t be a tourist and don’t spend a lot of money on fancy-dancy restaurants. Sit by the water and eat with the locals.
Most people in Seattle can’t afford to dine in spendy restaurants to get their seafood fixes. Everyday people like me eat at places like Ivar’s Fish Bar, Little Chinook's, and Spud's. The good news, for those of you planning a vacation in Seattle, is that the best cheap seafood restaurants in Seatown are on (or near) the water... so you can get a touch of expensive ambience for a very small price.
Cheap Eats on the Seattle Waterfront
The first thing you need to know is that any cheap-eats joints down at “The Waterfront” are on the Seattle Waterfront, but don’t be confused. We have a lot of waterfronts in this land of rain. So, a waterfront restaurant can be on (or near) a lake, a bay, or a canal, but “The Waterfront” refers to a specific location close to all of the main tourist attractions.
The Seattle Waterfront is near:
- Downtown Seattle and the big hotels
- The Pike Place Market (The waterfront is just below the market.)
- The main Washington State Ferry terminal
- The Bell Street Cruise Terminal
- All the touristy shops along the piers
Ivar’s Fish Bar on the Waterfront
This is the fish stand that locals grew up calling “the main Ivar’s Fish ‘n Chips place” and it's right on “The Waterfront”.
For those of you googling your way around Seattle, the fish stand is technically called Ivar’s Pier 54 Fish Bar. It is right outside Ivar’s Acres of Clams, their indoor restaurant. However, I recommend that you get the cheap fish 'n chips from the take-out bar and sit outside. Well, if it’s cold out… and it usually is when the wind comes off of Puget Sound… take your food into the little glassed-in area designed to keep you and other take-out diners warm.
Part of Ivar’s charm used to be the wacky folk singer, local Seattle legend, and restaurant founder, Ivar Haglund, but he’s dead so you won’t see his goofball commercials anymore. Sad.
- They have outdoor seating (right on the water), with a fab view of the Seattle Fire Department's boat fleet and the other ships that cruise Elliot Bay.
- Ivar’s has fish ‘n chips with yummy dips, shrimp and chips, fried clams (not as good as New Hampshire’s fried clams, but the view is better), and toasty clam chowder for rainy days.
- You will be entertained by begging seagulls with wild antics.
- It’s fun to hear the New York attitude that you get from Fish Bar employees on busy days.
Ivar’s Seafood Bar on Lake Union
The fish bar is right outside the full-service Ivar’s Salmon House restaurant.
Where is it located? Some people call the area Fremont, other people consider it Wallingford, but in reality, it’s neither. It’s the no-man’s land of North Lake Union, a somewhat industrial area with lots of grungy drydock sites. (article continues)
Please keep reading about cheap Seattle seafood on page two.