James Beard Award-winning chef Renee Erickson opened this steakhouse in 2015, and it immediately went on the bucket list of every meat lover in America. Bateau sources its meat from grass-fed heritage cattle raised on a ranch in central Washington and then dry-ages it for at least 21 days. The night's available cuts are listed on chalkboards on the dining room wall, adding a bit of French flair to the bright, bistro-style space. This ain't your dad's steakhouse—but he'll thank you for bringing him here.
Perhaps the city's most famous fine-dining spot, Canlis has been serving outstanding Pacific Northwest cuisine since the 1950s. Today, the restaurant delivers a four-course tasting menu (think caramelized mussels, dry-aged leg and belly of lamb, and Japanese sweet potato with yuzu sherbet and cocoa butter cake) in a beautiful midcentury-modern dining room that looks out on Lake Union.
It's hard to get much farther from the American South than Seattle, yet, surprisingly, one of nation's most acclaimed soul food restaurants is this spot, which won the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant in America in 2018. Chef Edouardo Jordan turns out modern versions of classics such as oxtail, pigs' ears and fried chicken in a stylish dining room in the northeast neighborhood of Ravenna. Be warned: The standards here are high, but so is the calorie count.
The Taylor family has been farming oysters in Puget Sound for more than 100 years, and today they run six seafood restaurants and stands in and around Seattle. Our favorite is the location in Melrose Market, which displays tanks full of oysters right in the middle of the dining room, plus a menu that offers mussels, geoduck clams and more. Do not miss the cracked whole Dungeness crab.
Renee Erickson's Ballard seafood spot takes its name from a Lewis Carroll poem about a couple of characters who devour a bed of oysters. You'll want to follow suit when you snag a seat in the small industrial space, which specializes in raw oysters but also offers everything from steamed clams to grilled sardines to a tasty tartare, along with a wine list that's almost as long as the line of people waiting outside.
If you've never eaten at a Korean steakhouse, Joule is a good place to start. Husband-and-wife team Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi learned from Alain Ducasse before migrating to Seattle. They apply their classical training to Korean flavors at their airy countertop Wallingford restaurant, slinging everything from scallion pancakes with smoked salmon roe to spicy rice cakes with chorizo to the unforgettable kalbi short ribs with grilled kimchi. The desserts, too, are excellent.
This Fremont restaurant isn't a large place, but it has earned a huge following for its take on soba (buckwheat) noodles. Chef Mutsuko Soma learned how to hand-make noodles in traditional style in Japan, and in 2019 she was named a James Beard Award semifinalist. If you're up for a slightly boozier taste of Japanese tradition, go next door to Hannyatou, Kamonegi's sister sake bar.
This popular Pike Place restaurant, overseen by Shiro Kashiba, presents an elevated take on sushi—the food looks almost as good as it tastes. You'll need to plan ahead to reserve a spot at the sushi counter, but you'll be glad you did when the fresh selections on the daily omakase menu appear. This is the closest you'll get to Jiro without booking a flight to Tokyo—after all, Kashiba trained with the famed sushi master Jiro Ono.
Just a few doors down from JuneBaby in Ravenna, this tiny neighborhood spot has served impeccable Edomae sushi since 2015. There are two nightly seatings at the sushi counter, and there's only one option to order: chef Kotaro Kumita's omakase. Don't worry, you're in good hands: Kumita trained with the revered Shiro Kashiba.
The first thing you notice upon entering this snug Capitol Hill cocktail bar are the bottles. A self-described "whiskey and bitters emporium," Canon boasts one of the best spirits selections in the country and uses a library ladder to reach the 4,000-plus labels lining the walls. If you find the menu overwhelming, there are tasting flights, including the "Samurai" (three Nikka whiskies), the "Smoke Bomb" (three Islay Scotches) and "The Ghost of Pappy Past" (three Old Fitzgerald Bourbons, clocking in at a cool $1,051).
Speakeasies may feel pretty overdone, but this small Capitol Hill joint livens up the concept by mixing in a little Filipino flair. In addition to the highly regarded seasonal cocktail menu, the kitchen churns out lumpia, adobo rice bowls and toasted chicharrones. If you want to get through the unmarked door, be sure to make a reservation.
In mixology, a Rob Roy is a variation of the classic Manhattan that uses Scotch instead of rye. This Belltown lounge takes the inventive spirit of its namesake to heart by creating some of the snazziest drinks in the city (it got a lot of press for serving a rum punch mixed with real gunpowder). The vibe is classic dark leather and low light—except during the holidays, when the bar tends to go all-out with Christmas kitsch.
This relentlessly whimsical Fremont bar has tropical wallpaper and dinosaur decorations inside, as well as a spacious patio for those averse to sensory overload. The drinks are zippy (try a Memory Blade, made with bourbon, apricot, honey, ginger and lavender) and the food menu provides one last twist: steamed dumplings from local favorite Little Ting's.
The Pacific Northwest is heaving with craft breweries, but this Ballard pub thinks more globally, offering 64 draft beers and more than 300 bottles from around the world. The bottle list is particularly thorough when it comes to Belgian ales, which the food menu complements with international classics such as Belgian moules frites and stoofvlees (Flemish beef stew), all served in an expansive beer hall-style space.
Founded in 2009, this civic-minded craft brewery specializes in pale ales and IPAs made with Pacific Northwest hops, as well as an award-winning series of barrel-aged beers. (Adventuresome drinkers will want to try the brewery's experimental Black Heron Project line, made with local grains and fruits.) The large outdoor beer garden, located just a couple of blocks from Lake Union, is immensely popular.
Another beloved spot among Fremont and Ballard's many craft breweries is Stoup, which counts among its owners a forensic chemist and the first female certified Cicerone (essentially a beer sommelier) in Washington state. The always-busy industrial taproom is decorated with a collage of "beeraphernalia," while the award-winning brews range from German-style hefeweizens to a cacao-nib imperial milk stout aged in bourbon barrels.
Located in Pioneer Square—near the stadiums of the Seahawks, Sounders and Mariners—this bright café roasts all its beans on-site and is renowned for friendly service. If you love the beans, you can subscribe to a delivery club, or visit the second Elm café, at the buzzy 9th & Thomas building in South Lake Union.
At this large, gallery-like café, beans are sourced from a rotating list of roasters, and the on-site Espresso Lab teaches customers how to get the most from their beans and machines. Music lovers will appreciate the location: The café is located on the premises of KEXP, a prominent radio station that hosts hundreds of live performances each year.
Photo courtesy of Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room
Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room
Seattle and Starbucks go together like, well, Seattle and Starbucks, and the best way to experience this corporate marriage is at the chain's original reserve roastery. The Capitol Hill space is a temple to modern industrial design and caffeination, and the menu offers everything from espresso flights to affogatos to wine and cocktails.