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Seattle Restaurants Seattle Restaurants

Food energizes, replenishes, and revitalizes the mind, body, and soul.
Here, we provide a list of famous restaurants and diners in the Seattle metro area. Use this guide to satisfy your taste buds when either visiting or living in Seattle.

Recommended Restaurants in Seattle
XXX Rootbeer Drive-In
98 NE Gilman Blvd
Issaquah, WA 98027
Phone: 425-392-1266

Description: Once a national chain, XXX Root Beer Drive-In now has only this location left. The colorful dine-in and takeout restaurant is decorated enthusiastically with as much '50s and '60s car paraphernalia and classic car photos as can be found, and there is even a real jukebox. XXX is known for fried seafood, big, sloppy hamburgers and -- of course -- huge root beer floats and ice cream sundaes. You can sit inside and enjoy the '50s vibe, or order at the walk-up window and sit on one of a dozen picnic tables in a grassy triangle when the weather is nice. Since XXX hosts classic car shows on weekends during the summer, vintage car and motorcycle enthusiasts frequent this hop. Many people come as much for the nostalgia as the food. If you're up for a blast from the past, plus a little jolt of car enthusiasm, XXX won't disappoint.

Metropolitan Grill
820 2nd Ave
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206-624-3287

Description: The tuxedo-clad maitre d' that greets you is just one of the tip-offs that you're in one of Seattle's most elegant restaurants. The heart of the menu is, of course, steak. Expensive steak. Choose from among such cuts as filet mignon, New York strip, sirloin, prime rib, T-bone, chateaubriand and prime rib. The Met starts with high-end heifers, then dry-ages the beef for a month in costly coolers that produce the notably tender and tasty servings that find their way to your table. You'll also find seafood -- salmon, halibut, lobster -- chicken and lamb. Side dishes and sumptuous desserts reflect the same attention to detail. A lengthy wine list supplements your meal choice.
The food's magnificence is mirrored by the surroundings -- high mahogany entrance doors; tuxedo-clad servers; plush green carpeting; lots of polished brass; a black marble bar that stretches for more than 50 feet and serves single malt scotch and some of the city's best martinis; high ceilings with carved moldings; and dark wood paneling that surrounds comfortable, overstuffed booths. So the bottom line in a restaurant whose patrons are especially apt to pay attention to the bottom line: Take your time. Savor each moment in one of Seattle's premier eating establishments.

The Oceanaire
1700 7th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: 206-267-2277

Description: This outpost of a Minneapolis enterprise is the seafood version of an upscale steakhouse, and has managed to draw crowds from day one. The decor is sheer chophouse: think plush booths, wood floors and dim-light sconces. The fresh sheet ranges the world's oceans, with a score of oysters and squid, the requisite lobsters and scallops, mahimahi and whole arctic char. Portions are large enough for Midwestern sensibilities; there's even a halibut T-bone steak. Execution and presentation here are impeccable. Salads, soups and desserts are large and choice -- even the hash browns are done right. See if you can find that at a homegrown Northwest seafood house.

Dick's Drive-In Restaurant
111 N.E. 45th Street
Seattle, WA 98105
Phone: 206-632-5125

Description: A genuine Seattle success story, Dick's is the oldest fast-food restaurant in Washington and at the forefront of the industry since the Wallingford restaurant was established in 1954. Four more were established in succeeding years, and this mini-chain has not just survived and thrived despite the scores of competing franchise outlets, but also attained iconic status in the Emerald City. There's a simple reason why generations of Seattleites keep coming back, and bringing their children with them. Customers get generous-sized, tasty burgers from meat that's delivered fresh each morning, hand-cut fries from real potatoes, shakes prepared on the spot and soft drinks -- a menu that hasn't changed for a couple of decades and is still available early in the morning. And generally you'll get change back from a five-spot, even if you splurge and go for the top-of-the-line two-patty Dick's Deluxe. The basic fried patty comes with ketchup, mustard and pickle, while the Special adds shredded lettuce and a distinctive special sauce that's spiked with bits of pickle. Enjoy your meal in your car, or head for a nearby spot with a view.

Il Bistro
93A Pike St.
Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: 206-682-3049

Description: In a city filled with lovely dining rooms, the dim and romantic Il Bistro has always had an extra touch of magic. Cobblestone steps outside the front door transport you to 1920s Berlin, a tad seedy, undeniably sexy. Step inside, and you've entered a Tuscan hideaway, a secret club or a movie set of chic denizens. Over the years, despite changing ownership and chefs, the menu has retained its classic Italian roots. Rack of lamb is the biggest splurge, but you can easily make a light, affordable meal of Caesar salad (or "Cesare" as it's dubbed here) and pasta, such as penne con melanzane, rigatoni Bolognese or gnocchi. A late night menu makes it possible to feel like a bona fide Continental, wining and dining into the wee hours. Try the antipasto plate or bistro burger with smoked mozzarella. The bar has a reputation for attracting the best, speediest bartenders and slinkiest wait staff available, a necessity considering the pressing crowds that fill this small, often smoky, room. Avoid Friday and Saturday nights, unless you crave cheek-by-jowl intimacy with strangers.

