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The Walrus and the Carpenter

Seafood Restaurant, Gastropub, and Cocktail Bar$$$$
Ballard, Seattle
  • The experts at Epicurious and Eater recommend this place
    • Epicurious
    • Eater
  • Yama C.
    "Oyster, Steak Tartare and Pork Dumplings are amazing."(22 Tips)
    Roger S.
    "Beautiful restaurant, nice bar, some nice cocktails, oysters."(109 Tips)
    Ivan P.
    "For all you bourbon lovers, go for mustache ride cocktail!"(5 Tips)
    Sarah F.
    "Oysters, octopus, smoked trout, and steamed clams, Oh My!"(6 Tips)
198 Tips and reviews
  • oysters
  • steak tartare
  • happy hour
  • cocktails
  • lively
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  • Popular
  • Recent
  • 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!
  • 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
  • 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!
  • 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:
  • 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.
  • Gina G.
    Gina GlickOctober 6
    Oyster bar with small plates. Though not cheap, each dish is thoughtful and amazing! We really liked the Hannah cheese (rotating cheeses), fried oysters, raw scallops, and beet dishes.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Cameron S.
    Cameron StokesMarch 14, 2015
    Excellent cocktails and food. Get a pre-dinner drink at Barnacle while you wait for your table.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Cusp25
    Cusp25June 4, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Enjoy the oysters! The porcini salad was delicious- thinly sliced and raw with shards of cheese
  • 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.
  • Samantha J.
    Samantha JonkerJune 22, 2015
    Everything! Best oysters I've ever had, amazing steak tartare and fantastic cocktails
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Vincent T.
    Vincent TanMay 6, 2016
    Very fresh oysters and seafood was amazing! Best in Seattle town
  • Shaun M.
    Shaun MochanAugust 11, 2013
    Oysters are fresh and amazing, make sure to try the Moscow Mule
  • 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.”
  • Felicity M.
    Felicity MouldSeptember 23
    The staff can be a bit short but they run a tight ship in a small space so I forgave them. Food as always is excellent 👌
  • Denise F.
    Denise FFebruary 21
    This place is just great and delicious. Happy hour time gets really busy. Amazing staff.
  • Rachel L.
    Rachel LinFebruary 14, 2014
    Loved the scallop tartare & fried brussel sprouts. Octopus consommé tasted like soba soup.
  • Amy R.
    Amy RobertsonNovember 2, 2015
    The oysters are definitely the highlight; but the other seafood dishes are worth saving room for
  • Danielle L.
    Danielle LaFleur-DuttaDecember 15, 2013
    Arrive early and plan on waiting in line. But worth it - better then the hype. Yum!!
  • Jonathan L.
    Jonathan LamAugust 22, 2012
    Great portion sizes! Come with a few people to split all of the amazing dishes. Yum.
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