That Restaurant at the End of Pier 57
Getting there is the strange part—which is why it's a Seattle secret that only the tourists know about. Reaching the front door entails walking through Miner's Landing, a stunningly tacky, noisy mall on the Seattle waterfront that runs the length of Pier 57 and evokes Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Gold-rush-themed but also somewhat nautically inspired, Miner's Landing features giant wooden sculptures of fishermen with enormous faces, families posing for photos around said wooden fishermen, incessant organ-grinder music blaring from a carousel, a carousel, an arcade, a gift shop packed with yeti dolls, the smell of fake-buttered popcorn and cotton candy mixed with creosote, every child ever born, strollers emanating the sounds of grief, fatigued mothers, an old-West-themed food court, about a kilometer of neon, a gauntlet of taxidermied animals (including a moose, several pheasants, a whole turkey, at least two elk, various mountain goats, a small bear, and one ram), and one African import store (every mall must have one). But after you navigate all that? At the end of this pier is the Fisherman's Restaurant & Bar, which contains two massive brick patios (more than 80 tables between two levels) that jut out into Elliott Bay next to the Great Wheel. Bedecked with umbrellas, the seating is shady and the views are unbeatable: ferries, mountains, water, the whole Seattle thing. And it's inexpensive, and it's got lots of beer on tap, a full bar, and a happy hour, and—most of all—it feels nothing like the rest of Miner's Landing. DOMINIC HOLDEN
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