Seattle, also known locally as “The Emerald City,” is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the West Coast. Situated between Lake Washington and Puget Sound, Seattle was once a hub for the lumber industry. Today, Seattle is best known for its fantastic culture, art, and of course, as the birthplace of grunge.
While I’ll always love Seattle for introducing me to iconic grunge bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana, this city has a special place in my heart for a different reason: the food culture. Seattle’s food scene is expansive and covers both local and international cuisine. There are tons of unique places to eat in Seattle for every taste and budget.
Some of the best places to eat in Seattle are off-the-beaten-path local haunts that most tourists haven’t heard of. Fortunately, my list of the best restaurants in Seattle can clue you into these hidden gems.
If you’re wondering where to eat in Seattle, you’ve come to the right spot!
86 Pine St Suite #1, Seattle, WA 98101
For award-winning sushi right in the heart of Seattle, head to Sushi Kashiba. This restaurant is very close to both Victor Steinbrueck Park and Pike Place Market and is the brainchild of Chef Kashiba, who’s been nominated three times for a James Beard Award. His respect for the ingredients and love of food shines through in every bite.
Try their cod, tuna, or long neck clams. All of these dishes are flavorful and delicate without being too overpowering. You also can’t go wrong with any of their sushi rolls. Sushi Kashiba is a very popular restaurant, so make sure that you make reservations early, especially on the weekends.
Bar del Corso
3057 Beacon Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144
Just a few blocks away from the Jefferson Park Golf Course, Bar del Corso is a warm, inviting restaurant with a lovely patio and exceptional food.
Start your meal with their fresh arugula salad and one of their signature cocktails. Their portions are relatively large, great for splitting, and you can make a light dinner out of their salads and fresh bread.
If you’re in the mood for something a little bit more substantial, the mushroom pizza is a great choice. Packed with flavorful mushrooms, a generous sprinkle of cheese, and a homemade crust, it’s a true crowd-pleaser. Other great options include their mussels and wide selection of desserts.
1531 14th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
Spinasse is just a few blocks away from Cal Anderson Park. It offers excellent, rustic Italian fare at reasonable prices. Some of my favorite dishes include their handmade pasta and arugula salad with prosciutto. Although their food is humble, the presentation and flavors are entirely on point.
Even something like pasta with sage and fresh butter or their Antipasto plates are presented and prepared with care. You can tell that the chefs at Spinasse know what they’re doing and only use the best ingredients. Save room for dessert because the tiramisu is off-the-charts delicious as well.
5607 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118
On my trip to Seattle, Washington, I had the pleasure of visiting the Archipelago restaurant on Rainer Ave S, at the cross of S Orcas St. This restaurant boasts mouthwatering Filipino-American cuisine inspired by the Pacific Northwest, easily making it one of the best restaurants in Seattle.
I loved the opportunity to try various dishes and seasonal flavors with a curated tasting menu offering 9 to 12 courses in one dining experience. The menu changes seasonally and sometimes daily since all ingredients are sourced from the Pacific Northwest and produced in-house.
Chefs Aaron Verzosa and Amber Manuguid are happy to accommodate any dietary restrictions or food preferences. The intimate dining experience at Archipelago seats four guests per table, with only eight seats available at a time, so advanced reservations are a must if you want to get a taste of this authentic and mouthwatering cuisine.
2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
Conveniently located less than two miles away from the Space Needle, Canlis is a sophisticated restaurant with a great view of Lake Union. Sometimes you will get pleasant little surprises throughout your meal, like an amuse-bouche to start off. Your meal is a four-course experience, with different options for each course.
I would highly suggest the Dungeness Crab Salad. It’s flaky, flavorful, and is the perfect start to any great meal. Their Striploin Steak is fantastic, too, accompanied by rutabaga and Walla Walla onions. Presentation is key at Canlis, and they have a tremendous selection of wine to go along with their food.
The Pink Door
1919 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101
The Pink Door has one of the best views in the city. You can see almost the whole bay from most of their tables. It’s right near Victor Steinbrueck Park.
It will be tough to decide what to order from their menu, so it’s a good idea to get several small plates to share. Their goat cheese and fig appetizer is impressive, as is the Caprese salad. The Pink Door specializes in fresh, local ingredients, and you can really taste the difference.
The Pink Door is also well-renowned for its signature cocktails. If your favorite isn’t on the menu, just ask. The staff is usually more than happy to accommodate you.
