Seattle Seafood Seasons. What's Fresh Today?

Welcome to The Ultimate Chart of Seattle Seafood Seasons.  Click on the row that interests you to learn more about the seasonality, availability, and popularity of each locally sourced seafood in Seattle. 

FRESH & LOCAL WINTER SPRING SUMMER FALL
Dungeness Crab Peak Harvest Consistently Fresh Consistently Fresh Consistently Fresh
Salmon Less Common Peak Harvest Peak Harvest Peak Harvest
Oysters Peak Harvest Consistently Fresh Consistently Fresh Peak Harvest
Clams Peak Harvest Peak Harvest Consistently Fresh Peak Harvest
Mussels Peak Harvest Consistently Fresh Consistently Fresh Peak Harvest
Spot Prawns Less Common Peak Harvest Less Common Less Common
Halibut Less Common Peak Harvest Peak Harvest Less Common
Scallops Peak Harvest Consistently Fresh Consistently Fresh Consistently Fresh
Rockfish Consistently Fresh Peak Harvest Peak Harvest Consistently Fresh
Lingcod Less Common Peak Harvest Consistently Fresh Less Common
Squid Peak Harvest Less Common Less Common Peak Harvest
Mackerel Less Common Less Common Peak Harvest Peak Harvest
Razor Clams Peak Harvest Less Common Less Common Peak Harvest
Octopus Consistently Fresh Consistently Fresh Consistently Fresh Consistently Fresh
Black Cod / Sablefish Peak Harvest Consistently Fresh Consistently Fresh Peak Harvest
Sea Urchin Consistently Fresh Consistently Fresh Consistently Fresh Consistently Fresh
Pacific Smelt Peak Harvest Peak Harvest Less Common Less Common
Herring Peak Harvest Peak Harvest Less Common Less Common
Geoduck Consistently Fresh Consistently Fresh Consistently Fresh Consistently Fresh
Sea Snails (Whelks / Periwinkles) Consistently Fresh Consistently Fresh Peak Harvest Consistently Fresh
Greenling Less Common Peak Harvest Consistently Fresh Less Common
Sea Cucumber Peak Harvest Less Common Less Common Peak Harvest
King Crab (Alaska) Peak Harvest Less Common Less Common Peak Harvest
Snow Crab / Opilio (Alaska) Peak Harvest Less Common Less Common Peak Harvest

Peak Harvest = Indicates the time of year when the seafood is most abundant and at its best quality, representing the optimal season for consumption.

Consistently Fresh = Signifies that the seafood maintains a consistent level of quality and availability throughout the year, making it a reliable choice at any time.

Less Common = Refers to periods when the seafood is not as readily available or outside its peak season, suggesting it may be harder to find or not at its prime quality and freshness.

With the exception of King Crab and Snow Crab (Opilio), the following kinds of seafood are harvested commercially in Washington State and available for local consumption to varying degrees.  Some of these foods may also be sourced from other states.  For example, fresh salmon served in Seattle may be sourced from Washington waters or Alaska.  Ask your server if the source is not indicated on the menu.  In general, whether from Washington, Oregon, or Alaska, the seasonality remains the same.

Seasons for Fresh, Local Washington Dungeness Crab in Seattle

Dungeness Crab reaches its peak harvest in winter but remains consistently fresh throughout the year. A significant secondary harvest occurs late summer to early fall. Renowned for its sweet, tender meat, it is best enjoyed fresh from the Puget Sound. Popular preparations include crab cakes, cioppino, or simply steamed to savor its natural flavors.

January: Peak Harvest

February: Peak Harvest

March: Consistently Fresh

April: Consistently Fresh

May: Consistently Fresh

June: Consistently Fresh

July: Consistently Fresh

August: Consistently Fresh

September: Beginning of Peak Harvest

October: Peak Harvest

November: Peak Harvest

December: Peak Harvest

Dungeness Crab, a signature seafood of the Pacific Northwest, holds a place of honor in Seattle’s gastronomic landscape. Known for its sweet, tender flesh and large, meat-filled shells, Dungeness Crab is a favorite among seafood connoisseurs and a symbol of the region’s rich maritime traditions.

The season for Dungeness Crab in Washington typically runs from late fall through early summer, with the peak months being December to February. This timing ensures that the crabs are harvested at their fullest, following a period of feeding and growth in the cool, plankton-rich waters off the coast. The careful management of the crabbing season, with strict size and catch limits, ensures sustainability and maintains the health of the crab populations.

In Seattle, fresh Dungeness Crab is celebrated for its exceptional quality and is a staple in both casual and fine dining establishments. The crab is often prepared simply, steamed or boiled and served with melted butter or a light dipping sauce, to let its natural flavors shine. It also stars in more complex dishes, such as rich, creamy crab bisques, savory crab cakes, or hearty crab boils featuring a medley of shellfish and vegetables.

Outside of the peak season, Dungeness Crab remains available, often in frozen or pasteurized form, allowing year-round enjoyment. While fresh crab is preferred for its superior taste and texture, these preservation methods provide a viable alternative, ensuring that the essence of this prized crustacean can be savored at any time of the year.

For foodies exploring Seattle, experiencing Dungeness Crab is not just about tasting a local delicacy; it’s about connecting with the culinary soul of the Pacific Northwest. The crab embodies the region’s commitment to sustainable seafood practices and its tradition of gathering and feasting on the bounty of the sea. Dining on Dungeness Crab in Seattle, whether in a rustic seaside shack, at a bustling city market, or in an elegant restaurant, offers a direct link to the natural and cultural heritage of this vibrant coastal region.

Seasons for Fresh, Local Washington Salmon

Salmon, particularly local wild salmon, is a staple in Seattle’s culinary scene, especially delicious when freshly caught during its peak harvest of various runs from late spring to fall. Less common outside these months, salmon is versatile and best enjoyed grilled, smoked, or in sushi, embodying the essence of Pacific Northwest cuisine.

January: Less Common

February: Less Common

March: Increasing Availability

April: Increasing Availability

May: Peak Harvest

June: Peak Harvest

July: Peak Harvest

August: Peak Harvest

September: Peak Harvest

October: Peak Harvest

November: Decreasing Availability

December: Less Common

Salmon is the quintessential symbol of Seattle’s culinary scene, deeply ingrained in the cultural and gastronomic heritage of the Pacific Northwest. Revered for its rich flavor, versatility, and nutritional value, salmon plays a starring role in Seattle’s food landscape, with the local waters providing some of the world’s most prized species, including King (Chinook), Coho (Silver), and Sockeye.

The salmon season in Washington varies by species and location, but generally, it spans from late spring through early fall. King Salmon season often starts in May, with Coho and Sockeye following in the summer months. This seasonality ensures that the salmon caught are at their peak in terms of fat content and flavor, making them a coveted ingredient for chefs and home cooks alike.

In Seattle, salmon is more than just a menu item; it’s a cultural icon, celebrated in myriad ways from grilled, smoked, and baked to being featured in sushi and sashimi. The traditional Pacific Northwest preparation often involves cedar plank grilling, where the fish is cooked over an open flame, infusing it with a smoky, woodsy aroma that complements its natural richness. Smoked salmon, another regional specialty, is a staple in local cuisine, enjoyed in everything from simple breakfast bagels to elaborate holiday feasts.

Beyond the peak fresh seasons, salmon remains a fixture in the Seattle culinary scene through preservation methods like smoking, curing, and freezing, which extend its availability and allow for a variety of culinary uses year-round. These methods not only ensure a steady supply but also celebrate the salmon’s integral role in local food traditions, showcasing its adaptability and enduring appeal.

For foodies visiting Seattle, indulging in locally sourced salmon is a must. It offers a taste of the region’s natural abundance and a connection to the history and traditions of the Pacific Northwest. From upscale waterfront dining rooms serving meticulously prepared salmon dishes to casual eateries offering hearty salmon chowders and burgers, the experience of eating salmon in Seattle is a journey through the flavors, stories, and environmental ethos of this vibrant coastal city.

Seasons for Fresh, Local Washington Oysters

Washington’s oysters are celebrated for their plump, briny flavors, with peak harvest times in the coldest months (November-February). Available year-round, they offer a consistently fresh taste experience, whether served raw on the half shell, fried, or in stews, reflecting the rich maritime heritage of the region.

January: Peak Harvest

February: Peak Harvest

March: Consistently Fresh

April: Consistently Fresh

May: Consistently Fresh

June: Consistently Fresh

July: Consistently Fresh

August: Consistently Fresh

September: Consistently Fresh

October: Beginning of Peak Harvest

November: Peak Harvest

December: Peak Harvest

Oysters are a cornerstone of Seattle’s culinary identity, celebrated for their fresh, briny flavor that encapsulates the essence of the Pacific Northwest’s waters. Washington State, particularly the areas around Puget Sound, is renowned for its oyster cultivation, producing some of the finest varieties that attract foodies from all over the world.

