Carnal

4.8
195 Reviews
$30 and under
American
Carnal is a new wood-fired restaurant in Bellingham, Washington. Carnal specializes in slow-cooked meat and the seasonal produce and aquaculture of the Pacific Northwest.

Support Carnal during COVID-19

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 195 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.7
service
4.6
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
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Wherenext
Seattle
26 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dining was available inside and outside. Most people were outside, so we chose that. It was a pleasant September evening with a bit of sun hitting the gravel patio. Inside would have been fine as well, with a darker, more intimate feel. The menu was short but perfect. We had the broccolini, hanger steak, and pork collar, and a couple of specialty cocktails. Everything was superb with layers of flavors. I can't recommend Carnal highly enough. We were only in Bellingham for a couple of nights and I'm so glad we chose to spend one at Carnal.

K
Katie
Seattle
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was my fourth time at Carnal and it did not disappoint. Although it was somewhat busy, service was great and the wait for our food wasn't bad at all. Everything was delicious and the ambiance is unbeatable. There's a reason I keep coming back. Looking forward to my next visit already.

KM
KarenM
Seattle
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was delicious! I had the marinated avocado and the fried chicken wings, while my husband had the green salad and ribs. It was all Outstanding! Our friends had the same plus the halibut and were quite happy. The wait staff were attentive, giving us time to chat but ready to help and answer questions.

We ate out on the patio, which is lovely, and is adjacent to the Y, so the smell of chlorine from the Y’s swimming pool was initially prominent, and then I guess we just got accustomed to it and couldn’t smell it anymore. Just a heads up there.

Highly recommend and will return.

ML
vipMichaelL
Los Angeles
22 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Chef James is an artist. Food is complimented with exceptional cocktails. The service and choices Ayla and Camen made for us were perfect!!!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Best food experience in Bellingham, so far.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of the best meals we’ve ever had! Amazing cocktails, fantastic service. We had a wonderful experience.

TH
TerryH
1 review
Dined on September 3, 2021
Overall3food3service5ambience5

This was too expensive for what you got. The meat is way way overpriced and the portions were very small. I’m a 124lb woman who felt ripped off by the two small strips of hangar steak. It was over $100 bill for a mostly vegetarian meal

CB
ChristineB
1 review
Dined on September 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was pretty awesome. We ate nearly everything off the menu and it was all pretty good.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food & drink is absolutely delicious with a unique vibe / ambiance!

Concept almost feels like they are going for a high end steak house but the portions could be a bit bigger given the price point.

JF
vipJonF
London
115 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best restaurant in bellingham hands down! I brought out of town friends this visit who said it was the best food they had eaten this year!

P
Paige
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was absolutely incredible...though very expensive.

KP
KarenP
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very nice experience. We enjoyed the food. Loved the shortribs. And the Halibut. Wings were great too.

s
stewball
Orange County
18 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Intimate setting with outdoor seating. Heaters are available. Appetizers were excellent. My wife had the halibut which was tender and well prepared. The short rib is their signature dish and I was thoroughly impressed with the preparation and the size of the portion. Strongly recommend.
Service was superb. We were visiting from out of state and I strongly recommend this restaurant for a unique dining experience.
I hope they expand their menu in the future

LC
LisaC
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Probably the best food in Bellingham! Unique, healthy choices for small plates and a beautiful helping of protein for dinner. Excellent and fun cocktail choices. We had to move inside because it was a little chilly outside. I’d love to see some more comfortable seating or some coziness in this location. With food this good, I would get excited about coming more often it is was a little more comfortable. Worth a trip. We have also ordered from them on Viking Food.

JD
JulieD
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

amazing creative food. They don't serve coffee so that would be my only suggestion

RD
RyanD
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and ambiance were excellent. The plantain appetizer was a suggestion by our server and it did not disappoint.

SB
SamB
Seattle
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Check the menu beforehand, it’s not very extensive and you’ll want to be sure they have something you’ll eat, but there’s also “something for everyone” insofar as you’ll have vegetarian, gluten free, etc. Otherwise, the portions are good and the prices are not unreasonable, the food itself is excellent.

KM
KarenM
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Great food, great service, best outdoor dining in Bellingham. Limited menu. Hope they switch it up or add specials for those of us who come back often!

AT
vipAliTh
Seattle
7 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Must try spot! Beautiful and delicious food. Creative preparations that do not disappoint. The dessert (Chocolate Mousse) was overly sweet for my palate but the one bite I took was so worth it. Carnal's signature short rib should be on your culinary bucket list.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food here is really, really good (and the folks there know it's good, for better and for worse). The staff were awesome and very kind. I would say don't come here if you want a typical American salad/starter/entree/dessert meal where everything is comfortably familiar. Do come here if you want to expand your horizons a bit, and are willing to get several of the small plates (which we did, and they were great - particularly the duck fat potatoes and chicken wings). Carnal shoots for a diversity of quality over quantity, and I think they hit the target.

A
Austin
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Friendly waiting staff, eager to help you enjoy your experience. Delicious cocktails to compliment the extraordinary food combinations

SD
vipSherryD
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Great Open Table find!!

