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. Coyle's Bakeshop

    $ | Greenwood | Bakery

    One of the city’s neighborhood charmers, this beloved bakery churns out the best of French, British, and American pastry traditions, as well...Read More

  • 2. Ellenos Real Greek Yogurt

    $ | Downtown | Fast Food

    When people walk by the Pike Place Market booth, they might think they’re passing a gelato stand from the artful display, but in fact Ellenos...Read More

  • 3. Marination Ma Kai

    $ | West Seattle | Hawaiian

    The best view of Downtown comes at a most affordable price: the brightly colored Adirondack chairs outside this Korean-Hawaiian fish shack offer...Read More

  • 4. The Fat Hen

    $ | Ballard | Contemporary

    An Instagram-perfect brunch spot, this Ballard charmer deals in trends like avocado toast, and classic comforts like Benedicts and cheesy egg...Read More

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Agua Verde Café and Paddle Club

    $ | University District | Mexican

    Baja California Mexican cuisine and a laid-back vibe define this casual spot that's done up in bright, beachy colors and has a lively deck come...Read More

  • 7. Bakery Nouveau

    $ | West Seattle | Café

    Widely considered one of the best bakeries in the city, Bakery Nouveau has perfected many things, including cakes, croissants, and tarts. Their...Read More

  • 8. Café Besalu

    $ | Ballard | Bakery

    A slice of France here in Ballard, this small, casual bakery gets patrons from across the entire city, thanks to its I-swear-I'm-in-Paris ...Read More

  • 9. Café Flora

    $ | Madison Park | Vegetarian

    The vegetarian and vegan menu changes frequently at Café Flora, but the chefs tend to keep things simple, with dishes like black-bean burgers...Read More

  • 10. Café Presse

    $ | Capitol Hill | French

    Two distinct rooms create plenty of space at this French bistro just off the Pike–Pine Corridor, where you can get such Parisian fare as pressed...Read More

  • 11. Caffé Vita

    $ | Capitol Hill | Café

    Though it's now a certifiable mini-empire with locations throughout Seattle and in other cities, Caffé Vita's roasting operations, and indeed...Read More

  • 12. Crumble & Flake Patisserie

    $ | Capitol Hill | Bakery

    Long a creative and renowned fine-dining pastry chef, Neil Robertson found his true calling when he opened up this tiny but exciting bakery...Read More

  • 13. Jade Garden

    $ | International District | Chinese

    Dim sum enthusiasts, take note: this is the spot for fluffy barbecue pork buns, walnut shrimp, chive dumplings, congee, and sticky rice. There...Read More

  • 14. Le Pichet

    $$ | Downtown | French

    Slate tabletops, a tile floor, and a rolled-zinc bar will transport you out of Downtown Seattle and into the charming 6th arrondissement. The...Read More

  • 15. Lola

    $$$ | Belltown | Mediterranean

    Tom Douglas dishes out his signature Northwest style, spiked with Greek and Mediterranean touches—another huge success for the local celebrity...Read More

  • 16. Macrina Bakery

    $ | Belltown | Bakery

    One of Seattle's favorite bakeries is also popular for breakfast and brunch and an excellent place to take a delicious break on your way to...Read More

  • 17. Oddfellows Cafe + Bar

    $$ | Capitol Hill | Modern American

    Smack in the center of the Pike–Pine universe, this huge, ultrahip space anchoring the Oddfellows Building, across from Cal Anderson Park, serves...Read More

  • 18. Seattle Center Armory

    $ | Queen Anne | American

    A complete remodel has changed the Seattle Center food court from an only-if-you're-desperate stop into a quick-bite destination worth a visit...Read More

  • 19. Serious Pie & Biscuit

    $ | South Lake Union | Café

    Hefty, fresh-baked biscuits come with equally hefty fillings at the downstairs counter, while the rest of the space is dedicated to the South...Read More

  • 20. Skillet Diner

    $ | Capitol Hill | American

    Diner fare takes a modern turn on Capitol Hill at this stylishly retro, brick-and-mortar version of one of the city's pioneering food trucks...Read More

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