That perfect spot outside the restaurant you’re heading to is empty for a reason - it’s actually a 15-minute loading zone. Hope you’re ready to set the new world record for speed-eating a sit-down meal.
If you’d rather not worry about leaving an extra half hour to circle the block for nonexistent parking spots, head straight to one of the places on this list. Then, use the time you might have spent silently cursing other drivers to enjoy some of our favorite dishes in Seattle.
Pho Bac Sup Shop would be a lot of fun even if it weren’t so easy to park outside in their lot. But it is, and that makes us love this place even more. Come here for excellent short rib pho, pork and prawn sausage sliders, and spicy pub mix that contains crunched-up fortune cookies. Then take some photo booth portraits with your car keys to commemorate the special experience you’ve just shared.
Judging by the amount of open street spots available near South Town Pie, not enough people know how good the pizza is at this slice place. It’s the closest thing you’re going to get to a New York Pizzeria, and they also have some out-there slices like one with boar ragu, sage, and Funyuns. Our personal favorite is the pastrami slice because instead of sauce, it has gruyere fondue.
Street parking is always simple near Pair, an attractive French restaurant in a quiet part of Ravenna. If you come here, you’ll spend less time hopelessly banging your head against the steering wheel and more time eating fontina mac and cheese, gigante beans and steak frites. The French countryside feel in the dining room is versatile enough for a date or a kinda fancy group hang.
Super Six has a good-sized parking lot to ensure that your macadamia nut butter pancake consumption experience is as peaceful as possible. They serve Hawaiian-ish food at lunch and dinner daily, as well as weekend brunch, when we advise you drink a mai tai slushy or three.
Derby is an upscale sports bar inside The Shop, which is a place of worship for car and motorcycle enthusiasts. In other words, this restaurant respects the fact that you drove here. Park in the lot, step inside, and check out the room full of Porsches that aren’t yours. Then, eat some brisket poutine, BLTs, and soft pretzels without worrying about paying the meter.
When the Buddha Bruddah truck isn’t serving their Asian mixed plates on the streets of Seattle, it hangs out in the brick and mortar’s spacious Beacon Hill parking lot. You can park there, too. And enjoy tasty Hawaiian plate lunches and noodle boxes with Thai iced tea.
Almost everywhere in Hillman City has easy parking - but not every restaurant has its own lot. Big Chickie does, and they also have very good Peruvian roast chicken and empanadas. We’d like to hoard their sauces in our glove compartments (instead of the Taco Bell fire packets currently holding residency).
A warm-weather day drinking spot in South Lake Union with parking that doesn’t make us want to scream and bang our heads repeatedly on the dashboard exists. The 100 Pound Clam always has plenty of spots available in an adjacent lot, which essentially makes hanging out on the lakeside patio with some fish and chips a required spring/summer activity.
No one ever said it was easy, or even possible, to find parking in Capitol Hill at dinnertime. Unless they were talking about 8 Oz. Burger & Co. Park in the nearby Harvard Market garage, where the first hour is free, then head inside for upscale burgers that are 8oz. each. No matter what, get the green tea Nutella milkshake, too.
Near Alki Beach in West Seattle (and removed from the California Ave. craziness) is New Luck Toy, which has skee-ball, karaoke, tons of paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling, and delicious Chinese food. This is already one of our favorite spots for a night out, but the fact that it’s incredibly easy to park for free on the street is all the more reason to work this place into your regular rotation.
There’s a parking lot at Westward, which is cool, but every time we’ve eaten here, that lot has been full. Strange how a place on Lake Union with great seafood and a firepit perfect for outdoor drinking would be popular, right? Luckily, there’s a huge stretch of road across the street with plenty of spots for your car. Once you’ve parked, claim one of the Adirondack chairs around the firepit and don’t move for the rest of the night.
Pablo y Pablo is a taqueria in Wallingford with plenty of parking potential when dinnertime rolls around. We’ve even gotten spots right outside the front door before. Go for the chopped salad, some chipotle-braised chicken enchiladas, and the meatless chorizo tacos with spicy cashew queso - even if you’re not vegan, you’ll like those.
We love easy parking, we love burgers, and we love Red Mill because it has both. Plus great onion rings. Park in the lot and then enjoy your cheeseburger, onion rings, and milkshake at a picnic table right outside. Optional, but encouraged, is watching the drivers across the street at the Ballard Locks circle like vultures for a spot so they can watch some salmon do absolutely nothing.
Here’s something that’s probably happened to you or someone you have had a Venmo exchange with: you take a date somewhere in Capitol Hill, but you spend so much time looking for parking that you show up late and another happy couple gets to take advantage of that table you so lovingly reserved. Next time you’re planning something romantic in the neighborhood and need to drive, book at Volunteer Park Cafe. It’s a farmhouse-style bistro in the middle of a residential area where all the yoga moms keep their cars in their garages, so there are plenty of curbside spots for the taking. Spend less time parking and more time sharing wood-fired pizzas and chicken pot pie with someone cute.
This Greenwood spot with delicious wood-grilled food has plenty of street parking - you’ll probably have more trouble getting into the tiny dining room than finding a spot for your car. Have fun staring at the painted barn animal silhouettes in the bathroom, and don’t leave without getting the soy caramel roasted chicken.
D’ La Santa isn’t the best-known Mexican spot in the city, but it’s worth seeking out. And if you’re heading South and can’t find something on 10th Avenue East, cut a right on Miller for ample parking spots. Then, you can focus on the garlic butter shrimp tacos you’re going to want to order.
The crab cakes and fish and chips at Ray’s are tasty, but we only recommend coming here when the weather’s good enough for sitting outside. In the spring and summer, the gorgeous waterfront balcony is basically begging you to eat there while drinking ice cold, middle-tier wine as the sun sets. And Ray’s wouldn’t be on this list without a great parking situation - there’s a huge lot, plus a valet if you’re feeling fancy.
For quality Indian food in a University District space that looks more like a big townhouse than a restaurant, head to Cedars. There’s easy street parking on Brooklyn, and a dedicated section in the Safeway lot nearby. Come with a group, sit on the porch, and order a lot of pakoras, saag paneer, and butter chicken.
Marination Ma Kai has the best views in the city which you can take advantage of while eating miso ginger tacos and kimchi fried rice. This Hawaiian-Korean spot has a parking lot so that you don’t have to worry about your meter when deciding whether or not to finish your meal off with shaved ice.