Fine Dining in Seattle

Top off a fantastic evening in Seattle by treating yourself to one of the city’s fine dining options. If you’re not from the Seattle area you’ll be delighted by the number and variety of fine dining options but there is also something to take note of, Seattle is becoming a very big foodie town and they’re doing this by taking regional and fresh produce to a new level. Make sure you take advantage of this trend and experience at least one meal made with fresh and locally grown or raised produce.

Canlis Restaurant

After more than 50 years, Canlis Restaurant is not only doing something right, it’s doing almost everything right. This Seattle staple is the brainchild of Peter Canlis who selected a beautiful scenic location with views of the downtown core for diners to gaze upon during their meal. The interior is punctuated by an architectural beauty of the stone fireplace and the angled windowed vista. The restaurant is exposed, giving guests a peek at the process while they wait. The food is truly fine and served team-style and Canlis is credited with being one of the founders of Northwest cuisine. It’s an excellent option for dining in the Seattle area, but be prepared to dress your best as there is an enforced dress code.

The Herbfarm

Belly up to everything that is wonderful about the Pacific Northwest at Herbfarm, it’s a complete and total celebration of food and wine in a nine course dinner with six matched wines. If it sounds decadent that’s because it truly is. There is a single serving so make sure you check when the dining begins on your selected night. If you’re interested, arrive about an hour early and you can get a pre-dinner tour of the wine cellar, or head out to the bocce ball court for a game. And single travelers or couples may opt to dine at the European Common Table and take the opportunity to share a mean with new friends. Although the food and drink is an exclamation point of Pacific Northwest goodness, the décor is not. The eclectic charm is enhanced by the collection of antiques and artifacts from around the world, turning your evening at The Herbfarm into a night to remember.


Taking its inspiration from the Tuscan town, Volterra, this restaurant brings bold Italian flavors to Seattle by way of award-winning Chef Don Curtiss. The food is impeccable without being pretentious, a perfect touch of Tuscany in Seattle. If you just can’t decide what to have, give the “Little Bite” appetizer a try. Daily specials served in bite sized portions lets you nibble before you decide on an entire meal. A great romantic evening for a couple looking to experience an authentic Tuscan meal.

IMG_7364Wild Ginger

Almost 20 years ago this Asian restaurant set its roots in the Seattle soil and has quickly became one of the most brilliant blooms around. Wild Ginger is a favorite among locals and guests alike with its light airy atmosphere and authentic Pacific Rim recipes. Like a trip across the ocean, Wild Ginger brings you the best flavors in their signature dishes like the Fragrant Duck, Seven Flavor Beef, Ginger Martinis and Mango Daiquiris. The reviews for this restaurant are consistent reviews and come from foodies across the country. It’s fine dining fare with modest prices.

Chez Shea

Bon Appetit Magazine referred to Chez Shea as “perhaps the most intimate restaurant in the city”. So if its romance you’re looking for then the uber romantic contemporary French Chez Shea is what you need. The meals feature local seasonal fare but the menu changes regularly although you can always count on the contemporary French flair. If you’re a little adventurous, give the Chef Tasting Menu a try, you can go all in with seven courses or you can go with a lighter meal and only try four. If you’re not dressed for fine dining or simply want to give Chez Shea a try without committing to a meal, head next door to Shea’s Lounge Bistro where the atmosphere is still cozy and you’re welcome to order appetizers, entrees, and desserts.


With an emphasis on fresh and French, Champagne is making foodies stand up and take notice. Local food is transformed into a delicacy that smacks of southern France and is best experienced by trying to prix-fixe five course menu. The entire experience smacks of elegance and refinement in pure and simple foods. Like Chez Shea, there is a less formal bar and dining area below in Champagne Café which offers a lunch menu as well as dinner selections.

The Oceanaire Seafood Room

And what is a trip to Seattle without some amazingly fresh seafood? The Oceanaire Seafood Room uses the glory of a 1930’s ocean liner as its decorating inspiration and the sea as its culinary inspiration. When the seafood isn’t local it’s flown in daily so you get the best possible selection of fresh fish  on a daily printed menu. If you’re a fan of oysters, you’ll be delighted by the oyster bar that greets you as you walk in the door and even more excited by the chance to taste between 10 and 12 varieties of fresh oysters. It’s a nice themed atmosphere with brilliant food selections for the true seafood lover.

Rays Boathouse

Another noted restaurant that focuses on the fresh catch of the day, Rays Boathouse brings the best of Seattle to the table with sustainable Northwest seafood, artesian cheeses, local produce and meat. With a weekly changing menu, there is always something new and unexpected to taste, even to the most regular visitors. And adding to your dining experience, the wine list has a completely shocking selection of more than 700 wines with an emphasis on the Northwest variety. But Rays Boathouse isn’t just about the amazing food and wine, ask for a table by the window as the bayside view of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound is worth a visit in itself. A treat for so many of the senses all wrapped in one location.

With this list of fine dining selections it’s hard to narrow your choices because they all offer something incredibly delightful and local. The fresh food craze is really one of the most wonderful aspects of dining in Seattle, so in your selection process, look for a flavor or national flair that will go best with the fresh ingredients of the day.

Creative Commons License photo credit: xmatt
Creative Commons License photo credit: xmatt Creative Commons License photo credit: eyeliam