Seattle Restaurants

Below is a list of restaurants compiled by the Kois Center staff. These are the places we go when we go out. The places we recommend to our friends and family. Enjoy!



Easy Walk from the Kois Center

Contemporary American/Farm-to-table

Birch – The Kois Center’s own Executive Chef Jeffrey Kessenich’s new restaurant!
Phone: 206-774-1948
Address: 1001 Fairview Ave. N, STE 2250, Seattle, WA 98109

What do we think?

$$ The Kois Center’s Executive Chef Jeffrey is known among Kois Center students who have been enjoying his lunches and dinners for a few years but now he is open for dinner Fridays and Saturdays. I had a fantastic meal here! There are two options. A prix fixe menu with three courses or a 7 course tasting menu. The menu changes weekly depending on what is available from local vendors. I had the tasting menu that featured a heirloom tomato salad with house made mozzarella, wild caught salmon tartar, seared tuna, sable fish, Waygu beef, house made pasta, and a chocolate tort. The Sommelier changes the wines to match the changing menus and the wines recommend matched perfectly. I am looking forward to going back to see what’s new!

-Johnny Kois


Terra Plata
Phone: (206) 325-1501
Address: 1501 Melrose Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

What do we think?

$$$ Terra Plata offers a casual but elegant dinning experience, whether you choose to dine on the rooftop or inside the main dining area. Terra Plata is located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, just an 8 minute drive from the Kois Center. This restaurant is known for its “earth to plate” cuisine and is committed to sourcing ingredients from local growers & artisan producers who practice organic, sustainable farming.

We began our meal with two small plates, Albacore Crudo and Mussels & Clams. Though both were good choices, we definitely favored the Mussels & Clams soaked in the roasted fennel & tomato broth, saffron butter, white wine, scallions and rooftop herbs. When it came time for entrees, my husband and I both chose from ‘Land & Sea’ Menu as opposed to selecting from the ‘Earth’ menu. I had the Cod Fish and he thoroughly enjoyed Terra Plata’s signature dish, the Roast Pig accompanied by manila clams, chorizo, sofrito, hot smoked paprika, bay scented potato & chicharron. Needless to say, the pork was our favorite dish of the night and I would highly recommend it to any meat lover! We concluded the meal with dessert churros & carrot cake. Looking back, we would forgo the desserts and order more wine!

Overall, we had an excellent rooftop dinning experience and look forward to going back on a Monday night to experience Paella night with Spanish wine flights & live music.

Heather Privette
Registration & Marketing Manager

Seattle Celebrity Chef Ethan Stowell

Ballard Pizza Co.
Phone: 206-623-3586
Address: 500 9th Ave. N #150, Seattle, WA 98109

Bar Cotto
Phone: 206-838-8081
Address: 1546 15th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122

Bramling Cross
Phone: 206-420-8192
Address: 5205 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA

Phone: 206-736-7888
Address: 621 Union St., Seattle, WA 98101

GoldFinch Tavern
Phone: 206-749-7070
Address: 99 Union St., Seattle, WA 98101

How to Cook a Wolf
Phone: 206-838-8090
Address: 2208 Queen Anne Ave. N, Seattle WA 98109

Marine Hardware
Phone: 206-257-4390
Address: 4741 Ballard Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98107

Phone: 206-812-1580
Address: 2108 N 55th St., Seattle, WA 98103

Red Cow
Phone: 206-454-7932
Address: 1423 34th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122

Rione XIII
Phone: 206-838-2878
Address: 401 15th Ave. E, Seattle, WA 98112

Staple & Fancy
Phone: 206-789-1200
Address: 4739 Ballard Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98107

Super Bueno
Phone: 206-456-2666
Address: 3627 Stone Way N., Seattle, WA 98103

Tavolata – Belltown
Phone: 206-838-8008
Address: 2323 2nd Ave., Seattle, WA 98121

Tavolata – Capital Hill
Phone: 206-420-8355
Address: 501 Pike St., Seattle, WA 98122


Seattle Celebrity Chef Tom Douglas

Palace Kitchen – Restaurant and bar serving Northwest cuisine
Phone: (206) 448-2001
Address: 2030 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

Dahlia Lounge – Serving local, organic Northwest cuisine for over 20 years
Phone: (206) 682-4142
Address: 2001 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