The Walrus & the Carpenter
4743 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
If you are looking for a great place to get oysters in the Old Ballard district, the Walrus & the Carpenter is the ideal spot. Located close to Salmon Bay, the Walrus & the Carpenter is a higher-end version of your neighborhood fishing pub with locally sourced oysters, fabulous sides, and a robust beer menu.
The Walrus & the Carpenter service is second-to-none, and they have great indoor and outdoor dining options. Try the sheep’s cheese and tomato salad if you’re looking for something a little on the lighter side. This restaurant specializes in good, local food served with a smile. You won’t regret your visit.
Beast & Cleaver
2362 NW 80th St, Seattle, WA 98117
Undeniably, Beast & Cleaver, also known as The Peasant, is one of the best restaurants in Seattle if everyone on the invite list eats meat. Located in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, at the corner of 24th Ave NW and NW 80th St, Beast & Cleaver is a specialty family-run butcher shop that serves fresh cuts of organic meat.
However, diners can delight their senses from Thursday to Sunday and enjoy a five-course meal and wine pairings. My favorite dish was the Koji aged beef served with green garlic butter and lemon balm.
Guests can also sign up for butcher classes to learn more about the preparations involved in creating the mouthwatering food this incredible restaurant serves.
903 19th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112
I was so excited when I finally got to try a meal at Taurus Ox, and the experience did not disappoint. This laidback restaurant on the corner of E Aloha St and 19th Ave E serves cuisine inspired by Laos’s flavors.
Here, diners can revel in the bold flavors and aromas wafting from this unpretentious dining establishment in Seattle. I tried spicy food and paired herbs I would never have thought to use before and delighted in the umami flavors of every bite.
Keep in mind that Taurus Ox only accepts advanced reservations for groups of five or more, so if your group is smaller, expect a bit of a wait. That said, the wait is worth it!
If you have a craving for Caribbean food, visit one of Un Bien’s many locations in and around Seattle. This iconic chain offers enormous portions of authentic island cuisine.
Some of their top menu items include the pork loin sandwich, full of juicy seasoned meat and sauce, and the chicken salad with caramelized onions. You can also get this salad with pork, and it’s big enough to share.
If you want a special treat, try my favorite item on the menu; the Caribbean roast sandwich. Between the tender roasted pork, crisp bread, and spicy jalapenos, this sandwich is a beautiful explosion of flavors.
2524 Beacon Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144
Musang, in Seattle’s Mt. Baker neighborhood, is a tasty Filipino restaurant serving up traditional comfort food in a welcoming and charming atmosphere.
There are so many great things on this menu that it’s hard to name them all, but one thing that you should absolutely try is the short rib kare kare. It’s cooked to perfection with an addictive, flavorful peanut-based sauce.
The summer pancit canton is another exceptional dish featuring local ingredients and an interesting medley of vegetables. Their adobong lechon kawali, or pork belly dish, is expertly cooked and served with a delicate soy sauce. If you’ve never tasted real, classic Filipino food, you really need to check out Musang.
1054 N 39th St, Seattle, WA 98103
Close to Aurora Avenue North, Kamonegi is a small, humble restaurant serving some of Seattle’s best soba noodles and tempura. If you’re craving top-notch Japanese food, you won’t find anything more authentic or delicious than Kamonegi. Their head chef, Mutsuko Soma, creates handmade soba dishes and ramen from traditional recipes.
Even the sides at Kamonegi are superb. Try their Osaka Brussels Sprouts or Duck Fat Eggplant. Both dishes are bursting with both traditional and unexpected flavors. Since Kamonegi is a relatively small restaurant, it’s a good idea to make reservations in advance, especially during weekends and their dinner rush.
Tilikum Place Cafe
407 Cedar St, Seattle, WA 98121
The Tilikum Place Cafe is an excellent spot to grab a bite after a long day of sightseeing in Seattle. It’s close to the Seattle Opera and Seattle Center.
Tilikum Place Cafe tends to get pretty busy, especially on the weekends, so it’s a good idea to make reservations ahead of time. Their dinner and brunch are particularly popular with the locals. Taste the food, and you’ll see why.
Their pasta with hazelnuts, sage butter, and parmesan cheese is absolutely off the charts, as is their fresh clam chowder. Their coffee is exceptional, too, even for Seattle. Each cup comes with a buttery shortbread cookie.
1600 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101
Cafe Campagne near Pike’s Place Market is one of Seattle’s best French restaurants featuring a vast wine list and traditional menu of classic French fare.
Their quiche is exceptional, light, and full of plenty of cheese. Try this croque monsieur sandwich. It comes with some well-dressed greens that compliment the heavier sandwich perfectly.
