Wave Image
Don’t see your city? Drop us a line and let us know where you’d like us to go next.

Send Us Feedback

Thank You

We’re always looking to make The Infatuation the best platform to find restaurants, and we appreciate your feedback!
SEA

Guide

The Meals That Got Us Through 2020

It wasn’t easy, but we made it through the worst year ever. And these meals helped - a lot.

15 Spots
Launch Map
15 Spots
Launch Map
Updated December 14th, 2020

Take a deep breath - and now exhale very slowly. We did it. We’ve reached the end of 2020. While this hardly feels like a reason to celebrate, it’s certainly worth taking a moment to reflect on the positives, and acknowledge all the things that have helped us get through these unprecedented 12 months. Here at The Infatuation Seattle, that’s mostly come in the form of food. In a year that brought the restaurant industry to a grinding halt, we were consistently blown away by the sheer ingenuity and creativity that unfolded in restaurants across the city. From fine-dining establishments to pop-ups, grocery market counters to scoop shops (yes, ice cream’s a meal) - and just about everything in between - these are the most memorable meals we ate this year, the food that helped us see, however dim, the light at the end of the tunnel.

THE BEST THINGS WE ATE THIS YEAR

Nate Watters

Yeh Yeh's Sandwiches

$$$$ 19915 64th Ave W

During my entire two years at Microsoft (OK, I was an orange badge), I always watched my coworkers eat bánh mì from Yeh Yeh’s while I snacked on Quaker rice cakes with almond butter. Fast forward to 2020. While on a quest to locate the best bánh mì in town, it was finally time to try Yeh-Yeh’s once and for all. Much like a mother can’t choose a favorite among triplets, I can’t choose a favorite among the grilled marinated pork with charred bits, braised red pork with savory patè, or flash-fried tofu with sweet dressing and a kick of black pepper. My partner and I just sat there in his Honda Accord, polishing each mayo-slathered baguette one by one, passing them back and forth like bong hits with widened eyes and enough “wow”s to fill an Owen Wilson compilation video.

-Aimee Rizzo, Staff Writer

SEA

Guide:

9 Great Banh Mi In Seattle

Read
Stan Lee

Spinasse

$$$$
$$$$ 1531 14th Avenue

Back in February when eating indoors at a restaurant was a completely normal experience, Staff Writer Aimee Rizzo and I had dinner at Spinasse. I had never been, and she incessantly told me about how good the place was and how much I was missing out. After sharing their tajarin al ragu and duck agnolotti, I was blown away even going in with high expectations. The fresh pasta was cooked perfectly, the pork and beef ragu was rich and savory, and even the half-portions we ordered had a really decent amount of food. As an Italian-American who grew up in a family with very opinionated thoughts on pasta, I say this with the highest praise: You could bring a man named Giuseppe from Lazio to Spinasse and he’d love it.

-Carlo Mantuano, Staff Editor

Aimee Rizzo

Tsukushinbo

$$$$ 515 S Main St

This summer for me was defined by two things: the excessive heat that radiated in my studio apartment like a yoga class, and outstanding delivery from Tsukushinbo. Their excellent sushi was there for me in a pinch - like buttery king salmon, toro nigiri, and chili sauce-spiked spicy tuna rolls coated in perfectly crisp tempura flakes. All the wonderful fish made my cat extremely jealous, but he deserves it for always hogging the fan.

-AR

Erin Lodi

The thrill of securing a Mt. Bagel order on a Monday afternoon is kinda like going for a spin in a 1964 olive green Porsche convertible - if you don’t completely panic and f*ck something up, you’re going to have an unbelievable time. Which makes it all the more fitting that when I picked up my order from Mt. Bagel in early August, I rode with my girlfriend’s dad...in his 1964 olive green Porsche convertible. We secured the bag (of bagels), had the wind blow through our hair driving down Lake Washington Boulevard, and enjoyed a spread of some of the best bagels and cream cheese (the spicy scallion is special) that I’ve ever eaten. That was a memorable summer day, and one that I think about often now that 5pm is so dark out that it feels like 3am.

