50 Things to Eat in Seattle Before You Die

A few years ago, Thrillist posted an article about a Seattle Food Bucket List calling out 50 things you must try in the Seattle food scene. We like the list, but thought it was missing some lesser known spots so we decided to take a stab at the list from our point of view. I mean you can never really have too many lists of food to consult on nights when the fridge is running low.

After making our own list three things are apparent. 1. We have a sweet tooth, 2. We love carbs, and 3. We have a (justifiable) truffle addiction. 

FYI: The list is not in any particular order.

1. Cha Ca La Vong at Stateside - The Cha Ca La Vong at Stateside is actually way better than the real dish in Vietnam...maybe because they use black cod, which is so fresh it melts like butter in your mouth? That plus the turmeric and dill? Just trust us. 

2. Hashbrowns at Seatown Seabar - Tom Douglas can do no wrong. The thought in our mind is, "How do you take the average hashbrown and make it SO GOOD!?" It has this crispy top layer that simply turns them from ordinary to extraordinary. 

Pimento Cheeeeeeeese

Pimento Cheeeeeeeese

3. Pimento Cheese at Honest Biscuit - Everything on Honest Biscuit's menu is fantastic, but the pimento cheese, which is technically a side dish, makes our hearts swoon. Smear it on a buttermilk biscuit and go to town!

4. Anchovy Pasta at How to Cook a Wolf - After eating anchovy pasta in Italy, we have been on the hunt for something as perfect. How to Cook a Wolf is the closest thing we have found to that simple Italian dish. It's delicious. Oh, and get the burrata while you're at it.

5. Molton Lava cake at Saltoro - You have to wait around 30 minutes for this dessert, but one bite of this oozy, chocolaty goodness and you would happily wait longer.

6. Pizza at Northlake Tavern - The opinions on "best pizza" are vastly different, but the pizza at Northlake Tavern is an old favorite. It has been around since 1954 (!) and serves pizza with an "old Italian recipe." Not only is it incredible, but it's also a dive bar with cheap pitchers and a laid back attitude.

7. Everything at Bongos - Bongos has amazing Caribbean cuisine with an outdoor patio perfect for warm weather. We thought and thought about what item to suggest and finally decided you should just get everything.

The many flavors of Sweet Lo's

The many flavors of Sweet Lo's

8. Cookies and Cream from  Sweet Lo's Ice Cream - We interviewed the owner of Sweet Lo's (here) and had the opportunity to sample all of her flavors. We aren't biased, though. It simply is the best ice cream we have ever tasted.

9. Meatball sub at Dot's Delicatessen - We love a good meatball sub, and this one is top notch, with large, grass-fed meatballs and homemade marinara. 

10. Portabella sandwich at DeLaurenti - You'll have to catch this sandwich when it's in rotation, but if you do you'll feel like you've won the sandwich lottery. Grilled portabella mushrooms with cheese melted down into almost a spread makes this sandwich unique and savory. If it's not on the menu the day you go choosing the Grinder is a nice second choice.

11. Twice baked almond croissant at Bakery Nouveau - The chef, William Leaman, has won 1 million awards for his baked goods, and the almond croissants are over-the-top. He dips them in simple syrup, fills them with almond cream and tops them with slivered almonds and powdered sugar. And if that isn't enough, he also does it with chocolate. 

12. Sauball at Grinders Hot Sands - We told you we had a thing for meatball sandwiches, but the Sauball at Grinders combines both our beloved meatballs WITH a sausage grinder, and, to us, that is just genius.

13. Chicken Pho at Than Brothers - Simple pho with quality ingredients! This soup hits the spot every time (they also give you a cream puff for dessert, so A+ for that).

Dumplings with Garlic Dipping Sauce at Fu Manย 

Dumplings with Garlic Dipping Sauce at Fu Man 

14. Dumplings (and garlic dipping sauce!) at Fu Man Dumpling House - There is only one kind of dumping here (pork and veggie) but the real star is the garlic dipping sauce that we would eat with a spoon if it wasn't frowned upon (luckily, they do sell the sauce by the bottle).

15. Shrimp and grits at Restaurant Roux - People from the South might throw shade since these might not be considered "traditional" shrimp and grits, but the fresh shrimp in a spicy, creole sauce is simply too good to care. 

