Food & Drink

50 Things to Eat Before You Die: The Seattle Food Bucket List

Published On 08/13/2015 Published On 08/13/2015
Flickr/saipanrick
Naomi Tomky/Thrillist
Naomi Tomky/Thrillist
Molly Wizenberg/Delancey
Naomi Tomky/Thrillist
Ma'ono Fried Chicken & Whisky
Flickr/Joey Rozier
Coyle's Bakeshop
Naomi Tomky/Thrillist
Naomi Tomky/Thrillist
Naomi Tomky/Thrillist
Geraldine's Counter
Columbia City Bakery
Revel
Naomi Tomky/Thrillist
Chris Wong
Weldon Mar
Naomi Tomky/Thrillist
Naomi Tomky/Thrillist
Wedgwood Broiler
DahliaBakery TDR
Fran's Chocolates
Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Mee Sum Pastry 1533 Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA 98101

With BBQ pork and supersize potstickers, Mee Sum Pastry is a tried and true institution in the market. It's a no frills, fast moving grab ‘n go joint.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Il Corvo 217 James St, Seattle, WA 98104 (Downtown)

Lunchtime is your only chance to score some of the incredible handmade pastas at Pioneer Square's Il Corvo, where the menu changes daily. Guests can expect entrees along the lines of tagliatelle with wild boar ragu, gigli with broccolini, chilies, and garlic, and other similarly sophisticated pasta dishes. Be sure to check out Il Corvo's website for daily offerings.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. Nasai Teriyaki 4305 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105 (University District)

With large portions, stand-out teriyaki, and yakisoba noodles, this student-favorite is a no-brainer for Asian eats in the University District.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. The Walrus and the Carpenter 4743 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 (Ballard)

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.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. Delancey 1415 NW 70th St, Seattle, WA 98117 (Phinney Ridge)

It’s no wonder Delancey has some passionate fans—this Ballard pizzeria is home to some of Seattle’s best tasting (and looking) pizzas. The wood-fired pies come with toppings ranging from the traditional, high quality (think Zoe’s pepperoni), to the quirky and seasonal (think Padrón peppers). Pro tip: follow this bacon-y and onion-y pie with some of the D’s bourbon-roasted peaches. It also has the cookie to end all cookies: a soft bittersweet chocolate chip cookie made with gray salt.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. Kurt Farm Shop 1424 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 (Capitol Hill)

Quite literally a shop of goods from the farm, Kurt Farm Shop offers cheese, ice cream (some of the city's best), plants and flowers all from Kurtwood Farms on Vashon Island.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. Maximilien 81 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101

At this French restaurant, diners can most frequently be found eating happy hour mussels (bathed in white wine, garlic, and parsley) while dining al fresco on the deck. Get at it.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. Ma'ono Fried Chicken & Whiskey 4437 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116 (West Seattle)

Ma'ono means flavor. Flavor means Hawaiian cuisine. This Junction joint is helmed by island native Chef Mark Fuller, who sources ingredients from the Northwest and the Pacific Rim to bring Seattle authentic Hawaiian dishes like poke and the beef- and sausage-based Loco Moco. It wouldn't be a visit to Ma-ono, however, without a round of chicken, twice-fried and umami spiced, and a least a little taste of their 40+ bourbons, ryes, single malts, imported, and domestic whiskys, either on their own or in a house cocktail.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Canlis 2576 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109 (Queen Anne)

The finest of Seattle's relatively few fine dining destinations, Canlis is worth it alone for its gorgeous views of Lake Union and unusual setting inside a refurbished mid century modern home. But Canlis also brings the heat with an unbeatable version of Seattle's signature Dungeness crab cakes, and possibly the city's best steak.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. Coyle's Bakeshop 8300 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103 (Greenwood)

After a couple of years as a pop up shop, Rachel Coyle has opened her brick and mortar location in Greenwood. Stop by to get some of her magical croissant-pretzel hybrids (called cretzels, naturally), strawberry tarts, savory pastries, and brownies.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
11. Crumble & Flake Patisserie 1500 E Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98122 (Capitol Hill)