-CM

Nate Watters

Musang

$$$$ 2524 Beacon Ave S

If time-travel was a thing and I could warp back to the very last moment of pure joy before the pandemic, it would be my dinner at Musang. The entire meal was phenomenal, from the fried lumpia I snacked on at the start to the caramelized leche flan I had trouble sharing for dessert. Sure, maybe it’d be smart for future me to warn the February version of Aimee about the overall impending doom and which Netflix shows to skip. But after catching a glimpse of my lovesick face surrounded by comforting beef mechado, coconut milk ginataan, and custardy smoked oysters with sea beans and garlic oil, I’d probably just let myself live in ignorant, Tiger King-less bliss for a moment.

-AR

Erin Lodi

Ezell's Famous Chicken

$$$$ 501 23rd Ave

Whenever my girlfriend and I fly back to Seattle, her mom always has some delicious spicy fried chicken from Ezell’s waiting for us when we get to their house from the airport. And this was no different when we flew back at the end of July. During the whole six-hour flight, the only two things I was thinking about were the effectiveness of HEPA filters and how good those tenders were going to taste. After that stressful trip, the only things that kept me calm before I got a negative test a few days later were Ezell’s crispy chicken, sweet brioche rolls, and copious amounts of BBQ sauce.

-CM

Erin Lodi

Hi Helen

$$$$
$$$$ SW Holden Street

I believe that every born-and-raised New Yorker (myself included) is unable to emotionally let go of prized foods from the East Coast. Things like pizza, bagels, or your friend’s mom’s chicken cutlets. But most of all, I’ve missed the baconeggandcheese - that is, until West Seattle pop-up Hi Helen came along. These parchment-wrapped BECs meet all the prerequisites: soft scrambled eggs with coarsely-crushed peppercorn confetti, American cheese that flows like volcanic lava, a fluffy, yeasty homemade poppy kaiser roll, and a creamy chipotle sauce for fantastic kick. Not only is this the greatest breakfast sandwich in Seattle, but it also happens to be the best breakfast sandwich I’ve ever had in my life (I’m sorry Bagel Chalet in Commack!).

-AR

SEA

Guide:

25 Seattle Pop-Ups To Know About Right Now

Read
Erin Lodi

Laina’s Handcrafted Ice Cream

$$$$ 9701 Rainier Ave S

When I got some ube ice cream from Laina’s back in July, it was one of those times when summer wasn’t feeling summery. But after one purple, dairy-free scoop and about 45 minutes of staring longingly out towards Lake Washington from their patio, summer was back. Is ice cream a meal? My mind (and brain freeze) tells me no, but this super creamy frozen treat was as comforting as any bowl of brothy beans is in winter. And that’s saying a lot since in my circle of friends I’m known as “the bean guy.”

-CM

Erin Lodi

Dantini Pizza

$$$$
$$$$ 601 Bellevue Ave E

Ordering pizza for the toppings alone would be a pretty silly thing to do, right? Nobody would peel bell peppers off of a veggie slice to make fajitas. But I would absolutely get a pepperoni pie from takeout pop-up Dantini just to harvest the sweet, caramelized, almost-creamy garlic confit on top. Thankfully, everything else about this pizza is excellent, too - the crust is crackly, chewy, and gets along with globs of fresh mozzarella and abundance of smoky pepperoni cups with crunchy edges. I ate a lot of pizza this year, but Dantini will always have my heart (and my money).

-AR

Erin Lodi

King Philly Cheesesteaks

$$$$
$$$$ 7820 Rainier Ave S Unit A

I never considered myself a “cheesesteak person,” but that all changed with King Philly’s spicy chicken cheesesteak. It comes on a squishy Amoroso roll stacked with tender shaved chicken, a white American whiz doctored-up with spices, and diced jalapeño thrown in with griddled onions and bell peppers for the perfect amount of heat. This sandwich tastes phenomenal, but more importantly has single-handedly made me the cheesesteak person that’s been hiding inside all along. I’ve ordered it four times in the past month, and I literally have their online ordering window open right now.

