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A Guide To The Best Restaurants in Renton

A Guide To The Best Restaurants in Renton

Post last updated September 4, 2023

Located on Seattle’s southside, Renton sits not far from the shores of Lake Washington. Over the years, the city has expanded, serving as a constantly growing space for families. Renton has long since been a place for hidden gem restaurants, often with a strong influence from many of the Asian cultures and families residing in the area.

From neighborhood pubs and Italian fine dining to independent poke restaurants and sci-fi inspired pizza, Renton is its own little melting pot away from the crowds of downtown Seattle. Below are 10 of some of the best restaurants that Renton has to offer.

The Melrose Grill

Housed in a historic triangular building from 1901, the Melrose Grill serves as the neighborhood steakhouse. On top of their fine cuts of steak, they also serve salads, chicken, seafood, pasta, and more. Their dessert menu consists of cheesecake and lemon or chocolate tarts. Wine is served by the half bottle or full bottle. Bottled or canned beer is available and they can even fill your beer growlers here. 

The Melrose Grill serves as a crossroads between the modern and historical world. Their historic building still holds the original mirror-backed bar and the walls are adorned with vintage photos. The building has always served as a tavern, as well as a pool hall, soda shop, and card room. With over a century of service to the community, the Melrose Grill shows no sign of slowing down or stopping its fine services.

The Brick Kitchen + Lounge

This restaurant combines the flavors of many of the Asian cultures in the neighborhood to create a decadent and fun fusion bar. Drawing inspiration from Korean, Japanese and Thai food, the Brick Kitchen + Lounge serves bar food, salads, burgers, sandwiches, pasta, rice dishes, and so much more. Their dessert menu is almost too pretty to eat with dishes like affogato made with coconut ice cream and Vietnamese coffee.

One of the best things about the Brick Kitchen + Lounge is their happy hour, which runs every Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 PM and every Friday through Sunday from 1 to 4 PM. During these hours, all drinks and food are 10 dollars or less, with items as cheap as 4 dollars for things like bottled beers and seasoned fries with dipping sauce.

Sansonina Ristorante Italiano

Known as Renton’s premier Italian restaurant, Sansonina Ristorante Italiano is renowned for its delicious food and amazing customer service. Their menu consists of salads below 10 dollars to filet mignon at 50 dollars. They are best known for their pasta dishes, including classics like fettuccine alfredo and linguini carbonara, as well as more unique dishes like seafood or vegetarian pasta.

Larger dishes, such as chicken marsala, halibut, and steak all come with a serving of the pasta of the day, making for a truly hearty meal that encompasses many of the flavors that Sansonina Ristorante Italiano has to offer. Whether you are looking for an intimate date night spot or a place for a family gathering, this restaurant is one of the best places to go to for dinner in Renton.

Ocha Thai Kitchen and Bar

This Thai restaurant is well loved by the community due to its kind staff, its delicious food, and reasonable prices. Their menu is an extensive journey through the flavors of Thailand, from small plates like satay skewers and fresh rolls to wok noodles and fried rice. They even have lunch specials, available Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 3 PM, all served with your choice of protein and Jasmine rice or Phad Thai.

Perhaps one of the best aspects of this restaurant are their signature cocktails. Not only do they have Asian inspired twists on classic cocktails like margaritas, whiskey sours, and palomas, but they have some completely original cocktails like Thaiphoon and Gin Blues. Every cocktail is colorful and packed with flavors of tropical fruits, allowing guests to reminisce about the warm sun, sandy beaches, and jungles of Thailand.

Sago Kitchen

Popularly known for its whole fried catfish, Sago Kitchen is a beloved Vietnamese food fixture of the Renton community. Their menu is equally unique and classic, with favorites like bowls of pho combined with flavors lesser known in the United States, like oxtail soup. Other popular food items include Banh Mi sandwiches, Bun Bo Hue, and even crepes.

Although pho has become highly popular throughout the United States, Sago Kitchen is dedicated to keeping their dishes authentic and true to its Vietnamese origins. In addition to their dedication to using only the freshest ingredients available, Sago Kitchen is one of the best places in the city to get a true taste of Vietnamese cuisine.

