Having grown up in Seattle I will always call Seattle home despite my thirst to travel and explore other places. Seattle has just the right amount of funk and culture that contribute to its amazing food.
These Unique Seattle Restaurants will not only thrill your taste buds but I’ve also chosen them to get you into some of Seattle’s best neighborhoods for the most unique places to eat in Seattle.
We just updated this article for 2023 and added even more hidden gem restaurants Seattle has become so famous for. So grab a fork and let’s dive into all the fun restaurants Seattle has to offer.
Best Seattle Restaurants That Are Funky And Unique
1. Nue – A Truly Unique Seattle Restaurant
Nue offers a casual dining experience with food and drink inspired by international travels making this one of the coolest restaurants in Seattle.
The diverse inspirations range from the tascas of the Iberian Peninsula to the colorful markets of Asia. The food is approachable yet unique, often surprising and always delicious.
The atmosphere is unassuming and perfect for a relaxing meal or gathering with friends. Highly recommended for those looking to try something new and delicious. One of the most fun restaurants Seattle has to offer for foodies.
2. Beth’s Cafe
Beths Cafe holds a secret spot in our hearts as it was one of the one the first places August and I hung out after a late night of one too many drinks in the city.
If you’re into a great late night or early morning meal this is your place! (2023 Update: Unfortunately, Beth’s has adjusted its hours and is no longer available as a late-night dining option. However, it’s still worth considering giving Beth’s a try.)
Beth’s Cafe opened in 1954 and remains largely unchanged. It’s an absolute Seattle late-night staple and perhaps one of the greatest “greasy spoons.” The Travel Channel picked Beth’s Cafe as the best place in the country to “pig out.”
The walls are decorated in patron created art from napkin drawings to dirty Seattle quotes. The most famous dish, 12-egg omelette, was featured on the February 11, 2009 episode of Man Vs. Food.
If your lucky you’ll score the booth with the “I lost my virginity at Beth’s” napkin artwork.
3. 19 Gold
One of the more unique places to eat in Seattle, 19 gold is the first Taiwanese Malatang restaurant in the city. The menu is very diverse and as you explore all the tasty options you almost feel like your on a worldly vacation.
This place is all bout exploring different cultures through food. Their name is from their Malatang broth which contains 19 different species. This place is a true culinary journey making it one of the most fun places to eat in Seattle.
Are you a foodie? Here are our favorite Seattle Food Tours.
4. Dick’s Drive-In
Another one of our absolute favs after enjoying a Seattle night out (or anytime of the day) is the iconic Dicks! Don’t be scared of the long lines and seemingly drunk crowd late at night into early morning because Dicks serves up some mean burgers and fries!
The first Dick’s opened in 1954 in Seattle’s iconic Wallingford district. Famous for their hand cut fries, stellar shakes, and mouth watering burgers, Dick’s is not to be missed.
Unlike most fast food diners, Dick’s has offered employee benefits such as a matched 401(k), 100% employer-paid medical insurance, and a $22,000 college tuition scholarship after six months of work. Needless to say, this was a popular place to work in high school.
WANT TO DISCOVER MORE UNIQUE SEATTLE RESTAURANTS?
Seattle Food Crawls is an exciting culinary tour through this vibrant city. Discover hidden gems and long-standing institutions of Seattle.
Each crawl is the complete recipe for a great night out, the perfect tourist day, a new way to experience your own city, or simply food porn and great stories to enjoy from home.
Eat your way through Pike Place, hit the hottest spots in West Seattle, and eat like a hipster in Capitol Hill. Put on your walking shoes and your stretchy pants, and dig into the Emerald City one dish at a time
5. Dim Sum At Harbour City Restaurant
If you haven’t had the pleasure of eating Dim Sum you are in for a real treat. August introduced me to Dim Sum in China town and I was a bit overwhelmed at first but after experiencing a couple of his favorites I was 100% in!
Dim Sum is a Chinese cuisine of small bite-sized portions of steam cooked deliciousness. The international district of Seattle is home to some amazing restaurants but Harbour City is a local favorite and a fun place to eat in Seattle.
