Jack's Fish Spot

1514 Pike Place

Jack's Fish Spot, Seattle, September 10, 2019, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
Crab for sale, Jack's Fish Spot, Seattle, September 10, 2019, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
Jack's Fish Spot shipping sign, Seattle, September 10, 2019, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
Seafood Bar, Jack's Fish Spot, Seattle, Courtesy Cynthia Nims

Pike Place Market is famous for many things, chief among them is its seafood vendors. Each has their own legacy, going back to City Fish, established in 1918 by the city to offer affordable seafood during World War I. Here at Jack’s Fish Spot, you have gorgeous halibut, Dungeness crab, and house-smoked salmon to choose from, and you can grab a stool to enjoy some of that seafood on the spot.

Jack Mathers opened his Fish Spot just before Christmas 1982, after the previous tenant had a less-than-successful foray in the world of fishmongering. Mathers has fared far better, now 35-plus years into a run of doing double-duty: retail sales and on-site eatery. While not a chef by trade Mathers gained outstanding guidance from his older sister, the late Gretchen Mathers, a culinary maven who launched her restaurant and catering business Gretchen’s Of Course nearby in 1979.

When asked what’s most popular on the menu, “everything” is all Mathers says, while shucking briny Quilcene oysters from about 30 miles west on Hood Canal. His menu covers a lot of territory: fish & chips (cod, halibut, salmon and beyond), Northwest-style poutine (clam chowder over French fries), shrimp cocktail, Dungeness crab, grilled salmon, fish tacos. It might be tough to choose.

Facing Jack’s seafood bar, turn around to see your next stop.

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