Salty Blue

There are few places in the United States better than the Seattle area for seafood. Restaurant Salty Blue takes advantage of the fresh seafood available to us and combines it with Australian food to bring something new and delicious to the region. Best known for their fish and chips, everything at Salty Blue is made to order and is always fresh. Their batter is egg and dairy free and all of their food is Halal.

Beyond the popular Alaskan halibut with chips, Salty Blue also has food made with shrimp, Australian sea bass, and New Zealand hoki. Guests can get individual dishes or get baskets to share, consisting of shrimp, calamari, chips, slaw, and more. If you are not the biggest seafood fan, they still have options for you, like beef or chicken burgers, chicken schnitzel, chicken strips, potato cakes, and salad. Their drink menu contains a rotating selection of beer and wine.

Peyrassol Cafe at Southport

Founded and operated by married couple Sachia Tinsley and Scott Cory, Peyrassol Cafe at Southport has one simple mission: to serve rustic European inspired food made with seasonal and local ingredients. Recently, the restaurant celebrated its 10 year anniversary and is looking to expand its services from just dinner to a lunch and brunch menu in the future.

Their dinner menu has equally light and heavy fare, ranging anywhere from simple dishes like baked goat cheese and olives to handmade fresh pasta with housemade meatballs. Their beef dishes source their meat from RR Ranch while their herb de provence rub is sourced directly from their chef’s garden. Every aspect of each meal is prepared with extensive care, down to the ingredients themselves. They also have a limited cocktail menu, with classic drinks like a negroni and a manhattan available to accompany your dinner.

Whistle Stop Ale House

Voted the best lunch and best family restaurant of Renton in 2023, Whistle Stop Ale House has served as Renton’s neighborhood pub since its opening in 1995. They host brewer’s nights every third Thursday of every month and are well known for their eclectic and colorful yet welcoming restaurant interior.

Whistle Stop Ale House serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. Breakfast consists of classics like pancakes, French toast, and eggs benedict. Their lunch menu ranges from appetizers, soups, and salads to burgers and sandwiches paired with a mocktail menu. Dinner includes many of the same dishes from the lunch menu with additional entrees like market fresh fish, chicken marsala, and housemade meatloaf. The drink menu opens up around the same time as the dinner menu and includes specialty cocktails, beer, and wine.

Smoking Monkey Pizza

Always quirky and fun, Smoking Monkey Pizza serves up slices inspired by sci-fi, down to the restaurant’s decor. They do have classic pizzas, like pepperoni, cheese, and Hawaiian but what they are most famous for is their unique toppings. For example, their Goatsmary pizza uses a chili oil base and is topped with goat cheese and cashews while their DTR uses an olive oil base and is topped with gorgonzola and pear slices.

Whether you’re looking for a simple cheese pizza for the family or want to try some new flavor combinations, Smoking Monkey Pizza has you covered. In addition to pizzas, they also serve appetizers like crispy cauliflower, jalapeno poppers, mozzarella sticks, breadsticks, meatballs, wings, salads, calzones, pasta, and stromboli. They are also well known for their cookies, which also have their fair share of eclectic options available.

Big Island Poke

Opened in 2016 by native Hawaiian Jaydean Gabriel, Big Island Poke has found a home in Renton by serving up delicious poke. For those unfamiliar with poke, the dish is essentially a rice bowl topped with raw, cubed fish like tuna, salmon, shrimp, octopus, and more. The reason poke has become so popular all over the country is because of its customizable options, like types of rice, sauces, and toppings.

Big Island Poke is a serendipitous addition to Renton’s restaurants due to its high quality and its direct connection to the many Asian cultures and families in the vicinity. The menu has special premade combo bowls available but guests are always welcome to build their own bowl. Poke isn’t just fun to build. It is also delicious, healthy, and light, making it an ideal choice for lunch in particular.

Ashleigh on ferry Island hopping.

Hi, I'm Ashleigh! Welcome to Seattle Travel, my little piece of beautiful PNW. This is home and I'm here to share all my experiences so visitors and locals alike can find the best experiences this part of the country has to offer. I started Seattle Travel in 2012 as a way to journal my experiences and over the years have been encouraged by family and friends to open up my adventures to everyone. I actively seek out the best food, activities, and day trips and give you a local perspective.  The Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful areas in the world and my goal is to let you explore it to the fullest. 

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