Lola – Greek cuisine
Phone: (206) 441-1430
Address: 2000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

Serious Pie & Biscuit – Not so traditional pizza
Phone: (206) 436-0050
Address: 401 Westlake Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Brave Horse Tavern – American inspired pub food & brewery
Phone: (206) 971-0717
Address: 310 Terry Avenue North Seattle WA 98109

Cuoco – Locally inspired Italian
Phone: (206) 971-0710
Address: 310 Terry Avenue North Seattle WA 98109


The White Swan Public House – Buzzy dockside joint with a patio, serving sustainable seafood, local brews & craft cocktails
Phone: (206) 588-2680
Address: 1001 Fairview Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Flying Fish – Four star seafood with relaxed outdoor patio dining
Phone: (206) 728-8595
Address: 300 Westlake Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Matt’s in the Market – Spectacular food primarily sourced from Pike Place Market, feature incredible views of Elliot Bay & Pike Place Market
Phone: (206) 467-7909
Address: 94 Pike St # 32 Seattle, WA 98101

Elliott’s Oyster House – A Seattle institution for seafood featuring a 21-foot-long oyster bar
Phone: (206) 623-4340
Address: 1201 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101 (Pier 56)

Palisade – Delicious seafood preparations, indoor saltwater fish ponds, truly an unforgettable experience
Phone: (206) 285-1000
Address: 2601 West Marina Place, Seattle, WA 98199


The Butcher’s Table –Lovely welcoming ambiance provides a perfect backdrop to the delicious well-balanced food. There is an amazing variety of meat and veggies, don’t let the name fool you!

Address: 2121 Westlake Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

$$$ On the outskirts of the South Lake Union neighborhood, about a 20 min walk from the Kois Center. Valet parking is available for those bringing vehicles.

What do we think?

I could teach a one-day course about this dining experience, but it is best for you to come and see you’re yourself. Beloved by various Kois family members this welcoming and friendly dining hot spot is a must for anyone who loves good food. Known for beef, the Butcher’s Table is by no means limited by what they have to offer. Our meal started with a Beecher’s Flagship cheese (that you might have seen brewing at the Pike Place market) blended into an extremely flavorful biscuit. There are several fish and vegetarian options that tempt even the most dedicated carnivore. The green beans for example are gathered from the owner’s residence on Mercer Island! A delightful touch to a scrumptious side dish. The Albacore Tuna Tostadas are a must try! More of an amuse-bouche with only 3 bites of Tostada, but the perfectly balanced flavor and texture make these tasty treats worth the trip to Seattle alone.

As this is called the Butcher’s Table you might have guessed it specializes in beef. Unique local beef, that can be bought from the delightfully located Butcher’s Counter in the restaurant. This beef spectrum can be experienced in your favorite cuts of beef, or all in one extravagant “Flight of Steaks”. This “Flight of Steaks” takes you from the western best of the best Angus beef, to Japanese Wagyu in one entree. Each four-ounce steak is cooked to your preference, though I highly recommend rare to get the tender most experience. From the leaner 4 star Angus to the marbled Ultra Wagyu, you get to compare side by side what each exceptional style has to offer. If that is not your style you can choose from a variety of cuts and levels of steak for your tailored beef experience.

There is a lot exceptional sides to choose from, my personal favorite side dish was the Beef Fat Fries. Fries that are too big to be fries, but sit proudly holding their own next to a “Flight of Steaks”.

The wine selection is exceptional, cocktails are better than they look, and the mocktails are so good you’ll be raving about them for days.

On the whole I give this restaurant the coveted 5 out of 5 Dr. Kois bobble heads.

-Rebecca Bourassa
Course Manager
August 17, 2018

Daniels Broiler – Very close to the Kois Center, fabulous food, great patio, wonderful view of Lake Union
Phone: (206) 621-8262
Address: 809 Fairview Place North, Seattle, WA 98109

Zane+Wylie’s Seattle Steakhouse
Phone: 206-397-4287
Address:624 Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98101

What do we think?

$$ This is a new steak house from the same owners of Blueacre Seafood (Symposium favorite) and Orfeo. The atmosphere is casual and a great dinner choice for an impromptu date night in the middle of the week. The service was excellent. They are known for their steaks but we would also recommend a seafood dish here and for a different type of appetizer, go for the Caviar pie! The dress code here is business casual. You get a lively happy hour crowd that is different then the Tech (Amazon) crowd seen around South Lake Union. The bar is in the middle of the restaurant with seating all the way around. Oh and don’t forget to order a whole loaf of Warm Molasses Seed Bread!

