So Long 2018

Where to Dine Out on New Year's Eve

Whether you plan on a graceful exit or going out with a bang, these are the best seats in town for 2018's grand finale.

By Anne Dennon December 17, 2018

Last year's NYE party at Canlis included tromping through three floors of dining, dancing, and discovery. 

Image: Canlis

Decadence typically prevails on the last day of the year, and December 31, 2018 will write the rule in gold. Fitting, perhaps, as the Roaring 2020s become just one year away. Many of Seattle's best restaurants and bars pop the champagne at midnight, the culmination of an evening full of fine dining, festive cocktails, and live entertainment.


Ballard's experimental popup mecca offers a seven-course NYE dinner from chef Eric Rivera. The dinner starts with passed appetizers and wraps up with late-night snacks. Reserve online; $200


The anticipated opening of this seasonal-focused restaurant on the outskirts of Pike Place is cause enough for celebration. Aerlume's menu will be just six days old when the party gets underway, with a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Call 206-441-4468 for reservations; price varies 


Choose from grilled octopus, pheasant liver mousse, and beet crudo—and that's just the first course. There are three options for each of the four courses in this prix fixe menu. Special diet requests (vegan, gluten-free) can be accommodated with advance notice. A children's menu is also available. Reserve online; $75


The relaxed next-door sibling to Spinasse offers a four-course dinner and select a la carte plates at the bar, all in the establishment's signature modern-Italian-by-way-of-PNW style. Call 206-251-7673 for reservations; $65

Ascend Prime Steak and Sushi

Hors d'oeuvres, carving vignettes, and holiday cocktails preface an elegant penthouse prix fixe menu. Swag bags, live entertainment, and a midnight toast round out the evening. Reserve online; $97


Waterfront dining at its finest. Aqua will offer its freshly updated, seasonal menu on NYE, with options ranging from king crab legs and lobster tail to truffle mac and cheese. Reserve online; price varies

Ba Bar

If hot pho and cold beer sound like your perfect NYE, head to Ba Bar in Capitol Hill, SLU, or the U District—all three outposts are open their regular hours. No reservations; price varies


A multi-course prix fixe menu from chef Taylor Thornhill promises elegantly meaty French cuisine and fine beverages. Reserve online; $125

Big Mario's Pizza

If Miller High Life is the only champagne you need, head to any of Big Mario's three Seattle locations where they'll be serving it by the liter. There will be proper champagne, too. From a fountain. Between the party favors and the midnight toast, partake in $5 Vitamin C shots and, of course, New York-style 'za. No reservations; no cover charge


Sip champagne cocktails and order a la carte at Madrona's uber-charming wine bar. The cover fee for Bottlehouse's NYE party includes a complimentary holiday cocktail. Reserve online; $16

Bramling Cross

The evening opens with spiced ricotta fritters, bruschetta with black cod, and beef tartare. Pasta, seafood, and meat follow, polished off with tiramisu. Up the indulgence factor by adding Burgundy truffles or caviar. Reserve online; $85

Brimmer and Heeltap

Chef Angela Ortez-Davis will serve up winter flavors like squash soup and braised lamb shank in her NYE five-course tasting menu. At midnight, the Ballard restaurant will celebrate Latin American-style, burning Mr. Old Year. Reserve online; $75


The Brothers Canlis are loath to give away any clues to their NYE festivities (this year's theme: Midnight Hawaii) but there will be 1.) waterfalls, 2.) live animals, and 3.) a map to guide you between entertainment and sustenance with experiences waiting for you from basement to roof. Reserve online; $525

Capitol Cider

Toast to the best of the Big Easy with "Countdown at the Bayou," a creole celebration of music, drag, burlesque, music, magic, and, of course, food. Doors open at 6 for dinner and drinks; performances start at 9. Interesting outfits will vie for a prize at midnight. Reserve online; $45–$200

Central Smoke

Ring in the new year with a special four-course menu of Vietnamese barbecue fusion. There are two seatings—5:30 and 7:30—that include a generous seafood appetizer, barbecue chicken, and a whole barbecued lamb. Reserve online; $55–$65

Civility and Unrest

Chef Jason Wilson's Bellevue speakeasy offers music and posh cocktails, not to mention half-off bottles of champagne purchased before 9. Start your evening next door at his Northwest dining establishment, The Lakehouse, or get the menu at the bar until 11. No reservations; no cover


