There are so many fun things to do in Seattle, it can be easy to just grab a quick bite to eat between attractions. But locals know that you'd be doing yourself a disservice. When all your sightseeing is done and your feet are sufficiently aching, it's time to head for food, real food. Whether you're after fine dining with gorgeous views, roadside favorites or just a brewery where you can sup a beer outside, the cuisine in this PNW capital packs a delicious punch. So if you're ready to dive into some gastronomic delights then here's our pick of the best restaurants in Seattle right now.
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Best Seattle restaurants
There's nothing quite like fine-dining and Canlis know it. Great for an important date or a super fancy celebration, the restaurant has expert sommeliers are on hand to help you pick out a perfect pairing from their extensive wine lit, amazing panoramic views of the city (including the Cascade Mountain range and Lake Union) and delicious dishes to boot.
Chew on what many consider to be Seattle’s most delicious sandwich offerings at Un Bien. Hours-long cooked meats drenched in the best Caribbean juices make waiting on the side of the street for your order worth it. Trust us on this one.
Sure, all the restaurants lining the International District offer delicious BBQ pork but, to enjoy the very best, you’ll want to dine at Kau Kau. The festive and casual Chinese restaurant sells so much BBQ pork that the staff has even set up a window service for takeout—the ideal excuse for a late night snack, if you ask us.
Taking a ferry to visit a restaurant may sound a bit excessive but, in this case, it’s exactly what you should be doing. With a wood-burning stove on site, Bruciato serves one of the best slices you’ll ever nosh on. Offering pies bursting with the likes of chorizo, honey and morel mushrooms (only when they are in season, of course), the eatery promises to deliver one of the most transcendent pizza-eating experiences of your life.
Hot Cakes is where you need to go after any meal. No excuses. Don’t let the size of the cakes fool you, these small treats pack a serious punch. (Even a single serving of the thick, warm chocolate is worth sharing!) If chocolate isn’t your thing, opt for the amazing baked goods instead. If you’re not into those either (who are you?!), indulge in the delicious warm libations on offer.
This small plate oasis in Queen Anne is exactly where you should go if you’re looking for a relaxed and intimate eating experience. An Ethan Stowell restaurant helmed by chef Nicole Matson, the restaurant serves delicious cuisine that can be shared or devoured on your own in the comfortable yet cavernous space.
Celebrated for serving some of the best Nashville fried chicken outside of the south, Sisters and Brothers is always a go-to for lunch or dinner. Heat levels range from “naked” to “insane”—try the latter at your own risk. On weekends, order the famous hot chicken and waffles, which you can eat at one of the four vintage video game tables.
Heavily inspired by all Pacific Northwest delicacies, Sitka and Spruce is a favorite among locals. Heavy on the veggies and fish, the menu changes frequently to mimic all ingredients’ market availability. Though pretty pricey (we’re talking about market finds, after all!), you don’t necessarily have to dress up when dining here—although we do suggest you don your nicest flannel.
If you’re in Pike Place market and you need to get away from the crowds, you’ll want to head to Matt’s in the Market. A little hard to find—it’s up some pretty nondescript back stairs off of First Avenue—Matt’s in the Market serves fish and veggies found in the market below it. With a view of the Olympic Mountains, Pike Place Market Sign and the bustling street below, you are going to be Instagramming your meal and your surroundings.
Master chef Rachel Yang helms a few spots in Seattle (Trove, Revel, Revelry) but Joule is her crowning achievement. The upscale yet casual Korean eatery focuses on different cuts and preparations of beef—each one more delicious than the next.
In the mood for noodles? Thai Tom in the University District is your best bet. This thai noodle shop offers a limited menu and even fewer seats (less than 20)—but don’t let that deter you! The wait is completely worth it.
Francophiles are going to feel right at home at Le Pichet. Another Seattle institution, the eatery’s menu is almost entirely in French. Don’t fret, though: No matter what you order, you’re sure to end up with something fantastically delicious. Pro tip: You might want to consult Google to make sure you’re actually ordering the always great charcuterie plate.
Hitchcock Deli serves meats to remember on Bainbridge Island. The Deli is a go-to for those looking for really meaty sandwiches and the restaurant has recently bulked up their healthy, farm-fresh offerings.
Overlooking Seattle’s Lake Union, Westward shows off all the goodies that the Pacific Northwest has to offer in every single dish. The venue also happens to be a fantastic destination for a romantic evening, during which lovers can gaze at the sunset from one of the adirondack chairs overlooking the lake.
At one point, every newspaper reporter from the Seattle Times would head to 13 Coins to grab a steak and a beer after a long day at the newsroom. Why? It’s open 24 hours a day. Now that both the Seattle Times and 13 Coins have moved from their original locations, the steak/news legacy is only part of Seattle lore. One thing has remained the same: The steak is still oh-so-delicious.
If you’re looking for a strong cup of coffee and a warm meal while strolling through Capitol Hill, Oddfellows is going to be the best place to rest your weary self. Serving traditional cafe eats, this is the ultimate cool place to hang out in during a rainy afternoon in Seattle. Fun fact: 90% of Oddfellows decor is salvaged and repurposed to save on waste and give the space that vintage feel that everyone seems to appreciate.
It’s not a trip to (or a regular week in) Seattle without a meal at Dick’s Burger. The low-key burger joints are scattered throughout the city and have been a favorite of all Pacific Northwesterners for years. The chain recently started accepting credit cards, so you don’t have to think twice about the ten-cent charge for ketchup.
Out late on the weekend? Head over to Glo’s. This revered greasy spoon in Capitol Hill is the best (and perhaps only) place to get an omelette at 3am on a Friday night. Come for the chow and stay for the characters: on the weekends, the space is packed with interesting people—think hungover musicians and high-strung techies.
If you see a giant clam shell walking on two legs, follow it. Follow it all the way to Ivar’s. Anybody who grew up in Seattle knows about the outrageous television commercials from the '80s and '90s touting the restaurant’s “acres of clams.” This downtown waterfront staple serves some of the best fish in the city, with views to match. Grab a seat by the fireplace and enjoy some smoked salmon from the foodie gods.