The 50 Best Restaurants in Seattle

Your ultimate bucket list for dining — who came out on top?
April 4, 2017
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by Zagat Staff

Your votes are in: presenting Seattle's 50 best restaurants. The list includes an eclectic mix of old-school classics, trendy hot spots and stellar newcomers. Read on for reviews and recommended dishes, and be sure to check out the results of our latest Dining Trends Survey.

Nell's
French · Green Lake · $$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.5

In a "hidden storefront" across from Green Lake, chef Philip Mihalski's "oasis of serenity" wins accolades for "imaginative" American creations made from the "best local, seasonal ingredients" and paired with a "killer wine list" ; the basic room looks a tad "tired" to some, but to those who appreciate "relaxed" yet "food-savvy" servers and a "quiet atmosphere" , it's a "happy place."
Mamnoon
Middle Eastern · Capitol Hill · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

"Sure to impress" , this Capitol Hill Middle Eastern puts "a contemporary spin on the classic" offering "magical and unexpected" flavors, that are "so good" they’ll "make you cry" , along with "lovely" signature cocktails; set in a converted warehouse, the modern dining room has an open kitchen and a "fabulous, welcoming" vibe.
Spinasse
Italian · Capitol Hill · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.5

The Piedmont region is the muse at this "must-try" Capitol Hill trattoria, where "attentive" servers deliver "delicate, sublime" (and "pricey" ) pastas paired with "light" sauces and "rustic" , meaty ragouts; a sibling of Artusi (right next door), savvy regulars who say the space can get "noisy and crowded" can opt for seats at the "kitchen-view" dining counter so they can "feel like they're cooking with the chef."
Metropolitan Grill
Steakhouse · Downtown · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

This "old-school" Downtown meatery is a "staple" with the "power-lunch" crowd for its "amazing cuts" of dry-aged beef ( "don’t tell your cardiologist" ) and "classic sides" such as "to-die-for" mashed potatoes; the "retro steakhouse atmosphere" extends to "comfy booths" , "wood and brass" furnishings and "insightful" staffers – just expect a "big bill to go with it" all.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
French · Ballard · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.4

"Pay someone to stand in line for you" at this "tiny" , "packed-to-the-gills" midpriced Ballard seafood spot, where fans slurp "expertly shucked oysters" at the zinc bar, and tuck into "interesting" American small plates that are "100% Seattle" ; "informative" servers guide you through ordering, while the simple, whitewashed "post-industrial" decor feels "classic and hip at the same time."
Salumi
Pioneer Square · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.2 · Service 3.7

Gina Batali (yep, "Mario's sister" ) "knows what she's doing" at her Pioneer Square "Italian paradise" , where fans wait in "long lines" for "massive sandwiches" of "insanely good" house-cured salami in addition to other "delicious" deli specialties; just be aware there's "limited" communal seating, and it's only open for weekday lunch.
Matt's in the Market
American · Pike Place Market · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.4

"Busy but wonderful" , this midrange Pacific NW stalwart on the second floor of Pike Place Market wins fans with its "excellent" seafood and meat offerings (including a "not-to-be-missed" catfish sandwich), as well as "seasonal specials" , all made with "inventive flair" ; views of Elliott Bay, "cool waiters" and a "deep and wide wine list" help make this the perfect "grand finale" after a "day of sightseeing."
Altura
Italian · Capitol Hill · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.5

"Exciting" seasonal Italian dishes are crafted with "meticulous attention to detail" and offered in a "spectacular" prix fixe menu at this spendy "special-occasion delight" in Capitol Hill; an "outstanding" staff oversees the "cozy" , somewhat quirky setup with unusual framed lace, an "intimate" back area and a more casual bar overlooking an open kitchen where you can "sit and enjoy the show."
Joule
Korean · Wallingford · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.4

"Intriguing" "taste combinations" (many in "shareable" form) inspire diners to "be adventurous" at this Fremont Korean steakhouse from Iron Chef vets Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi (Revel, Trove), whose "fantastic" offerings include "try-them-all" cocktails and a themed brunch that "dreams are made of" ; the "beautiful" space boasts handmade wallpaper and a patio with a fire pit that’s "perfect for a fall day."
The Willows Inn Restaurant
$$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.6

Obsessively sourced local ingredients star in lavish seasonal American tasting menus offered in only one seating per night at this reservations-only Puget Sound destination, part of an upscale island inn. A relaxed atmosphere awaits diners who make the trek, a two-hour drive from Seattle followed by a short ferry ride.
Nishino
Japanese · Washington Park · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.5

Kyoto-born Nobu alum Tatsu Nishino conceives "delicate, inventive" and altogether "amazing" sushi for deep-pocketed fans at his "low-key" Washington Park Japanese; "expert" service and "masterpieces on the walls" by local artist Fay Jones put diners "in a Zen state" , but those who want a truly transporting experience know "it's all about" the "straight-from-heaven" omakase menu (just be sure to "order a few days ahead" ).
The Herbfarm
American · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.6