-Johnny Kois
November, 29 2018

El Gaucho – The premier steakhouse, 100% certified Angus beef, tableside Caesar salads, elegant ambiance
Phone: (206) 728-1337
Address: 2505 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98121 (corner of 1st and Wall)

The Metropolitan Grill – Well-known steakhouses locally and nationally, 28-day aged prime beef grilled
Phone: (206) 624-3287
Address: 820 2nd Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104


Serafina & Cicchetti – “Country” Italian food that is to die for! Little neighborhood spot with a cozy and romantic feel. Cicchetti is the new kitchen & bar connected to the back side of Serafina
Web: &
Phone: Serafina: (206) 323-0807 Cicchetti: (206) 859-4155
Address: 2043 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102

What do we think?

$$  Cicchetti (Chi-KET-ee) a South Lake Union gem, is just a 15 min walk from the Kois Center (or a 5 min drive).

The word Cicchetti translates to small plates, think Tapas, only Venetian inspired. This Mediterranean restaurant won’t disappoint no matter what you are craving!

The ambiance of the outdoor patio seating makes you feel as if you have stepped right into the Secret Garden with the luscious greenery surrounding you and the dim lights strung above you. If you are in the mood for seafood, try the Wood fired whole fish, [seasonal] the night I was there it was Branzino or European Bass, cooked to perfection. And you can’t go wrong with any of the small plates, but one of my favorites were the Risotto & Crimini Mushroom Fritters.To complete your meal I recommend the Apricot almond cake garnished with stone fruit compote, whipped créme fraîche, & lemon. It’s the perfect light and refreshing bite to a decadent meal.

-Heather Privette
Registration & Marketing Manager


-chocolate chunk cookie, chocolate ice cream, chocolate sauce -hazelnut spice cookie, coffee ice cream, caramel -lemon cookie, cherry ice cream, Frangelico anglaise

1. Lamb kibbeh, stone fruit, shishito pepper, Aleppo cilantro, tahini yogurt, feta 2. Wood fired whole fish, white bean, Jordanian za’atar, charred citrus, sauce gribiche, fried shallot

1. White bean purée, preserved lemon, sumac, flatbread Sicilian baby octopus, tomato, pine nut, green olive, sultana, Israeli couscous Lamb dolmas, pine nut, golden raisin, saffron aioli 2. Risotto & Crimini Mushroom Fritters-HH Menu








Le Messe – A light and modern environment where conversations thrive and the food is as delicious as it is beautiful.
Phone: 206.402.6106
1903 Yale Pl E, Seattle, WA 98102
$$$ Lovely half mile from the Kois Center up South Lake Union.

What do we think?

Le Messe captures the elegance of modern industrial with the warmth of a lake side café. Thoughtfully punned cocktails are a true delight. My husband enjoyed his “Don’t call me Shirly Temple” immensely and our bartender talked with us about its creation and the process. Everyone at Le Messe are welcoming and terrific conversationalists.

The whole menu reads so amazing it is hard to decide. I recommend experiencing all that Le Messe has to offer with the 4-course tasting menu. Chef Brian Clevenger’s choice as he guides you through the foods he is excited about that day. He carefully creates a variety of items in the open kitchen where you can watch and guess what is coming your way next. There is a variety of small plates, a pasta plate, an entree, and a dessert. They are happily able to work with any dietary or allergy restrictions. Each mouthwatering plate had textures and flavors, that worked together making each bite perfect. From the first bite of the stuffed fried squash blossoms to the seasonal and fresh strawberry short cake every dish and every moment was outstanding. The steak tartar is some of the best I have ever had, and the heirloom salad was refreshing- the peaches brought a light sweetness that complemented the vinaigrette.

