When summer comes to Seattle we all want to spend as much time outside as we can. Not only do we want to be outside but many of us also want to be on or near the water. Luckily water is in abundance in our beautiful city. Finding somewhere to eat outside near the water can sometimes be more challenging but we do have several great locations.
One of these places is just a bit hidden unless you happen to live in Magnolia or, perhaps, spend time at Discovery Park. Chinook’s at Salmon Bay
is located in Fisherman’s terminal, has an outdoor deck and the benefit of easy parking in their large lot.
On nice days they open their outdoor patio which is protected from the wind, dotted with umbrellas to provide dappled shade and overlooks the marina that houses the working fishing fleet as well as many leisure boats.
A friend and I had a Friday off a couple weeks ago and after a good walk around Discovery Park we dropped into Chinook’s for lunch.
We are so lucky to have access to the freshest of fish and seafood here in Seattle. Many of our restaurants serve beautiful dishes based on the local water’s bounty but it seems to me that Chinook’s has some of the freshest with their direct access to the fishing boats at their doorstep. MO and I started with two cocktails slightly customized to take advantage of in-season berries. She had a Berry Cosmopolitan and I had a Blueberry Drop. I was a little disappointed in with my cocktail as the only fresh berries were those on the pick. I’d thought that blueberries would be muddled in the drink but instead a blueberry-flavored vodka was used. Her Cosmo made much better use of fresh raspberries.
We both ordered Shrimp and Crab Caesar Salads, which not are generously topped with fresh seafood but are also wonderfully crispy and refreshing and made us feel like our walk wasn’t totally in vain. (Never mind the calorie count in the dressing, thank you!) I love when seafood still has it’s natural sweetness and both the crab and shrimp on our salads exhibited that quality. I didn’t want to let any little piece of crab or shrimp get lost in the romaine!
I noticed that they had razor clams on the menu. Razor clams are not on many menus and are generally seasonal so when I see them I have to order them. These were deep-fried, which is the most common way to serve them. The breading was just thick enough yet let the clams shine, crispy and a little chewy they were a great counterpoint to our salads.
In addition to the full service restaurant you can find a little fish bar, Little Chinook’s located in the same building. Nearby you’ll find outdoor picnic tables or you can take your order to one of the local parks like the one that overlooks the locks, just a short drive away.
Chinook’s at Salmon Bay
1900 West Nickerson Street