Cortina's vast, Northwest-meets-Italian menu contained in one evening. Course number one: scallop crudo, burrata with white anchovy, and endive salad with Gorgonzola and walnuts for the table. Choices for the next three courses include rigatoni with veal ragu bianco, black truffle risotto, and grilled lobster. Reserve online; $85

Deep Dive

Renee Erickson's thoughtful new cocktail bar is throwing a NYE bash with house specials, hors d'oeuvres, and champagne service. Reserve online; $250

Eden Hill

Seven courses with chef Maximilian Petty hit all the right notes for luxury: king crab, black truffle, wagyu strip streak, and champagne sorbet with Buddha's hand. Optional wine pairings. Reserve online; $150

El Gaucho

El Gaucho Seattle does NYE Big Apple-style with two showings of the themed cabaret "New York New York" with respective three- and four-course dinners. El Gaucho Bellevue offers a champagne toast. Call 206-728-1337 for reservations; $115–$185

Five Point Cafe

This Denny Triangle diner offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner classics all year long, and they're keeping at it this New Year's Eve. Enjoy specialty cocktails like clementine cream mimosas and a good old bourbon fizz on the heated patio. No reservations; no cover

Fog Room at The Charter Hotel

No other holiday demands a rooftop bar more than NYE. Live the penthouse life in the sky-scraping Fog Room with tray-passed hors d'oeuvres—oysters, crab, uni, caviar—and fine cocktails. Only early seatings remain. Reserve online; price varies

Gold Bar

For a non-Gatsby twist on the classic NYE gold theme, hit up the appropriately named Gold Bar for an ancient Egyptian vibe and live DJs. Need to glam up once you get there? Shop the vintage clothing popup inside. Tickets at the door; $20

Goldfinch Tavern

Moët & Chandon is the headliner of this feast in the Four Season's waterfront restaurant. Choose between a four-course dinner at a 6pm seating or a five-course dinner with seating at 9pm. The later meal will be accompanied by live DJ beats, party favors, and a midnight toast. Reserve online; $95–$125

Heartwood Provisions

This New American destination takes on NYE with a five-course menu of of scallops, cod, lobster, and short ribs, followed by a decadent, Asian-influenced mousse for dessert. Call 206-582-3505 for reservations; $95

Hot Stove Society

Tom Douglas's cooking school hosts a soirée du nouvel an starting with caviar and appetizers, followed by a five-course dinner in the Northern Lights Ballroom. Seating will be at communal tables of eight to ten. Note that Hot Stove's festivities end at 11, so you will need to head to another locale for a midnight toast. Reserve online; $200

How To Cook a Wolf

This Queen Anne destination for Italian dishes will put on a four-course dinner, starting with a medley of dishes for the table (hamachi crudo, burrata with fig conserva, bruschetta with bosc pear and lardo). Reserve online; $85

Ivar's Salmon House 

Ivar’s in Wallingford hosts a NYE party complete with favors, drink tickets, a surf and turf buffet, music, dancing, a champagne toast and, of course, glittering Lake Union views. Call 206-632-0767 for reservations; $95


Soba is the traditional New Year's dish in Japan. Kamonegi is pen until 9 on New Year's Eve, so you can enjoy noodles in-house or transport them home (this is the only time of year the restaurant offers its signature fresh soba for take-out). Reserve your kit (two servings) for pickup on December 30 or 31. Call 206-632-0185 to order; $20

King's Hardware

The champagne of beer in champagne-sized bottles will be waiting for you on Ballard Avenue starting at 9 on New Year’s Eve, as will a live DJ and a long list of killer burgers. No reservations; no cover


Chef John Sundstrom's seasonal Northwest cuisine is on display in this NYE repast. Each of the four courses has three to four options, with oysters and foie gras, truffled gnocchi and bleu cheese beef tenderloin vying for your attention. Call 206-323-5275 for reservations; $130

Le Messe

On New Year's Eve, Le Messe will bring dish after dish for the whole table: crab and scallop crudo, bowls of pasta, foie gras profiteroles. Order from the regular menu if you sit at the bar. Reserve online; $75

Linda's Tavern

The classic Capitol Hill dive bar will be up to its usual mischief come NYE starting at 9. A live DJ will keep the party moving till the wee hours, and the staff will be at it again the next morning to serve hangover brunch. No reservations; no cover


Seven gloriously French courses celebrate New Year's Eve, but this Central District restaurant calls it Réveillon St-Sylvestre. (Whatever the name, creme fraiche and black truffle sightings guaranteed.) The evening ends with a playful remake of a candy bar classic: shortbread, salted caramel ice cream, and chocolate become an upscale Twix. Reserve online; $150

