12 Bucket List Worthy Restaurants To Try In Washington, One For Each Month Of The Year
Washington’s restaurant industry has some of the freshest, most creative cuisines available, often coupled with a side of epic views. Even better, some of our top chefs have even opened new eateries or expanded their spaces recently. We think New Year’s resolutions should be fun, which is why we recommend resolving to try at least one
bucket list restaurant every month of the year. Today, we’ve compiled 12 of the best restaurants in Washington to help inspire your foodie adventures this year… one for each month of 2023! That said, every spot on the list is delightful year-round, so feel free to try them when you happen to be in the area.
1. January: The Lounge at DeLille Cellars (Woodinville)
If you love Washington wine, you may already be familiar with DeLille Cellars. Last year, they opened a wine-centric restaurant at their Woodinville tasting room, and it's incredible. The Lounge is an all-ages restaurant, so you can bring your little ones along for buttered noodles and root beer floats. If you go for date night, go on Wednesday, when you can each enjoy an all-inclusive three-course meal with a bottle of wine.
2. February: Crafted (Yakima)
Crafted opened in 2017, instantly elevating Yakima's dining scene. This farm-to-table restaurant has a regularly rotating menu, weekly happy hour specials, and an enormous local fan club.
3. March: Zona Blanca (Spokane)
Zona Blanca is Spokane's first ceviche bar, owned and operated by Top Chef contestant, chef and restaurateur Chad White. Chad calls this place his heart and soul -- and if you're familiar with the flavors of coastal Mexico, you'll realize right away that Zona Blanca is as authentic as it gets.
4. April: Ascend Prime Steak & Sushi (Bellevue)
Ascend takes fine dining to a whole new level -- literally. This high end steak and sushi spot takes you 31 stories up and offers some of Bellevue's best views. There's a reason why Ascend often makes lists of the best restaurants in Washington!
5. May: Maple Counter Cafe (Walla Walla)
If you're in Walla Walla for any spring wine events this year, fuel up with a morning meal at the Maple Counter Cafe. The hardest part of dining here is deciding what to order, because everything on the menu is absolutely delicious (and extremely filling).
6. June: Aerlume (Seattle)
While there is certainly no shortage of top notch restaurants in Seattle, many of the best restaurants in Washington come with a side of epic views. Aerlume remains an underrated and lesser-known gem, but it has the delicious food and stellar views down to perfection. Located above Elliott Bay and mere steps from Pike Place Market, this place offers incredible views of the Sound and the best local cuisine imaginable.
7. July: Water's Table (Renton)
While recent events seem to have made outdoor dining a year-round experience in Washington, there's just something about an outdoor dinner on a warm summer evening. Water's Table is located at the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington in Renton, serving brunch, lunch, and dinner daily. For the best experience, grab a cocktail first at the downstairs Dock & Drink bar, then head upstairs to watch the sunset over dinner at an outdoor table here.
8. August: The Pink Door (Seattle)
Dining at the Pink Door is a joy year-round. If you go in the summer, you can choose between the vibrant outdoor patio or the lavish dining room, which looks straight out of Italy (aside from the amazing view of the Seattle waterfront out your window). Not only is the Italian cuisine here out of this world, it's surprisingly affordable for the quality. This is because the team buys most of their ingredients from Pike Place and other local purveyors.
9. September: Heritage Restaurant + Bar (Woodinville)
Heritage is operated by Chef Breanna Beike, who believes food should be both simple and delicious. Perhaps that's why even in a city like Woodinville with an abundance of dining options, this place is among the most popular. Their menu rotates seasonally to capitalize on all the fresh local produce, seafood, and meats in the area. The flavors are divine, and the local emphasis and ambiance easily makes this gem one of the best restaurants in Washington.
10. October: Hattaway's on Alder (Walla Walla)
Walla Walla is a delightful city. But unless you live in the Tri Cities area, it's a bit out of the way. That being said, it's worth making the drive just to enjoy a meal at Hattaway's on Alder. This charming family owned restaurant serves American fare with a Southeastern twist, all with a hefty dose of Southern hospitality.
11. November: Wooden City (Spokane and Tacoma)
Wooden City was founded by a trio of owners in 2018 in Tacoma, who expanded and opened a Spokane location in 2020. Almost everything is wood-fired here, and it's safe to say that absolutely everything is delicious. We highly recommend visiting both locations, because one visit is never enough.
12. December: Basilico (Olympia)
Since 2005, Basilico has been serving Central and Northern Italian cuisine in the heart of Olypmia. And since December is the perfect time for a hearty, slow-cooked meal, it's the perfect time to check this place out.
While not a compete list of the best restaurants in Washington, we definitely think that these 12 eateries are must-visits this year. They’re also the perfect way to start exploring every type of cuisine that our state has to offer. What else is on your dining bucket list or Washington adventure bucket list this year?
And speaking of bucket list restaurants, how about dining at this totally unique, one-of-a-kind
Bigfoot-themed restaurant in Washington? There’s nothing else like it!
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