Where to Find the Best Chowder In and Around Seattle

A bowl of tasty clam chowder in a sourdough bowl at Duke’s Chowder House. Photo source

Thick and creamy, rich and flavorful -- very little beats a hot cup of clam chowder on a chilly fall day! This hearty favorite soup graces many a menu at Seattle restaurants, thanks in part to our area’s wealth of fresh seafood and shellfish, but there are some particular spots around Downtown and the greater Seattle area with a must-try recipe.

Doc’s Marina Grill | 403 Madison Avenue S, Bainbridge Island | 206-842-8339

With a location just off the docks from a cozy marina on Bainbridge Island, it’s no surprise that Doc’s Marina Grill has a kick-butt chowder. It’s famous with the locals, who gladly share this tip with the many visitors (tourist and Seattleite, alike) to the island, which is just about a 30-minute ferry ride from the Downtown waterfront. At only $5 by the cup, it’s a toasty warm and delicious compliment to the waterfront baskets or thick sandwiches on Doc’s menu.  

Duke’s Chowder House | Multiple Locations

Take the chance to taste beyond the classic clam chowder at Duke’s Chowder House, where ‘chowder’ is in the name because theirs is champion-level. This small local chain of restaurants features a whopping four chowders to choose from, or you can sample them all with the Quad Dinghy option. Although only one of Duke’s chowders has clams, the other three are pretty amazing, from the Lobster Mobster Pernod and North by Northwest Seafood chowders, to the Creole-inspired Ragin’ Cajun Chicken Corn chowder.

Elliott’s Oyster House | 1201 Alaskan Way | 206-623-4340

You’ll get the choice between the classic creamy clam chowder, or a red clam chowder (a la cioppino) at Elliott’s Oyster House. The restaurant has been awarded recognition as one of the top ten seafood houses in the U.S., and their chowder doesn’t disappoint! Sink your spoon into a steaming bowl of this stuff, and both your taste buds and your tummy will thank you.

Flying Fish | 300 Westlake Avenue N | 206-728-8595

Enjoy both clams and mussels at Flying Fish, where their house chowder is a cozy seafood dish to offset the chilly fall and winter weather. Your bowl of hot, creamy clam and mussel goodness comes with a piece of toasty grilled bread for dipping and a bit of crunch!

Pike Pub | 1415 1st Avenue | 206-622-6044

Pubs are a great spot to find approachable fare like onion rings and burgers, and in a city as seafood-rich as Seattle, clam chowder also makes an appearance. But at Pike Pub, they’re stepping beyond plain ol’ clams and doing Dungeness crab instead! This flavorful soup has potatoes, celery, red and green bell peppers and of course, cream. What makes this dish even more special is the addition of Pike Ale to fill out the stew’s flavor profile.

Wilde Rover | 111 Central Way, Kirkland | 425-822-8940

Jet across Lake Washington for a sampling of authentic Irish fare in a more laid back, relaxed setting that’s set apart from the bustle of the city. Wilde Rover infuses a bit of Ireland into their chowder: the Celtic Clam Chowder is stuffed with Pacific clams, onions, red potatoes, celery and smoked bacon. Enjoy a slice of fresh-made Irish soda bread with it, for easy dipping.

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