Seattle fully embraces its hipster farm-to-table reputation, thank you very much. In this land of bicyclist style, techie badges, and Instagram-worthy latte art, fresh food reigns supreme. Come see ruby-red strawberry juice stain pouty lips, newly plucked herbs crown intricate dishes, and chilled fish fly (well, they’re thrown) from ice displays into parchment wrappings. Pack an umbrella and make your way to Seattle’s Restaurant Week.
What to expect during Restaurant Week
Seattle has the reputation of being one of the best foodie cities on the West Coast, making Restaurant Week a bugle call to taste lovers of all kinds. More than 165 local restaurants are participating this season, offering everything from upscale flare to rustic staples.
Seattle is a city of neighborhoods, and each of them has its own distinct flavors. Bring an appetite for fine dining in Queen Anne, funky treats in Fremont, latte creations in Belltown, and sinful desserts in Capitol Hill. Seattle food is delicious no matter where in the city you get it.
Bites between sights
Bust out those hipster suspenders and get ready to feast throughout Rain City. Seattle is the perfect town to explore between cheese forks and coffee spoons. Here’s a guide for tasting the top restaurants in Seattle as you make your way around.
Start your morning getting lost among the stalls of the famous Pike Place Market. Brimming with fruits, jams, honeys, and nuts, it’s an ideal spot to work up an appetite.
Fill up at Urbane, a restaurant where chefs use crisp produce and soft cheese from other vendors from the market. Give your spoon a bath in the house-made tomato soup, or dig your fork into the marinated kale and apple salad, which tosses together lacinato kale, Tonnemaker apples, and Beecher’s Flagship Cheddar.
Etta’s also is a good option. Located right on Elliott Bay, it’s the quintessential spot for creamy clam chowder with bacon and parsley-infused oil. The owners of Etta’s believe everyone likes a good rub, so try the Rub With Love Salmon, which comes with sautéed asparagus, cornbread pudding, and shiitake relish. This is a good start to your foodie journey.
Sorry to tell you this, but being hangry (as in, so hungry you become angry) makes you act like a troll, and there’s no better place to fix this than in Fremont. After making a visit to the kooky Fremont Troll sculpture, have lunch at Agrodolce, one of the best restaurants in Seattle. Agrodolce offers the perfect juxtaposition of wacky expression and elegant style, with indoor trees, colorful booth pillows, and high-thread count linen napkins. Order something unusual such as the handmade semolina mafalde, which incorporates green garlic, toasted hazelnuts, and an innovative mint pesto. Luckily, you don’t have to be an artistic hippie to appreciate the fresh herb.
Viewfinder Tip: Anchovies and Olives is one of the hottest restaurants in Seattle, so book reservations ahead of time.
Would you like your beet salad with a side of strobe lights? If so, eat dinner in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Known as the nightclub and LGBT hub of town, Capitol Hill is famous for pairing elegant meals and provocative dancing. Make sure you have enough calories to twerk (or whatever it is Miley Cyrus does these days) until dawn by filling up at Anchovies and Olives. The Italian-inspired seafood restaurant incorporates high style with bold flavors. Order the beet salad, which balances the sweet acidity of oranges and beets with the crunch of hazelnuts and saltiness of anchovies. The albacore also is a must, with peppery undertones from upland cress and tender sweetness from cipollini onions and freshly picked basil.
Tallulah’s and Lark are also tasty options—especially when you factor in the desserts. Banish your diet to tomorrow’s walk of shame and indulge in Tallulah’s locally sourced strawberry rhubarb shortcake with clotted cream. At Lark, the Theo chocolate panna cotta with salted pretzel crumble and cocoa mascarpone is just as decadent (and delicious). Just shake shake shake it off when you’re done paying the check.
The nitty gritty
This year, Restaurant Week Seattle takes place from April 12-16, and again from April 19-23. The Emerald City is a proud food destination, so book your Seattle hotel early if you’re coming from out of town. The Nirvana grunge scene may be over in Seattle, but eating in Rain City is still heaven.
Which Seattle restaurant are you most excited to try?