Cars are so needy; they always have to have their space.
Seattle’s densest urban residential neighborhoods can be rewarding for eating but awful to park in—especially those with few or no lots. That’s a good-news-bad-news deal for restaurants, which might never enjoy the destination popularity they’re due, but in exchange, cultivate a loyal base of walking-distance regulars.
Here are five restaurants where the frustration of parking outweighs any inconvenience you might experience with another form of transport—and the food would reward a burro ride. They’re all on or near bus lines; and don't forget: everywhere’s an Uber line.
Sushi Kappo Tamura for pristine sushi, under 1-5 on Eastlake.
Café Lago for crackling wood-fired pizzas and ethereal lasagna, smack in the middle of residential Montlake.
RockCreek Seafood and Spirits for some of the city’s best seafood, on the hard(er)-to-park side of Fremont Avenue.
Spaghetti Western (formerly La Bete) for Italian-Americana, right where everyone else in creation has already put their car, near Olive on Capitol Hill.
And finally: The toughest parking in my experience surrounds the everlastingly appealing Single Shot, amid the condo thickets near Summit and Mercer on Capitol Hill. In my review of the place in the March Seattle Met, I discuss how the “perfect neighborhood gastropub” offers both “understated white-on-white elegance” and “improvable” food—inconsistent, but with wonderful moments.
And, of course, an injunction to allow time for parking, "...though moving to the neighborhood might be faster.”