Marine Hardware

This low-lit Ballard destination offers a five-course meal, beginning with raw oysters, crispy pork rillettes, king crab salad, and artichoke soup for the table. Four courses of pasta, seafood, and duck breast later, guests will be offered a selection of truffles and cookies. Reserve online; $85


The charming and inventive Marmite will serve a six-course dinner from 5 until 10:30. No need to pack up and head to another destination before the clock strikes: The Chophouse Row restaurant will be open until after midnight for maximum celebration. Call 206-755-8606 for reservations; $125


Pike Place Market's French spot rings in the New Year with a cabaret during two seatings. Earlier in the night, enjoy wild mushroom soup, a choice of venison or Chilean seabass, and black forest cake. An expanded menu at 9 includes frog legs and foie gras terrine. Reserve online; $85–$105


For this buzzy SLU spot's third NYE rooftop patio party, dinner guests can savor a four-course prix fixe menu starting at 6, while party guests enjoy a mezze buffet and KEXP DJs running from 8 till "late." Both choices include a none-too-shabby (i.e. staggering) view of the lake and, later, fireworks. Call 206-457-8287 for dinner reservations, $100; reserve online for the party, $85

Miller's Guild

If you have a beautiful steak in mind for your last supper of 2018, this Denny Triangle institution has you covered with both their full dinner menu and a three-course special, served with a carafe of Chef Jason Wilson's syrah. Reserve online; $130 


Seasonal Italian dishes in an intimate, 28-seat space. Ethan Stowell's Meridian restaurant promises to make decisions difficult with your choice of courses. Select from the likes of paccheri with spot prawns, wood grilled scallops with vanilla-onion agrodolce, and saffron risotto with artichoke. Seatings at 5, 7:30, and 10. Reserve online; $85


Enjoy the regular menu at this Vietnamese favorite or plump for NYE specials: crispy lobster dumplings and steamed Alaskan cod. Reserve online; price varies


The narrow, brick-walled Indian restaurant in Pioneer Square will serve a prix fixe menu of three courses: a starter, choice of entrée (stuffed portobello mushroom, banana leaf-wrapped salmon, or braised lamb), and filter coffee ice cream for dessert. Reserve online; $60

No Anchor

Belltown's nautical beer bar offers a six-course dinner (with vegetarian options) and seatings at 6 or 9. As always, No Anchor treats beer with the gravitas of wine and offers optional pairings from Holy Mountain Brewing. Reserve online; $120 

Patagon at The Charter Hotel

This downtown Argentinian grill offers NYE specials of cold smoked oysters, coal roasted crab, and porchetta; each dish for under $40. Reserve online; price varies


A four-course menu served from 5:30 to 10:30 offers three options for each of the three first dishes (including ones for vegetarians), then a staggering four options for dessert. One path through the evening might include oysters on the half shell, dungeness crab bisque, sea scallops and pork belly, and ginger porter cake. Reserve online; $85


Why limit yourself when you can have salad and charcuterie, pasta, and prime proteins all in one meal? This tasting menu starts with shared dishes for the table, then gives you options. Regular menu available at the bar. Reserve online; $75 

Red Cow

Ethan Stowell's Madrona eatery starts the evening with five dishes for the table—oysters on the half shell, warm gougeres, corned beef tongue. The four courses that follow are decadent enough, but there are further, optional indulgences, like a Double R Ranch boneless ribeye with frites or foie gras mousse. Reserve online; $85


For a Korean-fusion New Year, head to Revel in SLU for a family-style meal of six dishes: corned lamb salad, pork belly pancake, short rib dumpling, tuna rice bowl, crab noodle, and oxtail rice cake hot pot. Reserve online; $80 for two

Rhein Haus

Rhein Haus pulls out all the stops, with a DJ, photo booth, midnight balloon drop, and live ice sculpting. Specialty holiday cocktails like the Yule Mule and Gluhwein promise to keep spirits bright, though the theme itself—solid gold—will probably help. No reservations; $25 cover after 8pm


The bar and lounge of this downtown standby will open at 6, serving a la carte NYE specials like bone-in ribeye and dungeness crab mash. In the dining room, enjoy a seven-course meal with all the right trimmings: seared foie gras, black and white Oregon truffles, caviar and roe. Reserve online; $105

Rione XIII

The first of four courses at Ethan Stowell's Roman spot on 15th is a selection of starters for the table: beef tartare, charred radicchio salad, roasted carrots with ricotta and burnt honey vinaigrette. Cozy entrees like gnocchi with braised pork cheek follow. Tiramisu to finish. Reserve online; $85


