Dinner scene with chocolate cake and wine glasses of milk
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The Seattle Winter 25

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The Seattle Winter 25

Seattle summers are earned, and the winters are why—before we can frolic in our forests and lakes, we have to trudge through the soggy season first. With these 25 plans, there’s no reason to hibernate with a happy lamp until June.

Seattle summers are earned, and the winters are why—before we can frolic in our forests and lakes, we have to trudge through the soggy season first. With these 25 plans, there’s no reason to hibernate with a happy lamp until June.

photo credit: Nate Watters

#1

Sure, most soup is hot. But then there’s the next-level mala kotteri ramen from Ooink—a double whammy of both high heat index and intense spice, made with funky black garlic and numbing Sichuan peppercorns that could thaw out the Vatnajökull glacier. Chicken noodle, take a rest.

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#2

There’s no better location to tell a friend that you ran into your childhood D.A.R.E. officer in the liquor aisle of your hometown Albertson’s than The Velvet Elk. This quiet little neighborhood bar is perfect for a casual gossip session and has velvet couches, fun cocktails like an Old Fashioned with chai syrup, and homemade corndogs.

Kitschy bar interior with velvet couches and mismatched furniture.
Crystal glass filled with creamy cocktail
Corn dog drizzled with ketchup and mustard on a plate next to relish.
Mismatched couches and chairs in bar interior
Spread of corn dogs and cocktails on wooden slab

photo credit: Nate Watters

#3

Savory food for dinner is a social construct. Deep Sea’s chocolate cake, layered with fudgy ganache and a porter soak that cuts through the sugar, is a meal unto itself. Light a woodsy candle, slice up some slabs, and mope about until April.

Dinner scene with chocolate cake and wine glasses of milk

photo credit: Nate Watters

#4

If you’re going to scream nonsensically at the TV while watching a team that sadly isn't the Seahawks, do it with a basket of the best buffalo wings in town. You’ll be surrounded by other humans who care just as much about the score as they do about drums and flats.

#5

First, panic. Then, stock up on luxurious pantry staples, charcuterie, and beer from Delaurenti’s kind-of-weird selection. (Hi, n/a brew with bubble gum and glitter.) Be spendy if you can—that $38.99 can of Spanish potato chips chased with a mouthful of Compartés chocolate tastes better while watching TikToks from last year of cars sliding down icy hills.

photo credit: Brooke Fitts

#6

Shove yourself in a booth at this moody Wallingford bar for our favorite juxtaposition: steamy pelmeni and a frosted glass of beet-infused vodka. As the cocktail’s condensation chills your fingertips, the pork dumplings warm everything else. Be generous with the hot sauce.

Bowls of pelmeni with a cocktail in a short glass and a fork reaching into the bowl.

#7

Hungover? This bacon, egg, and cheese on a squishy poppy kaiser is yours. Bummed that “7am sunlight” has been an oxymoron for months? Eat a mini crumb cake. Want to cosplay as a tech executive’s stay-at-home spouse who has time to hang around Volunteer Park long enough to buy a bundle of dried lavender from a breakfast place? That’s the stuff.

photo credit: Nate Watters

#8

If you swore to finally invest in snow chains this year and then didn't, same. Thankfully, Fireside in Burien exists. You can eat allspice-kicked Cincinnati chili and Ritz cracker-coated walleye among enough taxidermy, fireplace heat, and mid-century wood paneling to rival any Wenatchee Airbnb.

photo credit: Nate Watters

#9

We see your beef simmering in a merlot jacuzzi at home and raise you Musang’s short rib kare kare, whose peanutty bagoong gravy wields the power to stop time. If there’s anything that’d make us agree to be suspended in animation during late January in Seattle, it’s this dish.

photo credit: Nate Watters

#10

Right off The Ave, there’s a basement with fogged-up windows and college kids packed into every corner. This isn’t a UW fraternity party—it’s Korean Tofu House. Here, tables are covered in sizzling plates of marinated short ribs, the best fish cakes in town, and pots of kimchi stew that can soothe the most frazzled of MBA students.

photo credit: Nate Watters

#11

Don’t eat this salad so that Big Lettuce can profit off of your resolution to consume more vitamin A. Eat it because it’s good. This magnificent pile of romaine, carrot ribbons, croutons, and cabbage covered in a blizzard of grana padano is the cold, crunchy sidekick that pairs perfectly with Delancey’s charred pizzas.

