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Tables are set with plates and cutlery. A waterfall can be seen through the large windows to the right.
The dining room at Salish Lodge & Spa overlooks Snoqualmie Falls. The breathtaking view is only a thirty minute drive from Seattle.
Salish Lodge & Spa

13 Restaurants Worth a Drive (or Ferry Ride) from Seattle

These excellent restaurants are worth a day trip

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The dining room at Salish Lodge & Spa overlooks Snoqualmie Falls. The breathtaking view is only a thirty minute drive from Seattle.
| Salish Lodge & Spa

Summer is almost here and it’s the perfect time to plan a short getaway. Heading out to the hills — or the peninsula, or one of the islands — is a great opportunity to explore the many standout dining experiences outside of the city. Grab some stellar poke at Hi Life in Bainbridge, enjoy bluefish tuna and wine pairings at the Salish Lodge in Snoqualmie, or try the new Banzai Teriyaki from “Top Chef” Shota Nakajima in Cle Elum.

Perfect for pit stops in a larger trip, or as destinations in themselves, these 13 restaurants are worth the drive (or ferry ride). Be sure to check out our guides to the best restaurants in the San Juan Islands, Port Townsend, and Sequim and Port Angeles for related lists.

The restaurants here aren’t ranked; they are listed geographically from west to east.

Know of a place that should be on our radar? Send us a tip by emailing seattle@eater.com.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Tokeland Hotel and Restaurant

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2964 Kindred Ave
Tokeland, WA 98590
(360) 267-7006
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Heather Earnhardt and Zac Young, who once operated Capitol Hill’s popular cafe, The Wandering Goose, relocated and now run the Tokeland Hotel and Restaurant full time. Here, visitors can find Southern-influenced dishes like rockfish and grits, chicken-fried pork chop, and buttermilk biscuits and gravy. There’s also an impressive pastry case, stocked with chevre cheesecake, key lime pie, and biscuit cinnamon rolls.

2. Alderbrook Resort and Spa

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10 E Alderbrook Dr
Union, WA 98592
(360) 898-2200
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This fine-dining destination in Union celebrates all things Hood Canal, with gems like spot prawns, fish, Dungeness crab, and some oysters and clams from the resort's own beach just a few steps away. There’s an all-day menu, but dinner is the real draw, with its carefully composed plates and superb wine list. Recent renovations closed the restaurant (it reopens June 3), but in the meantime, check out the resort’s expanded dining options, like brunch or dinner served on the terrace.

3. Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar

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222 Capitol Way N
Olympia, WA 98501
(360) 915-7784
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A serious player in Olympia's dining scene is Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar. Seafood, including the farm's own sustainably-harvested oysters, is the natural focus, and it's matched by fantastic beers, wines, and cocktails. Diners can slurp raw oysters or get a full meal of gorgeous plates that range from damn fine fish and chips to whole Dungeness crab (or a tenderloin steak for landlubbers).

4. Finistère

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1025 Lawrence Street
Port Townsend, WA 98368
(360) 344-8127
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Former Canlis executive sous chef Deborah Taylor and husband Scott Ross bring some serious restaurant pedigree to Port Townsend. Seafood and Olympic Peninsula-sourced goods are the focus — the menu on a given day could include dishes like a saffron and prawn risotto or a ricotta ravioli with snap peas, radish, and mint. The Parisian gnocchi with duck confit is not to be missed.

5. HI LIFE

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220 Olympic Dr SE
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
(206) 201-3380
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Makoto Kimoto, owner of Rondo and Tamari Bar, opened Hi Life on Bainbridge island earlier this year, bringing bento boxes, poke bowls, and Suntory whiskey highballs all close to the ferry terminal. Enjoy a grab and go option like salmon sashimi or wasabi-marinated octopus while you wait for the next ferry.

6. Snapdragon

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17817 Vashon Hwy SW
Vashon, WA 98070
(206) 463-1310
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Vashon’s bakery, vegetarian cafe, and bar is a local favorite. The bakery serves up a delicious assortment of cinnamon rolls and danishes, and the seasonal Mediterranean-leaning breakfast and lunch selections have been known to include cheesy egg enchiladas, and empanadas with chimmichurri sauce. The bar is a regular spot for trivia nights and live music.

7. Gravy

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17629 Vashon Hwy SW
Vashon, WA 98070
(206) 463-0489
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Owners Dre Neeley and Pepa Brower have built a dedicated following at Gravy, which typically focuses on French, Southern, and Pacific Northwest dishes, all crafted with skill and love. Recently the restaurant launched Salt & Smaltz, a concept within Gravy, that focuses on Jewish deli-inspired offerings like smoked brisket reubens, chicken salad, and potato latkes.

