The Top Thing to Eat: Seattle

Written: The Top Thing Staff | August 18, 2023


Seafood Delights

Seattle is a food lover's paradise, especially when it comes to seafood. Whether you're a visitor or a local, there are plenty of delicious options to choose from. So, if you're wondering what to eat in Seattle, here are the top seafood dishes and restaurants you should check out.

Fresh seafood options in Seattle

Seattle is renowned for its fresh and diverse seafood offerings. From crabs and oysters to salmon and halibut, the city has it all. Pike Place Market is a must-visit spot where you can find a variety of seafood vendors. Take a stroll through the market and explore the endless options available. Don't forget to try the famous Pike Place chowder, which is a creamy and flavorful delight.

Iconic seafood dishes to try

When in Seattle, you can't miss trying some of the city's iconic seafood dishes. One dish that stands out is the traditional Seattle-style seafood boil. This mouthwatering dish features a combination of fresh seafood, such as shrimp, crab, clams, and mussels, boiled together with spices and served with melted butter. It's a messy but incredibly delicious feast.

Another must-try dish is the Pacific Northwest's famous salmon. Known for its rich flavor and delicate texture, salmon is a staple in Seattle. Whether it's grilled, smoked, or baked, you can't go wrong with this local favorite.

Top seafood restaurants in Seattle

Seattle is home to numerous seafood restaurants, each offering its own unique take on seafood cuisine. Here are a few highly recommended spots:

  1. The Crab Pot: Known for its seafood boil, The Crab Pot is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Don't forget to bring your bib because cracking open crab legs and slurping on juicy shrimp is all part of the experience.

  2. Elliott's Oyster House: Located on the waterfront, Elliott's Oyster House is famous for its fresh oyster selection. Enjoy a dozen oysters on the half-shell while savoring the breathtaking view of Elliott Bay.

  3. Chinook's at Salmon Bay: If you're craving seafood with a view, Chinook's at Salmon Bay is the place for you. Located along the Ballard Locks, this restaurant offers a variety of seafood options, including their famous fish and chips.

Whether you're looking for a casual seafood joint or an upscale dining experience, Seattle has it all. So, dive into the city's seafood scene and savor the flavors of the Pacific Northwest.


International Flavors

When it comes to exploring different cultures through food, Seattle has got you covered. With its diverse culinary scene, the city offers a wide range of international flavors that are sure to satisfy your taste buds. Here are some top things to eat in Seattle that will transport you to different parts of the world.

Diverse cuisine options in Seattle

Seattle's food scene reflects its multicultural community, with a plethora of options for every palate. From Asian flavors to Mediterranean delights, you can find it all here. Some popular cuisine options include:

  • Japanese: Savor the delicate flavors of sushi, sashimi, and ramen at renowned Japanese restaurants like Umi Sake House and Tsukushinbo.
  • Thai: Experience the vibrant and aromatic dishes of Thailand at Thai Tom and Pestle Rock.
  • Mexican: Indulge in authentic Mexican cuisine featuring tacos, enchiladas, and mole at places like El Camino and La Carta de Oaxaca.
  • Indian: Spice up your taste buds with flavorful curries and tandoori dishes at Chutney's or Saffron Grill.
  • Italian: Enjoy classic Italian fare including pizza, pasta, and gelato at popular spots like Il Corvo and Spinasse.

Popular ethnic dishes to try

Seattle offers a rich selection of ethnic dishes that will take your taste buds on a culinary adventure. Here are some must-try dishes:

  • Pho: Warm yourself up with a bowl of aromatic Vietnamese pho, packed with tender beef or chicken, rice noodles, and fragrant herbs.
  • Bibimbap: Experience the flavors of Korea with this iconic dish consisting of rice, vegetables, meat, and a fried egg, all served in a sizzling hot stone bowl.
  • Paella: Treat yourself to the Spanish delight of paella, a rice dish packed with saffron-infused flavors and an array of seafood or meat.
  • Pad Thai: Dive into the sweet, sour, and savory flavors of Thailand with this stir-fried noodle dish packed with shrimp, tofu, peanuts, and lime.

Best international restaurants in Seattle

If you're looking for the best places in Seattle to dive into international cuisine, these restaurants won't disappoint:

  • Wild Ginger: Known for its pan-Asian flavors and elegant ambiance, Wild Ginger offers dishes from China, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
  • Mamnoon: Step into the Middle East with Mamnoon's delectable Lebanese and Syrian dishes, including shawarma, falafel, and baklava.
  • Joule: Experience the fusion of Korean and French cuisine at Joule, where traditional ingredients are transformed into innovative dishes.
  • Le Pichet: Indulge in the flavors of France at Le Pichet, where you can savor classic dishes like croque monsieur and coq au vin.

Seattle's culinary landscape is an adventure waiting to happen. Whether you're craving sushi, curry, or tacos, you'll find a world of flavors right at your fingertips. So, grab your fork and embark on a gastronomic journey through the international flavors of Seattle.


