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The Walrus and the Carpenter

Seafood Restaurant, Gastropub, and Cocktail Bar$$$$
Ballard, Seattle
184 Tips and reviews
  • oysters
  • steak tartare
  • happy hour
  • cocktails
  • lively
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  • Lloyd
    LloydJuly 22, 2013
    Rated as one of the best restaurant in America by many critics, this little hidden gem serves fresh oysters and mussels along with other small dishes. Unique flavors and terrific wine, cocktail & beer
  • Angie N.
    Angie NewmanAugust 27, 2013
    An hour wait at 5pm on Mon. Waited it out next door with wine and it was worth It. Olympia, broomstick and Glacier oysters were my fav. Steak tartare, zucchini salad and eel special were also delish.
    Upvoted Sep 20
  • Travel + Leisure
    Travel + LeisureMarch 19, 2013
    Pristine shellfish displayed on a gleaming zinc counter are the main event at this handsome Ballard oyster bar. The shucking itself is a work of art. More places to eat like a local:
  • Mingfei Y.
    Mingfei YanAugust 28
    Oysters! Expensive but fresh and tasty. 4-6pm are their happy hours. Drink is good. Beef tartar is nice too.
    Upvoted Oct 30
  • Arminda G.
    Tiny and very popular, make sure to get there early to snag a table, but well worth the wait. Oysters are fresh, bartender knows his stuff - try to get a seat at the bar to watch all the action!
  • Marta B.
    Marta BeckerMay 8, 2014
    go to the patio, it is cute and the heaters works wonders! The smoked trout and lentils is amazing, as well as the scallops Tatar and the red wine sausage. Anything really, you can't go wrong!
    Upvoted Sep 15
  • Condé Nast Traveler
    Experiencing Renee Erickson's menu is like reliving her life as it relates to the food of the Northwest. The menu changes daily, but a big plate of regional oysters is a must.” - Ford Fry Read more
  • Trophy Cupcakes a.
    Trophy Cupcakes and PartyFebruary 13, 2012
    Quite possibly the best oysters on the half shell in Seattle. Super cool decor and one of the hardest seats to get at the moment. Arrive early (4:30) or expect to wait at least 1-2 hours for a table.
  • Caroline S.
    Caroline S.April 13, 2013
    Get your name on the list, grab a drink somewhere, then a drink somewhere else, and then maybe your table will be ready. And it will be SO worth it. The garden plates are as standout as the oysters.
  • David T.
    David TownsendDecember 31, 2013
    Loved every bit of this place. Excellent oysters. Grilled sardines, beef cheek terrine and steak tartare Also bartender made an excellent cocktail of gin, dry vermouth, absinthe, soda and celery
  • Cem H.
    Cem HamamiMarch 12, 2014
    Try a sampler of all oysters in the menu as they're all differently amazing. Fried oyster plate is also a good option for people not comfortable eating raw. Chrome Satan draft beer is splendid.
  • jennifer h.
    jennifer hanAugust 25, 2014
    one of a handful top restaurants in the city that doesn't take rezzies. go when they open at 4pm to snatch up a table for drinks and seafood. afterwards, head down the street to hot cakes for dessert.
  • Trophy Cupcakes and Party
    Perfectly selected, perfectly chilled oysters- beautifully shucked right before your eyes (if you sit at the bar)...order a glass of bubbly and you are pretty much in heaven. Get there early.
  • Epicurious
    EpicuriousOctober 2, 2014
    Snagging a table at The Walrus is no easy task. Arriving alone cuts down on that wait dramatically and puts crispy fried oysters and awesome vegetable-foucsed dishes into your more immediate future. Read more
  • Cathy M.
    Cathy MabeeApril 19, 2012
    So happy to see Renee's place ranked as one of the best in the US...the downside is not being able to get a table anymore. Plan ahead!! It is a good 2 hour wait on weekends.
  • Seattle Met
    Seattle MetNovember 9, 2011
    With seven oyster varieties daily, W&C is a nosher’s paradise, not a dinner house, so plan accordingly. Then plan to wait, as dozens crowd the line ahead of you, and reservations aren’t accepted. Read more
  • AFAR Media
    AFAR MediaAugust 4, 2014
    The best oyster bar in Seattle is the Walrus and the Carpenter. I also like the rustic hallway leading to the modern resto space. Read more
  • CNN
    CNNDecember 3, 2014
    About a dozen oyster varieties representing the West Coast, from California to Alaska, are piled into wire baskets, topped with ice, and labeled with chalkboard signs. Read more
  • Christina T.
    Christina TroitinoJanuary 12, 2014
    winning game plan: oysters, steak tartar + then tell the bartender what you're eating to make you a special off the menu cocktail to perfectly pair. this place is great.
  • Christina B.
    OMG, an eaters paradise. The treasure cove oysters were incredible. The asparagus with shaved egg, pork & duck rillettes and sautéed clams with pancetta were superb! 👌
  • Epicurious
    EpicuriousOctober 7, 2014
    Enjoy the spiced carrot salad, dotted with brightly acidic currants, pistachios, and sweet honey alongside a dozen oysters and a pint of Double Mountain Brewery's Dry Hopped Pale Ale. Read more
  • Vanessa T.
    Vanessa TOctober 22, 2012
    One of the best meals I've ever had. Wish we could get something like this in NY. Come early (before 4) and take advantage of the happy hour from 4 - 6.
  • Carla J.
