Seattle is one of those places that stays with you. Long after you’ve left and you’re back in the day-to-day grind, you’ll find yourself daydreaming about this beautiful seaside city overlooking Puget Sound. Surrounded by water, mountains, evergreen forests, and thousands of acres of parkland, Seattle will inspire your inner nature-lover. The beauty of its landscape will motivate you to get outside and go hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, or at the very least, casual strolling.
But what if you want a day off from the great outdoors? Considering that Seattle has an average of 150 rainy days per year, there could easily be times when you just want to stay inside where it’s warm and dry. No problem! Seattle’s got you covered with lots of great indoor activities: Pike Place market, museums, chocolate factory tours, wine tastings, and so much more.
All of this activity, whether inside or outside, is sure to get your appetite going. And, boy, are you in luck! Seattle has a dynamic food scene with tons of great restaurants that source fresh meat and produce, most of it organically grown, from the many farms in the surrounding areas. As for fish, this city on the water is home to boatloads of fishermen, so don’t be surprised when seafood is calling your name at restaurants all over town.
Finding tasty local wine to pair with your meal is simple. The State of Washington is the second largest producer of U.S. wines, after California, and produces nearly 70 different grape varieties. Your hankering for a crisp, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc to go with shrimp scampi or a rich, spicy Syrah for rosemary grilled lamb chops will be easily satisfied.
TOP SEATTLE RESTAURANTS
The vibrant food scene in Seattle changes rapidly and the following restaurants are some of the hottest in town. Many thanks to Tyson Bernhardt, a foodie and Certified Specialist of Wine, who lives, works, and eats out (often!) in Seattle. I couldn’t have come up with this insider’s list without his help.
The Butcher’s Table, 2121 Westlake Ave. Founded by the owners of Beecher’s Cheese, and headed up by Chef Morgan Mueller, formerly of Jardiniere, this is Mishima Reserve American Wagyu Beef — as farm to table as it gets. Do yourself a favor and order the Ribeye Cap, along with a bottle of wine from the amazing wine list.
Eden Hill, 2209 Queen Anne Ave N. This small (maybe 30 seats) family-owned restaurant, by chef-owner Maximillion Petty and wife Julianne, offers a high-level dining experience. Make sure to secure a reservation ahead of time.
June Baby, 2122 NE 65th St. Chef-owner Eduardo Jordan (a recent James Beard Award winner) is super hot right now. The restaurant serves distinguished, southern-style comfort food and is very popular. The fried chicken is amazing.
Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar, (3 Seattle locations). There isn’t a better place to get oysters, clams, geoduck, and crab than at these oyster bars. Most of the restaurants in the area buy their shellfish through Taylor Shellfish Farms (the company produces aquaculture shellfish), so you’re getting the best of the best.
Sushi Kashiba, 86 Pine St #1. Go omakase at this Seattle super hot spot. It’s pricey, but absolutely worth it. Seattle is known for seafood so sushi is always a good decision! Read the fascinating story of legendary owner-chef Shiro Kashiba here.
RN74, 1433 4th Ave. Located right in the heart of downtown Seattle, this Michael Mina restaurant has amazing modern French cuisine. The world-class wine list highlights the Burgundy region of France, along with boutique wine producers from Washington and Oregon. Jeff Lindsay-Thorson is the sommelier, and he also owns W.T. Vintners, a Washington State winery.
Purple Café & Wine Bar, 1225 4th Avenue. This bustling spot has one of the best wine lists in the city, along with a great, local menu. Highly recommended!
Etta's, 2020 Western Ave. Owned by Tom Douglas, this restaurant is right by Pike Place Market and known for its breakfast/brunch. Tom also owns Rub With Love Shack, next door to Etta’s, that makes awesome sandwiches.
AQUA by El Gaucho, 2801 Alaskan Way. Located right on the water with amazing views, AQUA is a seafood-focused restaurant with a fun Pacific Northwest vibe.
MORE EATING AND WINE DRINKING
Wine Tasting Rooms In Seattle:
Jet City Winery. Owned by the legendary Charles Smith, this hip and modern space is in a cool, industrial area just 15 minutes south of Seattle. Located at the end of a Boeing airfield, you can also watch airplanes coming and going. If you’re staying in Seattle, this is a MUST.
The Estates Wine Room . Located in the historic Pioneer Square district, this is a co-op of three wineries with vineyards in the Pacific Northwest: Double Canyon in Horse Heaven Hills, Washington, Seven Hills Winery in Walla Walla Valley, Washington and Archery Summit in Willamette Valley, Oregon.
SoDo Urban Works. Just south of downtown Seattle, about a dozen wineries have tasting rooms together in one building. It’s a warehouse-vibe with excellent wineries.
Taste Washington. Heading to Seattle in March? Don’t miss the nation's largest annual single-region wine and food event. From March 28th to the 31st, more than 225 wineries and nearly 65 Pacific Northwest restaurants will be under one roof! Tickets available here.
Woodinville Wine Country. Take a drive to this scenic valley just a 30-minute drive northeast of Seattle. Woodinville is home to over 100 tasting rooms and wineries like Chateau Ste. Michelle, the state’s first winery. Check out The Wine Chef’s recommendations: “Must Visit Tasting Rooms In Woodinville, A Unique Wine Destination Minutes From Seattle.”
Pike Place Market. Established in 1907, this bustling food hall overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront encompasses 9 acres and is one of the original U.S. farmers markets. Vendors sell everything from bacon flavored doughnuts, to fresh seafood and housemade bread. Non-food stores sell comics, collectibles, magic tricks, vinyl records, books, and more!
FUN THINGS TO DO IN SEATTLE BETWEEN MEALS
Chihuly Garden and Glass. This exhibit in the Seattle Center showcases the beautiful and colorful glasswork of Dale Chihuly. A must-see.
Theo Chocolate Factory Tour. This is a fun way to learn how chocolate is made, with tastes included!
The Space Needle is Seattle’s most iconic landmark and a must-do activity. At 520 feet high, you will have unparalleled views of the city.
Museum of Pop Culture. Also known as MoPOP, this nonprofit museum is dedicated to contemporary popular culture.
Olympic Sculpture Park. The park features numerous sculptures spread over nine acres with breathtaking views of the surrounding area. Open 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.
Bainbridge Island. Hop on a ferry headed to this charming island. Enjoy amazing views of the snowcapped Cascade Mountains on the horizon while taking in the salty sea air. Spend the afternoon walking the trails of the Bloedel Reserve, or take in the local art scene at the Bainbridge Museum of Art.
Go to www.VisitSeattle.org for more information on this amazing city.