Local Favorites

Traditional dishes of Seattle

When visiting Seattle, there are a few traditional dishes that you must try to get a taste of the local flavor. First on the list is the famous Seattle-style hot dog, also known as the “Seattle Dog.” This delightful treat consists of a grilled hot dog topped with cream cheese, grilled onions, sauerkraut, and mustard. It may sound a bit unconventional, but it's a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

Another traditional dish you should try is the Pacific Northwest staple, the Dungeness Crab. Known for its sweet and delicate meat, this crab is typically steamed or boiled and served with melted butter. Whether you enjoy it on its own or in a seafood pasta dish, the Dungeness Crab is a must-try when in Seattle.

Iconic food joints and street food

If you're looking for an authentic Seattle food experience, you can't miss the iconic food joints and street food vendors scattered throughout the city. One standout is Pike Place Market, where you can find a variety of fresh produce, seafood, and local specialties. Don't forget to try the world-famous Pike Place Chowder for creamy and flavorful clam chowder.

Another favorite spot is Dick's Drive-In, a local burger chain that has been serving up delicious burgers and milkshakes since 1954. A visit to Seattle wouldn't be complete without trying their classic Dick's Deluxe burger, a juicy beef patty topped with all the fixings.

Hidden gems for local cuisine

For those looking to venture off the beaten path and explore the local culinary scene, Seattle has some hidden gems that you must discover. One of these hidden gems is Paseo, a Caribbean-inspired sandwich shop known for their mouthwatering Cuban Roast sandwich. The tender pork, caramelized onions, and tangy aioli make this sandwich an absolute delight.

If you're a fan of Japanese cuisine, make sure to visit Maneki, one of the oldest Japanese restaurants in the city. Known for its traditional decor and authentic dishes, you can't go wrong with their sushi or udon noodles.

Seattle is also home to a vibrant food truck scene, offering a wide range of cuisines from around the world. Explore the streets of Capitol Hill or Fremont and indulge in everything from Mexican tacos to Korean BBQ.

In conclusion, Seattle is a food lover's paradise with its rich culinary heritage and diverse dining options. Whether you're indulging in traditional dishes, exploring iconic food joints, or seeking out hidden gems, you'll find something to satisfy your taste buds in this vibrant city.



Seattle is a food lover's paradise, offering a diverse and vibrant culinary scene that is sure to satisfy all taste buds. Whether you're a fan of seafood, international cuisine, or unique local creations, this city has something to offer everyone. With its fresh ingredients, innovative chefs, and stunning views, Seattle is a must-visit destination for any food enthusiast.

Top food destinations in Seattle

  1. Pike Place Market: This iconic market is a foodie's dream, offering a wide array of fresh produce, seafood, artisanal products, and local specialties. Don't miss the chance to try the world-famous Pike Place Chowder or grab a cup of coffee at the original Starbucks.

  2. International District: Take a culinary journey around the world in Seattle's International District. From authentic Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine to delicious Japanese sushi and Thai dishes, this neighborhood is a melting pot of flavors.

  3. Ballard: Known for its vibrant food scene, Ballard is home to numerous trendy restaurants, breweries, and food trucks. Indulge in a mouth-watering brunch, enjoy a craft beer, or savor the flavors of the local farm-to-table movement.

Tips for exploring Seattle's food scene

  • Try the local seafood: Seattle is known for its fresh seafood, so be sure to sample the salmon, Dungeness crab, and geoduck clams.
  • Be adventurous with your palate: Seattle's food scene is diverse and innovative, so don't be afraid to try new flavors and cuisines.
  • Visit farmers markets: Seattle has a strong farm-to-table culture, and visiting farmers markets is a great way to experience the local produce and meet local farmers.
  • Research food festivals: Seattle hosts a variety of food festivals throughout the year, showcasing the city's culinary talents. Check the events calendar to see if any festivals coincide with your visit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about dining in Seattle

  1. What is Seattle famous for food-wise? Seattle is famous for its seafood, particularly salmon and Dungeness crab. The city is also known for its vibrant coffee culture and craft beer scene.
  2. Where can I find the best coffee in Seattle? Seattle is home to numerous coffee shops and roasters, but you can start with the original Starbucks at Pike Place Market or explore the local coffee scene in neighborhoods like Capitol Hill and Ballard.
  3. Are there vegetarian or vegan options in Seattle? Yes, Seattle has a thriving vegetarian and vegan food scene. Many restaurants offer plant-based options, and there are dedicated vegetarian and vegan restaurants to choose from.
  4. What is the average cost of dining out in Seattle? The cost of dining out in Seattle can vary depending on the restaurant and cuisine. On average, expect to spend around $15-25 per person for a casual meal, while fine dining establishments can range from $50-100 per person.

So grab your appetite and prepare to indulge in the flavors of Seattle. From iconic markets to trendy neighborhoods, this city has it all when it comes to satisfying your taste buds. Explore the diverse food scene, try new flavors, and make your culinary adventure in Seattle an unforgettable experience.