The United States Healthful Food Council is excited to announce REAL25 Seattle – our list of the 25 most healthful and sustainable restaurants in the Emerald City. We have collaborated with a group of local experts to help identify restaurants with a focus on local, sustainable, and health-centric dining, for tourists and locals alike.
Without further ado, here are the newest members of the REAL25 community, in no particular order:
1411 N 45th St
Tilth is the poster child of Seattle’s health and sustainability movement. One of three restaurants from James Beard award-winning chef, Maria Hines, Tilth was recognized by the New York Times as one of the best restaurants in the nation in 2008. New American cuisine with organic, seasonal, local and wild ingredients at the heart of the menu, it’s no wonder that Tilth has been recognized repeatedly for being ahead of the curve. All of Maria HiInes’ restaurants are organic certified by Oregon Tilth and the exhaustive list of local purveyors from which they source can be found on their website.
Notable: Chef Maria Hines is an active member of many sustainability and community-focused programs, including, but not limited to, the PCC Farmland Trust, Seattle Restaurant Week, and American Chef Corps. For more information on her community work, go to her website.
7 Boston St
This Seattle favorite is serving up organic sandwiches, salads, soups, and juices daily – with an extraordinary brunch to boot! With a focus on local sourcing and in-house “old-fashioned” cooking techniques (think pickling, fermenting, roasting, and grilling), Queen Anne’s Bounty Kitchen is well worth a visit. With a lengthy children’s menu, this is a great spot for the whole family, and the regular food menu is marked for vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy free options. All nuts can also be removed for those with allergies.
Notable: Their menu changes seasonally, so be sure to check in every now and then to see what’s new!
3770 SW Alaska St
4757 12th Ave NE
8404 Greenwood Ave N
Vegan dining with a near-cult-status following, Chaco Canyon goes above and beyond in their efforts to create a healthy and sustainable dining environment. Chef Chris Maykut started this spot in 2003, and has since expanded to 3 locations across the city. The Chaco Canyon team is happy to adjust their almost entirely organic menu to accommodate for any and all dietary restrictions; however, the true extent of their commitment to sustainability shows in their waste program – 90% of all waste is recycled, composted, or reused. To keep their footprint small, they don’t include to-go utensils in their take-out food. Not to worry – they are happy to lend you some silverware if you forgot to pack your own!
Notable: For those with food allergies, or even just for the curious diner, a complete list of ingredients used in the restaurant can be found at the register.
823 3rd Avenue, Suite 107
1631 6th Ave
4609 Village Terrace NE
2070 6th Ave
South Lake Union:
1051 Thomas St.
This local franchise is well-loved in the healthy food community and beyond – and for good reason! Their responsibly sourced salads, bowls, and wraps are perfect for prioritizing your health on-the-go. By using only sustainable packaging; eliminating preservatives, artificial colors, and flavors; and featuring dietary accommodations on their menu, Evergreens makes it easy for everyone to find what they need. Whether you are a meat-eater, a vegan, paleo, gluten free, or lactose intolerant, you are guaranteed to find something to wow.
Notable: All of their dressings are made in-house in small batches for optimal freshness.
2901 E Madison St
It’s hard to know where to start with a restaurant like Cafe Flora – it has been recognized so many times (for articles like best brunch, best atmosphere, best vegetarian, and best Oaxacan tacos) and by so many publications (think Seattle Met, Eater, Thrillist, the Stranger, Seattle Times), since its opening in 1991, that it’s name has become nearly synonymous with “creative vegetarian cuisine.” Food aside, this old laundromat is now home to a lush, green dining atrium (charming water feature included) that has everyone swooning. Chef Janine Doran is whipping up exceptional dishes for vegetarians, vegans, and gluten free diners daily – plus, their spectacular brunch should be a do-not-miss item on your Seattle bucket list!
Notable: Vegetarians with wanderlust, rejoyce! Cafe Flora will be opening a little sister restaurant, to be dubbed Floret, at Sea-Tac airport later this year.
