The Complete List of Top Restaurants in Seattle

From bakeries to bistros to fine dining, our neighborhood-by-neighborhood guide to the best eateries
Allison Austin Scheff  |   November 2013   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
A warm bowl of goodness from Kukai in Bellevue

Chinatown—International District

Green Leaf
Visit sweet, petite Green Leaf for refreshing Vietnamese bites, including bun (vermicelli bowls) loaded with grilled pork, chicken or shrimp, and minted shrimp rolls with crispy eggroll bits inside. Lunch and dinner daily. 418 Eighth Ave. S; 206.340.1388;  

Harbor City
Our current choice for dim sum in the Chinatown–International District, where the steamed dumplings are better than most. The full menu—including tender mixed seafood in XO sauce—offers surprising range, too. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 707 S King St.; 206.621.2228

Columbia City/Rainier Beach

La Medusa
Longtime chef Gordon Wishard is the new owner (with Meredith Molli) of this, one of Seattle’s best neighborhood restaurants. The menu’s Sicilian bent shows up on famously good pastas, but the affordable Italian wine list is nice, too. Specials here—perhaps a steak from locally raised beef or a perfect fillet of fish—tend to be ringers. Dinner Tue.–Sat. 4857 Rainier Ave. S; 206.723.2192;

Pizzeria Pulcinella

Owners of the pizza chain Vince’s created a neighborhood pizza joint where Neapolitan pies fly out of the wood-fired oven wearing vibrant, fresh tomato sauce. Lunch, dinner daily. 10003 Rainier Ave. S; 206.772.6861;


Dahlia Lounge
The menu at Tom Douglas’ 23-year-old flagship is all over the place—you might find Berkshire pork loin, Peking duck and local troll-caught salmon on any given night, often accompanied by veggies grown on Tom and Jackie’s Prosser farm. Dahlia is also the home of Douglas’ oh-so-famous coconut cream pie. Get a slice. Brunch Sat.–Sun., lunch Mon.–Fri., dinner daily. 2001 Fourth Ave.; 206.682.4142;

Matt Janke (the original Matt of Matt’s in the Market) now runs this easygoing restaurant on the Harbor Steps. The restaurant’s name is Chinook for swine, and the pig is represented well; the porchetta with white beans and turnips is especially good. Lunch Mon.–Fri., dinner daily. 89 University St.; 206.623.2101; 


Seattle doesn’t have many bustling, business-ready breakfast spots, and this one is the best. Adventurous? Try Tom’s Breakfast: octopus hash with a fried egg and harissa yogurt, or those cinnamon doughnuts served with crème fraîche. At night, lamb kebabs and red wine draw dinner daters. Breakfast, lunch, dinner daily. 2000 Fourth Ave.; 206.441.1430;

Palace Kitchen

This congenial watering hole is doing some stunning stuff since former Dahlia sous-chef Desi Bonow took over the kitchen. Check out the wow-worthy vegetarian options, if you’re not in the mood for a terrific burger or perfect plin. It’s still the go-to late-night spot for food-industry types. Dinner daily. 2030 Fifth Ave.; 206.448.2001; 

Purple Café & Wine Bar 

See listing under EASTSIDE for full description. This location, with its soaring ceilings and spiral staircase, attracts a handsome after-work crowd. Grab a seat upstairs at the tiny tasting counter to be close to the action. Lunch and dinner daily. 1225 Fourth Ave.; 206.829.2280;


Michael Mina's plush wine bar showcases Washington wines (seven are offered by the glass), but the food is just as compelling, especially the lamb cassoulet, the duck fat fries ($5 during happy hour), and the charcouterie plate, with house-made duck rillettes and cherry compote. Lunch Mon.–Fri., dinner daily. 1433 Fourth Ave.; 206.456.7474;

Serious Pie

James Beard restaurateur of the year for 2012, Tom Douglas has defined his own style of pizza with an applewood-fired oven and a distinctive, chewy-bubbly crust. The boldest flavors are best here, such as Penn Cove clams with pancetta and lemon thyme, or roasted pepper and fennel sausage. The South Lake Union location offers brunch daily. Lunch, dinner daily. 316 Virginia St.; 206.838.7388;


Erik Tanaka (Tom Douglas’ exec chef) created a menu of all his Asian faves for this upbeat eatery in the Via6 apartment building, and with pretty tasty results. We love the Osaka pancake; the shareable plates at dinner, such as a perfectly cooked pork shoulder in banana leaf; and the fun dim sum plates at lunch. Plus: sake slushies! Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. 2121 Sixth Ave.; 206.812.8412;

Wild Ginger

Rick and Ann Yoder’s crowd-pleasing Asian fusion restaurant is a hit with locals, out-of-town guests and big groups. Soaring ceilings and an award-winning wine list have kept the eye-candy crowd interested for more than 20 years—no small feat in the restaurant business. Lunch Mon.–Sat., dinner daily. 1401 Third Ave.; 206.623.4450;