The season for oysters in Washington extends throughout the year, with peak freshness occurring in the colder months, from October to March, when the waters are coldest. This is when oysters are at their plumpest and most flavorful, having spent months filtering and feeding in the nutrient-rich waters. The colder temperatures also reduce the risk of bacteria, making the oysters not only tastier but safer to consume raw.

Seattle’s oysters are known for their diversity, with numerous species and growing conditions leading to a wide range of flavors and textures. From the small, sweet Kumamotos to the larger, more robust Pacific oysters, the variety available offers something for every palate. These oysters can be enjoyed in their simplest form, raw on the half shell with just a squeeze of lemon or a dab of cocktail sauce, to highlight their natural flavors. They are also popular in cooked dishes, such as oyster stews, fried oyster po’boys, or baked with a variety of toppings.

Beyond the direct culinary experience, oysters play a significant role in Seattle’s sustainability efforts. The local oyster farming industry practices careful resource management, ensuring that oyster populations are maintained and water quality is preserved, contributing to the overall health of the marine ecosystem.

For foodies visiting Seattle, indulging in the local oyster offerings is a journey through the region’s maritime flavors and a testament to the area’s commitment to sustainable seafood. Whether sampling oysters at a waterfront raw bar, enjoying them as part of a gourmet meal, or participating in an oyster farm tour, the experience is a deep dive into the culture and natural bounty of Seattle’s seafood scene.

Seasons for Fresh, Local Washington Clams

Clams are fun!  Local clams, including Manila and razor varieties, hit their peak harvest in winter, remaining consistently fresh throughout the year. Most succulent during the cold months, they are a staple in Seattle’s seafood cuisine, often steamed or featured in savory chowders.

January: Peak Harvest

February: Peak Harvest

March: Peak Harvest

April: Peak Harvest

May: Consistently Fresh

June: Consistently Fresh

July: Consistently Fresh

August: Consistently Fresh

September: Peak Harvest

October: Peak Harvest

November: Peak Harvest

December: Peak Harvest

Clams harvested from the clean, cold waters of Washington State are a staple in Seattle’s seafood scene, renowned for their variety, flavor, and cultural significance. Among the most cherished are the Manila clams, known for their sweet taste and tender texture, and the larger, meatier Geoduck clams, which are a local delicacy.

The clamming season in Washington can vary depending on the species, with many types available year-round, while specific seasons are set to protect their populations during spawning or to ensure sustainability. For example, Manila clams are often harvested throughout the year, whereas the Geoduck clam, given its larger size and longer life cycle, is subject to more regulated harvest periods.

Freshness is paramount when it comes to enjoying clams, and Seattle’s proximity to productive clamming beaches means that restaurants and markets often have a daily supply. While fresh clams are preferred for their superior taste and texture, they are also preserved through refrigeration or quick-freezing methods, ensuring a consistent supply to meet the demand throughout the year.

In Seattle’s culinary circles, clams are celebrated for their versatility and are featured in a myriad of dishes. They are a key ingredient in the Pacific Northwest’s iconic clam chowder, steamed with herbs and white wine, or served in a rich, garlicky sauce over pasta. The Geoduck clam, with its unique appearance and crunchy texture, is often served raw in sashimi or lightly sautéed to enhance its sweet, oceanic flavor.

The clam harvest months, particularly for the smaller varieties, peak in the summer, aligning with low tides when clam beds are accessible. This season is marked by community clam digs and local festivals celebrating the bounty of the sea, reflecting the deep-rooted connection between Seattle’s residents and their maritime environment.

For foodies, exploring Seattle’s clam offerings is a culinary adventure that delves into the heart of the region’s seafood tradition. Whether sampling a bowl of creamy chowder at a waterfront eatery, enjoying a plate of steamed clams at a local pub, or experiencing the refined preparation of Geoduck in a high-end restaurant, the clam embodies the essence of Seattle’s rich seafood heritage and its commitment to sustainability and gastronomic excellence.

Seasons for Fresh, Local Washington Mussels

Mussels are a common delicacy in Seattle, with consistent availability and peak harvests during the cooler months. They’re appreciated for their sweet, briny flavor and versatility in cooking.

January: Peak Harvest

February: Peak Harvest

March: Consistently Fresh

April: Consistently Fresh

May: Consistently Fresh

June: Consistently Fresh

July: Consistently Fresh

August: Consistently Fresh

September: Consistently Fresh

October: Peak Harvest

November: Peak Harvest

December: Peak Harvest

Washington mussels, particularly those harvested from the pristine waters of the Puget Sound, are a cornerstone of Seattle’s vibrant seafood scene, celebrated for their sweet, briny flavor and tender meat. These shellfish are a culinary delight for foodies exploring the local fare, offering a taste that is both distinctly marine and refreshingly delicate.

The prime season for harvesting Washington mussels is during the colder months, from late fall to early spring. This is when they are at their plumpest and most flavorful, having fed on the nutrient-rich plankton brought in by the tidal waters. During this time, the mussels’ meat is firm yet succulent, making them a favored choice for chefs and diners alike. While fresh mussels are most abundant and delectable during these months, advanced aquaculture techniques ensure a steady supply throughout the year, allowing food enthusiasts to savor them regardless of the season.

In terms of preservation, mussels are best enjoyed fresh, often consumed within days of harvest to maintain their quality and taste. However, modern preservation methods, including quick-freezing, have made it possible to enjoy these bivalves year-round, with minimal loss of texture and flavor. This accessibility bolsters their presence on Seattle’s restaurant menus, where they are a perennial favorite.

For foodies, Washington mussels are a versatile ingredient that shines in a variety of dishes. A classic preparation is the simple yet elegant steamed mussels, often served in a broth of white wine, garlic, and herbs, which complements their natural saltiness and sweet undertones. This dish, typically enjoyed with crusty bread to soak up the flavorful broth, is a staple in Seattle’s culinary repertoire. Mussels are also commonly featured in rich chowders, savory paellas, and as a delightful addition to pasta dishes, showcasing their ability to harmonize with a range of flavors and ingredients.

Seattle’s dining establishments, from waterfront seafood shacks to upscale eateries, often boast mussels on their menus, reflecting the region’s love for these shellfish. The popularity of mussels in the local diet speaks to their cultural and culinary significance, providing visitors with a genuine taste of Washington State’s seafood heritage. For foodies, indulging in a plate of freshly cooked Washington mussels is not just a meal but an essential part of the Seattle experience, embodying the freshness, sustainability, and gastronomic excellence of the Pacific Northwest.

Seasons for Fresh, Local Washington Spot Prawns

Spot Prawns are a sought-after luxury in Seattle, with a short season, namely in May and June.  Less common to practically non-existent at other times, they are known for their sweet, delicate flavor, making them a prized ingredient in local seafood dishes and a festive highlight in culinary events.

  1. January: Not Available
  2. February: Not Available
  3. March: Not Available
  4. April: Not Available
  5. May: Peak Harvest
  6. June: Peak Harvest (early June, typically)
  7. July: Not Available
  8. August: Not Available
  9. September: Not Available
  10. October: Not Available
  11. November: Not Available
  12. December: Not Available

The peak harvest season for spot prawns in Washington State is typically very short, often just a few weeks in May and possibly extending into early June. This is regulated to ensure sustainable harvesting of the species.

Spot Prawns, the largest of the Pacific shrimp species, are a prized catch in the waters off Washington State and a highlight of Seattle’s seafood offerings. Renowned for their sweet, lobster-like flavor and firm texture, Spot Prawns captivate the palates of foodies and are a sought-after delicacy in the culinary scene of Seattle.

The season for Spot Prawns is relatively brief, typically occurring in the spring, around May and early June. This limited season adds an element of exclusivity to the Spot Prawn experience, with seafood enthusiasts eagerly awaiting their arrival each year. During this peak period, Spot Prawns are harvested in the Puget Sound and the coastal waters of Washington, offering the freshest and most flavorful specimens.

Outside of the peak season, Spot Prawns are sometimes available frozen, allowing for year-round consumption. While fresh Spot Prawns are preferred for their superior taste and texture, the frozen variety maintains a high quality and is a commendable alternative, providing a taste of this exceptional seafood even when out of season.

In Seattle’s culinary landscape, Spot Prawns are celebrated for their versatility and are featured in a variety of dishes. They can be enjoyed simply grilled or sautéed to allow their natural flavors to stand out or incorporated into more complex preparations like risottos, pastas, or ceviches. A popular method is to cook them quickly over high heat, preserving their delicate texture and sweet taste. This method highlights the prawns’ natural qualities and is a testament to the ingredient-driven approach of Pacific Northwest cuisine.

Seattle’s restaurants, ranging from casual dining spots to high-end establishments, often showcase Spot Prawns on their menus during the season, serving them in both traditional and innovative dishes. The prawns’ ability to pair well with a variety of ingredients and cooking styles makes them a favorite among chefs and diners alike.

For foodies visiting Seattle, tasting Spot Prawns is a must, as it offers a direct connection to the local seafood culture and the region’s commitment to sustainable fishing practices. The experience of savoring these prawns, whether in a simple beachside shack or a gourmet restaurant, embodies the essence of Seattle’s gastronomic landscape, marked by freshness, quality, and a deep respect for the natural bounty of the Pacific waters.

