Restaurants in Seattle
Dining in Seattle is much like the city itself, a cosmopolitan
affair born from the fruits of the wilderness. The surrounding
Puget Sound, with reserves from Alaska, is one large barrel of
seafood and when coupled with produce grown from many small local
farms, lets restaurants use the ingredients, rather than fanciful
preparation, to make masterful dishes.
Added to traditional Northwestern cuisine like wild salmon or dungeness crab is a strong Asian influence, both from the large Asian-American communities and Seattle's importance as a trade port on the Pacific Rim.
Restaurants are helped by great views of the sea and many funky neighbourhoods giving either a quiet romantic or fun and festive ambiance to a meal. Some of the best areas for eating out in Seattle are the waterfront district near Pike's Place Market, a long line of fine dining along 1st and 2nd Ave, and Capitol Hill.
In general the Northwest's formality is a little toned down and most top restaurants don't require a jacket. Tipping is between 15 to 20 percent and most places require a reservation.
Pike Place Chowder
A small restaurant across the road from the bustling Pike Place Market, Pike Place Chowder is famous for one thing: its delicious chowder. There's more than just your standard clam chowder fare though, as the restaurant serves five different varieties each day, ranging from New England Clam Chowder to Seafood Bisque to Southwestern Chicken and Corn Chowder, and even a vegan option! There are sandwiches, salads, and even fish tacos on the menu as well. A must for seafood lovers!
Address: 1530 Post Alley
Telephone: (206) 267-2537
One of the best restaurants in Seattle, Canlis has been wowing diners since 1950 with its contemporary Northwest cuisine, and is a long-standing favourite for those celebrating a special occasion. The stylish interior complements its fine cuisine, and its wine list is one of the city's best. Canlis is famous for its steaks, but there are also favourites such as the prawns, oysters and fresh fish, and the desserts are sublime. A tasting menu is available. Open for dinner Monday to Saturday. Bookings essential for Fridays and Saturdays. Dinner jacket required for men.
Address: 2576 Aurora Ave N
Telephone: (206) 283 3313
A Parisian café that has won many awards, Café Campagne is popular for its weekend brunches, but also serves a delicious lunch and dinner, and has a wine bar with 40 wines available by the glass. The menu changes seasonally, but fare includes dishes like the French-style rolled omelette, lamb burgers, quiche, and a variety of salads and sandwiches. For dinner it is possible to have the fixed price three-course menu or a choice of meat and fish dishes from the regular dinner menu. The cosy atmosphere is very French. Open for lunch Monday to Friday, dinner nightly, and for brunch on weekends until 4pm.
Address: 86 Pine Street, Pike Place Market
Telephone: (206) 728 2233
The most unique restaurant in the Northwest, the farmhouse styled exterior is decorated within by a rich and ornate décor. Herbfarm itself and its neighbouring farms grow much of their ingredients to create weekly changing nine-course meals complete with five matching wines. Lummi Island reef-netted sockeye in a squash with lemon thyme is a glimpse into the night's menu. Reservations are essential.
Address: 14590 NE 145th Street, Woodinville
Telephone: +1 (425) 485 5300
'The Met' is primarily a business venue, situated within the heart of the financial district in a historical building built in 1903. This traditional steakhouse has been a Seattle favourite for years, specialising in prime beef and serving up classics cooked to perfection, such as filet mignon, New York peppercorn steak or the porterhouse steak, but there is also a good selection of pastas and salads. Meals are complemented by an excellent wine list. Open for lunch and dinner on weekdays, and dinner only on weekends. Reservations are recommended.
Address: 820 2nd Avenue, Downtown
Telephone: (206) 624 3287
The spectacular bayside view over Puget Sound is a perfect complement to the impeccably fresh Northwest seafood on a menu that changes regularly to reflect what is locally and seasonally available. Favourites include the crab cakes, oysters, wild salmon, or any fish prepared in sake kasu. Upstairs there is a more casual and less expensive café with an outdoor deck that serves lunch, while the downstairs restaurant serves dinner only. Reservations are required.
Address: 6049 Seaview Avenue, NW
Telephone: (206) 789 3770
One of Seattle's best Italian restaurants, Serafina is charming and romantic with a rustic ambience. The freshest ingredients are presented in a homey way that transports diners to the Italian countryside. Enjoy the bruschettas, pasta dishes, or Serafina's signature dish, the eggplant rolled with ricotta cheese, basil, and Parmesan and baked in tomato sauce. There is live music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, while live jazz on Sunday mornings makes this one of the most popular brunch spots in the city. Dinner daily, lunch Monday to Friday, brunch on Sundays from 10am. Reservations recommended.
Address: 2043 Eastlake Ave. E, Lake Union
Telephone: (206) 323 0807
Owned by award-winning chef Thierry Rautureau, Rover's is an intimate restaurant that is dedicated to good service and superb food and wine, and is recognised as one of the finest restaurants in the region. Although the food has a French emphasis, the cuisine is described as Pacific Northwest with traditional French accents. There are three different set menus available: an eight-course, five-course and a five-course vegetarian menu. The seasonal menu might include dishes like venison medallions, smoked duck, foie gras, or Dungeness crab cakes, with a cheese platter to finish the meal off. There are also some superb vegetarian dishes on offer. Open for lunch on Fridays and dinner Tuesday to Saturday. Reservations recommended, and dress is business casual.
Address: 2808 E. Madison Street, First Hill
Telephone: (206) 325 7442
Southeast Asian inspired food that now sets the benchmark for all Asian food in the Northwest, the restaurant is consistently chosen as a favourite among northwest dining awards and diners alike. The Chefs varied backgrounds reflect the eclectic Asian foods, and ingredients from Chinese to Indonesian and also a rare chance to mix great wines with Asian cuisine. Reservations are advised.
Address: 1401 Third Avenue
Telephone: (206) 623 4450
Local ingredients are thrown together to create a sumptuous Mediterranean-style menu at Andaluca. Dishes to try on the dinner menu include the crab tower, stuffed dates, shellfish stew or lamb dolmas, and end off with one of the tempting desserts accompanied by a dessert wine or port. Open for breakfast and dinner daily, and lunch Monday to Friday.
Address: 407 Olive Way, Mayflower Park Hotel
Telephone: (206) 382 6999
Overlooking Pike Place Market, Etta's is always packed with both locals and tourists, who come to savour the delicious crab cakes, oysters on the half shell or Alaskan halibut. Besides a variety of fresh seafood dishes there are also other options such as beef burgers, thai chicken salad or lime leaf coconut curry. The breakfast menu offers a range of egg dishes, along with French toast, oats and granola with yogurt, while the brunch menu comes straight from the sea.
Address: 2020 Western Avenue
Telephone: (206) 443 6000
Become our Seattle Travel Expert
We are looking for contributors for our Seattle travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to Seattle or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.