Little Black Book

A Chef's Tour of Seattle's 10 Best Restaurants

by Maria Hines
The The bar at Tallulah's. Photo courtesy of Tallulah's.

At risk of stating the obvious, Seattle restaurants are farm-to-table focused. But that doesn't mean the food scene lacks international flavor. James Beard Award-winning chef Maria Hines shares her favorite joints with local and out-of-town flare.

SEATTLE – I've lived in Seattle for fifteen years, and I couldn't image a better place to call home. The nearby mountains and water fuel my passion for the outdoors. The city's restaurants, chefs, and purveyors are very progressive. And its farmers, ranchers, and fisheries amaze me everyday with beautiful, local products. As a chef, I feel fortunate that I'm able to access the amazing bounty of the Pacific Northwest year-round.

403 N. 36th St.; +1-206-547-2040
Revel serves elevated Korean-inspired cuisine in a fun and vibrant room. The corned lamb salad is my favorite, and I order it almost every time go. The nice, bright, acidic quality of the dressing plays off the richness of the lamb perfectly. Chef Rachel is Korean, and her background in the cuisine shines.

550 19th Ave. E.; +1-206-860-0077
I come here for very healthful food that still feels decadent. And for the incredible bar program. They put thought and time into their craft cocktails, making their tonic and bitters in-house.

Radish Dish Tullulahs

Seasonal colors. Photo courtesy of Tallulah's.

Geo's Pork Sandwich

Pan con lechon. Photo courtesy of Geo's.

6301 Seaview Ave. N.W.; +1-206-706-3117
Geo's has great, authentic Cuban food, like the amazing Cuban sandwich with jalapeños: tender pork on crusty bread lathered in mayo. Geo's is very casual but worth checking out. It's close to the marina, which makes for a nice walk, rain or shine.

Mai Thaiku
6705 Greenwood Ave. N.; +1-206-706-7807
Authentic Thai food that's full of bright, sour, and spicy flavors but is not overly sweet (which happens so often at Thai places trying to appease American palates). The owners travel to Thailand several times a year and bring ingredients back to Seattle, and it shows in every dish. Beautiful traditional plateware adds to the authentic vibe.

Uneeda Burger
4302 Fremont Ave. N.; +1-206-547-2600
The best burgers in town, made with sustainable meats. The Sonora burger is my favorite, served with Anaheim chilis, jalapeños, and pepper jack cheese. Their burgers pair well with the great beers on tap.

952 E. Seneca St.; +1-206-323-5275
Serving some of the city's best New American cuisine. A great representation of refined and elegant farm-to-table food in the Pacific Northwest, its new location on Capitol Hill is beautiful. Go for dinner and hit a nearby spot for cocktails before or after your meal.

Roux Shrimp Po'Boy

Shrimp po’boy. Photo courtesy of Roux.

Revel Egg Bowl

Rice bowl with egg yolk. Photo courtesy of Revel.

4201 Fremont Ave. N.; +1-206-547-5420
One of my favorites for great Southern food. Super creative. Don't miss the beignets: They're hot and crispy, not greasy, and loaded with powdered sugar. Their brunch menu is wonderful, and they make one of the best Bloody Marys in town. They also own the Where Ya At Matt food truck, which is also worth a stop.

Terra Plata
1501 Melrose Ave.; +1-206-325-1501
A wonderful Mediterranean, locavore, small plates dining experience in a sexy environment on Capitol Hill. Chef Tamara Murphy has wonderful relationships with farmers, and brings the best products from the Northwest to the plate.

Cafe Juanita
9702 N.E. 120th Pl., Kirkland; +1-425-823-1505
The restaurant is located in a house, and, as such, is very romantic and cozy. Chef Holly Smith's Northern Italian cuisines includes a great pasta program. Her amazing handmade noodles are tender and rich, made from farm-fresh eggs.

El Camion
6416 15th Ave. N.W.; +1-206-784-5411
When I'm craving really comforting Mexican food, I never have to look far. El Camion has a brick and mortar location and a few taco trucks. I order their tongue tacos. And the price is always right: This is a great spot for cheap eats.

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