The Best Food And Drink In Washington For 2019

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 Washington's claims to culinary fame as part of our second 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 hot dogs and brunch spot to its best bar and craft beer 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 ahead.

Best 24-Hour Diner: Beth’s Café (Seattle)

Founded in Seattle in 1954, this diner boasts "omelettes as big as your head," and that's no joke: They're only available with six or 12 eggs! And while Beth's is most famous for their breakfasts (which also include fresh-made pancakes and waffles, biscuits and gravy, three-egg scrambles, and endless hash browns), their third-pound burgers, sandwiches, and homemade desserts are delicious as well.

The Best 24-Hour Diners in America


Best Airport Restaurant: Beecher’s Handmade Cheese (Seattle-Tacoma International Airport)

The original Beecher's Handmade Cheese retail shop is located in Seattle's Pike Place Market, but travelers passing through Sea-Tac Airport can also grab a bite of America's best mac and cheese, made with Beecher's 15-month-aged Flagship Cheddar and Just Jack. Made with chipotle and garlic powder to give it some spice, as well as penne pasta instead of the traditional macaroni, this treat isn't just for kids anymore.

The Best Airport Restaurant in Every State

Best All-You-Can-Eat Deal: Salty’s on Alki Beach (Seattle)

Located right on the water, Salty's serves one of Seattle's most popular weekend brunches, which features a stunning buffet loaded to the brim with fresh local seafood and brunchtime classics. Washington state Dungeness crab legs, Alaskan snow crab legs, peel and eat prawns, blackened steelhead, Puget Sound steamers and mussels, seafood chowder, salt-crusted salmon, smoked steelhead mousse, Taylor Shellfish oysters on the half shell, a variety of pastas, classic eggs Benedict, biscuits and country sausage gravy, cheesy bacon hash browns, mac and cheese, fresh-made omelettes, and a variety of salads are complemented by chocolate and caramel fountains with plenty of dippers for dessert and a "Make Your Own Mary" bar to wash it all down. Adults pay $54.99 on Saturdays and $59.99 on Sundays.

The Best All-You-Can-Eat Deal in Every State

Best Apple Pie: A La Mode (Seattle)

The pies at A La Mode taste as good as they look. They don't rely on "sprinkles, frosting or grocery store gimmicks" to produce the simply delicious pies that Mom would be proud of. They make 9-inch pies using mostly organic fruit that is locally sourced. They have two apple pies on their menu: a classic French apple pie as well as an apple and ginger pie that is out of this world.

Where to Find America's Best Apple Pies

Best Bar: Canon (Seattle)

Seattle's Canon lays claim to the largest collection of spirits in the Western Hemisphere, with 3,500 labels and counting. There's so much whiskey here that there's even some in the bathroom, which was dubbed one of the top three bathrooms in Seattle by Seattle Refined on account of its vintage radio and "spa-like experience." The "whiskey and bitters emporium" is a small place, so they can only accommodate parties of four people or fewer, and we suggest you make a reservation to guarantee yourself a seat. We also recommend dressing up a bit for Canon's exclusive, swanky atmosphere.

The Best Bar in Every State


The Best Beach Restaurant: Canon (Seattle)

Seattle's Canon lays claim to the largest collection of spirits in the Western Hemisphere, with 3,500 labels and counting. There's so much whiskey here that there's even some in the bathroom, which was dubbed one of the top three bathrooms in Seattle by Seattle Refined on account of its vintage radio and "spa-like experience." The "whiskey and bitters emporium" is a small place, so they can only accommodate parties of four people or fewer, and we suggest you make a reservation to guarantee yourself a seat. We also recommend dressing up a bit for Canon's exclusive, swanky atmosphere.

The Best Bar in Every State

Best Beer: The Rusty Nail, Fremont Brewing Company (Seattle)

Fremont Brewing Company's The First Nail is already an epic oatmeal stout, but it takes on a whole new life when aged in bourbon barrels. Then, it's christened as The Rusty Nail, Washington's best beer. Spicy, full-bodied, and warming with notes of chocolate, licorice, and cinnamon, this beer is best consumed slowly.

