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  • FareStart

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FareStart Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.farestart.org
  • Phone: (206) 267-7601
  • 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 (888) 503-7931

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.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerAmerican
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
Diner Reviews
  • "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!"
    Dined on 8/18/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    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."
    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."
    Dined on 8/14/2014
  • "Great project, good food and fun experience! Guest chef night is especially recommended."
    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!"
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/4/2014
  • "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"
    Dined on 7/28/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "Noise level was a bit too high to talk and hear. Food was fine though."
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "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."
    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!"
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "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!"
    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!"
    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:)"
    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."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "Great Chinese dumplings and carrot ginger soup during custom serving that benefits nonprofit."
    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."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "The polenta vegetable dish was amazing. I'd come back just to have that dish again."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    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."
    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."
    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!"
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "Fabulous service and cuisine! Appreciate its' use of organic & locally grown foods."
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "nice place to go for lunch with co-workers for a special occasion. It was too noisy to have a nice conversation though, only drawback."
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "Our waitperson was very attentive and very clear about our orders, and even ordered something later for the child in our group"
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "They have a variety of healthy foods; several that I do not cook at home. And they are excellent in taste and presentation. Our server answered all my questions with a smile, explained a part of the dessert menu that I was reading wrong, and checked on us often. The desserts, of course, are not to be eaten on a daily basis, but they were superb! I ordered the chocolate coconut ice cream served in a lack cookie --- the cookie was more like a cup, it was so big. My friend enjoyed the cherry creme brule and the added brittle for a sweet touch. I would definitely return. Amazing how quickly it filled up by noon ; not an empty table."
    Dined on 6/9/2014