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5 Must-Book Restaurants in Seattle

Despite economic challenges, restaurant openings currently outpace closures in the Seattle area. The exciting new crop mirrors the Emerald City’s own diversity, and includes a swanky, American brasserie at the city’s revamped Fairmont Olympic Hotel, a Moroccan restaurant in the heart of Pike Place Market, and a family-run Vietnamese joint in Haller Lake. Here are five hot spots to book in Seattle right now.

A photo of Red logo
Jay Friedman
5 Restaurants
Updated August 25, 2022
Restaurants:The George, The Hatch Cantina, Sparrow - Kirkland
Price Range:$$ - $$$$
Cuisines:Contemporary American, Southwest, American
Neighborhoods:Downtown, Seattle Center / Lower Queen Anne, Kirkland
A photo of The George restaurant

The George

Price: Very Expensive
Contemporary American
786 reviews

Originally opened in 1924, the dining room at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, which has hosted luminaries such as John Wayne, Joan Crawford, and Elvis Presley, emerged from a highly anticipated, multi-million dollar overhaul this spring. The George, as it’s now known, is opulent, with an updated classic vibe that soars from its granite tile floors to its breathtaking vaulted ceilings—this is a downtown destination where you can dress to the nines. Brasserie-inspired food showcases locally sourced dairy, produce, and meats from the state’s farms as well as seafood from nearby waters. Try the rich ricotta pancakes and a bloody Mary for breakfast or brunch, the citrusy seafood en escabeche for lunch, or the succulent seared duck breast with foie gras dirty rice, cherries, and duck jus for dinner.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Hatch Cantina restaurant

The Hatch Cantina

Price: Moderate
Seattle Center / Lower Queen Anne
110 reviews

Southwestern food comes to Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood at The Hatch Cantina, which opened doors in May. As the name suggests, dishes feature earthy chiles from Hatch, New Mexico. But there’s no need to reach for one of the vibrant dried chile pepper arrangements that adorn the walls to fulfill your heat craving—chile is all over the menu. Blue corn tortilla tacos are filled with your choice of beef, carnitas, chicken, or mushrooms; burritos are smothered in red chile or green chile sauce—or a colorful combo known as Christmas-style. Round out a spicy meal with an ancho chile sangria. For your convenience, takeout service is also available.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Sparrow - Kirkland restaurant

Sparrow - Kirkland

Price: Expensive
463 reviews

With living moss walls, inventive cocktails, and a crowd-pleasing New American menu, Sparrow landed in Seattle’s eastside suburb, Kirkland, in July. If you’re here for romance, book a booth in the intimate dining room, or dine al fresco on the pup-friendly back patio, complete with a dog run. Outside, you’ll also find a massive angel wings mural for obligatory Instagram shots. Shareable starters include birria lamb tacos (with lamb au jus), burrata avocado with crostini, sausage mussels, and spicy tuna tartare with taro chips. For larger appetites, there are chicken sandwiches, beef or mushroom burgers, and entrees, such as roasted scallops and pork belly with red peppers and fig sauce, served with polenta. Be sure to leave room for the house-made bread pudding, a luscious end to your meal.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

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A photo of Shama restaurant


Price: Moderate
Seattle Center / Lower Queen Anne
171 reviews

To introduce Seattle to the flavors of his home country, owner and sommelier Hamid Majdi welcomes people to Shama, a modern Moroccan restaurant, a March opening in the heart of Pike Place Market. Chic but cozy, the main dining room has bold, blue walls while the glass-encased atrium offers dining under string lights. The house specialty is a book-ahead family-style meal that includes méchoui—slow-roasted local lamb shoulder with Moroccan saffron rub—and a variety of side dishes such as saffron rice and market veggies. You can’t go wrong with any of the entrees, including Moroccan couscous with vegetables, sharmoula-baked fish of the day, and lamb shank with ras-al-hanout, prunes, sesame seeds, and roasted almonds.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Salt District restaurant

Salt District

Price: Moderate
0 reviews

Salt District sits on historic Pier 55 in the shadow of the Seattle Great Wheel and offers scenic views of Puget Sound, whether you choose indoor or patio dining. It’s an idyllic place to enjoy spectacular evening sunsets with an appetizer and aperitivo or a full-fledged Italian dinner. You might start with cured salmon bruschetta, served with mascarpone, blood orange, and basil. But how will you choose between the Dungeness crab pasta with citrus cream, ricotta, basil, and pine nuts and the short rib pappardelle with cippolini onions, Calabrian chili, sherry vinegar, and brodo? Easy. Bring a companion, so you can also compare beer and wine selections from the Pacific Northwest and Italy.

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