Best Seattle, WA Restaurants

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    10. Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar

    The second Seastar restaurant opened by star chef John Howie, this fine-dining seafood house features muted wooden tones and bright glass accents that create a modern, buoyant tone. Locally sourced, freshly prepared...

    Photo courtesy of Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar
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    9. Katsu Burger

    This is one of those, "Why didn't someone think of this sooner?" concepts, and it makes sense that the tempura-fried hamburger was created in sushi-crazed Seattle by one of the city's celebrated Japanese chefs. Katsu...

    Photo courtesy of Katsu Burger
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    8. Etta's Seafood

    One of the original restaurants in the culinary empire (Dahlia Lounge, Palace Kitchen) of Seattle chef Tom Douglas, Etta's is quintessential Northwest seafood. That's partly due to its location, just north of Pike...

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    7. Shiro's Sushi

    If the crowd it draws is a measure of a restaurant's standing, Shiro's reputation is assured. While not much to look at, the unadorned space is one of Seattle's premier sushi spots, and it is often filled with loyal...

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    6. El Gaucho

    Seattle restaurateur Paul Mackay's contemporary revival of the 1950s-era steakhouse El Gaucho revolves around the concept of dining as an orchestrated experience, not just a meal. The focus is on the finest...

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    5. Herbfarm Restaurant

    Dining at the Herb Farm is an event. In fact, just getting in is a process, since this culinary jewel is booked months in advance for its legendary prix fixe feast of Pacific Northwest fare. The nine-course meal...

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    4. Canlis

    No Seattle food guide would be complete without a mention of Canlis, for generations a stalwart standby for special occasions and wowing visitors. The traditional, white-tablecloth dining room lets visitors take in...

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    2. Toulouse Petit Kitchen & Lounge

    Toulouse Petit Kitchen and Lounge has been earning accolades almost since it opened. The ornate and filigreed interior of the space is just the beginning of a dining experience built on the food, style and attitude...

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    1. Aqua by El Gaucho

    Seattle is a seafood-centric city, and in the ultra-casual Northwest, restaurateur Paul Mackay (El Gaucho) has bucked the trend, elevating fine fish dining to a level of refined sophistication with Aqua. The space...

Local Expert Restaurant Recommendations

About Seattle, WA Restaurants

With its location on the shores of Puget Sound and access to Pacific Rim and Alaskan fisheries, Seattle is a seafood savvy city. From the fine-dining kitchens of Tom Douglas (Etta’s Seafood, Dahlia Lounge, Palace Kitchen) to John Howie (Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar Bellevue and Seattle, John Howie Steak), or those of any number of talented local chefs, fish prepared with fresh Northwest flair and a gourmet touch is the standard. Fine seafood houses are everywhere here, but concentrations of great choices are found at Pike Place Market and along the Seattle waterfront on Alaskan Way. Not to be left out of the seafood equation, of course, is sushi: Seattle is crazy about its raw fish, and the number of quality sushi joints is equal to consumption. The now popular sustainable and farm-to-table food movements took root here long ago, and they continue to flourish, with chefs that own their own produce farms or simply grow herbs in planters on restaurant patios. In the hearty Northwest, steak has a stake, as well, and in Seattle the top national steakhouses are well represented, such as Morton’s and Ruth’s Chris. These are rivaled by the hometown Metropolitan Grill downtown, along with regional chains like Daniel’s Broiler and El Gaucho. Ethnic restaurants abound, too, as do plenty of hip, modern-casual spaces, including Crush in Madison Park, Lark or Poppy in Capitol Hill, or any of chef Ethan Stowell’s stable of eateries (How to Cook a Wolf, Tavolata, Anchovies and Olives). And to wash down all of that delicious food? Washington State’s thriving wine and brewing industries mean no shortage of quality beverages; to go along with the growing craft-cocktail trend, local distilleries now dispense artisanal vodkas, gins, and other spirits.

About John Ferri

A native of Tacoma, Washington - Seattle’s smaller sibling to the south - journalist John Ferri has lived everywhere in and around the Pacific Northwest. He started college in Bellingham, lived in the San Juan Islands, and finished college in Pullman, Washington, before living and working for a time in Spokane. He then moved to Florida, where he lived and...  Read more »

Read more about John here.

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