-Rebecca Bourassa
Course Manager

Cuoco – Rustic Italian with handmade pasta
Phone: (206) 971-0710
Address: 310 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

What do we think?

$$ From the moment you walk into Cuoco you are surrounded by a warm, welcoming ambiance. Cuoco falls in the famous Tom Douglas family of restaurants in the area, known for “serving delicious food graciously”. The wait staff are incredible friendly and knowledgeable and many of the cocktails are named after creations the staff designed! The pasta is made in-house, and it is some of the best pasta in the city. You can immediately tell the attention to detail and care the restaurant puts into their dishes. The servings are just the right size with flavors that compliment the pasta without taking away from the homemade feel. The dishes were indulgent and delightful, leaving you wanting to plan a return trip to dine here again. Our favorites included the rigatoni with spicy pork sausage ragu and the cappelletti with parmesan fonduta and cherry tomato. We concluded our evening with two decadent desserts—tiramisu and the pear crostada. As we left the intimate and relaxed space, we walked by the pasta makers actively preparing for a busy evening ahead. It was such a treat to see the pasta being made in-house. I highly recommend this restaurant if you are looking for some of the most flavorful pasta in the city in an upscale atmosphere. Make time to go while you’re visiting Seattle—you won’t regret it!

-Heather Button
Course Manager

Tutta Bella – Delicious Neopolitan pizzeria
Phone: (206) 624-4422
Address: 2200 Westlake Ave, STE 112, Seattle, WA 98121

Pink Door – Homespun Italian food served along the quaint Post Alley of Seattle’s Pike Place Market
Phone: (206) 443-3241
Address: 1919 Post Alley, Pike Place Market Seattle, WA 98101

Osteria La Spiga – Authentic Italian food experience from the Romagna region
Phone: (206) 323-8881
Address: 1429 12th Avenue Seattle, WA 98122

Cascina Spinasse – Traditional Italian food from the Piedmont region of Northern Italy
Phone: (206) 251-7673
Address: 1531 14th Avenue Seattle, WA 98122

What do we think?

$$$ We think Spinasse and The Pink Door are tied for the best Italian food in Seattle! Spinasse is located on the edges of Capital Hill just before First Hill. The attire is business casual and has the feel of a neighborhood hang out. All of the pasta is made from scratch in house. If you are lucky enough to get a seat at the bar, you will have a nice view of the open kitchen. This is one of the best value tasting menus in town Why? It’s a lot of food! Served family style, you get all the starters, all the pasta dishes and all the main dishes! The servers can help you choose a wine or cocktail to go with your courses as well. Try one of their Vermut cocktails to start your meal.

-Johnny Kois
November 29, 2018


Westward: Seattle in a bite.
Phone: (206) 552-8215
Address: 2501 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103

What do we think?

Pull up your anchor and sail on over to the North Shore of South Lake Union to enjoy a top-notch experience at this iconic and charming Mediterranean-style restaurant, Westward. This modern and nautical-inspired restaurant has a spectacular view of the Space Needle accompanied with the sight of sailboats gliding across the calm waters of South Lake Union. The beautiful lakeside view is paired perfectly with the smell of fresh seafood, the sound of throwback hip-hop music, a buzz of cheerful conversation and a stylish, friendly and helpful wait-staff.

We started the meal off with some refreshing and bright cocktails and locally caught oysters. Next, the dinner entrees: a colorful, wood-oven roasted rainbow trout accompanied with spring pea salsa verde, smoked almonds and mint. The trout was so moist and delicious, and what a fun surprise to watch our waiter fillet the whole fish table-side. The other entree we tried was the pan-seared halibut paired with a grain salad which included green harissa, mint, watermelon radish and pistachio. The flavors came together as a perfect bite with the crunch of the pistachio, the brightness of the mint and watermelon radish and the smokey flavor of the green harissa sauce.
For dessert, we shared a deliciously moist sweet corn cake topped with peaches, honey, mint and locally-made vanilla ice cream. I savored each decadent bite.

Overall, I would recommend Westward to anyone that is a fan of fresh Seafood and complementary Mediterranean flavors who is also looking to experience the best of Seattle. Westward seemed such a perfect embodiment of Seattle – from the ambiance to the impressive and innovative menu items created by the Seattle-native chef. Additionally, while you’re in the neighborhood, you can make it a full tourist experience and stop by to see the iconic Fremont Troll and Gas Works Park.