4130 Roosevelt Way NE
900 NE 65th
2821 NW Market
South Lake Union
391 Terry Ave N.
Portage Bay Cafe is Seattle’s go-to brunch spot, serving up local, organic, sustainable food with a classic brunch vibe. All four locations serve brunch 7 days a week, with most of them offering it all day, every day! With something for everyone in the family (including a great children’s menu), it’s easy to find healthy options, while still pleasing the pickier eaters in your group – whether this means your die-hard waffle loving brother (see below) or your gluten free aunt. Portage Bay Cafe wears its commitment to local sourcing on it’s sleeve, with a list of local purveyors, and their distance from the restaurant, proudly displayed under an “Eat Like You Give A Damn” section of the menu.
Recommended: “I always get the smoked salmon Benedict, while my brother always gets waffles so he can go to the breakfast bar to add mountains of fruit and nuts.” – Our local insider
1923 7th Ave
Husband and wife team, Mike and Colleen Moon, have brought new life Seattle’s downtown healthy dining scene. Their food philosophy is built around supporting the community they live in by partnering with local producers and suppliers, paying their employees a livable wage, and feeding the downtown crowds with nutritionally-focused foods in a gorgeous, light-filled space. Everything is made from scratch, in house; their produce is primarily organic; and their meat and dairy options are all hormone and antibiotic free. For those working with dietary restrictions, the menu is marked for nuts, gluten, and animal products and, if you still can’t find what you’re looking for, there is a build your own option. For those looking to host an event, they offer catering as well!
Notable: Sweetgrass Food Co. is the only restaurant on this list that has currently been certified by the United States Healthful Food Council for Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL).
300 Occidental Ave S
Stepping into the London Plane from the bustle of Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square is like entering another world – their entryway is part flower shop, part specialty market, part cafe,with a charming, light-filled restaurant and bakery in the back. For diners, their produce-forward menu offers an array of healthy options that feature local farms and seasonal produce. If you’re looking for a way to take the luxury home, they also offer a curated CSA-style box called The Larder Share, which features treats from their kitchen, produce from local farms, and skillfully matched wine, to top it all off. If you would rather take advantage of their in-house ambiance, you can rent out their equally-vibey sister space, The Little London Plane, for events, which can be catered by the prolific Chef Matt Dillon and the rest of The London Plane team.
Notable: Looking for the DIY skills to throw a dinner party that feels like something from Kinfolk Magazine? Sign up for one of the London Plane’s floral classes to amp up your table-top decor.
1517 12th Ave #100
More than just a juice-bar, Juicebox offers a selection of vegetable-focused dishes, blended drinks, wellness shots, and coffee from local roaster, Honor Society. Serving weekday breakfast, lunch, and brunch, their primary focus is on sourcing locally, which sometimes means that they prioritize local over certified organic. This regional emphasis leads to a menu that changes with the seasons and the produce they have on-hand. A veg-friendly establishment, Juicebox also offers soft-boiled eggs, organic chicken or albacore tuna as a topping for their salads and bowls, upon request. For fans of the establishment, you can buy out the space or choose off-site catering for your events.
Notable: For fans of a juice cleanse, Juicebox offers a variety of house-pressed options.
1501 Melrose Ave
With Terra Plata, Chef Tamara Murphy has created a fun place to meet friends, take family, or treat yourself to dinner in Seattle’s Capitol Hill district. Meaning “earth to plate,” Terra Plata espouses the ideals of local, organic, sustainable farming; here, you can choose a special meal, inspired by some of Seattle’s great local growers. The menu itself is broken up into tapas and small plates from “earth, land and sea” – for a special treat, come by on Monday evening and enjoy their full production Paella night. The cherry on top, weather permitting, is the rooftop dining, with private and communal tables nestled into a gorgeous edible garden – a must-see for Seattle summertime dinners!
Notable: Chef Tamara Murphy is locally accredited for sparking Seattle’s obsession with happy hour dining at her previous restaurant, Brasa. “I’m not the inventor of the happy hour,” she notes in an article from the SeattleMet, “but I think Brasa was the first that took its menu and said, ‘We’re gonna do it with food.’”
1054 N 39th St
Attention fish lovers and connoisseurs of local cuisine! You will think you’ve died and gone to heaven when you see what mouth-watering treats await you at this upscale Wallingford restaurant. The menu, crafted by Chef Dustin Ronspies, changes regularly to feature each day’s most outstanding offerings. Take advantage of the seating at the 5-seat “chef’s table” overlooking the the kitchen, to actually watch your decadent choices being prepared, from scratch. We recommend taking advantage of their special tasting menu, in order to explore the extent of this high-end locavore dining establishment; however, a la carte dining is also available on Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday.