The Best Beer in Every State

Best Brunch: The Lakehouse (Bellevue)

James Beard Award-winning chef Jason Wilson's fine dining Northwest farmhouse concept spotlights produce from local growers and farmers, local seafood and meat, and handmade pasta. So it's not too difficult to extrapolate that out to one of the most stunning and forward-looking weekend brunches in the country. Ancient grain porridge with almond milk and fruit; vanilla brioche French toast; cocoa coffee flour pancakes with blueberries and yogurt; rigatoni with roasted peppers, octopus, local clams, and beans; grilled ahi tuna and quinoa bowl with baby potatoes, soft-cooked egg, Moroccan-spiced carrots, and fennel; Dungeness crab and avocado Benedict; house-made pasta with foraged mushrooms, Reggiano, soft-cooked egg, and green garlic pesto; and a wagyu burger topped with mushroom conserva, kale pesto, and white Cheddar make this brunch menu one of the most "cheffed-up" you'll ever encounter, but the kitchen also has no problem cooking a plate of two eggs any style with chicken sausage, bacon, fried potatoes, and local spinach. Be sure you order a side of goats' milk yogurt; you'll never think of yogurt the same way again.

The Best Brunch in Every State

Best Burger: Sam's Tavern (Seattle)

Sam's Tavern, founded in the 1940s on the corner of Furhman and Eastlake Avenues in Seattle, was the original birthplace of national chain Red Robin. Before adopting the name "Red Robin," it was just "Sam's Tavern," and then "Sam's Red Robin." Seventy years later, the original Sam's Tavern was resurrected, this time on the corner of East Pike Street and 11th Avenue, and they still serve awesome burgers. They have one in particular that's perfect for all you bacon fans out there: Sammy's 50/50 Burger. The patty is half Certified Angus beef and half hickory smoked bacon, topped with avocado, buttermilk bacon ranch dressing, Gouda cheese, and (you guessed it) more bacon. Might as well go whole hog and start with the wedge salad with bacon bits and see if they'll load your side of fries up with it, too.

The 101 Best Burgers in America

Best Burrito: Al Pastor Baby Burrito, Tacos Chukis (Seattle)

One of Seattle's great hidden culinary gems, Tacos Chukis is literally hidden from the street – The original location is located on the second floor of a mall in the Capitol Hill neighborhood (a second, far more visible one, has opened in South Lake Union). And on top of that, it doesn't even have a website. But once you've found it, you'll be hooked. Tacos, which clock in at just a couple bucks, are widely regarded to be the city's best, but the burritos really are something else. We suggest you actually go for the "baby burritos," which are small enough to sample a few of (or pair one with a couple tacos). As for the filling, you can't go wrong with al pastor, caramelized chunks of flavorful and tender pork served with a slice of grilled pineapple.

The 50 Best Burritos in America

Best Chili: Mike’s Chili Parlor (Seattle)

In business since 1922, this small and low-key family-owned restaurant is nothing short of a Seattle institution. The chili here is rich, thick, beefy, and it tops everything from burgers to steak to fries to spaghetti. This all-beef chili starts with beef stock, to which onions, garlic, and a whole bunch of ground beef and a top-secret spice blend are added. This all cooks low and slow all day long, and while it tops just about everything on the menu for good reason, you might just want to order it straight, topped with some cheese and onions.

These 25 Restaurants Serve the Best Chili in America

Best Chinese Restaurant: Facing East (Bellevue)

Handheld Taiwanese pork bao — featuring fatty porcine nuggets stuffed into tender buns — are well worth the trip to Facing East, but you'd be selling yourself short not to try the rest of the animal, available in dishes like pig diaphragm or a dumpling made with sweet potato flour and filled with porky goodness. For a fun race against time, try getting home before your order of shaved ice melts.

