Begun as a labor of love, Delancey is the most loved pizza place in town. At this cozy, neighborhood charmer, chef Brandon Pettit churns out toothsome pizzas and roast radicchio from the wood-fire oven. Salads are plucked from the farmers market. Finish with a salted chocolate chip cookie, inspired by Pettit’s wife, food writer Molly Wizenberg — who just penned a delightful book about Delancey. Whittle away the wait with a hand-crafted cocktail at adjoining bar, Essex.
Packed since its opening in 2011, Revel lives up to its name. Conviviality abounds at this Asian street food joint, the casual cousin to Rachel Yang’s and Seif Churchi’s Joule. Fans go gaga over Yang’s Korean comfort food — savory pancakes, short rib dumplings, and homemade noodles. Inside, Revel hums with chatter and the clamor of the open kitchen while outside offers a twinkle-light patio.
Take a culinary trip across the Atlantic at this lovely little bistro. Le Pichet looks, feels, and tastes Parisian thanks to its savvy co-owners. Chef Jim Drohman studied cooking in the City of Lights, while Joanne Herron has tasted her way through France’s boutique wineries. Regulars and newbies alike adore the Gallic fare: brandade, pâté de campagne, and one of the best roast chickens in town. Like a classic French café, Le Pichet is open all day from 8 a.m. until midnight.
Behind glowing, lace-curtained windows, Seattle’s best Italian ristorante beckons. Chef Jason Stratton’s Piedmontese fare is equally rustic and exquisite. Tuck into homemade pastas, like the butter and sage Tajarin, pan-seared quail, and roasted endive. The candlelit room oozes romance, especially with a bottle from the well-curated Italian wine list. Apertivos at Stratton’s adjacent bar, Artusi, are a must.
Seattle’s historical heart, Pioneer Square, has gone from dodgy to delicious thanks to a slew of restaurant openings. One of the tastiest, and prettiest, is Bar Sajor — helmed by 2012 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef Northwest, Matt Dillon. A farm-dweller and avid forager, Dillon is beloved for his eclectic, locavore cooking, which shines in Bar Sajor’s wood-fire-only kitchen. Savor a Mediterranean-inflected menu — smoked yogurt, charred eggplant, and Chuletón de Buey (Spanish-style steak). The gorgeous space — zinc bar, white-washed walls, soaring windows — complements the equally beautiful plating.
With the bonhomie of a booze cruise and the caliber of a luxury yacht, Westward is waterfront dining at its best. Chef Zoi Antonitsas cooks up Mediterranean-infused Northwest cuisine, with avgolemono and za’atar spicing up the oceanic menu. Inside the James Beard Design Award-nominated space, nautical details and a whimsical boat bar get you in the seafaring spirit. Outside on the patio, savor the Seattle skyline from Adirondack chairs.
Located just outside of Seattle in a converted garage, The Herbfarm offers a seasonally-inspired dining experience that celebrates the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. Each unique, nine-course meal features the freshest ingredients from forest, farm, and sea, and is paired with five or six wines; the themed menus change with the season about every two weeks.
With roughly a dozen restaurants and bakeries in and around Seattle, Tom Douglas is one of the busiest chefs in the country — and his flagship Dahlia Lounge, opened in 1989, remains one of this region's best eating places. His seafood (curried clams with chickpeas, Neah Bay black cod with flageolets and smoked almonds, Hood Canal oyster stew, etc.) is impeccable, while his oxtail ravioli, chicken confit, and rotisserie-roast five-spice duck are authentically satisfying. The eclectic menu here mirrors the cultural diversity of Seattle, and the freshness and quality of the raw materials pay tribute to the gastronomical diversity of the Pacific Northwest.
A whimsical name for a pretty straightforward restaurant, The Walrus and the Carpenter is a relatively new addition to the hip Ballard dining scene. At the raw bar, bearded men peddle eight different kinds of oysters from ice-filled metal baskets while diners take in the industrial-chic interiors along with their steak tartare or geoduck chowder. Renee Erickson, the chef and owner of Boat Street Cafe and Boat Street Pickles, embraces the artisanal, locavore ethos typical of the Pacific Northwest but is also heavily influenced by French cuisine, as evidenced in dishes like her duck rillettes, and she has created a menu of Francophile bar food to enjoy while you on a fancy cocktail.
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 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, on the menu. The menu offers both classic and contemporary dishes; for instance, Wagyu steak tartare, sautéed prawns, or grilled lamb loin in the first case; roasted cauliflower with maitake mushrooms and Champagne vinaigrette, hamachi sashimi with Granny Smith apple and serrano pepper, or 14-day dry-aged Muscovy duck breast for two in the second.