Seasons for Fresh, Local Washington Halibut

Pacific halibut, prized for its mild, sweet flavor, is a local favorite, with peak availability in spring and consistent freshness through summer. Less common in winter and fall, it is best savored pan-seared, baked, or in fish and chips, showcasing the quality of Seattle’s local catch.

January: Less Common

February: Less Common

March: Less Common

April: Peak Harvest

May: Peak Harvest

June: Peak Harvest

July: Peak Harvest

August: Less Common

September: Less Common

October: Less Common

November: Less Common

December: Less Common

Halibut, a premium fish in the Seattle seafood scene, is renowned for its firm, white flesh and mild, sweet flavor. This flatfish, one of the largest in the world, is highly valued by chefs and gourmands for its versatility and delicious taste, making it a staple in the culinary landscape of Seattle.

The prime season for halibut in Washington waters generally spans from late spring through early fall, with peak harvest times typically occurring between March and June. During this period, halibut are actively fished in the deep, cold waters off the Pacific Coast, adhering to strict sustainability practices and quotas set by fisheries management to ensure the long-term health of the halibut population.

In Seattle, fresh halibut is a sought-after commodity, often featured prominently on restaurant menus during the fishing season. Its lean, flaky texture makes it ideal for a variety of cooking methods, including grilling, roasting, sautéing, and frying. Halibut’s subtle sweetness pairs well with a range of flavors, from simple herb and butter combinations to more complex sauces and seasonings, highlighting its culinary flexibility.

Outside of the halibut season, the fish remains available, often in frozen form, due to its ability to retain flavor and texture when properly processed. This ensures that seafood enthusiasts can enjoy halibut year-round, whether in a light, summer salad or as a hearty, winter entrée.

In Seattle’s dining establishments, from casual eateries to upscale restaurants, halibut is celebrated for its exceptional quality and taste. Dishes like halibut cheeks, a delicacy known for their tender texture, or classic preparations like beer-battered halibut for fish and chips, showcase the fish’s range and appeal.

For foodies visiting Seattle, halibut represents not just a local culinary delight but also a connection to the Pacific Northwest’s rich fishing traditions and sustainable seafood practices. Sampling halibut in Seattle offers a taste of the region’s maritime heritage, highlighting the city’s commitment to quality, sustainability, and the celebration of local flavors, making it a must-experience for any seafood aficionado.

Seasons for Fresh, Local Washington Scallops

Scallops from Washington waters are known for their sweet, buttery flavor. They are typically harvested in the fall and winter but are available either fresh farmed or frozen year-round. Fresh scallops are a delicacy on Seattle menus, often seared to a golden crust outside while remaining tender inside.

January: Peak Harvest

February: Peak Harvest

March: Peak Harvest

April: Consistently Fresh

May: Consistently Fresh

June: Consistently Fresh

July: Consistently Fresh

August: Consistently Fresh

September: Consistently Fresh

October: Peak Harvest

November: Peak Harvest

December: Peak Harvest

Scallops in Seattle are a testament to the city’s rich maritime bounty, offering a delicate, sweet flavor that’s highly prized by seafood lovers. These bivalves are harvested from the cold, clean waters of the Pacific Northwest, with the peak season typically in the fall and winter months. This is when scallops are at their plumpest, having fed on the nutrient-rich plankton, making them a favorite among chefs and food enthusiasts alike.

In Seattle, scallops are often found fresh at local seafood markets and specialty stores, where they’re sold either in the shell or as shucked meat. The fresh variety, particularly ‘sea scallops’ known for their larger size, are a culinary delight, favored for searing to achieve a caramelized crust while maintaining a tender, succulent interior. Many of Seattle’s upscale restaurants feature scallops on their menus, showcasing them in dishes that highlight their natural sweetness and delicate texture.

For those looking to explore the flavors of scallops at home, they can be prepared in a variety of ways – from pan-searing with butter and herbs to grilling or incorporating into rich, creamy pastas and risottos. Scallops pair well with a range of accompaniments, from simple vegetable sides to more complex, flavor-intense sauces, offering versatility in culinary applications.

Outside of the peak season, scallops are still accessible in Seattle, often available frozen to ensure year-round availability. While fresh scallops are preferred for their superior flavor and texture, frozen scallops can still provide a delicious taste of the sea, making them a viable option for those craving this delicacy outside the harvest months.

For foodies visiting Seattle, indulging in locally sourced scallops provides an immersive experience into the city’s seafood culture. Whether enjoyed in a fine dining setting, cooked at a waterfront bistro, or prepared in a home kitchen, scallops embody the essence of Seattle’s connection to the ocean, offering a blend of exquisite taste, culinary flexibility, and the sustainable ethos that defines the Pacific Northwest’s seafood industry.

Seasons for Fresh, Local Washington Rockfish

Rockfish is a versatile fish commonly found in Seattle, with peak harvests during the spring and summer. It’s appreciated for its mild flavor and firm, flaky flesh.

January: Consistently Fresh

February: Consistently Fresh

March: Peak Harvest

April: Peak Harvest

May: Peak Harvest

June: Peak Harvest

July: Consistently Fresh

August: Consistently Fresh

September: Consistently Fresh

October: Consistently Fresh

November: Consistently Fresh

December: Consistently Fresh

Rockfish, with its myriad species and vibrant presence in the waters off Seattle, is a cornerstone of the local seafood scene, known for its mild, nutty flavor and versatile, firm flesh. This deep-water fish, encompassing over 70 species in the Pacific Northwest, is a favorite among chefs and diners for its sustainability and culinary adaptability.

In Seattle, rockfish season spans much of the year, with availability peaking in the warmer months when these fish are most active and abundant. Local seafood markets and docks often feature a variety of rockfish, allowing consumers to explore the different flavors and textures each species offers. From the robust and meaty Yellowtail rockfish to the delicate and flaky Quillback, the diversity of rockfish adds a rich palette to Seattle’s seafood repertoire.

Rockfish is celebrated for its ability to stand up to various cooking methods. It can be grilled, baked, fried, or poached, and is commonly featured in Seattle’s restaurants in dishes ranging from hearty fish stews and chowders to elegant pan-seared fillets. Its subtle flavor complements a wide array of seasonings and sides, making rockfish a versatile choice for any meal.

Preservation methods such as freezing allow rockfish to be enjoyed year-round, ensuring a constant supply in seafood markets and on menus across the city. Fresh rockfish, however, is particularly prized for its superior taste and texture, often highlighted in seasonal dishes that celebrate the bounty of the Pacific waters.

For food enthusiasts visiting Seattle, indulging in rockfish is an opportunity to taste the freshness and diversity of the region’s marine life. Whether sampling a simple, grilled rockfish dish by the waterfront or exploring more complex preparations in the city’s upscale eateries, the experience of dining on rockfish offers a glimpse into the sustainable seafood practices and culinary innovation that define Seattle’s relationship with the ocean.

Seasons for Fresh, Local Washington Lingcod

Lingcod, a gem of the Pacific Northwest, is best enjoyed fresh during its peak harvest in spring and summer. With its availability lessening in other seasons, this fish is a favorite for its flaky texture and is often featured in fish tacos or baked dishes within local Seattle cuisine.

January: Less Common

February: Less Common

March: Peak Harvest (beginning)

April: Peak Harvest

May: Peak Harvest

June: Peak Harvest

July: Consistently Fresh

August: Consistently Fresh

September: Consistently Fresh

October: Less Common

November: Less Common

December: Less Common

Lingcod in Washington State typically has a peak season during the spring and early summer months, from March to June, which is the primary season for lingcod fishing under regulated guidelines to ensure sustainability. Outside of this peak period, while fresh lingcod can still be available, it becomes less common in local markets and restaurants.

Lingcod, a robust and flavorful fish native to the North Pacific waters, holds a special place in Seattle’s seafood culture. Not actually a cod but a member of the greenling family, lingcod is prized for its dense, flaky texture and mild, slightly sweet flavor, making it a favorite among Seattle’s chefs and foodies alike.

The peak season for lingcod fishing off the coast of Washington State typically runs from late spring through early fall, aligning with regulatory fishing seasons to ensure sustainable harvests. During this time, lingcod are at their most plentiful and are caught using methods that minimize environmental impact, reflecting the region’s commitment to sustainable seafood practices.

Fresh lingcod, particularly when sourced directly from the cold, clean waters of the Pacific, is a culinary delight, often featured in Seattle’s seafood restaurants. Its meaty texture makes it versatile in the kitchen, suitable for grilling, baking, frying, or broiling, and its flavor complements a variety of seasonings and preparations. Whether served in a hearty fisherman’s stew, pan-seared with a crisp skin, or featured in fish and chips, lingcod embodies the rustic yet refined essence of Pacific Northwest cuisine.

Preservation methods for lingcod include refrigeration and flash-freezing, which help maintain the fish’s quality outside of the fishing season, allowing year-round availability in the market. Frozen lingcod remains a popular choice, providing a taste of the sea even when fresh catches are less frequent.

