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“Beautiful setting on the deck for happy hour” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cliff House

Cliff House
331 N State St, Bellingham, WA 98225-5325
360-734-8660
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Ranked #55 of 414 Restaurants in Bellingham
Price range: $0 - $30
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Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Blaine, Washington
Level Contributor
34 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Beautiful setting on the deck for happy hour”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2014

The Cliff House has a great view of Bellingham harbor from the deck. We enjoyed Happy Hour (4:30 - 6:30 & all day Sunday). They offer a variety of appetizers: oysters (fresh) & fried - delicious. Prawns with coconut were also tasty with a dipping sauce. Crab, artichoke & shrimp dip was also good. We were disappointed in the fish tacos as the fish was NOT fresh.
Comfortable bar area indoors also.

A surprise was that the restrooms were down a flight of 16 steps - a challenge to some elderly folks.

It was relaxing - did not stay for dinner.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank laarrowhd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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108 reviews from our community

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White Rock, Canada
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“worst steak ever”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2014

My wife and I went to the Cliff House with another couple. We started off with the whiskey chowder soup and a caesar salad. The soup was excellent and the salad was better than average. I kept saying why haven't we tried this place before. I then ordered a New York steak and my wife ordered halibut. Our friends who recommended this place also ordered. My steak was probably the worst I had ever had and my wifes halibut was overcooked and dried out. I would only recommend going there and sitting in the lounge enjoying the view and having a prawn cocktail , the whiskey chowder soup and a salad.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Mike P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellingham, Washington
Level Contributor
34 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“As good as years ago”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2013

It was our anniversary and we were deciding where to go. We have history in many restaurants near home. Decided to try the Cliff House again We had been there for drinks and appetizers a few times this year and were not thrilled with the service. Nothing sours a dining experience no matter how sweet the view is than a surly wait person!!
This evening we had a very pleasant experience. The salad was great and the whiskey crab soup as good as I remembered. They served a white bred instead of the delightful brown bread from years past so that was disappointing. My husband;s steak was done perfectly. My chicken covered in crab and bernaise sauce was amazing. A fair amount of crab and the sauce was light. The dessert was ok. Peanut butter pie. Our waitress was lovely and the service was great.
Good to see that this place still has charm and is still special enough for an important evening.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Mary Ann S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellingham, Washington
Level Contributor
415 reviews
280 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 369 helpful votes
“Go for the view, not the food”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2013

Cliff House is a dated, throwback kind of place tucked off the beaten path in a residential neighborhood. The best thing it offers is the view. The next best thing would be a perfectly grilled steak or chunk of fresh fish, which they do very well.

After that it's downhill.

And that's because this is a Hunk O' Meat (well, or fish) restaurant at heart. You choose your meat and then you choose your carbs from the usual suspects of rice and baked potato. It is NOT a chef's restaurant, not a place where dishes are carefully composed from the best local ingredients. The few specials they do offer in an attempt at upscale combining have been in my experience heavy/clumsy--usually a baked fish of some kind buried under a sauce tasting of a Knorr's package mix bulked out with extra cream, cheese and butter.

The whisky crab soup is famous here, but I think that owes a lot to the fact that if you order the soup then you're saved the embarrassment of making the trip to the salad bar. Yes, a salad bar. Like at The Sizzler. You thought there weren't any more salad bars, but you're wrong! The Tradition That Never Should Have Been is alive and well at The Cliff House, complete with all the cliche components: the manufactured salad dressings, croutons out of a box, and the glass "sneeze plate" that's supposed to catch all the germs being spewed by your not-so-well fellow diners.

Ewwwwwww.

So go for the view. Go for the full-service bar. Go for a great piece of fresh grilled salmon and the whiskey crab soup. Or go because you live down the street and it's close.

Just don't expect great dining, because it's not here.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank UnrepentantFoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Million dollar view and prices to match”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2013

If only the food and service matched the view. My wife had the whiskey crab soup and the halibut. I had baked oyster and a shellfish medley in wine sauce. Every dish was a pale imitation of what you find in a good seafood restaurant. Bland boring and overpriced. Very overpriced. We spent double or triple what we are paying in Phoenix restaurants. And we are getting better seafood here. Stay away

  • Visited October 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Gilbertsunsfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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