The rainy season in Seattle is not something to take lightly - even if the rain itself is often more like a pathetic drizzle. So if you don’t want to drive somewhere for dinner, but do want to protect your clothes, possessions, and/or hair from the relentless precipitation, sometimes the best restaurant is the one that’s closest to a Link stop. With that in mind, here’s a guide to some of our favorite places that happen to be near light rail stations. We’ll even tell you which station is closest.
Just a brisk five-minute walk around the corner from the Sodo station is Derby, a restaurant/car club hybrid smack in the middle of an otherwise very quiet, industrial-looking neighborhood. You need to be a member of the car club to valet-park your Porsche in the adjoining showroom or use the private game room - but anyone, Porsche owner or not, can order a round of beers and some elevated pub food in the restaurant. Get some smoked brisket poutine with red eye gravy, or a BLT sandwich with avocado, extremely thick candied bacon, and garlic aioli.
Beacon Hill Station
Sitting inside a brew pub filled with decorative barrels, nice people, and good beer will help you banish the memory of leaving the house without a raincoat this morning. Just head 315 feet southwest from the Beacon Hill station, straight into Perihelion Brewery. Get some homemade pretzels, crispy french fries with bone marrow aioli, and a pork belly-topped burger that will make you question your trust in that one friend who recently told you the best casual burger in the city was anywhere else.
Beacon Hill Station
If you walk a bit farther south (maybe save this one for a misty day as opposed to one when it’s full-on downpouring), you’ll hit Bar Del Corso, one of our favorite spots in Seattle for Neapolitan pizza. It’s perfect for a date, or just a solo glass of wine accompanied by some excellent fried risotto balls and one of the best margherita pies around.
International District Station
Sometimes it gets cold in Seattle. Not New York or Chicago-level cold, but when you’re used to 45-degree days in February and one day it dips below 30, it’s time to bundle up and panic. Luckily, if you take the light rail to the International District station and walk for about 60 seconds, you’ll find Dough Zone Dumpling House and its quality pork jian buns, potstickers, soup dumplings, and dan dan noodles. Gather your friends here, order a lot of food, and temporarily forget that you have to go back outside when the meal is over.
Capitol Hill Station
To be honest, we’d walk more than one minute to get the house pork and caramelized pineapple tacos from Tacos Chukis. But the beauty of their flagship Capitol Hill location is that we don’t have to - it’s ultra-convenient. Nothing beats some tortas, baby burritos, and the aforementioned al pastor tacos with a Tecate.
Capitol Hill Station
If you emerge from the Broadway and E. Denny Way exit at the Capitol Hill Station and do a couple of northbound somersaults on the sidewalk, you’ll find yourself at Annapurna Cafe, a basement restaurant with some of the best Indian and Nepali food in Seattle. Share plates of chicken momo dumplings, chicken tikka masala, lamb curry, and garlic naan, but please don’t actually do any somersaults unless you are a trained athlete.
Columbia City Station
This fast-casual Mediterranean spot is underneath a newly-constructed apartment complex and near a hard hat zone. It’s also next to the Columbia City station, hence its relevance to this guide. Their beef/lamb gyro sandwiches are excellent, with highly flavorful meat and tzatziki that has a spicy kick to it. Chicken shawarma and falafel are good orders here, too. This place is great for a quick weeknight dinner, whether you’re staying to eat it or just picking something up on the way home.
This small Vietnamese/Thai restaurant is located in a strip mall near Othello station. They serve some delicious marinated grilled pork that you should get in your banh mi sandwiches and noodle bowls, and we also like the meatball pho, pad thai, and creamy iced tea. Not a bad place to come with kids, since even though it’s small, you’ll have some space to spread out if you need it.
There’s a lot of madness around Westlake station, since it’s one of the main Seattle transportation hubs. And there are a lot of bad chain restaurants there, too. But Evergreens is the local chain that makes it easy to avoid The Cheesecake Factory and The Hard Rock Cafe - it’s our go-to spot for a fast and healthy chopped salad that actually tastes good. We like the spicy kale caesar and the southwestern salad, but you can also customize your own bowl of leaves. Note that they close at 8pm, so this is not the spot for a late dinner.
If you just hopped off the train at Westlake (and you don’t want a salad), you deserve better than a flatbread at Tap House. Walk the extra few minutes to Serious Pie for some great wood-fired pizza - our favorite is the one with sausage, peppers, and provolone. The lively but dimly-lit space is perfect for date night, and if a table isn’t available right away, you can still stay dry. Just hang out in the waiting area with a drink or two.
University Street Station
It’s an extremely quick walk to Sweet Iron from the University Street station. Which is good, because you shouldn’t be wasting any time when delicious liege-style waffles are available to you. Get them topped with strawberries and whipped cream, nutella and bananas, or even prosciutto and creme fraiche. When you’re full of waffles, it feels a little warmer outside. We all win.
Pioneer Square Station
If it starts snowing for the first time in months (or honestly, years) and you feel a little like you’re on the East Coast, Tat’s is the divey deli you should be stopping in for dinner near the Pioneer Square station. There are a ton of subs to choose from, though we’re partial to the cheesesteaks and the “Tatstrami,” which is like a reuben on a baguette with coleslaw instead of kraut.
Pioneer Square Station
You just stepped out of a train at Pioneer Station, but you want something a little fancier than a sub. Try Nirmal’s. They serve excellent upscale Indian food in an attractive room with brick walls, wooden tables, and decorative pillows here and there. Get some tasty chicken pakoras, samosas, tandoori paneer, and Moscow mules, and toast to not getting completely soaked on your way home.