In Seattle’s restaurant scene, lingcod is often celebrated for both its culinary versatility and its local provenance. Menus might boast lingcod in a range of dishes, from simple, comfort food preparations to complex, gourmet creations, showcasing the fish’s broad appeal and integral role in the local seafood tradition.

For food enthusiasts visiting Seattle, trying lingcod is a way to connect with the region’s maritime heritage and experience the local seafood industry’s bounty. The fish not only offers a taste of Seattle’s natural resources but also represents the city’s ongoing commitment to sustainable fishing and seafood consumption, making it a must-try for any seafood lover exploring the area.

Seasons for Fresh, Local Washington Squid

Squid is commonly available in Seattle, with peak harvests typically occurring in the fall and winter months. It’s appreciated for its mild, slightly sweet taste and firm texture, making it a popular choice for seafood dishes year-round.

January: Peak Harvest

February: Peak Harvest

March: Less Common

April: Less Common

May: Less Common

June: Less Common

July: Less Common

August: Less Common

September: Less Common

October: Less Common

November: Peak Harvest

December: Peak Harvest

Squid in Washington State are typically most abundant and actively fished during the colder months, often resulting in peak harvests in late fall through winter (November to January), when squid come closer to shore to spawn. Availability decreases after the peak spawning season, making fresh local squid less common in markets and restaurants from late spring through early fall.

Squid in Seattle offers a deep dive into the city’s dynamic seafood culture, encapsulating the vibrancy and diversity of the Pacific Ocean’s offerings. Locally sourced squid, particularly known for its mild yet distinct flavor and versatile texture, becomes a culinary canvas in Seattle, especially during its peak season in the late summer and fall. This is when squid are most abundant, their bodies plump and flavorful, making them a sought-after ingredient in the local gastronomy scene.

Seattle’s seafood markets and specialty fish shops are the go-to places to find fresh squid, often displayed in all its glory, with tentacles and bodies ready to be transformed into culinary delights. Restaurants across the city seize the opportunity to showcase squid in various preparations – from the classic fried calamari, beloved for its crispy exterior and tender bite, to more innovative dishes like squid ink pasta, where the squid’s natural flavors are celebrated in rich, umami-packed creations.

For culinary enthusiasts keen on experimenting with squid at home, the options are boundless. Grilled squid, marinated with herbs and lemon, offers a smoky, charred flavor, while sautéed squid, tossed in garlic and white wine, brings out a subtler, more delicate taste. Squid also makes a fantastic addition to seafood stews and paellas, adding both texture and depth to the dish.

Despite the seasonality of fresh squid, Seattle’s markets often provide frozen options throughout the year, ensuring that this versatile seafood remains accessible for cooking enthusiasts and chefs alike. While fresh squid is unbeatable in flavor and texture, frozen squid still holds up well in various recipes, allowing for a year-round enjoyment of this cephalopod.

In the culinary landscape of Seattle, squid is not just a food item; it’s a celebration of the region’s maritime heritage, showcasing the creativity and sustainability of local seafood practices. For those exploring Seattle’s food scene, trying squid in its many forms is a journey through the city’s culinary identity, offering a taste of the sea that’s as rich and varied as the waters from which it comes.

Seasons for Fresh, Local Washington Mackerel

Mackerel, while not commonly harvested in Washington waters, is still found in Seattle, sourced from regions with peak harvests in the summer and fall months. Availability in Seattle fluctuates according to fishing regulations, migratory patterns, and imports. Mackerel, appreciated for its rich flavor and oily texture, is often enjoyed grilled or smoked, offering a distinctive taste.   See record size mackerel caught in WA here with humpback whales.

Creating an accurate month-by-month availability list for Washington-caught mackerel in local restaurants and markets is challenging because mackerel are not typically found in large numbers off the coast of Washington State. They are more common in other regions, such as Alaska and the North Pacific. However, if mackerel were to be caught and sold in Washington, the availability would likely follow broader North Pacific patterns and market availability.

January: Less Common

February: Less Common

March: Less Common

April: Less Common

May: Less Common

June: Peak Harvest (if available)

July: Peak Harvest (if available)

August: Peak Harvest (if available)

September: Less Common

October: Less Common

November: Less Common

December: Less Common

Mackerel, a fish celebrated for its rich, oily flesh and robust flavor, is a notable component of Seattle’s seafood diversity. This fast-swimming species, thriving in the temperate waters of the Pacific Northwest, is esteemed for both its culinary versatility and nutritional value, rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

The peak season for mackerel in the Seattle area typically occurs in the warmer months, from late spring to early fall, when these fish are actively feeding and at their fattiest. Local fishermen, adhering to sustainable practices, harvest mackerel during this time, ensuring a fresh supply that captures the essence of the region’s marine environment.

In Seattle’s culinary scene, mackerel is appreciated for its distinct, full-flavored nature, often prepared grilled, smoked, or pickled to enhance its natural taste. Grilled mackerel, with its crispy skin and tender flesh, is a simple yet delightful way to enjoy this fish, often served with a light seasoning of salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon to balance its richness. Smoked mackerel, on the other hand, offers a deeper, more complex flavor, making it a favored ingredient in salads, spreads, and savory dishes.

Beyond these traditional preparations, mackerel is also featured in various international cuisines, from Japanese sushi and sashimi to European pâtés and terrines, showcasing its global appeal. Seattle’s diverse food landscape embraces this versatility, with restaurants and markets offering mackerel in a range of styles and flavors.

For visitors to Seattle, exploring the local mackerel offerings provides a taste of the city’s seafood heritage, marked by a blend of traditional and contemporary culinary influences. Whether enjoying a freshly grilled mackerel at a seaside eatery, sampling smoked mackerel in a market, or savoring it as part of a gourmet meal, the experience of dining on mackerel in Seattle is a journey through the rich flavors and sustainable ethos that define the Pacific Northwest’s seafood culture.

Seasons for Fresh, Local Washington Razor Clams

Razor clams are abundant and popular in Seattle, with peak harvests typically in the fall and winter months. They are prized for their sweet and tender meat, often dug from the sandy beaches of the Pacific Northwest.

January: Peak Harvest (dependent on approved digs)

February: Peak Harvest (dependent on approved digs)

March: Peak Harvest (dependent on approved digs)

April: Peak Harvest (dependent on approved digs)

May: Closed or limited (end of season)

June: Closed (off-season)

July: Closed (off-season)

August: Closed (off-season)

September: Closed or limited (pre-season preparations)

October: Peak Harvest (dependent on approved digs)

November: Peak Harvest (dependent on approved digs)

December: Peak Harvest (dependent on approved digs)

Razor clam harvest seasons in Washington are regulated by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and are subject to change based on marine toxin levels, population surveys, and environmental conditions. The primary digging seasons usually occur from fall to spring, with the most significant digs often scheduled from October to April, as conditions allow. During the off-season in summer, harvesting is closed to allow the clams to repopulate and maintain the sustainability of the species.

Razor clams, a cherished delicacy along the Washington coast, play a significant role in Seattle’s seafood culture. These elongated clams, known for their sweet meat and tender texture, are highly sought after, particularly during their peak digging seasons in the fall and spring. The ritual of clam digging, where families and enthusiasts gather along the sandy shores to harvest by hand, is a cherished tradition, reflecting the community’s deep connection to the sea.

The prime time for harvesting razor clams is governed by regulated “clam digs,” which are announced by state authorities based on population assessments to ensure sustainable harvesting. These events typically occur on specific dates when tides are low, offering the best chances to find these buried treasures. Freshly caught razor clams, with their distinctive, savory flavor, are a treat in Seattle’s culinary scene, appearing in local markets shortly after these communal digs.

In Seattle’s kitchens, both professional and home-based, razor clams are often prepared simply to highlight their natural flavors. They can be breaded and fried to a golden crisp, grilled, or steamed and served with a splash of lemon or garlic butter. Razor clams also feature prominently in chowders and pasta dishes, where their sweet flesh complements creamy, rich sauces.

While the digging season for razor clams is limited, ensuring the sustainability of this resource, the clams can be found frozen outside these periods, allowing year-round enjoyment. Frozen razor clams, while not quite matching the sublime taste and texture of fresh specimens, still offer a delicious alternative for clam enthusiasts.

For foodies exploring Seattle, experiencing razor clams is a foray into the unique culinary and cultural heritage of the Pacific Northwest. It’s an opportunity to engage with the local seafood tradition, where the act of gathering food from the sea remains an integral part of the culinary landscape. Dining on razor clams in Seattle, whether in a beachside shack, at a bustling seafood market, or in a fine dining establishment, is not just about enjoying a local delicacy; it’s about partaking in a storied tradition that continues to shape the region’s gastronomic identity.

Seasons for Fresh, Local Washington Octopus

Octopus is consistently fresh throughout the year although availability varies.  It’s valued for its meaty texture and versatility in cooking, often featured in Mediterranean-inspired dishes or as sushi.