The Best Chinese Restaurant in Every State

Best Chocolate Shop: Theo Chocolate (Seattle)

When it comes to the organic, fair-trade chocolate market, Theo Chocolate is an American pioneer; they were the first chocolate shop in the U.S. to be certified as fair trade. But that does not mean their chocolates are uptight. Their bars come in playful flavors like root beer barrel, cherry almond, and ghost chile.

The Best Chocolate Shop in Every State

Best Coffee Shop: Milstead & Co. (Seattle)

The recently renovated Milstead & Co. is a shop with both a beautiful interior and beautiful roasts — emphasis on the plural. One of the most cutting-edge coffee shops in Seattle, Milstead is known for using the multi-roaster model in which they use beans from different coffee roasters, both big and small, to blend the best coffee possible.

The Best Coffee Shop in Every State

Best Craft Brewery: Elysian Brewing Company (Seattle)

Elysian Brewing Company operates four pubs in Seattle. Since opening their first location in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, Elysian has brewed over 350 different blends. Their fans can't get enough of their year-round beers such as Space Dust IPA, a "totally nebular IPA" which features Chinook, Amarillo, and Citra hops. Known for their seasonal pumpkin brews, Elysian yearly hosts the Great Pumpkin Beer Festival.

The 50 Best Craft Breweries in America


Best Cupcakes: Cupcake Royale (Seattle)

Seattle's pioneer cupcakery and café really is like cupcake royalty. It proudly claims to be the first real cupcakery outside of New York City and has led the charge in creating subtle, perfected cupcakes that customers love. Being innovative but not too outlandish with its favorites has allowed it to be appreciated for its true baking talents. You can see the classic quality in cupcakes like the lemon cake with lemon buttercream, the red velvet with cream cheese buttercream, and the vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream.

The Best Cupcakes in Every State

Best Dive Bar: The 5 Point Café (Seattle)

The 5 Point Café in Seattle has no qualms about being politically correct and will serve anyone, regardless of their politics or state of inebriation. To sop up the 16-ounce cans of Olympia and 40-ouncers of Olde English, breakfast is served all day and all night.

The Best Dive Bar in Every State

Best Donuts: Daddy's Donuts (Kenmore)

A lot of times, a heavily-hyped doughnut is just that: Hype. But for Daddy's Donuts in Kenmore, the hype is well-earned. These mini-doughnuts come in three varieties — plain, cinnamon sugar, or powdered sugar — and are always made fresh to order. If that's not enough to get you to Washington state, realize you can make a doughnut sundae of sorts. Fan favorites include the Tayo Tornado (plain doughnuts topped with maple glaze and fresh bacon), Robot Roberta (topped with chocolate sauce, Oreo cookies, whipped cream and a robot ring), and the Coco-Loco (a chocolate and tres leche drizzle, topped with toasted coconut).

The Best Doughnuts in Every State

Best Farmers Market: Vancouver Farmers Market (Vancouver)

The Vancouver Farmers Market is a pet-friendly place where you can chat with people who have grown or created your purchase, grab a bite to eat, listen to music, stroll through the park, watch the kids play, and enjoy a wonderful, relaxing day. The market runs March through October on Saturdays and Sundays.

101 Best Farmers Markets in America

Best Food Truck: Where Ya At Matt (Seattle)

Where Ya At Matt has been bringing New Orleans-style po'boys, muffulettas, jambalaya, and more to Seattle since 2010. Its fried oyster po'boy one of the city's most iconic food truck dishes, but don't stop at the savory — its beignets, as well as sweet potato and pecan pies, are just as excellent.

The Best Food Truck in Every State

Best French Fries: Dick’s Drive-In (Seattle)

With six locations, Dick's is a Seattle institution. Since 1954, it has served fries that are made with, as the website explains, "Real potatoes... That's what makes our fries irresistible!... Cut fresh daily by hand." Diners can feel good about patronizing this family-owned business: It treats employees like family, offering full benefits, scholarships, childcare assistance, paid community service, and a starting hourly wage of $10.

