What It’s Like: In Seattle’s hip Ballard neighborhood, this longtime leader in locavore cuisine dishes up only the freshest Northwest fare before unbeatable views of Shilshole Bay and the Olympic Mountains. Executive chef Peter Birk brings the region’s natural flavors front and center with a simple, straightforward approach to a menu of classics, pairing them with vegetables from local purveyors like the Ballard farmers’ market.
What to Order: Don’t miss the grilled Alaskan King Salmon and the Chatham Street Strait Sablefish in Sake Kasu. Cult classics at the more casual Ray’s Café upstairs include salmon burgers, clam chowder, and Dungeness crab and rock shrimp cakes.
Best Seat in the House: Take advantage of the Pacific Northwest’s warm, breezy summers from Ray’s Café’s seasonal outdoor deck. Get a little more intimate in the Boathouse’s cozy, clam shell–shaped booths that face the water.
Insider Tip: You can’t reserve deck seating, but come between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. and you’re likely to snag a table outside.
The Café is open for lunch and dinner; the Boathouse is open for dinner.