One of the mainstays of Seattle’s ever-evolving dining scene is seafood and shellfish, thanks to its location on Puget Sound. Countless places pay beautiful tribute to Pacific Northwest ingredients, which range from Olympia oysters to Dungeness crab.
And now, more than ever before, many of the city’s best restaurants overlay all of this natural bounty with the diverse heritages of its communities with delicious results, whether it’s a kitchen turning out soul food in the Central District or a Sichuan noodle spot on the Eastside, Seattle’s own Silicon Valley.
Even though the last couple of years have seen some heartbreaking closures (RIP Sitka & Spruce by Matt Dillon and Palace Kitchen by Tom Douglas), Seattle remains a thriving culinary hub: New voices have emerged alongside enduring classics, and some of the most notable dining destinations now can be found far beyond the city center.
You could spend days sampling the offerings of a single neighborhood, but we’ve whittled down to the 15 essential dishes that will help you get your culinary bearings in the Emerald City this season — when dining is often at its best.