8. The Ruby Brink

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17526 Vashon Hwy SW
Vashon, WA 98070
(206) 408-7795
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It’s very much worth making the trip across the water to Vashon for a taste of chef Rustle Biehn and butcher Lauren Garaventa’s restaurant and whole-animal butcher shop. The signature bone broth soup, named after the pair’s former popular pop-up, is satisfying, even on a hot day. Plenty of other options abound, including braised beef and noodle bowls, blue cheese and mushroom toast, and pork meatballs.

9. Tweets

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5800 Cains Ct
Bow, WA 98232
(360) 820-9912
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Bow-Edison, the darling Skagit Valley pocket of art and farm-focused food, gives visitors several worthwhile restaurant detours. At the top of the list is Tweets, the flower-filled cafe that offers a weekly changing menu plus an array of wonderful pastries using local ingredients. Recent selections have included lamb shakshuka, and hummingbird cake with browned butter, bananas, and pineapple.

10. Salish Lodge & Spa

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6501 Railroad Ave
Snoqualmie, WA 98065
(425) 888-2556
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Perched right next to the breathtaking Snoqualmie Falls, the Salish Lodge & Spa is a perfect Pacific Northwest retreat, and the restaurant is equally impressive. Try the bluefin tuna with uni and togarashi, or the roasted drake duck breast with squash and pinenut za’atar. The Attic bar has a fine selection of smaller plates. Stay for a multiple-course breakfast experience where honey from the on-site apiary is drizzled from high onto fluffy biscuits.

11. Banzai Teriyaki

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219 E 1st St
Cle Elum, WA 98922
(509) 674-7777
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Shota Nakajima’s new restaurant in Cle Elum is not your typical teriyaki. Nakajima is known for his Seattle twists on flavor (his umami rich sauce is available by the bottle at Uwajimaya). In addition to teriyaki options, Bonzai offers duck spring rolls and pork gyozas. Be sure to check out the rooftop bar.

12. Watershed Cafe

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221 8th St
Leavenworth, WA 98826
(509) 888-0214
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Three top-notch chefs run the Watershed Cafe, an impressive addition to the Leavenworth restaurant scene that will meet even big-city expectations. The menu is farm-to-table, with plenty of Pacific Northwest ingredients like Hama Hama oysters and Double R Ranch beef. Expect a new culinary experience every visit. There’s a sweet patio, too, with mountain views.

13. Los Hernandez Tamales

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3706 Main St
Union Gap, WA 98903
(509) 457-6003
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This Union Gap icon finally gained the national recognition it deserves in 2018 with a James Beard Classics Award. Serving only tamales since 1990, owner Felipe Hernandez's warm, unassuming shop is a worthy destination for its namesake specialties, including the famous asparagus and pepper jack cheese tamales. They're available hot and ready to eat onsite, but there are also some frozen options for dining at home and one can also purchase masa by the bag.

A plate of tamales at Los Hernandez Tamales.
Los Hernandez Tamales is a Union Gap icon.
Gordon King for Eater

1. Tokeland Hotel and Restaurant

2964 Kindred Ave, Tokeland, WA 98590

Heather Earnhardt and Zac Young, who once operated Capitol Hill’s popular cafe, The Wandering Goose, relocated and now run the Tokeland Hotel and Restaurant full time. Here, visitors can find Southern-influenced dishes like rockfish and grits, chicken-fried pork chop, and buttermilk biscuits and gravy. There’s also an impressive pastry case, stocked with chevre cheesecake, key lime pie, and biscuit cinnamon rolls.

2964 Kindred Ave
Tokeland, WA 98590

2. Alderbrook Resort and Spa

10 E Alderbrook Dr, Union, WA 98592

This fine-dining destination in Union celebrates all things Hood Canal, with gems like spot prawns, fish, Dungeness crab, and some oysters and clams from the resort's own beach just a few steps away. There’s an all-day menu, but dinner is the real draw, with its carefully composed plates and superb wine list. Recent renovations closed the restaurant (it reopens June 3), but in the meantime, check out the resort’s expanded dining options, like brunch or dinner served on the terrace.

10 E Alderbrook Dr
Union, WA 98592

3. Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar

222 Capitol Way N, Olympia, WA 98501

A serious player in Olympia's dining scene is Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar. Seafood, including the farm's own sustainably-harvested oysters, is the natural focus, and it's matched by fantastic beers, wines, and cocktails. Diners can slurp raw oysters or get a full meal of gorgeous plates that range from damn fine fish and chips to whole Dungeness crab (or a tenderloin steak for landlubbers).

222 Capitol Way N
Olympia, WA 98501

4. Finistère

1025 Lawrence Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368

Former Canlis executive sous chef Deborah Taylor and husband Scott Ross bring some serious restaurant pedigree to Port Townsend. Seafood and Olympic Peninsula-sourced goods are the focus — the menu on a given day could include dishes like a saffron and prawn risotto or a ricotta ravioli with snap peas, radish, and mint. The Parisian gnocchi with duck confit is not to be missed.