One of my favorites is the Nicoise salad. I also love the pommes frites. They are light, crisp, and great for sharing. Their lamb burger is outstanding and great for bigger appetites. If you love traditional French cuisine, you really should make a point of visiting Cafe Campagne.
Communion Restaurant & Bar
2350 E Union St, Seattle, WA 98122
If you’re looking for some great soul food, Communion Restaurant & Bar will not disappoint you. This Seattle legend is relatively close to Medgar Evers Pool and features the culinary stylings of Chef Kristi.
Communion Restaurant & Bar is one of those great places that’s really popular with local people but is still off the tourist radar, so you’ll be sure to get an authentic Seattle experience.
Try their collard greens, cornbread, and lima bean stew. I love the mussels at Communion Restaurant & Bar, and if you have a big appetite, you can try their pork chops. The staff at Communion Restaurant & Bar are really what make this soul food sensation special. They’re kind, attentive, and treat you just like family.
3506 Stone Way N, Seattle, WA 98103
Joule is a romantic, beautiful restaurant right in the North Lake District near Gas Works Park. If you’re looking for a relaxing and lovely place to wind down your day, give it a try. With an airy, artistic, industrial vibe, Joule is the definition of big city chic. The best way to enjoy this restaurant is to order several dishes for sharing.
Their black sesame noodles are out of this world. The smoked tofu and bone marrow are delicious too; perfectly prepared and seasoned. Don’t miss some of Joule’s signature cocktails, specifically their Bloody Marys. They’re made to order with just the right amount of spice.
1933 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101
Le Pichet, near Pike Place Market, is about the closest that you can get to France without leaving the West Coast of the United States. Whenever I’m having a craving for chocolate mousse, I make a point to go to Le Pichet.
Their pesto gnocchi is exceptional, and their charcuterie platter is perfect for sharing. Try their French onion soup. It’s full of beefy flavor and topped with plenty of cheese. Le Pichet prides itself on attentive, personal service. If you have any questions about the menu, their wait staff will be more than happy to help.
Matt’s in the Market
94 Pike St #32, Seattle, WA 98101
Matt’s in the Market is another Pike Place Market gem where you can get exceptional food for reasonable prices. The ambiance at Matt’s in the Market is casual, cozy, and welcoming. Try their fish sandwich, lamb burger, or seafood chowder. All three of those are my personal favorites.
For a tasty appetizer to share, try the deviled eggs along with one of Matt’s in the Market’s craft beers. It’s the perfect snack. If you’re in the mood for something a little bit healthier, Matt’s in the Market has a great green salad packed with plenty of vegetables.
Pho Bac Sup Shop
1240 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98144
On my trip to Seattle, I got to travel to Vietnam without experiencing any jet lag by dining at one of Seattle’s best restaurants, Pho Bac Sup Shop. This restaurant in Seattle’s International District is famous for serving traditional Vietnamese pho with beef, chicken, or veggies.
This casual restaurant has fair prices for delicious food. Diners have choices for sides and other dishes like freshly made spring rolls, Chinese-style donuts, and various noodle dishes. The serving sizes are large, so I recommend coming with a friend.
I love Pho Bac Sup Shop’s convenient location on the corner of S Jackson St and Boren Ave; I pop in regularly after exploring Downtown Seattle.
2000 6th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
One of the best restaurants I dined at on my last trip to Seattle, Washington, was Marination in Downtown Seattle on 6th Ave and Virginia. This restaurant specializes in a fusion of Hawaiian and Korean cuisine for a taste you’ll never forget!
One of my favorite dishes at this trendy establishment is the miso ginger chicken taco salad, be sure to order it with a fried egg on top!
The vibe here is friendly and laid back. Instead of ordering from a server, guests are invited to order at the counter. Every dish is customizable based on the diner’s preference, so you’ll watch the chefs make your food and instruct them on which ingredients you want to be added or omitted for a perfect meal every time!
9811 16th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98106
One of the best restaurants in Seattle is Tomo, located in the White Center of Seattle. This classy restaurant features the flavors of the Pacific Northwest with a must-try tasting menu that suits every pallet. I’ll never forget the incredible flavors of the dry-aged beef rib.
Tomo offers vegetarian alternatives to their set menu of six mouthwatering courses alongside a wine-paring menu that compliments the food.
While reservations at this upscale restaurant are sometimes hard to get, Tomo also offers a bar and patio menu so diners can enjoy a delicious meal here, even if they don’t get a table inside.