16. Chorizo gravy at CJ's Eatery - You might walk right past this diner and never go in, but on the weekends something magical happens. Chorizo gravy can be ordered over biscuits or chicken fried chicken. We have never tried anything else here because we can't NOT order the chorizo gravy. Get a Rose Mimosa while you're at it.

Both Shaved Ice versions win at Bambu

Both Shaved Ice versions win at Bambu

17. Korean Shaved Ice at Bambu - Who knew Korean shaved ice was a thing? It is and it's delicious! We can't decide between the strawberry or the chocolate, so you should probably try them both.

18. Pork or Chicken Adobo at Oriental Mart - Joy and Leila make the best Filipino food in the city! If you are new to this cuisine, start with the adobo, which is perfectly tangy and tender.

19. Tacos from El Camion - There are a few El Camion locations, but we like the food truck in the Home Depot parking lot. This little truck serves up meat with a lot of flavor and the salsa bar is legit. It's quick, affordable, and authentic. Just the way we like it.

20. Chin-up Donuts - With flavors like Sriracha Cha-Cha (Sriracha glaze in cinnamon and sugar) and A'hoy Captain (Vanilla with Captain Crunch cereal) there is some weird and unique flavor for everyone. They are fun, different, and delicious!

Iberico ham at Jarrbar

Iberico ham at Jarrbar

21. Iberico Ham at JarrBar - JarrBar is one of the few places in the city you can get Iberico ham, which is made from Spanish pigs who feast on acorns and olives. It is expensive but 100% worth it.

22. Ramen at Aloha Ramen - Japanese ramen with a Hawaiian twist? Why not! This tiny spot in Lake City is always packed, but it's worth the wait. The broth has lots of flavor depth and the noodles are perfect. We like the spicy garlic miso which is packed full of garlic flavor.

23. Spicy Ponzu Albacore at Pokeworks - It kinda feels weird to include this place since it's a chain, but we looove their uber fresh poke bowls. The spicy ponzu albacore is that perfect mix of sweet and savory with a touch of spice!

24. The Fig and the Pig at Lil' Woody's - We are always on the search for a perfect burger, and Lil' Woody's is it. They serve only NW grass-fed beef, and we love the sweet/savory combination of the Fig and the Pig, which adds pickled figs, blue cheese, and bacon. Maybe get the house-made onion rings, too.

25. Chili ver jalapeno mac n' cheese at Slim's Last Chance - Slim's has four chilis to choose from, but we love all the additions you can get such as having it over jalapeno mac n' cheese or white cheddar grits (both which seem to take it to the next level).

26. Chorizo tacos at TNT Taqueria - Because tacos are SO good it needs to be on this list twice. TNT is a cute little taqueria in Wallingford that has their street tacos down pat. The chorizo has enough flavor to leave you wanting another order. Add the avocado salsa to it and enjoy!

27. Lunch from Il Corvo - The owner studied in Florence. He makes the pasta by hand every day. We know a REAL Italian and she says this place is legit and she is fairly outspoken about how crappy she thinks the Italian offerings are in Seattle. Just go. It's amazing.

28. Cheeseburger and a shake from Dick's Drive In - You can't live in Seattle without knowing the taste of a Dick's cheeseburger and chocolate shake. You just can't, ask Macklemore.

29. Salted Caramel Cupcake Ice Cream Cone from Cupcake Royale - They might have a name that says cupcakes, but the cupcakes IN ice cream is where the real magic happens. 

30. Coconut Cream Pie from Dahlia Lounge - This is Kristina's favorite dessert in all of Seattle. And we eat a lot of dessert. They sprinkle it with sugar spiked with crack or something because even with the $10/slice price we keep going back over and over again. 

31. The Big Moses from Ballard Pizza Company - You have to trust the pizza chef when you order The Big Moses (because it is a mystery pizza), but lucky for us the chef at Ballard Pizza Company has never made a bad decision when it comes to pizza. 

32. Omakase Course Menu from Shiro's Sushi - No one in Seattle knows sushi better than Shiro. So why would you get anything other than the Chef's choice when you visit his restaurant? Trust that they know best, sit back, and enjoy piece after piece of delicious sushi as it appears in front of you.

33. Clam Chowder from Steelhead Diner - On a cold, rainy day nothing hits the spot better than a warm bowl of chowder from Steelhead. They put amazing truffle oil on the top that really makes it the best. 

