A bistro is a casual restaurant offering a menu of moderately priced comfort foods. In Seattle, this can mean anything from grilled cheese to house-made burrata and pulled pork to bulgogi. We like a neighborhood joint open for lunch and dinner (even better if they’re open late) with cozy ambiance and friendly staff. Here’s our pick of some of the best bistros in Seattle neighborhoods from north to south, offering comfort foods from every corner of the globe.
1117 12th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122
www.cafepresseseattle.comSister to the slightly more upscale Le Pichet in Pike Place Market, owners Jim Drohman and Joanne Herron envisioned Café Presse on Capitol Hill to be a close replicate of a Parisian bistro. Open from early morning until late night, the menu features many of the familiar croques, salads and plates that you’d find on any French bistro menu, including its famous roast chicken — cold (immediately available) or hot (one hour wait). Early in the morning, Café Presse features Caffe Vita coffee and house-made pastries, and in the later afternoon, enjoy happy hour from the full bar. Any time of day, you can read from the vast selection of newspapers and magazines from around the world, or catch the latest soccer game—wherever it may be playing—on the big screens at the bar.
Fonte Café & Wine Bar
1321 First Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101
www.cafefonte.comLocated just south of Pike Place Market and across from the Seattle Art Museum, the Fonte Café expands the Georgetown roaster’s coffee culture to downtown Seattle with its bistro menu. In the morning, enjoy a full breakfast from omelets to eggs benedict and French toast to oatmeal and pastries, enjoyed with a cocktail from the bar or something from the coffee menu. Midday until close, you’ll be treated to a delicious selection of sandwiches, pastas, pizzas, charcuterie and cheese, accompanied by beer, wine or a craft cocktail. Before leaving the café, be sure to grab a bag of hand-roasted and blended Fonté coffee beans to take home and enjoy later.
Related: Best Cajun Food In Seattle
Ada’s Technical Books and Café
425 15th Ave. E.
Seattle, WA 98112
www.seattletechnicalbooks.comThe plan for Ada’s Technical Books by owners Danielle and David Hulton is to bring the tech community together around amazing books and exciting authors in technology, including architecture, science, engineering and math. The store also features gadgets and geeky gifts, such as a build-your-own calculator, an eReader, card games and coloring books. The café satisfies your cravings with a day-long menu including egg scrambles, salads, a black bean burger and a grilled cheese sandwich, mushroom pot pie, homemade soup, biscuits and more. Ada’s hosts evening events such as the science-oriented book clubs, plus special presentations and discussions around topics in technology.
3007 Beacon Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98144
www.pippyscafe.comThis Korean BBQ bistro south of downtown features Asian-style salads, savory pancakes (pa jun), pulled pork and kimchee tacos, pork belly sandwiches and sliders, soups, stir fries, entrées, rotating daily hot specials and weekend brunch. The fresh-made foods are deliciously inspired simple comfort foods. The friendly owners go out of their way to treat customers well. But during peak times, service can be slow in the tiny restaurant. So patience is key to enjoying this family-run jewel atop Beacon Hill. Pippy’s closes for a short break between lunch and dinner. Takeout is also available.
Sunset Cafe and Deli
8115 Rainier Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98118
www.facebook.com/SunsetHabeshaCafeTucked away in south Seattle, Sunset Cafe and Deli features American and Ethiopian breakfast, lunch and dinner service seven days a week. Conveniently located off either I-405 or I-5 in a humble and unassuming location, diners often comment on the incredible food, best injera in the city, generous portions and friendly owner who oversees the operation with care and attention. If you are new to Ethiopian food, this is the place to try—both for authenticity and for its desire to make sure you feel welcome and comfortable. Be sure to try the coffee, too. It’s made right in front of you and takes a little time, but is well worth the wait.
Related: Best Indian Food In Seattle
Carole Cancler is a freelance writer covering all things Seattle. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.