Ivar Haglund opened his first "fish bar" in 1938. Ivar's was so successful that there are now more than 25 "fish bar" locations in the Pacific Northwest and plus another 3 full service restaurants which have variants of the Ivar's name.
On a beautiful afternoon in Seattle, we had taken the free downtown bus to Pioneer Square, after which we decided to walk several blocks to the bayfront in hopes of seeing some cruise ships steaming out of the bay. We continued our walk all the way down to Pier 54 on Alaskan Way. There we saw Ivar's and couldn't resist trying some of Ivar's specialities. The take-out window was busy but the service was very fast. We took our little lunch to some outside tables next to the building where we enjoyed the sun, the breeze off the water and a spectacular view. The whole thing seemed a little reminiscent of a seaside resort. Our food was good and hot and I would visit Ivar's again if ever in Seattle.
Favorite Dish Ivar's has many seafood & chips combo platters to go such as fish & chips, salmon, halibut, scallops, clams and of course, clam chowder. Prices run from about $6.50 for regular fish & chips to halibut & chips which is about $10.00. The portions are medium-sized but enough to satisfy most people. I ordered the fried clams & chips--very tasty! My husband tried the fish & chips which was very good too. Soft drinks were $1.19, bottled waters & juices were $1.99 making most meals less than $10 per person. (All 2006 prices.)
For 42 years Ivar's has been sponsoring the 4th of July celebration fireworks in Seattle. The event is known as "4th of July ~ Ivar's" and takes place at Seattle's waterfront on Elliott Bay. So if you are ever in Seattle on the 4th of July, don't miss the fireworks show!! Fireworks go off about 10 p.m.
HEY A GREAT VIEW OF THE OCEAN INLET AND A WONDERFUL RELAXED ATMOSPHERE TO ENJOY SOME GOOD FOOD.!!! I WAS THERE DURING HAPPY HOUR WHEN A LOT OF THE FOOD AND[ DRINKS] ALSO I BELEIVE WERE HALF OFF.. !! THAT IS WHEN THE FOOD TASTES THE BEST!!!!!!!! WHEN IT IS CHEAPER AND STILL THE SAME QUALITY.
IT ALSO IS A POPULAR TIME FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE TO MEET THERE AND ENJOY THE BEGINNING OF AN EVENING
THE ROOM IS LARGE WITH A FULL VIEW OF THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU. I WAS SITTING AT A STOOL THAT WAS A GROUP OF STOOLS PLACED NEXT TO A LONG RAIL TABLE TO ACOMMODATE AT LEAST 12 PEOPLE
i COULD EASILY SEE THE PEOPLE AND WHEN LOOKING PAST THEM I COULD ENJOY THE BEAUTY OF THE OCEAN THROUGH THE BAY WINDOWS THAT WERE IN THE BACKGROUND...
Favorite Dish I REALLY ENJOYED THE FISH AND CHIPS THAT WERE REGULAR $7.50 BUT AT THAT TIME WERE ONLY $3.75.I ALSO WAS ENJOYING PORK ON THE SKEWS AND ALSO SOME BACON BITS!!!!
SUPER TIME ENJOYING A COMFORTABLE PLACE AND A GOOD PRICED MEAL WITH LEMONADE !!!!!!!!!!!!!
ALSO WORLD REOWN CLAM CHOWDER IS AT ANY IVARS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ivar's has a string of restaurants in the Seattle area, everything from fish 'n' chip / chowder houses to high-end dining.
Ivar's Salmon House is a delightful mid-priced, full service restaurant at the top of Lake Union, overlooking the lake and the City of Seattle. The decor is native american - with totem poles, kayaks, and even old photos of native americans from the area.
Favorite Dish We had an appetizer consisting of grilled brie, roasted garlic, pesto and tomatoes that was outstanding!
The BBQ Salmon sandwich was tasty, as well. (Cooked on a BBQ, not doused in BBQ sauce.)
Prices are for lunch.
There are several sections of this Ivar' Restaurant, and this tip is only for the full-scale restaurant that is behind the snack shop and lunch counter that faces Northlake Way. The entrance is around the east side of the restaurant, facing the parking lot.
The interior decoration is as close as possible to that of a local Native American Long House (see the Cathlapotle Plank House in Ridgefield), with other areas of the dining room decorated with a number of Native American style artwork. There are wooden boats of various types also hanging from the ceiling.
Facing south, there are large windows overlooking Lake Washington, and on warm days or nights there is seating available outside, overlooking the lake.
In the distance, it is possible to see the top of the Space Needle.
The restaurant is located on the eastern edge of the Fremont area, very close to Gas Works Park.
Favorite Dish This Ivar's location is a specialist in smoked. Smoked chicken, smoked fish, smoked everything. Sure, you can order other stuff, but at this location you should go for anything starting with the word "smoked".
I highly recommend ordering some (a cup or a bowl) of Ivar's wonderful chowder as a side, no matter what else you get. A bowl is in the $6.50 range.