Quote: “Things You Should Do: put away your phone, eat your fish skin, slurp your broth, gnaw your bone, eat your micro-greens, lick your plate, eat your cheese rind, have a cocktail, try everything, use your fingers when applicable, hold onto your silverware, enjoy your time here.” – from the philosophy of Art of the Table
5609 Corson Ave S
Approaching Matt Dillon’s offbeat Georgetown restaurant, the Corson Building, gives one the feeling, unexpectedly, of arriving at a French country home. The ivy-covered facade sets the stage for the lovely feast ahead – the details of which are described in small, tasteful, handwritten menus. Starting at 6:30pm on Saturday night, the prix fixe, $100 meal includes four or five rounds of enticing choices (nine to twelve courses in all), served family-style and prepared with foods from their own farm on Vashon Island. The intimately attractive dining room seats thirty-two, and summertime patio seating increases that number to ninety. Advance reservations are required and can be made online or over the phone. A lower-cost Sunday dinner is available (prix fixe $80), and has the ambiance of a simple family supper. This is a paired-down version of Saturday evening’s offerings, but is still guaranteed to wow. Thursday and Friday feature A la carte dining from 6-9:30pm.
Notable: Most of the ingredients on the menu are sourced from their farm on Vashon Island, or other small, local farms.
4743 Ballard Ave NW,
Taking it’s name from the eponymous poem in Lewis Carroll’s famous book, “Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There,” The Walrus and the Carpenter is one of Seattle’s trendiest oyster bars – our local insider volunteered the term “iconic.” Here, a jovial, neighborhood vibe mixes with the upscale feel of the curated small plates menu. In line with the local and seasonal focus of all of chef/owner Renee Erickson’s restaurants, The Walrus and the Carpenter has a menu that changes daily, and a list of local purveyors that is nearly as extensive as the list of media acclaims and awards that the restaurant has received (including, but certainly not limited to, a number of nationwide best-of lists). Their commitment to sourcing locally doesn’t stop at the food – Seattle artist Jeffry Mitchell adorns the walls and family members built the furniture and the patio. They are open everyday from 4-10pm, with a do-not-miss happy hour from 4-6pm Monday through Thursday.
Notable: We recommend getting there with time to spare, as the wait tends to get pretty long, particularly on the weekends.
133 Winslow Way E
Bainbridge Island, WA
Chef Brendan McGill opened Hitchcock in 2010, prior to his 2014 selection as the James Beard Award semifinalist in the Best Chef Northwest category. His move into the limelight has not changed the ethos of this farm-to-table dining establishment, where the focus on regional food, and local partnerships continues to wow diners on Bainbridge island year by year. Much of Chef McGill’s genius can be seen in his micro-seasonal tasting menu, where he features specialty greens and meats from local purveyors, as well as some sourced from his own four-acre garden and orchard. Just last year, the Hitchcock team partnered with Farmer Kevin Block, to increase the size, production, and output of this house-run farm, and we will continue to see the influence of these changes in the daily rotating, hyper-seasonal menu offerings.
Quote: “For more than 10 years, McGill was a quiet standout in Seattle restaurants, sizzling in the kitchens – but out of the public eye.” – Seattle Times
2404 NE 65th St
Despite being somewhat off the beaten path, Ravenna boasts a range of Seattle’s best and healthiest dining options – the cream of the crop being Chef Eduardo Jordan’s Salare. Showcasing some of the many cultural foods that make up America’s melting-pot, Salare sports dishes from the American South, Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean. The term “salare” means “to salt, season, preserve or cure,” and it is emblematic of Chef Jordan’s focus on these more traditional cooking techniques. Perhaps the most outstanding addition to this all-in-all phenomenal restaurant is the inclusion of a children’s menu, with dishes like duck hash for the adventurous tot, as well as the more traditional mac-and-cheese option for the pickier eater. Salare has been recognized nationally for it’s contributions to the culinary world, and it, in turn, recognizes the long list of local purveyors (including farmers, artists, designers, and photographers) that make it all possible, on their website.
