Seattle Specialties – Dining in 2019

Feb 1, 2019

It doesn't matter if you're a Seattle native or you're brand new to the city when it comes to Seattle dining specialties, recommendations are always welcome. If you're looking for a particular type of food or drink, you want the best, and it's nearly impossible to be an expert on every dining experience in a metro area of nearly four million people.
So, we've scoured the media to find some expert picks for really specific items like restaurants that serve poutine, the top of the takeout pyramid, some of the freshest juices, and more. You'll be able to review the various lists all in one place or click the links below for even more about your favorites.
Seattle Magazine even has an offbeat Q & A, which will guide you to the best tres-leches cake, tiramisu, pad thai, and much more. So read on, and be prepared for some delicious dish.

Ray\'s Boathouse in Seattle

11 Top-Flight Restaurants in Seattle

4. The Flying Fish

Make sure you quickly acquaint yourself with a Seattle favorite known as taco de pescado, or fish taco. This omnipresent dish mixes Mexican corn tortillas and spicy sauces with grilled local fish, and it is widely regarded that the Flying Fish, in North Seattle, serves it the best.

11. Toulouse Petit

The best deal in town is at Toulouse Petit, in North Seattle, where every weekday morning, amazing $6 breakfasts are served to an appreciative crowd. Whether you want to have a really delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner, head to the Toulouse Petit. You will not regret you did.


The best poutine in Seattle

9 Places to Eat Poutine in Seattle

With one notable restaurant exception (read on), Seattle’s got a general dearth of Canadian cuisine, despite being approximately two blocks down the street from Canada. But it does have poutine. Granted, Seattle’s poutine game can’t touch Montreal’s just yet, where they require details like squeaky cheese curds and hand-cut fries for it to qualify as a real poot.

That said, it’s kinda hard to go wrong with fries, cheese, and gravy, so even an inaccurate poutine can still be a delicious one. Fortunately, plenty of local restaurants have clued into this and are repping our northern neighbors on their menus lately, and there are some fun twists out there on the classic Québécois casse-croûte (snack bar) dish.

Since it’s closer to French then French Canadian, Gainsbourg serves the Quebec hors d’œuvre with a fancy little frill: They use Gruyère in place of cheese curds, and to great acclaim. It’s become one of Gainsbourg’s signature dishes, drawing poutine-hunters from all around. As an added bonus, this version comprises cheese, sauteed shallots, mushrooms, and mushroom-based gravy, making it a big hit with vegetarians. (But it’s hefty enough to satisfy meat-eaters too.)

Obviously, folks go to Frank’s for the oysters, which they style with great finesse, but they’re not playing when it comes to poutine either. It comes in a cast-iron dish and is done in the traditional way, with Beecher’s cheese curds, rosemary gravy, and crispy, skin-on fries. And it’s only five bucks during happy hour.


New Nordic? Seattle’s Scandinavian food scene reaches far beyond lutefisk and lingonberries

Scandinavian cuisine in Seattle

From a Ballard entrepreneur's mission to take the fear out of lutefisk to the Nordic Museum's pioneering cafe, Seattle Scandinavian cuisine has expanded with bakeries, bars and even (soon!) a Viking-style beer hall.

“New cuisine” took off all over Scandinavia in the past decade, delivering tasting menus of air-dried sea buckthorn and musk ox, hay-smoked duck and birchwood bouillon.

For the burst of new energy in Nordic food, the city’s rocketing population and booming restaurant scene support endeavors such as “Fika Friday” pastry get-togethers at the Book Larder and a major expansion at Larsen’s Bakery, which was founded in 1974 and remodeled last year.


best juices and bowls in seattle

The Top Spots for Juices and Bowls in Seattle

The trend of juice bars serving smoothie bowls laden with açai berries and other “superfoods” now looks to be here to stay. That means health-conscious Seattleites have no shortage of places to look for their fix of goji berries, smoothies, avocado toast, and organic granola — here are some of the best bets for these and other bowl-based foods.

What started in 2015 as two brothers with a passion for açai has grown into three Verve Bowls locations around Seattle and two scoop shops on the Eastside slinging açai, pitaya bowls, and smoothies. For warmer options in colder months, Verve also offers avocado toast and hearty bowls of oatmeal. Reward a grueling morning workout (or successfully-tackled inbox) with the Razzle Dazzle açaí bowl, blended with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries and topped off with organic granola and bee pollen.

This charming little shop on Queen Anne Avenue specializes in plant-based, superfood-laden smoothies, juices, salads and grain bowls. The menu is gluten- and dairy-free, with many items available raw, so diners can indulge worry-free in a Cookie Monster smoothie or a vibrantly green Buddha Bowl. HeartBeet also has a sister company, Pure Pies, to meet the need for a sweet yet virtuous treat after a superfood-packed meal.


Seattle dining recommendations

Your Seattle Restaurant Questions Answered: Best Takeout, Japanese Cheesecake and Greenwood Eats

Our Instagram followers know our dining and lifestyle editor, Chelsea Lin, for the weekly live Q&A sessions where she takes reader questions about eating out in Seattle. Her knowledge of local restaurants is truly impressive -- take advantage of her expertise by making note of the tips below.

Reader: Any bakeries making Portugese egg tarts?
CL: These delicate little custard pastries are so easy to screw up and so perfect when done well… I really like the version at 85 Degrees C, a Taiwanese bakery chain that now has multiple locations throughout the greater Seattle area.

Best tres-leches cake around?
Cubes Baking Co. is best known for making square-shaped cupcakes and cakes, but the thing they do best, in my opinion, is the tres leches, which they have in different flavors like horchata as well. It’s also available by the slice at New Seasons market. If you’re near White Center, you can also try the tres leches at Salvadorean Bakery, which is really great, too.

Best dairy/gluten-free everyday restaurant?
There’s a place called Lucky Santo that just opened in Ballard, and though I haven’t been yet, I’m really excited about it. The menu is entirely gluten-free, and largely free of dairy, soy, sugar, etc.; it’s vegetarian-friendly, too.

Best wine night spot with the girls?
Vif, which is my favorite little all-day café in the city, is now open until 9 on Thursday and Friday nights, and they have a wonderful assortment of natural wines in particular. Otherwise, I can’t get enough of Bottlehouse in Madrona—it’s just the most welcoming, wonderful wine bar to spend a rainy evening.


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