With its lively mix of trendy shops, eclectic restaurants, high-rise condos, and boutique hotels, Belltown attracts tourists and local residents in equal measure. Dining out is always a special event at these hot Belltown restaurants recommended by our brokers.
- El Gaucho - 2200 Western Ave., Suite 101, Seattle, WA 98121
El Gaucho is a throwback to the elegant steakhouses of the 1950s. The current Belltown location is a homage to the original El Gaucho at Seventh and Olive that closed in 1985. An open exhibition-style kitchen and tableside presentations turn dining into a show for all the senses. Reservations are highly recommended. Hours are 4 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 4 p.m. - 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
- Tavolàta - 2323 Second Ave., Seattle, WA 98121
Seattle celebrity chef Ethan Stowell brings his magic touch to Italian food at Tavolàta, one of Stowell's wildly popular local restaurants. Rigatoni, spaghetti, tonnarelli, and linguini, made fresh daily, are adorned simply with a sauce or served with chicken and pork meatballs. Family-style dining around the centerpiece communal table creates a welcome atmosphere of community and sharing. Tavolàta is open seven days a week from 4 p.m. - 10 p.m.
- Shiro's Sushi - 2401 Second Ave., Seattle, WA 98121
The namesake founder of Shiro's Sushi has moved on to new projects, but his hand-picked successors masterfully continue his stellar legacy. In 1994, Shiro Kashiba pioneered Pacific Northwest-style "edomae." The term comes from "Edo," the original name of Tokyo, and "Mae," which referred to fish caught in Tokyo Bay. In Shiro's application, "edomae" defines sushi prepared with traditional methods using seafood from local waters. For the full experience, sit at the sushi bar and ask for "omakase," or "chef's choice." Hours are 4:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. daily.
- Imperial Lounge - 2400 First Ave., Seattle, WA 98121
Seattle is known for its wide range of outstanding Asian restaurants, but Imperial Lounge ups the ante by added Latin flavors. In addition to classic dishes from both cuisines, such as katsu, paella, and quesadillas, the menu features fusion dishes like birria udon, with beef cooked in traditional red sauce. The comfy vibe, craft cocktails, and small plates menu make Imperial Lounge an inviting place for happy hour after work or late night after a concert or Mariners game. Hours are 5 p.m. - 2 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 4:30 p.m. - 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 5 p.m. - 2 a.m. Sunday.
- Buckley's in Belltown - 2331 Second Ave., Seattle, WA 98121
Sometimes you just need a good burger, and there's no better place to satisfy that craving than Buckley's in Belltown. Favorites include the American cheese-stuffed Jucy Lucy and its Latin cousin, the Lucinda Caliente with pepper jack cheese and jalapeños, but you can't go wrong with the basic cheeseburger. Want breakfast for dinner? Steak and eggs, omelets, and croissant sandwiches are served all day. With its pub-style ambiance and numerous TVs, Buckley's is a great place to spend game day. Buckley's is open weekdays from 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. - 2 a.m.
- Lola - 2000 B Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98121
Tom Douglas gained national fame with an upset win over original Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto on Food Network's classic cooking competition, but he still calls Seattle home. Lola is a loving tribute to his wife's grandmother of the same name, a Kentucky native who married a man from Greece named Louie. Dishes such as keftedes, halloumi cheese-fig kabobs, and spice-rubbed lamb chops are inspired by imagining what Lola and Louie would have eaten on a trip back to Greece. Save room for Tom's signature triple coconut cream pie, which is a Seattle legend. Hours are 7 a.m. - 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Saturday, and 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday.
- Karaage Setsuna - 2429 Second Ave., Seattle, WA 98121
Fried chicken is a quintessential American dish that gets a global update at Karaage Setsuna. Japanese-style fried chicken, or karaage, is a ubiquitous fast-food item in that country that's been gaining popularity in the United States. The meat is marinated and coated with flour or starch before frying, which results in deeply infused flavor and a crunchy exterior with a moist interior. The restaurant serves a number of other dishes such as poke, loco moco, and shabu-shabu shrimp. Karaage Setsuna is open Tuesday through Sunday, with lunch served from 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. and dinner served from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
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