I’ve driven by The Shrimp Shack on Fidalgo Island for years―10 years to be exact―and never stopped. It’s one of those places I’ve been meaning to go to, but for some reason never have. This week, I decided to head their way for some onsite foodie reconnaissance.
Foodie Friday: The Shrimp Shack
The Shrimp Shack is open year-round and next to State Route 20, which is the only road that takes you from Fidalgo Island to Whidbey Island. In between these two islands is Deception Pass State Park, the most visited and photographed park in Washington State. So needless to say the restaurant, which is old-school walk-up diner style, is in a great location with lots of regular traffic. I drive by at least once a week, and there are always people waiting to order or sitting in the outdoor covered seating area and/or beer garden.
With shrimp in their name, you might think they only serve shrimp, but their menu consists of a variety of fresh and local seafood like oyster and shrimp burgers, blue crab sandwich, calamari, clams, fish-n-chips, as well as, burgers with a couple of interesting choices like elk and gator. There is only one salad to choose from, and they also serve ice cream, root beer floats, Italian soda and milkshakes.
Dinner at The Shrimp Shack
At the window, we ordered halibut tacos with corn shells (daily speical-$14.99), fried colossal prawns ($13.99), a cup of clam chowder ($4.99), a Bud Light ($3.50), and a Tieton apricot cider ($9). After we paid, they gave us a number to set at our table. Since we had alcoholic beverages, we sat at a picnic table in the beer garden.
Our drinks arrived within the first two minutes, and soon after the chowder. I am not a fan of clam chowder, not because of the taste, but because I can’t stomach the idea of eating bivalves. After my husband raved about how great the chowder was, I had to give it a try. I admit, he was right, it was really, really good. The soup was loaded with lots of bacon, which gave it a hearty, smokey flavor. (Don’t tell anyone, but I think their chowder could almost convert me over to the bivalve side.)
Several minutes later our main courses arrived. I was impressed with the size of our dishes. Three tacos were loaded with halibut and wrapped in two corn taco shells each with a side of pico de gallo. It was the same with the basket of colossal shrimp―packed full. For the money, which I think is a little pricey for a walk-up roadside diner, I was happy to see they weren’t scrimping.
The Verdict: My tacos were moist, spicy, and the fresh pico de gallo added that salsa pop. It was really nice to have two corn tacos for each one as it provided more support. The colossal shrimp were huge and the fry batter nice and crispy. Would we order both of these again? Yes. But, I’d request that the spice on the tacos be toned down because after my first several bites my mouth felt like it was on fire. If you are not into spicy dishes, the halibut tacos are probably not right for you.
Over the years, I’ve always heard good comments about The Shrimp Shack from Anacortians. Now I can add mine to the mix.
Where: 6168 State Route 20, Anacortes, Wa 98221 (2.5 miles north of Deception Pass State Park)
What: Lunch and Dinner
Hours: Monday thru Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Want to Try: The Elk Burger ($10.99), The Gator Burger ($13.99), Blue Crab Burger ($13.99)
What’s Nearby The Shrimp Shack?
- Deception Pass State Park – Deception Pass Bridge is the most photographed bridge in Washington State, and the park has lots of hiking trails and miles of shoreline.
- Deception Pass Tours – Captain Brett operates the only tour of Deception Pass. On the tour, guests learn about local history and lore, as well as, see marine wildlife (whales tours run when they are in the area) and traverse the whirlpools of the pass in an open deck jetboat.
- Anacortes – This historic seaside town has shops, dining, and outdoor activities like hiking, whale watching, and biking, is a 12-minute drive away. Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say about the lodging in the area at TripAdvisor I Hotels.com I Travelocity.com.