127 N 36th St, Seattle, WA 98103
Meesha is a fantastic place to go if you want to experience some of Seattle’s finest ambiance and great Indian food. Located right near Fremont Canal Park, Meesha serves great Indian comfort food like butter chicken and paneer. I personally love their butter chicken. The sauce is robust without being overpowering, and the chicken is perfectly cooked.
Their fritters and vegetables are amazing too. Try their dal and rice for a spicy and comforting plate of food, and make sure that you taste one of their signature cocktails. At Meesha, they do whimsical takes on standard cocktails that pair perfectly with the food and atmosphere.
Taneda Sushi In Kaiseki
219 Broadway E #14, Seattle, WA 98102
Don’t pass up a trip to Taneda Sushi In Kaiseki on your next visit to Seattle. This small restaurant near Cal Anderson Park specializes in traditional methods for preparing and serving sushi with the highest-quality ingredients and freshest produce.
At Taneda Sushi in Kaiseki, diners get a set menu that changes daily based on the season and the weather, making this restaurant worth repeating because the experience changes every time.
This fancy restaurant is open only from Wednesday through Sunday but accepts advanced reservations for one to eight people.
6412 Latona Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115
In my opinion, Frelard Tamales is one of the best spots for lunch in Seattle. This Mexican restaurant on Latona NE and NE 65th St has a lunch special every day from 11 AM to 2 PM, where diners can enjoy a tamale, vegan rice, and beans for under $10.
Frelard Tamales has something for every eater with steroid and hormone-free meat options, vegan choices, vegetarian options, and gluten-free substitutions.
This casual restaurant has a friendly and inclusive vibe with some of the best customer service in Seattle.
May Kitchen and Bar
17614 Vashon Hwy SW, Vashon, WA 98070
May Kitchen and Bar is one of the best restaurants in Seattle for anyone that loves Thai food like me. I always start my visit here with an order of papia taud, vegetarian spring rolls that come with a mouthwatering pineapple dipping sauce.
I love how May Kitchen and Bar serves flavor combinations that excite my senses. From spicy to sweet to savory, this Seattle restaurant has it all.
Remember, May Kitchen and Bar is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so plan your visit accordingly, and you won’t be disappointed.
Ono Authentic Hawaiian Poke
10016 Edmonds Way, Edmonds, WA 98020
You can’t visit Seattle without tasting the food at Ono Authentic Hawaiian Poke, especially if you enjoy raw fish. The menu here changes daily, based on which fish is freshest, so visitors can expect something a little different but always delicious every time.
Ono Authentic Hawaiian Poke is a casual and immersive experience where diners order at the counter and select which ingredients they want in their bowl. I love getting poke bowls with a balance of rice, vegetables, and fish.
The fish is always extremely fresh and delicious. Poke bowls are also healthy, so I never feel guilty about indulging!
110 Summit Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102
Carmelo’s Tacos is pretty close to the 1-5 Express and the place to get authentic Mexican food in Seattle. Both the al pastor and Asada tacos are incredible. Both meats are marinated to perfection and served in generous quantities on homemade taco shells. Make sure that you sample their homemade salsas as well.
If you’re in the mood for something different, try Carmelo’s Tacos’ burritos or quesadillas. Carmelo’s Tacos has something of a cult following in Seattle, so expect longer lines, especially on the weekends. They also have relatively limited indoor seating. It’s best to try to get to them in an “off” hour if possible.
Seattle is a food-lover’s dream city. You can find virtually any type of cuisine in this town, from fabulous French bistro fare to delicious pizza. Whether you want to tuck into a boozy brunch or grab some authentic soba noodles, Seattle has you covered.
Next time you find yourself in the Emerald City try out one of these great restaurants. You’ll understand why Seattle’s iconic eateries are putting this city on the map, and making it one of the most popular foodie destinations on the West Coast.
Did we leave any restaurants off the list? Leave us a comment down below and we’ll look into it right away!
Best Restaurants in Seattle
- Sushi Kashiba
- Bar del Corso
- The Pink Door
- The Walrus and the Carpenter
- Beast & Cleaver
- Taurus Ox
- Un Bien
- Tilikum Place Cafe
- Cafe Campagne
- Communion R&B
- Le Pichet
- Matt’s in the Market
- Pho Bac Sup Shop
- Taneda Sushi In Kaiseki
- Frelard Tamales
- May Kitchen and Bar
- Ono Authentic Hawaiian Poke
- Carmelo’s Tacos