FareStart
FareStart

FareStart

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.farestart.org/
  • Phone: 2062677601x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday-Friday, 11 am-2 pm; Dinner: Thursdays, 5:30-8 pm

  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Contemporary American
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: FareStart Catering provides formal and informal services for a variety of occasions, including multi-course dinners, cocktail parties, and business lunches. Whether the event is in one of FareStart’s banquet rooms or at your private location, we are committed to providing the highest quality service and customer satisfaction. FareStart Catering will provide everything you need to make your event a success.
  • Private Party Facilities: When you hold your events at FareStart, your dollars provide culinary job training and support to homeless and disadvantaged people working hard to transform their lives. Private banquet rooms, and the entire restaurant, are available for your events.
  • Private Party Contact: Laura Lunde 8885037931

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 7th and Virginia
  • Public Transit: Routes 17 and 23 have stops at the intersection of 7th, Westlake and Virginia and many additional stops within a 2 block radius. Click on the Metro King County transit trip planner for specific route information.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Garage Parking for Guest Chef Night is available in the 1918 8th Ave Parking Garage. The garage is located on Virginia St, just across from the police station, between 8th & 9th Ave. Parking for our guests is $6.00 from 4-10 pm with proof of patronage at FareStart. Please provide your receipt to the parking attendant upon exiting to receive this special rate. Valid Thursday nights only.
    There are also several area lots, garages, and accessible street parking available during the day.
A word from FareStart
At FareStart, food is the tool that transforms lives. FareStart is a culinary job training and placement program for homeless and disadvantaged individuals. The FareStart Restaurant, located at 7th & Virginia in downtown Seattle, is open for lunch Monday-Friday from 11am–2pm, and for Guest Chef Night dinners on Thursdays from 5:30-8 p.m. All proceeds from the restaurant go back into the program to support FareStart’s job training and placement programs.

