The Best Food and Drink in Washington
Sure, Washington might be known for Mt. St. Helens, grunge, rainy days, and Amazon, but there are hundreds of culinary wonders behind the evergreen curtain. Washington produces more apples than any other state, is synonymous with coffee culture, and is especially famous for fish: multiple varieties of salmon, ling cod, steelhead trout, and one particular “flying” variety (that of the Pike Place Market). To celebrate all the great food and drink our country’s 42nd state has to offer, we’ve rounded up 31 of Washington’s claims to culinary fame as part of our first annual guide to the best food and drink in every state.
Throw out a few of these names and let the salivating begin: Rainier cherries, Walla Walla sweet onions, Dungeness crab, Dick’s deluxe burgers, huckleberries, Beecher’s cheese, Ezell’s Famous Chicken, and Theo’s chocolate. Washington is home to chef Tom Douglas’ empire of Northwest-centric restaurants (including Serious Pie and Etta’s Seafood), and also home to famed sushi chef Shiro Kashiba’s Sushi Kashiba in the Pike Place Market, whose geoduck nigiri is legendary (PS: It’s pronounced “gooey-duck”). Sweet, crisp Hama Hama oysters grown in pristine ecosystems (like Hood Canal) are a popular choice at many of the state’s top restaurants, including Ballard’s The Walrus and the Carpenter, and Chef Blaine Wetzel of The Willows Inn on Lummi Island utilizes the freshest ingredients that can be found near the island, including smoked sockeye salmon and toasted birch branches. Washington is also known for its wine regions, which include Columbia Valley, Lake Chelan, and Horse Heaven Hills, and Charles Smith is certainly the state’s most recognized winemaker. Razor clams at The Depot in Long Beach are not to be missed, and morel season is truly something to celebrate, no matter where you live. Hungry yet?
The Evergreen State is home to many iconic foods, and over the course of the past year we’ve honored everything from its best steakhouse and grocery store to its best dive bar and Italian restaurant in our comprehensive and wide-ranging lists and rankings, compiled through extensive research and with input from a wide network of site contributors, bloggers, journalists, and chefs. We’ve compiled these into individual slideshows celebrating the best food and drink in every state, and you can find our Washington gallery here.