Our foodie writer this week is Courtney, who will offer her recommendations for the best restaurants in Seattle. Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Courtney is making her way through the true taste of the best Seattle restaurants, one dish at a time. With over 270 reviews written, she has been a superstar in the Yelp Elite community for over five consecutive years. Her love for reviewing restaurants is purely based on her love for food. This makes Yelp the perfect place for her to unleash her writing creativities. Let’s go ahead dig into her delicious recommendations for the best restaurants in Seattle and the iconic dishes you should order when you go!
This 2-star Michelin restaurant is highly-acclaimed not just in the Pacific Northwest, but around the globe! Just one of their Xiao Long Bao soup dumplings will change your life. Housed inside a thin wrapper is a moist, flavorful pork meatball and light delicate broth. I’ve ordered similar juicy dumplings at other restaurants, but nothing even comes close to these.
My other go-to dishes at Din Tai Fung are their crisp, garlicky green beans and tantalizing spicy shrimp and pork wontons. There’s something so distinct about their spicy sauce, which hits all the right notes: it’s savory, yet slightly sweet, with a mild heat. Another notable mention are their flavorful stir-fried noodles mixed with lean cuts of meat and fresh greens. Finally, there’s nothing better than ending with their pure red bean dumplings, which have the smoothest filling and provide a sweet closing to your meal. While Din Tai Fung’s menu has definitely grown over the years, I admire how they never stray far from their roots nor lose focus of their original specialties. I could visit again and again, which is why I think it’s one of the best restaurants in Seattle… even the almost guaranteed wait time doesn’t deter me!
It doesn’t surprise me that Duke’s holds the title of “Best Seafood Restaurant” based on praise from local Washington voters. Not only that, but their award-winning clam chowder is also highly-acclaimed by the Food Network. Wow!
I will admit that Dukes is more of an upscale seafood restaurant, but the quality of their food shines and service is always top-notch. For any first-timers, I’d recommend ordering their “Oh My Cod!” Fish and Chips Combo, which is served alongside a cup of their famous clam chowder. The Pacific Cod is cooked perfectly, delicate and flaky, encased in a light crispy panko breading. Their super creamy chowder is also chock-full of meaty clams. What a wonderful pairing! You also can’t go wrong with one of their Copper River Salmon entrees or Mixed Grill Plate, which includes scallops, prawns and a crab cake. Seafood lovers, rejoice!
When looking for the best seafood restaurant in Seattle, a serious contender to Duke’s is Ivar’s, another iconic Pacific Northwest restaurant known for their delectable seafood. Founded in 1938, it has grown into three full-service restaurants and 21 casual seafood bars. Whenever I have a craving for fish and chips, I stop by one of their seafood bars, where the moist cod is always fresh out of the fryer. A quick dip in their slightly sweet tartar sauce perfects each bite. I also can’t resist a cup of their New England Clam Chowder, which is essentially my favorite chowder of all time. Aside from a sprinkle of bacon on top, it’s a simple dish, and the freshness of the clams speak for itself. Ivar’s is truly a classic loved across Washington State, and definitely one of the best restaurants in Seattle.
Molly Moon’s ice cream is impossible to resist. Particularly on any sunny day, the line files out the door as customers of all ages crave a cool treat. Clearly, they all agree that this is one of the best places to eat in Seattle! Crafted from pure ingredients, Molly Moon’s ice cream is creamy and rich without being overly sweet. One of my favorite classic flavors is their Scout Mint. This flavor is a Washington-grown peppermint ice cream mixed with crushed Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies. One time, I found an entire Thin Mint in my single scoop! The quality shines, highlighted by their dedication to using local ingredients and concocting their ice cream in-house behind the kitchen doors of each storefront. It doesn’t get any fresher than this!
Check out their creative seasonal flavors throughout the year, which often includes an original vegan option. Each time I visit, I cannot wait to try something new, but end up struggling to decide on my order since it all sounds tasty! If you’re torn between flavors, there’s no need to order two scoops to fulfill your wishes. They will gladly split a single-scoop serving into two half-scoops, giving you the best of both worlds. Woohoo!
I would never have guessed that a pink and aqua shack in the middle of a residential area would be one of the best Seattle restaurants, but it is home to an incredibly memorable sandwich! Un Bien is the successor of Paseo’s, a legendary Seattle restaurant known for its quick Caribbean and Cuban eats.
Their famous Caribbean Roast Sandwich ($11.95) is stuffed to the max and can’t be beat. Slow-roasted marinated pork shoulder is piled high atop a lightly toasted baguette, which is coated with their house aioli. Crispy romaine lettuce, pickled jalapenos, cilantro, and grilled caramelized onions add extra flavor and texture. Pure bliss. Although this is one of the messiest sandwiches you’ll ever eat, I guarantee it’s one of the tastiest! In addition to pork, they also offer chicken, prawns and even scallops in both the form of a sandwich and an entree plate. I’ve heard terrific reviews about their Smokin’ Thighs–several customers raved about them on the day I visited. I know what I’ll be ordering next time!
I love Japonessa’s concept of Japanese cuisine with a Latin spin, which is such a unique fusion. At any mention of this restaurant, two words immediately come to mind: HAPPY HOUR. On their Cocina menu of appetizers and small plates, the HH Calamari Japonessa is the BEST calamari I’ve ever had! Its light coating of batter is fried to a perfect crispness and drizzled with sweet chili oil. Served atop a fresh mix of spring greens tossed with a delicate yuzu dressing, this could easily be a meal in itself, but is also perfect for sharing if you insist. You also can’t go wrong with their crispy Japo Style Chicken Wings sprinkled with jalapeno and onions. If you’re seeking some serious heat, though, try their Carne Tacos with a fiery ghost pepper salsa!
Last but not least, they offer a HUGE selection of specialty sushi rolls, most of which are finished with an element of spice and Latin flair. You’ll find some rolls topped with habanero masago, a chili aioli, or even a mango glaze. I personally enjoy their Sweet Seduction. It has meaty pieces of eel inside, topped with a mound of snow crab, scallions, and soy and coconut glaze. The coconut is pretty subtle but provides just the right touch of sweetness. Japonessa truly shines a new light on sushi and their creations will surely invigorate your palate as you eat your way through the best restaurants in Seattle.
Hungry yet? Which one of these best places to eat in Seattle will you be headed to first?