Studies show the average person will spend two years of their life waiting in line, nine years surfing the internet, and 13 years listening to music. And if you live in Seattle, you spend the rest of your life figuring out where to meet people halfway for dinner.
In a city this size, agreeing on a fair middle point is a way of life. Your friend’s coming from Bellevue, but you just got out of work in Queen Anne, and neither one of you wants to end up on Mercer Island. It’s a game of give-and-take that only really leads to one thing: wasted time. So we made a guide to help. Here are 12 places to eat when you’re coming from opposite sides of town.
NEED TO MEET BETWEEN: MADRONA & NORTH SEATTLE
Frank’s Oyster House isn’t just a Ravenna go-to because parking is easy, it’s also a cool neighborhood hang that serves great oysters. The place reads more like a cocktail bar situation than a restaurant, but their food menu is ideal for snacking while talking about the job interview you did not exactly ace. Some of our favorite things on the menu are the mini lobster rolls and the delicious fried chicken.
NEED TO MEET BETWEEN: SHORELINE & SAND POINT
When you’ve been sitting in traffic but would rather be sitting on a beach, you should meet at Bongos - a gas station-turned-Caribbean restaurant that has a colorful patio covered in sand. It’s perfect if you just want to relax with a couple of braised pork sandwiches and tostones or a plate of spicy shrimp, beans, and rice.
NEED TO MEET BETWEEN: WEST SEATTLE & RAINIER BEACH
It has been agreed: you’re not going anywhere north of downtown. That means Ciudad, a Middle Eastern grill with tasty mezze, flatbreads, and meats is fair play. Get the harissa-marinated chicken or the hanger steak, and add some black garlic aioli and chimichurri to the mix. Then, decide which of your friends is most like the vampire-werewolf in the colorful wall mural.
NEED TO MEET BETWEEN: DELRIDGE & RAINIER VALLEY
The delicious pizza at Bar Del Corso isn’t a secret, which means it’ll probably be packed inside the charming dining room. If it is, sit at the bar and start with Aperol spritzes, and you’ll be face-to-face with a Neapolitan pie in no time. The pizzas are perfectly shareable, and don’t you dare skip an affogato afterwards.
NEED TO MEET BETWEEN: GEORGETOWN & NORTHGATE
Be honest - no matter where everyone’s coming from, you likely want to go somewhere new and/or exciting in Capitol Hill. Single Shot is one of our favorite spots in the area to grab a cocktail or glass of wine at the bar, followed by some small plates like margherita flatbread and dungeness crab potato salad. The space is beautiful, and loud enough to be lively without damaging your hearing or missing every other word your friend is saying.
NEED TO MEET BETWEEN: MOUNT BAKER & BITTER LAKE
Fremont is one of the best neighborhoods for eating in this town, and Manolin is one of the best spots in Fremont. Plus, “Meet me at Manolin” sounds like a great romantic comedy just waiting to happen - especially because the dining room looks kinda like a beach house from a Nancy Meyers movie. You’ll find upscale seafood here that ranges from limey rockfish ceviche and soft smoked salmon to grilled squid with chorizo. But even if you just do cocktails and a round of plantain chips, you’re in good shape.
NEED TO MEET BETWEEN: SOUTH PARK & ROOSEVELT
Ask anyone about Dough Zone, and they’ll probably squeal with delight. We don’t blame them. It’s a dumpling spot in the International District where you’ll find it hard to stop eating. The wait is never too long for a table, food comes out quickly, and the wontons, potstickers, and buns are incredibly good. If there are more than two of you, trust us and go for an extra order of Q-bao.
NEED TO MEET BETWEEN: BELLEVUE & QUEEN ANNE
The Independent is a tiny, romantic place where you can destroy a Neapolitan pepperoni pizza and a tall boy of hard cider - or just grab some olives and grilled bread alongside a glass of wine. There are only about two dozen seats, so get there at 5pm when they open to secure a table, or wait in the rain for a while.
NEED TO MEET BETWEEN: BEACON HILL & WEDGEWOOD
Bottlehouse is a wine bar in a retrofitted house, and they also have really tasty things to go along with your flight or rosé-infused slushie. You could have charcuterie selected by the resident cheesemonger, or do something more substantial like a sandwich or a nice piece of fish. If the weather isn’t terrible, sit in the garden and be thankful you’re not on I-5 right now.
NEED TO MEET BETWEEN: CAPITOL HILL & WHITE CENTER
We like Raccolto for share plates like crudo and smoked fish crostini as well as fresh pasta (if you’re not getting the cacio e pepe cavatelli, why are you even here?). The entire two-story space is welcoming, and if it’s nice out, you can get a nice breeze from the open-air situation.
NEED TO MEET BETWEEN: DOWNTOWN & GREENWOOD
A pub is always a great spot to catch up with a friend, but we’re not just giving you any pub - we’re giving you Bramling Cross. It’s the kind of place where you can get fries covered in pickle seasoning, a chicken cordon bleu sandwich, or a bowl of gnocchi. Plus, it looks like a cool library.
NEED TO MEET BETWEEN: EASTLAKE & SAMMAMISH
It’s only fair if someone is coming from deep within the Eastside to meet somewhere like Kirkland instead of making them drive all the way to Seattle. The restaurant that makes us forget Seattle proper even exists is Deru Market. It’s a counter-service spot that looks like the inspiration for a rustic barn wedding. Food-wise, expect delicious salads, sandwiches, soups, pizzas, and the occasional risotto or steak. Also, get a giant slice of cake.