PNW Connection

Back to Blog
Blog Teaser Image

An Icon: Ivar’s Acres of Clam


There are many landmarks and descriptors that people think of when they hear “Seattle.” From the obvious Space Needle, to the question of how much rain we truly get. The Pacific Northwest is also known widely for its fresh seafood, and Ivar’s is arguably the quintessential spot you need to visit to experience what we have to offer. I grew up on Ivar’s clam chowder – because if you are a chowder fan, you know it’s the best. In all our time spent downtown, we finally dined at Ivar’s Acres of Clams, and I’m not sure why we didn’t sooner!

We are big believers in ferries, and exploring hole in the wall shops, and this location is nestled right in the perfect spot to do both. The service was high quality, and the food was incredible. If you have never been to an Ivar’s, or Acres of Clams, the Chowder Sampler is a must, which is also exclusive to this location. My favorite will always be the Northwest “Famous” White Clam Chowder, but it was fun to try a couple other flavors like House-Smoked Salmon & Corn, and NW Seafood.

Acres of Clams is an obvious go-to for a business lunch or date, but what surprised us most was how family friendly this location was. As parents, we often opt out of dining at higher-end restaurants because to be honest, it is terrifying. You never know when the chaos will erupt, or if the staff will be kid-friendly. Luckily, the staff were all very warm and on top of service. The kids’ menu was excellent (like the kind of kids’ menu that you wish you could order from), and we loved that there were paper scuba masks to wear and boats to watch.

We were all big fans of the fresh bread basket, because who doesn’t love carbs? After years of teaching, I learned an important trick when it comes to getting your kids to try new foods. It’s called an “adventure bite.” When we are trying something that is new to our kids, we always ask them to just try an adventure bite, because adventures are usually pretty fun and something we end up loving. We ordered the Dungeness Crab and Goat Cheese dip, and that’s one adventure bite we shouldn’t have let our kids have, because they devoured it! Luckily, they stuck to their burgers and fries when meals came so we got to enjoy our salad and fish and chips all to ourselves. I would definitely take our kids there again, and rest easy knowing it would be an enjoyable experience for our whole family. But we also can’t wait to head back for a date night just the two of us. The view is beautiful, and the atmosphere was relaxing.  

After our meal, we wandered over to Ivar’s Seafood Bar just outside. Have you fed the Gulls down at Ivar’s on Pier 54? If you haven’t you need to go! It was hard to give up the incredible fries but well worth sharing them. I don’t know how I had never done this before. Bonus points, no one got pooped on. Our kids thought it was the coolest thing ever, but I’m almost positive Kyle had the most fun.

If you are looking for a fun, quintessential Seattle experience, make sure you add Pier 54 and Ivar’s Acres of Clams to your list. Maybe you’ll see our little family there!


For a free PNW print “The Gulls at Ivar’s Seafood Bar” click HERE. Download, print, and hang!

By Lisa Aamot

@lisaaamot | @merakiphotographynw