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Fried green tomatoes and a bottle of white wine that says “Pavette” on the label
Fried green tomatoes at the Tokeland Hotel and Restaurant, from Wandering Goose alums
Tokeland Hotel and Restaurant

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

For those looking to plan local trips this summer

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Fried green tomatoes at the Tokeland Hotel and Restaurant, from Wandering Goose alums
| Tokeland Hotel and Restaurant

For those planning a short summer trip, there are plenty of great options that don’t require a plane ticket. But it can still be challenging to plot out where to eat. Whether travelers are looking for pit stops on the way to somewhere else in the Pacific Northwest, or just a day trip idea, here are 11 restaurants worth the drive (and sometimes the ferry), with each about an hour or three from Seattle. (Looking for some of the best restaurants on the San Juan Islands? There’s a separate map for that vacation destination. Ditto Walla Walla , Port Townsend, Sequim, and Port Angeles.)

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. 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 everything from coffee to a weekly changing menu of stratas and tortas and gorgeous salads, plus an array of wonderful pastries using local ingredients.

A meat-filled pastry on a metal platter
Tweets offers terrific pastries made with local Skagit ingredients.
Tweets Cafe

2. Captain Whidbey

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2072 W Capt Whidbey Inn Rd #9702
Coupeville, WA 98239
(360) 678-4097
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This historic lodge on Whidbey Island was recently rehabbed from top to bottom, restaurant included. There’s a heavy focus on local ingredients, many of which come from the inn’s Whidbey Island home. That translates to Manila clam chowder, smoked salmon dip, Dungeness crab roll, and moules frites.

3. Finistère

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1025 Lawrence Street
Port Townsend, WA 98368
(360) 344-8127
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With this charming restaurant, 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.

4. Farm's Reach Cafe

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8972 Beaver Valley Rd
Chimacum, WA 98325
(360) 732-4200
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When Chimacum visitors are ready to take a break from sipping local cider, they head to Farm's Reach Cafe. This busy stop serves hearty breakfasts and lunches, with enormous, customizable breakfast burritos as particular standouts on a menu of terrific quiches, egg sandwiches, and baked goods aplenty. If the cafe is too busy, there are takeout options, too.

5. 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 recent 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, so expect a new experience every time one visits. There’s a sweet patio, too, with mountain views.

6. 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 hard work. 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 enticing chorizo rolls, pulled pork sandwiches, and a vegetable-laden falafel bowl.

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 shifted to wide-ranging pop-ups, announced on the official Instagram page, including burgers and Maine lobster rolls. After a short break, Gravy will reopen July 29.

8. 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.

The views extend over of Hood Canal from Alderbrook Resort and Spa.
The views extend over of Hood Canal from Alderbrook Resort and Spa.
Alderbrook

9. 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 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).

A plate of raw oysters from above at Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar
One of the best spots in Olympia for seafood lovers is Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar.
Chelsea Farms/Facebook

10. 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.

11. 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. Tweets

5800 Cains Ct, Bow, WA 98232
A meat-filled pastry on a metal platter
Tweets offers terrific pastries made with local Skagit ingredients.
Tweets Cafe

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 everything from coffee to a weekly changing menu of stratas and tortas and gorgeous salads, plus an array of wonderful pastries using local ingredients.

5800 Cains Ct
Bow, WA 98232

2. Captain Whidbey

2072 W Capt Whidbey Inn Rd #9702, Coupeville, WA 98239

This historic lodge on Whidbey Island was recently rehabbed from top to bottom, restaurant included. There’s a heavy focus on local ingredients, many of which come from the inn’s Whidbey Island home. That translates to Manila clam chowder, smoked salmon dip, Dungeness crab roll, and moules frites.

2072 W Capt Whidbey Inn Rd #9702
Coupeville, WA 98239

3. Finistère

1025 Lawrence Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368

With this charming restaurant, 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.

1025 Lawrence Street
Port Townsend, WA 98368

4. Farm's Reach Cafe

8972 Beaver Valley Rd, Chimacum, WA 98325

When Chimacum visitors are ready to take a break from sipping local cider, they head to Farm's Reach Cafe. This busy stop serves hearty breakfasts and lunches, with enormous, customizable breakfast burritos as particular standouts on a menu of terrific quiches, egg sandwiches, and baked goods aplenty. If the cafe is too busy, there are takeout options, too.

8972 Beaver Valley Rd
Chimacum, WA 98325

5. Watershed Cafe

221 8th St, Leavenworth, WA 98826

Three top-notch chefs run the Watershed Cafe, an impressive recent 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, so expect a new experience every time one visits. There’s a sweet patio, too, with mountain views.

221 8th St
Leavenworth, WA 98826

6. 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 hard work. 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 enticing chorizo rolls, pulled pork sandwiches, and a vegetable-laden falafel bowl.

17526 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 shifted to wide-ranging pop-ups, announced on the official Instagram page, including burgers and Maine lobster rolls. After a short break, Gravy will reopen July 29.

17629 Vashon Hwy SW
Vashon, WA 98070

8. Alderbrook Resort and Spa

10 E Alderbrook Dr, Union, WA 98592
The views extend over of Hood Canal from Alderbrook Resort and Spa.
The views extend over of Hood Canal from Alderbrook Resort and Spa.
Alderbrook

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.

10 E Alderbrook Dr
Union, WA 98592

9. Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar

222 Capitol Way N, Olympia, WA 98501
A plate of raw oysters from above at Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar
One of the best spots in Olympia for seafood lovers is Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar.
Chelsea Farms/Facebook

A serious player in Olympia's dining scene is Chelsea Farms Oyster Bar. Seafood, including the farm's own 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

10. 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

11. 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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