I moved to the West Coast almost four years ago from my home state of Alabama and I’ve been diligently eating and drinking my way through Seattle’s food scene ever since (and documenting it along the way!). I’ve worked with and written about dozens of restaurants, chefs and food festivals in the past few years and I’ve loved every minute of it. Last week something wonderful happened in my little social media food world – I hit 30,000 followers on Twitter (wooho!!! Thanks Twitter fam!) and in honor of that, I thought I would blog my favorite 30 restaurants in Seattle. This was NOT an easy task. 30 seems like a lot but there are a lot of good restaurants in Seattle, y’all, and narrowing it down was a daunting task. I had a list on my phone I was working on for over a week before finalizing this. But here it is – my favorite 30 restaurants in Seattle! These are not in order, that would be a whole other monumental task in itself:
Traditional dishes of India, Nepal and Tibet await you at this little underground space in Capitol Hill. If you’ve ever walked by here you know it’s impossible not to enter when you’re hungry because of the incredible aromas flowing from the building. Pictured is the Calamari Pakoras: Marinated calamari deep-fried with spiced chickpea flour batter with garlic, scallion and served with mint and tamarind chutneys.
2. Bar Melusine
Bar Melusine is the maritime masterpiece from James Beard Best Chef Northwest Renee Erickson and like all her other establishments, it’s stellar. Pop in for oysters and a cocktail and then have a lavish steak dinner next door at Bateau.
After you’ve had a cocktail and oysters at Bar Melusine, dine next door at Bateau for another of Renee Erickson’s gems. This is hands down my favorite place to go for steak in Seattle. The dedication that Renee and team have to local farmers and telling the story of where your food comes from is super impressive.
First off, how can you go wrong with a name like that? And, they’ve got the grits to back it up. Trust this southern girl; I’ve been on the lookout for good grits (and fried chicken, cornbread and sweet tea) since I arrived in Seattle four years ago and these guys passed the test. The biscuits are incredible, too.
Photo: Café Campagne/Facebook
5. Cafe Campagne
Ah, the most darling little French bistro located in lovely Pike Place Market. Brunch here is a truly magical experience, especially in the summertime when you can sit on the patio overlooking Post Alley in the Market. I’m a bit of a creature of habit and I always get either the quiche du jour or the lamb burger.
You probably wouldn’t expect a New Orleans-esque restaurant to have the best damn spaghetti bolognese in town but you would be wrong. I have consumed countless bowls of this. Plus the cocktails are stellar and this place has that funky, dark Pioneer Square vibe that I love.
I’ve been eating here for years and this is by far my favorite sandwich place in Seattle. They have some bomb small plates and cocktail here too! These guys just opened a new location in Benaroya Hall by the transit tunnel, don’t miss it.
Brought to you by Seattle restaurant superstar Ethan Stowell, Goldfinch Tavern is one of my go-to places in Seattle for happy hour. You can’t beat their stellar view of the sound and their cocktails are always creative and on point. Executive Chef Joe Ritchie has crafted a fantastic seasonal menu to enjoy with those yummy cocktails.
Knee High is so much more than a kick ass speakeasy – they also serve bomb food. They recently launched weekend brunch here and it’s life changing good. Chef Owners (and sisters) Pamela and Michelle bring their heritage of South Eastern Asian flavors to American classics on this menu and it guarantees to please.
Lark is a spot I love for brunch and for me it’s all about the phenomenal bread which they make in house. Damn y’all – this chocolate babka – I could have eaten a whole loaf (or twelve).
11. Le Petit Cochon
Oh my yum – I’m a little obsessed with this restaurant right now. How it took me over three years to find, I have no idea, but I thank God that I did. Here, Chef/Owner Derek Ronspies brings you a fantastic seasonal menu and employs a nose to tail mentality where every piece of the animal possible is used (last time I was here I had pig’s tail and it was lovely). Must trys on this menu include the Olsen Farm Phat Ass Porkchop and the LPC Pig Mac Burger (foie comes on it, just sayin…).
I don’t even want to know how much money I’ve spent at Lecosho over the past four years. It’s been one of my very favorite Seattle restaurants since the first time I walked in and sat down at the bar. The food, service and ambiance are all exceptional and I have spent many late nights here drinking red wine and eating their burger, which is one of the best damn burgers in Seattle. TRUST ME. And, add bacon.
I discovered Lola shortly after moving to Seattle and it remains one of my favorite places to bring out of town guests, specifically for the breakfast. The donuts here are absolutely to die for, it would be an atrocity to dine here and not order them, truly one of Seattle’s best dishes. They also make killer scrambled eggs here; they are always on point. Why is it so hard to find a restaurant in this city that can cook decent scrambled eggs? (I don’t know but it is). Thank you Lola for those fluffy little scrambled bites of heaven.
