When it comes to Seattle food, most of us think coffee and salmon. And to be fair, Seattle pretty much nails both of those. But with a citywide enthusiasm for all things edible, Seattle is making a name for itself as one of America’s true culinary capitals. Here are 19 of our favorite bites in the Emerald City.
19 Things You Need to Eat in Seattle Right Now
Doughnuts! Oysters! Cheese!
Lemon Curd Doughnut At General Porpoise
First ingredient? Clouds. Second ingredient? Fairy dust. Seriously, we’ve never tasted anything like these pillowy, sugar-dusted, custard-stuffed yeast doughnuts. All the flavors are fantastic, but we especially love the contrast of the surprisingly tart lemon curd.
1020 E. Union St., 206-900-8700 or gpdoughnuts.com
The Daily Special At Il Corvo
A restaurant that’s open only at lunchtime on weekdays and serves only pasta seems kind of like a recipe for failure (much as we love a good workday carb coma). But when you serve the best pasta in town (or, arguably, the country), you still get lines around the corner every day. The menu changes daily, but we’ve yet to get a dud.
217 James St.; 206-538-0999 or ilcorvopasta.com
Kale Noodles With Blackened Pork And Spicy Miso At Revel
Everyone raves about the short-rib dumplings at this French-Korean mash-up, and an order of those should certainly be on your table. But we really can’t stop thinking about this umami-rich, pleasantly green-hued noodle bowl.
403 N. 36th St.; 206-547-2040 or revelseattle.com
Cinnamon Cardamom Braid At Piroshky Piroshky
Two things will hit you as you approach this 25-year-old Pike Place Market stand: the line of tourists spilling out the door and the incredible smell of butter-rich Russian pastries. Don’t let the first detract from the second. You’ll want a not-too-sweet cinnamon cardamom braid for breakfast, and probably a smoked-salmon-filled piroshky (or hand-pie) for later.
Multiple locations in Seattle; 206-441-6068 or piroshkybakery.com
Freshly Shucked Oysters At The Walrus & The Carpenter
It’s much lauded as the best oyster bar in the country, and with good reason—the selection of local oysters is unparalleled, and that’s not to mention the killer cocktail menu, the inspired small plates and the gorgeous marble bar itself.
4743 Ballard Ave. NW; 206-395-9227 or thewalrusbar.com
Chicken Teriyaki At Nasai Teriyaki
A true Seattle classic: Chicken thighs smothered in sticky sweet teriyaki sauce and served over white rice. Add gyoza and salad to make it a lunch special—it’ll still cost less than a Big Mac.
Multiple locations in Seattle; 425-869-1916 or nasaiteriyaki.com
Grilled Cheese At Beecher's Handmade Cheese
If you looked up grilled cheese in the dictionary, this would be it: Golden crust on the outside and warm, stringy melted goodness on the inside. Plus, the cheese is so fresh, you can actually pull up a stool and watch it being made as you chow down.
1600 Pike Pl.; 206-956-1964 or beechershandmadecheese.com
Bánh Mì At Q Café And Bakery
There are excellent Banh Mi all over Seattle, and the secret is always in the crusty baguettes, almost all of which come from one place—Q Bakery. We recommend cutting out the middleman and heading straight there for your sandwich. It doesn’t get any fresher, people.
3818 S. Graham St.; 206-725-9193 or facebook.com/pages/Q-Bakery-Sandwiches
Stumptown Coffee Ice Cream At Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream
Hey, we had to get some locally roasted, organic, fair-trade coffee on this list somewhere. When it comes to coffee ice cream, trust us (and the lines that are perpetually out the door): Molly Moon’s is the place.
Multiple locations in Seattle; 206-547-5105 or mollymoon.com
Market Chowder At Pike Place Chowder
You can’t go wrong with any of the standard chowders at this Pike Place Market favorite. But for the freshest possible flavors, go for the Market Chowder, which is the chef’s choice of whatever was caught that day.
1530 Post Alley; 206-267-2537 or pikeplacechowder.com
Pad Thai At Little Uncle
A far cry from the gummy tangles of noodles that we’re used to getting with our standard Thai takeout orders. These are the real deal—toothsome and flavorful, and served with peanuts, roasted chiles, and palm sugar, just like on the streets of Chiang Mai.
1523 E. Madison St., Ste 101; 206-549-6507 or littleuncleseattle.com
Pistachio Croissant At Amandine Bakeshop
This sophisticated little French bakery has some of our favorite macarons (in fancy-pants flavors like yuzu and blood orange) and a perfectly crackly pistachio croissant.
1424 11th Ave.; 206-948-2097 or amandineseattle.com
Salmon Nigiri At Sushi Kashiba
As most sushi nerds know, the only way to go is ordering omakase— the chef’s tasting menu. But if you’re going à la carte, don’t miss the nigiri made from locally caught sockeye salmon.
86 Pine St. #1, 206-441-8844 or sushikashiba.com
Canlis Salad At Canlis
Since 1950, Canlis has been Seattle’s most iconic and revered fine-dining restaurant. Set high in the hills in a gorgeous mid-century modern house (we’d kill for those views), it’s a dream dinner location. For 65 years, the eight-course tasting menu has started with the same salad—romaine, bacon, oregano, Parmesan, mint, croutons and the most addictive dressing we’ve ever had. Swoon.
2576 Aurora Ave. N.; 206-283-3313 or canlis.com