January: Consistently Fresh

February: Consistently Fresh

March: Consistently Fresh

April: Consistently Fresh

May: Consistently Fresh

June: Consistently Fresh

July: Consistently Fresh

August: Consistently Fresh

September: Consistently Fresh

October: Consistently Fresh

November: Consistently Fresh

December: Consistently Fresh

Octopus in Seattle is a culinary marvel, showcasing the city’s adventurous seafood palate and its connection to the diverse marine life of the Pacific Northwest. This eight-armed mollusk, with its complex texture and rich flavor, has become increasingly popular in Seattle’s dining scene, captivating foodies with its versatility and taste.

The availability of octopus in Seattle is relatively consistent, thanks to sustainable fishing practices and a growing interest in aquaculture. While not tied to a strict season like some other seafood, the freshest catch is often found in the cooler months, when the waters are most conducive to octopus’s natural feeding and growth patterns.

In Seattle’s culinary circles, octopus is revered for its potential to transform into a range of dishes. It can be grilled to achieve a smoky, charred exterior while retaining a tender interior, or slow-cooked to perfect tenderness, often featured in Mediterranean-inspired dishes like octopus salads, pastas, or stews. The preparation of octopus, requiring a careful balance of technique and timing, is a testament to the skill and creativity of Seattle’s chefs.

Beyond the traditional cooking methods, innovative culinary techniques have also emerged, with octopus appearing in sushi, as carpaccio, or even smoked, offering a new dimension to its flavor profile. These dishes not only highlight the versatility of octopus but also reflect the global influences that shape Seattle’s food scene.

For those visiting Seattle, trying locally prepared octopus is a way to dive deep into the city’s seafood culture. From waterfront eateries serving up simple, grilled octopus dishes to upscale restaurants offering complex, flavor-layered octopus creations, the experience is a journey through taste, tradition, and innovation. Dining on octopus in Seattle is more than just a meal; it’s an exploration of the rich tapestry of marine life that defines the region’s identity, offering a connection to the sea that is both profound and delicious.

Seasons for Fresh, Local Washington Black Cod (Sablefish)

Black cod, also known as sablefish, is readily available in Seattle, with peak harvests typically in the spring and summer months. It’s prized for its rich flavor and buttery texture, often featured in Asian-inspired cuisine or grilled dishes.

The availability of Washington black cod (sablefish) in local restaurants and markets is influenced by commercial fishing seasons and the fish’s lifecycle. Here’s a typical month-by-month availability list for black cod in Washington:

January: Peak Harvest

February: Peak Harvest

March: Peak Harvest

April: Peak Harvest

May: Consistently Fresh

June: Consistently Fresh

July: Consistently Fresh

August: Consistently Fresh

  1. September: Consistently Fresh
  2. October: Consistently Fresh
  3. November: Peak Harvest
  4. December: Peak Harvest

Black cod is known for its deep-water habitats and is subject to sustainable fishing practices to ensure long-term viability. The peak harvest periods typically occur in the spring and late fall, aligning with the fish’s spawning cycle and commercial fishing seasons. Outside of these peak times, black cod is still available due to its storability and the broad distribution of its habitats, allowing for a consistent presence in markets and on restaurant menus throughout the year.

Black Cod, also known as Sablefish, is a treasured component of Seattle’s seafood repertoire, beloved for its buttery texture and rich, flavorful meat. This deep-sea fish, thriving in the cold, nutrient-rich waters of the North Pacific, is a staple in the local culinary landscape. For food enthusiasts visiting Seattle, Black Cod represents a must-try experience, emblematic of the region’s commitment to quality and sustainable seafood practices.

The peak season for Black Cod in Seattle spans from March to October, during which the fish are harvested at their fattest and most flavorful, thanks to the abundant feed in their natural habitat. This period ensures that the Black Cod served in Seattle’s restaurants is of the highest quality, offering a fresh and delectable taste that is both nuanced and satisfying. The harvest months are eagerly anticipated by chefs and gourmands alike, who consider this fish a versatile and esteemed ingredient in the culinary world.

In terms of preservation, Black Cod is known for its exceptional ability to freeze well without losing its signature texture and taste, thanks to its high oil content. This quality makes it a year-round feature on menus, even beyond the harvest season, providing a consistent supply to seafood lovers. Fresh Black Cod, however, is particularly sought after for its superior quality and is often featured more prominently in restaurants during the peak season.

In Seattle’s dining scene, Black Cod is celebrated for its adaptability in various recipes. It’s commonly found in dishes that highlight its natural flavors, such as miso-marinated Black Cod, a recipe that has gained iconic status in the culinary world. This preparation method, which involves marinating the fish in a savory miso paste before broiling or grilling, enhances the rich, velvety texture of the Black Cod, creating a dish that is both sophisticated and immensely satisfying. Additionally, Black Cod is often smoked, baked, or pan-seared in local kitchens, served alongside seasonal vegetables or within hearty stews, making it a versatile choice for any gourmet adventure.

Foodies visiting Seattle will find Black Cod featured across a spectrum of dining establishments, from upscale restaurants to casual seafood joints. Its presence on menus is a testament to the city’s love affair with this delicious fish, and it provides a culinary window into the heart of Seattle’s seafood culture. Whether indulging in a meticulously prepared Black Cod at a high-end eatery or enjoying a simpler, yet equally delightful, preparation at a local bistro, visitors are guaranteed an authentic taste of the Pacific Northwest’s marine bounty.

Seasons for Fresh, Local Washington Sea Urchin

Sea urchin is commonly available in Seattle, with consistent freshness throughout the year. It’s appreciated for its delicate and briny taste, often served as sushi or incorporated into seafood pasta dishes.

Washington State harvested sea urchins, particularly known for their quality, tend to be available throughout the year although this can vary based on environmental conditions and harvesting practices. 

January: Consistently Fresh

February: Consistently Fresh

March: Consistently Fresh

April: Consistently Fresh

May: Consistently Fresh

June: Consistently Fresh

July: Consistently Fresh

August: Consistently Fresh

September: Consistently Fresh

October: Consistently Fresh

November: Consistently Fresh

December: Consistently Fresh

Sea Urchin, highly esteemed for its rich, creamy roe, represents a unique facet of Seattle’s seafood culture, harvested locally to ensure peak freshness and available throughout the year. This marine delicacy, known as uni in Japanese cuisine, is a testament to the region’s vibrant and diverse aquatic ecosystem. In Seattle, sea urchin is predominantly featured in high-end sushi bars and fine dining establishments, where it is celebrated for its luxurious taste and velvety texture.

The preparation of sea urchin in Seattle is often minimalist, designed to highlight its natural, subtly sweet flavors. It can be found adorning delicate sushi and sashimi plates, blended into rich sauces, or served atop a bed of lightly seasoned rice. The experience of tasting sea urchin is unique, with a flavor profile that evokes the essence of the ocean’s depths, making it a sought-after ingredient for culinary aficionados and adventurous eaters alike.

Seattle’s proximity to cold, nutrient-rich waters allows for a sustainable supply of this exquisite seafood, ensuring that connoisseurs can enjoy sea urchin’s distinctive flavor year-round. Dining on sea urchin in Seattle is more than a meal; it’s an immersive experience that connects diners with the maritime heritage and culinary innovation of the Pacific Northwest.

The harvest season for Sea Urchin, particularly around the coastal waters of Seattle, aligns with the creature’s natural lifecycle and the region’s ecological regulations, ensuring sustainability and optimal quality. Typically, the peak season for fresh Sea Urchin in this area falls between late fall and early spring, when the waters are coldest and the urchins are at their best in terms of size and roe quality. During this period, divers meticulously hand-harvest these echinoderms, adhering to strict guidelines to prevent overharvesting and to maintain the health of the marine ecosystem.

Outside of this peak period, fresh Sea Urchin may be less abundant, but thanks to modern preservation methods, it remains available in a frozen form, allowing year-round enjoyment. While fresh uni is preferred for its superior taste and texture, the frozen alternative provides a viable option, capturing the essence of the sea urchin’s rich and creamy roe. This ensures that enthusiasts and chefs can continue to craft exquisite dishes with uni, even when the fresh variety is out of season. Consequently, Seattle’s seafood markets and restaurants can offer Sea Urchin consistently, ensuring that this prized delicacy retains its place in the city’s vibrant culinary scene regardless of the season.

Seasons for Fresh, Local Washington Smelt (Pacific Smelt)

Pacific smelt is less common but still found in Seattle, with peak harvests generally during the late winter or early spring. It’s appreciated for its small size and delicate flavor, often served fried or grilled as a seasonal delicacy.

January: Less Common

February: Peak Harvest

March: Peak Harvest

April: Less Common

May: Less Common

June: Less Common

July: Less Common

August: Less Common

September: Less Common

October: Less Common

November: Less Common

December: Less Common

Smelt runs, particularly for species like the eulachon (also known as “candlefish”), can be quite dramatic and are a notable event in some Washington coastal communities. The peak harvest time in late winter to early spring corresponds with their spawning runs, when they are most commonly caught. Outside of these peak months, smelt may be less available fresh in local markets and restaurants but might still be found frozen or processed.

