Best Waterfront Dining in Seattle

Wine and Dine by the Water in Sensational Seattle

Seattle shines for countless reasons, but two of the biggest reasons to fall in love with this place? The surrounding mountains and the omnipresent water. No doubt about it, everything's better when done on the edge of a sparkling lake or beside a tranquil bay. Seattle's waterways abound and, thankfully, so do its waterside eateries.

Whether you're downtown near the Great Wheel and Seattle Aquarium–or if you prefer to venture into the quainter neighborhoods–you'll find great spots at which to savor the city's rich flavors. Head to West Seattle for a laid-back beach vibe or the Eastside's Kirkland for a romantic mini-getaway. (Many spots on our list make for the perfect date night or staycation destination, even if you reside right here in Seattle.)

Waterside restaurants dole out fresh seafood and seasonal fare, plus stunning views that can't be beaten. Some venues have become a Seattle institution over the years, like The Edgewater Hotel, where Six Seven now serves some of the city's most delicious dishes–and views. 

Thanks to many of these venues' picture-perfect locations near the downtown piers, passengers on ferries and cruise ships (like the massive Norwegian Bliss) can easily indulge in a seafood feast before or after boarding their vessel. 


Boasting great waterfront views and an expansive dining area with several distinct venues, this branch of the Anthony's chain is inviting and bright. It also offers outdoor dining when the weather cooperates. The menu features a cornucopia of fresh, well-prepared Northwestern seafood that adapts with the season. Among the dishes, you'll find are lobster, salmon, Dungeness crab cakes, coconut prawn and Alaskan halibut. The restaurant also has a good selection of desserts, and cheesecake rates especially high on the list. Panoramic views show off the downtown Seattle skyline, Mt. Rainier and Elliott Bay's bustling boating scene. (If you're in a hurry, try Anthony's to-go fish bar.)

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: On the Seattle waterfront, Anthony's boasts great waterfront views and an expansive dining area in which to enjoy fresh, local seafood gems.

Corinne's expert tip: During the summer season, Anthony's happily welcomes a bounty of fresh, local blueberries, raspberries, marionberries and Katada blackberries. Check the website to follow Finn, Anthony's very first food truck, that's now roaming the streets of Seattle!

Read more about Anthony's Pier 66 →

Salty's on Alki Beach

The view of the skyline is spectacular at this West Seattle hot spot, not far from Alki beach. The picture window offers a postcard-like vista. The only thing that may distract you from the scenery is Sunday brunch, regularly voted tops by Seattle's citizens in local publications. Sit on the breezy wrap-around deck or the patio, and enjoy a massive array of options, including delectable homemade cinnamon rolls, muffins, scones, sausage, eggs benedict, crab, salmon, fruit, pizzas, salads, omelets, cakes, pies and so on. Salty's also provides complimentary limo service from most downtown hotels. Ask your hotel concierge for more information.

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: Loyal fans flock to Salty's in West Seattle, known for its bountiful weekend brunch buffets and sweeping Puget Sound views.

Corinne's expert tip: Consistently voted one of the best brunch spots in the city, Salty's offers a Sunday Brunch that includes piano tunes. Consider riding the water taxi across from downtown Seattle.

Read more about Salty's on Alki Beach →

Elliott's Oyster House
Photo courtesy of Mike Urban, Courtesy Elliott's Oyster House

True to its handle, this waterfront establishment serves views of bustling Elliott Bay along with its oysters--more than 30 varieties. From the outside, Elliott's looks like little more than a shack, but the interior is cozy enough to accommodate lots of folks, especially if a laid-back, casual meal is on the slate. If you're on your own, sidle up to the 21-foot oyster bar for convivial dining. Menu highlights include the aforementioned oysters (prepared just about any way imaginable), crab, lobster and more. The venue also boasts an excellent wine list, local brews and a highly desirable happy hour menu.

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: This waterfront establishment serves views of bustling Elliott Bay along with its oysters-- more than 30 varieties.

John's expert tip: The popular Happy Hour happens Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. in the lounge--meaning oysters for $1.75, plus other plates ranging from chili-sesame shrimp to smoked salmon melts.

