White Swan Public House Sarah Flotard

Chowder Champs

Chowder is a particularly satisfying treat in the cooler months, and Seattle—seafood city that it is—offers plenty of traditional and creative takes on this creamy soup.


White Swan Public House Sarah Flotard

Visit ever-popular Pike Place Chowder (*various locations) in bustling Pike Place Market to taste a celebrated New England-style white clam chowder. This rich stew won chef Larry Mellum three Great Chowder Cook-Offs in a row, at which point his chowder entered the hall of fame and retired from competition for 10 years. Savor his success in a bread bowl alongside a variety of additional flavors, from tomato-based Manhattan-style to lime and coconut.

Also in the market, Pike Brewing Company’s The Pike Pub (*1415 First Ave) offers a delicious Dungeness crab chowder with hints of warming spices. Pair it with a crisp Pike Place Ale, brewed on-site and used in the dish.

Dive into another hearty New England-style award winner at any of Duke’s Seafood’s (*various locations) multiple restaurants, which also serve spins like lobster chowder accented by anisey Pernod or a “Ragin’ Cajun” chicken corn chowder.

A waterfront staple with breathtaking views of Elliott Bay since 1938, Ivar’s Acres of Clams (*1001 Alaskan Way) houses a photographic history of the late founder, the always entertaining Ivar Haglund, and his beloved local brand. In addition to a famous bacon-infused clam chowder, try varieties with shrimp and halibut or smoked salmon and corn.

You can also relax at the dockside White Swan Public House (1001 Fairview Ave N) on Lake Union, watching seaplanes splash down as you sip an herbaceous cocktail and snack on a plate of “Poutine of the Sea.” It’s a Pacific Northwest play on the gravy-covered Canadian classic: Here, crisp fries are topped with thick seafood chowder, scallions, bacon, and steamed clams.


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