Salty's on Alki Beach

1936 Harbor Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98126
Phone: 206-937-1600

Description: Setting the scene, leaping salmon sculptures greet guests outside the venerated Salty's, well situated for impressing out-of-towners. A low-lit bar is brightened by oversized marine kitsch and attracts a thirty-something-plus crowd. By contrast, the spacious and comfortable terraced dining room is tastefully neutral -- so as not to detract from the million-dollar view, which takes in Magnolia, Queen Anne, downtown and (sometimes) Mount Rainier. In the summer, the breezy seaside patio and wraparound deck provide some of the city's best outdoor dining. Meat-lovers and vegetarians won't by any means go hungry, but the menus are really all about the seafood, from halibut and scallops to yellowfin tuna and perfectly grilled sockeye. Sunday's all-you-can-eat brunch -- an increasingly rare commodity -- is a study in excess, worth the price tag for the Dungeness crab and made-to-order Belgian waffles alone. You may be able to find better and cheaper food (though cafe meals and happy hour specials don't make a huge dent in the wallet), but not with this view. Plus, the staff is so welcoming that their warmth alone can make you glad you came.

Barking Dog Alehouse
705 N.W. 70th St.
Seattle, WA 98117
Phone: 206-782-2974

Description: Regulars hoof it to this cozy-but-chic neighborhood haven. Warm hues of brick and mustard cast a flattering glow, and fresh flowers adorn dark tables. Single malt Scotches and Belgian beers dominate the beverage list. Chimay Triple and Maredsous 8 are two popular libations: rich, creamy beers that are a perfect accompaniment for mussels and traditional Belgian frites (waffle fries and tofu fries are also available). Local, regional and organic ingredients are scattered throughout the comfort menu: buffalo meat stew is served with Ballard's Tall Grass Bakery bread; CasCioppo Brothers provide the Andouille sausage in the porter ale gumbo; and the garlic-stuffed steak is made of hormone-free Oregon Country beef. Weekend breakfast offers eggs Benedict, a healthy tofu scramble and, for that Belgian twist, buttermilk pancakes cooked with raspberries and Lindeman's raspberry framboise. Service is just what you'd expect from a homey, local joint: friendly and welcoming.

BOKA Kitchen & Bar
1010 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206-357-9000

Description: Seductive, curvy and inviting, cozy bar seating giving way to cushy booths, BOKA (Bold Original Kitchen Artistry) is bedecked for 21st century romance. Dying to impress a loved one? Book a table for dinner plus a 14th floor view suite upstairs in the sleek, boutique Hotel 1000. Sense of humor is a unifying element on the eclectic, global "urban American" menu. Make a light meal of small bites, like duck and waffles and the irresistible crab-cornbread cupcakes with creme fraiche frosting, balanced by caramelized mission fig salad or "rubies and pearls" (baby beets with pearl pasta). Larger plates include Thai bouillabaisse, Maine lobster primavera, and a juicy shake-and-bake chicken. Sit on the sidewalk patio to bask in the downtown bustle, or in a booth by the glowing, backlit glass wall, whose slowly rotating hues ensure that every few minutes you'll be shown off in the best possible light.

4231 University Way N.E.
Seattle, WA 98105
Phone: 206-547-4644

Description: Healthy ingredients, generous portions, friendly service and modest prices make this casual Mexican eatery a destination. Even tasty guacamole is a bargain, especially when paired with salty, citrus-y tortilla chips. Most can make two meals of the burritos, filled with cilantro-lime rice, beans (pinto or black), salsa, cheese or sour cream and your choice of veggies, carnitas (organic pork), barbacoa (spicy beef), chicken or steak (the latter three are prepared with the signature chipotle adobo sauce). Fajita variants substitute sautéed peppers and onions for beans and rice. Shiny, modern décor doesn’t encourage canoodling, but tables are far enough apart to allow private conversation. To avoid long lines, fax in your order.

2576 Aurora Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
Phone: 206-283-3313

Description: Everything about Canlis declares "high end," from its spectacular hilltop location with sweeping views to the prices. It's long been THE place where Seattleites and suburbanites go to celebrate life's peak moments: graduations, promotions, reunions, honors and, of course, anniversaries. From the moment the parking valet greets you and you enter through the Japanese Kura Doors, every detail speaks of elegance and sophistication. The interior is filled with natural materials and Northwest art. There are no casual Fridays at Canlis, nor any other day -- your fellow diners are turned out in sleek, well-tailored finery. If you're early, head for the lounge overlooking the dining room where you'll listen to the Steinway grand under subtle lighting provided by antique Japanese lanterns. When your table in the intimate dining room is ready, you'll find a menu that reflects the best in Northwest cuisine. It ranges from decades-old classics such as salmon and tender broiled steaks to creative, contemporary seasonal offerings. Accompany your meal with something from Canlis' award-winning wine list. And be sure to leave room for one of the restaurant's legendary desserts.

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