Seattle Restaurants

Thanks to inventive chefs, first-rate local produce, adventurous diners, and a bold entrepreneurial spirit, Seattle has become one of the culinary capitals of the nation. Fearless young chefs have stepped in and raised the bar. Fresh and often foraged produce, local seafood, and imaginative techniques make the quality of local cuisine even higher.

Seattle's dining scene has been stoked like a wildfire by culinary rock stars who compete on shows like Iron Chef, Top Chef, and regularly dominate "best of" lists. Seattle chefs have won big in the prestigious James Beard competition, with Renee Erickson of Bateau, Walrus and the Carpenter, and the Whale Wins taking the "Best Chef Northwest" title in 2016 and creative genius Edouardo Jordan named one of Food and Wine Magazine's "Best New Chefs." The city is particularly strong on new American, Japanese, and Vietnamese cuisines. Chefs continuously fine-tune what can best be called Pacific Northwest cuisine, which features fresh, local ingredients, including anything from nettles and mushrooms foraged in nearby forests; colorful berries, apples, and cherries grown by Washington State farmers; and outstanding seafood from the cold northern waters of the Pacific Ocean, like wild salmon, halibut, oysters, Dungeness crab, and geoduck. Seattle boasts quite a few outstanding bakeries, too, whose breads and desserts you'll see touted on many menus.

Seattle is also seeing a resurgence in American comfort food, often with a gourmet twist, as well as gastropub fare, which can mean anything from divine burgers on locally baked ciabatta rolls to grilled foie gras with brioche toast. But innovation still reigns supreme: local salmon cooked sous vide and accompanied with pickled kimchi or fresh-picked peas can be just as common as aspic spiked with sake and reindeer meat. Many menus feature fusion cuisine or pages of small-plate offerings, and even high-end chefs are dabbling in casual ventures like pop-up eateries or gourmet food trucks. Many, if not most, of the top chefs own their businesses as well, and in recent years they’ve spread their talents around, operating two or three complementary ventures (or, in Ethan Stowell’s case, more than a dozen and counting, while Tom Douglas has nearly 20, plus a cooking school and farm). The trend toward informality and simplicity particularly plays out when it comes to dessert; most neighborhoods boast branches of at least one of the city’s popular, independently owned cupcake, doughnut, or ice-cream shops. Regardless of the format or focus, one thing's for sure: chefs are highlighting their inventions with the top-notch ingredients that make Pacific Northwest cooking famous.

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  • 1. Manolin

    $$$ | Fremont | Seafood

    Walking into the light-filled dining room of Manolin, with its horseshoe-shape bar framing the open kitchen, transports you straight to the...Read More

  • 2. Revel

    $ | Fremont | Asian

    Adventurous enough for the most committed gourmands but accessible enough to be a neighborhood lunchtime favorite, Revel starts with Korean...Read More

  • 3. Vif

    $ | Fremont | French

    Part coffee shop, part casual snack restaurant, and part wine retailer, Vif is all magic. The brainchild of a former pastry chef and wine director...Read More

  • 4. Joule

    $$ | Fremont | Korean

    Married chef-owners Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi have wowed Seattle diners with their French-fusion spins on Asian cuisine here and at nearby...Read More

  • 5. Milstead & Co.

    $ | Fremont | Café

    Seattle’s premier multiroaster café would be a parody of coffee culture if it weren’t so good at what it does: curate a lineup of the country...Read More

  • 6. RockCreek

    $$$ | Fremont | Seafood

    A temple to seafood, this is the restaurant that locals want to bring visitors to: an example of the casual way seafood weaves into all sorts...Read More

  • 7. The Whale Wins

    $$$ | Fremont | American

    Renee Erickson (of The Walrus and the Carpenter in Ballard) focuses on vegetables, which, along with other menu items, are roasted in the wood...Read More

  • 8. Uneeda Burger

    $ | Fremont | Burger

    A casual burger shack from a fine-dining chef means flavor and execution that are always on point. The controlled chaos of this family-friendly...Read More

  • 9. Westward

    $$$ | Fremont | Seafood

    It’s hard to beat the view from the Adirondack chairs around the oyster-shell-lined fire pit that sits on Westward’s private lakefront, but...Read More

  • 10. 35th Street Bistro

    $$ | Fremont | French

    The 35th Street Bistro replaced the vaunted Still Life Café, which was the epitome of all things Fremont back when the neighborhood was more...Read More

  • 11. Dot's Delicatessan

    $ | Fremont | Deli

    Go early for the Reuben at Dot's: it takes owner Miles James roughly a week to brine and smoke his pastrami, and it sells out fast. If it's...Read More

  • 12. Paseo

    $ | Fremont | Cuban

    The centerpiece of this slim, Cuban-influenced menu is the mouthwatering Caribbean Roast sandwich: marinated pork topped with sautéed onions...Read More

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