Anacortes is a popular summer destination for anyone who likes to spend time on the water. The town is an outdoors paradise, surrounded on three sides by the Salish Sea and home to scenic views of the San Juan Islands.
Whether you’re just passing through Anacortes on your way to the San Juans or spending a weekend by the sea, it’s worth grabbing a bite to eat. Anacortes is home to some great local restaurants that serve up fresh seafood, hearty burgers, and much more.
In this guide, I’ll highlight 11 of my favorite restaurants you should try when you’re in Anacortes.
Rockfish Grill & Anacortes Brewery
Rockfish Grill is a laidback Anacortes staple serving up classics like burgers, fish and chips, and wood-fired pizza. The prices are reasonable and the atmosphere is relaxed. Plus, Rockfish Grill hosts live music on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the year. This is one of my go-to spots when I’m in Anacortes.
Rockfish Grill is also one of the only places you can get Anacortes Brewery beer on tap. This is one of the oldest breweries in the state and Rockfish Grill usually has at least half a dozen of their beers to try.
Bob’s Chowder and BBQ Salmon
Bob’s Chowder and BBQ Salmon is a roadside staple in Anacortes that’s easy to hit if you’re on your way to catch a ferry to the San Juans. It’s a low-key spot for fish and chips, fried oysters, fish sandwiches, and more. While a lot of the items on the menu are fried, the seafood is all local, high-quality, and delicious.
If you go to Bob’s, make sure you get a cup of clam chowder. That’s the dish that made this restaurant locally famous and it’s won numerous awards in chowder competitions.
Bastion Brewing is located outside the downtown area of Anacortes, but it’s worth the five-minute drive. The brewery has an outstanding selection of brewed-on-site beer along with cider and wine from local partners.
Bastion also has some of the best food around, particularly if you’re feeling hungry. The menu is split into two parts: burgers and barbecue. Both are excellent, and I swap back and forth each time I go. Whatever you get, I recommend adding a side of sweet potato fries.
Nonna Luisa is an Italian restaurant in downtown Anacortes that offers huge portions and a staggering variety of daily specials. You can get everything from classic pasta dishes and parmesan to specialties like calamari, meatballs, braised ribs, and more. The specials can be expensive, but they’re worth trying and they turn over every few days.
While the food at Nonna Luisa is spectacular, the atmosphere is what keeps me going back. It feels like you’re walking into an Italian family’s home when you enter the restaurant. It’s busy and a little chaotic while also making you feel like you’re part of the family.
A’Town Bistro is one of my favorite restaurants in Anacortes—and a great date spot. It’s rustic and upscale without feeling overly fancy, and the food is terrific.
You can share a paella made with local shellfish, get made-to-order clam chowder, or feast on local king salmon from the Olympic coast. A’Town Bistro also has a great selection of house cocktails and the restaurant’s bartenders are always experimenting with new specials.
A’Town is one of the pricier dinner spots in Anacortes, but the quality of the food makes it well worthwhile in my opinion.
Adrift is a farm-to-table restaurant showcasing everything the Skagit Valley has to offer. You can get locally grown greens, beef from nearby farms, and salmon caught in the waters around Anacortes. The prices are pretty reasonable and all the food is ultra-fresh.
I especially like going to Adrift for brunch. The restaurant has several brunch specials alongside their regular menu and it’s often less busy. If you’re really lucky, you can snag one of the few outdoor tables on a sunny summer morning.
Bamboo Bistro is my favorite of several Thai restaurants in Anacortes. It offers all the classic Thai dishes that you’d expect, plus some house specials that fuse cultures from across southeast Asia. I especially recommend the pineapple duck curry, which is kind of like a Thai rendition of the classic Chinese dish Peking duck.
Bamboo Bistro has a nice seating area for dining in, but it also offers pickup and delivery. So, it’s a good option if you want to order food to-go for a quiet night in.
Anthony’s offers waterside dining at Cap Sante Marina, so it’s one of the best places to go if you want to dine in style while watching the sun set over the water. The restaurant specializes in local delicacies like Dungeness crab, northwest-grown beef, and Puget Sound oysters. The menu is surprisingly large so you can sample a wide range of different foods.
Anthony’s can be pricey, but I like that it has a three-course dinner special for just $30 if you go before 5:30 on weekdays. This is a great way to try some of the restaurant’s high-end seafood dishes without breaking the bank.
Anacortes Calico Cupboard Café & Bakery
Calico Cupboard is a more than 40-year-old Anacortes coffee shop with a selection of baked goods that you simply can’t miss while you’re in town. The cinnamon rolls are gooey and delicious, the scones are made with local in-season berries, and the croissants are flaky perfection.
If you’re looking for a more substantial meal, Calico Cupboard makes its own breads and uses its croissants for sandwiches. The shop also has quiche, breakfast bowls with local ingredients, and loaded diner-style egg dishes.
There’s plenty of indoor and outdoor seating space, although Calico Cupboard is popular enough that there’s still frequently a wait to get in on summer weekends.
The Majestic Bistro & Bar
The 5th Street Bistro is an upscale restaurant located inside downtown Anacortes’ Majestic Hotel. It’s a great spot to visit if you want a quiet dinner after spending the day exploring around town.
The bistro has a varied menu that offers everything from burgers and salmon to pasta and chicken pot pie. Despite an atmosphere that feels formal, prices are surprisingly affordable.
Vagabond Station started out as a food truck and recently moved into its own space on the main drag in Anacortes. It specializes in crispy, juicy fried chicken that will keep you coming back for more. The sandwiches are absolutely enormous and you’ll likely still end up with leftovers even if you arrive hungry.
Vagabond Station also makes its own Southern-style biscuits. I definitely recommend ordering a few of these for the table or ordering your chicken sandwich on a biscuit.
Anacortes has a terrific selection of restaurants ranging from upscale to down-home and everything in between. You can find everything from local seafood and beef to pizza, ethnic cuisine, and more. Whether you’re spending the weekend in Anacortes or just passing through, it’s well worth checking out these 11 restaurants.