Read more about Elliott's Oyster House →

Marination Ma Kai
Photo courtesy of Marination Ma Ka/GreenRubino

In West Seattle, Marination Ma Kai brings the delectable flavors and happy vibes of Hawaii to a stunning beachside setting (near Alki). The venue's Hawaiian-Korean cuisine "melts delicate heat and the flavors of aloha together in [diners'] mouths," while the expansive patio offers to-die-for skyline and water views. As the owners put it, "it started with a truck, some exquisite marinades and a lotta love," and now, more than one million tacos and five years later, Marination has expanded to three separate venues and "one big aloha family." Loyal fans rave about the Kimchi Fried Rice Bowl, spicy pork tacos, award-winning Pork Katsu Sandwich, the boozy shave ice bowls, hibiscus-tinged cocktails, the special tangy "NUNYA" sauce and so much more. At Marination, life is good!

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: West Seattle's Marination Ma Kai brings the delectable flavors and happy vibes of Hawaii to a stunning beachside setting near Alki.

Corinne's expert tip: Also, check out the popular Marination Station in Capitol Hill and follow the mobile truck online to track locations like 6th and Virginia. A spin-off venue (Super Six) draws loyal fans to Columbia City, too.

Read more about Marination Ma Kai →

Ivar's Salmon House
Photo courtesy of Ivar's Salmon House

On the north shore of Lake Union, not far from Husky Stadium, Ivar's Salmon House features a stunning cedar replica of a Northwest Native American longhouse, complete with an open-pit Native American-style barbecue for preparing alder-smoked dishes. Highlights here include a welcoming, waterside setting filled with Northwest native art, décor and historical photographs, plus a patio offering spectacular views of boats cruising Lake Union and Seattle's skyline. Fare served includes alder-smoked salmon, prawns, alder-smoked chicken and seasonal seafood specials, and folks love the great happy hour steals as well as the beloved family tradition of Sunday brunch. The outdoor Fish Bar offers casual lakeside dining or quick take-out food.

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: Not far from Husky Stadium, Ivar's Salmon House offers a stunning cedar replica of a Northwest Native longhouse and delicious seafood-centric fare.

Corinne's expert tip: The extra-long, daily happy hour deals last from 3 p.m. until close. During football season, check out special cruises that travel between here and Husky Stadium.

Read more about Ivar's Salmon House →

Westward & Little Gull
Photo courtesy of Photo by Sarah Flotard

One of the city's favorite warm weather "hot spots," Westward is a water-inspired, full-service restaurant and bar that first opened its sails in the fall of 2013 on the north shore of Lake Union. The talented culinary team sends out delectable, innovative dishes that balance contemporary Northwest and Mediterranean flavors with an approach called "natural and continually evolving, reflecting the simplicity of great products, fresh ingredients and the changing seasons." A wood-burning oven anchors the kitchen, and each seat in the restaurant boasts stunning views of the lake and cityscape. Outside, a large deck, fire pit and beach area provide the ideal vantage point for sipping cocktails in the warmer months or for snuggling under wool blankets (provided by the venue) in the winter. A 150-foot dock provides boat parking or a place to tie up kayaks while enjoying plates of oysters or creative cocktails.

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: North of Lake Union, Westward & Little Gull boasts tasty seafood dishes and stunning views from its patio (think fire pit and charmingly striped umbrellas).

Corinne's expert tip: Make dinner reservations several weeks in advance, especially in busy summer months. For a more laid-back setting, grab an Adirondack chair outdoors around the fire pit.

Read more about Westward & Little Gull →

Six Seven Restaurant & Lounge
Photo courtesy of Six Seven Restaurant

As Seattle's only true waterfront hotel, The Edgewater Hotel dazzles with its picture-perfect location overlooking Elliot Bay and the Olympic Mountains. At this rustic-meets-modern lodge where roughly half of the hotel's 223 rooms offer stunning Bay views (the remainder face the iconic Seattle skyline), guests enjoy the Pacific Northwest-inspired decor and spectacular on-site dining at Six Seven, where patrons savor scrumptious fare inside or out. Aside from sensational panoramic views in the light-filled dining room, Six Seven visitors find teal booths, funky wood panel walls, subtly elegant chandeliers, a central stone fireplace and faux-industrial tree fixtures that bring a whimsical bent to a classy space. Savor outstanding options like "Roast Penn Cove Mussels," breading-less crab cakes, cedar plank salmon and, a must-try, the gorgonzola-crusted filet mignon, adorned with forager mushroom ragout, asparagus, potato crisp and natural jus.

