If you love good food, being a student in Seattle is both joyful and torturous. The city has incredible options for delicious meals at an affordable price, but there are so many great high-end restaurants that are just out of the typical college student’s budget. Although this list of some of Seattle’s best dining spots may be too pricey for a typical night, keep them in mind for a special occasion. Next time your parents visit, tell them you'll be making the reservations.


When one enters this Capitol Hill restaurant, it’s immediately apparent that this isn’t your grandfather’s steakhouse. The dining room is drenched in white, and on one wall, there is a large chalkboard that shows the numerous cuts of beef customers can order. As the most precious and popular cuts sell out, staff will cross them out. Bateau is part of Renee Erikson’s dining empire in Seattle and showcases a perfect platform to serve the products from her restaurant group’s farm, La Ferme des Anes, as beef is butchered and aged in-house. Hot tip: Bateau has an infamous off-menu burger; ask for it and you will not be disappointed.

Cascina Spinasse

Spinasse is surely one of the most acclaimed eateries in all of Seattle, Food Network even named its “Tajarin al Ragu” one of the top-five Italian dishes in America. Its menu displays a variety of dishes from Northern Italy –– specifically the Piedmont Region –– using traditional techniques with local ingredients. The dining room is quite elegant, garnered with dark wood tables and paintings. Come early and grab a cocktail at Spinasse’s sister restaurant, Artusi, before your dinner.


This gem on a street corner in Pioneer Square is perfect for a quick midday cocktail and taco or an elaborate roast chicken feast for dinner. Many restaurants fail in the pursuit of serving high-end Mexican food, but Copal does it right by preserving the sanctity of the dishes while simply elevating the technique. The vibe here is fun and unpretentious; the open kitchen leads to conversations with the chefs while they prepare your meal right in front of you.

Sit at the counter, order a tequila or an agua fresca, and pretend you’re on break.

Sitka and Spruce

In the far back of Melrose Market in Capitol Hill, one can find this fantastic, intimate restaurant. The menu changes daily due to the produce-driven food that is served here, and dishes are not too complicated or over-manipulated, allowing the ingredients to shine. This is a great place for non-meat eaters, as vegetables take up a large portion of Sitka and Spruce’s menu. The restaurant also has a great wine list with a focus on regions in France and Spain.

Sushi Kashiba

A lot of people claim they love sushi, but limit themselves to California rolls and cream cheese-filled nightmares. For the real thing, there is no better restaurant in Seattle than Sushi Kashiba. After extensive training in Japan under famed sushi chef Jiro Ono (“Jiro Dreams of Sushi”), chef Shiro Kashiba came to Seattle in 1970 and has become the sushi king of the city ever since. A seat at the counter of Sushi Kashiba is a coveted one. Order the open-ended “Omakase,” and sushi chefs will keep serving you morsels of goodness until you tell them to stop.

Reach contributing writer Armon Mahdavi at development@dailyuw.com. Twitter: @armonmah

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