Mbar Photo Erin Craft

Navigating Seattle’s Food & Drink Scene, Like a Local

Seattle’s burgeoning food scene is one of the many characteristics that makes this city so special – and it’s a big reason residents love living here. If you want a taste of the Pacific Northwest as recommended by locals themselves, well, you’re in the right place. From seafood to brunch to bars, the Visit Seattle team is sharing the locations they frequent so you can truly taste the city like a local.


Seattle is known for being a seafood city. From salmon to oysters to crab, fresh catch is continuously being sold, cooked and served in restaurants and homes across the region. Here’s where the Visit Seattle team goes to savor delectable dishes inspired by the sea.

RockCreek Seafood

“I really like RockCreek Seafood in Fremont. It’s a nice neighborhood restaurant with a pretty interior and, of course, delicious and creative seafood dishes.” – Tamara Thorberg, Tourism Manager

Shiro’s Sushi

“The sashimi at Shiro’s is so fresh and so precisely prepared. For people seeking traditional, high-quality, unpretentious sushi, this is the place.” – Kristin Gillespie, Director, Content Strategy

The Walrus and The Carpenter

“The food at The Walrus and The Carpenter is always amazing and so fresh. It’s also a little different than traditional seafood restaurants. One day they had teriyaki salmon tails – because Chef Renee Erickson hates to waste any part of the animal. They were stupid good!” – Ali Daniels, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer

Ray’s Boathouse

Ray’s Boathouse is a great option for both a casual and fine dining experience in Ballard. Their location is right on the water so you get fantastic views of Puget Sound. Plus, their seafood is so good!” – Sue Yoo, National Account Director

Market Grill

“I have several favorite seafood restaurants, but I go to Market Grill frequently and it’s one of my top eating tips for Pike Place Market. This unassuming, frequently crowded counter serves delicious and affordable grilled salmon, blackened or not (I choose not), as a sandwich or platter with a salad and rice. They also offer catch of the day, halibut and chowder. If you’re lucky enough to spot an open stool, grab it! – Tracey Wickersham, Senior Director, Cultural Tourism


Who doesn’t love a good brunch? Seattleites sure do. And there’s no shortage of breakfast hotspots around the city. Whether you’re looking for traditional greasy fare, family-friendly, or even Syrian-inspired brunch, Seattle has a place for you.


“I love the atmosphere of Citizen in Queen Anne! They have a great outdoor patio with games, which offers a fun eating experience in the spring and summer months.” – Claire Bowen-Pope, Partner Services Manager

Portage Bay Café

“Any of the Portage Bay Café locations are worth a visit. They’re great! They serve fresh, local food that isn’t too greasy. You’re bound to have a good day after eating there.” – Patrick Smyton, Senior Director of Convention Strategy, Sales


“Everything at Mamnoon is delicious – and it’s not your typical brunch fare (unless you’ve grown up in a Syrian family of great cooks!). I typically avoid gluten (they have excellent gluten-free crackers), but I make a rare exception for the kaak bi knafeh. This stuffed sesame bread with warm fresh cheese and orange blossom honey is a thing of dreams. Seriously. The labneh is also delicious, as are the unusual and tasty egg dishes. Is it Saturday yet?” – Tracey Wickersham, Senior Director, Cultural Tourism

Blue Star Café & Pub

Blue Star Café & Pub in Wallingford is one of my favorites. It serves delicious comfort food that’s reasonably priced. Plus, it’s kid-friendly!” – Sue Yoo, National Account Director


“If you’re looking for a casual brunch spot with great views and wonderful staff, I highly recommend Lowell’s.” – Aaron Davis, Convention Services Manager


Where there’s great food, there’s bound to be equally as impressive drinks. And that’s most certainly the case in the Emerald City. Discover just a few of our favorite places to sip a cold beverage after hours – some come with rooftop views while others offer happy hours we simply can’t refuse.

Radiator Whiskey

Radiator Whiskey is tucked up in a hidden corner of Pike Place Market. They have a great (constantly rotating) selection of cocktails made of my favorite brown liquor. Plus, they serve tater tots smothered in gravy and topped with a fried egg that are half off at happy hour. Enough said.” – Kristin Gillespie, Director, Content Strategy

Local Breweries

“Just head to Ballard and walk in to any one of their breweries. I particularly enjoy Stoup Brewing and Reuben’s Brews. Also, Seapine Brewing Company in SoDo is a must. You can even hop over to nearby Westland Distillery. They aren’t a brewery, but they offer great cocktails.” – Addie Davis, Senior Public Relations Coordinator

Oliver’s Lounge

Oliver’s Lounge is Seattle’s first above-ground bar and they make amazing martinis.” – Katy Willis, Director, Convention Services

Rooftop Bars

“I’m a sucker for rooftop bars or nice outdoor patios! Mbar, The Nest, The Mountaineering Club, and Percy’s & Co. – you can’t go wrong with any of them.” – Tamara Thorberg, Tourism Manager

Rachel’s Ginger Beer (RGB)

“I love meeting friends at RGB. They’re known for their ginger beer, which is great if you’re looking for something non-alcoholic, but they also serve cocktails on tap (made with RGB, of course).” – Phil Manning, Junior Graphic Designer

To learn more about Seattle’s food and drink scene, head to

About the Author

Erin Craft

Erin Craft is the Marketing Specialist at Visit Seattle. Born in New York and raised in Houston, she attended the University of Alabama before making her way to the West Coast. You’ll likely find her sipping on a good glass of wine or purchasing an overabundance of fresh flowers. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring new restaurants in Seattle.

More Posts By Erin Craft



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