Shiro Kashiba’s restaurant in Pike Place Market unites two Seattle institutions—both longtime proponents of eating local and seasonal. People line up for a seat at the sushi bar, where Kashiba himself might hand over your salmon and tuna sashimi. The serenely neutral dining room accepts reservations and serves omakase along with an a la carte menu.
The casual, brown-liquored sibling to Matt’s in the Market draws in locals with clever cocktails and food that takes Matt’s–level care with pork shanks, lamb necks, beef lips, and even a salad or two. Between the whiskey program, the gravy-covered tots, the stellar happy hour, and free popcorn—a vibe almost as unbuttoned as the Showgirls marquee visible across the street—it’s hard to remember the market before Radiator opened.
Ever since Rachel Marshall started bottling her snappy ginger elixir, Seattle’s thirst for the beverage was near ceaseless. Now locals rub elbows with tourists at her shop in Post Alley. They glug down seasonal iterations—passion orange guava, anyone?—order it over vanilla soft serve, or sip it in a boozy cocktail amidst tendriled hanging plants.
Situated between an oyster bar and an outdoor courtyard complete with its own flock of beggar birds, this sliver of a lunch spot slings Szechuan specialties: guo kui, a hand-rolled and grilled flatbread stuffed with pork, beef, or chicken coated in bright-orange chili sauce, and chewy, thick noodles shaved by hand and tossed with some greens and a balanced helping of spice.
Owner Heong Soon Park (also the guy behind adjacent cafe Bacco) gives Korean japchae and rice cakes and ssam a Northwest seasonal spin at this compact gastropub. Its breezeway location near Inn at the Market makes it easy for visitors to wander in for sticky Korean wings, but more locals should be appreciating this food.
It might as well be the market’s official walkabout snack—cups of tangy Greek yogurt with the decadence of ice cream. The counter next to Corner Produce scoops 14 flavors, from classics like marionberry to seasonal flavors like balsamic pomegranate or pumpkin pie. If your flavor of choice doesn’t already come topped with pie crust crumbles, the staff is happy to remedy that.
Do you enjoy your fusilli with a soundtrack of old-school Michael Jackson and views of a dangling 200-pound copper squid? Turin, Italy native Michela Tartaglia first taught pastamaking classes in the Atrium test kitchen directly below her new pasta counter; now she oversees four daily bowls, like meaty tortiglioni with speck and ricotta, and memorable vegetarian creations—rolled cone-shaped gigli with almonds, pecorino, Calabrian chili oil, and the surprisingly compatible charms of ginger and arugula.
Is it possible for a shop open barely two years to evoke nostalgia? To enter this First Avenue ice cream parlor, with its robin’s egg interior and stools that swivel before a 1930s-era soda fountain, is to revisit bygone days of phosphates and egg creams. And yet the champagne floats, affogato bar, and cavalcade of festive sundaes are straight-up 2018.
This low-key First Avenue outpost, all pale woods and soothing pastels, specializes in pide—leavened flatbreads filled with spiced meats and veggies, so they resemble a torpedo-shaped Turkish pizza. Or grab a beyti kebab, gyrolike meat cooked in dough then doused in tomato sauce and yogurt. Either way, the food’s a welcome addition to Seattle’s halal offerings.
The Americanized Mexican eats here are pretty standard, but an El Cheapo margarita—four bucks on tap—is an economical way to bide time before a concert at the nearby Showbox.