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Ivar's Acres of Clams
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Ranked #46 of 4,248 Restaurants in Seattle
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $40
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Romantic, Families with children, Special occasions, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations, Takeout
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Between Spring and Madison
Transit: FREE Waterfront Streetcar Bus Line (Route 99): http://metro.kingcounty.gov/tops/wfsc/
Description: Ivar’s Acres of Clams has unveiled a whale of a transformation at this flagship location on Pier 54, located on Seattle’s Waterfront overlooking Elliott Bay. Ivar’s Acres of Clams just completed a stunning remodel, the biggest in its 79-year storied history. The down-to-the-studs remodel includes expanded indoor dining space, a new massive outdoor patio, expanded state-of-the-art kitchen and a completely refreshed interior that pays homage to our iconic restaurant’s roots. Upon entering Ivar’s Acres of Clams you will be immersed in the history and lore of Ivar’s and our flounder Ivar Haglund. Original features of the Pier, which opened in 1901, including exposed fir beams and a refurbished Galbraith-Bacon & Co sign from the original tenant (some say the Seattle Costco of its time) were restored. With a more airy feel and expansive views, diners will enjoy views of the Puget Sound, passing Washington State ferries and fireboats from historic Fire Station #3. If you prefer al fresco dining, enjoy a stunning, new outside patio deck. Bask in the open-air breeze while taking in the sights and sounds of Elliott Bay, including the tranquil passing of ferries – and the occasional seagull friend. To satisfy your craving for Northwest seafood, our chefs have created award-winning preparations to reflect the season’s bounty, yet still showcase Ivar Haglund’s world-famous original recipes. Choose from wild Alaska salmon, deep-water halibut, Alaska King Crab, Dungeness Crab, jumbo prawns, manila clams and weathervane scallops, just to name a few. Be sure to check out our Pier 54 Fish Bar, which offers take-out service of Ivar's classics including award-wining fish ‘n chips, chowder and other seafood favorites. As part of the local lore, feel free to feed a few fries to the seagulls. It’s a photo opportunity worth sharing! Be sure to check out our virtual tour: https://goo.gl/maps/rG3RGF9nQ6o
Reviewed January 27, 2013

People from WA state said I should try Ivars. On-line booking worked but there was still a wait - better than the folks walking in having to wait 40 mins or sit at the bar A good pier restaurant with a great view and I prefer tables to booth seating. Service was truly exceptional with great info and follow up. Oysters on the half shell were great but smaller than expected. King salmon and seafood mixed grill had large fish portions and wonderfully tasty. Try the chowder sampler to experience their award winning chowder - seems they hand out a lot of awards since every restaurant has one? It seemed a little cool and drafty and most people were seated with jackets on.

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Thank Lloyd W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,254 - 1,258 of 1,653 reviews

Reviewed January 26, 2013

What fun to get fish and chips and then walk out on the pier to eat them ! Make sure and save a few fries for the seagulls......they will catch them in the air if you throw them up and out over the water !
There might be signs saying don't do this......but, my Dad always encouraged it !

Thank Irene P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Although it was a cloudy/foggy day on our visit, we still had a great view of the harbor and the Seattle FD rescue boats and the ferry’s coming and going.

We LOVE the clam chowder and it was a perfect day for a clam chowder bread bowl!! We tried a oysters on the half shell combo which was fantastic…

Our first visit with a child and the staff was very accommodating; brought the high chair promptly and supplied a coloring page and crayons 

While you are waiting for your meal you can head over to the gift shop and pick up some local souvenirs to take home!

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Thank beautea97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2013

my family and I had dinner here a couple weeks ago. Ivar's a icon in Seattle- and I would have expected better. From having to netogiate a better table, to a dinner that took way to long to come to the table, I was disappointed. Food was ok and epensive . If you have out of town guests and want them to watch the ferries board, this is a fun place to go ( as long as you get window seats) otherwise it is not worth the cost.

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Thank Mary Ellen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2013

Ivar Haglund help build Seattle -- and most certainly its restaurant scene. The son of Norweigan and Swedish immigrants (ya sure, you betcha! Tis is a huge part of of Seattle's culture), Ivar opened both his first fish & chips stand at this location, AND its first Aquarium. In 1946, Ivar opened Acres of Clams -- your destination today.

But Ivar was so much more than a restauranteer (even though 27 fish & chip restaurants and 3 full service restaurants bear his name as the "flounder"). A folk singer and radio personality (which explains so much when you are in one of his restaurants) who helped create many of our cultural icons (Keep Clam and the Dancing Clams, popular in parades and housed at the Museum of History and Industry on South Lake Union) Ivar lived in, owned or established many of Seattle's landmarks, including Alki Point and the Smith Tower. He was an incredibly generous benefactor of Washington's major universities.

According to local historian Paul Dorpat on Washington's exceptional HistoryLink.org, "Ivar wrote a will that, except for a few gifts to friends, divided his estate between the Washington State University restaurant program and his alma mater, the University of Washington School of Business. Ivar's will also indicated that his former employees should be given the chance to purchase back the business. Not only did he care for them, but he also understood that they would be likely to carry on his traditions,­ both cornball and charitable."

And there you have it and this is why I so heartily recommend this restaurant. The interior of Ivar's Acres of Clams feels like the interior of an old vessel -- all polished, worn wood with brass details, nautical elements and old fishing and shellfish harvesting props. The employees are professionals who are paid well and provided benefits that include health insurance -- which helps explain why they are so happy to serve us all.

Tourists routinely visit this place in the summer, but Ivar's is also wonderful for family outings. On Christmas Eve, tables filled with multi-generational relatives were treated royally -- even when everyone ordered deep fried "Northwest Platter" stuff instead of the perfectly prepared entrees such as grilled king salmon or northwest halibut wrapped in bacon. There is a fine seafood fettucini (maybe you can justify the billion fat grams because of the seafood??), a grilled portabella "Napoleon", steaks, and lots of surf & turf combos. Back to that deep fried stuff -- no one needs to feel bad about ordering these items, since Ivar's devotes an entire page in the menu to them. This is their bread and butter, so to speak. And speaking of, you get these fabulous cannonball sourdough rolls with dinner -- forget the butter and use them to sop up the chowder (white clam, salmon and Manhattan are all spectacular) or the broth found in the clams and mussels.

Children love it here -- and somehow, despite so many of them -- most kids are well behaved and doted on by the staff. Maybe that's because they are entertained by the Washington State Ferries and the Seattle Fire Boats right outside the Pier 54 windows; maybe because there are so many things to try to identify on the walls; maybe because they get paper masks (more Seattle cultural icons); maybe because the kids placemats have Ivar's folk songs on them.

Me and the man-half, well, we own the bar. Ivar's Pier 54 hosts a happy hour from 3 pm to close, and all day on game days. What. A. Deal! We can feast on smaller portions of the dining menu at prices that range from $4 for a BOWL of chowder, $6.50 for a salmon Ceasar, $7 for mussels, to $8 for fried giant prawns & chips. Man-half and I can order 4 items plus Burnt Cream ($4) for dessert, with 3 glasses of house Chardonnay ($3.50) EACH and leave a generous tip and wallow out for about $60. Whatever you do, don't sit in that corner 2-top that looks out over the dining room. That one's ours.

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Thank FeistyBrain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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