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The Walrus and the Carpenter

Seafood Restaurant, Gastropub, and Cocktail Bar$$$$
Ballard, Seattle
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9.3/10
527
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190 Tips and reviews
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  • oysters
  • steak tartare
  • happy hour
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  • Jess N.
    Jess NaldoApril 8
    So happy hour is 50% 4-5 then 25% 5-6 PM -- which we didn't realize. Either way, be prepared to spend $$$ and yet, have no regrets. Fresh oysters, simple seafood small plates and yes, get the bread.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Mingfei Y.
    Mingfei YanAugust 28, 2016
    Oysters! Expensive but fresh and tasty. 4-6pm are their happy hours. Drink is good. Beef tartar is nice too.
  • 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!
  • 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!
  • Condé Nast Traveler
    Condé Nast TravelerOctober 26, 2016
    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
  • 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: tandl.me/12ufz7c
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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! 👌
  • Seijung P.
    Seijung ParkFebruary 19
    I see why people line up before it even opens! The oysters, grilled sardines, steak tartare, scallop curry were all exceptional - the chive crepes not so much. Best Moscow Mule ever.
  • 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
  • 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!!
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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. 💯💯💯
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • hello_emily
    hello_emilyMay 2, 2016
    THE OYSTERS. Also the steak tartare is the best I've ever had and the asparagus is great too.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Cusp25
    Cusp25June 4, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Enjoy the oysters! The porcini salad was delicious- thinly sliced and raw with shards of cheese
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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!
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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!
  • Curtis J.
    Curtis J.October 20, 2015
    While it is primarily about the oysters, there are several great options for non-seafood eaters as well
  • Ruby N.
    Ruby NAugust 18, 2016
    This place is amazing. Great vibes and oysters galore. Other stuff is good too. Great wine list.
  • Sarah F.
    Sarah FoleyApril 15, 2015
    Oysters, octopus, smoked trout, and steamed clams, Oh My! All delicious. Not your typical dining experience.
  • Shaun M.
    Shaun MochanAugust 11, 2013
    Oysters are fresh and amazing, make sure to try the Moscow Mule
  • Vincent T.
    Vincent TanMay 6, 2016
    Very fresh oysters and seafood was amazing! Best in Seattle town
  • Taylor F.
    Taylor FlemingOctober 4, 2012
    if billy's tomatoes are on the menu/in season, they are a no-brainer. raw oysters and steak tartare are year-round standbys.
  • 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.
  • GourmetLive
    GourmetLiveFebruary 18, 2011
    Gourmet Live Socialvore, Michael of Herbivoracious, enjoys the Celery Root Salad with Pomegranate Molasses. “It was both straightforward and surprising.”
  • Cameron S.
    Cameron StokesMarch 14, 2015
    Excellent cocktails and food. Get a pre-dinner drink at Barnacle while you wait for your table.
  • Denise F.
    Denise FFebruary 21
    This place is just great and delicious. Happy hour time gets really busy. Amazing staff.
  • Jonathan L.
    Jonathan LamAugust 22, 2012
    Great portion sizes! Come with a few people to split all of the amazing dishes. Yum.
  • Rachel L.
    Rachel LinFebruary 14, 2014
    Loved the scallop tartare & fried brussel sprouts. Octopus consommé tasted like soba soup.
  • Danielle L.
    Danielle LaFleur-DuttaDecember 15, 2013
    Arrive early and plan on waiting in line. But worth it - better then the hype. Yum!!
  • Amy R.
    Amy RobertsonNovember 2, 2015
    The oysters are definitely the highlight; but the other seafood dishes are worth saving room for
  • Marc
    MarcMay 7, 2013
    Tom Douglas choice for Best Happy Hour: For classy, the Walrus and the Carpenter in Ballard.
  • Brad W.
    Brad WilliamsNovember 5, 2015
    Best oysters I have ever had, hands down. Love the vibe of the whole place too
  • Mallory A.
    Mallory ArmstrongSeptember 10, 2011
    The Chevre from The Little Brown Farm is amazing and a delicious dessert paired with the fruit pate!
  • Vienna C.
    Vienna CatDecember 15, 2010
    Order drinks and oysters, finish up with the cheese plate. Great ambiance, get their early on the weekend or go during the week.
  • Greg E.
    Greg EinfrankSeptember 4, 2016
    Get the grilled sardines. One of the best dishes I've ever had
  • Amy R.
