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A tray of oysters on the half shell with frozen mignonette. Harry Cheadle

Where to Eat Incredible Oysters in Seattle

Oysters on the half shell, bivalve power

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Is there anything better than a raw oyster, plucked fresh from cold, nutrient-rich local waters and shining with the subtle merroir of their salty origins? The Puget Sound and the nearby Hood Canal are home to some of the nation’s premier oyster farms that produce Kumamotos, Virginicas, Pacifics, and native Olympias. Some oyster bars and seafood restaurants feature inventive mignonettes and other toppings, but a good oyster should taste clean and fresh out of the sea, and not need a lot of condiments. Here are some of the best spots for eating fantastic bivalves throughout the city.

Know of a spot that should be on our radar? Send us a tip by emailing seattle@eater.com. As usual, this list is not ranked; it’s organized geographically.

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The Walrus and the Carpenter

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This Ballard gem from acclaimed chef Renee Erickson has helped define Pacific Northwest cuisine, and the oysters are the star of the show. There’s a wide variety of the bivalves here, and the knowledgeable staff is happy to educate newbies about which oysters are on the briny side and which are sweet. If you’re like, “Raw oysters? Ew,” try the fried oysters, which are lightly breaded outside and so creamy inside you could have them for dessert.

RockCreek Seafood & Spirits

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This seafood-focused Fremont restaurant serves Calm Cove and Agate Pearl oysters on the half shell as well as in a fried oyster po’boy and in a bacon and oyster Benedict at brunch. The best deal, though, is on the happy hour menu (served from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day at the bar), where the oysters on the half shell are only $3 a pop.

Seabird

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Brendan McGill’s newest venture is an ambitious seafood restaurant in the old Hitchcock Restaurant space on Bainbridge Island. Along with creative dishes featuring local ingredients like smelt, sablefish, and Dungeness crab, there’s a granite-covered raw bar at the back of the restaurant with a rotating selection of oysters, often from local company Baywater Shellfish.

Three breaded and fried oysters on their shells topped with a dollop of aioli all lain on a bed of rocks.
Smoked and fried oysters made during recipe development for Seabird, Brendan McGill’s new Bainbridge Island restaurant.
Grant Rico

Taylor Shellfish Farms

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More than a century old and now the country’s largest purveyor of farmed shellfish, Taylor Shellfish Farms and its handful of hip oyster bars are an educational experience. Diners should be sure to ask lots of questions about the many Kumamotos, tiny native Olympias, and other types on offer here.

Emmett Watson's Oyster Bar

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This purports to be the city’s first-ever oyster bar and it feels like it — a rough-around-the-edges joint tucked away in a quiet corner of Pike Place Market. The oysters here are served simply, raw or broiled with bacon, and come with a side of hot sauce. It’s the place to come if you want a taste of Old Seattle.

Oysters on the half shell with a side of hot sauce and lemon. Harry Cheadle

Elliott's Oyster House

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Yes, Elliott’s Oyster House is touristy (thanks in part to its downtown waterfront location). And yes, the oysters here are on the expensive side, ranging from $4 too $5. But they have the largest selection of oysters in the city and you can taste how fresh everything is. Hang out at the raw bar if you want to watch the shucker work and strike up a conversation, and don’t forget about the frozen mignonette, a fun twist on the classic condiment.

A tray of oysters on the half shell with frozen mignonette. Harry Cheadle

Driftwood

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This Alki dinner spot loves to dress up its oysters with vegetables and condiments that rotate with the seasons. Last time we were here the oysters were “michelada” style, with tomato and a hint of vinegar. Oysters served this way are perfect for those who want some shellfish but maybe aren’t in the mood for the seawater brininess of a raw, unadorned oyster.

Oysters on the half shell loaded up with tomato and water and garnished with greens. Harry Cheadle

Itsumono

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You’re probably coming to this Japantown gastropub for the cocktails or some of the inventive menu entries, like the loco moco Scotch egg or the tonkatsu in tikka masala curry. But don’t let yourself skip past the oysters — not only are they $18 for a half-dozen (a pretty good deal), but they come with chili pepper water mignonette, which adds a dose of Hawaiian heat to an already good oyster.

The Walrus and the Carpenter

This Ballard gem from acclaimed chef Renee Erickson has helped define Pacific Northwest cuisine, and the oysters are the star of the show. There’s a wide variety of the bivalves here, and the knowledgeable staff is happy to educate newbies about which oysters are on the briny side and which are sweet. If you’re like, “Raw oysters? Ew,” try the fried oysters, which are lightly breaded outside and so creamy inside you could have them for dessert.

RockCreek Seafood & Spirits

This seafood-focused Fremont restaurant serves Calm Cove and Agate Pearl oysters on the half shell as well as in a fried oyster po’boy and in a bacon and oyster Benedict at brunch. The best deal, though, is on the happy hour menu (served from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day at the bar), where the oysters on the half shell are only $3 a pop.

Seabird

Brendan McGill’s newest venture is an ambitious seafood restaurant in the old Hitchcock Restaurant space on Bainbridge Island. Along with creative dishes featuring local ingredients like smelt, sablefish, and Dungeness crab, there’s a granite-covered raw bar at the back of the restaurant with a rotating selection of oysters, often from local company Baywater Shellfish.

Three breaded and fried oysters on their shells topped with a dollop of aioli all lain on a bed of rocks.
Smoked and fried oysters made during recipe development for Seabird, Brendan McGill’s new Bainbridge Island restaurant.
Grant Rico

Taylor Shellfish Farms

More than a century old and now the country’s largest purveyor of farmed shellfish, Taylor Shellfish Farms and its handful of hip oyster bars are an educational experience. Diners should be sure to ask lots of questions about the many Kumamotos, tiny native Olympias, and other types on offer here.

Emmett Watson's Oyster Bar

This purports to be the city’s first-ever oyster bar and it feels like it — a rough-around-the-edges joint tucked away in a quiet corner of Pike Place Market. The oysters here are served simply, raw or broiled with bacon, and come with a side of hot sauce. It’s the place to come if you want a taste of Old Seattle.

Oysters on the half shell with a side of hot sauce and lemon. Harry Cheadle

Elliott's Oyster House

Yes, Elliott’s Oyster House is touristy (thanks in part to its downtown waterfront location). And yes, the oysters here are on the expensive side, ranging from $4 too $5. But they have the largest selection of oysters in the city and you can taste how fresh everything is. Hang out at the raw bar if you want to watch the shucker work and strike up a conversation, and don’t forget about the frozen mignonette, a fun twist on the classic condiment.

A tray of oysters on the half shell with frozen mignonette. Harry Cheadle

Driftwood

This Alki dinner spot loves to dress up its oysters with vegetables and condiments that rotate with the seasons. Last time we were here the oysters were “michelada” style, with tomato and a hint of vinegar. Oysters served this way are perfect for those who want some shellfish but maybe aren’t in the mood for the seawater brininess of a raw, unadorned oyster.

Oysters on the half shell loaded up with tomato and water and garnished with greens. Harry Cheadle

Itsumono

You’re probably coming to this Japantown gastropub for the cocktails or some of the inventive menu entries, like the loco moco Scotch egg or the tonkatsu in tikka masala curry. But don’t let yourself skip past the oysters — not only are they $18 for a half-dozen (a pretty good deal), but they come with chili pepper water mignonette, which adds a dose of Hawaiian heat to an already good oyster.

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