Enjoy the best of the Emerald City by visiting the top restaurants in Seattle
There’s a good reason why Seattle is known as a paradise for foodies. If you’re looking for things to do in Capitol Hill, First Hill, or any other Seattle neighborhood, start by visiting the many places to eat. You can find a wealth of options from the top restaurants in Seattle that bring flavors from around the United States and the world right to your plate. You can also enjoy dishes made using the freshest, local ingredients, including seafood that’s straight from the nearby bodies of water.
Planning to visit or live in Seattle? We’ve compiled a list of great restaurants in Seattle that include all types of cuisines. As you explore the best places for dinner in Seattle and the ideal places to grab brunch and lunch, you’re sure to find some new favorites.
What is a must-eat in Seattle?
Before we dive into specific restaurants, let’s talk about the must-eat foods in Seattle. You can think of this list as a way to help you put together your Seattle food bucket list. As you might have guessed from Seattle’s proximity to the water, fresh seafood and fish are very popular in this city. However, the local specialties include more than food from the sea. You’ll also find that Seattle offers amazing Asian cuisine, delicious twists on American classics and so much more.
If you’re a fan of seafood, there are a few dishes you won’t want to miss while you’re in Seattle.
First are the fresh-shucked oysters straight from the frigid waters of Puget Sound. Many people enjoy eating these oysters with horseradish and lemon or signature sauces. Geoduck is another seafood favorite. This giant clam has a shape that will elicit giggles from most people. However, it offers a subtle salty flavor that pairs well with sushi and stir fry. Rounding out the must-try seafood is Dungeness crab, which is an oversized, bright red crustacean that contains sweet, tender meat. Your fine dining cannot be complete without a Dungeness crab dish from a Seattle fresh seafood restaurant.
One of the most popular Asian dishes in Seattle is pho, which is available at Vietnamese restaurants around the city. These special noodle bowls combine warm spices, fresh herbs and comforting broth to create a delicious rice noodle soup. Other beloved Asian dishes include salmon nigiri, or a ball of vinegared sushi rice topped with a slice of salmon, and warm and comforting chicken teriyaki. These dishes provide a great source of comfort food on the rainy days in the Emerald City.
If you want to try a unique twist on an American classic, the Seattle dog is for you. This dish looks like your typical hotdog with one big exception: It includes cream cheese on the bun, along with more common hotdog condiments like ketchup and relish. Some places also add other extras to their Seattle dogs, including caramelized onions and hot sauce.
No discussion of famous Seattle culinary offerings would be complete without mentioning coffee. While it’s technically a beverage, no other food or drink is more closely tied to Seattle. While many Seattle visitors may first think of Starbucks, locals know that independent coffee shops are where it’s at when you need a caffeine fix.
What are the top restaurants in Seattle?
This is a tough question to answer because there are so many amazing restaurants and so much variety in the Seattle food scene. Rather than list just one of the great restaurants in Seattle, we’ve created a list of the top restaurants in Seattle. These eateries serve different types of cuisine and provide a wide variety of offerings.
Cafe Juanita in nearby Kirkland can’t be beat for fans of Northern Italian cuisine and fine-dining. Under the direction of chef Holly Smith, this eatery crafts refined meals that focus on favorites like pasta, ravioli studded with ricotta and chanterelles, and braised lamb sugo. They use the freshest ingredients to add to the delectable flavors in this Northern Italian. And to adjust to the challenges caused by the pandemic, Cafe Juanita offers a full-fledged takeout menu, making the restaurant one of the best places for dinner in Seattle.
Fans of Middle Eastern cuisine will want to make their way to Cafe Munir to enjoy Lebanese and vegetarian dishes galore. You can order from the takeout menu to pick up everything from the house labneh to lentil small plates with caramelized onions. Owner Rajah Gargour also mixes up the dining menu by offering seasonal items, so be on the lookout for pumpkin hummus in the fall.
