Our Seattle expert Brandi Wilson is back with her picks of the best spots to eat and drink across the Emerald City.
Where to Eat
Photos courtesy The Walrus and the Carpenter
The London Plane
300 and 322 Occidental Ave. S
This mashup bakery, flower shop, and restaurant by local celeb chef Matt Dillon is one of the chicest spots in Seattle for brunch or lunch. Each dish is as inventive and farm-fresh as the vaulted and light-flooded space is Pinterest-pretty. Stroll through Elliott Bay Book Co afterward and soak up the architecture around Seattle’s oldest neighborhood.
300 E Pike St #1200
One of the hottest menus in town, this chill temple to South East Asian street food is the culmination of decades of combined travel by its owner and chef. The result is dishes that are as explosive in flavor as delicate in execution. Don’t miss the cocktails (the coconut with galangal is particularly festive) and Vietnamese iced coffee popsicles—all the cool kids will be carrying them on their way out. *Keep the party going with inventive tiki concoctions next door at their sister cocktail den, Foreign National.
Sitka & Spruce
531 Melrose Ave
Melrose Market is a locavore haven of foodie stalls, cookware goodies, and cocktails often billed as Pike Place’s smaller, more sophisticated older sibling. And Sitka and Spruce, with its industrial open kitchen, fresh-cut flowers, and menu of foraged, cultured and cured specialties, is the real standout. Arrive during happy hour between 4 and 6 pm from Tuesday to Saturday for $2 oysters and more.
1501 Melrose Ave
Also in Melrose Market, head up to the lovely edible rooftop garden for a chill Mediterranean lunch or a relaxing dinner at sunset with friends. The food didn’t wow on a recent visit, but the atmosphere can’t be beaten.
6460 24th Ave NW
Head to this new, minimalist temple of Gallic cuisine for classically French fare with all local ingredients. The chilled vanilla-scented corn soup with pickled beech mushrooms and popcorn on a recent visit was a real standout, and the wine list is expertly curated.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
4743 Ballard Ave NW
Go early or be prepared to wait at this perennial favorite in Old Ballard. A seafood-focused winner for brunch or dinner, kick things off with Washington oysters and a bottle of mineral white wine then let the friendly, knowledgeable staff guide you through the menu of the day.
Matt's at the Market
94 Pike St #32
One of Seattle’s most beloved institutions, it’s easy to miss upstairs in the back of an unmarked building in Pike Place Market. Snap the essential photo of the market’s famous sign, then settle into the bustling, warm dining room and seasonally-focused dishes based on whatever’s fresh in the market just below.
115 Broadway E
Dick’s has been slinging grease burgers and fries since 1954, and you can join the local crowd until 2 am nightly to get in on the action in Capitol Hill.
Where to Drink
928 12th Ave
This tiny mixology den with a steampunk vibe ranked number six in Drinks International magazine’s influential ‘World’s 50 Best Bars’ list back in 2014—the first bar in Seattle to make the list. Since then it’s only grown in popularity, but believe the hype and don’t miss a gin cocktail with fruit loop milk and flaming marshmallow!
2501 N Northlake Way
Come early to grab a choice Adirondack chair right on the beach at this festive seafood-and-cocktail destination on the banks of Lake Union. Feast on oysters as the boats sail in and out and stay to watch the sunset over the city as the crowd gets boisterous and the firepit starts crackling.
110 Stewart Street
This rooftop bar atop the new Thompson Hotel is all about the cocktails and jaw-dropping view over Elliot Bay, spanning the Seattle Wheel to the Olympic mountain range. Know that this is the first place in Seattle to merit a velvet rope, but guests (and their friends) can skip the line and make use of the VIP lounge.
4717 42nd Ave SW
This gothic, candelabra-lit haven of molecular mixology in West Seattle is best enjoyed on a misty, wintery Seattle night. Prepare to be educated on the changing menu of ingredients like activated charcoal, smoking rye, and liquid nitrogen.