2576 Aurora Ave. N, Queen Anne
When it comes to Seattle dining establishments, Canlis is OG, located inside a 1950’s modernist home overlooking Lake Union. A bonus: All the tables have water views, meaning there’s not a bad seat in the house. It’s a family-owned spot that began as a steakhouse, though over the years they’ve tweaked the menu, adding Japanese elements here and there. Don’t miss the stellar selection of sake, and be sure to order the truffle fries. Trust.
No Bones Beach Club
5410 17th Ave. NW, Ballard
You’d never guess that a tiki-themed restaurant that plays surf movies and serves vegan food exists in Seattle, but it sure does. Don’t miss the Northwest Nachos (cashew queso, black beans, corn salsa), plus fried avocado tacos and tempeh kabobs, which are marinated in coconut milk, turmeric, and ginger. Predictably, the cocktails are kind of a thing—and every single one, from Mai Tais to Coconut Mojitos, are potent but delicious.
615 19th Ave. E, Capitol Hill
Monsoon is actually a family-run Vietnamese restaurant, but they're known for a great dim sum brunch on Saturdays and Sundays (the menu includes an incredible Bloody Mary with pho broth). It's also the one Seattle dim sum spot on our list that wins points for decór—there's a bar with cool, sculptural wooden lanterns and a sunny rooftop patio in the summer. The dim sum menu is short and sweet, with steamed shrimp dumplings, lotus leaf sticky rice, and barbecue pork buns, plus a sampling of Vietnamese and Western brunch dishes, like drunken chicken with rice and a fried egg, steak and eggs with banana ketchup, and congee with roasted shitake mushrooms and a poached egg.
424 7th Ave. S, Downtown
Not far from Harbor City (the other dim sum favorite in the International District), Jade Garden is a Seattle staple. The restaurant is actually really big, so while there's a line on the weekends, it moves fast, and you can use the time to look over the specials, which are written on an old-school chalkboard in gorgeous script, in English and Chinese. Try to snag a seat near the kitchen if possible—there are enough tables that folks in the back usually suffer from a smaller selection from the carts. Food-wise, they do classics like shumai and hum bow really well, and locals say the shrimp dumplings either fried or steamed are what they order late-night (it's open until 3am).
707 S. King St., Downtown
Set in the heart of Chinatown in the International District, with red lanterns hanging from the ceiling, lazy susan tables, and birds hanging in the windows, Harbor City is dim sum straight out of central casting. The space is pretty tiny, so we recommend arriving early on weekends to skip the lines. They do all the classics really well—the har gow, gai lan (steamed broccoli), pork siu mai, and barbecue pork buns all come highly recommended. If you're feeling adventurous enough to order some fried chicken feet, this is a good place to take the leap.
4900 Stone Way N, Wallingford
Probably the best thing about Bamboo Village, besides the fact that they do dim sum all day long, is that it doesn't get as crowded as the other dim sum spots in town. Read: You can always get a seat, and you won't be rushed through your meal, so you can do all the lingering (and deciding you want just one more dish) you like. Fan favorite dishes include the shumai, humbao, and fried taro from the dim sum menu, and regulars rave about the roasted duck with rice. And while it's definitely a love-it-or-hate-it kind of thing, taste-wise, it's more than worth ordering the mango jello with cream, which arrives shaped like a jiggling fish.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
4743 Ballard Ave. NW, Ballard
The seafood here is fantastic, and that's not a well-kept secret. So go early as The Walrus and the Carpenter doesn't take reservations. (There are other spots along Ballard Avenue, and even in the same building to grab a drink and/or an app while you wait—including sister restaurant, Barnacle.) The plates here are somewhat small and best shared tapas-style. Don't miss the extensive oyster list.
300 E. Pike St., Capitol Hill
Chef/owner Eric Johnson spent a decade-plus working in Paris, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, time that is reflected in the Vietnamese menu at Stateside, which takes cues from French and Chinese cuisine. The vibe here is great, too. The interior is a mix of clean wood and marble, with fun palm frond wallpaper and retro overhead lights. Make a reservation in advance to avoid a long wait. Grab a drink after dinner at next-door Foreign National.
Matt’s in the Market
94 Pike St., Downtown
Matt's in the Market (it overlooks the landmark Public Market clock and neon sign) has been open since 1996, and is now owned by a previous Pike Place fishmonger, Dan Bugge. Not surprisingly, you'll find a lot of fresh fish on the menu (seafood stew; seared scallops with grits and bacon; wild king salmon in a smoked heirloom tomato vinaigrette), plus chicken and steak dishes and crowd-pleasing desserts.
The London Plane
300 Occidental Ave. S, Downtown
The London Plane serves food all day in their café-style restaurant, offering an array of baked goods and sourdough toasts (e.g., curried avocado with radish, cabbage, and cilantro), as well as granolas, egg dishes, and veggie plates (like baby beets served with pomegranate and pistachio). Their dinner menu, which is available Wednesday through Saturday, includes mains like roasted chicken with wild mushrooms, strawberries, and hazelnuts. What makes The London Plane a bit different is that it's also part grocery and flower shop (overseen by Katherine Anderson of Marigold and Mint), so you can pick up specialty food items, gifts, floral arrangements, croissants to-go, all while brunching.
You may also like