Check the happy hour menu for certain days and times. There have been "extended happy hour" periods at this location in the past.
Note About Prices: The prices depend a huge amount on what you order. The $21 to $30 is sort of an average, but you can go a bit cheaper, and you can go as expensive as $60 for the grilled coho platter.
If you are having trouble deciding, I suggest the "Northwest Seafood Platter" for $19. This gives you a bit of an assortment of things, and my travel companion for this trip and myself shared it, the Dinner Crab Dip ($12) and a few other things.
I do think the drinks are a bit on the expensive side here. The seasonal cider of choice is $4.50, and a Mac N Jack's (beer) is $5.
The $67.65 total price (after Seattle's 10% sales tax) was a bit more than I would usually pay for a dinner, but it was well worth it to do it at least once, and to be honest I could have ordered cheaper stuff, but didn't want to.
It should be noted that there are actually TWO Ivar's at the downtown waterfront location. The "Acres of Clams" section is an actual sit-down classy restaurant. The Seafood Bar section of the restaurant is actually more like a fast food restaurant with less facilities and mostly outdoor seating. This review only is relevant to the Seafood Bar section of the restaurant.
While the food isn't extremely special (not quite like the propaganda would suggest) the location is right on the Seattle waterfront, and essentially next door to the Washington State Ferries terminal that serves the Bainbridge Island and Bremerton ferries. This makes it one of the best locations possible.
Considering the location, I was expecting to pay a bit more than I did.
There is a small shack that serves as an indoor seating area, and a long deck for outdoor eating. If there are bathroom facilities, I was unable to locate them, but instead used the public restrooms in the Washington State Ferries building to the almost immediate south. (The fireboat station is the only thing between the Ferry Terminal and Ivar's).
Patrons are invited to feed the seagulls, but not feed the pigeons. The gulls will perch on the railing and beg for food from those eating outdoors, but I did not see any of them actually steal food off of people's plates.
It should (again) be noted that this description is from the fast food / lunch counter section of the facility, which is NOT the same as the actual sit-down indoor "Acres of Clams" section of the restaurant.
An oyster plate is $8.29, and an apple juice for $2.49, was my first meal here.
Favorite Dish You should probably go for anything with clams in it, since clams are supposed to be their specialty.
After a day of seeing the sights, we hungrily stumbled upon Ivar’s on the waterfront, next to the Ferry Terminal. Ivar’s offered a splendid view of the water and a nice atmosphere. They served great seafood dishes. I would return.
I don't know if this place has gone too commercial, but for the price, you couldn't beat their clam strips. There is an indoor Ivar's, and an outdoor pick-up stand that has an attached covered (and heated) eating area.
Favorite Dish The only dish I tried was the clam strips, and they were pretty good, but maybe a little commercialized I guess. Their fries were good, and they have a special sauce that is tasty too.
Instead of eating at the main Ivar's Restaurant, off to the side of it is Ivar's Fish Bar. Order your food and carry it to go or eat it on the benches outside with a view of the ferries and the bay. Seagull abound begging for a piece of food.
Favorite Dish I had cod and chips for about $7-$8. I ate it all and the seagulls did not get any.
Ivars is one of the best seafood places around. The restaurant sits right on a pier at Elliot Bay. There are two restaurants available, one a sit-down place with more spendy prices, but the other is a walk up fish n' chips bar.
On a clear day you can look out over the water and see the snow capped mountains of the Cascades. Beautiful view!
Favorite Dish The food there is delicious!! If you're a seafood lover you need to go there. Their clam chowders, red and white, are probably the best thing on the menu next to their clam strips.
Great seafood in a fairly informal dining setting. This place is famous in Seattle, so you're sure to find some tourists here. However, the seafood is very good. And the view, if you get a window, is kind of neat... you can watch the ferry load and unload, or watch the tons of seagulls right below. However, if you go here, you MUST get some clam chowder. I'm disappointed I didn't get more than just a cup of this! It's the best clam chowder I've ever had (even better, I think, than some I had in New England)!
Favorite Dish Clam Chowder
The city's colorful waterfront at Pier 54 provides a scenic backdrop for this attractive yet informal restaurant where you'll dine on Ivar's traditional favorites and other delicious Northwest seafood from their daily fresh sheet. The main menu also features fresh steamed clams, salmon, Dungeness crab salad, halibut, Ivar's famous fish 'n chips, Puget Sound clam chowder and much more.
Favorite Dish The New York Strip with mashed potatoes and vegetables (and a side order of shrimp which was absolutely divine) or the Cashew Encrusted Bass in curry sauce with rice and sauteed mushrooms and spinach.
We ate at the outdoor counter-type area rather than inside. Ordered fried clams and salmon chowder, both of which were delicious. Especially loved the salmon chowder! Probably my favorite place we ate while in Seattle.
Ivar's also has a waterfront location, but I recommend making the trip to the Salmon House if you have the means of transportation (we drove, I'm not sure if it's accessible by public transportation).