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

Pioneer Square/SoDo

Bar Sajor
Matt Dillon’s (The Corson Building, Sitka & Spruce) contribution to the reinvention of Pioneer Square began with this, an exceptionally beautiful corner eatery where the Euro wines flow and the menu has a distinct focus on ingredients. Plates are artful, salads feature house-made and smoked yogurts, and there are wood-fired meats and fishes, and house-made pickles of every variety. It is a modern take on eating (see page 111). Lunch and dinner Tue.–Sat. 323 Occidental Ave.; 206.682.1117; 


You’ll be as shocked as we were when you taste the food at this tiny, hidden pub in SoDo (see page 107). Chef Travis Kukull’s cooking is playful, his flavors are balanced and unexpected, and it’s all meant to pair with Epic Ales brews. It’s casual, there’s nothing to the décor, and yet we’d eat here once a week if we could. Dinner Tue.–Sat. 3201 First Ave. S, Suite 104; 206.403.1228;

Il Corvo
Chef Mike Easton became famous for his pasta joint inside Procopio Gelateria, but in January he up and moved to a place of his own in Pioneer Square (see page 109). Now you can get his pasta five days a week—and whoa, that pasta is good, and affordable. Plus, there’s take-home pasta. Lunch Mon.–Fri. (Visit the blog to learn about Saturday dinners.) 217 James St.; 206.538.0999; Cash only

Little Uncle

The duo behind Capitol Hill’s cult-fave Thai takeout has table service at their basement locale in Pioneer Square. See listing under CAPITOL HILL for full description. Lunch Mon.–Fri. 88 Yesler Way; 206.223.8529;

The London Plane

Look for our review in an upcoming issue. Across the street from Bar Sajor is Matt Dillon’s midday wine bar, where charcuterie and simple plates are offered, and where (eventually) the excellent breads and pastries made at The Corson Building will be baked. For now, stop by after 2 p.m. for a loaf. Lunch and bar menu Tue.–Fri. 322 Occidental Ave.; 206.624.1374;

Rain Shadow Meats Squared
You’ll be hard pressed to find more perfectly crafted sandwiches, with house-cured meats and delicious spreads, clever combos (the chicken and egg salad is genius) and great salads, too. Oh, and the butcher shop is top-notch, so you’ll have dinner covered (see page 113). Lunch daily. 404 Occidental Ave. S; 206.467.4854;

Queen Anne

Book Bindery
In one of the city’s most urbane dining rooms, chef Shaun McCrain’s French-tinged seasonal cooking is gorgeous, precise and delicious, especially the “Flavor Curve,” a steak you have to taste to believe. Dinner Tue.–Sat. 198 Nickerson St.; 206.283.2665;


For decades, Canlis has been celebrated for its wine selection and special-occasion address as much as for its expensive dinners and outstanding view. Executive chef Jason Franey oversees the menu, which includes Canlis classics (the namesake prawns and salad, for instance) and several modern dishes, too. And whether for an aperitif or just a visit, stop by the lounge for inventive cocktails, an excellent selection of Scotch and twinkling piano tunes. Dinner Mon.–Sat. 2576 Aurora Ave. N; 206.283.3313;

Crow Restaurant & Bar

Craig Serbousek and Jesse Thomas’ menu makes the most of each season. Preparations are simple but impeccable. Dinner daily. 823 Fifth Ave. N; 206.283.8800;

How to Cook a Wolf
Ethan Stowell’s shoebox-size restaurant is a beacon for bright, clear flavors and disarmingly simple preparations. The small-plates menu showcases seafood, and beloved house-made pastas make welcome guest appearances. Dinner daily. 2208 Queen Anne Ave. N; 206.838.8090;


Chef Sam Crannell’s bold, hearty dishes are ideal for wine sipping and couples sharing several small plates. The masculine setting—all dark wood and flattering lighting—makes it an ideal place for a date, too. Dinner Tue.–Sat. Queen Anne, 1525 Queen Anne Ave. N; 206.420.7602;

Mezcaleria Oaxaca

From the owners of Ballard’s always tasty La Carta de Oaxaca, this is a lively spot for a spicy, tippling dinner. Don’t miss: the classic cóctel de camarones (Mexican shrimp cocktail) and killer barbacoa goat. The mezcal sampler is a must. Dinner Mon.–Sat. 2123 Queen Anne Ave. N; 206.216.4446; 

Via Tribunali

See listing under CAPITOL HILL/FIRST HILL for full description. A favorite haunt of stroller-pushing parents in the neighborhood. Hipsters, better arrive on the late side. Dinner daily. 317 W Galer St; 206.264.7768;

South Lake Union

Brave Horse Tavern

A loud, boister-ous space that features a who’s who of West Coast breweries on tap. To eat: luscious burgers, beer-boiled pretzels with clams, and mighty fine brats. 21 and older. Breakfast and lunch Mon.–Fri., brunch Sat.–Sun., dinner daily. 310 Terry Ave. N; 206.971.0717;


Subtly wonderful pastas headline at Tom Douglas’ charming brick trattoria. Add in sensational seasonal veggies and a convivial, family-friendly atmosphere, and you’ve got a hit on your hands. Lunch Mon.–Fri., dinner daily. 310 Terry Ave. N; 206.971.0710;


Chef William Belickis of the late, great Mistral returns with an industrial-chic boîte offering impressive prix fixe menus ($60–$90 per person). But one can opt for a more affordable experience in the windowed dining room. The cocktails are stunners. Brunch Sat.–Sun., lunch and dinner daily. 2020 Westlake Ave.; 206.623.1922;

Serious Pie

See listing under DOWNTOWN for full description. A lot roomier than its big sister downtown, this spot is also a beacon for those seeking affordable weekend brunch, featuring the outstanding biscuits baked downstairs at Serious Biscuit. Lunch and dinner daily. 401 Westlake Ave. N;  206.436.0050;

This, the first stateside effort from the co-owner of Vancouver, B.C.’s world-renowned Vij’s, is a lovely spot for creative Indian dishes. Swoon-worthy curries are the draw (and the jackfruit salad is great), and warm service adds to the popularity of the place. Lunch Mon.–Fri., dinner Mon.–Sat. 500 Terry Ave. N; 206.486.6884;