SB
SteveB
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience4

The small plates are more interesting than the large. Tha next table ordered smalls and dessert with wine and looked to do it right.

CC
ChristinaC
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and the cocktails are amazing. Get the short ribs, plantain appetizer, and the 83 Degree Fahrenheit cocktail.

DT
DianeT
Seattle
17 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

There are not too many places I will travel two counties up for a great meal, but Carnal did not disappoint the second time.
Just as amazing as the first time and well worth it. Both the bartender and waitress were lovely, friendly ladies that made us feel right at home. The food was impeccable. The halibut was the best of the best!

M
Marty
Seattle
22 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful anniversary dinner at Carnal. We sat outside and the shaded courtyard was wonderful. My wife had had the beef rib. It was fantastic. I had the hangar steak. I liked the rib better. Everything is a la carte. And the chocolate mousse dessert was unique and fantastic. We will definitely go back.

H
Hayes
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was some of the best food I have ever had. The service was spot on and the outside seating area is awesome. This is a must if you are in the Bellingham area.

DM
DonnaM
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Interesting menu, elegant and understated service, pricey. Very unique cocktails and menu. Sense of pride about the offerings.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Seattle
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2021
Overall3food5service2ambience5

The food at Carnal is simply amazing. The ingredient pairings are unique that really amplify the whole dining experience. The ambiance is lovely. A little dark, exposed brick. I feel like I’m in a big city spot. Where Carnal falls short is with the service.
We felt our server was a little rude and didn’t explain that ALL food items need to be ordered at the same time. This is completely backwards to any other restaurant I’m which you order your apps and enjoy those a while before ordering your main dish. This created a “hurry up and order” feeling for our group. This should be written on the menu to make all your selections at once. Lastly, we ordered two of the same drinks at our table and the glasses came out with quantities quite disproportionate to each other. Twice, our table mates drink was filled quite a bit more than my own despite ordering the same drink. We are paying the same amount for the drink. This is service 101.
We will definitely be back, love love the food and atmosphere here!

EC
EileenC
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Really delicious, innovative food! Fun outdoor space The service needs some refinement. Our table and chairs were teetering on uneven ground and the metal chairs were hard and cold. Cushions, please!

Y
Yulurt
London
4 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The food is so delicious here with interesting combinations. The cocktails are inspired and outdoor dining is very pleasant. Only downside is there was a huge gap between serving our starters and our main courses, which happened both times we came to Carnal.

JF
vipJonF
London
115 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a beautiful summer night to dine al fresco and the beautiful courtyard at Carnal was the ticket.
my wife and I have eaten at Carnal at least 10 times this year and the food was probably the best ever.
My wife had the new entrée, the grilled pork collar which had an Asian influence with marinated cucumber, kiwi , and lemon grass and it was perfect for the warm summer evening .....and delicious. I once again had the hanger steak “salad” (grilled epazote)which is innovative and delicious. We had our favorite server Julie who is very professional and attentive. This is my go to restaurant in Bellingham without doubt. I would highly recommend Carnal..... I want it to be successful but not overly popular so I’d have difficulty getting a reservation.😎

LJ
vipLJVPB
New England
19 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

We ate outside in the charming courtyard. All of our dishes were creative and delicious. We enjoyed eating here and would go back.

FH
FaithH
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Carnal never fails to deliver! Great ambience, amazing food, correct portions. Love it!

t
thomas
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and cocktails. Only recs: have iced tea and more than one dessert available. I will gladly eat here again.

AH
AnnaH
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Food is great but they need to rotate the menu, have specials and more dessert options.
Weren’t asked if we wanted refills on drinks once. Plates were cleared with food still on it without being asked if we were finished.

BP
BreezyPoint
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Wonderful concepts and flawless execution. We enjoyed every plate - each one unique and inviting.

We’ll definitely be back!

TS
ToddS
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2021
Overall2food1service2ambience2

Pro's, the quinoa in the salad was very good.
The sauce and garnish on the halibut was good.
Con's, we were asked if we were celebrating a special occasion when we booked, but our anniversary was never acknowledged.
We were seated next to a family with a whinnying dog.
The halibut was not fresh, three of the four pieces were fishy.
Other than the quinoa, the salad was just arugula and onions with a flavorless dressing.
There were only two beer choices and the pilsner I chose was bitter.
The ribs were cooked well but the flavor was impressive.
The service wasn't very knowledgeable and not very attentive.
The outside dining area was uncomfortable seating and the gravel floor was neither aesthetic or comfortable.
Bellingham has many other venues that offer a much better dining experience.
We really wanted to like this place, but it fell way short of our expectations.

LS
LauraS
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great new restaurant! Outside eating area feels really nice, great food, lots of interesting flavors. We'll be back!

BL
BethL
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was creative and delicious.

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from Carnal using the Order Online button. Carnal also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (360) 306-3587.

Carnal is rated 4.8 stars by 195 OpenTable diners.

Carnal does offer gift cards which you can purchase here https://www.eatcarnal.com/store/gift-cards/.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.