Seattle's Best Clam Chowder Doesn't Disappoint

Tree Langdon

Fresh seafood is a guarantee when you eat so close to the ocean.
South Lake Union, SeattleImage by Kira Picabo via Wikimedia Commons

When you're in Seattle, you absolutely have to try the seafood.

There is one place that makes the best chowder, hands down.

When you are so close to the ocean, you'd be crazy not to take advantage of local fresh seafood.

This restaurant is in a convenient location, close to the Museum of History and near Lake Union Park.

If you're looking for the perfect place for a relaxed lunch, this is the restaurant for you.

This location is on the lake and the view is wonderful, the service excellent and friendly as well.

If you haven't guessed it by now, the restaurant is Duke's Seafood & Chowder.

If you are going to Dukes you must have seafood They have a reputation for the best and Duke’s did not disappoint. I had the stuffed prawns, and my friend had the seafood plate with the crab cake, scallops, and prawns.

Yes, of course, we had to try the clam chowder.

Seafood chowder is a slightly different chowder than one made strictly with clams. It usually has a variety of seafood, including fish, shrimp, crab, clams, and scallops. It is often a little smoky.

To start, especially if you have the time to relax, I highly suggest you try their Bloody Mary cocktail.

As a side, the sourdough bread was a treat. The house wine was great and when I wasn't sure what to order, the waitress brought me a sample of a couple of different pairing options.

The outdoor socially distanced dining was wonderful. They provided heat lamps and some plexiglass barriers that sheltered us from the wind. Did I say the view was wonderful?

The staff was eager to please, the food was well presented and very fresh. Plates came out swiftly from the kitchen It was a super busy time at lunch but everything ran smoothly and efficiently. We didn't feel rushed at all.

They also offer take-out and delivery options by online ordering, delivery with DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats.

Duke's is now in their new South Lake Union location, which is one block north, right on Lake Union.

1111 Fairview Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109-4418 +1 206-382-9963

Seattle citizens don't have to be told who makes the best chowder. It's Duke's, hands down.

This recipe comes from a local, They say they received a copy of it directly from Duke's.

I can't guarantee that this is Duke's exact chowder recipe, but I think it comes pretty close.

Duke’s clam chowder won the Seattle Chowder Cook-Off three years in a row. They offer a variety of chowders, but this traditional one is my favorite.

  • 1 pound IQF surf clams (IQF is a specific supplier)
  • 1 1/2 cups clam juice
  • 1 ounce of clam base
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 4 ounces butter
  • 2 cups celery; diced
  • 2 cups onion; diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups red potatoes; diced
  • 1/2 ounce garlic
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 4 ounces flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream

Adjust quantities as required.


  • Blanch diced fresh baby red potatoes in boiling water until tender. Cool and set aside for a moment.
  • Cook bacon in a heavy-bottomed saucepan until the bacon begins to crisp.
  • Add butter, onions, and celery. Saute until tender, making a roux. (A roux is a mixture of roughly equal volumes of starch and a liquid fat that are cooked together and then used as a thickener.)
  • Add flour, lower heat and cook for 7 minutes at 165 degrees.
  • Mix and dissolve all clam base with clam juice separately.
  • Add clam base mixture, milk, cream, and herbs.
  • Heat until almost boiling (185 degrees), blending with a wire whip.
  • Add blanched red potatoes and clams.
  • Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes at 185 degrees.
  • Cool quickly or serve immediately.

I've been told the family secret to a good chowder is the preparation of the roux and the mix of spices used. This recipe is outstanding.

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I love to connect humanity to technology. I write news, and fiction, exploring Worldview plots. Was a CGA/CPA in a past life. I have a lot of life experience. Parenting, Art, Finance, Investing, Auditing, Project Management, Writing, Story Grid Method, Science, Forensic Anthropology, Extensive overseas travel including Asia, Greece, Thailand.

Seattle, WA

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