The dude with the dopest resume in Seattle baking (Canlis, Mistral) is now slinging his butter-heavy, mostly breakfast-inspired pastries from this small Olive Way shop, featuring impeccably arranged and easy to pronounce offerings like kouign amann, and scones, as well as desserts like macaroons and a cream puff, which Suge Knight has been trying to order since 1996.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
12. Miyabi 45th 2208 N 45th St, Seattle, WA 98103 (Wallingford)

Formerly known as Soma, Miyabi 45th is Wallingford’s hole-in-the-wall joint for modern Japanese food. While the focal point of the menu is no longer Soma’s famous soba, it still reps the toothsome, buckwheat noodles, hot or cold (try the braised beef cheek soba bowl). Miyabi also offers sushi and sashimi, tempura, and unconventional items like uni shots (with quail egg, shiro ponzu, and wasabi), and foie gras tofu. If you find yourself craving Miyabi 45th’s sushi but can’t make it to Wallingford, stop by sister restaurant Miyabi Sushi in Southcenter and Tacoma.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
13. Salumi 309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104 (Pioneer Square)

Helmed by Marilyn and Armandino Batali (yes, as in Mario's parents), this contemporary incarnation of a traditional Italian salumeria prepares gourmet cured meats. Once a small neighborhood deli, Salumi has become a major contender in Seattle's culinary scene, selling individual orders of its artfully prepared products en masse in addition to filling wholesale orders for local restaurants. A partial open kitchen allows customers to watch the Batali family roll chorizo and prep specials like hand-pulled gnocchi. Hot and cold sandwiches, stuffed with the likes of sopressata and meatballs, are available to-go at the counter.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
14. The Independent Pizzeria 4235 E Madison Street, Seattle, WA 98112 (Madison Park)

This beachside pizza shop in Madison Park open by a former sommelier turned dough slinger serves New York/Neapolitan style mash-ups. Expect creatively topped but not the over the top pies like the Stevedore with salami and Little Mama's hot peppers or the Twin Peaks with fontina and cremini mushrooms. The tiny, eclectically-furnished space is cozy and quirky.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
15. Jebena Cafe 1510 NE 117th St, Seattle, WA 98125 (North Seattle)

This Ethiopian cafe is one of a decent number in Seattle, but Jebena's top notch food and quaint atmosphere together set it apart from the others. One order of their Meat Combination I or II is enough to serve two, and at around $15 a plate it's super affordable.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
16. Un Bien 7302.5 15th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98117 (Ballard)

Un Bien serves tasty Caribbean-inspired sandwiches, like the Smokin' Thighs (marinated and grilled boneless chicken thighs) and the Caribbean Roast (slow roasted, marinated pork shoulder). Sandwiches at this vibrant island shack spot are served on a toasted baguette, smothered with aioli, and topped with fresh cilanto, pickled jalapeños, and caramelized onions. They can (and should) be ordered with sides of fire-roasted corn and rice & beans.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
17. Paseo Caribbean Restaurant 4225 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103 (Fremont)

A cash-only counter-serve in Fremont, Paseo has garnered a mass following thanks to authentic Caribbean food that's as vibrant as the salmon-and-teal shack itself. There are plenty of sandwiches and platters of roast chicken, grilled pork, and seared scallops to choose from, but without question, the thing to order is the Caribbean Roast, a tender sandwich overflowing with slow-roasted pork shoulder coated in a garlicky aioli and topped with cilantro, pickled jalapeños, and caramelized onions. The lightly toasted baguette soaks up only so much of all the rich juices, so prepare to get a little messy. There aren't many tables, so eat quickly and relinquish your seat to the next crazed customer.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
18. Staple & Fancy 4739 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 (Ballard)

This place's name says it all. Chef Ethan Stowell offers à la carte "Staple" choices, as well as a multi-course "Fancy" chef's tasting menu. The former includes a variety of Italian-inspired eats, like gnocchi with housemade fennel sausage and braised lamb shank, while the latter includes $55 worth of the chef's choice. Either way, you can't go wrong.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
19. Maneki 304 6th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104 (Downtown)

