It's Worth Getting Sloppy For This Grilled Cheese Taco
Standard BakeryAddress and Info
South Lake Union
The Cronut™ is so 2013, and even the cretzel is more than a year old. This might not have as catchy a portmanteau-based name, but the croissant crossed with an everything bagel rivals its more cleverly named friends for best hybrid pastry. The crispy croissant is sprinkled with the spices from an everything bagel, sliced open, and spread with cream cheese before being closed back up and put on sale.
Sunset Fried ChickenAddress and Info
This was the summer of fried chicken. And as new restaurants, old haunts, and specialty shops battled it out for sandwich supremacy, Monica Dimas’ store-within-a-store at Rachel’s Ginger Beer rose to the top like the crispy shrapnel in a deep fryer. Nestled into a toasty bun with dill pickles and tangy slaw, this is the kind of sandwich whose crunch screams “summer!”
Walrus and the CarpenterAddress and Info
Pull up a chair at Walrus’ airy outdoor seating area and order a plate of the most gluttonous way to eat bivalves: deep-fried and served with a side of cilantro aioli.
Ramen Bushi-DoAddress and Info
Japan meets the Northwest in this unique summer specialty. Though it comes out looking like a composed Cobb salad, hiding underneath the chunks of salmon, slices of scallion, strings of cucumber, and cubes of tomato are thick house-made spinach noodles. The whole lot comes dressed in a slightly sweet sauce, ready to be mixed, slurped, and savored.
Ellenos YogurtAddress and Info
Pike Place (& other locations)
Ellenos is to other yogurt what Simone Biles is to other gymnasts: sure, they’re competing in the same sport, but they’re not playing the same game. Other yogurts are flip-flopping around in containers on grocery store shelves while Ellenos is sticking the landing in an open-topped cup, served up like an ice cream sundae for you to eat as you browse around at Pike Place, the U-District farmers market, or their other storefront locations.
45th Stop and Shop & Poke BarAddress and Info
Poke, the Hawaiian-style raw fish salad, has taken the summer by storm, and you don’t want to miss your chance to stand in line at a mini mart to taste what’s in your Instagram. Also, it’s fresh, cool, and healthful. Like summer… but more tangible, and in a bowl.
British fish & chips
Nosh the TruckAddress and Info
All around Seattle
When The Seattle Times announced the best fish & chips in town, the only people protesting were those who hadn’t yet availed themselves of Nosh’s beer-battered bounty. The only thing keeping these from being a perfect carbon copy of what you’d get at a British chippy is that they’re better. An impeccable Pacific cod fillet, minted mushy peas, and big fat fries, all wrapped up in faux newspaper.
SUSU Rolled Ice CreamAddress and Info
All around Seattle
If you think about noodles when you hear “Thai street food,” you’re doing it wrong: we’re talking ice cream now. SUSU brings the streetside treat to Seattle, pouring an ice cream base onto a flat griddle, then scraping it off in scrolls and adding creative toppings. In the S’mores Fun, you’ll get graham cracker, chocolate syrup poured over top, and a garnish of shaved chocolate and marshmallows. Just like camping, but with 100% less burnt marshmallow, dirt, and bears.
Humble PieAddress and Info
If we were this pizza, humble is the last thing we’d be. It comes with prosciutto, pulled pork, and bacon, plus it's served at a place with ample outdoor seating and picnic-style benches, making it the perfect summertime hang. Say hi to the chickens that live in the coop (and supply eggs to the restaurant) while you’re drinking local beers and waiting on your pie.
Taylor Shellfish Oyster BarAddress and Info
Capitol Hill (& other locations)
There’s no more avoiding it: if you’re going to live in Seattle, you’ve got to try a geoduck. Yup, that giant clam with the funny name that nobody can write about without mentioning its resemblance to male genitalia. Good thing in addition to being weird, it’s delicious: clean, crisp, imbued with the essence of the ocean. Amazing when drizzled with shiso oil and served with lemon zest, as it is at Taylor Shellfish’s oyster bars.
Jack's BBQAddress and Info
Put it on your calendar (Tuesdays only). Set an alarm (it starts at 5pm). Don’t be late (they run out). Come hungry (they’re about the size of a toddler). Order a Shiner Bock (it’s basically Texas here).
Beef fat fries
Butcher's TableAddress and Info
South Lake Union
What happens when a steakhouse re-invents the French fry? Something close to what would happen if a McDonald’s hash brown and a steak fry had a baby, but that baby had an X-Men-like genetic mutation that gave it super powers. In the somewhat paraphrased words of local hero Sir Mix-a-Lot, these fries are long, strong, and down to get their flavor on.
Hand-ripped lamb salad
Xi’an NoodlesAddress and Info
The noodles might be in the name, but the experts agree on the lamb salad as the sleeper hit. Thin slices of meat marinate in a pepper-spiked sauce that will get you heated, before the crunchy scallions and cooling cilantro chill you back out.
Double burger combo
Great State BurgerAddress and Info
Our national burger correspondent named this one of the best burgers in town, and called the topping the “most tangy American cheese [he'd] ever had.” He declared it a great all-around fast-casual burger, and we couldn’t agree more. But while he was focused on the burger, we’ll add that you don’t want to miss the crispy crinkle-cut fries or seasonal shakes, either.
Omakase at the sushi bar
WataruAddress and Info
I’m sure that Sushi Wataru’s table service is lovely. I’m sure that the guy off to the side, practically in the hallway between the sushi bar and the kitchen, is doing a fine job of turning out the sushi that you order -- even the version of omakase listed on the menu. I’m also sure that it’s nowhere near as good as what we’re getting at the counter, where the chef makes each piece, handing them over one by one, composing a symphony of flavors, playing with our palates, and giving a spiel on each piece’s origin and preparation.