🍽️ Looking For The Best Seattle Restaurants At Pike Place Market? We recommend this tour
6. Thai Tom
Every time we visit Seattle Thai Toms is one of our top 5 stops for places to eat while visiting the city. This tiny little restaurant located in the University District is sure to bring tears to your eyes, tears of joy of course. Or tears of spicy goodness if you so choose.
Once you get through the long wait you will be rewarded with authentic Thai classics presented in a hole-in-the-wall style restaurant.
The restaurant is buzzing with activity as the meals are prepared in an open kitchen for everyone to see. Pots and pans flying, knives chopping, it really is quite a site. Thai Tom ranks top 3 of my all-time favorite restaurants.
If you’re ever in the University District on a Saturday, stop by Morsel for an unforgettable biscuit experience! Their biscuits are delectably crunchy outside and delightfully flaky inside.
The U-District farmers market is right next door – so why not make a day of it? They provide a small selection of delicious sandwiches and other delectable biscuit creations.
For the perfect combination of savory and sweet, I can’t help but recommend the “Fast Break” egg sammy. The smoky bacon alongside a delightful tomato jam will have you asking for seconds!
The Laudable’s biscuits and gravy are truly remarkable, especially because they offer two different varieties of gravies – pork sausage and mushroom.
When you dine in, the atmosphere is reminiscent of a vintage school cafeteria with touches of industrial design. The perfect combination for a unique dining experience!
8. Seattle Fish Company
Seattle Fish Company sits in one of my favorite Seattle neighborhoods, Alki Beach. Seattle Fish Company serves up fish ‘n’ chips, shrimp cocktail, crab cakes, and a terrific cioppino.
In addition, they will serve up any of the fish offered fresh and whole from Ma’ono Fish Market next door. After a full belly cruise the Alki beach for a perfect evening sunset.
9. Annapurna Cafe
Mo’ momos please. Indulge in 6 mouthwatering momos for just $12, accompanied by savory sauces! For a unique and delicious drinking experience, sample the Hot Night in Kathmandu made with their signature saffron-infused vodka.
After traveling to Nepal and falling in love with some of their traditional dishes we were delighted to find this unique restaurant that serves up some delicious food.
A couple of our favorites were Momo’s (of course), vegetable Kofta (paneer vegetable balls in a cashew sauce), the Annapurna Curry with goat (a spicy and comforting curry) and a delicious side of garlic naan.
Unique Downtown Seattle Restaurants
Downtown Seattle is packed with top-notch restaurants where you can enjoy a wide range of dishes. There’s something for everyone, with food options spanning from local seafood to global cuisines.
After a good meal, visiting a rooftop bar in Seattle is a must. You’ll get great city views while having a drink, IF, rooftop bars aren’t your thing don’t you worry; there are plenty of Seattle dive bars to suit your taste.
10. Daily Dozen Doughnut
Daily Dozen Doughnut is a must stop for us anytime were in Seattle. This popular donut spot located in the heart of the Pike Place Market churns out hot and fresh doughnuts.
One of the most fun places to eat in Seattle is the Pike Place Market and there’s no better place for a delicious bag of hot doughnuts. This iconic Seattle spot is an absolute must.
11. Bangrak Market- Perhaps The Most Fun Place To Eat In Seattle
Bangrak Market, located in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, is a vibrant culinary gem that brings the authentic experience of a Thai street market to the Pacific Northwest.
The restaurant is popular for its diverse menu, featuring everything from skewered meats to rich, creamy curries like massaman and panang. More than just a place to eat, Bangrak Market offers a fun, bright atmosphere that, combined with its delicious offerings, solidifies its reputation as perhaps the most enjoyable dining spot in Seattle.
12. Damn The Weather
Housed in the charming Pioneer Square area of Seattle this 100 year old brick building ads to the charm of Damn The Weather. A great place to dodge the drizzle and enjoy a refreshing cocktail and a delicious meal. For an appetizer the curried chickpeas are terrific. If you’re looking for cool places to eat in Seattle these folks do it in style.
13. Pike Place Chowder
A trip to Seattle wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Pike Place Market and a delicious bowl of Chowder from Pike Place Chowder.
