Seattle’s dining scene is blessed with many small, independent, chef-owned restaurants. That can make things a little difficult, though, for planning a big group dinner out. But if you know where to look, there are restaurants willing to accommodate large groups, serving anything from hot pot and Sichuan grilled fish to bratwurst and Texas-style brisket. Most of the following restaurants also serve their dishes family-style, with large portions meant to be shared. Coming with a party of six or more? It’s generally recommended to call in a reservation (or book one online) beforehand.Read More
15 Lively Seattle Restaurants for Big Group Dinners
Restaurants with large tables and big plates to share
Enat Ethiopian Restaurant
With swathes of spongy injera serving as base and scoop for saucy dishes like lentil-rich misir wot and ybeg tibs nech (marinated lamb, onions, garlic, tomato), Ethiopian cuisine like that of Enat Ethiopian Restaurant in the Northgate area is a go-to for group feasts. Expect a spacious dining room, affordable prices, and truly enormous portions — two orders can easily fill five adults. Enat is also known for its gluten-free and vegetarian options (you can even get a gluten-free vegetarian combo).
天府春秋 Tian Fu
Sichuan food is generally served family-style, and the portions at Northgate’s Tian Fu Chinese restaurant (with additional locations in the U District and Bellevue) are huge. The larger tables in the spacious dining room are even equipped with lazy Susans to facilitate the sharing of several dishes. The mapo tofu here is heavily spiced and satisfying. The dry-fried string beans pack a punch of umami from the pickled vegetable bits. The whole grilled fish dishes (which are doused in broth, strewn with dried chilis and Sichuan peppercorns, and served with a choice of vegetables) are great for splitting, as are the several boiled fish dishes on the menu.
Fast-casual Peruvian place Don Lucho’s still serves the sandwiches that built its reputation as a food truck, but the Maple Leaf restaurant also has a robust list of pisco cocktails and big plates of wood-fired rotisserie chicken, some serious lomo saltado, and yuca fries that can you can easily pass around the table. What’s more, Don Lucho’s has lots of space on its two heated patios with picnic tables and big-screen TVs for diners to enjoy on game days.
Brimmer and Heeltap
A unique bistro and bar hybrid on the fringes of Ballard, Brimmer and Heeltap is a weekend brunch favorite, and the family-style menu means everybody can sample a little bit of everything, from radicchio salad with anchovies and hazelnuts to cavatelli with wild mushrooms and beef jus. The restaurant also has one of the most pleasant al fresco dining areas in town — the leafy, lovely garden has a fire pit, in addition to a quaint private studio that seats 25.
The White Swan Public House
At the southern end of Lake Union, White Swan’s crowd-friendly outdoor patio offers unbeatable views of float planes maneuvering through the waters. You can reserve online for groups of up to eight, though beyond that you’ll have to reach out to the restaurant. The menu is relatively concise and seafood-focused, with a rotating selection of oysters and some fun sharing options like a seafood platter and its “poutine of the sea,” topped by a chowder-style gravy.
Harry's Fine Foods
Harry’s, a laid-back Capitol Hill spot, has a compelling all-season patio, and the ever-changing new American menu comprises thoughtfully executed brunch and dinner classics. At brunch, look out for sweet potato latkes, cornmeal pancakes, and excellent bloody mary twist Harry’s Mary with house pickles; dinner includes treats like chicory Caesar with a soft egg and steak frites with bone marrow brandy butter.
Ba Bar South Lake Union
As hip local chain Ba Bar has grown, so have its restaurants, which means this one in South Lake Union and its sibling in the University District have ample space for groups, inside and out, and you can call about reservations for groups of seven to 10. You’ll find one of the best bowls of pho in town here, made with high-quality ingredients and priced accordingly, as well as cocktails and plenty of other Vietnamese specialties from duck and pork belly rotisserie to bun bowls with vermicelli noodles to macarons for dessert.
Queen Anne Beerhall
With nothing but communal tables and a long bar in a 7,000-square-foot former factory, the Bavarian-inspired Queen Anne Beerhall was made for parties. More than 20 beers on tap complement a large menu of fairly global mains, sides, sandwiches, and sausages. The apps are particularly easy to share, from wings and poutine to a hummus plate and a giant house-made pretzel, as are entrees like steak frites and Peruvian chicken.
Hidden in the anonymous office buildings of Denny Triangle, spacious Barolo has a centerpiece communal table that seats up to 22 in the middle of the dining room. Group menus with seasonal Italian dishes are available — think house-made gnocchi with pheasant ragu or seared duck breast and mushrooms — and the attentive staff has a rep for being great at communication, a relief for anyone wrangling large parties.
This upscale Middle Eastern restaurant on Capitol Hill embraces hospitality with a community table and mountains of meze — hummus, baba ganoush, muhammara, and more — meant to be shared. Mamnoon’s menu also has plenty of veggie, halal, and gluten-free choices to help accommodate everybody. The restaurant encourages groups of eight or more to email directly to coordinate reservations.
Haidilao Hot Pot Seattle
Sometimes lasting for hours, a hot pot makes the perfect group dinner. And no hot pot spot in Seattle is better-equipped to host large parties than Hai Di Lao’s locations in Downtown’s Pacific Place and the Bellevue Pacific Center, boasting large tables equipped with multiple hot pots. Though there are a few different broth bases, a good combination is mild pork bone broth on one side and numbing-spicy mala broth on the other. The ingredient list and sauce bar have something for everybody, and you can sit back and enjoy entertainment like table-side hand-pulled noodle dancing and Sichuan “face-changing” opera performances in the dining room.
Chill Vietnamese restaurant Tamarind Tree in the International District is comfortable hosting groups large or small, whether inside next to the fire pit or on the tranquil ivy-covered patio, complete with a waterfall. The menu is full of super-shareable platters of vegetables, meat, and seafood, and the generously sized salads and appetizers basically require a group to finish them off.
Pho Bac Sup Shop
Across the parking lot from Little Saigon’s pioneering Vietnamese restaurant, Pho Bac, sibling Pho Bac Sup Shop has a roomy dining area. Long communal tables, a sleek cafe and a full bar make this a cool place to gather a group. Of course, the food — from dry or short-rib pho to more shareable snacks like pho fries and twice-fried chicken wings with tamarind fish sauce glaze — is outstanding. Leave room for the Chinese donuts and sweets like ube cheesecake.
Casual International District seafood shack Crawfish King adds Vietnamese influences to the Cajun crawfish boil. Diners order seafood either by the pound or as a combo, along with a sauce, and the whole shebang spills across the huge table like at a backyard fiesta. It’s a messy, interactive bonding experience to crack away at a mountain of shellfish as a bib-wearing team.
The low-and-slow Texas-style barbecue at Jack’s SODO location is worth making a mess at, and the private dining room, aka the Double D Lounge, is ready for get-togethers. The restaurant offers several succulent meat combos of varying sizes for any party — heaps of pulled pork, brisket, ribs — and the smoke finds its way nicely into several of the cocktails too.