In Seattle, Pacific Smelt emerge as a culinary highlight during late winter to early spring, presenting a seasonal feast for seafood aficionados. These small, flavorful fish, known for their delicate texture and salty taste, are best enjoyed fresh, making their appearance in local markets a much-anticipated event. Foodies can delve into the authentic Pacific Northwest experience by visiting iconic spots like Pike Place Market, where the freshest catch of smelt can be found, often straight from the morning’s haul.

Cooking Pacific Smelt at home offers a direct way to engage with Seattle’s seafood culture, with frying being the most traditional method to enhance their natural flavors. A light batter and a quick fry result in a crispy, delightful snack that pairs wonderfully with a squeeze of lemon or a homemade tartar sauce. For those eager to explore the city’s culinary scene, many local restaurants and eateries feature smelt during their peak season, serving them as tantalizing appetizers or integrated into various dishes, showcasing the versatility of this humble fish.

Beyond the markets and kitchens, Seattle’s seafood festivals and community events sometimes spotlight smelt, especially when in season. These gatherings provide a festive atmosphere to savor different smelt preparations, from simple fried offerings to more elaborate culinary creations, allowing diners to sample a spectrum of flavors from the city’s top chefs.

For the enthusiastic foodie, engaging with the local seafood scene extends to educational opportunities as well, with cooking classes and workshops often available to teach the art of preparing smelt and other regional seafood. These experiences not only enhance one’s culinary skills but also deepen the connection to Seattle’s gastronomic heritage and the rhythms of its seasonal seafood offerings.

Experiencing Pacific Smelt in Seattle is thus a journey through the city’s vibrant food landscape, offering a taste of local tradition, a touch of culinary adventure, and a deep dive into the sustainable practices that define the Pacific Northwest’s seafood industry. It’s an experience that encapsulates the essence of Seattle, blending the simplicity and richness of local flavors with the broader narrative of the region’s seafood heritage.

Seasons for Fresh, Local Washington Herring

Herring is commonly available in Seattle, with peak harvests during the fall and winter months. It’s valued for its rich and oily flesh, often pickled or smoked for preservation.

January: Peak Harvest

February: Peak Harvest

March: Peak Harvest

April: Less Common

May: Less Common

June: Less Common

July: Less Common

August: Less Common

September: Less Common

October: Less Common

November: Less Common

December: Less Common

Herring are typically most abundant and actively harvested during the early months of the year, coinciding with their spawning period, which is why the peak harvest is noted in winter and early spring. After this period, while herring may still be available, they are less common in markets and restaurants and might be sourced from stored catches or from other regions.

Herring holds a special place in Seattle’s seafood tapestry, representing both a historical staple and a modern-day delicacy. These small, silvery fish, known for their rich, oily flesh and distinctive flavor, are a traditional favorite in the Pacific Northwest, particularly when they arrive in large schools during their spawning season in the spring.

In Seattle, fresh herring can be found at local seafood markets and specialty stores, often still brimming with vitality from the cold waters of Puget Sound. The fish’s peak season in early spring is a time of abundance, allowing chefs and home cooks alike to experiment with this versatile ingredient. Herring is often pickled, a method that not only preserves the fish but also enhances its flavor, making it a beloved snack or side dish that pairs excellently with crisp, cold beers or robust rye bread.

Beyond pickling, herring can be smoked, grilled, or served raw in dishes akin to Scandinavian or Japanese cuisine, where its natural flavors are highly prized. In Seattle’s culinary scene, herring is sometimes featured in innovative dishes that reflect the city’s fusion of traditional and contemporary tastes, such as herring tartare, marinated herring salads, or herring sushi rolls.

Although fresh herring is most celebrated during its spring run, the fish is also available year-round in cured or smoked forms, maintaining a presence in Seattle’s gastronomic landscape. These preservation methods not only extend the shelf life of herring but also offer different taste experiences, with the curing process bringing out a tangy depth and the smoking method imparting a rich, woody flavor.

For foodies exploring Seattle, the experience of tasting local herring connects them with the maritime heritage of the region. It’s a fish that tells the story of Seattle’s past and present, from its indigenous use and European immigrant influences to its role in contemporary seafood cuisine. Sampling herring in its various forms, whether at a seaside market, a specialty food store, or a restaurant, offers a direct link to the dynamic and diverse flavors that define Seattle’s relationship with the sea.

Seasons for Fresh, Local Washington Geoduck

Geoduck, harvested from Puget Sound, is a local delicacy enjoyed year-round for its unique taste and texture. This large clam is a testament to the diverse and rich seafood offerings of the region, often served as sashimi, stir-fried, or in chowders.

January: Consistently Fresh

February: Consistently Fresh

March: Consistently Fresh

April: Consistently Fresh

May: Consistently Fresh

June: Consistently Fresh

July: Consistently Fresh

August: Consistently Fresh

September: Consistently Fresh

October: Consistently Fresh

November: Consistently Fresh

December: Consistently Fresh

Geoduck clam harvesting in Washington is managed to ensure sustainability, with specific areas opened for harvest at different times. The consistent availability throughout the year reflects the managed harvesting practices that ensure geoduck remains a stable and sustainable seafood choice in Washington State.

Geoduck (pronounced “gooey-duck”), native to the waters of the Pacific Northwest, is one of the most unique and intriguing offerings in Seattle’s seafood scene. This large clam, known for its elongated siphon and sweet, crisp flesh, is a culinary treasure that intrigues foodies with its distinctive appearance and exquisite taste.

The geoduck harvest in Washington is carefully managed to ensure sustainability, with the season typically open year-round, subject to specific quotas and environmental considerations. These clams can live for several decades and take years to reach harvestable size, making their management crucial for maintaining the population’s health and the ecosystem’s balance.

In terms of availability, geoduck is consistently accessible in Seattle due to effective resource management and a thriving aquaculture industry. While fresh geoduck is preferred for its quality and flavor, its robust nature allows it to be stored and transported effectively, ensuring that this delicacy can be savored in various culinary forms.

Seattle’s chefs and food enthusiasts often celebrate geoduck for its versatility and unique taste profile. It is commonly prepared raw in sashimi, where its subtle sweetness and crunchy texture can be fully appreciated. Cooked preparations, such as lightly sautéing or grilling, are also popular, allowing the mild, clean flavors of the geoduck to shine through. Its meat, particularly the siphon, is prized in gourmet dishes, often appearing in high-end restaurants across Seattle.

Beyond the plate, geoduck harvesting itself is an event, with commercial and recreational harvesters venturing into the tidal zones to dig for these clams, an activity that has become a part of the cultural fabric of the region. This practice connects locals and visitors alike to the maritime heritage of Seattle, emphasizing a deep-rooted respect for the sea and its bounty.

For foodies visiting Seattle, experiencing geoduck is a must, offering a direct link to the Pacific Northwest’s culinary identity and its sustainable seafood ethos. Whether it’s enjoyed in a refined restaurant setting or as part of a beachside clam dig, geoduck embodies the adventurous spirit and natural abundance of Seattle’s gastronomic landscape, providing a memorable and uniquely local eating experience.

Seasons for Fresh, Local Washington Sea Snails (Whelks / Periwinkles)

Sea snails, including whelks and periwinkles, are commonly available in Seattle, with peak harvests during the summer months. They are valued for their chewy texture and briny taste, often enjoyed as a seafood snack or added to pasta dishes.

January: Consistently Fresh

February: Consistently Fresh

March: Consistently Fresh

April: Consistently Fresh

May: Peak Harvest

June: Peak Harvest

July: Peak Harvest

August: Peak Harvest

September: Consistently Fresh

October: Consistently Fresh

November: Consistently Fresh

December: Consistently Fresh

Sea snails in Washington State, such as whelks, are often foraged along the coastline, and their availability might be influenced by environmental conditions and regulations. While they are generally available throughout the year, there could be a peak in late spring and summer when conditions are optimal for foraging.

Sea snails, encompassing varieties like whelks and periwinkles, add a distinctive touch to Seattle’s seafood panorama. These marine mollusks, with their spiral shells and meaty interiors, are savored for their chewy texture and subtle sea-flavored taste, offering a unique culinary adventure in the Pacific Northwest.

In Seattle, sea snails are harvested with sustainability in mind, primarily during the cooler months when they are most active and plump. Whelks and periwinkles are found along the rocky shorelines and in tidal pools, making them a common sight in local seafood markets where they are sold fresh to enthusiasts and chefs alike.

Culinary applications of sea snails in Seattle are diverse, reflecting the city’s innovative food culture. They are often boiled and served with dipping sauces, incorporated into savory stews, or used as a key ingredient in pasta dishes. The preparation method usually involves slow cooking to tenderize the meat and enhance its flavor, making it a delicacy that stands out in seafood dishes.

In addition to traditional cooking methods, some Seattle chefs experiment with sea snails, introducing them in modern dishes or using them as a gourmet ingredient in fine dining experiences. Their unique flavor and texture provide a canvas for culinary creativity, resulting in dishes that are as intriguing as they are delicious.

