San Fermo

4.7
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643 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian

Our reservations are designed to give you the first available table at your booking time. Please keep in mind that we do not reserve specific tables, or areas of the restaurant. We maintain space for walk-ins, so if you’re having trouble finding a reservation, please stop by when you get to the neighborhood.
We serve traditional and contemporary Italian in one of Seattle’s oldest homes. Our menu changes daily and features handmade pasta and locally sourced seasonal entrees. We offer vegetarian and gluten free options daily.
Our reservations are for 2-hour time slots. We do our best to accommodate as many guests as possible, so please be considerate of other diners when you are finished with your meal.

What 643 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.8
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Palm Springs
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall2food3service1ambience5

The Food/Drinks:
Cranberry Infused Vodka - good
Caesar Salad - good
Charcuterie Board - good
Crab Tagliatelle - just okay
Risotto - reminiscent of canned spaghetti, skip it

The Service:
I think our server was new because she struggled answering some of the menu related questions we had. Not a big deal and she was okay otherwise.

The real black mark on San Fermo failing in service is Meredith, one of the managers, coming in hot at the end of our meal to very aggressively demand that we vacate our table because they had other people waiting to be seated. The notion of needing the table for the next party is completely reasonable but the way that Meredith delivered the message was not. There was no “do you mind settling up because we have a time limit on the table” or, “do you mind taking your drinks and moving to the bar” - she was aggressive and rude and ruined our experience. When we told her this, her bs apology was “I’m sorry you feel that way.” She made her guests feel unwelcome and we will not be back.

The place has potential, but not while Meredith is there.

J
Seattle
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Loved the ambiance, the food was good but a bit over priced. Our waitress was completely unhappy to help divide the ticket and got a bit snobby about it. It was not a nice way to end an otherwise lovely brunch.

B
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

It was our first time at the restaurant and we enjoyed the place and the food. I ordered the radicchio salad which was fantastic. Everyone enjoyed their meal. We had a little snafu when the waiter broke a glass at the table and they gave my husband a free dessert. We would definitely go back.

OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We always love going to San Fermo. Cute little place, great staff and great exceptional food and wine. You have to get the bolognese!

B
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful evening dining with friends! requested a table for a celebration and was seated upstairs which was perfect. We were very happy with our appetizer, entree and wine selections. Would have liked first bottle of bubbly to have arrived prior to one appetizer being presented but all the rest of the service was attentive. Food was delicious! Would easily return!

OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The saffron spaghetti bolognese was by far the best bolognese I have ever had. Paired with a delicious bottle of wine, we could not have asked for a better date spot. My new favorite spot in Seattle!

t
Seattle
10 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Anniversary dinner was great! We always get the spaghetti bolognese. Loved that they served us olives and almonds when we sat down.

SH
Seattle
7 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

The food was outstanding! The prices are high...for everything...wine, appetizers and entrees. That said, this will be a special occasion destination. With different pricing, we would go more often.

JH
Seattle
10 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Quaint little cottage in middle of bustling Ballard. Great unpretentious food and drinks. Great service.

OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful special dinner with my daughter for 40th birthday! First visit for me and she has been there before and loves your place.
We were serviced very well, given much time to enjoy our time together, and the food was fantastic! Thank you and I will be back.

PP
Seattle
13 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We really enjoy going to San Fermo. The food is always very good and the service is excellent.

LM
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Staff was so welcoming and friendly. Every dish was perfectly prepared and served. Will definitely return

MJ
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Quaint, romantic restaurant. Delicious food and beautiful ambiance. Would highly recommend it.

C
Seattle
17 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience4

When they stuff you upstairs, and you're there for the first time wanting to experience the ambience downstairs it creates a first dining experience that you'll never forget. Also I found it to be very overpriced for the portion sizes that you get.

E
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

Go early.

It was unfortunate that San Fermo was booked until 8:30. By the time we got there the kitchen had run out of the two dishes we wanted to try and the cocktail and wine we tried to order.

The sage pappardelle was very salty, the osso buco was good but overall I don't think the meal was very noteworthy.

The staff was nice, not too intrusive which we appreciated.

OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2019
Overall1food3service1ambience3

Anniversary

ES
Detroit
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

San Fermo is reliably one of the best restaurants in Seattle and the best bang for the buck fancy Italian place in the city. It was recommended to me by a friend/professional chef, and I'd recommend it to anyone lucky enough to get a reservation.

LH
Seattle
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

San Fermo is one of our favorites in Ballard. Cozy! Great friendly service, wonderful food.