Two words: Spaghetti sandwich. Holy shit, y’all. (Excuse my profanity, but I think it’s warranted). When I posted a photo of this on my Instagram account I got mixed reviews of people loving this and some thinking it as an atrocity. I think a spaghetti sandwich is something that just needs to exist. Find this little spot in Pike Place Market.
Lowell’s is a Seattle classic. Located in the heart of Pike Place Market, Lowell’s offers a killer view of the sound and a fresh menu showcasing the Seattle seafood bounty. This is somewhere I always bring out of town guests for breakfast. I like to go early, the Market is magical to walk through in the morning while it wakes up, before it’s overrun with tourists. The breakfast tacos here are one of my Seattle breakfast favorites.
Ah, Matt’s in the Market; a Seattle classic. The service and food are both always executed with a level of excellence you won’t find at many restaurants. Matt’s offers one of the most iconic views of any Seattle restaurant – the Pike Place Market Public Market Center sign is right out its windows. Two things you have to try here: the deviled egg assortment (always incredible) and the lamb burger (no longer offered on the regular menu – please bring it back! – but is still regularly offered as a special).
Pintxo is another one of my just all time favorites in Seattle. I could sit at the counter and eat tapas here for hours (and I have). You’ll be magically transported to the Basque region of Spain when you dine here. Later this month Pintxo will move to a larger location in Belltown and a cold tapas cocktail bar will open under the same ownership in its place.
18. Place Pigalle
Place Pigalle is a true gem, hidden in Pike Place Market behind where the boys throw the fish. You’ve got to go here and order the whole, fresh Dungeness crab. It simply comes with a dill aioli, butter and lemon, but I swear the luscious crab meat is so sweet you don’t need a thing on it.
Rocco’s in Belltown is a magical place where inventive craft cocktails meet bomb pizza. They even have good vegan pizza here, y’all (but I’ll take mine with real cheese and meat please). I recommend ordering dealers choice on your cocktail and let your bartender make you something special based on your tastes and spirit preference.
This Hawaiian deliciousness is worth the light rail ride to Columbia City. I can’t get enough of these Ahi Tuna Poke Tacos! Shoyu Ahi tuna poke in a soft & hard shell taco with edamame hummus, & house slaw. Drizzled with creamy spicy aioli and cilantro – yes please! These guys recently opened a second location in Tacoma so now you can get your poke fix in T-town!
21. Senor Moose
If you’re looking for bomb Mexican in Seattle then look no further than Senor Moose in Ballard. This family owned restaurant is bringing the Mexican flavors and flair with their authentic dishes and absolutely stellar margaritas.
Shug’s Soda Fountain is new on the scene at Pike Place Market and is the most darling little ice cream shop you ever saw. I’m not a huge dessert person, I would just rather consume my calories through cheese, starches and salt, however – they have champagne floats here y’all. That’s right – champagne floats.
The first thing you notice when you walk in Stoneburner is the sick looking meat slicer they’re using to cut their charcuterie. They have a charcuterie slicing station on display, I’m in heaven. Go and indulge.
24. Super Six
Y’all I have dreams about these Aloha Fries at Super Six and I’m sure you can see why. Here the Asian flavors compliment the American tyle comfort food they’re serving. There’s also a beer garden that makes for lovely summertime day drinking.
25. Sushi Kashiba
True sushi excellence is what awaits at Sushi Master Shiro Kashiba’s latest dining masterpiece. The undisputed sushi king of Seattle, Shiro opened Sushi Kashiba last year and has received (well earned) rave reviews.
26. Taylor Shellfish
Nothing says Seattle summertime like fresh oysters and sparkling wine! You’ll find none fresher or bubblier than the oysters and champagne at Taylor Shellfish. This family owned oyster farm is another place I always take out of town guests.
27. Terra Plata
The churros at Terra Plata are utter perfection. This farm to table northwest restaurant is truly special. Rooftop brunch among the garden here in the summer is a must.
28. The Pink Door
Classic Italian and an awesome patio make for a fabulous combination at this Pike Place Market classic. I recently enjoyed the spaghetti and meatballs here, so damn good. They also boast one of the best lasagnas in Seattle.
Anyone that knows me knows that Von’s is my spot! I’ve been creating social media content for them for years but I’m pretty sure the only reason they ever hired me in the first place is because I was spending so much time at the bar there when I first moved to Seattle. Fresh made sourdough pastas, breads and pizzas make up the stellar menu and they’ve got a massive collection of spirits (obviously).
Westward is brought to you by the uber-talented Chef Josh Henderson of the Huxley Wallace Collective and it’s one of my favorite “special occasion” restaurants. This is where I would take someone on a date if I was really trying to impress. The view of South Lake Union and a kick ass menu of Mediterranen-esque dishes make Westward somewhere you don’t want to miss. They have a pickle brine martini here that I absolutely adore.