America's 50 Best French Fries

Best Fried Chicken: Ma'ono (Seattle)

Twice fried and umami-spiced, the Hawaiian-style fried chicken at Seattle's Ma'Ono is served with kimchee, rice, and chile sauce. You can order either a half or a whole bird, and a gluten-free option is available. If you have green sensibilities, you can rest assured that your chickens were raised naturally in Mount Vernon, Washington. Don't forget to check out their extensive list of whiskeys to wash it all down.

The 75 Best Fried Chicken Places in America

Best Grocery Store: PCC Market

City Voter, Google, Foursquare, and Yelp all hold PCC Market in very high regard. It does get knocked for the high prices and lack of parking, but overall, PCC Market delivers an awesome product that keeps its customers coming back for more.

The Best Grocery Store in Every State

Best Hot Dog: Shorty’s (Seattle)

Shorty's really has it all: a bar, a full pinball arcade, a bizarre circus atmosphere, and insanely delicious hot dogs. They start simply enough, with wieners from Vienna Beef — special sausages include a German-style sausage and a delicious veggie dog. Offerings include Chicago-style, with chili and cheese, and even a dog with tomatoes, cream cheese, and peppers. But you'd be hard-pressed to find something to wash down with your beer that's better than their classic Shorty Dog, simply topped with onions, relish, and sauerkraut. One of these, a couple beers, and some pinball? That's what we call a good time.

The Best Hot Dog in Every State

Best Ice Cream Stand: Mallard (Bellingham)

Mallard's ice cream is made in salt-ice churns that can make five gallons of ice cream in about an hour. This technique delivers super-fresh, high-quality, tasty ice cream in tons of sweet flavors.

The Best Ice Cream Stand in Every State

Best Italian Restaurant: Café Juanita (Kirkland)

Located in a mid-century house near the Juanita Beach Park in Kirkland, chef-owner and 2008 Best Chef: Northwest James Beard Award winner Holly Smith's neighborhood spot Cafe Juanita focuses on Northern Italian cuisine. The menu changes frequently "but always includes an eclectic mix of meats and seafood, illustrating the commitment to fresh, bold dishes that most often utilize organic products." Sweetbread ravioli with Madeira, rabbit with pancetta and porcini, risotto al Barolo, and Ligurian silk handkerchief with sunchoke and egg yolk are just some of the delicious items you'll find on menu at this 30-seat restaurant that, from the outside at least, more resembles someone's home.

The Best Italian Restaurant in Every State


Best Lasagna: The Pink Door (Seattle)

Since 1981, this beloved Seattle restaurant has lived among the hustle and bustle of Pike Place Market, serving incredible Italian-American fare. With a produce-driven menu that's simple and seasonal and a comfortable atmosphere, this friendly spot is a perfect place to enjoy dinner with incredible views that overlook Elliot Bay. The Lasagna Pink Door, however, is the true star, showcasing fresh spinach pasta layered with besciamella and pesto and topped with marinara sauce.

The 25 Best Places to Get Lasagna in America

Best Macaroni and Cheese: Beecher’s Handmade Cheese (Seattle)

The original Beecher's, located in Seattle's Pike Place Market, is the place to experience the most delicious and legendary macaroni and cheese. It's made with penne and two of the cheeses that the restaurant-cum-cheese producer make themselves: Beecher's 15-month-aged Flagship Cheddar and Just Jack. Chipotle and garlic powder lend a little smoky spice, and the finished product lives up to every expectation you might have from a shop that dares to call its mac and cheese the "World's Best." This simple and elegant macaroni and cheese is flawless, and truly is the best in America. And, luckily for you, they've been generous enough to post the recipe online.

Where to Eat America's Best Macaroni and Cheese

Best Mexican Restaurant: Mezcaleria Oaxaca (Seattle)

The Dominguez family runs two of Seattle's best Mexican restaurants, La Carta de Oaxaca and Mezcaleria Oaxaca. At the latter, try the tortilla chips, which are fried to order and served with guacamole or refried pinto beans, banana-leaf-wrapped chicken, or pork tamales. But matriarch and head chef Gloria Perez has become most famous for her barbacoa de cabrito, chile-marinated and slow-roasted goat served with beans and corn masa.