JuneBaby is famous for serving up Southern-style favorites under the direction of award-winning chef Edouardo Jordan. The fried chicken and mustard greens tend to be the most popular menu items. However, offerings like pimento cheese and seafood gumbo have also won many fans. This eatery also offers takeout options available from the three-course menus that rotate daily.
Xi’an Noodles might be in a no-frills location, but it’s been a local favorite for Chinese food since it opened its doors in 2016. Seattle locals are rejoicing because this eatery has reopened after being closed for several months due to the pandemic. We love the teriyaki and din tai fung. Foodies love the dishes that contain the hand-pulled, wide biang biang noodles that the cooks make from scratch every day, which are now available for takeout.
If you’re looking for incredible Indian food, you’ll want to head over to Nirmal’s Restaurants. Executive chef Ashish Bagul works hard to make sure that this eatery is one of the top restaurants in Seattle. The restaurant serves up dishes from many different regions of India, which means you’ll find soups, curries, and biryani as well as plenty of options for vegans and vegetarians.
El Gaucho is a great place to enjoy an upscale meal in a restaurant that’s focused on exceptional tableside service in the dining room. Paul Mackay founded this eatery as a Seattle destination for fine dining. Currently, the to-go menu is the focus in light of the pandemic. You can find everything from filet mignon and burgers to key lime pie and cocktail kits.
Everyone loves dumplings, and Din Tai Fung is famous for its dumplings, xiao long bao, buns, and spicy wontons. These culinary delights contain everything from pork and vegetables to chicken. Other items on the menu of this Taiwanese restaurant include appetizers, fried rice, noodles, rice cakes, and desserts.
Anyone who is looking for incredible food from a family-run Mexican restaurant should check out Frelard Tamales. The eatery serves up some of the most delicious tamales in the entire city. The menu items are available for pickup and delivery. Best of all, Frelard Tamales believes in giving back to the community, so it has been offering free meals to people who have been economically affected by the pandemic.
One of the best places to enjoy dinner at a seafood restaurant is Rockcreek Seafood & Spirits. The menu spans brunch and dinner offerings that feature fresh fish as well as dessert and happy hour options. Wine lovers can also find a large selection of reds and whites. When the weather is nice, you can take advantage of the outdoor seating and enjoy your meal out on the patio.
Finally, dessert lovers can satisfy their sweet tooth at Molly Moons Homemade Ice Cream. Classics like vanilla bean and strawberry are always popular. However, the ice creamery also offers creative flavors like earl grey, Stumptown coffee and honey lavender. Throughout the year, Molly Moons also offers seasonal flavors as well as fully loaded ice cream sundaes.
What is Pike Place Market famous for?
Finally, no discussion of Seattle food would be complete without mentioning Pike Place Market. It has been located on the city’s waterfront since 1907, where it has served as the city’s largest farmers market. In addition to the fresh produce stalls, iconic fish market that’s home to the famous “flying fish” and specialty vendors, there are tons of restaurants.
Variety is the name of the game when it comes to Pikes Place food. One great place is The Athenian Seafood Restaurant, which is one of the oldest seafood restaurants in the city. Visitors say the food makes you want to go back for seconds and thirds. From oyster shooters and Dungeness crab cakes to burgers with cheese, you can find tons of amazing dishes. For dishes that celebrate the Pacific Northwest and extensive wine options, Matt’s in the Market is an incredible eatery. Pizza lovers will also want to make their way to Alibi Room, which serves up thin-crust pizza in a hip bar.
You can eat at all the top restaurants in Seattle as a visitor or a resident
Clearly, there’s no shortage of great restaurants in Seattle, which makes it a dream come true for foodies. Whether you’re looking for the best places for dinner in Seattle or you want to find the perfect place to have brunch, you’ll be happy with any eatery you choose.
Want to explore living in Seattle? An apartment in the Emerald City may be exactly what you’re looking for. If you’re interested in living in Seattle, stay tuned! We’re opening homes across the city this year. Follow us on Instagram to get the latest updates.