I was born and raised in Seattle and have grown up loving all kinds of food. I will try almost anything once, especially if you put sriracha on it. Over the past few years the city has grown so much and created an amazing assortment of foods from all over the world! Including combinations of various cultures to create new genres of delicious food. However, with all of these new fancy restaurants popping up all over, it can be hard to find the truly delicious and home-style food that the locals eat. Here is a list of the top 10 best places to eat like a local in Seattle.

1) Pho Than Brothers

Natalie Adams

This place is a must go if you are ever in Seattle. Pho is a staple food in Seattle, everyone has their favorite place, but this is the best I've tried. If you don't know what Pho is, imagine a Vietnamese chicken noodle soup. Pho is basically broth with a matching protein, rice noodles and toppings like green onions, cilantro, chives, onions, basil and bean sprouts. You then add sriracha, jalapenos and plum sauce to your own personal preference. There are multiple Than Brothers locations in Seattle and nearby, however my top two locations are the Greenlake and Ballard locations. The Greenlake location is on Aurora (7800 Aurora Ave N), is newly remodeled and super open with lots of seating. The Ballard location is on Market Street (2021 NW Market St) and has really good customer service with fun people watching. This Pho place is by far my favorite because of how delicious the broth is! It is perfectly seasoned and always extra hot. The meat options include chicken, brisket, meatballs and a few other options as well as a vegetarian option with tofu and veggies. They give you homemade cream puffs with every order, even to go orders. If you have never had Pho I would definitely go here to try it for the first time, you won't be disappointed. 

2) Sam's Sushi Bar and Grill - 5506 22nd Ave NW, Seattle WA

sushi, avocado, seafood, rice, wasabi, fish, shrimp, salmon, tuna, cucumber, eel, nori, crab, roll, sushi roll, California roll
Caroline Ingalls

Of course Seattle has some amazing sushi places, having access to so much fresh seafood, no matter where you go it will be delicious. However Sam's Sushi is my favorite place to go without spending too much. Located just off Market Street in Ballard it is slightly hidden, however worth the search. The rice is always perfectly cooked and not too acidic. They make each roll fresh and you can watch them if you so please. My favorite roll is the Spicy Tuna roll or California roll and ask for a side of spicy mayo to dip the rolls in. I have also tried their Ballard roll - ebi, smoked salmon, tokiko, cream cheese, avocado, asparagus, cucumber, sprouts and cilantro - and it was super yummy. I would also recommend their Seattle roll you like smoked salmon. 

3) La Palma - 3456 15th Ave W, Seattle, WA

Natalie Adams

This place holds a special place in my heart. I have been coming here with my friends so frequently that the owner knows us by name and takes tequila shots with us almost every time we go here! The service is amazing and if you go frequently enough I guarantee you that they'll start to remember you and your favorite meals. They have delicious Mexican food and even better margaritas. They have all the usual entrees you would find in a Mexican restaurant; Chimichangas, Enchiladas, Mole, and Carnitas. They also have multiple levels of seating which helps to keep the noise down even when it's jam-packed. 

4) Ristorante Picolinos - 6415 32nd Ave NW, Seattle, WA

This is one of my all-time favorite restaurants. If I could eat here every day I would. It is the cutest and romantic restaurant in the Ballard neighborhood. They serve amazing authentic Italian food, so authentic that you're almost always greeted by a friendly man with a heavy Italian accent who yells out something in Italian to the back when you tell him how many are in your party! They have delicious pastas and pizzas as well as a cafe section that serves pastries and baked goods. There's an outdoor garden area with tables which is perfect when the weather is nice in Seattle. It is great for any situation; date night, family outing or parties. My favorite thing to order is the Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina or the classic Margherita pizza, but honestly, anything you order will be heavenly. Plus the overall feel of the restaurant makes you feel so cozy and leaves you satisfied with a belly full of Italian food.

5) Portage Bay Cafe - 2821 NW Market St, Seattle, WA

Natalie Adams

If you are looking for the perfect brunch place while in Seattle, look no further. With multiple locations you will be able to try out this cafe no matter what area you're in. Personally the Ballard location is my favorite because of the size and parking accessibility. Portage Bay is known for it's rustic food and large portions. They have so many options that you will find something to satisfy you. They have different types of Eggs Benedict - Smoked Salmon, Crab Cake Benedict, West Coast Benedict and the Classic. Another unique aspect is the breakfast bar, you can order pancakes or waffles and then are able to go and get different toppings personalized to you. You can get fresh fruits, whip cream, and syrups. Other options include various egg dishes. I always get some type of Eggs Benedict or when they have it Grits and Shrimp. My friends always get the Huevos Rancheros or Migas. Migas is basically a Mexican style breakfast burrito but on steroids. It is stuffed with spices, cheeses, house-made salsa, and a side of potatoes. Wear stretchy pants because you will leave here happy but stuffed!