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.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
20. Mashiko 4725 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116 (West Seattle)

Chef and owner Hajime Sato has dedicated Mashiko to being a fully sustainable sushi bar: fish and other products used in the sushi are all chosen with this concept in mind and often teaches food classes at Diane's Market Kitchen. You know your meal isn't only good for the environments but also that it's made from the highest quality ingredients. Try the noodle stir-fry in all its fat, chewy glory—white udon noodles are pan fried with bite-size pieces of teriyaki chickens, thin strips of carrots, and green onions.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
21. Geraldine's Counter 4872 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118 (Columbia City)

Deep in Columbia City, Geraldine’s Counter takes breakfast very seriously. Closed daily at 3pm, the place serves a hearty brunch menu of classic American comfort food, offering six omelette specials in addition to every egg, pancake, bacon, or French toast combination that one might possibly crave (that is to say, a bacon egg sandwich on French toast is not out of the question). For those who, for whatever reason, might choose to abstain from sausage-topped buttermilk pancakes or homemade biscuits with bacon and gravy, there is a lunch menu as well, with plenty of soups, salads, and Geraldine's famous "Columbia City Corned Beef Sandwich," all of which is served in a dining room enclosed by walls of exposed red brick and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
22. Columbia City Bakery 4865 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118 (Columbia City)

This bakery, located in (surprise) Columbia City, is serving all the classic bakery treats and then some. Local favorites include Pistachio Snails and their Pecan Sticky Buns, which are only available Friday-Sunday and sell out quickly. The housemade soft pretzels are pretty killer too.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
23. Tamarind Tree 1036 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104 (Intl District)

This upscale(-ish) Vietnamese spot on the far side of the International District plates slightly more Western-style eats than the area's usual family-run joints. Still, it's a can't-miss destination thanks to authentic and deliciously simple dishes like lemongrass chicken vermicelli, pho, and the not so authentic, albeit delicious, tangerine martinis.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
24. Q Bakery 3818 S Graham St, Seattle, WA 98118 (Beacon Hill)

Bánh mì isn't hard to find in Seattle, but have you ever wondered about the bread the Vietnamese sandwiches come on? A lot of it comes from this Hillman City bakery, so why not just get your fix there?

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
25. Revel and Quoin 403 N 36th St, Seattle, WA 98103 (Seattle)

This combination restaurant and bar is run by the husband-wife cooking team of Seif Chirchi and Rachel Yang, both of whom were contestants on Iron Chef America. If that wasn't enough to reel you in, the married couple combines American and Korean cuisine to create a menu of fusion dishes (like the moo shu pork dumpling and smoked oyster po-boy in a Korean pancake) unique to the restaurant. There's also a selection of signature cocktails that you can sample before/during your meal.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
26. Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar 410 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104 (Pioneer Square)

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?

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
27. Radiator Whiskey 94 Pike St, Ste 30, Seattle, WA 98101 (Downtown)

Radiator Whiskey is a brewpub in Downtown that's dishing out barrel-aged, gravity-poured cocktails as well as American classics that may or may not include Fritos.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
28. Le Pichet 1933 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101 (West Seattle)

The regional and classic style of French food at this Pike Place restaurant has made it a prominent fixture in the area. With an all day charcuterie menu, wine list, full bar, and diner menu there is always something worth stopping in to try.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
29. Pike Place Chowder 1530 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101 (Downtown)

This seafood soup-slinger in Pike Place Market serves up some of Seattle's best clam chowder, made with fresh oysters. These guys don't stop there, also serving up Japanese and Mandarin cuisine that's available for catering.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
30. Thai Tom 4543 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105 (University District)

You're not a true resident of Seattle until you've waited for a counter seat at this Thai hole-in-the-wall that gets you up-close and personal with badass chefs working their magic behind flaming woks. The menu at Thai Tom is all about pan-fried dishes, including pad thai, basil chicken, and pad see ew, plus assorted curries with steamed rice. The service is speedy, the flavors are spicy, and the prices can't be beat.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
31. Viengthong 2820 Martin Luther King Jr Way S, Seattle, WA 98144 (Mount Baker)

