The 25 Best Restaurants In Seattle

Meet our 25 highest-rated restaurants.
The 25 Best Restaurants In Seattle image

photo credit: Nate Watters

Have you ever woken up and thought, “Gosh, I’d love to eat at a second-best restaurant today?” Of course you haven’t. Whether you’ve lived here your entire life or are visiting for the first time, it’s human nature to want to experience the best of the best. And that’s exactly why we wrote this guide.

These are the highest-rated restaurants in Seattle—the ones we’d sit through I5 traffic to get to, the ones we pine for when we hear love songs, the ones we seek out on days off. Food and experience are both taken into consideration, and any type of dining establishment is fair game. On this list, you’ll find fancy tasting menu spots, casual hangouts, and walk-up windows. Every city has its classics and its hot new places, but these are restaurants where greatness is guaranteed.

Looking for the best new places to eat in Seattle? Check out our Hit List.



Capitol Hill

$$$$Perfect For:BirthdaysBusiness MealsCorporate CardsDate NightDinner with the ParentsDrinking Good Wine


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This Piedmontese pasta specialist is not just the best Italian restaurant in Seattle. It’s the best restaurant, full stop. Bold? Sure, but so is the mountain of silky sage butter tajarin or braised rabbit agnolotti you eat by candlelight after an early December sunset, or fried zucchini blossoms snacked between gulps of tangerine-tinted paper plane cocktails come summertime. Yes, your wallet will be three figures emptier at the end of it all, but in exchange, you’ll have a life-affirming meal in a dining room filled with lace curtains, fine art, and noodle sheets draped over the open kitchen.


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This eight-seat wood grain counter in Hillman City is more than a 10-course dinner inspired by the owners’ Filipino heritage. It’s a billboard for the Pacific Northwest and a meal that should be required by law for every resident. Each dish represents a part of history that connects our city to Filipino culture, and Archipelago only uses ingredients exclusively sourced throughout the region. That means you'll get plates like tart vinegar-cured kinilaw with local ginger served on a sardine tin to shout out the cannery workers from Seattle, and the vibrant halo halo topped with “pineapple ice.” Pineapple doesn’t grow here, so it’s pine plus apple—which is just one example of how intentional the entire production is. After two hours, you’ll walk away from Archipelago with a belly full of outstanding lechon (crispy skin and all) and a newfound appreciation for both Filipino food and the surrounding PNW.

As Seattleites, we’re so proud of the seafood here that one of our most cherished tourist activities is watching burly fishermen toss around their fresh catches. And while there are plenty of crab cakes and deep-fried halibut to try, our highest nautical achievements can be found at Sushi Kashiba. A night at this institution, run by Shiro Kashiba who was trained by Jiro Ono (yeah, that Jiro) is going to be perfect, and the couple hundred dollars you’ll spend on raw fish will be worth it, whether you’re at a table or you showed up before they open to secure seats at the bar. It’s all a blur of sake, soy-brushed tuna, silky uni, fried prawn heads, seared flounder fin, Norwegian smoked mackerel, and a sweet egg finale that deserves its own extended tribute on our NPR affiliate. (Quick, someone send this to Bill Radke.)

You don’t have to be loud or boisterous to be a big deal—just ask a baby bat, Jake from State Farm, or Kamonegi. A meal inside this quiet soba-focused Japanese restaurant in Fremont can be reserved for a massively special night out that’s disguised as a tame one. There’s a relaxed mood in the dining room that’s most appropriate for knocking things back like fresh sea urchin and marinated ikura on a delicately battered shiso leaf, chewy buckwheat noodles swirled in potent curry broth streaked with melted mozzarella strands, and spicy habanero-infused plum sake. The fried kabocha “wings” tossed in sticky duck demi-glace and toasty sesame seeds alone are worth putting Kamonegi on this guide. 

This spot is Temporarily Closed.



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Editor's Note: Musang is temporarily closed for building repairs, but for now, you can book a table at Wild Cat, their catering space.

Eating at Musang is like being guests at a pal’s dreamy dinner party, and we’re not just saying that because this Filipino restaurant is located inside a renovated craftsman. Throughout our many visits here, we’ve joined in on dining room-wide toasts and “Happy Birthday” singalongs, which would be enough to make Musang an exciting place to have a meal. But we’d also sit in a dark coat closet just to eat their exceptional takes on Filipino classics. From peppery pork lumpia with a crackly shell dunked in chivey sawsawan to a flame-seared, peanut butter bagoong-basted short rib kare kare, these are dishes that make us want to stop everything and sing about them as if life were a movie musical. Said musical would feature hits such as “Jollibee’s Jealous,” a jazzy little number about their rice-dredged buttermilk fried chicken, and “My Ginataan Devotion,” a ballad for their crisp vegetables in coconut sauce and vegan shrimp paste. 

