This Fremont gem is owned by husband and wife chef duo Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, who met while cooking at New York's Alain Ducasse at the Essex House. According to their website, even though "both chefs have a distinctly different point of view, their tastes blend together to create modern, creative and seamless cuisine in their restaurants." (They also own nearby Joule.) The successful result of their merged talents? Urban-style Korean comfort food (small plates perfect for sharing) that ranges from dumplings and pancakes with pork belly, kimchi and bean sprouts to scrumptious dishes of noodles (think Dungeness crab, seaweed noodle, creme fraiche, spicy red curry) and rice (try the short rib, sambal daikon and mustard greens). Diners delight in the charming ambience, too, and a recently-updated heated patio makes outdoor dining accessible in any weather.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: This Fremont gem offers elevated Korean comfort food that's perfect for sharing at home or on the restaurant's heated, covered patio.
Corinne's expert tip: Make reservations ahead of time; a heated patio makes outdoor dining popular here in any season.
Dining at The Herbfarm is an event. In fact, just getting in can be 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 plays out over four or five hours, with perfect regional wine pairings poured along with each dining selection. According to travel guides, this is diamond-level dining. With a strictly regional focus, each meal is seasonally themed, whether Copper River salmon in spring or root vegetables in winter. The greens and herbs that augment main dishes come from the restaurant's own garden, picked by one of your servers. Along with each course comes dialogue from the chef, who informs diners about the specifics of what's on their plates. (Check online or call the restaurant for the most up-to-date information.)
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: The Herbfarm, which can book up months in advance, serves delectable prix-fixe feasts that showcase Pacific Northwest fare and last four to five hours.
John's expert tip: This is probably the most detailed and extravagant multi-course dining experience in a three-state radius, and it should be on the bucket list of any true foodie. If you want to make an evening out of it (and fully indulge in the venue's alluring wine pairings), book a room at Willows Lodge, located a stone's throw from the restaurant's front door.
Made in House, deli sibling of Georgetown's popular BopBox, recently opened in the heart of Fremont. The lovely, light-filled space, which has some tables and counter seating too, has been delighting diners ever since. The fast-casual Korean spot features a delicious, takeout-friendly lineup of colorful bibimbap, japchae and bentos. Recent menu additions included chickpea korokke (vegan) and kimchi pancakes, among other treats, and beverage options range from Timber City ginger beer and hot matcha green tea with fresh mint to lattes featuring House Hemp Cashew Mylk. (Find beers and wines here, too.)
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Made in House is a brand-new, fast-casual Korean spot in Fremont that features a takeout-friendly lineup of colorful bibimbap, japchae and bentos.
Corinne's expert tip: The venue is currently open Wednesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will offer online ordering soon.
One of the country's oldest vegetarian restaurants, and a Seattle institution for 30 years, this neighborhood venue is innovative and flavorful enough to win over even the most ardent carnivores. Alongside your coffee, savor brunch in the sunny atrium where you can take in the soothing sounds of the indoor waterfall. Choose between options like the Citrus Pancakes, buttermilk pancakes topped with citrus supremes, housemade lemon curd and pistachio crumble, or the Apricot & Apple Belgian Waffle, cornmeal Belgian waffles topped with poached apricot-apple compote, sage butter and millet-quinoa crumble. You'll also find plenty of specialty teas and juice blends to choose from as well. The lunch and dinner menu offers must-try items from superfood salads and grain bowls to Oaxaca tacos and nettle risotto (with ingredients rotating seasonally).
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: In Madison Valley, enjoy the welcoming hospitality and seasonal fare of one of the country's oldest vegetarian restaurants.
Corinne's expert tip: The newest addition to this restaurant family, Beacon Hill's Flora Bakehouse serves freshly baked sweet and savory pastries, croissants, muffins, pies, quiches, brownies, cookies and many gluten-free and vegan options, too, including Cafe Flora's beloved vegan cinnamon rolls.
This once-tiny restaurant, greatly expanded in 2007, offers incredible views of the bustling Pike Place Market (and tourists snapping pictures atop Rachel the Piggy Bank and the Puget Sound, courtesy of huge, semicircular windows. Flawless seafood is the name of the game, and it's collected fresh from vendors set up in the bustling market below. Some past favorite dishes include: Oyster sandwiches, much-coveted at lunchtime, and dinnertime delicacies like tortilla-crusted Alaskan halibut, pan-roasted wild salmon and mussels steamed with chorizo, chermoula and cava. Grab a bar stool from which to enjoy happy hour, Monday through Saturday, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.;
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Matt's in the Market brings mouth-watering fare to a welcoming space above Pike Place Market; join the Supper Club for take-home weekly meals!
John's expert tip: Grab a stool at the bar, reminiscent of a cozy Parisian café bar, to enjoy locally crafted ales, beers, wines and specialty cocktails, too.
A warm, inviting haven in downtown, Bourbon Steak was recently introduced to Seattle (in the former RN74 space) by award-Winning Chef Michael Mina. This modern American steakhouse features innovative interpretations of classic dishes, while also celebrating Pacific Northwest seafood and seasonal vegetables (think glazed mushrooms, butternut squash, etc.). Whether it's through relationships with Pike Place vendors just down the road, or businesses like Hama Hama Oyster Company, the team loves to support its local community. The restaurant also focuses on all-natural, organic and hormone-free cuts of beef, tempered in herb-infused butter and grilled to order. Highlights from a recent scrumptious feast ranged from a trio of duck fat fries and Michael's tuna tartare, a staple from Chef's menu for 30-plus years, to phyllo-wrapped scallops, A5 Wagyu served on a hot stone with pickled cucumbers, wasabi, yuzu ponzu and pine-spruce salt (a restaurant speciality) to dry-aged, bone-in strip from Washington State.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: A warm, inviting haven in downtown, Bourbon Steak was recently introduced to Seattle (in the former RN74 space) by award-Winning Chef Michael Mina.