    Amy RolphMarch 29, 2011
    Great happy hour, great atmosphere. Brought a friend who doesn't eat oysters and there was still plenty to choose from.
  • Linus B.
    Linus BikesMarch 13, 2013
    The vintage french styling and comfortable ride are perfect for cruising around Portland. Read more
  • 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!
  • Corinna P.
    Corinna PJuly 3, 2011
    Try the Treasure Cove oysters if they're on the menu. Salty and refreshing. Great clams too!
  • Rachel S.
    Rachel SmithOctober 16, 2015
    Oysters, oysters oysters & cocktails! You can't go wrong!
  • Victor C.
    Victor CAugust 16, 2011
    Fantastic all around. Great happy hour too with specials on drinks and oysters. Gets crowded.
  • Wesley V.
    Wesley VOctober 28, 2014
    The atmosphere, the food, the staff, the music
  • Calvin T.
    Calvin TingMay 27, 2013
    Go for the mustache ride. Then follow up with a go on a Moscow Mule.
  • Calvin T.
    Calvin TingJanuary 21, 2014
    In addition to your raw oysters, order a plate of fried oysters. Pairs perfectly with the cilantro aioli.
  • Vinostomper
    VinostomperDecember 16, 2013
    Ordered 2 of every oyster, mussel stew, shaved celeriac with pine nuts and pomegranate, and steak tartare!!
  • Cat T.
    Cat TinnimitJuly 31, 2012
    Oysters are fresh and delicious, but don't miss out on the scallops, amazing!
  • Mike M.
    Mike McBryanMarch 6, 2013
    Speck, Chicken Stew, Kale, Brussel Sprouts and Smoked Trout. Incredible.
  • Jane T.
    Jane TimmOctober 18, 2015
    Get all the oysters, bread and butter, and drinks for the perfect afternoon snack.
  • Yama C.
    Yama ChenJanuary 15, 2016
    Oyster, Steak Tartare and Pork Dumplings are amazing.
  • Agatha Y.
    Agatha YuAugust 10, 2014
    Amazing oyster selection. Come early to grab a table!
  • Elena N.
    Elena NadtochiyFebruary 16, 2016
    Great food, but same can be found at many other places in Seattle for much cheaper. Definitely not worth the wait.
  • Rich T.
    Rich TongMay 21, 2013
    Try the Assorted Oyster Platter - Wow so many amazing varieties here
  • Roger S.
    Roger SchonfeldAugust 8, 2014
    Beautiful restaurant, nice bar, some nice cocktails, oysters.
  • Scott W.
    Scott WindsorAugust 7, 2014
    Worth the very long wait. Come early, leave your name, then go down the street for a pint.
  • Noah S.
    Noah SingerDecember 15, 2011
    Must get the roasted dates. They're flash pan fried with vanilla olive oil
  • Sierra L.
    Sierra LewisMarch 20, 2016
    The oysters are amazing and there is always a variety to chose from.
  • Jessica F.
    Jessica FergusonAugust 9, 2013
    Food is amazing, loved the Samish Oysters, tomatoes and peppers
  • Philip A.
    Philip ArmstrongSeptember 9, 2011
    YOU MUST TRY the Little Brown Farm Chevre (goat cheese to die for)!
  • Christine H.
    Christine HaDecember 12, 2016
    Small plates. Seafood-centric. Put your name on list & go for drinks next door. 🦀🐟
  • Erik M.
    Erik MichielsenAugust 21, 2012
    For meaty, sea salty oysters go for Barron (WA) or Treasure Cove (BC)
  • Alex L.
    Alex LeeNovember 3, 2015
    My goodness so good! Best seafood in Seattle.
  • Social E.
    Try the Drinking Caramel - Salted Caramel concoction - completely divine!
  • stew t.
    stew tongAugust 24, 2014
    Pan fried sardines, smoked trout, of course oysters in the winter time
  • Alison
    AlisonJanuary 29, 2011
    Loved the clams, potato and leek soup, and the brussel sprouts! Skip the cocktails...
  • Jeffrey B.
    Jeffrey BuchmanSeptember 2, 2011
    Fried oysters are devine. Sardines even better. beef tar-tar OMG!!
  • Natala M.
    Natala MenezesJune 12, 2011
    Been here 25+ times
    Although the cocktails are awesome, Joe & Anna both make a mean mocktail.
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