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Photograph: Suzi Pratt

The 21 best restaurants in Seattle

Fresh seafood, local produce and a myriad cultural influences are on the menu at these restaurants in Seattle

Written by
Olivia Hall
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Seattle sits on the Puget Sound, so it’s no wonder there’s a bounty of seafood available to the city’s many chefs. Plus, this Pacific Northwest city has easy access to fish from Hawaii, Japan and Alaska. On top of that, the city has access to a bounty of regional proteins and produce. The best restaurants in Seattle highlight both local ingredients and influences from the many cultures represented in the city. From fresh seafood to Asian flavors to Indian influences and more, these Seattle restaurants are a must for visitors and locals alike.

This city isn’t all coffee shops and rainy days, the restaurant scene has garnered worldwide attention. Pacific Northwest chefs are rediscovering influences of their cultures and reinterpreting classics. Seattle also has beloved hole-in-the-wall spots that are far from fine dining but definitely worth a try. From sushi to salmon to Filipino faves, put these restaurants on the top of your list of things to do in Seattle. After that? Stop by one of Seattle’s best bars for a nightcap. You can always walk it all off the next day in one of the city's beautiful parks.

Best restaurants in Seattle

  • Restaurants
  • East Queen Anne
  • price 4 of 4

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. 

This intimate, inventive restaurant in Hillman City melds Pacific Northwest cuisine with Filipino-American flavors. Offering a seasonal 9-12 course tasting menu, the meal weaves flavors with the story of the chef-owners' journeys as immigrants to the region. The focus is on local produce, enhanced with a bit of history.

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Taste Indian cuisine in a whole new way at Meesha. The contemporary dishes are bursting with flavor, a simple celebration. Familiar dishes like pakoras and butter chicken are on the menu, but don't miss Amritsari fish (panfried rockfish with cardamom and fenugreek), paneer in a spiced tomato sauce or bukhara dal. 

Believe it or not, Pike Place Market is home to a James Beard Outstanding Chef nominee. Seats at the bar here are the most coveted, as you can watch said master sushi chef at work. The omakase option will feature seasonal offerings, but every item on the menu will be fresh and delicious.

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For spot-on Neapolitan pizzas, head to Beacon Hill. Though slightly hidden, Bar del Corso is frequently packed, but the wait is worth it for the pizzas with bubbly, crispy crust. The rest of the menu is equally tasty, with items like meatballs, salt cod fritters or grilled octopus with corona beans.

  • Things to do
  • South Seattle

From the owners of the Marination group of tasty restaurants comes a Korean-Hawaiian joint set up in a vintage garage. The all-day menu includes hearty dishes like loco moco, sichuan pork noodles, spam musubi and addictively sweet malasadas.

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7. Xi'ian Noodles

At this unassuming spot in the University District, you'll find some of the best noodles in town. Chewy, tender, hand-pulled noodles are best when served simply with hot chili oil, but toppings like spicy cumin lamb and stewed pork.

  • Restaurants
  • Whittier Heights
  • price 2 of 4

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.

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  • Restaurants
  • International District
  • price 1 of 4

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.

  • Restaurants
  • price 2 of 4

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.

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  • Restaurants
  • Van Asselt
  • price 3 of 4

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.

  • Restaurants
  • Pine Market
  • price 3 of 4

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.

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  • Restaurants
  • University District
  • price 1 of 4

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.

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  • Restaurants
  • Pine Market
  • price 2 of 4

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.

  • Restaurants
  • Sandwich shops
  • Van Asselt
  • price 3 of 4

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. 

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  • Restaurants
  • North Broadway
  • price 2 of 4

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.

  • Restaurants
  • Belltown
  • price 2 of 4

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.

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  • Restaurants
  • First Hill
  • price 2 of 4

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.

  • Restaurants
  • Wallingford
  • price 1 of 4

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.

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  • Restaurants
  • Downtown
  • price 2 of 4

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.

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