The UW CS&E Seattle Restaurant Guide

Developed from the 1992 USENIX Microkernel Workshop Restaurant Guide which was in turn revised from the ISCA 90 revision of the STOC 89 Restaurant Guide, compiled by Richard Anderson and Paul Beame.



Seattle is a good city for restaurants. There are notable restaurants in all price ranges and for most major cuisines. Seafood is a very good bet. A number of restaurants have sprung up that serve what could be called "Northwest Cuisine", specializing in fresh local ingredients. European restaurants are well represented, with Italian being particularly strong. There are a large number of Thai restaurants which are consistently good, and a smattering of Vietnamese restaurants. There are a number of good Japanese restaurants. In addition to being a good place to eat, Seattle is also a good place to drink: there are several microbreweries that make very good beers, and Northwest wines are gaining increasing recognition.

There are plenty of good restaurants within walking distance of the conference hotel. The most convenient are located in the Downtown and Pike Place Market areas. The restaurants listed for Pioneer Square, the International District, Seattle Center, and Capitol Hill are further away but still within walking distance; you can also, of course, take the bus (the new downtown bus tunnel is worth a visit in any case) or a cab.

Street addresses in Seattle are potentially confusing. Seattle is divided into a number of regions, and the streets are designated with the appropriate compass points. In downtown the compass point is empty. The compass points are significant, since 1st Ave N is different from 1st Ave NE is different from 1st Ave NW is different from 1st Ave. Streets generally run east-west and Avenues generally run north-south (although in some areas, such as downtown, east-west and north-south are used in a weak sense). Both streets and avenues are numbered, so after a series of wrong turns, you could find yourself at the corner of 45th and 45th (in fact there are several different places in the city where you could find yourself at this intersection). The compass point comes before a street name, as in N 50th Street, and after an avenue name, as in 9th Avenue NE. This makes the use of "street" and "avenue" redundant, so they are often omitted.

The restaurants below are open seven days a week unless otherwise noted, but call to be safe. Restaurants are classified as inexpensive, inexpensive-moderate, moderate, moderate-expensive, and expensive. A listing of restaurants by type of food follows the main listing.

None of these restaurants will disappoint. We have marked with an asterisk (*) restaurants particularly recommended for the infrequent visitor to Seattle.

Restaurants By Location


McCormick's Fish House*, 722 Fourth Avenue, 682-3900
Moderate-Expensive. Very wide range of fresh seafood. A bit noisy.
Metropolitan Grill, 820 Second Avenue, 624-3287
Moderate-Expensive. A well-regarded steakhouse.
Fullers, Seattle Sheraton Hotel, Sixth Avenue and Pike, 447-5544
Expensive. Consistently one of the highest rated restaurants in the city. Atmosphere and service are quite formal.
The Dahlia Lounge*, 1904 Fourth Avenue, 682-4142
Eclectic cuisine. Moderate-Expensive.
Nikko* , Fifth and Stewart (Westin Hotel), 322-4905
Moderate-Expensive. Historically the best sushi in Seattle. Recently transplanted from the International District.

Pike Place Market

Place Pigalle* , Pike Place Market, 624-1756
Moderate. Inside the market, great views, good fresh seafood.
Campagne , 86 Pine, 728-2800
Expensive. Very good French country restaurant.
El Puerco Lloron , 1501 Western Avenue (Pike Place Hillclimb)
Inexpensive. Authentic Mexican food. Really sort of a cafeteria and take-out joint; worth a stop if you're there and hungry.
Chez Shea* , Pike Place Market, 467-9990
Tiny restaurant serving Northwest cuisine upstairs in the Market Building itself. Closed Sunday and Monday. Expensive.
Cafe Sport* , 2020 Western Ave, 443-6000
Known for its unusual combinations of ingredients. Moderate-Expensive. Cafe Sport also has a cafe menu (served in the bar), which is faster and cheaper.
The Pink Door , 1919 Post Alley, 443-3241
Moderate. Cheap wine and decent interesting pasta dishes. Fun, casual atmosphere, particularly when the outdoor deck is usable.

South of the Market

Tlaquepaque , 1122 Post Alley, 467-8226
Moderate. Lively Mexican place where you won't find a burrito. Closed Sunday.
Wild Ginger* , 1400 Western, 623-4450
Moderate-Expensive. Westernized Asian. Pleasant, stylish decor.