For foodies and visitors in Seattle, trying sea snails offers an opportunity to delve into the less explored aspects of the region’s seafood offerings. Whether tasting them in a rustic coastal eatery, a bustling city market, or a high-end restaurant, sea snails provide a connection to the maritime environment of the Pacific Northwest, embodying the spirit of exploration and appreciation for the diversity of the ocean’s bounty. Dining on sea snails in Seattle is not just about savoring a meal; it’s about experiencing a part of the local seafood tradition that is as rich in history as it is in flavor.

Seasons for Fresh, Local Washington Greenling

Greenling is less common but still found in Seattle, with peak harvests during the spring. It’s appreciated for its mild flavor and flaky texture, often grilled or pan-seared as a light and healthy option. 

January: Less Common

February: Less Common

March: Peak Harvest

April: Peak Harvest

May: Peak Harvest

June: Consistently Fresh

July: Consistently Fresh

August: Consistently Fresh

September: Consistently Fresh

October: Less Common

November: Less Common

December: Less Common

The peak harvest for greenling in Washington State typically occurs in the spring, with March, April, and May being the most abundant months. The fish can still be found consistently fresh in restaurants and markets during the summer, with availability tapering off towards the winter months.

Greenling, a lesser-known yet valuable species in the Seattle seafood market, offers a delicate and flavorful addition to the diverse aquatic offerings of the Pacific Northwest. These fish, often found in the rocky, kelp-rich waters off the Washington coast, are appreciated for their light, flaky texture and mild, slightly sweet taste.

The availability of greenling in Seattle peaks during the spring and summer months, aligning with their spawning season and optimal fishing conditions. Local fishermen, committed to sustainable practices, ensure that greenling is harvested responsibly, maintaining the balance of the marine ecosystem.

In the culinary world of Seattle, greenling is often considered a hidden treasure, typically prepared in ways that highlight its subtle flavors. It can be pan-seared, baked, or broiled, often served with a light sauce or a sprinkle of herbs to complement its delicate taste. Its versatility makes it suitable for a variety of dishes, from simple, home-cooked meals to more sophisticated restaurant creations.

Greenling’s culinary potential is slowly being recognized in Seattle’s food scene, with some chefs featuring it as a sustainable and locally-sourced alternative to more popular fish like halibut or cod. Its presence in menus is a testament to the region’s dedication to exploring and celebrating the full spectrum of its seafood resources.

For visitors to Seattle, trying greenling presents an opportunity to engage with the local seafood culture in a more intimate and exploratory way. Sampling greenling at a seafood market, in a casual diner, or at a high-end restaurant allows one to appreciate the nuanced flavors and sustainable ethos that define Seattle’s relationship with its marine environment. In experiencing greenling, diners not only enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal but also participate in the ongoing story of the Pacific Northwest’s rich and evolving seafood tradition.

Seasons for Fresh, Local Washington Sea Cucumber (not a cucumber:-)

Sea cucumber, while less common, is available in Seattle with peak wild harvests occurring in the fall and winter months. The year-round availability is supplemented by aquaculture, ensuring a consistent supply. This marine delicacy is favored for its gelatinous texture and mild flavor, commonly featured in Asian dishes and sought after as a specialty item in various cuisines.

January: Peak Harvest

February: Peak Harvest

March: Peak Harvest

April: Less Common

May: Less Common

June: Less Common

July: Less Common

August: Less Common

September: Less Common

October: Peak Harvest

November: Peak Harvest

December: Peak Harvest

Sea cucumbers in Washington are typically harvested during colder months, with peak seasons in winter and early spring. During off-peak times, they might still be available, potentially sourced from aquaculture or stored inventories, leading to the “Less Common” designation during the warmer months.

Sea cucumber, an intriguing and somewhat exotic ingredient in Seattle’s seafood landscape, offers a unique culinary experience reflective of the city’s diverse and adventurous palate. These echinoderms, found in the cold, nutrient-rich waters of the Pacific Northwest, are prized in various Asian cuisines for their gelatinous texture and subtle, marine flavor.

In Seattle, sea cucumbers are harvested with a focus on sustainability, typically during the spring and summer months when they are most plentiful. This practice ensures a balance between culinary demand and ecological health, allowing these marine creatures to continue their role in the oceanic ecosystem.

Culinary uses of sea cucumber in Seattle are varied and often inspired by traditional Asian recipes where they are a delicacy. They can be braised, stewed, or stir-fried, often incorporated into dishes with rich, savory sauces that complement their mild taste and slightly chewy texture. In high-end Asian restaurants or specialty seafood eateries in Seattle, sea cucumbers are sometimes featured as the star ingredient in luxurious dishes, offering diners a taste of opulent, traditional fare.

The preparation of sea cucumber can be an intricate process, involving cleaning, soaking, and cooking techniques that bring out its best qualities. For those unfamiliar with sea cucumber, experiencing it in Seattle provides an opportunity to explore this unique seafood in a city known for its culinary diversity and innovation.

Food enthusiasts visiting Seattle can find sea cucumber in specialized seafood markets, particularly those focusing on Asian ingredients, where they might be sold fresh, dried, or pre-prepared. Sampling sea cucumber in Seattle not only satisfies culinary curiosity but also offers insight into the traditional and modern culinary practices that define the city’s dynamic food scene, bridging the gap between local seafood traditions and international gastronomic influences.

Seasons for Alaskan King Crab

King crab from Alaska is commonly available in Seattle, with peak harvests typically in the winter months. It’s prized for its sweet and succulent meat, often served steamed or boiled with butter for a luxurious dining experience.

January: Peak Harvest

February: Peak Harvest

March: Less Common

April: Less Common

May: Less Common

June: Less Common

July: Less Common

August: Less Common

September: Less Common

October: Peak Harvest

November: Peak Harvest

December: Peak Harvest

King Crab season in Alaska typically peaks from October to January, which is when the freshest catches are most likely to be available in Seattle. Outside of these months, King Crab may still be available but is often sourced from previous seasons’ catches and stored frozen, leading to the “Less Common” designation during the off-peak months.

Alaskan King Crab is a revered delicacy in Seattle, with its demand fueled not only by the local and visitor interest but also by the widespread recognition from television shows like “Deadliest Catch.” These magnificent crabs, renowned for their substantial size and the exceptionally sweet, tender quality of their meat, are a symbol of luxury in the culinary world. Despite Alaska being the primary source, King Crab has become a staple in Seattle’s seafood restaurants, celebrated for its exquisite taste and premium status.

When it comes to preparation, King Crab is unparalleled in flavor when steamed or boiled, typically served with melted butter to enhance its naturally rich taste. This method of cooking allows the delicate, sweet flavors of the crab to take center stage, offering a culinary experience that is both refined and deeply satisfying.

In Seattle’s upscale dining establishments, King Crab is often a highlight, particularly during its peak season from late fall to January. This period marks the time when the crabs are most abundant, following their natural harvest cycle. However, the actual season for fresh King Crab can be quite brief, spanning only a few weeks, primarily due to stringent sustainability practices and enforced quota limits that ensure the long-term health of crab populations.

Outside of this peak harvest period, King Crab is still available, though it may often be frozen to preserve its quality. Frozen King Crab retains much of its flavor and texture, making it a viable option throughout the year. This freezing process allows seafood enthusiasts to enjoy King Crab even when it’s not in season, providing a taste of luxury any time. While fresh King Crab is preferred for its superior flavor and texture, the frozen alternative offers a practical and still delicious choice for those looking to indulge in this prized seafood outside of its natural harvest season.

Seasons for Alaskan Snow Crab (Opilio)

Snow crab, also known as opilio, from Alaska is commonly available in Seattle, with peak harvests during the winter months. It’s appreciated for its sweet and tender meat, often served as a popular choice for seafood boils or crab legs.

January: Peak Harvest

February: Peak Harvest

March: Peak Harvest

April: Peak Harvest

May: Less Common

June: Less Common

July: Less Common

August: Less Common

September: Less Common

October: Less Common

November: Peak Harvest

December: Peak Harvest

The peak harvest for Snow Crab typically occurs from late fall through the winter months, mirroring the Alaskan fishing seasons. During these times, Snow Crab is most abundant and fresh in the Seattle market. Outside of these peak periods, availability decreases, and Snow Crab may be less commonly found fresh, often being sold from frozen stock.

Snow Crab, known in the scientific community as Opilio, has carved out its niche in the seafood market, endearing itself to culinary enthusiasts with its fine, sweet flavor and tender flesh. Its rise to fame, partly propelled by the adventurous tales of the “Deadliest Catch” television series, has sparked a robust curiosity and demand, particularly among tourists visiting Seattle. The preparation of Snow Crab, much like its larger cousin the King Crab, often involves steaming or boiling, which serves to preserve and accentuate its naturally subtle and sweet taste. These methods of cooking, paired with minimalistic accompaniments, allow the intrinsic flavors of the Snow Crab to shine, offering a refined dining experience.