The Best Mexican Restaurant in Every State

Most Expensive Restaurant: The Herbfarm (Seattle)

Located just outside of Seattle, The Herbfarm offers a seasonally inspired dining experience that celebrates the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. Each unique meal features the freshest ingredients from forest, farm, and sea and is paired with five or six wines; the menus, with themes such as Truffle Treasure and Chambers of the Sea, change about every two weeks as different ingredients become seasonally available. The cost of your meal varies day to day, but expect to pay anywhere from $225 to $285 per person.

The Most Expensive Restaurant in Every State

Most Iconic Dish: Canlis Salad, Canlis (Seattle)

Open since 1950, Canlis was revolutionary at the time for its trailblazing menu of upscale Northwest cuisine (which founder Peter Canlis essentially invented), and it's still blazing new trails while keeping the classics, such as the famous Canlis salad (romaine, tomatoes, bacon, mint, oregano, croutons, and Romano with a dressing of lemon, olive oil, and coddled egg), served tableside, on the menu. It's a timeless classic.

The 101 Most Iconic Restaurant Dishes in America

Most Outrageous Restaurant Dish: Honey Toast, HardWok Café (Seattle)

HardWok Café's colorful honey toast is prime Instagram fodder, a dessert treat reminiscent of South Africa's iconic street food, bunny chow. Bread is filled with ice cream, fruit, and other sweet treats in a dessert so big you may have to share it. There are different varieties, including banana royal, caramel ice cream, chocolate sensation, strawberry custard, and apple.

The Most Outrageous Restaurant Dish in Every State

Best Old School Candy Shop: Johnson Candy Company (Tacoma)

Johnson Candy Company is known for its handmade candy. Customers are ecstatic about the butterscotch-covered cashews and seafoam in milk chocolate or dark chocolate. This 90-year-old family-owned establishment is a throwback to simpler and sweeter times.

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Best Pancakes: Portage Bay Café (Seattle)

With four Seattle locations, this popular restaurant uses local, organic, and sustainable ingredients to create some delicious dishes. Its brunch is especially popular (the avocado toast with Dungeness crab is a wonder), kicked up about a thousand notches by its breakfast bar: a selection of seasonal fruits, nuts, and whipped cream that you can top your pancakes and French toast with. The classic pancakes are made with organic heirloom wheat flour, organic yogurt, brown sugar, and vanilla; you can also opt for vegan banana pancakes, Swedish pancakes, and buckwheat pancakes topped with ginger honey compound butter. Get your perfect stack of pancakes, head on up to the breakfast bar, and live the dream.

The Best Pancakes in Every State

Best Pasta Dish: Pappardelle, Staple & Fancy (Seattle)

Ethan Stowell has a lock on the Seattle dining scene, and his Staple & Fancy Mercantile is arguably his best, especially if you like Italian food. You can stick with the staples or you can go fancy (get it?), but the four pastas on offer are a little bit of both. The best one is his pappardelle, made in-house, simply tossed with superb bolognese, and topped with a quenelle of fresh ricotta and a sprinkling of mint.

The Best Pasta Dish in Every State

Best Pizza: Serious Pie (Seattle)

You'd expect no less than pizza greatness from Seattle star chef and James Beard Award winner Tom Douglas, and at his three Serious Pie spots in Seattle (Virginia, Westlake, Pike) that's exactly what you get. These are thin-crust, oblong pizzas about a foot long and imbued with serious soul (there are also huge corniciones). Consider the pizza mission statement that greets you when visiting their website: "Serious Pie: a pizzeria with a bread baker's soul, serves up pies with blistered crusts, light textured but with just enough structure and bite. Our attentiveness to each pizza in the 600°F stone-encased applewood burning oven preserves the character of housemade charcuterie and artisan cheeses from around the world."

