The Best Restaurants In Queen AnneWhere to eat in that neighborhood with the Space Needle.
It’s never confirmed on the show, but several fan theories suggest that Frasier Crane’s penthouse was located in Queen Anne. Others claim that the view from his window is a physically impossible angle, and others don’t really care about Frasier at all. Queen Anne is something to care about, though. The neighborhood is a little bit more expensive than others, some of the houses have front-yard chicken coops, and it’s where you’ll find tourists trying to find the Space Needle despite the fact that it literally juts out of the sky. There also happens to be a ton of restaurants over here, from an upscale pasta spot to a little bakery that you’ll want to spend time in if you like almond extract. Use these restaurants to distract your out-of-town guests from trying to ride up the needle on a useless overcast day.
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.”
The Oklahoma-style smashburgers coming from this mustard-yellow set of wheels parked at Rooftop Brewing every Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are not just phenomenal stacks of beef and cheese. They're the best smashburgers in town. Each perfectly seasoned patty wears a snappy meat skirt that drapes over the bun, singed onions, melted cheese that gets gooey without making a total mess, a tangy spice-flecked special sauce, and fat pickle slices to cut through the heft. It's a work of majesty that satisfies any burger itch without leaving your hands full of drips. We recommend going with the classic, but if you enjoy hot peppers, the jalapeño smash has great sweet heat from both pickled and fried jalapeños.
Canlis is the fanciest and most famous tasting menu restaurant in Seattle, and at this marvel in mid-century modern architecture, it’s really about the whole package. You’re not just here to pay way more than you usually would for a small morsel of steak. You’re also here to wear a gala-type outfit that would otherwise rot in a closet corner with your forgotten Halloween costumes. You’re here to grab a cocktail in the lounge before dinner and listen to the classical pianist play baroque takes on Taylor Swift songs. You’re here to have at that bacon-laden minty romaine salad with croutons and pecorino matchsticks that’s been on the menu for 70 years. Don’t expect to be stunned speechless, but do expect to share a fantastic night out with anyone from your betrothed to your boss. Especially if your boss picks up the check.
Simply the prospect of Big Max Burger Co.’s bacon-beef patties and herb-salted shoestring fries is enough to power us through a long workday or a grueling weekend hike—two scenarios that should be followed by a cheeseburger. The burgers here, covered in aged cheddar, caramelized onion, chunky bread and butter pickles, and special sauce, are excellent, as is the Nashville-style fried chicken sandwich complete with a smoky chili glaze and lots of ranch. Supplement your meal with a milkshake, individual bottles of frozen rosé, caesar salads, fried brussels sprouts with kettle corn caramel, and puffy battered chicken nuggets with sweet and sour for dipping.
How To Cook A Wolf is the second restaurant from the team behind Tavolata. This place stands the test of time, and works for any scenario—whether alone at the bar eating bread with fennel honey butter or splitting five pastas between three people. You can’t go wrong with the gnocchi or ravioli, and make sure to order the braised short rib.
Eden Hill only seats 24 people. And eating there is a great excuse to wear those ritzy-looking pair of shoes that makes your ankles look like Charlize Theron’s. The food feels fancy, but nothing on the menu takes itself too seriously—like an overturned bowl of foie gras cake batter with a spatula shoved inside. It’s excellent for a big special occasion.
There are a few sushi spots in Queen Anne, but Moontree is the spot we can’t stop thinking about. The atmosphere is pretty casual, and you’ll find some great versions of fatty tuna belly and uni. But if nigiri isn’t your thing, the izakaya-style snacks are excellent. Spend some time with the very tender chicken karaage, or the crispy rice rectangles topped with spicy tuna that we’d eat as a snack in front of the TV.
If you’re only coming to this colorful little Danish bakery for one thing, it’s the Snitter—which sounds a lot like a quidditch term, but is what would result if a cinnamon roll mated with a cheese danish. Don’t think too hard about the logistics of that. Nielsen’s has been around for decades, and the pastries are why. Their marzipan almond cake is the kind of dessert that you’d buy for someone’s birthday, and then immediately eat a couple bites in your car during a red light.
If you like good pizza, good beer, and consuming both at the same time, The Masonry is your place. There are two locations, and we do have to give the edge to Fremont’s because there’s more space (and they serve pasta), but you can still order their signature charred margherita and amazing meatballs at their Queen Anne spot. Pop in with a friend, and after waiting for space at one of the few tables, grab a pint from the massive tap list and the mushroom pie with pancetta.
Grappa is the kind of restaurant-slash-wine bar that’s perfect for showing off your new haircut or taking someone on a fourth date. Or both, simultaneously. You can get anything from pappardelle to paella on the Mediterranean menu here, and if you’re trying to eat a little healthier, there’s a zucchini linguini (which we promise is food and not a children’s television show character). But our favorite dish here is the seafood risotto.
The New Orleans-style creole food at Toulouse Petit is really great - we especially like the BBQ shrimp with grits and seafood gumbo, and most importantly, the beignets with coffee glaze. They’re denser than traditional beignets, and we could drink the glaze instead of our morning latte. Plus, the antique-ish and dark dining room is covered in candles that look like they’re floating, so it works for big celebrations like a birthday, anniversary, or closing on a Seattle home after only sacrificing six things from your wishlist.
We all have personal demons. Like getting along with a boss, or jump squats. If gluten is yours, keep Bounty Kitchen on your shortlist of brunch spots. It’s a bright all-day cafe that serves excellent gluten-free pancakes with cinnamon butter and fruit compote, as well as egg and vegetable hashes. Order some avocado toast or the braised beef bowl if wheat, oats, rye, and related species are your friends. The place can get pretty busy during the brunch rush, so might have to wait a few minutes for a table.
A lot of taco counters work the same way. You order, you eat, you maybe drop some guacamole on your shirt, and then you leave. Malena’s is unlike other taquerias because, despite mostly being a takeout operation, you’ll get a basket of free chips and an actual molcajete of homemade salsa if you’re staying. It’s a nice touch, especially if you want a small bite before your carne asada or baja fish tacos come out.
The massive beer garden patio at Citizen feels like some kind of family reunion picnic. There are kitschy tablecloths, string lights, astroturf, and that basketball game you see at arcades that’s literally impossible to win. Only, instead of having to listen to your tipsy uncle reminisce on “the good old days,” you get to hang out with friends, drink beer from the outdoor bar, and eat a great combination of Korean bulgogi tacos and pear crisp crepes. Make this your day drinking place during the warmer months.