Ivar's Salmon House

4.3
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4098 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
Ivar's Salmon House is a beautiful cedar replica of a Northwest Native American Longhouse, complete with an open-pit Native American-style barbecue for preparing succulent alder-smoked entrees. Here, in a setting filled with Northwest native artifacts and historical photographs, you'll enjoy memorable meals surrounded by spectacular views of boats cruising on Lake Union with the city skyline in the background. Favorite daily entrees and fresh-sheet selections include alder-smoked salmon, prawns, alder-smoked chicken, and seasonal seafood specials.
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What 4098 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.5
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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C
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ivar's outdoor patio barge offered great views of the city and boats. The servers were attentive and patient allowing for as leisurely or quick of service as we desired. A truly enjoyable experience with delicious food and drinks!

ML
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 5

Ivar's has wonderful ambiance, and usually excellent food, and the value is good considering the high quality of the food. Usually the service is just fine, but I happened upon the worst service of my life yesterday. I wonder if it was an untrained waiter's first day? He seemed to not have a clue about how to wait. He was slow, and didn't smile, but worst of all, he didn't understand serving timing. Instead of getting a bread basket and wine while we waited, we were served salad and soup first and had to ask for the wine and bread. One person's salad was not served at salad time, and we got an extra chowder, which he ended up comping. We all got confused and he asked for payment right after our meal, never asked about dessert, which we wanted. Distracted, we told him who was paying for the birthday girl. He got that messed up and put the birthday girl on the wrong ticket. We asked him to do it over and reminded him that we wanted dessert. He served dessert without the coffee we ordered. I reminded him of the lack of coffee and he said he'll get it, but then went to wait on the next table. So my ice cream was completely eaten by the time I got coffee, which I wanted to enjoy the mixture of flavors with. We asked 3 times to get a box to take uneaten food home. We ended up giving him a normal, but not great tip, since he ended up comping dessert and coffee. I think Ivar's lost money on this one. Ivar's you have an untrained waiter! And then Open Table, wrote me and said Ivar's said we didn't show up for our reservation and gave me a lecture about how a restaurant loses money when you don't make an appointment. So here's a lecture back about not-up-to-par service. I'd still recommend Ivar's as the service usually isn't this poor.

A
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We took our relatives from NY for dinner at Ivar’s & they loved the salmon. View was awesome!!

AC
Houston
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 5

I love the view on Lake Union, along with the ambiance of the Long House. However, our salmon was overcooked, and everything else was okay, but not great. My advice? Come here for drinks and snacks, enjoy the view, and go somewhere else for dinner.

AA
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Beautiful setting and good service

M
Seattle
12 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

I'd recommend with qualifications. We had a wonderful wait person who took gentle care of my elderly Mom. But, We had to continually ask for things like coffee and vegan menus and they were stingy with both?!. I understand that this is a difficult time in the restaurant business, but when we got there it was not crowded and when I asked someone, who I later figured out was not our waitperson, for some coffee they looked annoyed. coffee arrived about 10 minutes later, my cocktail even later even though I'd ordered them at the same time.

D
Seattle
11 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 5

3 of the four fish dishes were VERY dry/overcooked. The Salmon House has a strong reputation, but we hit them on a bad night.

I’m not sure how you manage to overcook halibut and salmon - they’re easy to cook properly. But that wasn’t all. The mashed potatoes were cold and thick, my rice was dry, and the peach/plum salsa was withered and flavorless.

The appetizers were fine (seared tuna - fresh & brightly dressed, and the mini crab cakes). But not a single aspect of ANY of the entrees was enjoyable to eat.

A shockingly bad series of servings. Great restaurants, even very good ones, don’t blow it this badly across four dishes - even on a bad night.

BS
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

I predict this place will be closed within a year if they don't hire a manager with passion for service. Dirty glasses replaced with broken ones. I watched 2 servers with dirty shirts. Unbuttoned shirts. No smiles. 0 sense of service or personality. Apparently the candle had to be lit in the middle of our dinner. The food was good. Priced according to the location and quality, but with the current level and quality of service the food is soon to not be enough. This is a landmark location that deserves better.

JS
Seattle
56 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Interior really feels like the inside of a traditional log house. A seat by the window is quite nice as you can watch the seaplanes land and take off from the lake. There's also a nice view of the Space Needle. The food is always pretty good, however the halibut and scallops were room temperature and really should have been hot as the food came out pretty quickly.

J
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always an excellent place to bring guests, especially out of country guests, for a fresh and tasty seafood dinner with a spectacular waterside view.

OT
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Birthday dinner, we sat in the bar for padded seats and happy hour. It was great, very busy that night, Thursday.

MW
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

What a view and what a unique art filled place. Wife had delicious salmon. I had Crab Luis salad, the real thing, but there were bits of sea shell in it.

JE
Portland
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful time. We did’t get the window table I requested, however we did have a table with a view. Thank you for letting this be a dining experience without blaring music!!!!

LS
Seattle
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A native longhouse setting with incredible collection of native art, carvings and canoes inside and beautiful views of the canal. A perfect place to enjoy seafood!

KP
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of my favorite restaurants. I love the view and the fish and chips are the best in the world. I have been a regular for decades and hope to continue for a few more.

TD
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great place to show off city skyline to out of town guests

LF
Nashville
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was one outstanding meal! Had the salmon sampler. We have great service and the fish was so mouthwatering we dreamed about it for two days.

