The Pacific Inn
3501 Stone Way N Seattle, WA 98103
Hours: 11am – 2am daily
In June of this year, I took my first West Coast trip to visit a good friend of mine, Dan, in Seattle. We biked around the Fremont neighborhood on a Sunday evening, had a couple beers in Gas Works Park, and then decided it was time for dinner. He told me he knew just the spot, so we set off down the hill on our bikes. A few minutes later, the heavenly smell of fried fish hit my nostrils. “I don’t know where that smell’s coming from, but I hope that’s where you’re taking me.” Thirty seconds later, we pulled up at the Pacific Inn, locked our bikes up, and walked inside. The interior of the Pac Inn was pretty plain, but just grimy enough to get the point across: this was a dive bar in the truest sense of the term. A few beer mirrors and nautical artifacts lined the plain white walls, and cheesy string-up lights traced the perimeter of the dirty gray ceiling. Cigarettes were even for sale behind the bar.
I didn’t even need to look at a food menu when we sat down at the bar. The smell of the Pac Inn’s fish and chips was one of the best things I’d ever smelled, so that’s just what I ordered. While we were waiting for our fish, we sipped on cold pints of Manny’s, a local pale ale. The fish and chips arrived in front of us a few minutes later, and we were not disappointed. I’m not exaggerating when I say that these might’ve been the best fish and chips I’ve ever had, and I’ve been to a few good spots.
As we sipped our cold beverages and ate our delicious seafood, we conversed with the bartender. He was friendly, gave me some recommendations on what to do in town, but also had the kind of cold attitude you’d expect, and hope for, from a bartender at a dive bar. A few Eastern Europeans came in, and quickly left, surely confused by the dingy look of the place. I got the feeling I was the only non-local there, and I was okay with that. I surely wouldn’t have discovered this place without the help of one, and that’s what made my experience at the Pacific Inn even better. I imagine this is what the whole city of Seattle was like forty years ago before its sports, music, and tech scenes blew up. It was good to see that an old towny bar like this could still survive in the overly-hip Seattle of today. Thoroughly satisfied with our dinner, we paid (the Pac Inn DOES accept credit cards), thanked the man, and headed off into the Pacific sunset, full and happy.
You can’t beat a $7.99 price tag for some of the best fish and chips out there. Cheap, cold, local beer to boot. There’s no reason not to go at least once if you find yourself in Seattle.