After your belly is nice and full with hot bowl of chowder we’d recommend taking a 1 hour underground tour of Seattle. Why not explore Seattle from a different angle and go below Pioneer Square.
You’ll take a walk through three underground passageways originally constructed in the 1890’s and learn about Seattle’s forgotten history.
Learn more about the Seattle underground tour here.
14. 5 Point Cafe
In the heart of Seattle, where urban sophistication meets timeless tradition, stands the iconic 5 Point Café Tavern. Established in 1929, this storied establishment is more than just a café or a bar—it’s a testament to Seattle’s rich history and vibrant culture.
Celebrated as one of the city’s longest-running restaurants, the 5 Point Café Tavern seamlessly weaves the allure of the past with the buzz of the present. Frequented by both locals and travelers, its walls have heard countless stories, making it a living tapestry of memories, and Seattle spirit.
Whether you’re interested in its historical background, unique vibe, or just looking for good food and classic drinks, the 5 Point Café cafe is a go-to spot that showcases what Seattle is all about.
15. Seattle Dumpling Co.
A simple menu with dumplings and stir fry noodle dishes. These hand-made dumplings are delish and we usually get them in the broth as a soup but you can also get them plain.
The atmosphere here is great and expect a line on weekends as this place gets buzzing. They have very limited seating indoors but have plenty of seating in their courtyard.
The easiest way to find Seattle Dumpling Co. is to enter from Post Alley which is a must see street packed with restaurants and bars.
16. The Pink Door– One Of The Best Seattle Restaurants
Located alongside the infamous Pike’s Place Market sits another Pacific Northwest favorite restaurant, The Pink door. The white table cloth dining room with burlesque-ish style is hip and mysterious.
As you walk through the unmarked pink door don’t forget to look up because you just might catch a trapeze artist precariously dangling above you.
What makes this best restaurant in Seattle even better is the stunning patio deck that has unbeatable views over downtown Seattle. The Pink Door is more than just a restaurant; it’s an experience.
As one of Seattle’s top restaurants, it consistently makes the list of the city’s top 10 places to eat. What sets it apart is not just the food, but also its unique vibe, making it a standout spot in Seattle’s dining scene.
It’s not just about having a meal; visiting The Pink Door is one of the cool activities to do in the city. This place isn’t just good; it’s a key part of what makes Seattle, Seattle.
The Pink Door coupled with the amazing live talent makes it our top pick for the most unique restaurants in Seattle.
17. Biscuit Bitch
Biscuit Bitch serves up some amazing biscuit themed dishes. My favorite the “Gritty Scrambled Cheesy Bitch” with biscuit and gravy, covered in cheese, scrambled eggs and garlic grits.
Or perhaps the “Canadian Bitch” with biscuit, maple peanut butter, and bacon. Expect a line as this place is slamming right now. When it comes to fun Seattle restaurants this checks all the boxes.
18. The Whale Wins Larder and Cafe
The Whale Wins is the creation of James Beard Award winning chef Renee Erickson and partners Jeremy Price and Chad Dale. These are the folks behind Ballard’s acclaimed The Walrus and the Carpenter another one of Seattle’s famous restaurants.
Drawing inspiration from the cuisine of some of Renee Erickson’s favorite places in southern Europe and England, The Whale Wins’ wood-fired, vegetable focused menu created with the very best foods from local beaches, gardens and farms prepared simply and served casually in a lively, light filled, cottage-like space.
Looking For The Best Seattle Lunch Spots?
When it comes to food, we can’t get enough of the restaurants in Seattle. There’s a bit of everything to satisfy your culinary cravings. If you’re looking for the best places for lunch in Seattle, you’re in for a treat.
- Local Tide (North Seattle, Fremont): Offers salmon sandwiches, rockfish banh mi, and salads and bowls centered on fresh Northwest fish.
- The Whale Wins (Wallingford): Operates as a market and all-day cafe, offering dishes like sardines on toast and chicken liver pate.
- Xi’an Noodles (University District): Known for its biang biang noodles, a specialty of the northwest Chinese city of Xi’an.
- Kin Len Thai Night Bites (Fremont)s: Offers a vast menu of Thai dishes, from fried banana blossoms to kra prao.
