Long ndig2t

See? Look at those open tables at Long.

Image: Facebook

Okay…we should say, “you may not need ‘em.” Because there are nights. But generally speaking, here are six spots whose size, location, no-reservation policy, and/or casual vibe translates much of the time to an open table with your name on it.

Heyday

Mount Baker Ridge features a lineup of nicely differentiated burgers—Vietnamese, jerk chicken, and a fine falafel version among them—but we’re partial to the bacon bleu, with fries. Milkshake or cocktail? Tough choice—till you see the infused shakes, lit with bourbon or rum. Psst: Heyday’s family appeal tends to empty the place out on the early side. heydayseattle.com

Long Provincial Vietnamese

Tamarind Tree’s downtown sister offers a long menu of freshly conceived Vietnamese plates—salads are to die for—and you can pretty much score a spontaneous weeknight table. Weekends are trickier, but staffers suggest a call before you come can work wonders in lieu of a reservation. longprovincial.com

Bar Melusine

Renee Erickson’s Capitol Hill knockoff of her own perpetually slammed masterpiece, the Ballard oyster bar Walrus and the Carpenter, delivers much the same spirit (and many of the same oysters) as that joint—without the perpetually slammed part. The complication? It’s sometimes slammed. Which makes it the Renee Erickson oyster bar that’s worth a shot when you don’t have an hour just for waiting. barmelusine.com

Revel

Yes, there can be a wait at the exhilarating Asian street-food drop-in in Fremont, where reservations are not accepted for parties of six or fewer. The good news is, tables tend to turn quickly. The great news? You can wait in the adjoining Quoin, one of Seattle’s great cocktail bars (which serves Revel’s whole menu). Go early. revelseattle.com

Bastille

It’s a solid French bistro food in a very pretty Ballard room—and its relatively large size (with more seating come patio weather) enhances your shot without a reservation. If you do wait, it’ll almost always be shorter than you’d have virtually anywhere else on teeming Ballard Ave. bastilleseattle.com

Red Lantern 

For reliably laudable versions of Americanized Chinese and Korean stalwarts—red chili chicken, kimchi fried rice—this sleek Chinatown fave has your back. And, almost always, a table. redlanternseattle.com

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Editor’s Pick

Quoin

Editors Pick, Recommended Menu 403 N 36th St

Editor’s Pick

Red Lantern

$ Chinese 520 S Jackson

The talk of Chinatown is the contemporary Jackson Street bistro with the sleek interior and the red lanterns, where Shanghai favorites are interspersed with ...

Editor’s Pick

Bastille Cafe and Bar

$$$ French 5307 Ballard Ave NW

With its French subway tile and vintage fixtures, Bastille delivers a lively shot of Paris to Ballard Ave. Few restaurants have mastered ambience like this o...

Editor’s Pick

Revel

$$ Asian Fusion, Korean 513 Westlake Ave N

Eye-popping, rule-breaking—name your over-the-top adjective and it’s probably a legit descriptor of Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi’s Korean-fusion comfort food...

Editor’s Pick

The Walrus and the Carpenter

$$ Oyster Bar, Small Plates 4743 Ballard Avenue NW

No mortal restaurant can really live up to that national hype…right? Well, Renee Erickson’s merrily jostling oyster bar on Ballard Ave remains the gold stand...

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

Tamarind Tree Restaurant

$ Vietnamese 1036 S Jackson St

This elegant restaurant, tucked in the back of a Little Saigon parking lot, has the sort of long, ranging menu that provokes unease. A seven-course beef tast...

Editor’s Pick

Long Provincial Vietnamese Restaurant

$$ Vietnamese 1901 Second Ave

Tam Nguyen escaped Vietnam as an eight-year-old, and now brings the cuisine of its villages to the downtown sister of his heralded Tamarind Tree. The elegant...

Editor’s Pick

Heyday

$ Burgers 1372 31st Ave S

If restaurateur Gary Snyder hadn’t had such screaming success peddling french toast and Bloody Marys at Geraldine’s Counter by day (see above), he might neve...