SEAReview

photo credit: Suzi Pratt

dining room interior with chandeliers, booths, and white tablecloths
8.5

The Pink Door

Italian

DowntownPike Place Market

$$$$Perfect For:BirthdaysClassic EstablishmentDate NightOutdoor/Patio SituationPre-Theater EatsSpecial OccasionsUnique Dining Experience
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Even if you’re a local, it’s hard to avoid Pike Place Market, but there are plenty of reasons to try. The slightly insufferable hub for Seattle tourism is full of overpriced cantaloupes and hoards of zombified out-of-towners waiting in line while getting screamed at by the Piroshky Piroshky people.

Then there’s The Pink Door. This 1981-born Italian classic in Post Alley is as iconically Seattle as the market itself. And while a meal here is not quite as jaw-dropping as it once was, it's reason enough to go to Pike Place on purpose.

The restaurant is an escape from Downtown chaos. Beyond the unmarked blush-painted door, a short descent down a flight of stairs unlocks what is essentially a cabaret lounge that happens to serve linguine and clams. A full bar glows with stained glass. People clink trumpet flutes filled with prosecco, and aerial performers casually dangle above plates of caciocavallo-stuffed arancini. Even if all you did here was grab a cocktail, snack on fettunta, and listen to the jazz musicians, it’d be an effortlessly fun night out. 

spinach lasagna with marinara and besiamella

photo credit: Nate Watters

patio with colorful tables

photo credit: Chona Kasinger

Dining room interior with string lights and a stage

photo credit: Nate Watters

table with pappardelle bolognese, caesar salad, fettunta, and tuna crudo

photo credit: Nate Watters

Bar with stained glass and short barstools

photo credit: Nate Watters

spinach lasagna with marinara and besiamella
patio with colorful tables
Dining room interior with string lights and a stage
table with pappardelle bolognese, caesar salad, fettunta, and tuna crudo
Bar with stained glass and short barstools

But don't even think about ignoring The Pink Door’s pièce de résistance: the lasagna. This majestic, bubbling display of layered spinach pasta wields the power to distract you from talented acrobats and the occasional menu misfire (like dry meatballs or underseasoned paglia e fieno). Order it for the pools of besciamella-infiltrated marinara, for the bruleed bits of cheese and noodle sheet that cling to the crock, and for the satisfaction that can only occur upon swiping bread ends through the basil-oiled aftermath. 

If you're lucky enough to secure a reservation months in advance, treat The Pink Door like your special occasion go-to when excitement is a requirement. It works well for all seasons—be it twirling pappardelle ragu and drinking Negronis in the winter, or securing real estate on the covered deck during summertime. Yes, there are other great Italian restaurants in Seattle that are way easier to get into—but this momentary escape from reality is worth braving the crowds, parking, and raw fish smells of Pike Place.

Food Rundown

The Pink Door image

Pink Door Caesar

The dressing is creamy but not heavy, there's lots of parmigiano reggiano, and the fennel-dusted croutons add an earthy crunch. At least one plate needs to hit the table.
The Pink Door image

La Fettunta

The Pink Door’s fettunta is grilled bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with “the finest of olive oils.” It’s magnificent in its oily, charred saltiness. This is a must-order, and it’s important to swipe it in the various sauces you’ll encounter during the meal.
Plate of tuna crudo topped with olives, oranges, and shallots

photo credit: Nate Watters

Ahi Tuna Crudo

Recently alive ahi with citrus, fried capers, and castelvetrano olives. A light summery appetizer that’s perfect with a glass of bubbles.
The Pink Door image

photo credit: Nate Watters

Pappardelle Al Ragu Bolognese

If you love bolognese so much that you have ground beef running through your veins, well, that sounds dangerous. But it also sounds like you’ll want The Pink Door’s bolognese: firm pappardelle, a creamy tomato-and-meat sauce, and a pile of parm shavings on top.
The Pink Door image

photo credit: Stan Lee

Spaghetti And Mama’s Meatballs

The spaghetti is cooked perfectly, but the meatballs here are such a miss. They're dry, tough, and don't have that fluffy bounce that meatballs should possess.
The Pink Door image

photo credit: Nate Watters

Lasagna Pink Door

This is the best lasagna in Seattle, and our favorite thing to order at The Pink Door. Fresh, toothy spinach pasta layers between besciamella and pesto, then gets topped with marinara and baked. It’s decadent but not overly rich, and there’s a certain magic that happens when all three sauces swirl together on your fork. Even if you order it for the table and everyone only gets one bite, eating the thing is mandatory.

Paglia E Fieno

There was a time when we used to worship everything The Pink Door did with mushrooms and herbs in pasta. This paglia e fieno, however, is undersauced and undersalted.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

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