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. Delancey

    $ | Ballard | Pizza

    Brandon Pettit spent years developing his thin-but-chewy pizza crust, and the final product has made him a contender for the city's best pies...Read More

  • 3. Dino's Tomato Pie

    $ | Capitol Hill | Pizza

    Long hailed as the creator of Seattle’s best pizza at his first shop, Delancey, Brandon Petit perhaps even improves on his previous recipe as...Read More

  • 4. 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

  • 5. Little Uncle

    $ | Madison Park | Thai

    On a busy arterial near the southeastern edge of Capitol Hill, this tiny storefront is small but mighty: its owners could work—and, in fact...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. Salumi Cured Meats

    $ | Pioneer Square | Italian

    The lines are long for hearty, unforgettable sandwiches filled with superior house-cured meats and all other sorts of goodies at this shoebox...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. Brave Horse Tavern

    $ | South Lake Union | American

    Watch out when the Amazon.com offices in South Lake Union empty out for the day, because the seats at this Tom Douglas eatery fill up fast with...Read More

  • 11. 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

  • 12. 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

  • 13. 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

  • 14. Collections Café

    $$ | Central District | American

    The decor might be whimsical but the chefs take the food seriously at the Collections Café, a restaurant that's absolutely worth visiting, whether...Read More

  • 15. Country Dough

    $ | Downtown | Chinese

    After introducing Seattle to the wonders of Sichuanese cuisine at a variety of restaurants around town in the last few decades, chef Cheng Biao...Read More

  • 16. 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

  • 17. Dick's

    $ | Capitol Hill | Burger

    This local chain of hamburger drive-ins with iconic orange signage has changed little since the 1950s. The fries are hand-cut, the shakes are...Read More

  • 18. Dough Zone Dumpling House

    $ | Chinese

    This place lives up to its name, serving freshly made carb-filled delights of many types: noodles, flatbreads, crepes, and dumplings. Hearty...Read More

  • 19. Espresso Vivace

    $ | South Lake Union | Café

    A cozy and large outpost of the famed Capitol Hill roaster, the Vivace coffee shrine in South Lake Union is right across from the REI megastore...Read More

  • 20. FareStart

    $$$ | Downtown | American

    A project of the nationally lauded FareStart job-training program, this eatery in a sleek, dramatic space on Virginia Street serves an American...Read More

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