Corinne's expert tip: This restaurant is anchored by its central bar, which features a thoughtfully composed wine list (the sommelier here exhibits incredible pairing expertise, no matter the dish!) plus hand-crafted signature cocktails highlighting spirits from local distilleries (like Westland Whiskey) and other global gems. The bar also offers a unique happy hour menu.
The owners of Seattle's popular Ba Bar have opened up Ba Bar Green as a walk-up window at the restaurant's South Lake Union location. The dazzling new vegan, East Asian street food concept by husband-and-wife proprietors Eric Banh and Teresa Nguyen, along with Chef de Cuisine Chris Michel, offers an entirely plant-based menu (showcasing both made-to-order and grab-and-go options). Menu highlights include the Kabocha & Sweet Potato Malay Laksa, cooked with red curry, coconut milk, tofu crackling, tofu puffs, cilantro, bean sprouts, green onion, chili oil and rice noodles; the Lao Crispy Rice & Quinoa Salad; Lemongrass Tofu Singapore Noodle; and the not-to-be-missed Dan Dan Noodles, that combine mustard greens, roasted sesame vinaigrette, Beyond Meat, green onion, toasted sesame, Tianjin preserved vegetable, Szechuan peppercorn oil, noodles and tamari.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: The dazzling new vegan, East Asian street food concept by husband-and-wife proprietors Eric Banh and Teresa Nguyen offers an entirely plant-based menu in South Lake Union.
Corinne's expert tip: There's free parking available behind the restaurant ( in an underground garage), off Republican. Remember to bring your ticket for validation.
No Seattle food guide would be complete without a mention of Canlis, for generations a stalwart standby for special occasions and wowing visitors. Since the pandemic began, the Canlis team has made countless pivots to make their offerings more approachable while also supporting their local community members. The traditional, white-tablecloth dining room now runs a four-course dining program, while visitors take in serene views of beautiful and busy Lake Union below. Such stunning surroundings only enhance the phenomenal gustatory experience, led by Executive Chef Aisha Ibrahim; the menu includes offerings from Manila clams and grilled sablefish with matsutake mushrooms to Dungeness crab salad and duck with lale, kasu butter and winter luxury pumpkin. Enjoy meals paired with appropriate glasses of wine from the spectacular Canlis cellar. In fact, Canlis is one of only 85 restaurants worldwide to have received the "Grand Award" for its wine collection.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Canlis has become an institution, beloved for its fine fare, impeccable service and stunning views; innovative, Covid-era pivots recently became the talk of the town.
John's expert tip: During your dinner at Canlis, you can enjoy wine from one of the most awarded wine collections anywhere (as proven by its win of the 2017 James Beard Outstanding Wine Program Award). Corkage policy: The restaurant team will happily open up to two bottles for $10 per person, per 750ml bottle. They ask that whatever you choose to bring, it is not something already on the wine list.
Award-winning Chef Renee Erickson (The Whale Wins, Bateau, Barnacle, Bar Melusine) partnered with Business Manager Jeremy Price and Developer Chad Dale to realize her long-time vision for an oyster bar. It makes perfect sense then, that she would do it in her own neighborhood. The Walrus and the Carpenter blends the elegance of France with the casual comfort of a local fishing pub. "The idea is to serve the highest quality food and drink in a space that is stripped of pretense and feels like home." Opened in 2010, The Walrus and The Carpenter proves one of the city's most delicious and popular culinary scenes (and for good reason). Expect tallboys, Muscadet, piles of chubby oysters, a delightful array of local cheeses, meat delights like steak tartare and smart plates served in a lively, approachable space in Old Ballard.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Chef Renee Erickson continuously lures loyal fans to this welcoming and delicious Ballard gem, an absolute must on any Seattle culinary list.
Corinne's expert tip: Enjoy happy hour Mondays through Thursdays from 4 to 5 p.m.
Since late 2013, this charming neighborhood venue has been delighting loyal patrons in an environment they call "inviting, lively and comforting." (We concur; it's all true!) The friendly staff pridefully brings "a sense of playfulness" to everything they do, from the authentic hospitality and warm ambiance to an inventive menu of fresh, seasonal dishes. Veggie lovers savor the delightful Poached Radish Salad and seasonal goodies like grilled, local asparagus, while stand-out mains range from the Salmon Aguachile (cured, sockeye salmon, radish, coriander) to the Guajillo Braised Beef Cheek (masa gnocchi, olive confit). For a memorable grand finale, tuck into the Horchata Panna Cotta (chile caramel, chocolate crisp) or seasonal delights, while vowing to return this to this welcoming Seattle oasis as soon as possible.
Recommended for Best Restaurants because: For a true Seattle "neighborhood" experience, enjoy the warm hospitality and exquisite, locally-sourced menu of this friendly Ballard gastropub.
Corinne's expert tip: Be sure to check out the magical garden patio that turns into Red Arrow Cafe during daytime hours. Also consider a newer option: the restaurant's enticing Wine Club and on-site wine shop.