1. Standard Bakery400 Fairview Ave N, Seattle
2. Sunset Fried Chicken Sandwiches1610 12th Ave, Seattle
3. Ramen Bushi-Do5625 221st Pl SE Ste 120, Issaquah
4. The Walrus and the Carpenter4743 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle
5. Ellenos1500 Pike Street #12, Seattle
6. 45th Stop N Shop & Poke Bar2323 N 45th St, Seattle
7. Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar410 Occidental Ave S, Seattle
8. Humble Pie525 Rainier Ave S, Seattle
9. Great State Burger3600 NE 45th St, Seattle
10. The Butcher's Table2121 Westlake Ave, Seattle
11. Xi'an Noodles5259 University Way NE, Seattle
12. Sushi Wataru6500-6512 24th Ave NE, Seattle
13. Jack's BBQ3942 Airport Way S, Seattle
Serving fresh pastries -- cookies, scones, muffins, croissants of all kinds -- healthy salads, and breakfast sandwiches, Standard Bakery is a go-to morning and lunch destination in its own right. The airy, industrial-chic spot boasts creative standouts like the everything croissant, a winning combination of chive cream cheese, sesame seeds, and onion brine. It's worth noting that the coffee is great they also cater, as an added bonus.
Located within Seattle staple Rachel's Ginger Beer, this store-within-a-store specializes in fried chicken sandwiches that have the ideal composition of crispy, flaky, and moist. The OG, topped with dill pickles, house-made cabbage slaw, and mayonnaise, is a fool-proof order, as is the slightly sweet General Tso's sandwich with daikon radish. Great happy hour deals make the counter-serve a popular late-afternoon haunt.
This minimalistic Japanese restaurant offers savory, slurp-worthy bowls of ramen that comes with housemade toppings like chicken and pork chashu, scallions, and unexpected additions like avocado, roasted tomato, and orange. Tucked into the traditional-looking menu are also specialty dishes like salmon mazemen, made with salmon, tomato, and housemade spinach noodles, and the curry tsukemen, a cold dish served with one part springly noodles, and one part bubbling curry-seasoned sauce.
This chic oyster bar serves neither walrus nor houses carpenters (that we know of) but it does dish out mounds of delicious shellfish in a comfortable atmosphere. Additionally, this cozy, neighborhood spot -- which has been recognized by The New York Times also serves incredible desserts, with highlights being maple bread pudding and roasted Medjool dates.
Ellenos Yogurt’s flavors are made with 100% natural fruit and toppings. Try the lemon curd with a bit of raspberry for a tasty. They've got free samples too.
Though the primary function of the Stop N Shop & Poke Bar is as convenience store, the latter half of its name is what draws crowds that curve between the aisles. Poke and sushi burritos are found here in generous quantities, and in four different varieties -- if you don't know what to choose, go for the customizable poke bowl, which is stuffed with local fish, topped with avocado, onion, carrot and house sauce, and best of all, affordable.
Before it opened shop, Taylor Shellfish was providing oysters, clams, mussels, and crab to most of the city’s chefs. Now with several of its own locations, this oyster bar continues to serve all seafood in its purest form. Not to mention that the selection of draft beers and wine is worth drinking your way through. It seems like it would be some sort of Seattle stereotype that people spend their pre-football-game time drinking craft beers and slurping raw oysters, but that’s why we love it here, no?
Humble Pie’s Whole Hog pizza makes use of the entire pig. From bacon and pulled pork to prosciutto, you are not messing around when you pick up one of these pizzas. When one of these shows up at the party, you know it’s time to pig out.
Great State Burger is a good ol' fashioned American burger joint in Laurelhurst (there’s a second downtown location, too). You'll find tasty burgers, rich milkshakes, crinkle-cut fries, and speedy service inside this minimal, contemporary space. They keep their burgers simple and offer them as singles and doubles -- all of them made with grass-fed, organically raised beef. House-made pickles are an optional add-on, while organic chocolate and vanilla shakes are a must.
A swanky, modern steakhouse, The Butcher's Table will have you feeling luxurious as you dine on some of the finest meats in town, including Mishima Reserve Wagyu beef, their specialty. They boast a fine dining room, a spirited bar, and live music every night. You'll also want to hit up their retail arm, which offers house-smoked meats and gourmet to-go sandwiches made with tasty skirt steak, brisket, and more.
This U District noodle spot might project a cafeteria feel, but the noodle dishes are nothing like your late night dorm take-out. Whether bathed in oil, hot meat, or sauteed vegetables, the noodles here are perfectly al dente, enough so that you'll find your generous three-fistfuls of carbs not noodles enough. The herb and spice combination in every dish is also notable, especially so in underrated hits like the pepper-spiked, hand-ripped lamb salad.
Small and quiet, tucked away on what's quickly becoming Seattle's hottest restaurant street corner (see also: Salare), this sushi spot is the tortoise to Sushi Kashiba's showy downtown hare. Even after receiving three stars from the Seattle Times, it seems that the secret of Seattle's best sushi stays quiet.
With all your fixings from buttermilk hush puppies to Frito pie, this Texas-inspired BBQ joint will make you feel like you're really in the lone star state. Their slow-cooked meat is served with your choice of sides, plus bread, pickles, jalapeños, and BBQ sauce. Jack's is closed on Sunday and Monday, but who could really eat BBQ seven out of seven days a week? (Our max is five.) But after just one hearty serving of their smoked goodness, you'll be tappin' out until next week.