#12

Wowing anyone with a ferry ride is tough when visibility sucks, so go to this landlocked boat instead. The plates of sticky garlic-flecked chicken and fluffy pandan waffles will finally get them to stop asking why you moved here.

#13

For a drink that’s as bitter as a shiba inu forced to walk on a wet sidewalk, go to Persephone. This Columbia City bar has dozens of amari poured neat, on the rocks, or in a spritz. Pair your aperitivo or fernet with arancini, olives, or a chickpea fritter sandwich jazzed up with lemon.

photo credit: Brooke Fitts

#14

Interest rates are as high as the Space Needle and that liberal arts degree has been reduced to composting material. But some of Seattle's best pupusas—with melty roasted pork or black beans and cheese—are massive and cost only $5 each. Joke’s on you, Nelnet.

a plate of cheese-filled pupusas.

photo credit: Brooke Fitts

#15

Brewery hopping is not a summertime-only activity in Seattle, but drinking beer outside in damp shoes is where we draw the line. Luckily Aslan Brewing has the perfect indoor taproom, with space to hang your drippy coat—and plenty of nooks for sipping ginger rye pales alongside shrimp toast from Local Tide next door.

Brewery interior with colorful murals and tables close together.

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photo credit: Nate Watters

#16

Between their soothing noodle soup spiked with chili oil and peanuts and their penchant for just being nice, this Greenwood spot probably cares more about your wellbeing than your doctor. Don’t you dare try to pack your own leftovers—you better believe they do it for you at the table.

photo credit: Erin Roberts

#17

Seattle has loads of natural beauty to explore on the weekends, but when it all becomes chilly mush, spend a Saturday at Add-A-Ball. There’s multi-player Pac-Man, orange wine in plastic cups, and Good Shape firing personal pizzas. Don’t miss the vintage hockey thing upstairs that nobody plays—it’s the best game here.

The Arcade Bar Afternoon image

#18

We don't know when brunch became all about $20 toast, turf wall photo ops, and running into everyone you know. We prefer Young’s. There’s no cliche neon sign or table next to you having a Dua Lipa sing-a-long at 10am—just Mickey Mouse pancakes with platters of bacon fried rice, flowing diner coffee, and the gift of being left the hell alone.

photo credit: Brooke Fitts

#19

February 14th at an Italian restaurant doesn’t have to mean watching someone fork their tiramisu in search of a ring. Avoid the petal-covered tables by heading to Darkalino’s with a friend. The only budding romance will be between you and a plate of pasta all'amatriciana.

photo credit: Brooke Fitts

#20

There’s always one unseasonably warm day that has us all hauling ass to the nearest park. So when Fake Spring comes—and it will—grab a few half-pound tamales stuffed with salsa verde chicken, dust off that crumpled quilt in your trunk, and lay out at Green Lake with everyone else in this city.

photo credit: Brooke Fitts

#21

Even if you’re not a “bookstore person,” it’s easy to get lost for a few hours at Elliott Bay Book Co. After perusing shelves of highly specific cookbooks and manga, linger even longer at their adjoining cafe for a latte and some kind of muffin. See, now you’re a “bookstore person.”

Interior of coffee shop with globe lights on ceiling, coffee bar, and tables and chairs.

photo credit: Nate Watters

#22

Some burgers are best for a 2am nightcap. Others make a great car lunch. This sexy, thick 100-day dry-aged burger with american cheese and bacon should be reserved for your next date. Sit close underneath Fair Isle’s dark wooden beams, clink pints of cherry adambier, and hold hands as you share some classy beef.

photo credit: Nate Watters

#23

You may not remember the last time you got to the airport early enough to eat anything other than pretzels, let alone stop for dinner on the way. But the beef tibs and shiro wat at this nearby Ethiopian spot are worth carving out some extra time before jetting off to a tropical destination (or more realistically, a work conference in Tulsa).

#24

Between sitting shoulder to shoulder with the next table, feverishly dipping pita into tahini-drenched lamb ragu, and flames bursting inside the open kitchen’s oven, there’s no warmer place in town than Homer. Good thing you'll be ending things with soft serve to cool you down.

photo credit: Chona Kasinger

#25

The serenity experienced inside Maneki’s private tatami rooms is comparable to catching Mt. Rainier on a clear day, or hugging Buoy the sea-troll at a Kraken game. Shoot this Japanese spot a text to book, and then sip Sapporo in socks while someone periodically drops off spicy tuna rolls, lacy gyoza, and broiled cod collar.

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