North of the Market

A short distance to the north of Pike Place Market along 1st Avenue.
Labuznik* , 1924 1st Avenue, 682-1624
Expensive. Consistently one of Seattle's best restaurants. Imaginative preparation of meat dishes. Rack of lamb (for two) is superb. Less expensive cafe menu served in bar area up front. Closed Sunday and Monday.
Queen City Grill , 2201 1st Ave, 443-0975
Moderate. Seafood and Chops. Well prepared seafood. A very good bet.
Casa-U-Betcha , 2212 1st Ave, 441-1026
A taco bar for beautiful yuppies. Kind of fun.
Kaspar's by the Bay , 2701 1st Ave, 441-4805
Moderate. Pretty sterile atmosphere, but good continental food.

Pioneer Square

Heading south along 1st Avenue leads past Pioneer Square at Yesler to a number of renovated turn-of-the-century office buildings with many art galleries and bars/cafes.
Al Boccalino* , 1 Yesler Way, 622-7688
Moderate-expensive. Reservations difficult. Definitely the best Italian food in town, with an un-stuffy atmosphere. Noisy. Closed Sundays.
Viet My , 129 Prefontaine Place S, 382-9923
Inexpensive. Hole in the wall place with good Vietnamese food.
Trattoria Mitchelli , 84 Yesler Way, 623-3883
Moderate. Open nearly all the time. It's only OK Italian food, but at 3 a.m. who cares? The bar has decent pizza and calzone.
Elliott Bay Book Company and Cafe , 1st Ave S and S Main
The best bookstore in Seattle. The basement is a coffee house with an extremely pleasant atmosphere. Worth a visit. Inexpensive.
F.X. McRory's , 419 Occidental Ave S, 632-4800. Moderate.
Steaks and Chops. Good Bar. So, you want a 30 ounce steak?
Il Terrazzo Carmine, 411 1st Avenue S, 467-7797
Expensive. Classic Italian cuisine. Very good food in formal atmosphere. Closed Sunday.
Pacific NW Brewing Company , 322 Occidental S
A brewpub. The beer is good. We haven't tried the food. The coffee place one door to the north is fantastic.

International District

An area east of the Kingdome surrounding the superb Japanese supermarket, Uwajimaya.
Mikado* , 514 S Jackson Street, 622-5206
Expensive. One of the best Japanese restaurants on the west cost. Closed Sunday.
Thanh Vi , 1046 S Jackson, 329-0208
Inexpensive. Vietnamese (Southern).
Little Bit of Saigon , 1036-A S Jackson St, 325-3663
Inexpensive. Good Vietnamese (predominantly Northern).
Green Village , 721 S King, 624-3634
Moderate. Peking/Szechuan. Also, one of the few places in Seattle serving real Taiwanese food. Closed Sunday-Tuesday.
Ho Ho Seafood Restaurant , 651 S Weller, 382-9671
Moderate-Expensive. Not great decor, but really good food.
House of Hong , 409 8th Ave S, 622-7997
Inexpensive. Good Cantonese, but dim sum is the really strong suit here.
Ocean City Restaurant , 609 S Weller, 623-2333
Good for dim sum.

Capitol Hill

Ayutthaya Thai Restaurant, 727 E Pike St, 324-8833
Inexpensive. Very good Thai food. Closed Sunday.
Aoki, 621 Broadway E, 324-3633
Moderate. Highly recommended sushi. Closed Monday.
Pacific Desserts, 420 E Denny Way, 328-1950
One of several good dessert places in Seattle.
Dilettante Chocolates*, 416 Broadway E
Crowded place serving high octane stuff.
Siam on Broadway, 616 Broadway E, 324-0892
Moderate. Among the best Thai in Seattle.
Angel's Thai Cuisine*, 235 Broadway E, 328-0515
Moderate. Has a very strong local following.
B&O Espresso, 204 Belmont E (at Olive), 322-5028
Nice coffee house, also serving desserts and light food. Open late; nice for hanging out.

Seattle Center

Thai Restaurant, 101 John St at 1st Ave, 285-9000
Very good Thai food. Inexpensive-Moderate. Closed Monday.
Thai Heaven, 352 Roy, 285-1596
Pretty much ditto.
Phoenecia, 100 Mercer St, 285-6739. Middle Eastern
restaurant hidden away in the corners of an old bakery. Moderate. Closed Sunday.
Le Tastevin, 19 W Harrison St, 283-0991
Expensive. Light French cuisine and excellent wine list. Dine in the bar - lighter, cheaper, and faster.
Pacific Desserts, 127 Mercer St
A branch of the Capitol Hill dessert place.