photo credit: Nate Watters



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You’ll have one of the best meals all year at Beast & Cleaver, a tiny butcher shop in Ballard. This isn’t in reference to the porterhouse you could pick up and grill at home, but rather to their tasting menu known as The Peasant. With a preset lineup of expertly cooked meats, snacks, and surprises, this after-hours operation makes for one of the most unique dining experiences in Seattle. The menu changes each time, but the constant is the surplus of red meat that shapes your meal, be it steak tartare on top of a beef tallow scone, or a roulade of lamb that's slow-roasted until it falls apart. But the excellence here stretches beyond that stuff, with refreshing salads and a phenomenal sunchoke truffle ice cream that gives Salt & Straw an absolute run for their money. You can't get much better than eating outstanding food and drinking great wine while sitting catty-corner to a display case of raw links, patties, and chops.

Much like I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! and Weird Al Yankovic, The Pink Door has been around since the early eighties. And yet, every time we sneak through Post Alley, step inside, and take in the nightly energy of this Italian place, it feels like a grand opening celebration all over again. There’s the packed dining room, a candlelit glow, aerial performers dangling from the ceiling, and Italian food that’s been consistently stellar for over 30 years. Whether you’re with a big group toasting with glasses of prosecco and snacking on fontina-stuffed arancini, or having a solo meal at the bar headlined by a haystack of cream-spiked pappardelle bolognese, you’re in for a meal that’s just as thrilling on the first visit as it is the twentieth. Whatever you do, an order of fettunta and the spinach lasagna layered with pesto, velvety besciamella, and marinara must make their way to your table and mouth.

Tomo in White Center serves the kind of meal that makes us wish time travel were real. Not just to see a stegosaurus, but also to go back and replay our first dinner here. This tasting menu spot coaxes intense flavor out of seemingly simple ingredients. A vegetarian barley porridge with eggplant and dill pollen could take on any meaty stew. A rich XO sauce underneath seared scallops is the best application of geoduck this city has ever seen (the bar was not high, but still). Hot arepas are immensely comforting and come stuffed with stracciatella and prosciutto as popcorn-scented steam floats around. To match these exciting bites is a space with brunette walls, dramatic lighting, and speakers that blast soothing whale noises in the bathroom.

Most of Seattle’s best sit-down dinner spots are a pain to get into—you’ve got to reservation-stalk here, wait a long time there, and the cycle continues. That’s not the case at Familyfriend, otherwise known as the best restaurant that never penalizes you for spontaneity. This casual Guamanian spot on Beacon Hill is open every day, has little-to-no wait, and every Chamorro dish on the menu is a hit. We self-soothe with creamy coconut corn soup, daydream about beach vacations via tostadas topped with an unhinged quantity of lemon-soaked octopus and shrimp, and chomp into the best cheeseburger in the entire city. Go ahead and safely procrastinate on making dinner plans, because this glorious place exists.

Whether you’re looking to slurp your first oyster or your 6,387th, the best place to shoot them back is at The Walrus And The Carpenter. If raw bivalves aren't your thing, we can also vouch for the delicate cornmeal-dredged ones dipped in an excellent cilantro aioli—as well as all of the other small plates like scallop crudo with yuzu kosho salsa verde, beef shank terrine with fermented hot sauce, and goat cheese with apricot jam. With a mollusk in one hand and a flute of sparkling wine in the other, it’s impossible to be grumpy while sitting at this big marble bar overlooking baskets of gray, jagged shells and a bowl of marshmallowy whipped butter to go with your Sea Wolf rye. You could come here early to avoid waiting for a table, but it’s just as crucial to stop by their sister bar, Barnacle, next door for an amaro spritz. 

The Caribbean roast pork sandwich from this fuchsia and teal shack on the side of the road has the power to do two things: bestow upon you eternal joy and completely f*ck up your white t-shirt with meat drips. It’s worth it for this toasted Macrina baguette stuffed with tender braised pork clinging to tangy marinade, sweet onions stamped with char from the grill, tart pickled jalapeño, romaine, and a zesty aioli that laughs in the face of standard supermarket mayo. That, plus some of the best grilled chicken in town and fire-roasted corn slathered in limey aioli, paprika, and parmesan make for a perfect meal, especially if you’re picnicking at Golden Gardens. And especially if you have a Tide Pen handy.

A huge kudos to whoever invented fire during the stone age. Because without it, we wouldn’t have the blazing flame inside Bar Del Corso’s domed pizza oven creating tasty leopard spots on their crispy crust, melting globs of buffalo mozzarella, and sizzling craggy bits of homemade fennel sausage. The pies alone would solidify this Beacon Hill staple as one of the most iconic Seattle happy places—up there with UW during cherry blossom season and Reuben’s when there’s no line for the bathroom. But the small plates here seal the deal. From suppli al telefono stuffed with cheese that pulls like taffy to the best grilled octopus in town, it’s all worthy of sidling up to the bar or grabbing a backyard picnic table alongside something spiked with Aperol and/or a scoop of gelato. 

