Dining Trends: Seattle Diners Crave Italian, Quiet

By Leslie Kelly  |  December 3, 2013
Credit: Geoffrey Smith

According to Zagat's recent national dining trends surveySeattle diners have much amore for Italian food:  18% of those surveyed selected Italian as their favorite cuisine, followed by American (13%) and Seafood (12%). No wonder Italian-inspired Staple & Fancy Mercantile, pictured here, snagged the No. 1 spot in food rankings, tied with Nishino, the Japanese restaurant in Madison Valley prized for its spot-on sushi.

While there were plenty of raves throughout the Survey, there were also opportunities to rant and the most common complaint Seattle surveyors had was noise levels, with 26% selecting it as the No. 1 dining irritant.

It's an issue many restaurateurs struggle to address. At his brand new downtown restaurant, Loulay Kitchen & Bar, Thierry Rautureau even hired a sound specialist to ensure the soaring ceilings didn’t create a conversation-killing cacophony. Bravo!

Service was the No. 2 irritant at 17% and parking comes in third at 16%, though that number is huge when compared to 7% nationally. Diving a bit deeper on the service issue, 26% of those responding to our survey cited inattentive servers as the biggest bummer. Maybe those servers just couldn't hear diners when they tried to grab their attention.