The menu features seven pies with toppings like Yukon gold potato, soft-cooked free-range eggs, smoked prosciutto, truffle cheese, snap peas, StraCapra (a washed-rind semi-soft goat cheese), and clams, but you'll want to try the sweet fennel sausage, roasted pepper, and provolone pie that was voted one of the top 50 pizzas in the country this year.

The Best Pizza in Every State


Best Restaurant for Breakfast: Frank’s Diner (Spokane)

A Spokane institution for more than 100 years, Frank's is best identified by the huge 1906-era Pullman car that's been retrofitted into a lunch counter. Open at 6 a.m. daily, Frank's prides itself on its "field to fork" cuisine; nearly everything is made from scratch, and many of the recipes have been passed down for generations (it's been run by the same family since 1978). So what's good? Regulars love the orange cranberry French toast, caramel-drizzled chicken and waffles, hotcakes with huckleberries made from a recipe dating back to 1886, homemade corned beef hash and eggs, chicken fried steak, fried green tomatoes and eggs, meatloaf "Benedict" with brown gravy on biscuits, spicy Creole Benedict with lobster and rock crab, and the Texas omelettes with kielbasa and Cheddar.

The Best Restaurant for Breakfast in Every State

Best Restaurant: Canlis (Seattle)

Canlis is a true Pacific Northwest landmark. It's been open since 1950, serving fresh, seasonal dishes that are more polished than cutting-edge in a rustic-modern space whose use of native wood and stone evokes forests and streams. Canlis was revolutionary when it opened due to its stunning architecture (Roland Terry and Pete Wimberley collaborated on an original design meant to echo Frank Lloyd Wright) and trailblazing menu of upscale Northwest cuisine (which founder Peter Canlis essentially invented), and it's still blazing new trails while keeping the classics, such as the famous Canlis salad (romaine, bacon, mint, oregano, and Romano with a dressing of lemon, olive oil, and coddled egg), on the menu. The restaurant's onetime chef Jason Franey, who left four years ago to take over the kitchen at Restaurant 1883 in Monterey, called his cooking at Canlis "Comfort Geek" cuisine, defining that as "pertaining to a style of cuisine, namely, that which uses modern technique without drawing too much attention to itself or alienating the diner." That idea seems to have remained in place with new chef Brady Williams at the helm (who came over from Roberta's in Brooklyn), with a menu offering a tasting menu-only experience of both classic and contemporary dishes, among them wagyu steak tartare and sautéed spot prawns, both based on Peter Canlis recipes; Dungeness crab with turnip, miso, and egg yolk; lamb with cauliflower, pearl onion, and mint; and cod with pickled root vegetables and clam veloute. Note that current co-owners Brian and Mark Canlis try to maintain the restaurant's reputation as Seattle's dressiest restaurant by requesting that men wear a suit or a sport coat.

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Best Sandwich: Caribbean Roast Sandwich, Paseo (Seattle)

In Seattle, Paseo has been a household name for more than 20 years thanks to its Caribbean-inspired sandwiches. Just about everything on the menu is ridiculously delicious (seriously, repeated visits are necessary), but if it's your first time, you need to order the Caribbean roast: pork shoulder that's marinated and slow-roasted, pulled and tucked into a toasted baguette and topped (like all of their sandwiches) with aïoli, cilantro, pickled jalapeños, romaine lettuce, and caramelized onions.

The Best Sandwich in Every State

Best Seafood Shack: Tides Tavern (Gig Harbor)

Tides Tavern stretches out into Puget Sound and has become an iconic destination for locals and tourists alike. Famous for its clam chowder, award-winning halibut fish and chips, and extensive list of craft beers, the poetically named Tides Tavern offers great seafood and poetic views indeed.

