Expert recommendations for the best places to eat in four price ranges: budget ($), moderate ($$), expensive ($$$), and luxury ($$$$)


Cafe Besalu
“Some of the most buttery, delicious pastries you’ll encounter in town, or anywhere.”—Sara Dickerman, food and dining editor, Seattle Magazine. Locals’ favorite for croissants, brioches, and other freshly baked treats; located in Ballard. 5909 24th Avenue N.W.; tel. +1 206 789 1463.

“The best lunch in the city. The porchetta sandwich is a meaty, greasy delight—tender roast pork, a fabulous garlicky schmear, and a crisp baguette.”—Anna Roth, Northwest editor, Italian deli run by Armandino Batali, father of New York chef Mario; long, worth-it wait for sandwiches and daily pasta specials; located in Pioneer Square. 309 Third Avenue S; tel. +1 206 621 8772.


Matt’s in the Market
“No-nonsense, delicious fare: Its ‘honkin hot’ tuna sandwich—seared with hot pickle relish on potato bread—is a lunchtime all-star.”—Sara Dickerman. Casual, newly renovated spot above Pike Place Market; market-fresh salads and seafood; more upscale dinner menu. 94 Pike Street, Suite 32; tel. +1 206 467 7909.

Green Leaf
“Delectable, first-rate Vietnamese dishes built on the pho model of richly seasoned noodle soups and pungent sauces to mix in.”Eric Amrine, author, Top 10 Seattle. Don’t miss the banh xeo, a savory crepe filled with pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts; small dining room in the International District. 418 Eighth Avenue S.; tel. +1 206 340 1388.

Vios Café and Marketplace
“The food is elegant—octopus salad, lamb chops with ratatouille—but the best feature for parents is the ‘kid pit’ with toys and books.”—Maria Dolan, author, Outside Magazine’s Urban Adventure: Seattle. Friendly Greek restaurant in Capitol Hill; travel books to browse; take-out available. 903 19th Avenue E.; tel. +1 206 329 3236.

“Very hip scene for great house-made pasta.”—Kathy Casey, author, Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table. Rustic Italian fare created by chef Ethan Stowell; urban loft space with concrete floors and a large communal table; serves food late into the night; located in Belltown. 2323 Second Avenue; tel. +1 206 838 8008.

Le Pichet
“Sophisticated, urbane, with an utterly decadent chicken liver mousse.”—Katy Calcott, author, The Food Lover’s Guide to Seattle. French charcuterie stars on a small menu; intimate candle-lit space with slate tabletops and a zinc bar near Pike Place Market; open late night. 1933 First Avenue; tel. +1 206 256 1499.


Palace Kitchen
“Like chef Tom Douglas, casual, hearty, and fun, with big portions of salmon finished by the best dessert in town, the signature triple coconut cream pie.”—Jim Gullo, author, Seattle & the Olympic Peninsula for Dummies. Apple-wood grill with daily rotisserie specials; popular horseshoe-shaped bar; located downtown. 2030 Fifth Avenue; tel. +1 206 448 2001.

Flying Fish
Fresh fish from around the world served with local organic produce; bistro-style dining room and outdoor sidewalk tables; small plates or platters to share; oyster happy hour at the popular bar; located in Belltown. 2234 First Avenue; tel. +1 206 728 8595.

“Seasonal, local cuisine in a really cool old house with mod tables and chairs.”—Kathy Casey. Chef Jason Wilson’s Northwest American organic fare; menu changes daily; located in Madison Valley. 2319 E. Madison Street; tel. +1 206 302 7874.

“Organic, local, and humanely raised (using eco-friendly and sustainable methods), but you never think about that hard-line commitment while eating joys such as dainty duck burgers with heirloom tomato ketchup.”—Rebekah Denn, food writer, Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Chef Maria Hines’ certified organic restaurant; located in a converted bungalow in Wallingford. 1411 N. 45th Street; tel. +1 206 633 0801.

Harvest Vine
“Knocks your socks off good. One of the best Spanish restaurants in the U.S.”—Katy Calcott. Basque tapas prepared by Spanish chef Joseba Jiménez de Jiménez; small wine-cellar-inspired dining room with an open kitchen; located in Madison Valley. 2701 E. Madison Street; tel. +1 206 320 9771.


Fresh Pacific Northwest cuisine with a French twist, created by “chef in the hat” fedora-wearing Thierry Rautureau. A la carte or multicourse tasting menus (including a five-course vegetarian option); charming cottage turned restaurant in Madison Valley; excellent wine list. 2808 E. Madison Street; tel. +1 206 325 7442.

“At its heart, a top-of-the-line steakhouse, with glacial-cold martinis, great crunchy salads, exquisite prime meat, and a high-roller’s wine list.”—Sara Dickerman. Open since 1950, this Northwest classic perches on a hillside and offers dramatic views; dark wood and stone interiors; impeccable service; located in Queen Anne. 2576 Aurora Avenue N.; tel. +1 206 283 3313.

The Herbfarm
Foodies pilgrimage northeast of Seattle for award-winning, nine-course meals created by chef Jerry Traunfeld. Regional wines paired with dinner, which can last four to five hours; located across the street from the Willows Lodge in Woodinville. 14590 N.E. 145th Street; tel. +1 425 485 5300.


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