1. Devouring plank-grilled salmon at Elliott’s Oyster House.
The name suggests you should order oysters at Elliott’s Oyster House, but it’s the plank-grilled salmon that people consistently recommend. This fresh Sockeye salmon dish is moist and flaky, imbued with the earthy flavor of alder and served with fresh, grilled vegetables. Kick it up a notch by taking in the waterfront view of downtown Seattle that only Elliott’s offers.
2. Slurping oysters at The Walrus and the Carpenter.
The Walrus and the Carpenter in Ballard caters to bivalve oyster pilgrims with at least nine types on the menu any given day. Classically served with lemon and Tabasco, it’s easy to slurp an entire meal.
3. Warming up over a bowl of clam chowder at Ivar’s.
Whether you tuck into a bowl at their Acres of Clams downtown location or wrap your hands around a cup at the Salmon House on Lake Union, Ivar’s has well-earned their reputation for the best chowder in town. It’s creamy soup and chewy clams, cooked to the perfect degree to chase away the chill from Seattle’s drizzly winter.
4. Savoring the Porterhouse Steak at Daniel’s Broiler.
Their Porterhouse steak served medium rare is an understated staple of the menu but draws repeat customers despite the budget-breaking price.
5. Eating Phở like a pro at Green Leaf.
Widely considered the best Vietnamese restaurant in Seattle, locals know there’s one perfect dish to drive out the chill from our grey, rainy winter days: steaming bowls of Phở with plenty of Sriracha sauce.
6. Sucking down Xiao Long Bao at Ping’s Dumpling Mart.
The International District is often overlooked for fancier ethnic restaurants around the city; skipping this area means depriving yourself of the best Shanghai soup dumplings on this side of the Pacific. You can even watch them hand-rolled in the back after ordering.
7. Noshing on a Seattle dog after the game.
Instead of bleeding money for the vendors at the game, grab a 2-for-1 “Seattle dog” at Joe’s Gourmet just outside the stadiums. Piping hot, smothered in cream cheese, and dripping with grilled onions, you’ll get over the weird combination fast.
8. Carb loading for brunch at Biscuit B*tch.
The only thing controversial about Biscuit B*tch’s two Belltown brunch spots is the name: everything else on the menu is delicious, and you can expect to wait if you turn up on a weekend looking for their trademark southern hospitality and delicious biscuit dishes (that’s all they do).
9. Munching Russian dumplings in Lenin’s shadow at Pel’Meni Dumpling Tzar.
Fremont has a unique perspective on the world: it’s the only place in town (and farther) that you can find a towering statue of Lenin in the heart of the neighborhood. Commit to the experience by ordering a pile of steaming Russian dumplings from nearby Pel’Meni Dumpling Tzar, and enjoy them while seated at Lenin’s feet.
10. Tasting the nuances of coffee at Herkimer Coffee.
While not food, coffee is an integral part of the culinary scene in Seattle. The best way to learn about and appreciate coffee is through a “cupping” class at Herkimer, which teaches you how to smell and taste coffee, from bean to brew. These classes are by appointment only at their Phinney Ridge roastery, but they offer a rotation of up to nine bean types at any of their locations if you’re just in the mood to sip a delicious cup of java.