-Liz Fry
Course Manager


El Camino – Quality modern Mexican food, margaritas and lively night life
Phone: (206) 632-7303
Address: 607 N 35th St, Seattle, WA 98103 (Cross Street: Evanston Avenue North)

Cactus – Known for its unique take on traditional Southwest, Mexican & Spanish cuisine
Phone: (206) 913-2250
Address: 350 Terry Ave N Seattle, WA 98109



Siam on Eastlake – Delicious Thai that is a great treat for the palate 
Phone: (206) 322-6174
Address: 1629 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102


Dough Zone Dumpling House – Casual Chinese eatery preparing soup dumplings, noodle bowls & other dim sum dishes.
Phone: (206) 285-9999
Address: 504 5th Ave S #109, Seattle, WA 98104

What do we think?

$$ With five different locations across the Greater Puget Sound area, Dough Zone Dumpling House is an excellent place for dim sum or a taste of shanghai!
One of my favorite dishes here is the Pan fried bun, traditionally known as the Sheng Jian Bao, a special Q-bao originally from the famous Shanghai. This bao or bun, is filled with moist pork and wrapped with fluffy and crisp dough, definitely a must-have dish for my family.
Another dish I recommend are the onion pancakes, they are made with freshly chopped scallions and infused oil.
These pancakes are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside which is what makes them my son’s all-time favorite.

Perhaps the most well-known Chinese soup dumpling is the Xiao Long Bao. Here at Dough Zone Dumpling House, you will have an excellent and traditional experience with their Xiao Long Bao dumpling.
Each filling is created with the highest quality ingredients ranging from pork and vegetables, to seafood. Each dumpling is masterfully assembled with paper-thin dough and is carefully pinched to encapsulate the present inside…
the iconic soup! Once steamed, the filling releases its juices creating the iconic Xiao Long Bao. Oh, don’t forget to dip your dumpling in the thinly sliced ginger and vinegar/soy sauce, it makes the dumpling even more delicious!

Dough Zone’s dumplings, bao (buns) & noodles are freshly made each day and there are a variety of each of them on the menu to try.
Plus, if you aren’t sure how to pronounce something, the menu is full of pictures to make ordering easy! Enjoy!

– Maggie Wang
Senior Bookkeeper


Café Flora – Seattle’s most glamorous vegetarian & vegan restaurant boasting inventive fare
Phone: (206) 325-9100
Address: 2901 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98112

Plum Bistro – Organic, sustainable vegan dishes featuring seitan & tofu in an industrial-chic space
Phone: (206) 838-5333
Address: 1429 12th Ave Seattle, WA 98122

Kid Friendly

Lunchbox Laboratory – Childhood favorites such as burgers & corn dogs get an upgrade at this fun, industrial-chic eatery
Phone: (206) 621-1090
Address: 1253 Thomas St, Seattle, WA

What do we think?

$$ Looking for an entertaining atmosphere and unique burgers? Lunchbox Laboratory is the place to go! Lunchbox Laboratory specializes in customizable burgers and delicious sides that satisfy the inner kid in all of us! Choose from simple yet classic appetizers like fried pickles, mini corndogs, and chicharrones. The cocktails are served in glass science beakers, which makes for a unique and humorous photo opportunity for social media! We tried the Classic ‘Merican burger and the Faux Real (vegetarian) burger. Both were absolutely wonderful! Lunchbox Laboratory knows how to satisfy a hankering for an indulgent treat, whether you are craving a burger or a milkshake. Be prepared for slightly slow service, however. There are options to eat inside and enjoy the kitschy décor or enjoy your meal outside around a fire pit. The options for customizable burgers and boozy milkshakes are endless. Lunchbox Laboratory is a great fit for families and whenever you need to get away and indulge in an eccentric burger or shake!

Heather Button
Course Manager


Johnny Rockets – A neon-lit trip back to the Eisenhower era comes with burgers, shakes and fries
Phone: (206) 749-9803
Address: 600 Pine Street, Seattle, WA 98101

Red Robin – Colorful, chaotic restaurant promises loaded burgers and endless fries with waterfront dining
Phone: (206) 623-1942
Address: 1101 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101 (Pier 55 on Waterfront)