NR
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

BEST GRILLED SALMON I EVER HAD in a beautiful restaurant with a GREAT VIEW of Lake Union.

OT
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love love love this place - cedar NW Native American longhouse, gorgeous view of the lake and Seattle skyline — And best of all consistently (for over 50years!) you can expect fresh salmon prepared perfectly with tasty side dishes. Superb!!

OT
Dallas
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Great location and atmosphere, but food was a bit expensive for what you got.

GE
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of our favorite places in Seattle. Keep the alder-planked salmon coming!!

TD
Portland
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 4ambience 4

Not what I expected. No longer have the Sunday buffet, one of the things we were looking forward to this weekend. Place used to be very busy on Sunday, now, only a handful of people at noon on Sunday. No notice on the internet the buffet is no longer available when we made the reservations - would have been nice to know. Server said after three years people still come on Sunday expecting the buffet. Hope you consider bringing the buffet back.

Ivar's Salmon House
Responded 3 days ago

We genuinely appreciate all our guests’ feedback, the good and the bad, as it better helps us enhance future dining experiences. We did post for about a year following, but past that seemed excessive. This was a very difficult decision for us, but ultimately the best for the business and to control the incredible waste. We do still enjoy our holiday buffets on Easter, Mother's & Father's Days, and hope you are able to join us on one of those. Best, Michelle Deide General Manager

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R
8 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Everything was great except our server Aaron. He was just off his game Sat night. To be fair, for the first 30 minutes he was alone on the patio. But, he brought the wrong wine, forgot soup spoons, and didn't know the specials for the night. He did go find out on the special, but it just wasn't polished. Hopefully he’ll gain confidence with experience. We’ll definitely be back soon!

TD
Seattle
6 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Couldn't ask for better place for a "Date night" We sat on the patio, the weather was perfect, the views are spectacular, great friendly service, the food.. OMG! We ordered few different dishes all great, but the one that I would recommend is the Appetizer Tower: Calamari, Coconut Crusted Shrimp and Sesame Seared Rare Ahi Tuna, YUM!!!.
I would be coming back, bring our family and most definitely recommend this place to everybody!

AM
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

The service was outstanding--attentive, efficient, quick and kind. The food however was a lot less so. We went for the salmon and frankly it was not very good. I make better salmon back East where we live than we had here and that was the reason for going. It was dry, lacking in taste and over sauced. Such a disappointment to be in the city best known for salmon and at the restaurant most associated with salmon and feel like we should have had meat. Oh well. Sometimes you get luckier than others.

KS
Seattle
12 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of our favorite places due to consistency of seafood, excellent service, great view and the super bonus of free parking.

OT
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

We have been going to Ivar’s since 1990 so I remember when your dinner included bread and ice cream at no additional charge. It seems like each time we go there the servings get smaller and there is less included with the meal. Probably won’t be back.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Been eating there for 15 years

KW
Phoenix
29 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Super dependable and really the best Salmon preparation in Seattle. The restaurant is not fancy but rather comfortable and filled with historic photos and artifacts. For a great laugh and a little trivia visit the Whale Maker Bar and discover how it got its name.
By the way- the view of Seattle across Lake Union is fantastic.

TM
Philadelphia
24 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Ivar's was very good. The food and service were very good. The location was on the water. However...We ate outside and the location is almost right under a bridge that is extremely loud. I would still recommend it, but just be aware that if you do eat outside, it isn't peaceful. Maybe inside would be better.

MR
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Atmosphere is always pleasant and food is FRESH and GOOD!!

M
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband is Celiac & he can always eat at Ivar’s without problems. This was our first time to this Ivar’s & the service, food & evening was wonderful.

GT
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Long time favorite. Excellent food at an excellent value. Nice view of Lake Union and Seattle skyline.

OT
Orlando
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Brought friends for a casual lunch on the patio with the Seattle skyline in the background. Was great!

AP
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I've never had a bad time here and this night was no exception! Our server, Natalie, was all smiles and incredibly helpful when it came to deciding what to have. I believe I've had her as a server here before and she was just as pleasant this time as she was the last! You have a great establishment with really delicious food and with service like that, well, that's just a winning combination! Already looking forward to my next visit!

KB
Los Angeles
16 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

Ivar's Salmon House is a must do for anyone who wants the quintessential salmon dinner and Seattle water view. The food is straight-forward and well prepared; the specials offer a bit more variety if you want something a bit different. The service is friendly. The real reason to come to Ivar's is the location. The view is incredible. It is fun to watch the boats come and go; they even have their own dock for people who drive their boats to eat at the restaurant. They have a big outdoor deck too.

CW
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We really enjoyed our visit to Ivar's Salmon House. Our service was great, food was delicious and the view from the table was amazing. I would highly recommend and we will be back!

CL
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 3

We ate at Ivar’s in the past when guests came into town. The quality is nothing close to past experience yet the cost of the meal is not inexpensive- will definitely do Anthony’s or another restaurant in the future should we want quality salmon. It was topped off with the special which was not the bacon wrapped salmon that the server told us about, but halibut. Extremely disappointed.

OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Food was good, but the service was poor. Our server rarely came to check on us, they took away drink glasses without asking if we wanted another glass, etc. never asked why we were there even though we noted it was an anniversary in the reservation

JY
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Nothing comes with the expensive food. No bread or salad ... ordered bread later but not enough for 4 of us. Went home little hungry.

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