10 Must-Try Seattle Restaurants
From ocean to forest, these restaurants are utilizing local and sustainable ingredients to change the way you look at food.
Photo By: Scooter Lowrimore
The Ballard Annex Oyster House serves classic Pacific Northwest fresh seafood dishes such as oysters and shellfish, whole Dungeness crab and lobster, as well as homemade bisques, chowders and soups. The Annex's daily happy hour and weekend brunch feature bottomless mimosas. Their back bar is also home to one of the largest whiskey collections in the Pacific Northwest and can be booked for private events. The decor features design elements that are almost entirely locally crafted or sourced to give the space a comfortable, coastal and subtly nautical vibe.
Bok A Bok
Not your typical chicken place, Bok A Bok does things their own way. Specializing in Korean-style fried chicken, they've won over the hearts of locals and travelers alike. The suitably sourced chicken is tender with a juicy interior and a potato-chip-like texture on the crust. Their one-of-a-kind offerings include drums, thighs, strips, and wings, which come with an array of dipping sauces; try the Gochujang BBQ, you won’t regret it. In addition to their fried chicken, Bok a Bok is also known for their buttery and flaky biscuits topped with spiced honey, kimchi mac n’ cheese with crispy garlic and fresh ginger cole slaw. With two locations, Bok A Bok can be found in the White Center and Capitol Hill neighborhoods of Seattle.
With a focus on affordability, deliciousness, and providing an amazing overall bang-for-your-buck, Fremont Bowl could end up being your daily go-to while in Seattle. Offering up homestyle Japanese comfort food, you can get anything from tofu salad to the wildly popular salmon poke topped with yuzu soy (a Japanese citrus). Grab something to go or sit down and stay a while, Fremont Bowl has nailed the fast-casual dining theme.
Lecosho, located on the Harbor Steps, pays daily homage to their slogan "food we like." They source and prep all of their produce at its seasonal peak, they get their chicken, beef, pork and lamb from local Washington farms and their array of seafood is largely sourced from nearby Northwest waters. Chef Cody Westerfield and his team prepare adventurous globally inspired cuisine daily using only the freshest elements. Lecosho is a casually elegant affair, with high ceilings, candlelit ambiance, and open kitchen. Stop by for their in-house cheeses, charcuterie, daily pasta plates and the enticing wine list.
The heart of Miller's Guild is the Infierno grill which inspires the wood-fired craft-cooking menu created by James Beard Award-winning chef, Jason Wilson. Sourcing only the highest quality, seasonal ingredients from Northwest and American farmers, producers, and fishermen, the menu at Miller’s Guild is constantly changing. This means that no two visits to this restaurant (located inside of Hotel Max) will ever be the same. Some of the signature dishes that can be found here include roasted heirloom carrots with goat milk labneh, Frenched rib chop, fried Brussel sprouts, octopus carpaccio, and the addictive hand-cut beef fat Kennebec fries.
You won’t find another restaurant like Nue anywhere in Seattle, or even anywhere in America. Drawing on world travel, this restaurant features dishes that are ubiquitous and loved in their home country, but not widely found in the United States. Get a taste of some international cuisine with the South African Sunny Bunny, Chengdu Chicken and Waffles, Dutch patat oorlog, and Puerto Rican mofongo. A must try is the Filipino tosilog. It is comprised of housemade tocino (cured pork), sinangag garlic and scallion fried rice, soy and chili vinegar, atchara, and two sunny-side-up eggs; it’s easy to see why this is the go-to breakfast of the Philippines. Keeping with the international theme, this restaurant is decorated with tchotchkes that owner Chris Cvetkovich and his wife have collected throughout their world travels.
Located in the heart of downtown Seattle, Rider focuses on the Pacific Northwest’s two most prevalent characteristics; the forest and the ocean. Chef David Nichols, a Washington native, prides himself on using only the freshest ingredients in his dishes. Seafood from the sustainable local fisherman, dry aged meats from farms across Washington, cheeses made by local dairies, and vegetables from local foragers and farmers, all grace the menu at Rider. A starter that has people coming back, again and again, is the shaved kohlrabi. Comprised of raw kohlrabi, roasted winter squash, mint chimichurri, whipped farmers cheese and garnished with toasted pepitas, torn mint, and cilantro, this dish is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy.
At Rockcreek Seafood & Spirits, Chef Eric Donnelly’s award-winning menu includes locally sourced staples such as crab, oysters, and mussels, served alongside globally sourced seafood like Kona kampachi, Hawaiian ono, and even East Coast striped bass. Not only is the food ethically sourced, so is the building. Using local and reclaimed materials, the restaurant teamed up with Northwest builders to create a truly unique dining experience in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. With an unwavering emphasis on fresh ingredients, RockCreek is a great place to enjoy a taste of the ocean.
Located in Seattle’s North Capital Hill Neighborhood, the Wandering Goose offers up Southern-influenced food in a bright cafe setting. Try their giant sawmill biscuit sandwich with fried chicken, scratch-made sausage gravy, and extra-sharp cheddar cheese. Other classics on the menu are crockpot grits, hushpuppies, veggie hash, pimento cheese and fried chicken. This inviting restaurant is the perfect spot to get breakfast or lunch, and if you aren’t full by the time you leave, be sure to grab a towering slice of their three-layer cake.
Windy City Pie
Specializing in Chicago-style pizza, Windy City Pie looks to new ingredients and techniques while still respecting traditional pizza making. With nods to traditional, pan, and stuffed pizzas found throughout Chicago, this pizza joint has taken the best styles and created something truly unique. They grind their own sausages and pickle their own sweet hot peppers, and in addition to delicious pizza, you can also get salads and homemade garlic brioche. James Beard award-winner and New York Times best-selling author J. Kenji Lopez-Alt calls Windy City Pie "the best deep-dish anywhere!"