LV
Seattle
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was spectacular. From the burrata, to the foccacia, to the salads and amazing pastas. Fantastic for foodies who want excellent Italian food that is both classic but always something unique that makes it special. I love the atmosphere in a small, old house. Very cozy, especially in winter. Go, you'll love it.

JB
Seattle
1 review
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We dine here at least 4 Xs per year, always a great experience!

JC
Seattle
1 review
Dined on December 11, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great Date Night !! <3 Love the space - fresh quaint, perfect lighting, sets the mood for romance or intimate gathering. Food is always delicious ! service very personal (makes you feel like a patron) without disrupting your experience . Yes, Yes Yes !

B
Seattle
1 review
Dined on December 11, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

We started our dinner on the top floor and it was way to confining and not enough separation between guests. We could hear every conversation in the space. We requested to move outside on the covered patio which was great.
The different dining environments are interesting g but suggest you close the top floor. Not worth it!

AC
Seattle
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Probably the best food in Ballard, plus they always have quality gluten-free options so I can always get something different and delicious.

S
Orange County
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience5

San Fermo is one of my favorite places to go in Ballard! It's in a very old house and just feels quaint / comfortable. The service is always great. Love their bolognese! The seasonal risotto was also good. Not a fan of the burrata appetizer though. Will definitely be back again soon.

S
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was my second dinner at San Fermo. What a wonderful neighborhood gem. A very cozy atmosphere, excellent and friendly service, and delicious Italian fare.

LD
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Really cute house from the late 1800’s. We were seated right away and everyone was very friendly. The menu is limited but we enjoyed what we ordered. Loved the Caesar salad with the wine infused croutons. The charcuterie board was great too. Nice wine list.

OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience4

Very cute atmosphere.

R
Seattle
138 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

One of the best restaurants to dine in Ballard.
The food, customer service & ambiance were outstanding
Intimate setting makes it a special date night

G
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Great environment. Nice to get to know a little bit of history about the building. Food was delicious. Will come back again!

CC
Seattle
9 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great dinner with friends. The house is very charming with great staff and good food. Would recommend for a date night. We had the carbonara and Bolognese and were very tasty.

EL
Seattle
42 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had avoided San Fermo because friends went there in its early days and were disappointed. That was a MISTAKE. We had a really excellent dinner (there were four of us, and everyone was delighted) and wonderfully cordial service. And the ambience - old house with a number of nooks and crannies - was terrific. We'll be back for sure!

OT
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Been there twice, once for brunch and once for dinner. The food is delicious, service great, and there’s ambiance galore.

OT
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had friends in from out of town and wanted a special dinner. We had the best time ever. The food and ambiance were amazing as always. Our waitress was incredible. I can’t say enough positive things about San Fermo. Headed back there next weekend for date night!

BG
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Great meal during restaurant week, but still pricey for my taste. I'd eat here more often if it was a little less expensive :)

K
Denver
34 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Great food, excellent service! I’ll definitely be back next time I’m in Ballard!

s
Seattle
27 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience3

Went for restaurant week. Unfortunately the caesar salad was over dressed and the carbonara pasta which i have like in the past was not good. Too much sauce. Waitress forgot the wine we ordered and the brought 2 glasses instead of one. We weren’t charged for the second glass, thankfully. Won’t be going back anytime soon.

OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My fav restaurant!

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AD
Dallas
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was so good and our server was amazing. I would highly recommend!

AB
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall3food5service2ambience4

This was our fourth time dining at San Fermo, and second time for dinner. Everything began perfectly, as it had every time before. The drinks and appetizers came out within 15 - 20 minutes upon arrival and were all excellent. The problem, however, started after the appetizers were served. No one checked on our table again, except at the very beginning to ask if things were alright, for over 35 minutes — long after it was clear we were finished. When our actual server did stop by, she said, “Can I get you anything else?” I immediately asked when our entrees would be served; her response was a flippant “Soon. You obviously haven’t dined here before because you’d know our food takes awhile to prepare,” then walked off. Actually, as mentioned before (AND to the waitstaff at the beginning of dinner!), this was meal #4 at San Fermo. I knew exactly how long it should take! In addition, two other tables that were seated after we were already had their entrees at that point.

Dinner began at 5:15. Appetizers arrived around 5:30ish; finished at 5:45. Entrees (two pasta dishes) didn’t arrive until 6:32 pm.

The food at San Fermo is top-notch, but there are plenty of top-notch restaurants in Ballard, let alone Seattle, that serve food much faster than 47 minutes after the appetizers are finished. Not to mention dealing with a server who obviously thought she was a bit above our station in life. Hmm, not sure she’d cut it at Per Se, Del Posto or French Laundry — been there, eaten that.

OT
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great restaurant- 4th time I’ve been here and it’s consistently good!!