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A bowl of cacio e pepe pasta in a white bowl.
The cacio e pepe at Rione XIII.
Geoff Smith/LookatLao Studio

Where to Get Fantastic Pasta in Seattle

From tagliarini with smoked trout roe to tajarin with butter and sage, these Italian noodles are among the city’s best

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The cacio e pepe at Rione XIII.
| Geoff Smith/LookatLao Studio

rFor those looking for satisfying pastas, Seattle has steadily built a lineup that combines flawless technique with local meat, seafood, grains, and vegetables, making dishes that are undeniably Italian but also rooted in the Northwest. The area’s restaurants have something for every pasta lover, from well-executed classics like spaghetti carbonara and cacio e pepe to more experimental dishes laden with high-end ingredients like shaved truffles, uni butter, and smoked trout roe. Here are some favorites.

Send us a tip by emailing seattle@eater.com. As usual, this list is not ranked; it’s organized geographically.

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Cafe Juanita

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Chef Holly Smith’s Kirkland fine-dining mainstay serves several excellent tasting menus, including pescatarian, vegetarian, and vegan options, many of which feature exquisite pasta dishes. Dishes currently include ravioli with oxtail and greens and hand-cut tajarin with creme fraiche and caviar.

Ristorante Picolinos

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This Sunset Hill favorite offers exquisite Italian fare for reasonable prices, including a pappardelle topped with veal ragu and a selection of excellent ravioli, including one stuffed with goat cheese and ricotta and tossed in browned butter with sage. In addition to the comfortable dining room with a bar, there’s also a outdoor courtyard with plants growing on trellises that’s open for seating.

A plate with ravioli topped with sage above a splash of tomato sauce, with a glass of red wine next to it.
Stuffed goat and ricotta cheese ravioli
Ristorante Picolinos [Official]

San Fermo

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The menu at this popular Ballard restaurant is minimal and lighter than one might see at more traditional Italian joints, featuring standouts such as the strozzapreti with lamb sumo, and the saffron spaghetti bolognese with pork and veal. There’s also an outdoor deck and expanded sidewalk seating.

Bizzarro Italian Cafe

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This quirky, yet ageless Wallingford establishment (now with a White Center location) embraces weirdness in its decor, which seems like a cross between a messy antique store and the backstage of an old timey carnival. The eye-catching aesthetics shouldn’t distract from classics like the elk bolognese with handmade pappardelle noodles, long a fan favorite.

A view of Bizarro Italian Cafe’s bolognese with pappardelle and elk, tossed with cheese.
Elk bolognese with pappardelle
Bizzarro Italian Cafe

Cafe Lago

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Montlake’s Cafe Lago is the perfect neighborhood white-tablecloth Italian restaurant — just upscale enough for celebrating a special occasion, but not to fussy to accommodate an off-menu order of fettucini alfredo. The pastas, including two excellent lasagna dishes, are well-executed here, and evolve with the seasons.

Rione XIII

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Ethan Stowell’s Capitol Hill restaurant dedicated to the cuisine of Rome serves well-executed renditions of classic pasta dishes like spaghetti carbonara and cacio e pepe. But the restaurant also offers more creative dishes, like tagliarini with uni butter, Fresno chili peppers, and smoked trout roe. Tavolàta, another Ethan Stowell restaurant with locations in Belltown, Capitol Hill, Spokane, and on Stone Way in Fremont, serves similar pasta dishes, including a bucatini dish with bits of pork belly adorned with a shimmering egg yolk. 

A bowl of noodles covered in grated parmesan and black pepper.
The tonnarelli cacio e pepe at Ethan Stowell’s Rione XIII restaurant in Capitol Hill.
Geoff Smith/ LookatLao

Spinasse

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More than 10 years in, and this romantic trattoria on Capitol Hill continues to entrance diners with food from Italy’s Piedmont region. The nest of delicate tajarin pasta with butter and sage sauce is a Seattle comfort food mainstay, but every pasta dish from chef Stuart Lane — including the agnolotti stuffed with braised rabbit — is memorable. 

A white bowl containing tajarin with butter and sage,
The tajarin with butter and sage at Spinasse, one of the restaurant’s signature dishes.
Spinasse [Official Photo]

Ristorante Machiavelli

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This Capitol Hill locale has been serving soul-comforting plates of noodles to diners for decades. Standbys like the lasagna bolognese oozes layer upon layer of stringy melted mozzarella, fontina, and parmesan cheese, while the penne with roasted red pepper, walnuts, and cream is supremely satisfying.

