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Our Favorite Places to Eat in Olympia

A ranking of the top restaurants in the city for amazing food.

Few places in the world offer the kind of beauty found in Olympia, Washington. A person can’t live on beauty alone, though, so finding the best places to eat is my favorite thing to do in a new city. Local foods say a lot about the community, the creative spirit, and the sense of welcome.

friends eating at an olympia restaurant

Are you wondering where to eat in Olympia? No worries—I’ve got you covered.

As I’ve explored Olympia, I realized it was challenging to narrow down to just a few of my favorite restaurants. With so many to choose from and a fantastic dining experience at each, I whittled my list down to these seventeen Olympia restaurants.

Best Restaurants in Olympia

  1. Basilico Ristorante Italiano
  2. Budd Bay Cafe
  3. Dockside Bistro & Wine Bar
  4. Fish Tale Brewpub
  5. Gardner’s Restaurant
  6. Mediterranean Breeze
  7. Anthony’s HomePort – Olympia
  8. Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar
  9. King Solomon’s Reef
  10. Cascadia Grill
  11. La Petite Maison
  12. Mercato Ristorante
  13. Swing Wine Bar
  14. Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill – North Point
  15. Arepa Latin Street Food
  16. Pizzeria La Gitana – Olympia
  17. Octapas Cafe

Basilico Ristorante Italiano

507 Capitol Way S # A, Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: 360-570-8777
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Located only two blocks from the West Bay, Basilico Ristorante Italian has been home to authentic Central and Northern Italian cuisine for more than fifteen years. Hand-made pasta and ravioli, delicious fresh sauces, and slow-cooked meats will leave you wishing you could eat here every meal. This stunning restaurant has both flavor and atmosphere.

While their extensive menu has delicious options for everyone’s taste, the Tagliolini Alla Riviera is my favorite. This dish has homemade egg pasta sautéed with fresh clams, cod calamari, prawns, bay scallops, salmon, and mussels. It is cooked in garlic, white wine, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil making it melt in your mouth.


Budd Bay Cafe

525 Columbia St NW, Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: 360-357-6963
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Right on the water, the Budd Bay Cafe has the feel of an upscale seaside shanty. A favorite at Percival Landing since 1988, the cafe’s owners are Olympians, and it shows in their cuisine. They offer full-scale catering for anything from business meetings to weddings. 

As expected in an oceanside restaurant, their specialty is seafood. I don’t think that is limiting, however. With ten main entrees, including a steak option, the meals are delicious. My favorite, and one that many people enjoy, is the Butternut Squash Ravioli with gorgonzola cream sauce, candied pecans, and fresh basil. 


Dockside Bistro & Wine Bar

501 Columbia St NW Suite B, Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: 360-956-1928
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Dockside Bistro and Wine Bar sits right on the West Bay with a beautiful view of the water and docks. Focusing on locally sourced foods, Dockside Bistro takes pride in collaborating with local farmers, ranchers, and other suppliers to provide the freshest options to their diners.

Dockside Bistro has a menu item you won’t find elsewhere: Elk. The Elk Duet has an applewood smoked bacon wrapped elk ribeye with bacon Bordelaise and an elk ribeye skewer with basil pesto, roasted fingerling potatoes, sauteed vegetables, and a parsnip Brulee. You won’t want to miss that dish. 


Fish Tale Brewpub

515 Jefferson St SE, Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: 360-943-3650
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Established in 1993, the Fish Tale Brewpub is Olympia’s oldest pub. This downtown restaurant features local brews and fresh foods within walking distance to the East Bay and the Old Capitol Building. 

You’d be remiss in checking out this pub and not order the fish and chips. Panko breaded cod fillets served with homemade coleslaw hand-cut french fries, and their homemade dill tartar sauce is one of the best fish and chips options I’ve ever had. The menu is limited, but what they do, they do well.


Gardner’s Restaurant

111 Thurston Ave NW, Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: 360-786-8466
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Gardner’s Restaurant is a family-owned restaurant established in 1983. They use locally sourced foods and create everything from scratch, including soups, sauces, and a wide variety of delicious desserts. Only a block from the West Bay, Gardner’s is known for its excellent food and service.

