With its hidden speakeasies, waterfront restaurants, and internationally inspired-eateries, there’s no shortage of unique restaurants in Seattle. Combined with the city’s love of all things fresh, sustainable, and local, it’s easy to find great food on every corner. Even if you’ve lived in the city for your entire life, there’s always something new to discover.
From Italian fine dining with burlesque shows and multi-course tasting menus to hidden restaurants available only on weekends and constantly rotating menus, Seattle has it all. Below are 9 of some of the coolest, most fun, and most unique places to eat in Seattle.
The Pink Door
It’s hard to make a list of unique restaurants in Seattle without including The Pink Door. This long time favorite located in Post Alley is more than just Italian fine dining. Although anyone who’s ever been here will tell you that their pasta is quite amazing, it’s the entertainment that really puts The Pink Door over the top of any other restaurant nearby. On certain days of the week, you can find burlesque shows in their dining room or live jazz concerts in their lounge hosted by local artists.
Open only on weekends and tucked in the back of Ballard’s family-owned Beast and Cleaver, The Peasant is a truly and almost literally hidden gem. Much like the butcher shop it’s housed in, The Peasant’s menu focuses on local, sustainable, and organic meat as well as seasonal availability. Local Washington state wines are paired with fine ingredients from Italy and France and meats directly from the butcher shop itself. On top of their amazing multi-course dinners, guests can also visit Beast and Cleaver during the week for lunch service, fresh cuts of meat to take home, and even butchery classes.
Tucked right next to Capitol Hill’s Salt and Straw, Taku is a Japanese fried chicken joint filled with neon lights and sticker-covered walls. Despite being touted as a place for bar food, Taku’s meal proportions are pretty hearty with full sized platters of fried chicken with veggies and rice bowls with chicken and soft eggs being more than enough to fill you up. Taku is a great spot to get a filling meal for a much lower price than other Capitol Hill Asian spots.
Art of the Table
For something more exclusive, it’s hard to beat Art of the Table’s 5 course tasting menu. Open Tuesday to Saturday for dinner only, Art of the Table consists of an 8 seat dining room with an open kitchen directly nearby. Owned and operated by Chef Dustin Ronspies, Art of the Table bridges the gap between the kitchen and the guests quite literally. Each dish is introduced by the chef himself, making for an intimate and unique experience like no other. The menu rotates fairly often but at its heart is always built upon local and fresh ingredients, along with perfectly paired wines and cocktails inspired by famous artists.
Originally opened in the 1950’s, Canlis has become a landmark restaurant for the Pacific Northwest. The building itself is historic, designed by Roland Terry in 1950, and later developed into what it is today. The modern and spacious windows provide ample views of Seattle, Lake Union, and the Cascades. Their menu is half selection and half surprise, as guests are allowed to choose 3 courses from the tasting menu with additional surprise courses added by the kitchen. Canlis also has its own lounge which is open to walk-ins and has its own separate food and drink menu.
For all things soba, Kamonegi is the place to be. There are very few restaurants in Seattle that focus primarily on soba noodles, making the meal itself a rare treat, but Kamonegi truly elevates the experience. Their cozy restaurant, including their bar that looks directly into the kitchen, makes it the perfect spot for hot soup on a cold winter’s day. They have both cold and hot soba, as well as in-broth and dipping noodles. Pair their dishes with one of their seasonal appetizers, delectable desserts, or sake from their specially curated drinks list.
Onibaba by Tsukushinbo
Nestled in the heart of Seattle’s International District is Onibaba by Tsukushinbo, also known simply as Onibaba. As the name implies, Onibaba is owned by the same family that owned Tsukushinbo. In fact, Onibaba occupies part of Tsukushinbo’s original location, with its sister restaurant Kakurenbo located directly next door. Onibaba focuses on rice balls, commonly known as onigiri. They offer many different kinds of onigiri including vegetarian, grilled, and meat-filled onigiri. They also serve musubi, rice bowls, udon soup, and a plethora of appetizers.
With its tiled floors, wooden stools, and mirrored walls, Le Pichet embodies the spirit of an old cafe in Europe. Located a couple of blocks outside of Pike Place Market, Le Pichet is just far enough away from the bustle of the market to avoid long wait times. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with menu changes throughout the day. They also have daily specials and a rotating cheese menu. Be sure to save room for dessert as their chocolate mousse is some of the best in town.
Located near the Pacific Science Center, this Kaiseki style restaurant showcases the beauty of Kyoto style cooking and the freshness of seasonal ingredients, both from Washington and Japan. Their menu changes on the first Wednesday of every month, ensuring that each dish flows with the changing of the seasons as well as Japanese culture, holidays, and events. Every menu has its own theme with roots stemming all the way back to Japan without having to step foot outside of the United States. Every visit to Wa’z Seattle is a culinary and cultural experience, with no two meals being the exact same.