-AR

Nate Watters

Taurus Ox

$$$$
$$$$ 1523 E Madison St

The burger from Taurus Ox is my North Star. I first tried it back in late January, when I sat at a table, enjoyed it with a bunch of their other delicious Laotian dishes, and realized this restaurant was special. The next time I had it was sometime during the summer when I did a pickup order during quarantine and consumed roughly two of these burgers after bringing home four to split with my household. As soon as the pandemic is over, I can’t wait to go back and eat this smashburger with provolone, homemade bacon, taro stem, cilantro, and jeaw bong mayo amongst a few friends.

-CM

All

Guide:

The Most Exciting New Restaurants Of 2020

Read
Nate Watters

DeLaurenti Food & Wine

$$$$ 1435 1st Ave

If there were a reality competition called So You Think You Can Quarantine, my partner Ben and I would win that thing for all the marbles. No grocery stores. No public transportation. No seeing our families back in New York until there’s a vaccine. Even our Animal Crossing avatars wear masks. So instead of real vacations, we’ve done truly weird AirBnb stays, like this one chic post-apocalyptic bunker isolated on a vineyard construction site. Every time I’d order supplies for a “vacation,” my first virtual stop would be DeLaurenti. Their decadent, buttery prosciutto di San Daniele (a.k.a. The Lamborghini of ham) always found its way into my online cart. Now I associate this ultra-aged, paper-thin cured pork with moments spent reconnecting with a person I’m incredibly grateful to have - all while taking a beat from this dark, water-doused grease fire of a year.

-AR

Nate Watters

Taqueria El Asadero

$$$$
$$$$ 3513 Rainier Ave S

Tortas are one of my favorite foods to eat at home in sweatpants. When I was researching for a guide to some of the best in the city, the one I tried from Taqueria El Asadero, a Mexican spot on Rainier that operates out of an old school bus, really stuck with me. Specifically, their torta with birria. The juicy meat has flavorful drippings that soak into the toasted roll so quickly that I couldn’t help but eat the entire thing right away in the car. I have El Asadero and their delicious torta to thank for my new takeout mindset - why the hell should I wait to get home if I can eat a phenomenal meal in my car? Especially if I’m already wearing sweatpants?

-CM

SEA

Guide:

6 Great Tortas In Seattle

Read
Erin Lodi

Burgermaster

$$$$
$$$$ 10606 Northup Way

I decided to bake brownie-bottom pumpkin bars and safely deliver them to 15 of my best friends the night before Thanksgiving. My delivery route slithered around Seattle from Mt. Baker to Fremont to Lynnwood to Issaquah, and the entire thing took five hours. What made it all worth it? The pit stop meal at Burgermaster in Bellevue, involving a tasty little cheeseburger, crunchy-crusted onion rings dunked in tangy housemade tartar, and a mint Oreo milkshake to wash it all down. Oh yeah, and reconnecting in person with loved ones for the first time in months, too.

-AR

Aimee Rizzo

84 Yesler

$$$$
$$$$ 84 Yesler Ave.

“Date Night” is tricky to define when you and your partner haven’t been to a restaurant since March - there are only so many weekends you can slap a wheel of brie on a wooden plank and watch Frances Ha before things get old. But 84 Yesler in Pioneer Square got us in the date night spirit again. From the nutty parmesan churros (a.k.a. cheesy funnel cake) and fresh carrot cavatelli with goat cheese to some of the best steak with red wine jus I’ve ever had, all of the excellent food was packaged so thoughtfully that we forgot for a moment that we weren’t sitting at a table inside a restaurant.

-AR

SEA

Guide:

The Seattle Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In Seattle

Read
You'll need a better browser for that!
Upgrade to Chrome and start finding Restaurants.