Viengthong may be hidden in a small strip-mall a block away from a major thoroughfare, but this cash-only hole-in-the-wall has garnered a loyal following who swear it's the best Thai around. There are Tom Yum soups and fresh salads, but fans swoon over the Lao-Thai specialties, particularly the barbecue chicken, which marinates in coconut milk, garlic, and black pepper before its charred to a lovely crisp. You'll be surrounded by plant life and trellises as you feast in the unfussy dining room.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
32. The Fat Hen 1418 NW 70th St, Seattle, WA 98117 (Ballard)

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.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
33. Metropolitan Grill 820 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104 (Downtown)

A steakhouse with a meat-laden menu, Metropolitan Grill serves up 100% Mayura Station Australian Wagyu in their historic downtown location. The 60 ft marble bar boasts an extensive array of top shelf liquors from around the world, which pair well with Metropolitan Grill's award winning Manhattans and Martinis.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
34. A La Mode Pies 5821 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

Unlike most of the foods that were cool for people to have sex with in the '90s, pie has aged pretty damn well, which is why Seattle's sweetest online slinger of encrusted goodness, A La Mode, is going offline with a minimalist concrete-floored spot in where else but a former doll shop, complete with a soda-fountain-style counter and over-sized windows looking into the kitchen so you can personally affirm that Jason Biggs' goods weren't anywhere near yours.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
35. Cafe Munir 2408 NW 80th St, Seattle, WA 98117 (Ballard)

This elegant but surprisingly affordable Lebanese spot in Ballard serves Middle Eastern favorites like hummus and chicken skewers, plus more unique dishes: slow roasted beets in tahini and ground lamb with herbs & bulgur wheat. An impressive menu of globally-inspired small plates and whiskey from around the world is also available.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
36. Seven Star Pepper 1207 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98144 (Pioneer Square)

This International District Restaurant takes some liberties in terms of preparation, so it may not be "authentic," but their variation on the classic Dan dan noodles is good enough to let that slide.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
37. Ba Bar 550 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 (Capitol Hill)

A Vietnamese restaurant, Ba Bar proudly serves "street food", a principle defined by simplicity and quality. The other half of this eatery's maxim is "cold drink," as in cocktails. Many, many cocktails.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
38. Tilikum Place Café 407 Cedar St, Seattle, WA 98121 (Queen Anne)

This European bistro is nestled in the shadow of the Space Needle and serves a variety of salads, soups, and full entrees. The real star menu is their weekend brunch, which includes Dutch Babies -- baked pancakes that come classic (lemon & powdered sugar), sweet (raspberries), or savory (broccoli, bacon, & cheddar).

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
39. Wedgwood Broiler 8230 35th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115 (North Seattle)

Complete with carpeted floors, big fabric booths, and memento-lined brick walls, Wedgwood Broiler is the epitome of an old-school steakhouse. The place has been open since the 60s, and many of the waitresses seem to have been there just as long, but their sassy ways are all in good fun and make the end result -- unfussy egg and hash breakfasts and Swiss cheese-topped burgers -- well worth the wait.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
40. Mawadda Cafe 2352 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116 (Rainier Valley)

This welcoming cafe cooks plates of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes to order, including some of the best falafel in the city -- it's fried to perfection and served with tzatziki & garlic.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
41. Dahlia Bakery 2001 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121 (Downtown)

This bakery, from Tom Douglas, is home to Triple Coconut Cream Pie, homemade breads, pastries, and cakes. They also serve breakfast and lunch, including a weekly sandwich menu that they update and change regularly.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
42. Altura Restaurant 617 Broadway E, Seattle, WA 98102 (Capitol Hill)

Altura Restaurant is an Italian spot with a weekly-changing menu meant to capitalize on the freshest ingredients sourced from organic, independent farms around the Northwest. An insane list of regional wine from Italy, plus a plethora of dishes (featuring handmade pasta,)are also sure to impress. The cozy, romantic vibe of Altura makes it a perfect Capitol Hill spot for date night or an intimate gathering with friends.