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A plate of snails in the center of a plate.
Sea Snails at LTD Edition Sushi
Harry Cheadle

8 Splurge-Worthy Restaurants in Seattle and Bellevue

When you want to make a splash without renting a kayak

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Sea Snails at LTD Edition Sushi
| Harry Cheadle

Seattle as a city doesn’t much care for flashy, ostentatious shows of wealth. Maybe it has something to do with the climate that encourages everyone to wear hoodies and hideous hiking shoes several months out of the year. Maybe it’s because that for decades, the most prominent wealthy Seattleites have been connected to the tech industry; whatever the virtues of the quarter-zip crowd, they’ve never been known for their flair. It doesn’t help that the fashion of the Grunge era largely consists of dressing as an out-of-work lumberjack. So it’s not surprising that precious few Seattle dining experiences can measure up to the standards of bacchanalian destination cities like New York or Vegas.

What this map presupposes is, to heck with all that! Sometimes you want to toss some cash on a genuinely extravagant time, to not worry so much about whether a meal is “worth it,” to go someplace where it would be inappropriate to wear a hoodie.

Not everyone can afford to go all of the places on this list, and almost no one can go to them regularly. But when you want to splurge, here’s where you should go. As usual, these places aren’t ranked but organized geographically. Know of a spot that should be on our radar? Send us a tip by emailing seattle@eater.com.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

The Burger at Beast and Cleaver at 49th Street

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Fair Isle cultivates a slightly higher-class air than some of the surrounding Ballard breweries, and that extends to its kitchen, which is an extension of the nearby butcher-slash-restaurant Beast and Cleaver. The burgers are the most famous item on the menu, and they come with a celebrity price tag: $16, or $19 for a bacon burger (which is what you’ll usually want). It comes with cheese and ketchup and precious little else, certainly nothing as gauche as fries. But the 100-day dry-aged beef doesn’t need anything else, it’s juicy and marbled and given just a little assist from the sweetness of the ketchup. Get here early in the evening, the kitchen tends to run out.

Part of Canlis’s appeal is that it’s CANLIS, Seattle’s fine dining citadel, and it knows it. Its website is the only one that informs guests, a bit snootily, “We’re a very dressy restaurant. We recommend a suit or sport coat for men, and ask that no T-shirts, shorts, hats, or casual attire of any kind be worn.” Dinner here (sans beverages) is $180, but the vibe, the view, the lighting — seriously, the lighting here is sick — every component of the meal reassures you that it’s worth it.  

Doce Donut Co.

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These brioche doughnuts aren’t the kind of casual snack you grab a dozen of, not at $5 or $6 apiece. But they’re also unique in Seattle. We’re talking about creme brulee filled with passion fruit, churro topped with caramel sauce, and a winter seasonal joint that is filled with a coquito (a Puerto Rican eggnog-like drink) cream, dipped in cookie butter glazed, and topped with a gingerbread cookie. Trust us, it’s worth it. (Vegan dough is available.)

Private Dining on the Great Wheel

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If you want a delightfully silly way to spend $125 per person, book a gondola on Seattle’s waterfront ferris wheel for dinner, courtesy of the Fisherman’s Restaurant. The way it works is you show up for cocktail hour at 6:30 p.m. to order wine or whatever else you want to drink, climb aboard the wheel at 7:00, and “take off” at 7:30. You get a meal of prawn cocktail, Caesar salad, grilled salmon, and chocolate custard. This is only available on Fridays and Saturdays.

Ltd Edition Sushi

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Getting omakase is a splurge by definition — you’re paying for the high-quality fish, the chef’s skills, and the intimate atmosphere of sitting elbow-to-elbow with fellow sushi fans eating 20 or so courses of sometimes surprising dishes. This Capitol Hill counter charges $160 a seat, which is by no means out of line with other omakase places, but you’ll definitely want to get a sake pairing here too for $48. Chef Keiji Tsukasaki isn’t just an expert sushi chef, he knows his way around drinks and delights in telling you which to drink with each course. The sushi itself is exceptional, and includes delights like monkfish liver, so velvety and rich it’s nearly chocolate-like.

A pair of snails on a plate.
Sea snail at LTD Edition Sushi
Harry Cheadle

Surrell

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For about $200, service charge not included, you get admission to the dinner party of your dreams. There’s a drink at your door, 10 courses showcasing seasonal ingredients and Aaron Tekulve’s creativity, a freakin’ poem written about the menu, a bag of granola to take home, and a little cup of decaf coffee or tea to drink on your way there. The location is anonymous (Madison Valley?), but the service is guaranteed to impress.

A decorated plate with a macaron sitting in a bird’s nest and a spoon with a bite of salmon on it.
The first course at Surrell in 2023
Harry Cheadle

Archipelago

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Unusually for a fine dining restaurant, Archipelago sometimes provides free seats to those who are “doing the difficult work to protect, uplift, and share.” But everyone else has to pay the $239 per seat price, making it one of Seattle’s most expensive and exclusive dinner reservations. You get not just a tour of Filipino cuisine, but short speeches on the history and legacy of Filipino Americans (and others) in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a sensational dining experience, even if the price tag is startling.