The "world-class" tasting menu at this Woodinville "culinary retreat" highlights "subtle herbs" and other esoteric Pacific NW ingredients, along with wine pairings (no à la carte); starting with a "garden tour" , an "enchanted evening" here includes a "story" about the night’s offerings, "impeccable" service and an "astronomically expensive" bill to match the "unforgettable" experience; P.S. since the "adventure" can last more than four hours, some "stay the night" in the on-site suites.
Canlis
American · Queen Anne · $$$$

Maneki Restaurant
Japanese · International District · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.3

"There's a reason" that this "true gem of food and history" in the ID has "been around for over 100 years" say fans of its "simple" , "authentic" Japanese "home cooking" and "excellent sushi" offered at "relative-bargain" prices; maybe it's "not much to look at" and there are "long waits" to get into the main dining room, but you can always reserve one of the tatami rooms and dine "seated on the floor."
Lark Restaurant
American · First Hill · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

John Sundstrom’s Capitol Hill American "standout" enchants with an "inventive" , "locally sourced" menu that includes a luxe burger; "professional" yet "personal" service and a "relaxing" vibe make the updated warehouse space "feel like it’s full of friends" , and if the bill is "pricier than expected" , most agree this "serious culinary experience" is "worth every penny."
Beecher's Handmade Cheese
Pike Place Market
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.1

"Watch them make the cheese" at this Pike Place "institution" (with outposts at Sea-Tac airport and Bellevue Square mall), a cafe/fromagerie beloved for its wallet-friendly "comfort food" that will "warm you from the inside out" , including "life-changing" mac 'n' cheese and a grilled cheese and tomato soup combo that's "tough to beat" ; the "small, crowded" space with a sales counter and eating bar is strictly functional, but it still "hits the spot" for a "quick" bite.
Shiro's Sushi
Sushi · Belltown · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.4

For a real "treat" , sit at the bar at this Belltown Japanese and let the "masters" decide your meal for you – the omakase is "perfect, period" ; it’s "slightly pricey" , and waits are "long" (reservations are "essential" ), but you’ll be "dreaming of it until you come back."
The Corson Building
Georgetown
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.5

"Magnificent" , "family-style" dinners are served at communal tables at this "swoon" -worthy Georgetown Eclectic, which is set in a "funky" 1910 Spanish-style building reminiscent of a European country house; though the "romantic" room can get "noisy" and "it's definitely pricey" , the staff's "genuine hospitality" helps make it "worth the splurge" ; P.S. hours and menus vary.
Sitka and Spruce
American · Capitol Hill · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.3

Even simple "seasonal" ingredients become "cutting-edge" at chef-owner Matthew Dillon's "airy, modern" Eclectic set in Capitol Hill's Melrose Market; though it can be "tough to get a last-minute table" and you should "be prepared to spend some money to get full" on the small plates, the staff is "knowledgeable" and the food is "over-the-top delicious."
El Gaucho
Steakhouse · Belltown · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

For a "truly excellent" "carnivore experience" , these "classy" , "Rat Pack" –style steakhouses serve up "perfectly prepared" cuts in dining quarters so "dimly lit" that "tuxedoed servers" are on hand to provide "flashlights" and "walk the ladies to the restroom" ; not surprisingly, it all comes at an "astronomical" price, though the "popular happy hour" is an "amazing value."
The Harvest Vine
Spanish · Central District · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.5

At this "quaint" Central District cocina, fans feel as if they're "being entertained at a great dinner party" when they "sit at the bar" and watch the chefs "work their magic" whipping up "unusual, authentic" (and "expensive" ) Basque tapas; "unobtrusive" servers patrol an "intimate" space that gets "crowded" and "noisy" , though the "romantic" wine cellar filled with "carefully chosen" Spanish bottles provides a "quieter" dining experience.
Single Shot
American · Capitol Hill · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.4

"Classy" meets cool at this New American "gem" sited "off the beaten path" in Capitol Hill, where the "superb" selection spans "fantastic" shareable plates to "wicked desserts" to "gorgeous" craft cocktails; framed by a room-length banquette and a marble bar, the cream-colored space exudes "positive energy" with a dash of vintage charm.
Jhanjay Vegetarian Thai Cuisine
Thai · Wallingford · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.4

Vegetarian fare that's "varied, tasty" and will "satisfy most meat eaters" can be found at these "accommodating and inexpensive" Thai spots that fans dub "nothing short of amazing" ; the dining rooms are simple yet "comfortable" , and the staff is "gracious" , "fast" and "friendly."
Tilikum Place Cafe
Brunch · Belltown · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.4

The "inventive" , "varied" menu at this "European-inspired" Belltown cafe "always satisfies" , with its "tasty" dishes that "change with the seasons" and a "wonderful brunch" on weekends; fans say the "comfortable" space fills a "neighborhood niche" , and given the "reasonable prices" and "observant" staff, might be "packed to the rafters" if not for the "secret" location "tucked between two busy streets."
Momiji
Japanese · Capitol Hill · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.1

