Oysters and espresso aside, Seattle is a fish and chips town, too. Countless bars and restaurants in the city serve some version of battered or breaded cod or salmon alongside a pile of fries. And there are a few clear standouts that know how to bring seafood and sizzling hot oil together in perfect harmony. Here are our favorite fish and chips in Seattle to get right now.
When it comes to cod and potatoes fresh from a fryer basket, Pacific Inn shows that crunchy panko breading can kick puffy beer batter to the curb any day. This pub in Fremont is the absolute best place in town for fried fish, complete with crispy french fries and a lemon wedge. Sitting on Pacific Inn’s wooden deck in the summer dunking a bunch of seafood in their delicious tartar sauce is just as important of a Seattle experience as slurping oysters on the waterfront.
Welcome to your first lesson in “Fish & Chips Math 101.” At Bait Shop, you get about 20 or so french fries per cod piece, give or take depending on how finely they’ve cut the potato. If that fry-to-fish ratio seems off to you, don’t be alarmed - the fries from this Capitol Hill spot are stupendous. They have a brittle shell on the outside and fluffy mashed potato insides, and pair almost suspiciously well with this dive bar’s beer-battered fish and a frosty painkiller slushie.
Down near Columbia City, there’s a fish and chip shop on the corner of Rainier and Charlestown that you might have driven right past without noticing. Next time you’re driving by, stop in. Not only do they serve some of the best fried seafood in the city, but there’s a ton of variety here, from perfectly-seasoned cod to crunchy, breaded salmon. But what you really want is their incredible crab puppies, which sound like the cutest baby animals in existence but in reality are a delicious cross between crab cakes and hushpuppies. Order these with extra sides of Emerald City’s spicy tartar sauce, or be eternally sad when you run out with still a handful of fries left.
One of the best orders of fish and chips in Seattle is actually a 35-minute ferry ride away on Bainbridge Island at Proper Fish. This spot was formerly known as Nosh, a phenomenal food truck in the city that served British-style pub food. The best thing about Proper Fish, though, is how enormous these entire filets of fried fish are - they’re around a foot long, with a beer-battered crunch better than any state fair could achieve. That, plus tasty minted peas, thick-cut fries, and delicious tartar sauce, and there’s plenty of reasons why we’d hop on a huge boat to get to these fish and chips.
This Black-owned spot in the Central District serves four kinds of fish and chips: catfish, salmon, halibut, and tilapia. But the catfish here stands out because it’s soaked in buttermilk, dredged it in a homemade blend of spices (that you can even buy on their website), and doesn’t have a super puffy outer fried shell that some English-pub style ones have - which means you really get a lot of fish in every bite. What makes an order of these even better, though, is that they throw in a couple of their crispy hushpuppies, too. It’s like when you find that rogue onion ring among your fries, except this time it’s on purpose.