What I love about Gardner’s Restaurant is its menu changes daily. They always have a seasonal fish, lamb chop, and Duroc pork chop on the menu, but they never prepare it the same way long enough to print it. My favorite, though, is the Chicken Piccata with seared chicken, white wine, lemon, cream, tomatoes, and capers. 


Mediterranean Breeze

2302 Harrison Ave NW, Olympia, WA 98502
Phone: 360-915-7343
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Mediterranean Breeze offers something completely different from their Chef/Owner Mehmet Sipahioglu who brings the flavors of Turkey to Washington. Merging the beauty of Olympia and Istanbul, Mediterranean Breeze celebrates culture and cuisine with a one-of-a-kind restaurant.

I’m a sucker for good Hummus and highly recommend starting your meal with this cold appetizer. I like the Beef Shish – tenderloin filet mignon cubes, marinated and cooked on their wood-fire grill for my entree. You can choose rice or bulgur pilaf, and either choice is brilliant.


Anthony’s HomePort – Olympia

704 Columbia St NW, Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: 360-357-9700
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Part of the Anthony’s Restaurants family established in 1966, Anthony’s HomePort Restaurant sits just off the I-5 corridor near the Olympia Farmers Market. With a view of the water and a delicious menu, Anthony’s is worth stopping by.

My favorite dish here is also gluten-free, which is an excellent option to have. The Roasted Scampi Prawns are made with garlic butter and topped with fresh lemon and gremolata. Served with almond basmati rice pilaf and seasonal vegetables, this dish is filling and will have you wanting more at the same time. 


Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar

222 Capitol Way N, Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: 360-915-7784
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Carrying on the family tradition as second-generation shellfish farmers, the owners and management of Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar take great pride in their Olympian heritage. This pride shows in the quality of food, the atmosphere of the restaurant, and their dedication to their community.

My favorite dish here was a toss-up between the Steak Tartare, served with miso, egg yolk, black garlic, and toast points, and the Miso Sablefish served as a bone-in sablefish with miso, rice cakes, corn dashi, and charred bok choy. This is a menu I can’t wait to explore again.


King Solomon’s Reef

212 4th Ave E, Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: 360-742-3199
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Close to Percival Landing Park and Heritage Park, King Solomon’s Reef is a restaurant and pub with a relaxed underground vibe. Serving three meals a day, King Solomon’s Reef is a great place to stop for breakfast before heading downtown or walking over to the East or West Bays.

My favorite here is the chicken and waffles. The four-piece air-pressure cooked chicken is juicy and crisp – everything fried chicken should be without the added fats. Two waffles, butter, and syrup finish off this dish, ensuring that you’ll be well-prepared for a day of sightseeing around the city. 


Cascadia Grill

200 4th Ave W, Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: 360-628-8731
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Cascadia Grill sits a block away from Percival Landing Park and West Bay. Its bright and welcoming atmosphere is the perfect place to meet a friend for lunch or a date night at the end of a long week.

Served with a bit of humor and a lot of flavor, the extensive menu comes with options for vegan and vegetarian dinners, kids, and folks with a sweet tooth. My favorite vegan dish is the Inland Empire Street Tacos. Four tacos with ground impossible burger, onion, tomato, cilantro and served with sweet and sour taco sauce. It comes with fries or a side salad, and you’ll love it.


La Petite Maison

101 Division St NW, Olympia, WA 98502
Phone: 360-754-9623
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If you’re craving the French Quarter in the Pacific Northwest, look no further than La Petite Maison. French fine dining combined with the freshness of seasonal ingredients and a menu that’s rarely the same twice, La Petite Maison is an experience you won’t want to miss.

Perfect for date-night, my favorite choice for dinner is the Chateaubriand for Two: dry-aged prime chateaubriand with sauce béarnaise and two sides. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can add prawns to the dish, but only if there’s room in your tummy. This was delicious!