Notable: After working in renowned restaurants nationwide, Chef Jordan broke into the Seattle culinary scene under Matt Dillon (see: The London Plane and the Corson Building). Salare is his debut solo-venture and his second restaurant, Junebaby, is set to open in early 2017, just a few blocks away.
550 12th Ave
No list of Seattle restaurants would be complete without at least one shout-out to the vibrant array of vietnamese offerings so fundamental to the city’s dining culture. Our pick for this category is Sophie and Eric Banh’s Ba Bar. The hyper-traditional street food menu is a divergence from their earlier, more experimental establishments like Monsoon, but the menu is bursting with the flavors we love – think lemongrass beef skewers, vermicelli bowls and, of course, Pho. Their dedication to meat, fish, and produce from the Northwest region remains central to the menu, as it does in all of the restaurants from this Saigon-born brother-sister duo. However, featuring the inherently health-forward simplicity of traditional Vietnamese cuisine, Ba Bar stands out amongst its sister establishments for this list.
Notable: “Ba” means father in Vietnamese, and this restaurant is an ode to owner/siblings Eric and Sophie’s father.
952 E Seneca St
Lark is the hyper-local, hyper-seasonal brain-child of Chef John Sundstrom – his menu features organic produce, fish, and meat from local artisans, farmers, and foragers, showcasing dishes that accentuate the flavors of each season. They are open seven nights a week and just launched a new weekend brunch program last spring! For those looking to try their hand at their specialties at home, they have a beautiful, full-color cookbook; for the less DIY-inclined diner, you can also opt for their Feast Dinner – for $900 the kitchen team will collaborate with you to design a dreamy Northwest menu that will feed a dinner party of up to 10 people, served in their gorgeous Capitol Hill location.
Notable: Our local expert calls Lark “high end, yet human.”
550 106th Ave NE #106
Capitol Hill -Melrose Market
1531 Melrose Ave
999 3rd Ave
3416 Fremont Ave N
104 Lake St S
3016 78th Ave SE
Mercer Island, WA
2201 Queen Anne Ave N
7841 Leary Way NE
650 228th Ave NE
South Lake Union
208 Westlake Ave N
This local sandwich shop really knocks it out of the park when it comes to sustainability – their goal is zero-waste, zero-hormones, zero-antibiotics, 100% organic. Even their stores are built with eco-footprint in mind, featuring reclaimed and recycled materials, efficient lighting, and 100% compostable and recyclable service products. In fact, transparency is so central to their ethos that you can download their annual impact reports for your own viewing pleasure. They have coined this program “Sandwich Environmentalism,” and it’s making a buzz in Seattle (and expanding soon to the Bay Area!). Sustainability aside, our local experts assert the taste and value of their “seriously delicious” sandwiches – perfect for eating healthy on-the-go.
Notable: Their certified organic farm, called Homegrown Sprouting Farms, is located in Woodinville, WA with a secondary location in Discovery Bay, CA. Here, the Homegrown team hosts educational programs for their employees and other community members, where they can learn about sustainable agriculture.
622 Broadway E
For a refreshingly different and fun meal, visit Poppy in Capitol Hill. Your tastebuds will rejoice when your dive into Chef Jerry Traunfeld’s take on the Indian “thali” tradition – each small-plate tasting platter contains a number of dishes, featuring local Northwest offerings seasoned adventurously with fresh herbs and regional flavors. This is a New American-meets-Indian concept restaurant, with a focus on seasonality. They offer happy hour, dinner, and late night menus, seven days a week and, on sunny summer days, you can choose to sit outside surrounded by the fragrant herbs and flowers of their in-house garden.
Notable: Parking is available behind the restaurant on 10th ave East. From there, you can enter through the herb garden and take a quick peek at what other diners are indulging in.
26185 Ohio Ave NE
A few blocks from the Kingston Ferry, Mossback is off the beaten path, but well-worth the treck. Everything on their menu is sourced locally or made in house, including their bread, ice cream, cheeses, and soft drinks. Their “stone’s throw local” sourcing is upheld by a commitment to small farms and local purveyors, and further reflected in the intimate feel of dining in their 100-year-old farm house. The menu changes based on seasonality and availability, so be prepared to order by whim, rather than habit – but rest assured, the gifted team at Mossback will not steer you wrong.
Quote: Featured on the Mossback website is this Wendell Berry quote: “To be interested in food but not in food production is clearly absurd.”
