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5 Great Hard-to-Get-Into Places That May Be Freer Over the Holiday Weekend

This could be the time for some destination dining

A view of Rupee Bar, with soft lighting, blue walls, and a dark wood bar.
Rupee Bar in Ballard has Sri Lankan influences on the menu.
Noah Forbes

There are restaurants open on Thanksgiving, and plenty to choose from for those who shop ‘til they drop. But what about the discerning diner who wants to check out a place that has been booked solid all year long? The holiday weekend may, in fact, be the best time to do so, as the city thins out, and everyone may still be digesting turkey and stuffing. Here are five great spots to consider (just check opening times, since holiday hours may vary).

Dacha Diner

One of the finalists for Eater Seattle’s restaurant of the year award has been known to get crowded on weekends, due to limited hours. But for diners that pick the right time window (early evening on Black Friday, for example, or early Saturday morning), it shouldn’t be too much trouble to get a seat. The signature khachapuri — a decadent Georgian bread and cheese dish that’s rare in Seattle — is not to be missed.

Momosan Seattle

The buzz has died down a bit for this International District offshoot of Iron Chef Masaharu Moroimoto’s Momosan franchise, but lines at prime dinner times can still get long. Early evening (between 5-6 p.m.) may be a good option to try some of the restaurant’s silky tonkotsu, spicy tan-tan, and Eater NY critic Robert Sietsema’s top pick, tsukemen, which separates broth from noodles. For those not into ramen, the encyclopedic menu has plenty of other solid options, from pan fried pork gyoza in scallion ginger sauce to duck fat french fries and an Instagram-worthy soft shell crab bao.

Il Nido

This West Seattle Italian restaurant from star chef Mike Easton has been one of the toughest reservations to get in the city since debuting this spring. Tables for Thanksgiving weekend are still sparse as of publication, but the restaurant — housed in the historic Alki Homestead building — has been known to seat a few walk-ins at the bar, for those who are patient. The menu of from-scratch pastas, such as parsnip cappelletti and sunchoke “caramelle” with toasted hazelnuts and brown butter, is worth it.

Rupee Bar

Waits for this tiny spot in Ballard — on Eater’s list of most anticipated bar openings — have been lengthy on Fridays and Saturdays. But a holiday weekend in a normally chill neighborhood could mean a few more seats freeing up. Here, the team behind the well-regarded Wallingford seafood restaurant Manolin has put together an extensive cocktail list and wonderful Sri Lankan small bites, such as mutton rolls and Kerala fried chicken.

Tarsan i Jane

At the time this article was published, this destination restaurant in Frelard still had a couple of open spots left on Friday and Saturday for its stellar tasting menu. Valencian chef Perfecte Rocher is quietly blowing Seattleites’ minds with a dozen nuanced courses or more incorporate a staggering amount of fermented and seasonal wild-foraged native foods. For those who miss out, there’s even an upcoming truffle hunt and tasting coming December 14 with Rocher, professional truffle hunter Sunny Diaz, and her dog, Stella.

Dacha Diner

1416 East Olive Way, , WA 98122 (206) 708-6855 Visit Website

Momosan Seattle

504 5th Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98104

Rupee Bar

6307 24th Avenue Northwest, , WA 98107 (206) 397-3263 Visit Website

Il Nido

2717 61st Avenue Southwest, , WA 98116 (206) 466-6265 Visit Website

Tarsan i Jane

4012 Leary Way Northwest, , WA 98107 Visit Website

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