Food & Drink

Seattle's 7 best oysters... that aren't on the half-shell

Published On 05/14/2014 Published On 05/14/2014
Chona Kasinger

Everyone loves oysters on the half-shell (and heroes in a half-shell like Michelangelo... he's a party dude!), but no one in this bi-valve-crazy town thinks much about oysters that aren't on the half-shell -- until now, thanks to our list of Seattle's seven best fried-or-otherwise-cooked oysters, which just so happens to include a couple of heroes. And shooters. And chowder. And...

Chona Kasinger

Oyster Po-Boy
Jemil's Big Easy, Mobile
Dressed with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and special sauce, Jemil’s fried oyster po-boy proves you don't need oysters on the half-shell when they’re fried, enclosed in a perfectly crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside baguette, and then served from the back of a bright yellow truck.

Pike Place Chowder

Market Chowder
Pike Place Chowder, Downtown
This stuff features the chef’s choice of ingredients, which means you're getting some other kind of chowder if he can't score fresh bi-valves, but since this is Washington, and this place is in the country's oldest continuously operating farmers market, you should be ok.

Chona Kasinger

Oyster Shooters
Brooklyn Seafood, Steak and Oyster Bar, Downtown
The winding, copper bar is the perfect place to shoot... well, anything (Jägerbombs!), but it's an especially good place to toss back bi-valves that've been hand-shucked right in front of you and covered with liquor. 

The Walrus and the Carpenter

Fried Oysters
Walrus and the Carpenter, Ballard
Served with a side of next-level cilantro aioli, these little fried seafood nuggets are one of the many things that make the WatC, if not the best oyster spot in the country, then at least the best Alice In Wonderland-inspired oyster spot in the country.

Where Ya At Matt

Where Ya At Matt, Mobile
One of Seattle's best food trucks is turning out one of Seattle's best sandwiches: it's a bacon, cheddar, Mama Lil's pickles, lemon aioli, fried oyster combo called the Peacemaker that, according to the Bible, is blessed, for it will be the children of God's lunch, or something.

Chona Kasinger

Hangtown Fry
The Wandering Goose, Capitol Hill
Boasting a generous amount of glorious pork belly, fried oysters, a poached egg, and a heaping pile of potatoes, this epic Hangtown Fry on a hot skillet always inspires rubber-necking from nearby diners, which is silly, 'cause if people actually had rubber necks, it'd probably be called a "Some-other-kind-of-execution-all-together-town Fry". 

Oysters Rockefeller 
Ivar's Acres Of Clams, Waterfront
So, technically, these are on the half-shell, but only after they've been roasted w/ bacon, spinach, sambuca, and a... waitforit!... rich cream.

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1. Pike Place Chowder 1530 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101 (Downtown)

This seafood soup-slinger in Pike Place Market serves up some of Seattle's best clam chowder, made with fresh oysters. These guys don't stop there, also serving up Japanese and Mandarin cuisine that's available for catering.

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2. The Brooklyn Seafood, Steak & Oyster House 1212 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98101 (Downtown)

With a winding copper bar encircling the oyster bar, this Downtown spot is the perfect place to knock back a few tasty oyster shooters (especially the vodka drenched ones). Frequent happy hours and a slew of wine/beer options make this a can't-miss seafood spot.

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3. The Walrus and the Carpenter 4743 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 (Ballard)

This chic oyster bar serves neither walrus nor houses carpenters (that we know of) but it does dish out mounds of delicious shellfish in a comfortable atmosphere. Additionally, this cozy, neighborhood spot -- which has been recognized by The New York Times also serves incredible desserts, with highlights being maple bread pudding and roasted Medjool dates.

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4. The Wandering Goose 403 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112 (Capitol Hill)

The Wandering Goose is a sparsely decorated but warmly furnished Southern comfort food restaurant in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. With natural sunlight illumination and fried chicken Friday, you'll feel at home. Which, of course, will make it hard to leave.

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5. Ivar's 1001 Alaskan Way, Pier 54, Seattle, WA 98104 (Downtown)

Ivar's is a classic waterfront fish house serving lunch and dinner on Elliott Bay.



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