America's 40 Best Seafood Shacks

Best Soft Pretzels: Rhein Haus (Seattle)

Rhein Haus is one of Seattle's most popular biergartens, with authentically German fare, libations, and gemütlichkeit. The one food item you'll see more than any other there is the pretzel, which is house-made using a traditional recipe and comes to your table hot in two sizes: small, which is a good-sized snack for one (it also adorns several entrees and brunch options); and giant, which is more than a foot across and is perfect for sharing. The small comes with your choice of spicy honey mustard, Emmental-beer fondue, obatzda (a spiced Bavarian cheese spread), or horseradish cream cheese; the giant one comes with all four.

America's Best Soft Pretzels

Best Soup: Pike Place Chowder (Seattle)

Pike Place Market is a Seattle institution, and one of its most popular eateries is Pike Place Chowder, which was opened by Larry Mellum in 2003. Mellum sources all of his ingredients from the market itself, and the best showcase of the local bounty is in his seafood bisque, a creamy tomato-based broth that's loaded with Pacific cod, Northwest salmon, Oregon bay shrimp, and a little fresh basil. It's the Northwest in a bowl.

The Best Soup in Every State

Best Sports Bar: Quality Athletics (Seattle)

Quality Athletics in Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood boasts that it is "not your Daddy's sports bar," as it features a large grill, outdoor fire pits, and an Astroturf back bar. Seahawks fans pile in for the Seahawks brunch, served during home games. Tame all the beer you're certain to ingest with the Bowl of Shame, a delicious mess of country fried potatoes, carnitas, black beans, and avocado, all topped with a poached egg.

50 Best Sports Bars in America

Best Steakhouse: Metropolitan Grill (Seattle)

Metropolitan Grill hails itself as home of "the best steak in town," and you'd be hard-pressed to argue with that. Located inside a historic building dating to 1903, the place has all the trappings of a classic upscale steakhouse: large mahogany doors, a tuxedo-clad maître d', cuts of beef on display, soaring ceilings, crown moldings, oversized booths, plus plenty of brass and even more mahogany. But don't let the pretension fool you: The focus here is on the beef. Chef Eric Hellner sources the prime steak from Double R Ranch in Washington State, and it's all custom dry-aged, seasoned with a proprietary spice mix, and seared over hot mesquite charcoal. The 60-foot black marble bar is a jewel (don't miss the award-winning martinis), and the wine list has received Wine Spectator's "Best of Award of Excellence."

The Best Steakhouse in Every State

Best Sushi Bar: Kisaku (Seattle)

This quintessential neighborhood spot is run by talented chef Riyuchi Nakano, who's made it his mission to source the freshest fish possible and only serve the highest grade. Start your meal with flame-broiled black cod marinated in sale lees or fresh local oysters with ponzu, and follow it up with nigiri of sweet shrimp, Japanese mackerel, flounder, a rotating selection of Japanese wild white fish, and yellowtail (if California red abalone is available, don't miss that either). The Green Lake Roll with salmon, flying fish row, asparagus, avocado, and marinated seafood is also a must-order.

The 50 Best Sushi Bars in America

Absolute Best Thing to Eat: Dungeness Crab, Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar (Seattle)

Eat blue crabs when in Maine, eat king crabs when in Alaska, and eat Dungeness crabs when in Washington. And the best place to indulge in the freshest Dungeness crab is at any of the several locations of Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar, in Seattle and environs. The fifth-generation company has been farming shellfish in the Puget Sound for decades, and from Shigoku oysters to geoduck, their offerings are second-to-none, but the must-order is the whole Dungeness crab, which is simply served cracked and chilled with cocktail sauce or lemon aioli. It's the true taste of the Pacific Northwest.

The Absolute Best Thing to Eat in Every State

Best Taco: Fish at Essex (Seattle)

Taco & Tiki Tuesdays at Essex have Seattle residents all in a tizzy every week as they clamor to get their hands on chef Ricardo Valdes' excellent tacos. The lamb and chicken versions get a lot of praise, but everyone agrees that the fish tacos are not to be missed. The flour tortillas are made by hand, and the fresh fish is cooked in Valdes' wood-burning oven. The result? Winner winner fish taco dinner! For more states, check out our ultimate guide to the best food and drink in every state for 2019.

The Best Taco in Every State