Lake Union

These restaurants are located on all sides of Lake Union.
Chandler's Crab House, 901 Fairview Ave N, 223-2722
(South end of Lake Union.) Moderate-Expensive. Fresh seafood with a nice view over Lake Union. Terrific on a sunny day.
Cucina! Cucina!, 901 Fairview Ave N, 447-2782
(South end of Lake Union.) Moderate-Expensive. Owned by the same people as Chandler's. A formula Italian restaurant that's pretty good. Terrific place on a sunny day.
Rattlers Grill*, 1823 Eastlake Ave E, 325-7350
(East side of Lake Union.) Moderate. A good, fun, Southwestern ("New Mexican") restaurant.
Adriatica, 1107 Dexter Avenue N, 285-5000
(West side of Lake Union.) Expensive. Excellent Italian and Yugoslavian food. But perhaps the best feature is the dark, quiet bar up on the third floor overlooking Lake Union.
Hunan Harbor, 2040 Westlake Ave N, 286-1688
(West side of Lake Union.) Moderate-Expensive. As Cantonese as it is Hunan despite its name. Decent food, and a beautiful restaurant and view of the lake.

University District

(None of these is worth a special trip.)
Chili Pepper, 5000 University Way NE, 526-5004, Inexpensive
Very good regional Mexican food. Closed Sunday.
Ave, 4743 University Way NE, 527-9830
Moderate. The best authentic pizza in Seattle.
Big Time Brewing Company, 4133 University Way NE
Brew pub with decent sandwich-style food.

North of the University District

Saleh Al Lago*, 6804 E Green Lake Way N, 522-7943, Moderate-Expensive
Central Italian food. Consistently good. Pretty location. Closed Sunday.
Santa Fe Cafe, 2255 NE 65th Street 524-7736, and 5910 Phinney Avenue N, 783-9733, Moderate
New Mexican food, very good, green chili burritos a specialty. Northwest Beers. Closed Sunday and Monday.
Lemon Grass Grill, 7200 E
Greenlake Drive N, 525-6510. Moderate. More excellent Thai.
Sailfish Grill, 8917 Roosevelt Way NE, 526-8109
Good broiled seafood.
Royal Palm, 6417 Roosevelt Way NE, 523-2400
Yet more good Thai.
Honey Bear Bakery, 2106 N
55th, 545-7296. An institution for excellent baked goods.

North Capitol Hill / Montlake / Madison Park

Rain City Grill, 2359 Tenth Avenue E, 325-5003
Moderate. Innovative food, umbrellas hanging from ceiling.
Cactus*, 4220 E Madison, 324-4140
Moderate. Excellent Spanish / (New) Mexican.
Cafe Lago, 2305 24th Ave E, 329-8005
Moderate. More good Italian food. Close to the University. Small, friendly, informal room. No reservations (but you can wait in the tavern next door).
Rovers*, 2808 E Madison, 325-7442
Expensive. Outstanding, semi-formal, French-inspired Northwest cuisine. Small portions.
Sostanza, 1927 43rd E, 324-9701
Moderate. Pleasant Italian restaurant with interesting food. Along the lines of Al Boccalino and Il Terrazzo Carmine but a little cheaper (and less formal than Carmine).


Ray's Boathouse*, 6049 Seaview NW, Expensive, 789-3770
Seafood with a great view. Reservations are difficult. The upstairs portion of the restaurant (Ray's Cafe) does not take reservations, has much of the main menu, has a more relaxed atmosphere, and is much cheaper. Go there; definitely worth the trip on a nice evening.
Chinook's at Salmon Bay, Fishermen's Terminal, Ballard, 283-HOOK
Inexpensive-Moderate. Good fresh fish and chowders. Can be noisy.
Le Gourmand*, 425 NW Market St, 784-3463
Expensive. Intimate, no-frills decor with some of the best Northwest cuisine. A must for the serious foodie. Closed Sunday-Tuesday.


Union Bay Cafe*, 3505 NE 45th St (East of the University, in Laurelhurst), 527-8364
Moderate-Expensive. Small cafe with continental/Northwest food. Great desserts. Closed Monday.
Bai Tong, 15859 Pacific Highway S, SeaTac (by the airport!), 431-0893
The best Thai food in the area.
Vietnam's Pearl*, 708 Rainier Ave S, 726-1581
The best Vietnamese in town; sort of up-scale and nice-looking, too.
Szmania's, 3321 W McGraw St (Magnolia), 284-7305
Excellent continental food. Moderate-Expensive.

