Good Eats

Elliot’s Oyster Bar @ Seattle

Nationally recognized for seafood excellence, Elliott’s Oyster House on Pier 56 is where Seattle goes for seafood. Waterfront restaurant with a bay view known for its selection of oysters & sustainable seafood.

Historic Pier 56

Pier 56 started out as Arlington Dock in the late 1800s. Built and owned by a retired ship captain, the dock was destroyed in the Great Seattle Fire of 1889. Then in 1902, the Northern Pacific Railroad came along and constructed three new piers—which included Pier 5 (now 56)—to capitalize on the gold rush. The U.S. government renumbered all the piers at the start of World War II.

Pier 56 made headlines in 1965 when Ted Griffin, owner of the Seattle Marine Aquarium, bought and displayed Namu—a 22-foot orca whale.

(Today, orcas are protected from capture in the U.S.)

Freshly Shucked Oysters

When it comes to raw oysters, plucked fresh from cold, nutrient-rich local waters and shining with the subtle merroir of their salty origins, Seattle is a dream. In the Pacific Northwest, home to amazing farms like massive Taylor Shellfish, there’s no need to douse superbly formed varieties of Kumamotos, Virginicas, Pacifics, and native Olympias with heaps of cocktail sauce, though local chefs often create delicate mignonettes that perfectly complement the oysters’ pure, clean taste.

Washington oysters

Oyster bars in Seattle are an educational experience, too. Shuckers here are deeply knowledgeable about oyster farmers’ growing methods, flavor profiles developed by way of their origin, and more. They’ll help diners decipher the many mysteries of these briny beauties. From right of the lemon wedge, in clockwise direction:

  • Agate Pearl, Central Puget Sound, WA Tumble Basket – strong tasting oyster, it should not the the first oyster to taste.
  • Amethyst, Humboldt, CA Tumble Basket – in contrast to the Agate Pearl, the Amethyst was quite bland.
  • Barron Point, South Puget Sound, WA Bag to Beach – I had tried Barron Point in Hong Kong, it was crisper and bright.
  • Cranberry Creek, Hood Canal, WA Beach – really puny little oyster, not worth.
  • Eagle Rock, South Puget Sound, WA Bag to Beach – another exported oyster, it has a metallic taste.
  • Judd Cove, Orcas Island, WA Bag on Lines – Good size, clean taste, but not fleshy.
  • Penn Cove Select, Samish Bay, WA Tumble Bag – Metallic, brine, good bite and body.
  • Samish Pearl, Smith Bay, WA Tumble Bag – OK, a rather common tasting oyster.
  • Shigoku, Willapa Bay, WA Tumbled Bag – good texture, bulk and good bite. my favourite this time round.
  • Stellar Bay, East Vancouver Island, BC Tumble Bag – not much aftertaste.
  • Taylor Kumamoto, South Puget Sound, WA Rack and Bag – Other variety of Kumamoto was smaller, this one was bigger but not more tasty.
  • Taylor Virginica, South Puget Sound, WA Beach – large and rubbery.
  • Willapa Soleil, Willapa Bay, WA Tumble Bag – it was strange, it tasted sour to me?
Back of the oysters

They have more oysters than the ocean. The varieties of the rocky bivalves are reliably fresh—all local and sustainably caught. The champagne sorbet with the oysters makes it a classy affair from the usual cocktail sauce or shallot vinegar.


Tools for the cioppino

When they laid down the tools for the cioppino, I knew a treat was on the way.


Made with Dungeness crab, grilled scallop, white prawn, Alaskan True cod, Penn Cove mussels, bacon, tomato–herb broth, the cioppino was so flavorful, tasted like the ocean. And a generous portion too.

neon sign

For more than 30 years, Elliott’s Oyster House has been Seattle’s showcase for classic Northwest seafood. This classic seafood house is renown for simple preparations that highlight the natural flavors of the finest seafood in the Pacific Northwest. Must visit when you are in the vicinity.

Elliot’s Oyster Bar
1201 Alaskan Way Ste 100, Seattle, WA 98101, United States
Tel : +1 206-623-4340


Date Visited : Oct 2019

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