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. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 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. 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

  • 7. Ballard Pizza Company

    $ | Ballard | Pizza

    Order a fat slice or a whole pie at this popular NYC-style pizza spot....Read More

  • 8. Big Time Brewery & Alehouse

    $ | University District | Pizza

    Sidle up to the antique bar at this hot spot for students and faculty from nearby UW, for a good selection of suds and pizza. ...Read More

  • 9. 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

  • 10. 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

  • 11. 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

  • 12. Great State Burger

    $ | South Lake Union | Burger

    This new spin on the classic American burger shop manages to be both an ode to the Northwest and an example of how fast food can be done right...Read More

  • 13. Il Corvo Pasta

    $ | Pioneer Square | Italian

    This tiny lunch-only spot serves only a couple of delicious handmade pasta choices each day....Read More

  • 14. Lunchbox Laboratory

    $ | Burger

    This popular spot serves unique burgers and boozy milk shakes. ...Read More

  • 15. 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

  • 16. Pho Viet Anh

    $ | Lower Queen Anne | Vietnamese

    This popular Vietnamese spot draws a lively local crowd with the best banh mi in town. ...Read More

  • 17. Storyville Coffee

    $ | Café

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

  • 18. Twisted Cuban Cafe

    $ | Cuban

    This Cuban eatery serves tasty sandwiches and entrées, as well as mojitos. ...Read More

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