Though not indigenous to Washington, Snow Crab has become a staple in the Seattle seafood scene, available widely across markets and eateries. It presents a more accessible option for those looking to indulge in the crab-eating experience without the extravagance associated with King Crab. The relative affordability and availability of Snow Crab do not, however, detract from its culinary value, making it a favored choice for both casual meals and gourmet preparations alike.

The fishing season for Snow Crab is notably longer than that of the King Crab, typically commencing in late fall and spanning through the winter, sometimes extending into late spring. This extended season, particularly in the frigid waters of Alaska, from October to May, allows for a more sustained period of harvest. Consequently, fresh Snow Crab is more readily available during these months, providing seafood lovers with ample opportunity to savor this crustacean at its peak.

During off-peak times, when fresh catches are less abundant, Snow Crab is often offered frozen in the market. This preservation method ensures that Snow Crab remains a fixture on menus year-round, allowing diners to enjoy its delicate flavors regardless of the season. Frozen Snow Crab, while not matching the exquisite taste and texture of its fresh counterpart, still holds considerable culinary merit, offering a practical alternative that retains much of the crab’s inherent quality. Through careful processing and freezing techniques, Snow Crab is made accessible to a broader audience, ensuring its status as a beloved staple in the seafood community.

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WATERFRONT DINING OPTIONS

Clam Chowder | Fine Dining | Seafood Specialists | Lunch | Breakfast | Casual Dining | Indoor Seating | Outdoor Seating | Counter Service | Private Dining & Groups | Olympic View Terraces & Patios | Kids Menus | Hot Dogs & Ice Cream | Baked Goods | Caffeine | TV Screens | Revolving | Brunch

– Clam Chowder –

Ivar’s Fish Bar on Pier 54 (menu)

Ivar’s Acres of Clams on Pier 54 (menu)

Elliott’s Oyster House on Pier 56 (menu)

The Crab Pot at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Anthony’s Fish Bar on Pier 66 – open seasonally (menu)

Anthony’s Bell Street Diner on Pier 66 (menu)

Anthony’s Pier 66 – upstairs dining room (menu)

Six Seven at the Edgewater on Pier 67 (menu)

AQUA by El Gaucho on Pier 70 (menu)

– Fine Dining –

Ivar’s Acres of Clams on Pier 54 (menu)

Elliott’s Oyster House on Pier 56 (menu)

Anthony’s Pier 66 – upstairs dining room (menu)

Six Seven at the Edgewater on Pier 67 (menu)

AQUA by El Gaucho on Pier 70 (menu)

– Seafood Specialists –

Ivar’s Fish Bar on Pier 54 (menu)

Ivar’s Acres of Clams on Pier 54 (menu)

Elliott’s Oyster House on Pier 56 (menu)

The Crab Pot at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Anthony’s Fish Bar on Pier 66 – open seasonally (menu)

Anthony’s Bell Street Diner on Pier 66 (menu)

Anthony’s Pier 66 – upstairs dining room (menu)

Six Seven at the Edgewater on Pier 67 (menu)

AQUA by El Gaucho on Pier 70 (menu)

– Lunch –

Ivar’s Fish Bar on Pier 54 (menu)

Ivar’s Acres of Clams on Pier 54 (menu)

Premier Meat Pies & Brews on Pier 54 (menu)

Great State Burger on Pier 54 (menu)

Skalka across from Pier 54 (menu)

Elliott’s Oyster House on Pier 56 (menu)

The Wing Dome on Pier 56 (menu)

The Crab Pot at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Alaskan Sourdough Bakery at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Anthony’s Fish Bar on Pier 66 – open seasonally (menu)

Anthony’s Bell Street Diner on Pier 66 (menu)

Six Seven at the Edgewater on Pier 67 (menu)

Pub 70 on Pier 70 (menu)

– Breakfast –

Great State Burger on Pier 54 (menu)

Skalka across from Pier 54 (menu)

Starbucks on Pier 55

Alaskan Sourdough Bakery at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Hook & Plow at the Marriott across from Bell Harbor Marina

Cafe Opla across from Pier 66 (menu)

Six Seven at the Edgewater on Pier 67 (menu)

– Casual Dining –

Ivar’s Fish Bar on Pier 54 (menu)

Ivar’s Acres of Clams on Pier 54 (menu)

Premier Meat Pies & Brews on Pier 54 (menu)

Great State Burger on Pier 54 (menu)

Skalka across from Pier 54 (menu)

The Wing Dome on Pier 56 (menu)

Alaskan Sourdough Bakery at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

The Crab Pot at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Anthony’s Fish Bar on Pier 66 – open seasonally (menu)

Anthony’s Bell Street Diner on Pier 66 (menu)

Pub 70 on Pier 70 (menu)

– Indoor Seating –

Ivar’s Acres of Clams on Pier 54 (menu)

Premier Meat Pies & Brews on Pier 54 (menu)

Great State Burger on Pier 54 (menu)

Skalka across from Pier 54 (menu)

Elliott’s Oyster House on Pier 56 (menu)

The Wing Dome on Pier 56 (menu)

Alaskan Sourdough Bakery at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

The Crab Pot at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Anthony’s Bell Street Diner on Pier 66 (menu)

Anthony’s Pier 66 – upstairs dining room (menu)

Anthony’s Fish Bar on Pier 66 – open seasonally (menu)

Six Seven at the Edgewater on Pier 67 (menu)

AQUA by El Gaucho on Pier 70 (menu)

Pub 70 on Pier 70 (menu)

– Outdoor Seating –

Ivar’s Fish Bar on Pier 54 year-round (menu)

Ivar’s Acres of Clams on Pier 54 (menu)

Premier Meat Pies & Brews on Pier 54 (menu)

Great State Burger on Pier 54 (menu)

Elliott’s Oyster House on Pier 56 (menu)

The Wing Dome on Pier 56 (menu)

The Crab Pot at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Anthony’s Bell Street Diner on Pier 66 (menu)

Anthony’s Fish Bar on Pier 66 – open seasonally (menu)

Anthony’s Pier 66 – upstairs dining room (menu)

Six Seven at the Edgewater on Pier 67 (menu)

AQUA by El Gaucho on Pier 70 (menu)

Pub 70 on Pier 70 (menu)

– Counter Service –

Ivar’s Fish Bar on Pier 54 (menu)

Premier Meat Pies & Brews on Pier 54 (menu)

Great State Burger on Pier 54 (menu)

Skalka across from Pier 54 (menu)

Starbucks on Pier 55

The Wing Dome on Pier 56 (menu)

Alaskan Sourdough Bakery at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

The Salmon Cooker at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57

Anthony’s Fish Bar on Pier 66 – open seasonally (menu)

Anthony’s Bell Street Diner on Pier 66 (menu)

– Private Dining & Groups –

Ivar’s Acres of Clams on Pier 54 (menu)

Diane’s Market Kitchen across from Pier 54 (menu)

Elliott’s Oyster House on Pier 56 (menu)

The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Anthony’s Pier 66 – upstairs dining room (menu)

Six Seven at the Edgewater on Pier 67 (menu)

AQUA by El Gaucho on Pier 70 (menu)

– Olympic View Terraces & Patios –

Ivar’s Fish Bar on Pier 54 (menu)

Ivar’s Acres of Clams on Pier 54 (menu)

Premier Meat Pies & Brews on Pier 54 (menu)

Elliott’s Oyster House on Pier 56 (menu)

The Fisherman’s Restaurant & Bar at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

The Crab Pot at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Anthony’s Pier 66 – upstairs dining room (menu)

Six Seven at the Edgewater on Pier 67 (menu)

AQUA by El Gaucho on Pier 70 (menu)

Pub 70 on Pier 70 (menu)

– Kid Menus –

Ivar’s Acres of Clams on Pier 54 (menu)

Great State Burger on Pier 54 (menu)

The Wing Dome on Pier 56 (menu)

Anthony’s Bell Street Diner on Pier 66 (menu)

– Hot Dogs & Ice Cream –

The Frankfurter on Pier 55

The Creamery Ice Cream Shop at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57

– Baked Goods –

Skalka across from Pier 54 (menu)

Premier Meat Pies & Brews on Pier 54 (menu)

Starbucks on Pier 55

Alaskan Sourdough Bakery at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Aquarium Café at Pier 59 (Seattle Aquarium)

The Brim Coffee Shop at the Edgewater on Pier 67

– Caffeine –

Starbucks on Pier 55

Alaskan Sourdough Bakery at Miner’s Landing on Pier 57 (menu)

Aquarium Café at Pier 59 (Seattle Aquarium)

Cafe Opla across from Pier 66 (menu)

The Brim Coffee Shop at the Edgewater on Pier 67

Uptown Espresso on Pier 70

– TV Screens –

The lounge at Ivar’s Acres of Clams on Pier 54 (menu)

The Wing Dome on Pier 56 (menu)

Pub 70 on Pier 70 (menu)

– Revolving –

Enjoy a meal served in your own private gondola with up to three other people as you rise 200 feet above Elliott Bay on the Seattle Great Wheel at Pier 57.

– Brunch –

Please see Breakfast & Lunch options above.