Seattle Restaurants

Salish Lodge and Spa

I am no foodie, but I sure do like to eat great food. Dek gets to come along most of the time too. I’m not afraid to walk into a seemingly swanky place, ignore the fact that they don’t have a kids menu and order away. We love to get and try new things, but sometimes we get in a rut and just stick to our old favorites. I’ve compiled a list of the places we love and asked friends to add in their favorites so we can have new spots to choose from when the mood strikes. If you have a favorite Seattle eatery, send it my way.

Tea/ Coffee

  • KaffeKlatsch (Lake City)- This is a growing locals hang out for a neighborhood that has desperately needed a daytime watering hole. Grab a pretzel for the kids and any number of handmade German pastries made by master baker Brian. There is a little play area for the kids by the kitchen and bathrooms. Let the kids go to town on the ever-growing piles of toys they have. Big messes aren’t necessarily encouraged, but they aren’t frowned upon either. Just be sure to pick up the scattered toys before you leave.
  • Zoka Coffee Roasters (Green Lake and Kirkland)- my master roaster friends tell me this is the place to go. I’m not even a coffee drinker and I love it. They have wonderful teas and your choice of a spice or sweet chai. Their coffee is always a welcomed gift for my family back east.
  • Green Bean Coffee House (Greenwood)- decent coffee and a play area for kids. I’ll be checking this out soon.
  • Queen Mary Tea Room (UVillage/Ravenna)- Grab afternoon tea with your girlfriends or include the kids with a Children’s Tea.
  • Panama Hotel’s Tea House (International District)- Enjoy a hot cup of tea while you explore the history if this International District Icon.


  • Hi Life (Ballard) and 5 Spot (Queen Anne)- the best blueberry pancakes I have ever had. It’s all I order.
  • Volunteer Park Cafe (Capital Hill)- love the honey lavender on a baguette with brie and apple.
  • Wandering Goose (Capital Hill). Good coffee, fabulous biscuits, and the best fried chicken you will ever have.
  • Maltby’s Cafe (Maltby, WA)- about 20 minutes northeast of the city but well worth the drive. Give the California scramble a try along with a slice of cinnamon toast and you will be won over. If you need extra convincing start off with the cinnamon bun the size of your head and dripping with icing. My dad, a cinnamon bun connoisseur was even impressed. Be prepared for a wait on the weekends.
  • Bakery Nouveau (West Seattle)- do not miss out on the twice-baked almond croissants. They also have some of the best French macarons in the city.
  • The Crumpet Shop (Pike Place/ Downtown)- delicious crumpets with a variety of toppings.
  • Hi Spot Cafe (Madrona)
  • Arosa Cafe– try out the hot chocolate and Belgium waffles
  • Preservation Kitchen (Bothell)- set in an old home you may drive by this restaurant as you zoom by on 522. You should stop. They are doing some beautiful things with duck. Dinner is divine, but they had my heart when they made a smoked duck sandwich. The challah french toast is worth a stop as well.


  • Salumi (Pioneer Square)- mentioned on just about every travel show and food show that comes to town, but it really is that good. Get there early. Once they run out of rolls and/or meat they are done for the day
  • Three Girls Bakery (Pike Place Market)- Best chicken salad sandwich I have ever had and they put triple the pickles on mine anytime I ask. Pull up a stool at the counter, but avoid around 12:30pm when it is usually at its busiest.
  • Redmill Burgers (Phinney Ridge, Ballard and Interbay)- best burgers in town. This was actually the first place I started eating ground meat again after 14 years. If that doesn’t tell you how great the smell was I don’t know what will. The huge pile of bacon on the grill might have had something to do with it too.
  • Lunchbox Laboratory (South Lake Union)