A "serene" , "authentic" , Kyoto-style interior courtyard centers this "hip" Capitol Hill Japanese, where it's "it's easy to spend a lot" on the "fun selection" of cleverly named rolls and shochu cocktails; the minimalist space is overseen by a "helpful, informed" staff whose suggestions on ordering are a plus; P.S. daily happy hours 4–6 PM and 10 PM–12:30 AM.
Macrina Bakery & Cafe
Breakfast · Belltown · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.0

"Crusty, earthy bread" and a sandwich lineup that changes daily draw fans to these bakery/cafes; servers are "efficient" and the outdoor seating makes for "great people-watching" , but since the "industrial" spaces are "small" , regulars warn "there's usually a long wait" for a table.
Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar
Seafood · Pioneer Square · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

If you’re a fan of shellfish, this is what heaven might be " say fans who indulge in " incredible " oysters and seasonal seafood at these " cool ", " understated " spots, which match " direct-sourced " mollusks with craft brews and " appropriate wines "; " servers and shuckers who know their stuff " help make them a " go-to " for a " briny " raw-bar " odyssey."
Serafina
Italian · Eastlake · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.4

"Multiregional Italian" with a "local influence" is "prepared with sophisticated touches" at this "boisterous" , somewhat "pricey" Eastlake eatery; hands-on owner Susan Kaufman's staff offers "top-notch" service, the rustic interior has "charm and warmth" to spare and the "European courtyard" is the place for "outside dining" when "the weather is good" .
Cafe Campagne
French · Pike Place Market · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.3

Be "transported straight to the heart of Paris" by this "lovely" Pike Place Market bistro delivering all the "classic choices" , from a croque monsieur that's "warm, cheesy bliss on bread" to "dream" -worthy cassoulet; with moderate prices, "delightful service" and "charming" quarters hung with vintage French posters, fans declare "c'est magnifique!"
The Other Coast Cafe
Ballard · $
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.5 · Service 4.3

"Like an East Coast hoagie shop" , these "no-frills" cafes make "ginormous" sandwiches, "stacked high and delicious" with "quality meats and cheeses" , and they also serve beer; some find the price "a bit high" for a 'wich, and it can "take a little while" to get your order at the basic, often- "crowded" spaces, but to fans it's "worth it."
RockCreek Seafood & Spirits
Seafood · Fremont · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.4

"Skillfully prepared" seafood earns raves at this upmarket Fremont fish house, where chef-owner Eric Donnelly’s "superb" , globe-spanning spins on marine cuisine are "truly a joy" ; with river rocks and wood-beamed rafters, the look is "rustic cabin" -chic, while a sleek patio helps reel in a "loud" , "happening" crowd.
Art of the Table
Wine Bar · Fremont · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.3

This "innovative" , "intimate" and pricey Pacific Northwester in Fremont is "quite the experience" featuring "delicious" , "multicultural" locavore dishes, some in prix fixe meals with each course introduced at length by chef-owner Dustin Ronspies; the "warm" service and setting in a series of "small" rooms make it feel like you're in "somebody's house" , especially at the communal table where you're likely to end up "chatting with your dining companions."
Il Corvo
Italian · Pioneer Square · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.7 · Service 3.9

Chef Mike Easton "never ceases to amaze" with "heavenly" handmade pastas prepared "impeccably" at this lunch-only Pioneer Square "standout" , where the "limited" Italian menu changes daily; a "line out the door" for seating in the "small" , "sparse" digs doesn’t deter the "cult following" that deems it "worth the wait."
Delancey
Pizza · Ballard · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.3

Wood-fired pies with "thin, delectable" crusts and "fresh, seasonal" toppings, plus the likes of homemade "salted chocolate chip cookies" for dessert, draw crowds to this "trendy" midpriced Ballard pizzeria; the "intimate dining room" (read: small) can lead to "long waits" , but fans say it's "definitely worth it" for some of the "best pizza in town."
Monsoon Seattle
Vietnamese · Capitol Hill · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.0

At these "stylish, contemporary" eateries, Vietnamese cooking gets a "modern, sophisticated twist" that "unleashes a monsoon on the taste buds" via "sumptuous" dishes such as the signature clay-pot catfish; though tabs are "a bit pricey" for the genre, the "hipsterific staff" goes "above and beyond" and "wonderful, inventive cocktails" also add value.
Din Tai Fung University Village
Chinese · Ravenna · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.0

"Phenomenal" Shanghai-style soup dumplings are "all the rage" at these Bellevue and University Village outposts of a "modern" Taiwan-based chain, home to "delectable" "little pillows of heaven" crafted by hand ( "and it shows" ) in a "human assembly line" visible during "super-long waits" ; once you’re inside, "fast and efficient" servers maneuver around the "manic" scene to deliver the goods.