Food & Drink

Seattle's 11 Most Underrated Restaurants, According to Experts

Published On 10/08/2014 Published On 10/08/2014
Cafe Pettirosso
Restaurant Roux
Flickr/Patrick Crowley
Bradley Foster/Thrillist
Boat Street Cafe
Flickr/Curtis Cronn
La Rustica Restaurant
Nell's Restaurant
Chona Kasinger/Thrillist
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1. Cafe Pettirosso 1101 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122

Cafe Pettirosso serves up quaint homestyle eats like Shepard's Pie layered w/ seasonal veggies, taters & Painted Hill ground chuck, as well as grilled quail w/ radicchio & olives, and a Bolito Misto stew w/ beef brisket, chicken leg & sausage. Cocktails include the classics (Old Fashioned, Moscow Mule), plus more inventive tipples like the the vodka- and Creme de Viollette-based Purple Rain.

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2. Pair 5501 30th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105

This quaint neighborhood place is good for a first or fiftieth date. The menu's got nettle soup, roast chicken, gratin, bread pudding, and more.

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3. Restaurant Roux 4201 N Fremont Ave, Seattle, WA 98103

Helmed by the guy who brought the po boy to Seattle with the Where Ya at Matt? food truck, Restaurant Roux is Matt Lewis' brick-and-mortar extension offering up even more Southern and French Creole eats in Fremont. His New Orleans roots, French culinary training, and Pacific Northwestern location all come together in the form of comforting dishes like buttermilk fried chicken, grilled trout, and ham-brined pork chops. And with names like Red-Footed Baby, Purple Skirt, and Doctor Boggs, even the handful of affordable cocktails carry on this spot's Louisiana spirit.

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4. Ristorante Machiavelli 1215 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101

Open since 1988, this is a great Italian joint to get some sweet pasta. Definitely try the lasagna with spinach noodles and chicken livers.

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5. Pomerol 127 N 36th St, Seattle, WA 98103

Helmed by a guy who used to own the Pig 'N Whistle in Greenwood and the late-lamented June, this Fremont Frenchtaurant is putting a composed Euro twist on Northwest ingredients via dishes like duck confit, fire-roasted beef short ribs with confit shallot, and more.

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6. The Fat Hen 1418 NW 70th St, Seattle, WA 98117

Contrary to its name, The Fat Hen is rather small -- dainty, even -- with white wainscoting and marble-topped tables. The daytime eatery is a sunny neighborhood nook, popular for breakfast, lunch, and weekend brunch, with only 20 seats available. Under Italian ownership, the Seattle favorite offers a menu featuring the best of Italian and American eats, in addition to French pastries delivered daily from Honoré bakery right across the street. The cafe serves a full breakfast menu of classic morning dishes (mimosas included), but the kitchen's standout mainstay is the "egg bake" -- two eggs baked in a pool of rich house-made tomato basil sauce, served to each guest in an individual cast iron skillet topped with generous portions of ham, mozzarella, pork sausage and mushrooms.

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7. Boat Street Cafe 3131 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

No longer actually on Boat St or in the University District, this eatery slings Provençal-style food in a casual, semi-subterranean space.

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8. Maneki 304 6th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

Maneki is the last surviving restaurant from Seattle’s once bustling Japantown, so you know they must be doing something right. The family-owned restaurant has established itself as a local favorite. Fun—almost unbelievable—fact: in the 1930s, one of Maneki’s dishwashers was Takeo Miki, who later served as Japan’s prime minister. What’s even more unbelievable is how good Maneki’s sushi is.

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9. La Rustica 4100 Beach Dr SW, Seattle, WA 98116

One of Seattle's classic date-spots, this boot-foodery slings equally classic pasta dishes. Plus, it's got a great outdoor patio.

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10. Nell's Restaurant 6804 E Green Lake Way N, Seattle, WA 98115

The casually sophisticated eatery opposite Green Lake offers their locally sourced seasonal fare a la carte or as part of a five-course tasting menu.

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11. Golden Beetle 1744 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107

Golden Beetle serves Eastern Mediterranean eats (that're a staggering 95% certified wild/organic) in a 90-seat blue-trimmed space that's lit by custom-cut glass lanterns.