Just four miles north of downtown, the quiet and leafy Seattle neighborhood of Wallingford is saturated with a diverse array of restaurants that draw on the city’s bounty of fresh produce and seafood to create inventive and hearty dishes.
With such abundance, choosing can sometimes be a little hit and miss. It never hurts to have a little bit of local expertise to point you in the right direction. Here are ten of the best restaurants in Wallingford.
This garden-to-table spot caters to herbivores with a five course pre-fix menu that changes seasonally. Dishes feature a complex assortment of ingredients like alder smoked morel mushrooms that often stretches to multiple lines on the menu. In addition to wine parings, there are inventive non-alcoholic concoctions like a beet carrot apple ginger elixer.
1711 N 45th St
Simple preparation is the motto in Ethan Stowell’s casual eatery. Heaping bowls of pasta like ricotta ravioli with brown butter sauce sit alongside lighter fare like hamachi ceviche on a menu that’s separated into four categories: Vegetables, Meat, Fish, and Pasta and Grains.
2108 N 55th St
Sitting on Lake Union with striking views of the space needle and the downtown skyline, Josh Henderson’s upscale seafood shack is known for having some of the best oysters in town. They also make a mean pork chop served in Flintstones-size proportions and served with charred broccoli and an addictive hazelnut picatta.
2501 N Northlake Way
Named after a character in Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea,” this no-reservations spot emanates warmth from a wood-fired open kitchen. Their frequently changing menu currently features braised pork belly, grilled beef with lardo and a whole branzino spiced with habaneros.
3621 Stone Way N
Tucked inside a charming house, Maria Hines’ organic fine dining haven feels more like stepping into your best friend’s house for the best meal of your life. Best enjoyed as a tasting menu that can be taken in five or eight courses and made vegan or vegetarian, mark off at least three hours for the experience. A couple of the many highlights include a beef striploin with ramp chimichurri and a perfectly seared weathervane scallop.
1411 N 45th St
Ivar’s Salmon House
This local chain, which opened in 1938, is one of the oldest in Seattle. The menu features an array of freshly caught wild Alaskan salmon cooked over an open flame along with the indigenous Dungeness crab and shrimp from nearby Oregon. The view across Lake Union rivals Westward.
401 NE Northlake Way
With a focus on a diverse spectrum of Japanese food, dishes include standbys like pork katsu along with more off-beat offerings like uni and foie gras tofu that matches a sensibility set by the restaurant’s lavish and playful décor.
2208 N 45th
This Korean-fusion spot is for people who have grown weary with the traditional steakhouse experience. The carefully curated menu features five locally raised steaks including a short rib steak with grilled kimchi, a lamb sirloin with a fennel curry crust and a wagyu tri tip with roasted lemon chimichurri. Come for “power hour” when a steak dinner is just $12.
3506 Stone Way N
Art of the Table
Each course at Art of the Table is introduced by chef/owner Dustin Ronspies and changes daily, making a meal here a unique moment in time. For an even more tailored experience, book a spot at the five-seat chef’s table.
1054 N 39th
The Whale Wins
Housed in a converted warehouse that strives to be an English cottage, James Beard Award winning chef Renee Erickson cooks wood-fired seasonal dishes like Alaskan herring butter on toast, marrow bones served with sour cherry granola and spicy dry-aged beef sausage with pickled rhubarb.
3506 Stone Way N