The exterior of Ristorante Machiavelli, showing an awning with the restaurant’s name and a neon “cocktails” sign.
Ristorante Machiavelli serves a selection of hearty Italian dishes.
Ristorante Machiavelli [Official Photo]

Osteria la Spiga

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This excellent Capitol Hill restaurant features dishes from chef Sabrina Tinsley, emphasizing northern Italian cuisine. Must-try pastas include tagliatelle with white alba truffle butter and the gnocchi al pomodoro. The restaurant also launched a pop-up series in 2021 that celebrates local BIPOC chefs.

Vendemmia

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Star chef Brian Clevenger is beginning to grow a mighty little line of Italian restaurants in the city, and it's all thanks to the success of this Madrona gem. The pastas here draw fans from around the city, with options like tonnarelli with prawns, uni butter, and Meyer lemon and strozzapretti with duck and dandelion greens.

The Pink Door

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One of Seattle’s enduring Italian restaurants, located at Post Alley, offers plenty of well-crafted pasta selections, including linguini with baby clams and pancetta in a white wine sauce and a popular spinach lasagna. Diners who plan ahead should try to score a spot on the outdoor deck, which fills up quickly on sunny days.

Pasta Casalinga

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This Pike Place star has a rotating menu of simple, yet thoughtful made-to-order pasta plates that all cost less than $15. Dishes typically include a bowl of handmade pasta tossed with a light sauce and locally caught or foraged ingredients, such as ziti with rockfish, olives, and capers or reginette with Calabrian sausage and rapini. You can eat at a small counter in the restaurant or take the food to go.

Il Nido

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Nationally recognized chef Mike Easton turned the historic Alki Homestead into a classic Seattle dining experience that offers rotating list of excellent pasta dishes. He also aims to make the restaurant more accessible with a new “aperitivo hour” that doesn’t require reservations (which need to be booked well-ahead for the main dining room), as well as a patio. But the main dinner service continues to be a special treat.

Raccolto

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Diners flock to this West Seattle Italian restaurant for creative pasta dishes like the lamb bolognese served with pecorino and mint and fusilli with arugula pesto. To add flair to more simpler pasta dishes — like the tonnarelli cacio e pepe — order shaved truffle for an additional $15. As a plus, you can watch cooks toss the pasta in sauce from most areas of the compact dining room.

La Medusa

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Diners come to this small Columbia City restaurant for its well-crafted pasta dishes with Pacific Northwest ingredients, which shift regularly based on seasonal availability. A recent menu included campanelle with kale pesto, mafaldine with pork coppa, and casarecce with braised rabbit ragu. Head next door to a new mini market, Persephone, where you can sip amaro at a bar or buy local vegetables.

Mezzanotte

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Chef Jason Stratton (formerly of Spinasse, another entry on this list) recently took over the kitchen at Georgetown’s new Italian restaurant, which has a large, heated and covered patio. Stratton serves several exquisite pasta dishes like bucatini with spicy huckleberry marinara, gigli with roasted king oyster mushrooms, and like Spinasse, a tajarin dish with sage butter.

Cafe Juanita

Chef Holly Smith’s Kirkland fine-dining mainstay serves several excellent tasting menus, including pescatarian, vegetarian, and vegan options, many of which feature exquisite pasta dishes. Dishes currently include ravioli with oxtail and greens and hand-cut tajarin with creme fraiche and caviar.

Ristorante Picolinos

This Sunset Hill favorite offers exquisite Italian fare for reasonable prices, including a pappardelle topped with veal ragu and a selection of excellent ravioli, including one stuffed with goat cheese and ricotta and tossed in browned butter with sage. In addition to the comfortable dining room with a bar, there’s also a outdoor courtyard with plants growing on trellises that’s open for seating.

A plate with ravioli topped with sage above a splash of tomato sauce, with a glass of red wine next to it.
Stuffed goat and ricotta cheese ravioli
Ristorante Picolinos [Official]

San Fermo

The menu at this popular Ballard restaurant is minimal and lighter than one might see at more traditional Italian joints, featuring standouts such as the strozzapreti with lamb sumo, and the saffron spaghetti bolognese with pork and veal. There’s also an outdoor deck and expanded sidewalk seating.

Bizzarro Italian Cafe

This quirky, yet ageless Wallingford establishment (now with a White Center location) embraces weirdness in its decor, which seems like a cross between a messy antique store and the backstage of an old timey carnival. The eye-catching aesthetics shouldn’t distract from classics like the elk bolognese with handmade pappardelle noodles, long a fan favorite.

A view of Bizarro Italian Cafe’s bolognese with pappardelle and elk, tossed with cheese.
Elk bolognese with pappardelle
Bizzarro Italian Cafe

Cafe Lago

Montlake’s Cafe Lago is the perfect neighborhood white-tablecloth Italian restaurant — just upscale enough for celebrating a special occasion, but not to fussy to accommodate an off-menu order of fettucini alfredo. The pastas, including two excellent lasagna dishes, are well-executed here, and evolve with the seasons.