34. Risotto from The Pink Door - The Pink Door usually has a seasonal risotto on the menu. Our all time favorite is the sweet corn and dungeness crab risotto. Everything except the corn melts in your mouth and then the corn pops that sweetness in! 

35. Churro Ice Cream at Chavez - Chavez is semi-new to the restaurant scene in Seattle, but they have already become a staple in our dining rotation because of their churro + salted caramel ice cream dessert. Full disclosure we are usually full of tequila by the time dessert hits, but MAN it tastes good!

36. Truffle popcorn from Big Picture - Again, truffle. It's amazing. We go to Big Picture not for the movies, but for the truffle popcorn. The movies are just icing on the cake. Oh, and the wine. 

37. Pumpkin Pie Yogurt from Ellenos - This is only around in the fall, but when it is everyone MUST eat it. It takes the guilt out of eating pumpkin pie. Even though it shouldn't because it's literally pumpkin pie smashed into greek yogurt. If you're here other times of year you can't go wrong with the Marionberry or Passionfruit either.

38. Cauliflower Fritters at Black Bottle - This appetizer combines our love of asian cuisine with our love of cauliflower. This trendy spot in Belltown takes cauliflower flourets, deep fries them, and then covers them in a spicy Asian sauce. This is one of those sharable dishes that you won't want to share. 

39. Fish & Chips from Nosh - This giant, perfectly coated piece of cod is what British dreams are made of. The breading will melt in your mouth with the buttery fish and you find yourself thinking how great tea and corgis are. God save The Queen. 

40. Handmade Gnocchi with Black Truffle Cream from List - The only thing this dish is missing is about 30 more gnocchi. The pillowly potato pasta is drenched in truffle cream sauce. You'll have to fight to keep from licking the plate clean. Go on Sunday or Monday for their half price all day happy hour and you can justify getting two plates!

Storyville cinnamon roll

41. Cinnamon Roll from Storyville Coffee - You can taste the sugar crystals when you bite into this cinnamon roll. They even make it fairly small because I think if it was the size of a "normal" cinnamon roll you would go into a sugar coma. 

42. Oysters on the Half Shell from Elliott's Oyster House - If you want fresh, seasonal oysters Elliott's is a great place to go. They have an amazing patio on the water and their oyster wine pairs incredibly with those slimey, delicious little guys! 

43. Burrata at Tavolata - Burrata literally translates to butter in Italian and this dish from Seattle chef Ethan Stowell's Tavolata will make you realize why. This soft cheese is served on a board with salty or sweet pairings. 

44. Smoked Salmon Pate from Pirosky Piroshky - There is always a line wrapped around the premise of Piroshky Piroshky and there is a pretty obvious reason why -- their stuffed pastries are worth standing in the cold, rain, heat, or hurricane for. Get a little mix of Russian and PNW cuisine with the Smoked Salmon Pate! 

45. Fried Chicken from Ma'ono - This Hawaiian spot in West Seattle serves up the best fried chicken in town. Make a reservation and let them know you want to reserve your bird because they can run out on busy nights. When you arrive, wait anxiously for your entire chicken to come out. It will be golden, crunchy, and delicious. We love the chili sauce as an added punch of flavor.

BLTGA from Napkin Friends

46. B.L.T.G.A. from Napkin Friends - This food truck is getting its own brick and mortar restaurant. Want to know how they can afford it? Well they thought to switch out buns for latkes and then shoved bacon, lettuce, tomato, gouda cheese, and aioli in the middle. That stuff sells. 

47. Chocolate Marshmallow Donut from General Porpoise - Renee Erickson gained traction as a restauranteur in Seattle who knew good Northwest cuisine. Who knew she had some seriously amazing donuts in her arsenal too. General Porpoise serves stuffed donuts with creams, custards, and jams inside. 

48. Rub with Love Salmon from Etta's - This salmon is covered in a yummy rub and then perfectly grilled and served over a cornbread pudding with a shitake relish. Sounds fancy, but the basics are all there -- it's the best salmon in the city.

49. Aloha Sliders from Marination Ma Kai - Yes, they have SPAM in them. BUT, Hawaii knows how to do SPAM. So just trust the list and order these guys. Because they are delicious. Promise.

50. S'mores Sundae from Shug's Soda Fountain and Ice Cream - They toast the marshmallows right in front of you and then drizzle the whole thing with syrup. Need we say more?