Seattle University’s neighborhood is a hodgepodge of Capitol Hill, First Hill, and the Central District. Which means there are plenty of good restaurants in the immediate vicinity. So whether you’re a student looking for someplace to “study” over beers, or just someone who works nearby and needs a date night spot or good takeout lunch, use our list to make the best possible plan.
An excellent place for pho, Vietnamese bar snacks, and general partytime. It’s dark inside, the bar’s so tall they have to use a ladder to reach the top-shelf liquor, and everything on the menu tastes great, whether you go for the pho, bun cha, or a mix-and-match meal of appetizers like mung bean dumplings and lemongrass beef skewers. We’re sorry in advance for your inevitable addiction to the spicy caramel chicken wings. (No we’re not.)
Rhein Haus feels like a (nice) fraternity party in a German biergarten. Come with a pack of friends for boots of beer, mini brat rolls, homemade pretzels, chicken schnitzel sliders, and rounds of bocce. Leave with a good story. And possibly a headache.
A Thai spot that works for virtually any situation, whether you want to hang out alone at the bar with a pork belly stir fry, get snacks and cocktails with friends, or split some noodles on a casual date. You can’t go wrong with anything on the Isan Thai menu, but the chicken panang curry stuffed with ground chicken is the very best thing here. Chase it with a beer slushie.
There’s a tasteful way to make a restaurant look like a scene from a country music video, and 8 Oz. Burger Bar nails it. Decorations include vintage beer cans, an old sign that could conceivably have belonged to a general store by the side of a dirt road, and a retro turquoise ice box that doubles as the host stand. All of the burgers (which are indeed half-pound patties) are messy and amazing. Get them with some onion rings or fries or short rib poutine, and even though it sounds like an odd duo, you want the green tea nutella milkshake, too.
Listen. Do not walk past Cafe Presse without going inside and ordering a croque madame alongside a bowl of salted fries (with lemony mayo) and a hazelnut butter lettuce salad. Do not leave without eating these things and subsequently feeling like you’re the protagonist in some kind of sophisticated French movie. We’re glad we had this talk.
While we’re on the subject of fast-casual spots with fun wall paintings and decadent things to eat, you should also know about Katsu Burger, where you can get a deep-fried burger with nori fries and miso mayo. Don’t forget a green tea milkshake... and a plan to go jogging tomorrow.
An upscale temple of tacos with lots of candles, a mosaic bar, and a massive front door that looks like a set piece from Game Of Thrones. There’s also frozen rose sangria, goat cheese empanadas, and vegan nachos. Make this your spot for a fun celebratory group dinner, and don’t underestimate the chopped salad - it’s delicious.
This steakhouse is the perfect place to have your graduation dinner. As long as you’re not a vegetarian. The slate tables, white chandeliers, and decorative china give the dining room a garden party feel, and the display window of raw cow torsos keeps things edgy. Not only that, but the food here is incredible - from the perfect steaks to the sides like french fries cooked in beef tallow. And no offense to learning how to tightrope-walk or making it into the a cappella group or whatever it was you did during college, but there is pretty much nothing you can achieve at this time in your life that beats ordering the off-menu burger here.
A little bistro next door to Bateau with seafoam-colored chevron tiles, a big marble bar, and excellent French small plates. Get a table and a bottle of sparkling wine here on a date, or, as long as we’re being completely honest, use it as your backup plan if Bateau is booked solid.
Plum is an amazing restaurant, period - never mind that it’s 100% vegan. Eating here feels like getting a slightly classed-up meal in a yoga studio, and you’ll find great cocktails, plant-based dishes that actually taste good (like pan-seared creole tempeh, tofu piccata, and buffalo portobello burgers), and an atmosphere perfect for dinner with the parents or a group catch-up session. No matter what, make sure the cajun mac and “yease” hits the table.
A tiny fast-casual spot that has Indian and Mediterranean food on one menu. It’s not much on the inside, but the fact that you can have falafel and samosas at the same time totally makes up for it. Get the butter chicken.
Jucivana is a roadside shack the color of a carrot. Come here for excellent smoothies in big cups for under $6. It’s a ridiculously good value to take advantage of if you missed breakfast, or are in the market for a post-workout snack that tastes better than five low-sodium Triscuits and a string cheese.
The pizzas here are huge and heavily red-sauced. The crust is pretty close to what you’d find in New York (we like to order ours well-done), and the white pizza with globs of ricotta is delicious. Bring some hungry people with you, though - they don’t sell slices.