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Top restaurants and wine bars in Seattle

With its stunning skyline, fascinating cultural history and obsession with fine food and drink, plus a naturally beautiful setting, Seattle is one of the most rewarding cities in the US to discover, says Owen Bargreen...

Top restaurants and wine bars in Seattle

Wild Ginger

One of the best wine lists in the city and delicious, Asian-influenced cuisine. Expert sommeliers will choose the perfect pairing for your black pepper scallops or seven-flavour beef. www.wildginger.net


Started by celebrity chef Michael Mina, this has a mind-blowing wine list and even better French cuisine, all in a convenient location in downtown Seattle. Great steak tartare, oysters and beef fillet with duck-fat fries. www.michaelmina.net/

RN74 restaurant


The Herbfarm

This opulent prix-fixe restaurant in Woodinville has a deep wine list that boasts many older and tiny-production cuvées from Washington and Oregon. A must-visit for everything from a casual wine tasting to a Dom Pérignon-accented anniversary. www.theherbfarm.com

El Gaucho

The perfect place for a steak dinner: great dry-aged ribeye, an outstanding happy hour, and my vote for the best burger in Seattle. The northwest-centric wine list impresses, as do the by-the-glass offerings. Save room for the Bananas Foster, made tableside with great fanfare. www.elgaucho.com/dine/seattle/

El Gaucho restaurant

El Gaucho


Looking to save money on a great bottle of locally produced wine? Check out MetMarket in Queen Anne for an impressive regional selection. Enjoy it with a picnic at the Olympic Sculpture Park in Belltown, with panoramic views of the city and waterfront. www.metropolitan-market.com/


My favourite restaurant view of the water and a hidden gem. Relax with a craft cocktail or a bottle of Champagne and freshly shucked northwest oysters. The eclectic dinner menu is every bit as good as the Lake Union views. www.westwardseattle.com

Westward restaurant


Sodo Urban Works

A few kilometres south of downtown Seattle, you can enjoy tastings at Rotie Cellars, Latta Wines and Sleight of Hand Cellars, all next door to each other. Be sure to taste the Rhône-style wines from each of these producers, which have all impressed in warm vintages in Washington. www.sodo-urbanworks.com


In downtown Seattle, this modern restaurant boasts a spectacular wine list and free corkage for your first bottle. Enjoy high-quality, reasonably priced food while you gaze at the stunning wine spiral display. Be sure to make room for the signature salted caramels for dessert. www.purplecafe.com/purple-seattle/

Purple restaurant


The Barrel Thief

This casual wine hangout is a favourite among wine industry types. Just a few minutes from downtown Seattle, this relaxed bar has more than 175 wines by the glass, including some excellent pours for US$16-$20. www.bthief.com

The Nest

The Nest at The Thompson Hotel in Belltown is the place where Seattleites go to be seen. Enjoy a glass of Washington State rosé while taking in the breathtaking views of nearby Elliott Bay and Mt Rainer. www.thompsonhotels.com/hotels/

The Nest at Thompson Hotel

The Nest. Credit: Nic Lehoux

Dr Owen Bargreen is the founder/executive editor of www.washingtonwineblog.com and is a certified sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. This article first appeared in Decanter magazine – subscribe to Decanter here

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