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. La Marzocco Cafe & Showroom

    $ | Lower Queen Anne | Café

    Though better known for making espresso machines than espresso, La Marzocco brings a sprawling open café, gorgeous light, and incredible coffee...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. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. Hot Cakes

    $ | Ballard | Café

    A few savory dishes are available at this Ballard "cakery," but consider passing on the chicken potpie in favor of the grilled chocolate sandwich...Read More

  • 10. 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

  • 11. 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

  • 12. Panama Hotel Tea and Coffee Shop

    $ | International District | Asian

    On the ground floor of the historic Panama Hotel is a serene teahouse with tons of personality and a subtle Asian flair that reflects its former...Read More

  • 13. Slate Coffee Bar

    $ | Ballard | Café

    In a city full of amazing coffee shops, Slate elevates the arts of roasting, brewing, and serving. With a focus on flavor, they roast beans...Read More

  • 14. Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room

    $ | Capitol Hill | Café

    You could call it a coffee amusement park for its many ways to keep audiences entertained, but the sprawling combination café and showroom is...Read More

  • 15. Storyville Coffee

    $ | Café

    In addition to perfectly pulled espresso drinks, Storyville offers fresh pastries, light lunch items, and beer and wine. ...Read More

  • 16. Stumptown Coffee Roasters

    $ | Capitol Hill | Café

    This hip Portland powerhouse is one of the West Coast's most well-known coffee-roasting operations and Seattle simply loves the stuff. There...Read More

  • 17. Victrola Coffee Roasters

    $ | Capitol Hill | Café

    Victrola is one of the most loved of Capitol Hill's many coffeehouses, and it's easy to see why: the sizable space is lovely—the walls are hung...Read More

  • 18. Zeitgeist Cafe

    $ | Pioneer Square | Café

    A colorful local favorite among coffee shops: even Seattleites who don't haunt Pioneer Square will happily hunt for parking to spend a few hours...Read More

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