Nestled high in the Pacific Northwest and surrounded by cool, crisp ocean waters, Seattle has long been associated with some of the best seafood the United States has to offer.
In this guide I look at the top places in Seattle to get your fix of a cult classic seafood dish, the modern version of which originated in San Diego and rapidly made its way onto menus across the country: the fish taco.
After taking into account my own preferences, along with the valuable insight of friends and family, here are the top six places to find fish tacos in Seattle.
I have heard many Seattleites rave above Little Chinook’s fish tacos. Located right on Fisherman’s Terminal, the restaurant has an industrial feel to it. Little Chinook’s is part of the Anthony’s chain of family style restaurants, which traces back to 1969 when the founder, Budd Gould, opened his first restaurant in Bellevue, WA. At Little Chinook’s, the fish tacos are both fantastic and filling, but just as importantly they look like a fish taco should: colorful, bountiful, and fresh.
Located at the iconic Pike Place Market, Jack’s Fish Spot has the feel of both an old world fish market and a classic English pub. Founded by Jack Mathers, who took root in the current location back in 1982, Jack’s Fish Spot has been a hub of activity since the day it opened. Jack’s has even garnered some critical acclaim for its fresh menu offerings. They offer the freshest fish you can find and the staff at Jack’s sears it to perfection.
With location in Queen Anne and Capitol Hill, Mezcaleria Oaxaca gives you two chances to try their highly-rated cuisine, which has won numerous awards in the “Mexican Restaurant” category in recent years. While there is no doubt their offerings are delicious, though, the portion sizes are a little smaller.
Bonus: You can also try Mezcaleria Oaxaca’s sister restaurant, la Carta de Oaxaca on Ballard Avenue.
Staying on the Mexican restaurant theme, El Quetzal scored highly when I asked for opinions of the best fish tacos in Seattle. This restaurant is owned by Juan Montiel who started his venture using his mother’s own recipes. Located on Beacon Avenue, this joint fries their fish and uses unique, tangy slaws to counter to crispy fried batter. The result is an explosion of flavor that people have described as “delicious” and even “life changing.”
Located in the University District, Agua Verde Cafe delivers fresh, flavorful Mexican-style dishes in a bright green building that screams cultural authenticity. They even have a partnering Paddle Club located right next door. Of course, you are visiting for more than just the décor and beautiful waterfront location, and to that end you will not be disappointed. They offer a variety of different types of fish, including catfish, and each one is better than the last. The only downside is that because of both their delectable creations and reasonable prices, there can be a little bit of a wait. In my opinion, it is worth it.
Every other joint profiled here has ranged from cafe to award winning restaurant. Taqueria El Antojo has more of a rustic feel: it is a food truck in the parking lot of a gas station located near Lincoln Park, though as a mobile restaurant that is subject to change at any time. The owners also have a brick and mortar location called Entojo Mexican Grill, which you can find on West University Place. At the food truck, the fish tacos will not be a full blown gourmet experience, but when buying food from a vehicle you are generally acknowledging (and possibly even encouraging) the edgier street vibe. In the case of the El Antojo food truck, the street style tacos are highly recommended, but then again so is everything on this list!