Many things are synonymous with Seattle: the Space Needle, grunge music, gray skies and, yes, oysters. Served everywhere from farmers markets to fine restaurants, the sweet and briny bivalves are an undisputed local favorite. And since oysters are touted as much for their aphrodisiac powers as for their taste, why not spend your Valentine’s Day sampling the most romantic of shellfish at Seattle’s best oyster-serving eateries?
Arrive promptly at 4 p.m. to snag one of the few sacred bar seats at Flying Fish for what’s quite possibly Seattle’s best oyster happy hour. Super-fresh Pacific Northwest oysters cost just 50 cents apiece. That, plus the $3 pints, $5 snacks and ultra-friendly bartenders, make this a favorite South Lake Union destination.
Taylor Shellfish Farms has been growing shellfish for more than 100 years, and now the company operates a Seattle outpost at the Melrose Market in Capitol Hill — a great stop for sampling fresh-shucked oysters, Dungeness crab and chowder. For an extra-special treat, be sure to try the Kumamoto or Shigoku oysters (if they’re available on V-Day).
For oysters with a view, head to Elliott’s Oyster House on Pier 56 on Seattle’s waterfront. A classic seafood house at heart, it serves a progressive oyster happy hour; oysters start at 75 cents apiece at 3 p.m., and the price increases 50 cents an hour through 6 p.m. Locals cozy up alongside seafood-seeking tourists to sample everything from Little Skookum to Snow Creek Pacific oysters.
In Ballard, bivalve-loving people head to The Walrus and the Carpenter for an authentic oyster bar experience. Served with mignonette, shaved horseradish and lemon slices, a half-dozen or so varieties are available on any given night. Order a glass of Moscato or champagne and you’ve set the stage for a romantic evening.
For a more formal dining experience, slide up to the bar at The Brooklyn Seafood, Steak & Oyster House. Oysters aren’t cheap here — think three bucks and up — but the ambiance can’t be beat (especially when you have any icy-cold martini in hand). Expect freshly harvested oysters, a friendly staff and a dining destination worthy of your Valentine’s Day date.
Photo Courtesy of Elliott’s Oyster House and Mike Urban