- Pestle Rock (Ballard): Focuses on the spicy and pungent flavors of Thailand’s Isan region.
- Cycle Dogs (Ballard): A vegan restaurant offering plant-based versions of American fast food.
- A+ Hong Kong Restaurant (Central Seattle, Chinatown–International District): Offers a vast menu including fish balls in curry, stir-fried rice rolls, and congee.
- Piroshky Piroshky (Downtown): Bakery is a renowned spot in Seattle known for its diverse selection of Piroshkies.
- Kedai Makan (Capitol Hill): Malaysian dishes like roti jala and other classic recipes.
- Tilikum Place Cafe (Belltown): Features American favorites and globally inspired fare, known for its Savory Dutch Baby.
- Tat’s Delicatessen (Pioneer Square): Offers East Coast deli experience, known for its Pastrami Philly Cheesesteak.
- Skalka (Downtown): Offers Georgian plates, including the Chicken Khachapuri.
- Fat’s Chicken and Waffles (Central District): Known for its honey butter chicken biscuit sandwich and the restaurant’s namesake sampler.
- Serious Pie (Downtown): For pizza aficionados, Serious Pie offers wood-fired pies with unique toppings. It’s a great spot to enjoy a delicious, artisanal pizza for lunch.
- Paseo (Downtown and Fremont): A Caribbean spot known for its flavorful Caribbean Roast and Paseo Press sandwiches.
- Salumi (Pioneer Squre): If you’re a fan of cured meats, Salumi is a must-visit. This small deli run by the Batali family serves up some of the best sandwiches and charcuterie in town.
- Beecher’s Handmade Cheese (Downtown): Cheese lovers will find paradise at Beecher’s. They’re known for their mac ‘n’ cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches made with their famous cheese.
Wrapping Up Unique Restaurants Seattle
Whether you’re looking for an upscale dining experience or a casual restaurant, Seattle is home to some of the most unique restaurants around. You’ll find everything from seafood spots to vegan eateries, dim sum joints to fine dining establishments. Explore the diverse culinary scene of Seattle and experience something truly special.
What food should you not miss in Seattle?
Seattle is a very culturally divers city but it does pride itself on Seafood and particularly Penn Cove Oysters from Whidbey Island.
Is Seattle a foodie city?
Absolutely! Seattle is widely regarded as a foodie city and is celebrated for its vibrant culinary scene. Here’s why:
1. Fresh Seafood: Given its location along the Pacific Northwest coast, Seattle offers an abundant supply of fresh seafood. Pike Place Market, one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the U.S., showcases this with its daily fresh fish offerings, oysters, clams, and more. Restaurants around the city often feature salmon, Dungeness crab, and other local delicacies on their menus.
2. Coffee Culture: Seattle’s coffee scene is legendary. It’s the birthplace of Starbucks, but beyond this global giant, the city is teeming with independent coffee shops, roasters, and cafes that have been pushing the boundaries of coffee culture for decades.
3. Farm-to-Table Movement: Seattle has been at the forefront of the farm-to-table movement, with many restaurants sourcing their ingredients from local farms, ensuring fresh, organic, and sustainable dishes.
4. Ethnic Cuisine: The city boasts a diverse range of international cuisines, from Vietnamese pho to Ethiopian injera, thanks to its rich tapestry of immigrant communities. Neighborhoods like the International District offer an array of Asian cuisines, while Capitol Hill and other areas showcase flavors from around the world.
5. Craft Beer and Wine: Washington state is a major wine producer, and Seattle is home to numerous urban wineries and tasting rooms. The city is also renowned for its craft beer scene, with many local breweries offering a range of unique and traditional brews.
6. Innovative Chefs and Restaurants: Seattle’s culinary scene is constantly evolving, with chefs and restaurateurs experimenting and innovating. From upscale dining establishments to quirky food trucks, the city offers a breadth of dining experiences that cater to both traditional and avant-garde palates.
7. Food Festivals: Seattle hosts a variety of food festivals year-round, celebrating everything from seafood to craft beer, offering locals and visitors alike a taste of the city’s diverse culinary landscape.