Chefs Shine at Culinary Outposts near KeyArena at Seattle Center

In Seattle, KeyArena at Seattle Center serves as a hub of activity (think concerts, sporting events plus annual festivals of music, food and culture). In fact, some say that if you visit only one spot in Seattle, the Seattle Center should top your list. Here visitors find 74 acres of parks, sculptures, fountains, cultural venues, restaurants and entertainment for all ages.

This venue, the site of the Seattle World's Fair in 1962 (also known as Century 21 Exhibition), features an exciting, eclectic mix of 1960s 'futuristic' structures next to public art objects such as a Native American Totem pole, Modernist art mural, gigantesque Calder abstract Eagle sculpture and extreme architecture by renowned Frank Gehry. In warmer months, music lovers flock here for alfresco concerts (and the much-anticipated Bumbershoot Festival)under the Space Needle, which is a popular attraction any time of year. An on-site food court offers casual, quick eats, too.

After a long day of getting one's fix of art, music, sports and culture, however, folks leave here hungry. Luckily for foodies of all degrees, countless dining options exist in the streets and neighborhoods surrounding Seattle Center. While Lower Queen Anne offers several options, some of the city's most popular eateries can be found in the nearby Belltown and downtown zones. Culinary stars like Tom Douglas have established many downtown outposts (like Lola, for example), meaning good eating is never hard to find.

Toulouse Petit Kitchen & Lounge


Toulouse Petit Kitchen and Lounge has been earning accolades 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 of New Orleans' French Quarter....  Read More



Funky and hip, this Italian eatery features rustic food and boasts live entertainment in the adjacent lounge. The interior has a certain bohemian charm, but the best area to dine is on the rooftop deck, which affords a magnificent view of Puget...  Read More



The straightforward decor at this popular restaurant allows taste buds to focus on the culinary adventure. Among the loyal patrons, you'll find sports celebrities, business people and local sushi-lovers. The first "edomae" restaurant in Seattle,...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Mbar


Looking for a hot, happening venue from which to take in some of Seattle's most breathtaking views? mbar, a socially-driven bar and restaurant, wows guests with its dazzling location, providing an elevated oasis above all the South Lake Union...  Read More

Palace Kitchen
Photo courtesy of Palace Kitchen


Owned by football player-turned-restauranteur Tom Douglas (who reigns over a culinary empire of sorts in this city), this hip downtown dandy is a favorite of everybody from the happy hour crowd to night owl diners. Entrees include pan-roasted...  Read More



As the name suggests, this cozy Belltown outpost is a sustainable restaurant and food producer that fiercely promotes local sourcing. At this popular eatery based in the heart of downtown (at the corner of 1st and Bell), chefs make beautiful,...  Read More



If zesty food, full-flavored and rich, constantly tempts you, Cactus (in neighboring South Lake Union) stands poised to satisfy the craving. You should be prepared to wait a bit when you go, especially during the week at lunchtime when the...  Read More



Sophisticated yet unpretentious, this popular destination in downtown Seattle envelops diners with soft jazz and rich, muted surroundings. Asian inspiration and fresh ingredients from the Northwest collaborate on a menu where everything sounds...  Read More

Tavolata (Belltown)
Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Smith


In Belltown, Ethan Stowell has done it once again by wowing diners at his Italian gem Tavolta. Here, pasta reigns--from rigatoni to casarecce, conchiglie to linguini. A restaurant whose name means "to gather around a table," Tavol?ta is an ideal...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Lola


This upscale dining room downtown serves inventive Greek cuisine. Making an excellent starter, pita bread is served with your choice of spread, like roasted sweet red pepper, barrel-aged minty feta or skordalia. Meze, such as grilled octopus and...  Read More


Meet 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...  More About Corinne