Located in the verdant Pacific Northwest, laying along the Puget Sound and lined with mountain ranges to the east and west, Seattle is surrounded by beautiful views and a landscape that offers a generous helping of locally-grown and -raised food. It's true that a restaurant with a good view isn’t very hard to come by, but a restaurant with a good view and good food? That's another story. While there are obvious old-time favorites -- like Ray’s Boathouse and the Edgewater -- that make lists time and time again, we’re taking the opportunity to spotlight some other lesser-known gems (and a few pretty well-known ones) serving up amazing fare paired with views that range from the Puget Sound to Lake Union and even the well-known food mecca that is Pike Place Market.
Recently awarded the number 5 spot on Bon Appétit’s Hot 10 of 2014 list, Westward has been making waves in the restaurant scene both locally and across the country. The spawn of The Skillet Group’s Josh Henderson, this restaurant combines a trendy-meets-classic nautical aesthetic with Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Best of all, it sits right at the edge of scenic north Lake Union. The kitchen is led by Chef Zoi Antonitsas and menu items span breakfast, lunch, “midday” and dinner to include anything from Dungeness crab tartine to braised Oregon lamb shoulder served with herb and onion salad, pomegranate molasses, tzatziki and pita. In fact, many of the dishes come out of a wood-fired oven. Servers donning striped shirts, with some at the bar sporting navy blue captain hats, float between beautiful Mid-Century modern chairs. If Life Aquatic added a restaurant to its story line, this would be it. A painting of Bill Murray’s character Steve Zissou hanging by the hostess’s stand only solidifies a sense of Wes Anderson’s presence.
Head west for Hawaiian-inspired fare served with a spanning view of the Sound with a sparkling backdrop of the city skyline. Located in West Seattle, steps from Alki Beach, Marination Ma Kai started on the streets of Capitol Hill as a food truck, called Marination Mobile, and opened this, its third venture, in late 2012. The menu features options like kalbi beef tacos, kimchi fried rice, spam masubi, and a pork katsu sandwich and a full bar offers cocktails that step to the same beat. Miniature tables outside give kids a chance to entertain themselves at a table their own size while you enjoy delicious food with a view, without breaking the bank.
Restaurants with large-scale views of the water, the Olympic Mountains, or the city skyline are obvious contenders for this list, but for a more unconventional -- but extremely quaint -- view in Seattle, head to Matt’s in the Market. Enormous arched windows line the walls of this charming restaurant located just across the way from Pike Place Market. The famous Pike Place Market clock and sign is larger than you’ve ever seen them, the historical brick road and all of the market's action sits below, and Elliott Bay and surrounding mountains can be seen beyond the roof of the market. The restaurant is located on the second floor of the Corner Market building and owner Dan Bugge, a former fishmonger of 11 years, sources ingredients from the market while executive chef Shane Ryan creates fresh dishes that offer seasonal and innovative touches. The menu is simple, fresh and vibrant, and features plenty of seafood, including market fish. Go for happy hour -- it’s one of my favorites it’s one of my favorites for its interesting $7 cocktails and the list of high-quality menu items ranging from manila clams and Oregon rock fish tostadas to cheese and charcuterie plates, all for under $10.