When I go out to eat, I've begun to make mental note of how pretty (or not pretty) the tabletops are. 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.
Take it away, Sara...
Saint Helens Cafe
Toile menus, marble tables, wall of windows, and a handsome staff. Essentially the dream restaurant photography situation.
Corner spot so two walls of light, bright whitewashed wood, and green accents make it a VSCO dream.
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. Ernest Loves Agnes has sadly closed since this list was originally written. Rocket Taco is the latest occupant of 600 19th Ave E.
Not only pretty food but perfect prop opportunities—magazines, well designed postcards, and plants.
Maybe the most Instagrammed place ever? The flag, the door, the patio, the bar—the design of the entire place is an Instagram dream.
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.
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.
The view! The neons!
Diffused light from the front windows with dark wood = dream sitch. Bonus: ability to shoot process shots of the staff making fresh pasta.
Flowers and pastries. Feels like how everywhere in Europe should be.
That wall of mirrors…
The wallpaper and those damn pretty ribs. [Insert 1 million heart emojis here.]