The five-course French tasting menu includes wagyu beef tartare, lobster, and duck breast, and finishes with a show-stopping chocolate charlotte royale. Seatings available from 5 to 10. Call 206-456 7474 for reservations; $120

Scout PNW and The Nest at Thompson Hotel

Take up residence at the Thompson for the calendar flip. Start with a prix fixe, multi-course dinner at Scout PNW, then head to the rooftop to keep the 24K SOUL New Year's Eve party going at The Nest. Go for just the dinner, just the party, or both. Reserve online; $70–$220

Smith Tower

Dress to impress for the iconic tower's "Gatsbyfest" NYE party. A 1920s theme compliments the venue, which was completed in 1914. Enjoy the dinner buffet, live entertainment, and photo booth from the tower's 35th floor, plus a pretty impeccable view of the Space Needle and fireworks. Reserve online; $150


Chef Stuart Lane will serve a six-course prix fixe menu in this Capitol Hill restaurant renown for its authentic Northern Italian cuisine. Dishes include carne cruda with white truffle and rabbit agnolotti dal plin. Call 206-251-7673 for reservations; $150

Staple and Fancy

A four-course NYE repast that lives up to the name of this Italian cafe, starting with deluxe dishes for the table. Then choose from chestnut ravioli, wood grilled duck breast with celery root puree, and steak with truffles. Add on white truffles, caviar, or foie gras. Reserve online; $85

Swedish Club

Nyårsfest at the Club will feature music and dancing, party favors, a midnight toast, and Lake Union views to boot. Start with the an elegant dinner prepared by a pair of chefs hailing from Sweden or just come for the party. Reserve online; $45–$130

Tarsan i Jane

A decadent, seven-source tasting menu at this Valencian favorite can be made even more decadent with optional add-ons like select Spanish wines, carabinero (or, deep-sea prawns), and iberico ham. Reserve online; $195


Four courses of fine Italian fare (at both the Belltown original and the Capitol Hill recreation) start with gourmet nibbles for the table before proceeding into serious pasta territory. Choose from “The King"—rigatoni with spicy sausage, paccheri with lobster, and ravioli with truffle for the pasta course, then debate between prime New York strip steak and sea scallops. Reserve online; $85


Sample the best flavors of Maria Hines's New American cuisine in this four-course NYE menu (also available Christmas Eve). Tuck into Tilth's Wallingford bungalow for dense, comforting dishes like bean cassoulet and espresso cashew cheesecake. Reserve online; $110


Decipher this: AYCE KBBQ. If living your best life in the final hours of 2018 means all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue, Trove delivers. They'll also furnish a champagne toast when the clock strikes. Reserve online; $50

Tutta Bella

Get your Neapolitan pizza fix at Tutta Bella's SLU location this NYE—the patio just so happens to offer one of the best views of the Space Needle and fireworks. Tables can be reserved from 9 to 11, or walk in from 11 to midnight. The regular menu will be available, plus complementary prosecco at midnight. Call 206-624-4422 for reservations; cover $20–$30


Make one last, lovely memory in 2018 with Urbane's decadent three-course menu—roasted squash, herb crusted strip steak, caramelized apple financiers. Either that, or start the new year right: The special New Year menu is served both Monday and Tuesday. Reserve online; $70


The New Year's Eve tasting menu at this Italian-inspired destination in Madrona runs the gamut from geoduck to white truffle risotto, and leaves you with this dastardly decision: rosemary cream pine nut tart or chocolate salted caramel budino? Reserve online; $90

The Walrus and the Carpenter

Old Ballard's oyster destination is doing something different this year: a one-night-only four-course menu. Seatings are still available from 5 to 7. Brighten the night with special cocktails and caviar. Reserve online; $125

Water's Table

Pull up a chair next to the water on the mezzanine level of the Hyatt Regency in Renton. From 5:30–11:30 on NYE, enjoy a four-course, prix fixe menu with your choice of a second and entrée sandwiched between a duck gumbo starter and a dessert of chocolate mousse cake. Champagne toast at midnight. Reserve online; $75

Willows Lodge

Choose your own New Year's Eve adventure at this Woodinville lodge: Dine in style at the cozy Barking Frog (seatings at 5:30 or 9) or get right to celebrating in the Sammamish ballroom. Call 425-424-2999 for dinner reservations, $150; reserve online for the party, $100

 Please send further event details for consideration to jarcher[at]seattlemet[dot]com. Thank you.

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