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: At The Edgewater Hotel, guests enjoy the Pacific Northwest-inspired decor and spectacular on-site dining at Six Seven, where patrons savor scrumptious fare inside or out.

Corinne's expert tip: Guests will enjoy a locally-sourced wine list. In the lounge, enjoy live music Friday and Saturday nights and happy hour Sundays through Thursdays (from 3 to 6 p.m.).

Read more about Six Seven Restaurant & Lounge →

The Fisherman's Restaurant and Bar
Photo courtesy of Corinne Whiting

Located at Miners Landing at Pier 57, The Fisherman's Restaurant and Bar proves the perfect, scenic spot from which to indulge in fresh-from-the-sea delicacies. Chef Nick Novello joined Miners Landing in late 2018, following in the footsteps of his father (who ran operations for the Seattle-based company's California locations). Today he proudly serves delicious creations and runs a variety of chef-driven sustainability projects that encourage the public to "get out and support wild fish." Among the alluring menu options here: fresh-shucked local oysters, coconut prawns, crab toast on decadent sourdough bread (freshly baked onsite) and the chock-full Fisherman's Cobb Salad (piled high with pork belly, smoked albacore, smoked salmon and more). Be sure to also try seasonal, local crab and salmon offerings; in mid-May, Chef Novello was among the first in Seattle to receive the freshest catch of Copper River Salmon--an extremely rare treat you will not want to miss!

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: Located at Pier 57, The Fisherman's Restaurant and Bar proves the perfect spot from which to indulge in fresh-from-the-sea delicacies prepared by Chef Nick Novello.

Corinne's expert tip: While here, learn about the fascinating history of the pier, which played a significant role in the Seattle Gold Rush (1897-98). Miners Landing has been operated by the Griffith family since 1960 and owned by the family since 1980; today you can enjoy iconic PNW experiences here like watching Wings Over Washington and riding The Great Wheel (which is especially enthralling at sunset).

Read more about The Fisherman's Restaurant and Bar →

A quintessential Seattle experience consists of having a meal at Ray's. Views of the mountains and the water, especially in sunset's glow, thrill diners almost as much as the cuisine. Located close to Golden Gardens, this venue makes the perfect dining spot after a wind-swept or sun-tinged day at the beach. While many dishes have Asian flair (like pan-seared scallops in green curry or kasu-marinated black cod), others revel in simple preparations, like oysters on the half-shell, crab cakes and grilled wild salmon. The downstairs venue offers upscale dining; the cafe upstairs is a bit more casual. A wonderful wine list ensures that you'll have a terrific vintage to complement the food.

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: Not far from the beaches of Golden Gardens (and Ballard), Ray's Boathouse offers a friendly vibe, tasty fare and all-around quintessential Seattle experience.

John's expert tip: Try the restaurant's upstairs dining room (or bar area) for less of a wait; views might even be a bit more sensational up here, too.

Read more about Ray's Boathouse →

Aqua by El Gaucho
Photo courtesy of AQUA by El Gaucho

At Aqua by El Gaucho, bright, open spaces with sculptural lighting and barrel-backed chairs invite guests to check out great views and a wonderful, seafood-based menu. Although options change depending on what's fresh, you may find oven-roasted Manila clams to start or Northwest oysters served with grapefruit tequila sorbet. Main courses include lobster risotto, Thai seafood stew and sesame-seared sea bass. If you prefer meat, there's a rack of lamb, pork tenderloin and grilled steaks. Vegetarians are pleased by plank-roasted vegetables, and desserts are eminently rich and satisfying, no matter what you choose. Live piano music is a treat nightly from 5 p.m.

Recommended for Waterfront Dining because: Aqua by El Gaucho wows patrons with its views of the Olympic Mountains across a twinkling Elliot Bay.

John's expert tip: On a clear day, views of the Olympic Mountains across Elliot Bay are unbeatable, especially from the deck. Passing ferries and other maritime activity are also on display, and sunsets from this vantage are spectacular.

Read more about Aqua by El Gaucho →


Meet Corinne Whiting

Corinne hails from the other Washington, where she caught the travel bug early on. Corinne studied abroad in Strasbourg, France (undergrad) and in Edinburgh, Scotland (graduate school). She's...  More About Corinne