Rione XIII

Ethan Stowell’s Capitol Hill restaurant dedicated to the cuisine of Rome serves well-executed renditions of classic pasta dishes like spaghetti carbonara and cacio e pepe. But the restaurant also offers more creative dishes, like tagliarini with uni butter, Fresno chili peppers, and smoked trout roe. Tavolàta, another Ethan Stowell restaurant with locations in Belltown, Capitol Hill, Spokane, and on Stone Way in Fremont, serves similar pasta dishes, including a bucatini dish with bits of pork belly adorned with a shimmering egg yolk. 

A bowl of noodles covered in grated parmesan and black pepper.
The tonnarelli cacio e pepe at Ethan Stowell’s Rione XIII restaurant in Capitol Hill.
Geoff Smith/ LookatLao

Spinasse

More than 10 years in, and this romantic trattoria on Capitol Hill continues to entrance diners with food from Italy’s Piedmont region. The nest of delicate tajarin pasta with butter and sage sauce is a Seattle comfort food mainstay, but every pasta dish from chef Stuart Lane — including the agnolotti stuffed with braised rabbit — is memorable. 

A white bowl containing tajarin with butter and sage,
The tajarin with butter and sage at Spinasse, one of the restaurant’s signature dishes.
Spinasse [Official Photo]

Ristorante Machiavelli

This Capitol Hill locale has been serving soul-comforting plates of noodles to diners for decades. Standbys like the lasagna bolognese oozes layer upon layer of stringy melted mozzarella, fontina, and parmesan cheese, while the penne with roasted red pepper, walnuts, and cream is supremely satisfying.

The exterior of Ristorante Machiavelli, showing an awning with the restaurant’s name and a neon “cocktails” sign.
Ristorante Machiavelli serves a selection of hearty Italian dishes.
Ristorante Machiavelli [Official Photo]

Osteria la Spiga

This excellent Capitol Hill restaurant features dishes from chef Sabrina Tinsley, emphasizing northern Italian cuisine. Must-try pastas include tagliatelle with white alba truffle butter and the gnocchi al pomodoro. The restaurant also launched a pop-up series in 2021 that celebrates local BIPOC chefs.

Vendemmia

Star chef Brian Clevenger is beginning to grow a mighty little line of Italian restaurants in the city, and it's all thanks to the success of this Madrona gem. The pastas here draw fans from around the city, with options like tonnarelli with prawns, uni butter, and Meyer lemon and strozzapretti with duck and dandelion greens.

The Pink Door

One of Seattle’s enduring Italian restaurants, located at Post Alley, offers plenty of well-crafted pasta selections, including linguini with baby clams and pancetta in a white wine sauce and a popular spinach lasagna. Diners who plan ahead should try to score a spot on the outdoor deck, which fills up quickly on sunny days.

Pasta Casalinga

This Pike Place star has a rotating menu of simple, yet thoughtful made-to-order pasta plates that all cost less than $15. Dishes typically include a bowl of handmade pasta tossed with a light sauce and locally caught or foraged ingredients, such as ziti with rockfish, olives, and capers or reginette with Calabrian sausage and rapini. You can eat at a small counter in the restaurant or take the food to go.

Il Nido

Nationally recognized chef Mike Easton turned the historic Alki Homestead into a classic Seattle dining experience that offers rotating list of excellent pasta dishes. He also aims to make the restaurant more accessible with a new “aperitivo hour” that doesn’t require reservations (which need to be booked well-ahead for the main dining room), as well as a patio. But the main dinner service continues to be a special treat.

Raccolto

Diners flock to this West Seattle Italian restaurant for creative pasta dishes like the lamb bolognese served with pecorino and mint and fusilli with arugula pesto. To add flair to more simpler pasta dishes — like the tonnarelli cacio e pepe — order shaved truffle for an additional $15. As a plus, you can watch cooks toss the pasta in sauce from most areas of the compact dining room.

La Medusa

Diners come to this small Columbia City restaurant for its well-crafted pasta dishes with Pacific Northwest ingredients, which shift regularly based on seasonal availability. A recent menu included campanelle with kale pesto, mafaldine with pork coppa, and casarecce with braised rabbit ragu. Head next door to a new mini market, Persephone, where you can sip amaro at a bar or buy local vegetables.

Related Maps

Mezzanotte

Chef Jason Stratton (formerly of Spinasse, another entry on this list) recently took over the kitchen at Georgetown’s new Italian restaurant, which has a large, heated and covered patio. Stratton serves several exquisite pasta dishes like bucatini with spicy huckleberry marinara, gigli with roasted king oyster mushrooms, and like Spinasse, a tajarin dish with sage butter.

Related Maps