Pike Place sometimes (read: constantly) feels like a chaotic vortex of free samples, long lines, and onlookers with faces pressed like putty to the Beecher’s windowpane. But there’s one place in particular where you can go to escape it all. That’s Oriental Mart. Located in a quiet corner of the market, this Filipino counter serves the best lunch Downtown, let alone some of the best Filipino food in the city. Everything here is prepared by a woman who is quite kind despite some brash signage (such as, “IF U DON’T KNOW HOW TO EAT OUR SALMON SINIGANG DON’T ORDER IT”) and the food is so good that we’d gladly brave the yogurt-gulping Ellenos fanatics around the bend. Oriental Mart serves excellent tart pork adobo over rice seeped in braising liquid, lumpia wands whose crunch reminds us of a Butterfinger bar, and shiny red longanisa sausage that deserves its own long-form documentary. There’s a reason why this place has been going strong since 1987, and it’s in part thanks to that link of meat.

At Taneda Sushi In Kaiseki, an omakase restaurant with only nine chairs, you’re often left with no choice but to book a seat for one—if you can even find a reservation to begin with. Conveniently, it’s actually better that way. Because when you’re shooting the breeze with a chef who becomes your confidante after tossing you 25 courses of quality fish, it never feels lonely. While the $195 menu changes every month, you can expect amazing bites like otoro hand rolls with pickled daikon, torched A5 miyazaki wagyu nigiri topped with caviar, sweet shrimp wrapped around custardy uni, and grilled eel placed directly into your open hand like a love note. This is the best kaiseki experience in the city, and much like running a marathon or traveling the world, you can enjoy it all by yourself.

Communion is a restaurant that acts as a lipstick-stamped love letter to the American south while also taking inspiration from dishes and flavors you can find in the Central District and beyond. Earthy berbere grilled chicken with lemony lentils nods to the neighborhood’s Ethiopian population, while a po’boy/bánh mì hybrid honors the pâté-slathered baguettes of Little Saigon. A surplus of brittle cornmeal-dredged catfish, though, shows that this is a soul food spot through and through. The cocktails are refreshing yet balanced (hello perfect apple mint julep), the space is lively yet warm, and even though it’s only been around since December 2020, it’s hard to imagine Seattle without this restaurant.

photo credit: Nate Watters

Seattle’s best Mexican restaurant is hiding in plain sight in Greenwood. Alebrijes Kitchen’s magic happens inside a snoozy dining room with just a handful of tables. And yet, each tortilla-wrapped gift at this place works together to makes a simple weeknight dinner feel like a national holiday. Fiery salsa sets the bar high, and chorizo-speckled queso fundido sets it even higher. Plump camarones mojo de ajo has us contemplating getting “chipotle butter” tattooed somewhere UV rays will never see. And then there’s the carnitas. All hail the city’s finest, with a scientifically precise balance between fat hunks and lean shreds. It's all done in an effortless way that’s free of pretension, and worthy of bopping in multiple times a week.

Climate Pledge Arena, MoPop, and Chihuly are typically considered the best things about Lower Queen Anne (sorry, Uptown), but Paju is certainly the most delicious. This calm Korean restaurant doesn’t have flashy decorations or cocktails in ritzy glassware, but they do have food that makes us feel like we’re living in a country ballad. Suddenly, it’s easy to love again, everything pairs well with a cold beer, and we can’t help but get emotional over the small details. Things like bulgogi with a subtle drizzle of truffle oil and briny squid ink fried rice topped with bacon and a smoked quail egg that we daydream about whenever we hear Shania Twain’s, “You’re Still The One.” Seattle has quite a few classic Korean spots, but Paju (like the Kraken) proves that newer things in town deserve love, too.

Maneki has been around since 1904, making it older than the pogo stick, the Model-T, and any other Japanese spot in Seattle. Almost 12 decades later, this International District icon consistently serves some of the greatest Japanese food in the city, from multiple types of buttery salmon nigiri to excellent takoyaki, a.k.a. our favorite way to eat tentacles. The very best way to make the most of Maneki, however, is by reserving a private tatami room in the back. There’s this meditative zen that happens when it’s just you and some friends, sans shoes, interrupted only when someone periodically stops by to hand off raw fish and beer. This absolute all-star lineup of sushi, appetizers like frizzled pan-seared gyoza and nanban, and hot dishes like yakiudon and miso black cod collar is best split among friends while sipping Sapporo in socks, just like a similar group might have done in the early 20th century. 

