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The photogenic Saint Helens Cafe. 

When I go out to eat, I've begun to make mental note of how pretty (or not pretty) the tabletops. This is all because of our associate art director Sara D'Eugenio, who loves beautiful food photos and beautiful spaces in equal measure and is responsible for procuring come-hither photos to accompany the restaurant reviews in the magazine's dining section. (You'll also notice plenty of her influence on the Seattle Met Instagram account.)

Not that a great space necessarily means great food. Hell, no. But Sara is tasked with presenting any restaurant we review at its most lovely, even if it means toting along her own backgrounds so a glorious, sloppy sandwich doesn't have to be shot atop scratched-up formica, or squished up in a takeout carton. After spending so much time in various Seattle restaurants, my esteemed colleague has some strong opinions about which dining rooms deliver the best images. 

In a world of unfortunate shadows and overly yellow lighting, here are Sara's picks for the city's most Instagrammable restaurants...and bars, and bakeries, and coffee shops. Download our new Gastronaut dining app and it even sets up these beautiful spaces in a checklist for your gamification pleasure.

Take it away, Sara...

Saint Helens Cafe
Toile menus, marble tables, wall of windows and a handsome staff. Essentially the dream restaurant photography situation.

Bar Melusine
Corner spot so two walls of light, bright whitewashed wood and green accents make it a VSCO dream.

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Bar Melusine

Sitka and Spruce
Huge table for those overhead, hands-grabbing-at-plates shots with a wall of windows. Plus, you can sit and watch the cooking.

Ernest Loves Agnes
Dare I say, prettiest restaurant in Seattle? Rustic, Southern feeling textures reminds me of home in the south! Pretty plates, textured walls and awesome lighting from one direction making super dramatic photos. Plus the food is just damn pretty. I want to live here basically.
 

Instagram haris.kenjar uucguv

Ernest Loves Agnes

Mr. West
Not only pretty food but perfect prop opportunities… magazines, well designed postcards and plants. 

Oddfellows Cafe
Maybe the most Instagrammed place ever? The flag, the door, the patio, the bar — the design of the entire place is an Instagram dream.

Instagram eskimo ditfaa

Oddfellows Cafe

Eden Hill
Tiny intimate space, more toile but this time on the walls! Anywhere that has intimate window seating is going to be perfect, no matter what season.

Tallulah's
Obviously. Cat painting? Check! Perfect green patio? "Hello" imprinted in the sidewalk? Gorgeous tile floors? Check, check, check. Lets just say, all of Linda Derschang’s places and call it a day.

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Tallulah's

Image: Olivia Brent

Mbar
The view! the neons!

Cascina Spinasse
Diffused light from the front windows with dark wood = dream sitch. Bonus: ability to shoot process shots of the staff making fresh pasta.

Spinasse via instagram o2aomm

Cascina Spinasse

London Plane
Flowers and pastries. :heart: Feels like how everywhere in Europe should be.

JarrBar
That wall of mirrors…

and finally… Stateside
The wallpaper and those damn pretty ribs. [Insert 1 million heart emojis here.]

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Stateside

 

Want more food news, plus editor’s picks in every neighborhood, advanced search options, and all of our best-of lists? Download our new Gastronaut app in iTunes or Google Play!

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In this Article

Editor’s Pick

Stateside

$$$ Vietnamese 300 E Pike St

From the sidewalk it looks like a casual Vietnamese cafe, but Stateside is in fact a singular extraordinary destination, capturing French colonial Indochina ...

Editor’s Pick

JarrBar

$$ Seafood, Small Plates, Spanish 1432 Western Ave

Owner Bryan Jarr turned a storage closet beneath Pike Place Market into an approximation of watering holes in San Sebastián or Galicia or Lisbon, and the mos...

Editor’s Pick

London Plane

$$ American/New American 300 & 322 Occidental Ave S

An eloquent country-house aesthetic prevails in this airy, two-level space off Occidental, with its bakery, deli, and in-house flower shop, painting a Jane A...

Editor’s Pick

Cascina Spinasse

$$$ Italian 1531 14th Ave

The rustic Italian farmstead with the trestle tables and wrought iron chandeliers serves the best pasta in Pike/Pine, even Seattle: rich hand-cut Piedmontese...

MBar

$$$ Global 400 Fairview Ave N

Chef Jason Stratton runs the kitchen at Mamnoon's view-laden rooftop sibling.

Editor’s Pick

Tallulah's

$$ American/New American, Breakfast/Brunch 550 19th Ave E

The slackers who once hauled their hangovers to brunch at Linda’s Tavern are older now. For them, there’s Tallulah’s, the North Capitol Hill latest from Lind...

Editor’s Pick

Eden Hill

$$$ American/New American 2209 Queen Anne Ave N,

An intimate 24-seat room on the top of Queen Anne Hill is both romantic and robust—in energetic vibe and in muscular food, thanks to young Maximillian Petty,...

Editor’s Pick

Oddfellows Cafe and Bar

$ American/New American 1525 10th Ave

The prowlers of Pike/Pine have taken to its deafeningly loud all-day commissary with unmitigated glee, and why shouldn’t they? Oddfellows covers all waking h...

Mr. West

$$ Coffee Shop, Sandwiches/Deli 720 Olive Way

The owners of Bottlehouse in Madrona turned a sterile office building space downtown into that rare breed, a truly all day cafe. By day, it's a sleek, spacio...

Editor’s Pick

Ernest Loves Agnes

$$ Italian 602 19th Ave E

The North Capitol Hill neighborhood joint named for Ernest Hemingway’s real-life heartbreak is thickly atmospheric: The restaurant side filled with young fam...

Editor’s Pick

Sitka and Spruce

$$$ Small Plates 1531 Melrose Ave

It’s a food lab, it’s an artist’s garret—it’s genius chef Matt Dillon’s sun-drenched farmhouse dining room, where you can spy the food merchants of Melrose M...

Editor’s Pick

Bar Melusine

$$$ French, Oyster Bar, Seafood, Small Plates 1060 E Union St

Seattle seafood legend Renee Erickson has reprised her Ballard oyster bar, the Walrus and the Carpenter, in this breezy Capitol Hill bar splashed with sprays...

Editor’s Pick

Saint Helens Cafe

$$$ American/New American, French 3600 NE 45th St

From Josh Henderson, one of the busiest restaurateurs in town, comes a crisp and breezy fantasy of a French bistro—complete with white marble cafe tables and...