Held at the FareStart Restaurant, Guest Chef Night is a weekly highlight for the FareStart community. For FareStart students, it is a unique opportunity to work with Seattle's premier chefs. Every Thursday night, a different local chef works with students to prepare a delicious three-course meal. Guest Chef Night is $29.95 per person. For a calendar of upcoming chefs, please visit www.farestart.org.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerAmerican
FareStart reviews from OpenTable diners
132 reviews since May 21, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.5
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for lunch (81)fit for foodies (66)good for groups (62)neighborhood gem (54)special occasion (35)kid-friendly (19)hot spot (10)great for brunch (9)notable wine list (7)romantic (6)late-night find (1)great for outdoor dining (1)scenic view (1)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • annie75
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    I loved everything but the noise level. Too loud for me!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food & vibes
    gypsydjango
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Different chefs every week from some of Seattle's best restaurants. Always a great experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent place for lunch
    rpkeats
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    I've been to FareStart probably close to 20 times now, and they have consistently provided an excellent experience. The blackened salmon sandwich is great, and has wow'd some of my lunch mates. The soup they offer with focaccia bread is fantastic as well. It is typically easy to get a table without too much of a wait. Unfortunately I'm leaving Seattle so I'll no longer be able to stop in for lunch, but I made sure to squeeze in one last visit before I left.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, Great Cause
    BobC
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    A good place for good food at lunch, and a mission to train homeless and formerly homeless people for the food service industry -- what a combo!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food is Fab!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Take a chef, a diplomat, and a certifiable foodie from hell, to Fare Start and you'll end up with 3 very satiated appetites. Wine list was not impressive. I'm assuming we can bring our own bottle the next times. Like most Seattle restos the way the interior is designed makes it noisy. We all wish it was quieter.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and a great cause
    MelodyPowers
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    So happy we went. It was a rear night. We went for a work sponsors event but will be back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Chef night
    TexasFoodie
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    On vacation, made reservations well in advance of our planned trip. Awesome experience! The food was excellent. The volunteer waitstaff was so friendly, we had a great time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful community support event
    Severinka
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    The initiative is absolutely wonderful - other than it does provide great support to the local community, the execusion is impeccable, the positive vibes of volunteers charge the atmosphere the way that one immediately feels connected. Obviously, the chef's offerings are wonderful. It is also remarkable how easy it was to have a small modification to the ingredients made due to an allergy. Finally, the wine list is very reasonable, and local producers are represented rather well. I will consider volunteering for the event myself.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Great project, good food and fun experience! Guest chef night is especially recommended.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unique to Seattle
    Carealot
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    We were recommended FareStart by our bed and breakfast innkeeper. We were lucky enough to get a dinner reservation (they serve dinner once a week, and lunch daily during the week). This restaurant employs people who are trying to get back on their feet after problems with their pasts. That night they held a graduation for an employee who had completed the 16 week program and was moving on to an apprenticeship with a hotel restaurant. The "ceremony" was heartwarming and inspiring, and you could clearly see that on the faces of the graduate and those who were still in the program. The guest chef that night was from a local restaurant. The food was delicious, creative, beautifully plated and served with love by volunteers. A special night!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • snuzanna
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    The staff at Fare Start was very professional, friendly (but not too) and accommodating. The environment seems appropriately Seattle - warm, but chic. There were so many people and the restaurant buzzed! The food was good, but had just a touch of amateur. The prices seem extremely reasonable. I would go back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great food for a great cause
    CuervojoeyVIP
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    As always, the food is great an the mission of the restaurant is worthy of dining here. Guest chef night is another way to go besides lunch
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Chef Night with Kaspar
    Judy
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    A superb dinner prepared by Chef Kaspar for FareStart The smoked salmon bisque was divine and the stuffed pork was done to perfection. Dessert featured local seasonal berries. Service performed by volunteers was personal and professional-like. Very special night for a good cause.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • More than just an amazing meal
    lavenderlover
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    Beyond the delicious meals created by guest chefs on Thursday nights, the premise of this organization is noteworthy and genius. What a fabulous idea and a great cause to support! The wait staff was from GMMB the night I was there, and they were friendly and fun as well. Overall a foodie experience perfect for those with philanthropic tendencies.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Noise Level
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    Noise level was a bit too high to talk and hear. Food was fine though.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Worth a visit
    meillem
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    The food choices were unique, seasonal and inclusive of many dietary needs. The veggie burger I had was a bit dry but the seasoning was great and the salad was fresh with a flavorful dressing and condiments. The waitstaff was efficient, very friendly and warm. I think that the program is an incredible and inspiring tool for enabling struggling individuals to find security and escape homelessness. I hope to see more things like it in the future.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fabulous Food with an Awesome Cause
    Jojo
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Guest chef night is a must if you have a fabulous chef you want to sample and at the same time help people who are homeless lift themselves up.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Meal was great
    Rozzzz
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    Ive been here at least 3 times this year and I always leave happy. Love the high ceiling and big windows allowing for light to stream in. Food was great! Will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great downtown lunch spot
    circuspoodle
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    Nice open space, high ceilings, large windows and moderate noise level make a great environment for lunch with friends or coworkers. Very affordable and the food is quality. Service is always friendly ...if a bit unpolished.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Never disappoints
    Wolf
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    I have been enjoying business lunches at FareStart for well over a decade now. They have progressed to be one of my favorites and, in that time, have never let me down in terms of service and quality. An exceptionally well-run establishment!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Had a great dinner here
    murrelet
