Seattle is nuts about The Walrus and the Carpenter, making it exceedingly difficult to get a table at this no-reservations oyster bar. (One can show up at 6 p.m. and be told that a table might be available at 10 p.m., which, in a Kafkaesque twist, happens to be closing time.) A more-than-suitable alternative can be found at Westward & Little Gull Grocery, which opened in August 2013 on the shores of Lake Union. Westward (pictured) takes a few reservations each day; walk-ups can wait in Adirondack chairs by a fire pit near the water. Chef Zoi Antonitsas does an eastern Mediterranean spin on fresh seafood, like fried oysters with ras el hanout. Little Gull Grocery, a 22-seat raw bar connected to the restaurant, is the place to knock back Hama Hamas, Blue Pools and other Pacific Northwest oysters.
The Walrus and the Carpenter 4743 Ballard Ave. NW; 206-395-9227.
Westward & Little Gull Grocery 2501 N. Northlake Way; 206-552-8215.