Waterfront dining options in the Emerald City are as deep as Elliott Bay: the scenic body of water with knockout views of Bainbridge Island and the snow-capped Olympic Mountains in the distance. This is the postcard-perfect vista visitors come to drink in, and to dine alongside.
Seafood is a natural choice in these dramatic settings. Selections run the gamut from casual fish ‘n’ chip shops, including the legendary Ivar’s
with its year-round outdoor Fish Bar, to upscale spots like AQUA by El Gaucho, an elegant dining room where floor-to-ceiling windows take full advantage of its prime location on Pier 70. AQUA’s luxe entrées - think Barents Sea king crab legs with black truffle aioli - are complemented by an award-winning wine list. Grab a seat at the 85-foot bar for a nightcap, while the statuesque Space Needle glows just outside the window.
Elliott’s Oyster House
, near the ferry terminal, makes a dramatic first impression, thanks to a well-stocked oyster bar near the entry. The briny bivalves, displayed on ice, are harvested from the icy waters around the Puget Sound and in British Columbia, with many named for their point of origin. While oysters in all variations are standouts at Elliott’s, the rest of the extensive menu includes surf and turf delights from across the world.
One of the hottest new venues is a 10-minute water taxi ride across Elliott Bay in West Seattle. Marination Ma Kai is a spin-off of the wildly popular mobile kitchen specializing in tacos with a Hawaiian-Korean accent. Feed your mind and your stomach at the outdoor picnic tables by nibbling on a ginger miso chicken taco or a Spam slider while soaking in the Seattle skyline.
Seattle’s extensive lakes also provide for a bit of beautiful dining. The dazzling new Westward + Little Gull, a restaurant and oyster bar/grocery, offers Adirondack chairs at the edge of North Lake Union, so eaters can take full advantage of the knockout views looking south toward the Space Needle. There’s even a dock to tie up your boat while you dine away on Greek-inspired dishes in the cleverly decorated dining room.
And, on the other side of town, Daniel’s Broiler
in the Leschi neighborhood provides unparalleled views of majestic Mount Rainier across Lake Washington. The prime steaks, stellar seafood and deep wine list served at this local favorite provide a delicious diversion from the stunning visual landscape.