    Carla JeanJune 9, 2012
    "Of Shoes & Ships & Sealing Wax, Of Cabbages & Kings, Why The Sea Is Boiling HOT & Whether Pigs Have Wings..OH Little Oysters!!" A Little Alice In Wonderland & A LOT Of AMAZING!!
  • Sam G.
    Sam GrossbergSeptember 18, 2012
    Coolest restaurant in Seattle. Great oysters. Get drinks at Dutch Bike Co. (only in Seattle does a bike shop double as a bar) while you're enduring the long wait.
  • Zach K.
    Zach KotelJune 17, 2013
    Get there before it opens to be sure to get a table for happy hour. Pretty hard to get in with groups of more than 4, but the wait is definitely worth it.
  • Yatharth G.
    Yatharth GuptaMarch 11, 2013
    This is a great joint : yes you have to wait - plan it out. Staples and Fancy serves a good negroni. W&C : Oysters - Steak Tartare - Blood and Sand
  • Jessica S.
    Jessica SandstromMay 10, 2014
    AMAZING oysters and cocktails, usually a wait but they'll take your number and you can grab a drink at the bike shop that serves beer/wine next door!
  • Nicholas J.
    Nicholas JarrettNovember 9, 2013
    Excellent food, and a killer wine list. Oysters, steak tartar, the anchovies, and go french and white for the wine. The staff was supremely knowledgable.
  • Mutineer Magazine
    Mutineer MagazineNovember 27, 2013
    An assortment of oysters and bubbles is always a winning combination. Try some local craft beer after your bubbles; Bellevue Brewing ESB is a winner.
  • Kevin S.
    Kevin SkobacOctober 31, 2013
    Go early, it might be the most popular place in the city. If you have a wait, stop in at the bar Barnacle next door. The oysters were fantastic.
  • Solly B.
    Solly BgollySeptember 27, 2015
    Yum all yum. Our waitress was great, my Moscow Mule was great, the oysters were out of this world, and we loved the steak tartar. Yum yum yummy.
  • Mark M.
    Mark McGiffinJune 29, 2013
    Spend time with the Oyster menu and look beyond the usual go-to NW favs. We discovered Treasure Cove oysters that blew our minds. Oh and my wife loved her Mustache Ride.
  • Seattle Met
    Seattle MetNovember 11, 2011
    Fresh simplicity defines chef Renee Erickson’s food at the Walrus and the Carpenter. It also describes the cocktail menu—the creation of her partner Jeremy Price. Read more
  • Eater
    EaterJuly 28, 2011
    Yes, the seafood is delicious, but Renee Erickson's oyster bar also offers seemingly simple small plates that keep the tucked-away dining room reliably packed. [Eater 38 Member] Read more
  • hello_emily
    THE OYSTERS. Also the steak tartare is the best I've ever had and the asparagus is great too.
  • Patricia L.
    Patricia LeeJuly 30, 2015
    It is worth all the hype. There can be a long wait but just park yourself in a coffee shop until they call you. Amazing, fresh oysters. 💯💯💯
  • Jacob G.
    Jacob GyllenstiernaMarch 19, 2014
    The smoked trout is amazing! The steak tartare is also great. Have a drink next door at Barnacle while you wait for your table.
  • Rich T.
    Rich TongMay 21, 2013
    Try the Smoked Trout With Lentils, Walnut, Onion And Creme Fraische - Sweet, savory and rich all at the same time. Perfect salt. Yum!
  • Conrad S.
    Conrad ScottAugust 8, 2012
    Everyone says the oysters are great, because they are, and the steak tartare is the best I've eaten anywhere, and I like steak tartare.
  • Mitch T.
    Mitch ThompsonJuly 22, 2013
    Delicious oysters and cocktails! Particularly like the mustache ride (and the sick mustache on our server). Sammamish Sweet were the best oysters.
  • Cusp25
    Cusp25June 4, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Enjoy the oysters! The porcini salad was delicious- thinly sliced and raw with shards of cheese
  • Kate D.
    Kate DempseyJuly 30, 2011
    In this case, the NY Times was dead on. A must-visit in Seattle. The pinot bianco is lovely, ask for oyster recommendations and try the swiss chard.
  • Samantha J.
    Samantha JonkerJune 22, 2015
    Everything! Best oysters I've ever had, amazing steak tartare and fantastic cocktails
  • sunny r.
    sunny rahbarAugust 4, 2011
    Everything! Cocktails, oysters, delicious boquerones, the radish salad with butter, and finally the medjool dates with olive oil and sea salt. Too good!
  • Taka T.
    Taka TMay 17, 2013
    Try the Assorted Oysters - #oysters are super #fresh here at #thewalrusandthecarpenter. Maybe the best oysters in USA so far
  • Rob A.
    Rob AnybodyOctober 26, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    The check is delivered to your table on a scallop shell. I challenge you not to think of the three seashells from Demolition Man while paying your bill!
  • Jonathan T.
    Jonathan TiceDecember 23, 2013
    Awesome staff, food and music ... Steak tartar is a must, country style & one of the best I've ever had
  • Jo L.
    Jo LJuly 29, 2013
    Get in early or try weekdays otherwise prepare to wait at least 1.5 hours before you get seated. They don't take reservations. Menu changes daily.
  • Sian W.
    Sian WuFebruary 9, 2012
    Not only is this place delicious, but they really support clean water efforts, according to Puget Soundkeeper Alliance. A socially conscious place to eat!
  • Bon Appetit Magazine
    Bon Appetit MagazineAugust 16, 2011
    First I ordered a dozen oysters, then I ordered six more, and then six more after that. The quarter-size Olympia, "Samish Sweets," and Malaspina varieties were that good.
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