Mercato Ristorante

111 Market St NE, Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: 360-528-3663
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Urban. Casual. Upscale. Comfortable. Mercato Ristorante has been a part of the dining scene in Olympia since 2002. Their fresh Italian food and bar serving locally crafted cocktails and wines offer private dining, catering, and a traditional restaurant experience.

If you’re looking for a delicious salad, the Pear and Gorgonzola salad with grilled pears, candied hazelnuts, gorgonzola, and blackberry vinaigrette. Salmon is another delicious meal with roasted white bean & garlic puree, tomato vinaigrette, olives, basil, and Marcona almonds. Everything at Mercato Ristorante lives up to the hype.


Swing Wine Bar

825 Columbia St SW, Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: 360-357-9464
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Toward the north end of Capitol Lake and Heritage Park, Swing Wine Bar has an old-school atmosphere with a lighted mosaic bar, bungalow seating, and friendly staff. Their outdoor patio provides a view of the lake and Mount Olympus and is the perfect place to sit with friends and enjoy one of their extensive wine selections.

The best starter for your meal is the charcuterie board with a mix of meats and cheeses. The Butter Chicken served with simmered Tandoori chicken, Basmati rice, and naan is delicious without being too heavy. This is one of my absolute favorite places to relax.


Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill – North Point

1675 Marine Dr NE, Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: 360-705-3473
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Another of the Anthony’s Restaurant family, Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill at North Point, is built on pilings on Budd Point and has a beautiful view of Puget Sound. The unique personality of this restaurant will have you returning again and again.

If you’re looking for a fantastic lunch, the Wagyu Bacon and Blue Cheese Burger is divine. This one-third-pound American Kobe burger is chargrilled to order and topped with bacon and Danish blue cheese crumbles.   


Arepa Latin Street Food

728 4th Ave E, Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: 360-207-5774
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Named for the popular Venezuelan dish, Arepa serves various Latin street foods, setting it apart from the other restaurants on this list. The tribes of Venezuela called the dish “erepa.” Formed as an elaborated around food, it imitates the Sun God and is a divine native bread. 

My favorite erepa is the chicken salad. The arepa bread is cut to make a sandwich with chicken salad and avocado. For a delicious side, try the tostones—thick, deep-fried slices of green plantain topped with creamy avocado salsa. It’s a unique and scrumptious dining experience. 


Pizzeria La Gitana – Olympia

518 Capitol Way S, Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: 360-753-2929
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Pizzeria La Gitana – Olympia is a must on your dining tour, featuring an attitude of joy and love alongside their wood-fired pizza. Specializing in thin-crust pizzas with fresh toppings, and located near Heritage Park, La Gitana promises an “unforgettable Italiana dining experience.”

At Pizzeria La Gitana, I decided to try something completely new: the Tuna, Caper, and Red Onion pizza. While it doesn’t sound like something I’d typically try, it was delicious! The tuna was just the right consistency, and the onions and capers pack a punch.


Octapas Cafe

610 Water St SW, Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: 360-878-9333
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Taking pride in their food sourced with intention, Octapas Cafe provides space for the community to enjoy the arts, sit with friends and family, and relax while enjoying a good meal. They’re located on the far north edge of Heritage Park, close to West Bay. 

One of my favorite dishes here is the comfort food Shepherd’s Pie. Filled with delicious braised lamb, parsnips and herbs, and topped with fresh mashed potatoes, this was something I could eat for every meal. Their baked oysters are also delicious and make a great appetizer.


Final Thoughts

As I explored the world of Olympian cuisine, one thing stood out to me as undeniable: Olympia, Washington, is home to so much great food! This is only a shortlist of places I loved, and if I could spend all my time eating in Olympia, I’m sure I’d be pleased.   

There’s sure to be something for everyone in one of these restaurants, but check out one of our other articles on dining options in Olympia if you want something more specific.

Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!

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Written by Ryan F.

Ryan is a Philadelphia local who enjoys checking out Philly's restaurant scene every chance he can. He grew up in South Jersey and now lives in Philadelphia's Point Breeze neighborhood. Ryan also enjoys traveling and checking out local eateries in every city he visits.