A trip to Seattle isn’t complete without a stop at Pike Place Market. The mac ’n’ cheese at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Szechuan flatbread at Country Dough, rhubarb piroshky at Piroshky-Piroshky… The list of must-eats goes on and on.
The diversity and deliciousness on offer at the iconic public market reflect the city’s dining scene as a whole: Seattle is a food city. Here's a handful of eats to seek out when you’re exploring Emerald City beyond Pike Street.
Hand-made pasta at Le Messe
Fried squash blossoms, beef tartare with Champagne vinegar, and Hamachi crudo are some of the standouts at this sleek neighbourhood Italian restaurant (pronounced “leh-mess-eh”) at 1832 Eastlake Ave E. But it’s the perfectly executed noodles that can’t be missed. Selections change daily but you might find agnolotti stuffed with ricotta and lemon zest or cappaletti in a classic sauce of brown butter, sage, and toasted hazelnuts. Pity the low-carb masses.
The space itself is supercool: the triangular room has bar seats at the open kitchen’s chef’s counter and a minimalist design with wood, greys, and white offset simply with greenery. It feels sophisticated but not pretentious, and, just as in Italy, families are warmly welcomed.
Signature meatballs at Andare Kitchen and Bar
“Fast casual” doesn’t do justice to this Italian restaurant situated in the Hyatt Regency Seattle, the largest hotel in the Pacific Northwest.
The lobby-level Andare Kitchen and Bar has a wood-fired oven for pizzas (like duck confit with roasted garlic, smoked gouda, arugula, and balsamic drizzle) and a focus on Seattle ingredients (partnering with local companies like Uli’s Sausage and the excellent Macrina Bakery). It also happens to have a fantastic pesto sauce made with pistachios (for the short, twisted trofie pasta with roasted tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and basil).
Then there are the signature meatballs. Loaded with flavour, these babies are made with beef, pork, veal, and several ingredients that shall not be named. Served in a rustic pomodoro sauce with shaved parmesan, fresh basil, grilled pizza bread. Whoa.
With floor-to-ceiling windows on every level and in all 1,000-plus rooms, the hotel also features photography and artwork by local artists throughout and more than 120 varieties of scotch at the speakeasy-style Rickhouse Whisky Bar.
Strawberry-honey-balsamic-with-black-pepper ice cream at Salt & Straw
Having started in Portland by cousins Tyler and Kim Malek, this “farm to cone” scoop shop now has multiple locations in L.A., San Francisco, San Diego, and beyond, plus two in Seattle.
Ever-changing flavours are wild: Meyer lemon blueberry buttermilk custard; green fennel and maple; Beecher’s cheese with peppercorn toffee; Elm Coffee and Westland Whiskey; caramel corn on the cob… Some are even wilder, i.e. buttered mashed potatoes and gravy. All are made fresh with topnotch ingredients and passion.
Order a four-flavour sampler tray to be wowed while indecisive. There’s the Salt & Straw Ice Cream Cookbook for folks who scream for ice cream as loudly as the Maleks.
The Fig and the Pig at L’il Woody’s
It’s unfancy, just as an indie burger shack should be, and it does things right, using and loving local goods like Painted Hills grass-fed beef, Tillamook cheddar, Washington potatoes for hand-cut fries, fluffy made-in-Tacoma buns, and Full Tilt ice cream for shakes (including one with Sub Pop coffee).
The place even makes its own pickled figs, which show up on the Fig and Pig burger, with 1/3-pound beef, natural bacon from Oregon’s Hill’s Premium Meats, and crumbled blue cheese.
Sammy's Rice Bowl at Quality Athletics
“Not your daddy’s sports bar”: that’s the tagline for this resto within walking distance to Century Link Field and T-Mobile Park. Sports fans will love the vibe, wall of lockers, and screens, but it’s not just a place for Mariners and Seahawks fans.
QA’s scratch kitchen has upped the game on sports-bar fare, with inventive dishes like seared halloumi salad, pork or tofu lumpia, pork-belly ramen, and ricotta gnocchi with caramelized cauliflower.
Korean barbecued beef or crispy tofu are the options for Sammy’s Rice Bowl, complete with fried egg, jasmine rice, spicy mayo, and house-pickled “things”. To go with: consider a QA Mule with house-made ginger beer and your choice of Ketel One Vodka, Bulleit Bourbon, Big Gin by Seattle’s Captive Spirits, or Cazadores Tequila.