send to printer

Seattle Restaurants

Anchovies & Olives
1550 15th Avenue
Seattle , Washington
Tel: 206 838 8080

Who could resist ordering sausage-stuffed red mullet? The waiter at Anchovies & Olives, the latest in the Ethan Stowell empire, didn't let on that the succulent fish would be served with the head on, or that digital manipulation would be required to extract meat from bones and bones from mouths. Not that I'm complaining—this is a salmonless-in-Seattle seafood restaurant for grownups, and as much as I enjoyed the stuffed mullet and the miner's lettuce and beets with anchovy dressing, the real draw here is the Esca-esque raw plates. Five slices of tender scallop support diced piquillo and serrano peppers and morsels of ruby grapefruit—a perfect composition. The rich Jack Crevalle (aptly described by the waiter as "like hamachi, but more so") is paired with ultra-tart pickled leeks. Plus, A&O has the hottest thing in bivalves (no, seriously): Shigoku oysters.—Matthew Amster-Burton, first published on

Open Sundays through Thursdays 5 to 11 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 5 pm to midnight.

2576 Aurora Avenue N.
Seattle , Washington
Tel: 206 283 3313

This elegant restaurant, just north of the Downtown core, has been serving Pacific Northwest cuisine for over five decades. It seems to have undergone a subtle transformation lately, reminding residents that it is still a contender for the city's premier dining experience. The service is flawless, the view over Lake Union is impossible to top, and live piano music tinkles through the hushed, Asian-accented dining room. Try the famous copper-grilled steaks or the spicy Peter Canlis prawns, and save room for the Grand Marnier soufflé. The restaurant has a 15,000-bottle wine cellar and three full-time sommeliers. Despite the place's formal reputation—it's the only restaurant in town with an enforced dress code—and a few pricey entrées (a $70 Wagyu steak), Canlis is not as prohibitively expensive as it seems. Reservations are essential; if you can't secure one, drop by and try dining at the bar, which is first-come, first-served.

Closed Sundays.

Green Leaf
418 Eighth Avenue S.
Seattle , Washington
Tel: 98104

Stylish bamboo accents, artsy ceramic ware, and the lack of fluorescent lighting put Green Leaf in a class above most Vietnamese joints in the International District. So does the cooking—the food here is as delicious as it is authentic. Pho glistens with rafts of fresh herbs and liberal layers of lemongrass; other standouts include omeletlike scallion pancakes with shrimp and the house-made spring rolls. Best of all, you won't have to pay extra for the ambience—prices are on par with the neighborhood's simpler takeaway spots.

Open daily 11 am to 10 pm.

14590 N.E. 145th Street
Woodinville , Washington
Tel: 425 485 5300

You'll have to plan your entire day around dinner at the Herbfarm. Not only is it out in the suburb of Woodinville, but dinner here is a four-hour, nine-course affair, which includes a garden stroll and lessons from the proprietors on the origins of the food you're enjoying. The restaurant, in a building that looks like a century-old farmhouse, is adjacent to a farm and garden that supply much of the menu's raw ingredients. The menu changes not only seasonally but almost daily; ask what's being served when you make your reservation, as meals are strictly organized around a theme and may include all seafood or all meat. Northwest wines are matched to five courses.

1913 N. 45th Street
Seattle , Washington
Tel: 206 632 1913

Bold Korean flavors meet classic French technique at this tiny, buzzing bistro in the Wallingford district. If the pairing sounds like a stretch, fear not: Husband-and-wife team Seif Chirchi and Rachel Yang (both alums of Alain Ducasse) rein in the disparate elements to brilliant effect. Rich ingredients like Bleu d'Auvergne, crème fraîche, and buttermilk temper spicy soups and relishes, while tender, fatty short ribs get punched up with sweet-hot-soy kalbi marinades. Several types of whole fish are always on the menu and served with a variety of pickled and sweet-and-sour vegetables (the pear-and-daikon kimchi is a must-try). Desserts, like the red wine–poached Asian pear, are a refreshingly pared-back finale.

Open Sundays through Thursdays 5 to 10 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 5 to 11 pm.