1711 N 45th St
Harvest Beat is taking on the food-waste challenge in a new and innovative way – Husband and wife team Aaron and Jan Geibel offer a frequently changing prix fixe menu crafted to utilize the foods that are in season and in stock, in order to minimize food scraps and overstocking. Their goal is to offer 100% organic, seasonal, and local produce and they further minimize their carbon footprint by using eco-friendly paint and recycled materials in the restaurant itself. Even the coffee is walked over from neighboring Pangaea Roasters, in glass containers to eliminate packaging waste! A fantastic vegan option in the Wallingford neighborhood (with an undeniable hippie feel), the kitchen is also happy to accommodate to other dietary restrictions.
Notable: There is one “seating time” each night that they are open, where all guests are ushered in and offered a brief introduction, a blessing, and a dinner gong is rung.
1550 15th Ave
Our local insider notes that “Ethan Stowell has a knack for catching Neighborhood flavors!” but choosing which of Seattle’s thirteen Ethan Stowell restaurants to include on a list is always a daunting process, particularly since each one is exceptional in it’s own right. However, Anchovies and Olives stood out on this list for it’s innovative, seafood-focused menu. With housemade pastas, locally-foraged mushrooms and delicately seasoned seafood galore, this restaurant is a must-visit for locals and tourists alike. For the non-picky diner looking to try an assortment of their offerings, try the Feast of the Fisherman – a family-style curated chef’s menu for the whole table ($55 per person). For those on a budget, stop in for Oyster Power Hour from 5pm-6pm and 10pm-close on Friday and Saturday – only $1.50 each!
Notable: The list of awards and accolades, for this restaurant and for Ethan Stowell himself, are too extensive to list here. For a complete background on the topic, visit their website.
2000 4th Ave
The exclusive caterer to the Hotel Andre Downtown, Tom Douglas’ restaurant, Lola offers a charming meal served in unique style. Mouth watering preparations of local meat and produce are central to the menu – ranging from wild salmon, Anderson Valley Lamb, and Penn Cove shellfish. Chef Matt Fortner channels his passion for mediterranean food with expert handling, whether the focus is on his utilization of local and seasonal produce or his whole animal butchery program. The menu changes regularly (often daily) pending availability, and a 20% service charge is automatically added to the bill in order to support higher wages for all back-of-house staff.
Notable: Hotel Andre has four different event spaces that can be rented out and catered by Lola, with capacities ranging from 5 to 150.
Pike Place Market
95 Pine St
If you find yourself in Pike Place Market looking for something healthy to eat, Steelhead Diner is a great pick. Their menu changes seasonally to take advantage of the local fruits, vegetables, and fish that can be found in the bountiful Northwest region – husband and wife chef/owner team, Kevin and Terresa Davis call it “Market inspired seasonal cuisine.” Although some of their menu-items fall out of the traditional range of healthy dining, all of their seafood is sourced responsibly, or sustainably raised in U.S. waters, and their products are largely sourced locally. The discerning diner will have no problem finding a wide variety of delicious and nutritious options to fuel their market adventure. Not to mention, if you make it out there on a sunny day, the dining room comes with a breathtaking view of the Market, Elliott Bay, and the Olympic mountains.
Notable: “I needed to pick somewhere for dinner that would accommodate the wildly varied diets of my visiting family members (vegetarian, pescatarian, meat-centric, gluten-free). As a nutrition-minded diner myself, I was set on finding something with healthier options that would feature some of the great local ingredients from the Pacific Northwest. Steelhead Diner was the perfect pick!” – Our Local Insider
Amazon Building Doppler
2040 6th Ave
This beloved quick-stop lunch spot comes from the same team as upscale Mamnoon, but this little sister restaurant has an approachable, affordable, and health-centric vibe. Anar is a classic salad and bowl restaurant with a mediterranean twist – think savory yogurt drinks with rosewater; small and large mezze plates heaping with picked vegetables, hummus, nuts and honey; and housemade juices. Everything is vegetarian, gluten free, and free of processed sugars. Owners Racha and Wassef Haroun are spicing up the Seattle restaurant world by bringing their background in Syrian, Lebanese, and Iranian flavors to the table for all to share.
Notable: Anar can be found in Amazon’s Doppler building