Sure, Seattle boasts restaurants with some of the most inviting and charming ambiences around, but truth be told, some days you just need a cozy meal in. Thanks to this city's variety of eateries, we've been able to pull together a list of many recommended takeout options, meaning you can enjoy someone else's scrumptious cooking in the comfort of your own house, hotel room or even sprawled out on a welcoming green space when the sun shines.
Some casual takeout options include pizza and burgers, and even more unexpected choices range from BBQ to stuffed-with-goodness burritos (we're talking about Capitol Hill's Bimbo's Cantina). Ethnic eateries often provide other good take-home options; think sushi, Indian (did someone say curry and naan?) and Thai dishes from popular restaurants like Fremont's Jai Thai and Kwanjai Thai. Our list covers the gamut of Seattle neighborhoods, even giving an option a bit farther afoot in Kirkland.
Many of the following takeout ideas on this list can be ordered online, making the process even less of an effort. (And if you don't feel like picking up your food yourself, many of these restaurants deliver, too). Regardless of how you get your food, rest assured that these chefs will keep you coming back for more.
It won't take much time here in Seattle before you hear about this popular Pioneer Square outpost. For great Italian sausages, salamis, meatballs, or pork, try Salumi, whose name means "dry-cured meat" in Italian. Meats can be purchased individually as an entree or by the pound as deli take-away. If you prefer a lighter, less meat-intensive meal, order a salad, vegetable dish or one of their pastas. A comfortable interior with tin ceilings and wooden floors makes guests feel at home, as does a large communal table where guests can share conversation with their meals. Wine is available by the glass or bottle. (206-621-8772)
Pecos Pit Barbecue
Trying to figure out where to find the best barbecue on your world travels? This casual eatery should climb its way to the top of your list, as it has that of folks in Seattle. Have them pile a bun full of pork, beef or ham, and top it off with a drizzle of sauce for the best eating. If you like "hot" foods, just be careful – their hot sauce makes others pale in comparison. Along with everthing else, make sure to try the yummy baked beans too. The eatery is essentially an order window with outdoor tables, so don't expect sit-down service. This is barbecue, after all. Near the baseball stadium. (206-623-0629)
Choose one of Dick's five locations and return to the days of the '50s when you drive up to this fast food establishment. Burgers, fries and shakes are ordered and eaten in the very same spot – your car or standing nearby among the masses of customers. Burgers are always prepared the same way (no special orders accepted), and fries are consistently hot (no kidding). Plus, prices are pleasantly affordable, and the place stays open late. Sure, this Seattle staple has been known to attract the post-bar crowd who have perhaps had a few too many potent Northwest brews, but it also serves as a quick day-time treat for everyone from young families to long-returning fans. (Dick's recently enjoyed time in the limelight in a Macklemore video.) (206-323-1300, 206-634-0300)
This welcoming Fremont eatery (among other locations) encourages family-style dining in an environment that whisks visitors away to exotic Thailand. Feast on colorful dishes from different regions of Thailand that range from the red curry and papaya salad to the fresh rolls and beef hot plate. Consider starting with soup (tom yum or the Guay Tiew Tom Yum noodle soup), then move on to tasty starters like the fresh rolls and the Bangkok Street Satay. Main dishes include pumpkin and Mussaman curry, and specialties range from the Swimming Rama to the Phad Bai Kaplau (basil). While the restaurants are incredibly places to dine, enjoy these dishes from the comfort of your own home, too. ((206) 632-7060)
What was formerly known as Bimbo's Bitchin' Burrito Kitchen has toned down its name, gained a little more space and become a 21+ only establishment. What hasn't changed, however, are well-proportioned tacos and quesadillas, not to mention unbeatable guacamole and a famous herb-roasted chicken burrito plus, cumin-lime sour cream makes everything even tastier. The eatery also features an array of hot sauces for you burrito (from mild to smoking' hot), and the funky hangings on the wall will keep you entertained while you await your food. Add a house-made margarita or a Negra Modelo, and you've got a great meal. However, if you get a little grief from the servers, don't be put off. It's part of the restaurant's signature attitude. (206-322-9950)
In a cozy house on Fremont's main drag of 36th Street, feast on colorful and flavorful Thai dishes like spring rolls, chicken satay and tofu tod. For soup selections, sample the tom yum or po tak, and afterward relish entrees like the pad ginger, cashew nut, spicy "summer fire" and stir-fried eggplant with mushrooms, basil, onions and bell peppers. Feeling slightly adventurous? The Squid Yum Salad features, yes, squid plus lettuce, cucumbers, lime leaf, lemon grass, tomatoes, carrots, sweet basil, onions and lime dressing. These dishes pack up well if you feel like enjoying Thai cuisine from your own dining room table, too. ((206) 632-3656)
Taste of India
Featuring a vibrant, neon exterior and an intimate, welcoming interior, Taste of India offers a delightful dining experience from start to finish. The food, service and ambience make this a wonderful spot for enjoying Indian and Mediterranean dishes ranging from rich curries and creamy masalas to tasty vindaloos. Other highlights include the chicken tikka masala, spinach naan and homemade mango pistachio ice cream. Vegetarian diners enjoy dishes like the Madras chili masala with crisp-cooked squash and peppers. As previously mentioned, the service here is spectacular; don't be surprised if your server brings you complimentary chai tea, appetizers or maybe even dessert! ((206) 528-1575)
Red Mill Burgers
When the original Red Mill closed in 1967 after 30 years of great diner fare and ice cream, Seattle was left with but a few places to get really good burgers, crispy onion rings, or butterscotch malts. Fortunately, John and Babe Shepherd saw this need and opened this Interbay gem in 1994. It was an immediate success. In fact, so popular is this burger joint that the lunch line tends to stretch outside, and the likes of Al Bundy and Darth Vader (actors Ed O'Neil and James Earl Jones, respectively) have been seen enjoying a burger or two here. A word to the wise: the Red Mill is not cell phone tolerant, so make sure your ringer is off. An additional location is at Phinney Ridge. (206-284-6363)
Sometimes, when the mood strikes, nothing else will do. If you have a strong urge for great pizza, head to one of 24 Pagliacci's locations, where you can walk up to the counter and order a pie topped with everything from sun-dried tomatoes to goat cheese and roasted garlic. With more than 30 toppings to choose from, the pizza menu is sure to have something you'll love, whether you're a vegetarian, an omnivore or simply an eater with quirky tastes. In addition to great pies, the impressively extensive menu features fresh salads and calzones. Leave room for the locally made gelato! The eatery deliveries to some locations, too. Make orders online at order.pagliacci.com. (206-726-1717)
About Corinne Whiting
Corinne hails from the other Washington, where she caught the travel bug early on. Corinne studied abroad in Strasbourg, France (undergrad) and in Edinburgh, Scotland (graduate school). She's backpacked around Australia, taught English in Argentina and explored (so far!) countries from Cambodia and Egypt to Turkey and China.
Corinne served as associate editor at Where magazine for five years; as a freelancer, she now writes for publications like National Geographic Traveler and Amtrak's OnTrak. Here in the lovely Northwest, she's attempting to debunk the rain myths, up her coffee and live music quotient and find her Zen near/on the water.
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