926 12th Avenue
Seattle , Washington
Tel: 206 323 5275

Chef Jonathon Sundstrom left the W Hotel's popular Earth and Ocean to open this small, rustic bistro, serving inventive small plates. Exposed beams, wooden booths, and sheer fabric hanging from the ceiling create a cozy yet airy ambience. The menu changes frequently, reflecting what's in season and available from small local producers. Among the highlights are the ripened cheeses, foraged mushrooms, charcuterie, and vegetable dishes. Be forewarned: Service can be slow, the room noisy, and the wait up to an hour (they only take reservations for parties of six or more). Go before six for the shortest wait and most attentive service. Dinner only.

Closed Mondays.

Le Pichet
1933 First Avenue
Seattle , Washington
Tel: 206 256 1499

This authentic-feeling French bistro near the Pike Place Market is the next best thing to a trip to Paris. The zinc bar, slate tabletops, tile floor, even the elbow-to-elbow seating conjure the French capital. Daily specials and an assortment of cheeses are scrawled on a blackboard, and the thoughtfully chosen wine list includes many affordable options served by the glass (or in a small ceramic pitcher, the restaurant's namesake). Try the whole chicken, roasted to order. It takes up to an hour to prepare, so snack on a plate of house-made pâté while you soak up the atmosphere.

Hotel Photo
Mistral Kitchen
2020 Westlake Avenue
Seattle , Washington
Tel: 206 623 1922

There's little doubt that chef William Belickis conceived this South Lake Union stunner, opened in fall 2009, as a four-star contender. It's here in the Jewel Box space—a spare, elegant annex—that the Bouley-trained chef makes magic with seasonal tasting menus of four to eight courses. Dishes might include a beef rib eye roasted in the wood-burning oven and paired with asparagus and potato purée, or blackmouth bhinook salmon garnished with nasturtium, lemon butter, and peas Française. It's not stuffy in the vein of Canlis (note Mistral's buzzing oyster happy hour at the bar), yet Mistral's interior, which pairs raw steel beams and exposed ductwork with the gleam of high-tech convection ovens in the open kitchen, is a dramatic showcase for what many foodies are calling one of Seattle's best restaurants.—Aaron Barker

309 Third Avenue South
Seattle , Washington
Tel: 206 621 8772

Salumi devotees are a passionate bunch, lining up outside this closet-size Italian eatery near Pioneer Square every afternoon, swooning over their favorite house-cured salami sandwiches. Don't be intimidated by the wait—the line moves fast, and the hearty fare is well worth it (the owner is Armandino Batali, father of Mario). The friendly counter staff will help you choose from the 15 different salami varieties, offering little samples even when the place is really jumping. Everyone's favorite seems to be the Finocchiona: an intense mix of cracked fennel seeds, white pepper, and a bit of curry powder. Lunch only.

Six Seven
Pier 67
2411 Alaskan Way
Seattle , Washington
Tel: 206 269 4575

Lots of Seattle restaurants proffer seasonally inspired cuisine prepared with local ingredients, but only Six Seven, at the Edgewater hotel, has a waterfront deck over Elliott Bay, too. Highlights of chef Jordan Mackey's New American menu also look to the sea, such as a rich dungeness crab and lobster mac 'n' cheese (yes, it's as rich as it sounds). There are lighter options, too, like the chilled asparagus soup with dandelion, Meyer lemon, and toasted fennel seed (it tastes like a liquefied garden). Entrées are available in half portions, which is helpful if you have trouble deciding, and the wine list includes some fabulous regional producers—there's little doubt you'll be jotting their names down on a cocktail napkin.—Aaron Barker

Tavern Law
1406 12th Avenue
Seattle , Washington
Tel: 206 322 9734

At Tavern Law, the new Capitol Hill bar from the creators of Spur gastropub in Belltown, you'll want to go upstairs, and not just because of the rigmarole involving a locked door, an antique telephone, and a dark staircase. No, you'll want to go upstairs because the speakeasy-style mezzanine is where bartender Miles Thomas is waiting to design a special drink to please you. Into ginger? Thomas might pull out a cloudy vial of house-made gingercello and combine it with rum, simple syrup, and orange juice for a spicy, invigorating, one-of-a-kind cocktail. Then again, downstairs you have full access to Tavern Law's encyclopedic drink menu, equipped with a glossary in case you don't know your fizzes from your flips. The food—poached salmon, fried oysters, sautéed pimientos de Padrón—is expertly cooked and appropriately modest, as if devised to keep your mind on beverages.—Matthew Amster-Burton, first published on

Open daily from 5 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.