1025 Lawrence Street
Port Townsend, WA 98368

5. HI LIFE

220 Olympic Dr SE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

Makoto Kimoto, owner of Rondo and Tamari Bar, opened Hi Life on Bainbridge island earlier this year, bringing bento boxes, poke bowls, and Suntory whiskey highballs all close to the ferry terminal. Enjoy a grab and go option like salmon sashimi or wasabi-marinated octopus while you wait for the next ferry.

220 Olympic Dr SE
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

6. Snapdragon

17817 Vashon Hwy SW, Vashon, WA 98070

Vashon’s bakery, vegetarian cafe, and bar is a local favorite. The bakery serves up a delicious assortment of cinnamon rolls and danishes, and the seasonal Mediterranean-leaning breakfast and lunch selections have been known to include cheesy egg enchiladas, and empanadas with chimmichurri sauce. The bar is a regular spot for trivia nights and live music.

17817 Vashon Hwy SW
Vashon, WA 98070

7. Gravy

17629 Vashon Hwy SW, Vashon, WA 98070

Owners Dre Neeley and Pepa Brower have built a dedicated following at Gravy, which typically focuses on French, Southern, and Pacific Northwest dishes, all crafted with skill and love. Recently the restaurant launched Salt & Smaltz, a concept within Gravy, that focuses on Jewish deli-inspired offerings like smoked brisket reubens, chicken salad, and potato latkes.

17629 Vashon Hwy SW
Vashon, WA 98070

8. The Ruby Brink

17526 Vashon Hwy SW, Vashon, WA 98070

It’s very much worth making the trip across the water to Vashon for a taste of chef Rustle Biehn and butcher Lauren Garaventa’s restaurant and whole-animal butcher shop. The signature bone broth soup, named after the pair’s former popular pop-up, is satisfying, even on a hot day. Plenty of other options abound, including braised beef and noodle bowls, blue cheese and mushroom toast, and pork meatballs.

17526 Vashon Hwy SW
Vashon, WA 98070

9. Tweets

5800 Cains Ct, Bow, WA 98232

Bow-Edison, the darling Skagit Valley pocket of art and farm-focused food, gives visitors several worthwhile restaurant detours. At the top of the list is Tweets, the flower-filled cafe that offers a weekly changing menu plus an array of wonderful pastries using local ingredients. Recent selections have included lamb shakshuka, and hummingbird cake with browned butter, bananas, and pineapple.

5800 Cains Ct
Bow, WA 98232

10. Salish Lodge & Spa

6501 Railroad Ave, Snoqualmie, WA 98065

Perched right next to the breathtaking Snoqualmie Falls, the Salish Lodge & Spa is a perfect Pacific Northwest retreat, and the restaurant is equally impressive. Try the bluefin tuna with uni and togarashi, or the roasted drake duck breast with squash and pinenut za’atar. The Attic bar has a fine selection of smaller plates. Stay for a multiple-course breakfast experience where honey from the on-site apiary is drizzled from high onto fluffy biscuits.

6501 Railroad Ave
Snoqualmie, WA 98065

11. Banzai Teriyaki

219 E 1st St, Cle Elum, WA 98922

Shota Nakajima’s new restaurant in Cle Elum is not your typical teriyaki. Nakajima is known for his Seattle twists on flavor (his umami rich sauce is available by the bottle at Uwajimaya). In addition to teriyaki options, Bonzai offers duck spring rolls and pork gyozas. Be sure to check out the rooftop bar.

219 E 1st St
Cle Elum, WA 98922

12. Watershed Cafe

221 8th St, Leavenworth, WA 98826

Three top-notch chefs run the Watershed Cafe, an impressive addition to the Leavenworth restaurant scene that will meet even big-city expectations. The menu is farm-to-table, with plenty of Pacific Northwest ingredients like Hama Hama oysters and Double R Ranch beef. Expect a new culinary experience every visit. There’s a sweet patio, too, with mountain views.

221 8th St
Leavenworth, WA 98826

13. Los Hernandez Tamales

3706 Main St, Union Gap, WA 98903
A plate of tamales at Los Hernandez Tamales.
Los Hernandez Tamales is a Union Gap icon.
Gordon King for Eater

This Union Gap icon finally gained the national recognition it deserves in 2018 with a James Beard Classics Award. Serving only tamales since 1990, owner Felipe Hernandez's warm, unassuming shop is a worthy destination for its namesake specialties, including the famous asparagus and pepper jack cheese tamales. They're available hot and ready to eat onsite, but there are also some frozen options for dining at home and one can also purchase masa by the bag.

3706 Main St
Union Gap, WA 98903

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