Restaurants By Cuisine









Mexican and Southwestern



Deleted by Lazowska, March 1992:

Cafe Alexis, First Avenue and Madison, 624-3646
Inventive menu, in a pleasant hotel. Moderate-Expensive. Great, but it's closing down.
Kaleenka Russian Cafe, 1933 1st Ave, 728-1278
Moderate. Russian and Siberian cuisine. Closed Sunday. Real average. If I were on that block, I'd go to the VI and drink beer.
Enoteca, 414 Olive Way, 624-9108, Moderate-Expensive, Wine Bar and nouvelle Northwest Cuisine
Across from the Westlake Center. Closed Sunday. Died.
Prego, Stouffer Madison Hotel, 515 Madison St
(upstairs), 583-0300. Moderate-Expensive. Large portions of vaguely nouvelle Italian cuisine. Just not good enough to list for a visitor.
The Other Place, 96 Union, 623-7340
Expensive. Fish, lamb and game excellently prepared in simple sauces. Closed Sunday. Died.
World Class Chili, 1411 1st, 623-3678
Best chili in Seattle. Not a sit down place. Inexpensive. So what?
Mama's Mexican Kitchen, 2234 2nd Ave, 728-6262
Inexpensive-Moderate. Not worthy of note.
Top of the Pier, Alaskan Way & Broad, 441-1867
Moderate-Expensive. North end of the water front. Seafood and a good view. Ditto.
Blue Moon Tavern 712 NE 45th St
An infamous and endangered tavern. They do not serve food. Get real!
Settebello, 1525 E Olive Way, 323-7772
Moderate. Very good Italian restaurant. Closed Sunday. Died.
Testarossa Stuffed Pizza, 210 Broadway E (upstairs), 328-0878
Excellent Chicago-style stuffed pizza with fresh ingredients. Pesto pizza anyone? Inexpensive. Sorry, Hank, I hate this place!
Toscana, 1312 NE 43rd St, 547-7679 (in the alley), Moderate, Italian
The owner is an unforgettable character. Definitely worth a visit. We had way too many Italian places. Borriello said to nuke this one.
Cafe Ciello
More Italian. It's fine, but service can be very slow, and the food is not off the scale by any means. If you're stuck on Capitol Hill and have got to have Italian, go here.

On the Waterfront

Winding down through the Market is the Pike Place Hillclimb which leads to a waterfront boardwalk and many touristy restaurants and shops.
Ivar's Acres of Clams, Pier 54
Don't make a special trip, but if you are out for a stroll on the boardwalk and your stomach starts rumbling ... An institution, in business since before Seattle had restaurants. Inexpensive.
I deleted the entire para. The restaurant is real average. If you're stuck on the waterfront and want food, walk to Pioneer Square or to the Market.
Sala Thai
5010 University Way NE, Moderate. A new Thai restaurant. Not worth traveling for.
Axum, 4142 Brooklyn Ave NE (entrance by aerobic studio around the corner), 547-6848
Ethiopian. Inexpensive-Moderate. Bad breath knows no bounds.
Coffee houses
The best place for coffee is Cafe Allegro, which is located in the alley between University Way and 15th Ave N, between 42nd and 43rd Streets. Coffee's everywhere.
Wanza, 6409 Roosevelt Ave NE, 525-3950
Inexpensive. Ethiopian. Closed Monday. Never been there.
Sunlight Cafe, 6403 Roosevelt Way NE, 522-9060
Hip vegetarian food. Inexpensive. I really don't like the food here, and I like veggie food.
Toyoda Sushi, 12543 Lake City Way NE, 367-7972
Inexpensive-Moderate. High quality sushi. Closed Tuesday. A long way from downtown, but worth going to if you are visiting the north end. My friends don't visit the north end.
Salvatore Ristorante, 6100 Roosevelt Way NE
, 527-9301. Closed Sunday. Moderate. Best Italian restaurant close to the University. Not enough of a recommendation for me!
Palomino, 1420 5th Avenue (Pacific First Centre), 623-1300
Eclectic and yuppie. Noisy. Expensive. Hanks feels Dahlia dominates and is also easily walkable from hotels.
Italia, 1010 Western, 623-1917
Basic yuppie Italian. Moderate. No one spoke up strongly for it.
Salute!, 3410 NE 55th Street, 527-8600
Inexpensive-Moderate. Italian. Reasonable food and great atmosphere. This is the place for you if you like to wait a long time in a small crowded room for a table. No Reservations. Closed Monday. Some liked it, some hated it. It's out.
Tandoor, 5024 University Way NE, 523-7477
Moderate. Well prepared Indian food. Beame nuked
Mamounia, 1556 E Olive Way, 329-3886
Moderate. Middle Eastern. Closed Sunday and Monday. NoBODY goes there, so it can't be great
Chau's Chinese Restaurant, 310 Fourth Ave S, 621-0006
Inexpensive. No atmosphere. Dirty. Very good Cantonese. Skip the menu, ask your waiter. Got Chinese recommendations from Bill Lee; he nuked this.
Julia's 14-Carrot Cafe, 2305 Eastlake Ave E, 324-1442
Inexpensive. > Breakfast every day; no dinner Sunday or Monday. Geez, I think this is a local cult place that's only really good for breakfast/brunch.

Kevin Fink's Home Page (