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    Everything here was very friendly and very efficiently run. We went for a chef's night tho really it was food writers instead of a chef that did this meal. Food and menu delish. Service by volunteers very good. Wine very good. Prices very reasonable. Recommend!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Warm your heart and your tummy!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    FareStart is a wonderful organization! It trains homeless people to work in food service and serves very good food. The atmosphere is relaxed and always very professional. I often go there for lunch with friends. This time we went to a guest chef dinner. The service was done by volunteers instead of the regular staff and it was very good. The wine server was a regular at these events and he told us a lot about the organization and gave us a tour of the kitchen after dinner. This was a plus. The food ranged between excellent and very good. The potstickers were over cooked, too chewy. I highly recommend going for lunch and for the Thursday guest chef dinners. This is an organization well worth supporting and you will have fun!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • lovely birthday celebration
    ebbecatdinesout
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    3 generations had great time celebrating "papa's" 67th birthday. Service/servers were gracious and accommodating (the 5 yr and 2 yr grandkids had a great time, enjoyed the grilled cheese and chocolate chip cookies!". I work at South Seattle College/Workforce Ed. and have talked the boss into having our next office meeting at FS for lunch....hope...many more. I'll be brining my sisters from out of town! Thanks for everything:)
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great program, food is lacking
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    I love the FareStart program and have been to several Guest Chef Nights. The food is usually decent and the volunteer servers are hit or miss. I really love the program but it's sometimes hard to spend around $75 (with tip) on a meal that's just ok.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Enjoy and give back
    jamesian
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    Great Chinese dumplings and carrot ginger soup during custom serving that benefits nonprofit.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, great cause
    SeaDine
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    I've been going to FareStart for years now, and I think they've only gotten better. I went for a Guest Chef night featuring local food writers and found the entire experience to be uplifting. And, I left feeling full -- and fulfilled. We were also able to witness 2 students graduate, and hear their inspiring stories. What a great program.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Place To Gather
    Crisy
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    It's a wonderful place to introduce visitors to the Seattle food scene. I love how they can accommodate to any food sensitivities and have such a terrific program! It never fails to impress me on the food and the service. The attention to detail.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hands down good food...period
    foodie4live
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    I first went here because I supported the idea around farestart. I continue to go back because the food is outstanding. If you are in the mood for a great meal and reasonable price, this is a must visit restaurant.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • highly recommend
    tanje1
    Dined on 6/30/2014
    Great place for lunch. Close to convention center and Westin Hotel. I did not have high expectation of their dish when I made this reservation. I just tried to support the program to help needed. I ordered smoke salmon with pita as appetizer and smoke cod salad. The food is so.... good. i highly recommend this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food for a good Cause
    CuervojoeyVIP
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    Fare Start is a great cause that during guest chef night, serves awesome food. If you have never been, it is worthwhile. Three course set menu meal, for 30 bucks, with all proceeds going to the program.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love the concept
    Brainsmile
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    Food was good. Perfect for a lunch date. I would suggest this place to anyone who needs a casual business meal.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    The polenta vegetable dish was amazing. I'd come back just to have that dish again.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food and a good cause!
    DeeBee
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    We attended our first guest chef dinner and were treated to a wonderful meal and supported an important jobs/life skills organization all at the same time. We'll be back soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I love this place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    I love the mission, I love the food (the corn and basil soup was divine), I love the low-key volunteer servers.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Giving back never tasted so good
    ultimateo76
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    Very friendly and attentive servers made me feel special. We visited for guest chef night (every Thursday) and the menu was summery and light. The salmon was cooked perfectly, with excellent use of color and texture variances in each dish. I'm excited to visit for lunch sometime.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good experience!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    The only reservation available was for 5:30 and the traffic at that time was TERRIBLE which caused us to arrive 15 minutes late. I ran ahead to let them know and they were understandable and held our table. Our waiter was new, but did a great job and was very friendly. The soup was delicious but barely lukewarm and the salmon was tasty, but small! I wish we'd been offered some garlic mashed potatoes or rice to accompany the salmon because it wasn't very filling. Overall it was a good experience and we are impressed with the program. I'll definitely return and will recommend it to others.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • FareStart - an absolutely "must do"
    TimOVIP
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    FareStart is an exceptional restaurant. If all you care about is the food, this place will amaze and please you. But layered behind this outstanding restaurant is a world class training program that works with individuals who are working hard to stabilize and improve their current life situations. It is socially responsible dining at its best. They also offer a guest chef nights on Thursdays that is truly one of the best dining experiences you'll do during the year. If you haven't paid them a visit for lunch yet, please do soon!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Farestart, Well Named
    eatingresponsibly
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    In addition to good healthy food, Farestart employs homeless and people down on their luck to give them a start in the food service industry. The theme of reclamation carries over to the restaurant design with use of recycled building materials and a community table in the center (reclaimed bar, good for community). I especially recommend their salads.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • guest chef night at farestart
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    guest chef night has never been so awesome as it was when Brendan mcgillis graced us with his menu and food innovation. on top of being one the most delicious meals I've ever tasted there were 7 graduates speaking about their experience with farestart. all of the proceeds go back into this charity that helps under privileged beings gain a culinary certificate of completion and training to work in a restaurant. this night was more special than the other nights I've attended due to the gush of heartfelt thanks and food oozing with gratitude and local fair honoring the Pacific Northwests seasonal bounty.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful
    PiPP
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    Fabulous service and cuisine! Appreciate its' use of organic & locally grown foods.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate