In general, if you like seafood, you should be eating SEAFOOD in Seattle – all kinds of salmon, oysters, and Dungeness crab! But, if you don’t, do not worry, I still have you covered. We have all types of tasty cuisine in Seattle. Items listed in priority order within their category, neighborhood in parentheses, and anything in italics is on my to-do list. My top picks are Homer (Mediterranean), Bar Del Corso (Italian), Coastal Kitchen (Seafood or brunch), Rockcreek (Seafood or brunch), Kedai Makan (Asian), Joule (Asian Fusion), Maneki (Japanese), Tacos Chukis (Tacos), Dahlia Bakery (breakfast sandwiches), Blazing Bagels (bagel sandwiches), and Mioposto (pizza). Below, I chose a mix of restaurants that blew my mouth away, popular top restaurants that are renowned and much loved, and also some generally good restaurants that are solid at what they do.
$: $0-$15 for an entree, $$: $15-30 per entree, $$$: $30-$50 per entree, $$$$: $50+ per person (likely prix fixe)
Did I miss a great restaurant? Let me know via comment below!
Quick Jump: Mediterranean | Oyster Bars | Seafood | Italian | New American | Asian | Asian Fusion | Japanese | Mexican | Brunch | Sandwiches | Pizza | Hawaiian | French | Vegetarian
($$, Beacon Hill, Mediterranean): One of my favorite restaurants in Seattle. It’s gorgeous interior probably makes it pricey but make sure to get the dips and the fresh baked pita bread. They do their braised meats well very (e.g. lamb ribs) and a good job on veggies as well. I also adore their fancy cocktails. Lastly, you must get the soft-serve for dessert. Great for dates, small groups of friends, and hip, modern dining. Right down the same street is their sister restaurant Milk Drunk, which is on my to-do list for more soft serve with unique, special flavors and fried chicken sandwiches.
1b. Cafe Munir
($-$$, Ballard, Lebanese): On my to-do list. Heard very good things. Only open for dinner. Definitely check out the mezzes and lamb.
1c. Cafe Turko
($-$$, Fremont, Turkish): On my to-do list. Heard very good things. Casual dining. Tea and coffeehouse.
2a. The Walrus and the Carpenter
($$, Ballard, Seafood): Most amazing oyster bar in Seattle. It’s a small restaurant, perfect for parties up to 3 and plan ahead or expect a long wait. We ordered the grilled octopus with our oysters and all were fantastic!
2b. Taylor Shellfish Farms Oyster Bars
($$, Capitol Hill, Lower Queen Anne, Oysters): Want fresh oysters? Simple, down-to-earth bar for no-frills oysters.
2c. Elliott’s Oyster House
($$$, Downtown, Seafood): Great older family and friends fancy white tablecloth seafood restaurant with an excellent view of the Puget Sound. Get the seafood salad that’s filled with more seafood than salad! Good for tourists who want a view inside or out.
($$$, West Seattle, Seafood): Make reservations because they’re very popular. They are super famous for their buffet brunch with all-you-can-eat seafood and waterfront views. Great for family, friends, and tourists.
3a. RockCreek Seafood & Spirits
($$, Fremont, Seafood): Fresh, delicious, and great for brunch, one of my favorite restaurants in Seattle. Lots of good fish dishes for dinner and egg-cellent brunch. Their steakhouse, which is good too, is called Flintcreek Cattle Co but I prefer their seafood.
3b. The Whale Wins
($$-$$$, Wallingford, New American): Tres cool venue and amazing artwork of whales outside the restaurant. It’s high quality small plates and portions. Light and expensive meal.
3c. Matt’s in the Market
($$$, Downtown, Seafood): A fancy dining seafood restaurant with a view. I hear the oyster po’boy is what’s up.
($$$$, Capitol Hill, Pasta): On my to-do list. Expensive but great. I heard their pastas with braised meats are incredible.
4b. Cascina Spinasse
($$-$$$, Capitol Hill, Pasta): Handmade pasta and get the butter sage pasta. Pricey, classy, upscale handmade pasta establishment. Right down the same street is their sister restaurant Artusi ($$) which is very good Italian pasta as well – it’s more modern bar compared to the fancy finer Spinasse.
4c. How to Cook a Wolf
($$, Queen Anne or Madison Valley, Italian): A fine Ethan Stowell establishment only open only for dinner. Ethan doesn’t disappoint though all his restaurants are on the pricey end but with a restaurant name like that, how can you resist? Basically anything Ethan Stowell is gonna be good. So, you can check out his other Italian joints like Tavolàta ($$, Belltown and Capitol Hill) or Rione XIII ($$, Capitol Hill) which is good for happy hour.
4d. Bar del Corso
($$, Beacon Hill, Italian): You’ll need a car if you’re in Seattle proper to reach this amazingly tasty Italian restaurant and pizzeria. The bar is great and everything is crazy fresh, crazy affordable, and stunning.
($$$, Capitol Hill, Italian): Italian food going around in dim sum carts, this is a dining experience that can’t be missed. Their pastas and meats are big and delicious.
4f. Ristorante Machiavelli
($$, Capitol Hill, Pizza/Pasta): This homey, more low key casual joint always has a line and a lengthier wait. It’s a smaller venue but the pasta is incredibly fresh. It’s pastas and pizza here. I love the Pasta Puttanesca but anything is good here, def check out the specials.
4g. Due’ Cucina
($, Capitol Hill, Pasta): Want amazing Italian pasta but don’t want to pay a high price? Check out Due for a fast casual like experience with fresh, simple tasty pasta.
($$, Capitol Hill, New American): Known for its worldly tastes and spices, Nue is an amalgam of flavors, tastes, and cultures. I like the South African bunny chow, goat curry, and jumbo wings.
5b. Art of the Table
($$$, Wallingford, New American): Known for its farm-to-table, Pacific Northwest features, this restaurant is one of the top ones in Seattle. Be prepared for the price tag though and prie fixe.
($$$$, Queen Anne, New American): On my to-do list, known as the best restaurant in Seattle.
($$$, Capitol Hill, New American): Pricey but great. They know how to cook their meats and are good at all 3 courses.
($$, Beacon Hill, Filipino): You must get the squid pancit but if you get anything here, you won’t be disappointed. Even the garlic rice is great.
6b. Kedai Makan
($$, Capitol Hill, Malaysian): This is a food stand open for dinner and late nights in Capitol Hill. Get the roti canai and nasi goreng!!!
6c. The Dolar Shop Seattle
($$$, South Lake Union, Hot Pot): Upscale Chinese hot pot. Premium and very tasty, especially with the ice cream at the end. Make sure you hit up the sauce buffet bar. Their sauces are unique and what makes them a stand-out best hot pot ever.
6d. Din Tai Fung
($$, University District, Taiwanese): Get the spicy shrimp wontons and a plate of the normal soupy pork dumplings. The noodles and rices are pretty good – not great but good. Then get some dessert buns too.
6e. Saigon Deli
($, International District, Vietnamese): This hole-in-the-wall is the shit. It has the best banh mi’s in town at the best price. Their hot deli items for take-out look amazing. Take-out only.
Lastly, if you want Thai food, I find it really hard to find a bad Thai restaurant but my top picks are Bangrak Market ($$, Belltown) for their beautiful, eclectic decor (I like getting their Kao Mun Gai and Kao Soi Chiang Mai) , Soi ($$, Capitol Hill) for a great date and friends place, Bai Tong (Capitol Hill) for friends and groups, and Buddha Ruksa (West Seattle) if you’re in the area.
($$, Wallingford, Asian Fusion): A gorgeous spot serving Korean/Asian fusion food done very right. Open for dinner everyday and $19 buffet brunch (with a tasty meat entree) on weekends.
7b. Gan Bei
($$, International District, Asian Fusion): Their menu sounds amazing but everything here is good. I love their Enoki with soft tofu combo and their claypots.
($$, Capitol Hill, Asian Fusion): This picturesque (Instagram worthy) restaurant is a tasty classic with amazing cocktails and a stunning set of egg rolls for appetizers and main dishes packed with flavor and meat. Gives off a Vietnamese-influenced vibe.
7d. Ba Bar
($$, Central District, Vietnamese): Beautiful, spacious venue with Asian fusion cuisine. Great bar, lunch and dinner options, and even pastries. Asian food for Americans – open till 4am on Fri/Sat. They serve pho, congee, and wings.
Or if you just want pho, check out Dong Thap noodles ($, International District, Vietnamese) or Pho Bac Sup Shop ($, International District, Vietnamese) where I get the beef rib pho.