New York and Chicago are not the only noteworthy pizza towns in the United States of America. Exhibit A: Delancey. Even if you just popped in this Ballard pizzeria for a glass of Austrian natural bubbles and small plates like burrata in a pesto pool served with flatbread shards or the mountainous romaine-based Jersey Salad with shaved carrots and really good croutons, that’d be enough to have a satisfying meal. But you should prioritize the charred pies topped with things like hot salami, caramelized Walla Walla sweet onions, kalamata olives, and summer corn. The space is also an exciting, minimalist hangout perfect for anything from a date to a family dinner, powered by tea candles and good smells coming from the wood oven.

It’s a meal dilemma we’ve encountered often—khao soi or a cheeseburger? Cut to Taurus Ox, the Lao spot on Capitol Hill that does both (and more) to the soundtrack of good tunes like old-school Outkast. Taurus Ox’s crown jewel is undoubtedly their smashburger, a double-pattied stunner topped with taro stem, cilantro, pickled onion, and cured pork jowl, along with the genius addition of spicy pork skin-laced jaew bong and nutty provolone that cuts through the herbs and rendered fat. It’s a drippy, tangy, beautiful mess, but that isn’t to say that the other dishes play second fiddle. Thom khem loaded with caramelized pork belly and a brussels sprout hash brown would be an ideal under-the-covers dinner, and garlicky lemongrass sausage would rule a summer barbecue. Whether you’re stumbling in on a weeknight or packing your friends in before bar-hopping, a meal at Taurus Ox will be special.

We love a comeback story. Like Dunkaroos, Brendan Fraser’s career, or the West Seattle bridge. But there’s no comeback story quite like The Boat, which used to house the original Phở Bắc location. Fast-forward to 2022, when the same team reopened this rickety ship and filled it with exceptional Vietnamese fried chicken and waffles—a dynamic duo we’ve replayed in our minds like all 92 glorious minutes of George Of The Jungle. Even if The Boat only served their crackly cornish hen blasted with garlic alongside chrysanthemum salad and phở broth, we’d be content. But then there are the fluffy pandan and pink pineapple waffles, which we could eat for breakfast every day. We can’t think of a better early weekend lunch or quiet dinner before flopping on the couch to watch a movie. Might we suggest The Mummy?

Swing by Lil Red for the best barbecue in town, whether you eat inside while listening to gospel music or just take it all to go. Everything from the kitchen at this Jamaican soul food spot is pure comfort food royalty. Their brisket has an ideal blend of smoke and fat, the crimson-hued jerk chicken has a ton of delicious heat, and the sides here are not an afterthought. The mac and cheese, with ridged elbow noodles, is like liquid velvet, and the garlicky mash, filled with specks of herb and spice confetti, deserves a standing ovation at Benaroya Hall followed by a backyard birthday party. 

Aside from velcro footwear, troll statues, and the occasional hit TV show about an abnormal concentration of attractive doctors, Seattle’s "thing" is casual seafood. No one does it better than Local Tide in Fremont. This bright counter spot is all about sourcing local, be it fried Washington-caught dover sole, or a sandwich stuffed with seared albacore tuna from the Oregon Coast. You’ll still find PNW classics like clam chowder and plenty of salmon, though it’s dishes like their Filet-O-Fish dupe and golden triangles of pork fat-spiked shrimp toast that keep us coming back. And if something from the sea isn't your thing, the smashburger (with a tasty mess of beef drippings and caramelized onions) is just as incredible as the pescatarian stuff. Use Local Tide as your never-fail first stop when anyone comes to visit. 

This Greenwood strip mall Vietnamese spot is a North Seattle destination, whether you live around the corner or across the county. We can’t think of a better place to get taken care of by way of phở, vermicelli bowls, and fried snacks. Phở hà nội overflows with broth, topped with a raw yolk that works just as well dissolved into the soup as it does strategically dolloped onto each bite of rice noodle and beef shank. Grilled chicken tastes like lemongrass-rubbed brilliance. Salt and pepper tofu has the outer crunch and inner moistness of a McNugget. The care goes beyond food, too—staff will stretch out a hand to receive your crumpled straw wrapper, and forbid you from packing your own leftovers.

There are as many poke shops in Seattle as there are Patagonia half-zips, and Ono in Edmonds is the very best. From miso-sauced salmon to spicy ahi soaked in shoyu and showered with flecks of togarashi, the daily-changing marinades at this Hawaiian counter are always on point, especially when they start to seep through each grain of sushi rice. Round things out with tangy cucumber kimchi and a pile of mac salad that (usually) comes with ridged elbow noodles to catch every bit of peppery mayo, and you have a takeout lunch we'd gladly repeat daily.

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