Ascend Prime Steak and Sushi

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There’s no shortage of high-end restaurants in Bellevue’s Lincoln Square, but why not go right to the top? Ascend is on the literal 31st floor of the building, where you get a panoramic view plus indoor fires plus food that is honestly probably more impressive than it needs to be. There’s showoff-y items on here like the $100-and-up caviar service, $75 crab legs, or the $209 45-ounce “seahawk” chop steak, but we prefer the still-luxurious happy hour menu, where you can get $20 koji-smoked wagyu beef cheek sliders.

The Burger at Beast and Cleaver at 49th Street

Fair Isle cultivates a slightly higher-class air than some of the surrounding Ballard breweries, and that extends to its kitchen, which is an extension of the nearby butcher-slash-restaurant Beast and Cleaver. The burgers are the most famous item on the menu, and they come with a celebrity price tag: $16, or $19 for a bacon burger (which is what you’ll usually want). It comes with cheese and ketchup and precious little else, certainly nothing as gauche as fries. But the 100-day dry-aged beef doesn’t need anything else, it’s juicy and marbled and given just a little assist from the sweetness of the ketchup. Get here early in the evening, the kitchen tends to run out.

Canlis

Part of Canlis’s appeal is that it’s CANLIS, Seattle’s fine dining citadel, and it knows it. Its website is the only one that informs guests, a bit snootily, “We’re a very dressy restaurant. We recommend a suit or sport coat for men, and ask that no T-shirts, shorts, hats, or casual attire of any kind be worn.” Dinner here (sans beverages) is $180, but the vibe, the view, the lighting — seriously, the lighting here is sick — every component of the meal reassures you that it’s worth it.  

Doce Donut Co.

These brioche doughnuts aren’t the kind of casual snack you grab a dozen of, not at $5 or $6 apiece. But they’re also unique in Seattle. We’re talking about creme brulee filled with passion fruit, churro topped with caramel sauce, and a winter seasonal joint that is filled with a coquito (a Puerto Rican eggnog-like drink) cream, dipped in cookie butter glazed, and topped with a gingerbread cookie. Trust us, it’s worth it. (Vegan dough is available.)

Private Dining on the Great Wheel

If you want a delightfully silly way to spend $125 per person, book a gondola on Seattle’s waterfront ferris wheel for dinner, courtesy of the Fisherman’s Restaurant. The way it works is you show up for cocktail hour at 6:30 p.m. to order wine or whatever else you want to drink, climb aboard the wheel at 7:00, and “take off” at 7:30. You get a meal of prawn cocktail, Caesar salad, grilled salmon, and chocolate custard. This is only available on Fridays and Saturdays.

Ltd Edition Sushi

Getting omakase is a splurge by definition — you’re paying for the high-quality fish, the chef’s skills, and the intimate atmosphere of sitting elbow-to-elbow with fellow sushi fans eating 20 or so courses of sometimes surprising dishes. This Capitol Hill counter charges $160 a seat, which is by no means out of line with other omakase places, but you’ll definitely want to get a sake pairing here too for $48. Chef Keiji Tsukasaki isn’t just an expert sushi chef, he knows his way around drinks and delights in telling you which to drink with each course. The sushi itself is exceptional, and includes delights like monkfish liver, so velvety and rich it’s nearly chocolate-like.

A pair of snails on a plate.
Sea snail at LTD Edition Sushi
Harry Cheadle

Surrell

For about $200, service charge not included, you get admission to the dinner party of your dreams. There’s a drink at your door, 10 courses showcasing seasonal ingredients and Aaron Tekulve’s creativity, a freakin’ poem written about the menu, a bag of granola to take home, and a little cup of decaf coffee or tea to drink on your way there. The location is anonymous (Madison Valley?), but the service is guaranteed to impress.

A decorated plate with a macaron sitting in a bird’s nest and a spoon with a bite of salmon on it.
The first course at Surrell in 2023
Harry Cheadle

Archipelago

Unusually for a fine dining restaurant, Archipelago sometimes provides free seats to those who are “doing the difficult work to protect, uplift, and share.” But everyone else has to pay the $239 per seat price, making it one of Seattle’s most expensive and exclusive dinner reservations. You get not just a tour of Filipino cuisine, but short speeches on the history and legacy of Filipino Americans (and others) in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a sensational dining experience, even if the price tag is startling.

Ascend Prime Steak and Sushi

There’s no shortage of high-end restaurants in Bellevue’s Lincoln Square, but why not go right to the top? Ascend is on the literal 31st floor of the building, where you get a panoramic view plus indoor fires plus food that is honestly probably more impressive than it needs to be. There’s showoff-y items on here like the $100-and-up caviar service, $75 crab legs, or the $209 45-ounce “seahawk” chop steak, but we prefer the still-luxurious happy hour menu, where you can get $20 koji-smoked wagyu beef cheek sliders.

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