($$, International District, Japanese): This is a really old restaurant that has stood the test of time. It’s a classic in Seattle and is so homey, offers traditional dishes, and serves only the good fresh stuff. I do recommend getting a reservation. It’s a low key no frills place that is a hole-in-the-wall spectacular. I love their hot meals like udon, Steamed Salmon in Foil Pouch, or Variety Ozen. Amazing. period.
But, if you’re looking for sushi, Tsukushinbo is a nearby hole-in-the-wall that is a small joint that services up the fresh good stuff. It’s where locals go to get some authentic fresh sushi. It’s a small place so there might be a wait. Solid.
($$$, Madison Valley, Japanese): This sushi spot is a classy, upscale restaurant that is very delightful. Expensive but the tastes are phenomenal. They have unique dishes and great, fresh sushi. It kinda reminds me of the also delicious and expensive Sushi Kappo Tamura, which I also recommend if you’re willing to spend some money and need it to be classy.
8c. Sushi Kashiba
($$-$$$, Downtown/Pike Place, Sushi): Amazing for omakase and owned and operated by the amazing Shiro. It’s great if you sit at the counter.
You can also try Shiro’s ($$-$$$, Downtown/Pike Place, Sushi) sushi for fresh, omakase sushi or Japonessa Sushi Cocina ($$, Downtown/Pike Place, Sushi) for sushi for a more modern, urban vibe Americanized tastes and excellent happy hour.
($$$, West Seattle, Japanese): On my to-do list, sustainable seafood. Good for omakase.
8e. Tamari Bar
($$, Capitol Hill, Japanese): It is a good, cool casual place with a long cocktail bar. They have a cool bento box that features seasonal items but it is a little pricey and not my favorite. I just like to get their lovely sa-bao for an appetizer and the seafood bimbibap and the maze-men as my two entrees with a date that will share with me.
Also, some random Japanese places I like are and/or worth mentioning for those curious:
- Fort St. George ($, International District, Japanese): I just really like this cheap, simple, no-frills place because sometimes I just want comfort food. They have katsu curry, pasta with meat sauce, and ketchup fried rice. You just want some simple, clean comfort food to settle your soul? Check this unique place out. Just good at what they do. I’m not expecting a five star Michelin meal but a homey taste with chunks and hunks of meat.
- Kamonegi ($$, Fremont, Soba): Offers handmade soba noodles
- Azuki ($$, Madison Valley, Udon): It’s a very small place but specializes in homemade, handmade udon.
9a. Tacos Chukis
($, Capitol Hill, Central District, Tacos): This place has amazing and cheap tacos. They have tortas and burritos too but most people get tacos. The price and value is out of this world and is a cult-classic and Seattle favorite. Hole-in-the-wall.
I also like Carmelo’s Tacos (for a street market vibe, also in Capitol Hill) and Little Neon Taco (for a more hipster vibe, in First Hill).
($$, Ballard, Steakhouse): You want some good melt-in-your-mouth meats? Asadero is the steakhouse to beat. It’s fresh and tasty and served up on a sizzling platter of greatness.
9c. La Carta De Oaxaca
($$, Ballard, Queen Anne, Oaxaca): Get anything here and it will be great. You want some good Oaxaca Mexican food? This is the place to be.
($$, Capitol Hill, Brunch): Great for small and large brunch parties, their menu includes mimosas, eggs, and waffles. Nearby on the same street, Coastal Kitchen ($$, Capitol Hill, Seafood) does fresh selection as well. If those guys are crowded, try Americana ($$, Capitol Hill, New American) on Broadway. People also line up for Skillet Diner ($$, Capitol Hill, Brunch) on the hill – I’m okay with it.
10b. Blazing Bagels
($, Multiple locations, Bagels): Get the bagel sandwiches. I love the one with roast beef, avocado, and cream cheese on the pepperoni pizza bagel. I know you’re not in NYC but you’re in Seattle so you should get fresh salmon/lox cream cheese! Bagels of every kind here like cinnamon chip, snickerdoodle, pumpernickel everything – if you can think of it, they sell it!
10c. Porkchop & Co
($$, Ballard, New American, Brunch): Brunch food is amazing. I thought the pork chop was just okay but everything else on the menu is delicious and delightful.
10d. Portage Bay Cafe
($$, Multiple locations, Brunch): Brunch time (pancakes, omelettes, french toast)! Only go to Portage Bay Cafe in the summer when their berry bar is fresh! Unless you’re just feeling some good ole eggs, then go anytime. They have solid pancakes but my favorite pancakes are in Redmond, WA at Family Pancake House.