Dinner with the Family

  • La Isla (Ballard)- amazing Puerto Rican food with a great Happy Hour. Half off appetizers mean I can eat twice as much right? Kids will love the sweet potato fries, tostones, maduros and mini-pork wings. Empanadillas should not be missed. Our favorite is the pernil and the papa.
  • Bizzaro Italian Cafe (Wallingford)- a zany Italian place with gorgonzola and fig bruschetta that will have you begging for more. The lasagna must be amazing because it always sells out before I can order a slice. Anything with meat at this place is a winner for sure. House wine is decent too. Just turn your cell phone off. There is a surcharge if they see you using it. This is my kind of place!
  • Swingside Cafe (Fremont)- Amazing hazelnut pesto pasta at this little Sicilian restaurant. The Aglio Olio with fresh Dungeness crab is amazing too. If the lamb is on the menu. Order it. You won’t be sorry. The mood is great for couple and families a like. If I had a Sicilian uncle this would be his place. I often see family members of the owners come in to break bread together, kids and all.
  • I Love Sushi (Lake Union and Bellevue)- The location and atmosphere aren’t our typical pick, but the sushi really is good. The Marin roll and Tropical Roll are tops on my list whenever we order. There are lots of options for raw fish fans and those who like a little cooking done to their meal.
  • La Carta de Oaxaca (Ballard)- amazing tacos and so much more. Get there early. Lines can get long.
  • Anita’s Crepes (Ballard/Fremont)- Chef Anita whips up sweet and savory crepes the whole family will love. Don’t miss out on the French onion soup and definitely save room for dessert.
  • Delancy (Ballard)
  • Veraci Pizza (Ballard and Farmer’s Markets)- this is the pizza that convinced us to move to Seattle. Ubber thin crust, italian style pizza with some amazing topping combinations. Don’t miss out on any special they offer. Always a good choice.
  • Issian Japanese Stone Grill (Wallingford)- head over for happy hour to enjoy Yakiton at discount prices and Salmon Steak Robata Yaki.
  • Phinney Market Pub & Eatery (Phinney Ridge)- Great beer and cider selection, high-end pub food and a double-decker train table your kids will love. Perfect after a trip to the zoo.
  • Nishino (Madison) – one of the finest sushi restaurants in the city. Reservations are necessary.
  • Skillet Diner (Capital Hill)
  • Boom Noodle (Capital Hill, University Village and Bellevue)- Japanese
  • Po Dog (Capital Hill and U District)
  • Pike Street Fish Fry (Capital Hill)
  • Vios Cafe (Capital Hill and Ravenna)- Delicious Greek food with a play area for kids. What’s not to like? Don’t miss out on the Orzo salad, Trio sampler of traditional dips (the tzatziki gets my vote) and anything with lamb involved in it. The baklava washes it all down quite nicely.

Dinner (leave the kids at home)

  • The Walrus and the Carpenter– even if you don’t like oysters you will still find something to love at this tiny spot in Ballard. They don’t take reservations so be prepared to wait. Head next door for a glass of wine. They will find you when your table is ready.
  • Crush– grab your girlfriends or significant other for a night of fine dining and delectable flavors. Do not miss the short ribs, and is it wrong that I love the bread plate so much?
  • Lecosho (Downtown) – Lovely things being done with meat by Jill Buchanan and Matt from Matt’s in the Market (also worth a taste). Bring the kids during lunch, but reserve nighttime for your hot date out.

Cupcake Royale serves up one decadent Salted Caramel Chocolate cupcake


  • Cupcake Royale (Ballard, Capital Hill, Madrona,West Seattle and Bellevue)- let the cupcake wars begin, but I just can’t get enough of the Salted Caramel Chocolate or the Lavender Vanilla cupcakes.
  • Hot Cakes (Ballard)- Two words people- smoked chocolate. Former Theo’s chocolatier Autumn Martin offers up molten chocolate cakes, an inventive s’mores platter and even happy hour. What more could you need?
  • Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream (Wallingford, Capital Hill, Madrona, Queen Anne)- Find your favorite flavor and bask in the dairy bliss. Few of our favs? Honey Lavender  Scout Mint, Salted Caramel and Stumptown Coffee.

Trucks, Buses and Carts

  • El Camion (North Seattle, Ballard and SoDo)- burritos con carnitas is a family fav.
  • Tacos el Asadero– 3513 Rainier Ave S, no phone, open 10am-10pm
  • Skillet Street Food (truck location varies by day)
  • Marination Mobile (truck location varies by day/ brick n’ mortar Capital Hill)- Hawaiian- Korean food at its best.

Pike Place Market