6) Thai Siam - 8305 15th Ave NW, Seattle WA

pad thai, rice, pasta, spaghetti
Nicole Bradley

Out of all the Thai places in Seattle (there's a lot), this is my favorite sit down one. The parking lot is very small so I would recommend parking around the corner on the street. They have amazing food and customer service. The waiters and waitresses are very attentive and quick. The food is perfectly spicy and consistent which can be hard to do. I tend to get 2 stars for most things except the Yellow Curry. I find 1 star is plenty unless I'm wanting a little extra kick. I always get the Yellow Curry with tofu and a side of brown rice and then alternate between getting Phad Thai or Phad See-Ew if I'm eating with another person. If you've never had Phad-See-Ew I would 100% recommend trying it here. It is one of my favorite dishes to order because it has thicker noodles, broccoli and is a bit more flavorful than Phad Thai. The portions are good for sharing, but if you're the only one eating two entrees would leave you with leftovers for one more, possibly even two more meals. I would also recommend getting a Thai iced tea to drink because they are delicious and help ease the spice if it ends up being too much to handle. 

7) Saffron Grill - 2132 N Northgate Way, Seattle, WA

hummus, bread, vegetable, cream, cheese, parsley
Rae Steinbach

This is my parents' favorite restaurant, they've been going here for years. They finally started bringing me along and I am so glad they did. This restaurant serves Indian and Mediterranean food which can be intimidating at first, but ask for recommendations from the owners or your server and they will help you find items you will love. The menu is huge but mostly because they do different variations of meat for each item. The menu also has various vegetarian options which are great. The Mango Curry is one of my favorites, as well as Paneer Shahi. I also like to order the hummus to start off with or if they offer naan bread for the table get it! It is the tastiest starter ever. 

8) Ichiroll Teriykai - 306 N 125th St, Seattle, WA

I had to include a teriyaki place on here since teriyaki is so common in Seattle. There are a ton of good teriyaki joints in any area of Seattle; however, this is my favorite one to go to because of how quick they are. Plus they have sushi as well and the rolls are huge! I have tried their Chicken Teriyaki and Tofu Teriyaki and both are amazing. I haven't tried their Beef Teriyaki, but I am sure it is just as great as the other protein options. They cook the protein perfectly without over drying it, have a delicious slightly sweet teriyaki sauce and plenty of rice. Usually, one order lasts me for two meals! Another amazing thing about this teriyaki place is that they do a spicy version with onions in a spicy sauce. I usually get half normal Tofu Teriyaki and half spicy since the spicy version can be really spicy. I also recently tried their Ichi roll, which is basically just a deep-fried California roll, and it was huge and really good for a teriyaki place. It was expensive but I couldn't even finish one roll with my teriyaki, so the price definitely reflects the amount you get. Plus they usually do a lunch special for teriyaki and have a punch card!

9) Dicks Drive-In

I wouldn't be a true Seattleite if I didn't include Dick's on here. Dick's is like WA's version of In-N-Out in CA but better. They have multiple locations all over Seattle so you will be able to find one anywhere. Dick's has been around forever, it's a classic walk-up burger joint that only just started accepting other forms of payment besides cash a couple years ago. They have a small menu with different cheeseburger or hamburger variations, milkshakes, fries and ice cream. What makes this place so special is the secret sauce. It goes on every burger and really makes these burger stand out. They're open till 2 am everyday and are speedy quick. Another really cool thing about Dick's is that they give out free hamburgers to grad students if they show up in their gowns. They also treat their employees really well by giving them health insurance and scholarships to students. As well they give back to the community by donating money towards different facilities helping the homeless. This is another reason why Seattleites love Dick's so much.

10) Sandpoint Grill - 5412 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA

Last but certainly not least is this cozy little restaurant, located near the University Village. The food here is to die for. It serves seasonal foods but has a few staples. It is a smaller restaurant so I would definitely recommend calling ahead to make reservations, especially since a lot of families regularly go there. I would recommend getting the Bruschetta as a starter. They vary on type depending on the season, for example in the winter/fall they use a butternut squash puree, and in the spring they use a pea puree. If you eat meat I would recommend the fried chicken, they warn you it does take about 20 minutes to cook since it's made once you order it. The wait is worth it, the chicken is a beautiful golden brown and super fragrant, and nice and moist. I don't eat meat so I usually get the vegetarian or pescetarian option. I would also recommend getting the Grapefruit Drop if you are of legal drinking age because it tastes exactly like a grapefruit and not artificial at all, super refreshing and yummy.

Of course anywhere you go in Seattle will most likely have delicious food, but if you are truly wanting to find the neighborhood favorites then check these places out. They are ran by the greatest Seatlleites, have truly amazing food cooked with love and a welcoming environment!