11a. Dahlia Bakery
($, Belltown, Breakfast sandwich): The BEST breakfast sandwiches EVER on the face of the earth. They’re a hefty price tag of ~$7-$8 but it will be the best breakfast sammie ever.
11b. Slab Sandwiches + Pie
($, Capitol Hill, Sandwiches): You must get the Farro bread toast (hands down) with or without the egg and a sweet cookie or pie (aka slab).
11c. Salumi Artisan Cured Meats
($, Pioneer Square, Sandwiches): Run by Mario Batali’s dad and is only open weekday lunches) Cold cuts, hot sandwiches, and salami done right. This lunchtime-only, weekday-only joint. And if not Salumi, then Rain Shadow Meats in Pioneer Square because they’re amazing and delicious too or Delicatus.
($, Multiple locations, Sandwiches): Delicious, fresh, sustainable sandwiches. Great fresh bread as well. I like the pastrami but all are good. Skip the breakfast sandwiches. Expensive for what it is though.
($$, Multiple locations, Pizza): They have amazing pizza. Some even have honey drizzle on top.
($$, Ballard, Pizza): On my to-do list. I heard their wood-fired oven is great.
($$, Ballard, Pizza): Their mushroom pizza looked amazing except it was all burnt on the bottom. If it wasn’t burnt, probably one of the best pizzas I ever bought. It’s wood-fire goodness here and there will be good long wait but it’s that good.
12d. Via Tribunali
($$, Multiple locations, Pizza): Any pizza or calzone but I highly recommend the house special (Specialita’ Della Casa) called Via Tribunali or you can try the one with clams.
($$, Ballard, Pizza): They have a kick-ass charcuterie plate, great pizza, and pretty good entrees. Beautiful, spacious venue but cell reception doesn’t work – free wi-fi though. Love this place.
12f. Serious Pie
($$, South Lake Union, Pizza) also has a pizza with the clams that is incredible.
13. Marination Ma Kai
($, West Seattle, Hawaiian/Korean): Quick fast street food with an excellent view of Seattle – you must get the super amazing kimchi fried rice with your choice of protein. Their kalbi beef, spicy pork, or miso ginger chicken tacos are excellent! Or try sliders, fish-and-chips, mac salad, or a katsu sandwich. Don’t forget shaved ice! Take the $5.25 water taxi to West Seattle – puts you right at Ma Kai.
14a. Le Pichet
($$, Downtown/Pike Place, French): This is a cute little traditional French bistro and bar that has simple recipes with high quality ingredients.
($$$, Downtown/Pike Place, French): Maximilien is a romantic and charming French restaurant located in the heart of downtown Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market.
14c. Cafe Presse
($, Capitol Hill, French): Tasty, very casual, affordable, and open till 2AM. Very chic and tres French. Get that Croque Madame, butter, and baguette!
($$$, Capitol Hill): On my to-do list. Steakhouse. Beautiful and artfully curated and you should visit for their specialty dry aged grass fed and grass finished steak cuts are sold by weight and availability.
15a. Cafe Flora
($$, Madison Valley, Vegetarian/Brunch): This cute joint usually has a wait so try to make a reservation. Great for brunch, lunch, and dinner. They have fresh baked goods and amazing vegetarian entrees for everyone.
15b. Araya’s Place
($$, Multiple locations, Vegan Thai): So you want some Thai food but don’t want any animal products? Or just want good Thai food? Araya’s Place has noodles and tons of variety.
15c. Eggs and Plants
($, Belltown, Mediterranean/Vegetarian): Authentic Middle Eastern street food served in authentic pluffy pitas. You must get any of the pita sandwiches. It has fries inside! All dishes are vegetarian, but very filling and unique. I’ve honestly never had anything quite like it, pbly the best pita sandwiches I’ve ever had.
Do you have a car and are willing to drive outside of Seattle for good eats? I love The Guilt Trip (Redmond) for Indian fusion cuisine, Noodle Boat Thai Restaurant (Issaquah) for Thai food, Hui Lau Shan (Bellevue) for a mango drink, and Xiao Chi Jie (Bellevue) for pan fried dumplings.
Do you have recs for Korean or Indian food? For Korean food, it’s best to go to Federal Way, WA. For Indian food, it’s best to go to the East Side (cross the I-90 or 520 bridges to Bellevue/Redmond/Issaquah).
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