As anyone who has spent time in Seattle knows, the Emerald City is saturated with culture, both local and international. It should come as no surprise, then, that Seattle is home to some of the most rewarding dining experiences on the west coast. Fresh seafood, award winning grills, authentic French, Italian, and Asian cuisine—the list is impressive.
So impressive, in fact, that we have compiled a list of the best Seattle restaurants for those who may be new to the city, or for those who are moving into new areas of their hometown.
If there is one culinary staple in Seattle, it’s seafood. Countless food traditions are rooted in the cold Puget Sound, and the sheer number of delicious seafood restaurants in the area is proof that those traditions are worth carrying on. Here are just a few we thought you might enjoy:
After earning local and national fame upon its opening in 2010, this neighborhood seafood hotspot is a perfect mix of casual and upbeat. Enjoy quality oysters, delicious seafood plates, and drinks—all from local sources.
Westward is a cozy restaurant and bar located on the North Lake Union waterfront. According to their website, Chef Zoi Antonitsas creates “a delicious balance between contemporary Northwest and Mediterranean flavors.” If you want to enjoy a meal outdoors, Westward provides beach seating with a beautiful view of the lake and city skyline.
Boasting high quality seafood from trusted Northwest sources, RockCreek also offers seafood dishes from more distant locations, such as Hawaii and the East Coast. Listed by many as one of the hottest new Seattle restaurants when it opened in 2013, RockCreek continues to be one of the best seafood spots in the city.
In addition to local Northwest specialties, Seattle is home to a vast variety of international restaurants and award winning chefs. Take, for example, Chef Holly Smith, founder of Cafe Juanita in Kirkland. In two consecutive years, 2011 and 2012, Smith was nominated for the James Beard Award Outstanding Chef in the US . Her blend of fresh Northwest and Italian produce, combined with a “strong passion for the foods of Northern Italy,” places Cafe Juanita on the top of many food critics’ list. Here are a few more Seattle restaurants inspired by international tradition:
First up is another location inspired by the food of Northern Italy. Spinasse hosts an authentic, intimate atmosphere, where you will find carefully selected wine, hand-cut egg pasta, and the pure love of Italian food shared by Chef Stuart Lane and his team.
Annapurna Cafe, Capitol Hill
Experience the taste of South Asia as veteran chef Roshita Shrestha shares her love for the cuisine of India, Nepal, and Tibet. Annapurna Cafe offers countless unique dishes, specialty imported beer, saffron-infused cocktails, and more.
One of the many gems found near Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market, Place Pigalle has mastered French cuisine using fresh Northwest produce and products. Drink high quality wine by the glass or experiment with the bar’s unique cocktail menu, soak in the classic, intimate atmosphere, and enjoy a stunning view of Elliott Bay.
RN74 Seattle is a restaurant founded by award-winning Chef Michael Mina, helmed on location by David Varley. Here you will find French fare with a Northwest touch, including house aged steaks, locally grown organic vegetables, and an impressive wine list featuring wine from Washington, Oregon, and France.
Last but certainly not least, we come to Canlis, a local classic and one of the finest restaurants in the Pacific Northwest. For over 60 years, Canlis has provided high quality Northwest cuisine in a warm, high class dining environment. From their website: “The menu is both comfortable and cutting edge. It showcases six generations dedicated to refinement, restraint, technique and creativity.”
We hope you have enjoyed this short tour of Seattle’s culinary world. Remember, as you fall in love with the city’s culture and cuisine, the best dining experience is one of discovery. Try something new! Explore the best of what Seattle restaurants have to offer. Try a cold platter of oysters or Ras el hanout braised lamb with lime—the choice is yours.
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